The student, with your assistance, will assume responsibility for orientation to the agency and unit consistent with the amount of orientation that any new staff member would need.
Health Authorities expect students to complete part or all of their orientation program in advance of the experience. The student will be informed by BCIT about the agency expectations for orientation.
It does not matter what shift the student starts on. The student starts on a specified day on whatever shift you are working. Each student has been informed that it is her/his responsibility to contact you well in advance to obtain the shift rotation and to prepare for the experience.
You will have to feel this one out – it will vary from student to student, from unit to unit and from day to day.
Ask the student how much responsibility she/he feels ready to handle.
Ask the student to summarize the level of work she/he managed in their previous clinical placements. Generally the students begin with one buddy shift, and then take on one or two clients/patients in the first set of shifts.
- Preceptorship 1 week-by-week guide for student progress [PDF]
- Preceptorship 2 week-by-week guide for student progress [PDF]
- Preceptorship 2 week-by-week guide for students remaining on same unit for 16 weeks [PDF]
BCIT carries liability insurance that covers the actions of students who makes an error in the course of learning experiences. Of course, if you direct the student to do something that is incorrect and a liability results from the action, you will be liable for your actions in directing the student incorrectly.
Identify any expected times when you will be away from work. We appreciate you taking the responsibility to find an appropriate replacement.
If the student is ill, or must be absent for some other valid reason, she/he should notify you and the unit in advance, as well as the BCIT instructor. These absences will be recorded by the BCIT instructor.
If you are ill, the student should work with an experienced RN for that day if one is available and willing. If an appropriate replacement is not possible, the student should not report for work, or stay on the unit if already there. If you are off for an extended period of time, then a replacement needs to be found.
If a unique learning experience arises and your workload permits, encourage the student to take advantage of it (e.g. if a special test or procedure is being performed on another nurse’s patient or an in-service is being offered). However, do not be afraid to deny permission. In many instances it is more valuable for the student to focus on the current nursing assignment than to be stimulated by something new.
Remember, the student’s primary objectives are to experience the reality of nursing practice and polish their professional nursing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgments. Ask yourself if the learning experience achieves any of these primary objectives.
Students receive bursary funding for up to 275 hours in Practice of Nursing 9 and 200 hours in Practice of Nursing 10.
Students record hours attended (e.g. 12 hours for a 12 hours shift, 8 hours for an 8 hour shift) on the BSN BSNC 8100 and 8200 record of clinical hour sample [PDF].
Preceptors validate the hours by initialing the record. Substitute RN preceptors may also validate hours. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the form to BCIT.
If the situation has been created because of a heavy workload, students should stay with you until the work is completed. No overtime hours can be claimed.
If you volunteer to work overtime or to do extra shifts, the student is not required to work these. However, extra shifts may be an opportunity for the student to make up for absences or a rotation that is less than 300 hours in eight weeks.
If you change or trade shifts to get a particular day off, the student should be allowed to decide whether to continue on your regular schedule and work with another nurse or to change with you. Changing shifts with you is preferred. In either case, the student should work the same number of shifts.
We have also noticed that if the student works with too many different nurses, evaluation of practice and progress may be inconsistent.
Students in preceptorship may take verbal orders, including phone orders if an RN hears them and co-signs the orders on the doctor’s order sheet.
If the student makes an error, agency policy must be followed. This student is also required to complete a BCIT Safety Event Reporting form. The student is required to inform the instructor of the error within 24 hours of occurrence.
BCIT students may not be responsible for narcotic control. Students are to follow BCIT and agency guidelines regarding medication, narcotics, and controlled drugs.
Students may perform focus of practice nursing skills if the:
- Agency agrees.
- Student participates in the related agency in-service program or approved alternative.
- Student is supervised by the agency staff, instructor or preceptor until the student is considered safe to practice the skill independently.