Perioperative nurse preceptors translate theory to real world

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Perioperative nurses work as part of the operative team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and anesthesia assistants, and are responsible for the safety, planning, and advocacy of the patients having surgery. They collaborate with the surgical team during the three phases of perioperative care: before, during, and after surgeries and procedures requiring sedations and/or general anesthesia. They are skilled at building rapport with patients and families and working effectively with a wide range of physicians, health care providers, nurses, and support staff.

Chelsey Pipes, Scarlett Smith, Laura McEachern photo by Ryan Wilson IWK

Preceptors in the perioperative area are vital members of the team. They share their wealth of knowledge and training and help learners translate theoretical knowledge into real world clinical skills. More importantly, they help learners develop the critical thinking skills needed to care for a specific patient population. They support student learners, new staff and cultivate unity between all team members. This helps foster confidence and team work to provide safe and compassionate care to our patients and families at the IWK.

Scarlett Smith, photo by Ryan Wilson IWK

Scarlett Smith, Pediatric Operating Room (OR) Registered Nurse (RN) & Orthopedics service lead

“I find the human body so interesting, and you get to learn so much about it in surgical nursing. Because we have a variety of surgical specialties, each day is different and the opportunity to learn something new is endless. I remember the feeling of starting out in the OR and how helpful it was to have a supportive preceptor.”

Chelsey Pipes, Pediatric OR RN & Orthopedics service lead

“Being a preceptor is a mutually rewarding experience. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other while helping introduce learners to new skills and practices in the OR.”

Laura McEachern, photo by Ryan Wilson

Laura McEachern, Pediatric OR Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

“I remember what it feels like being new, the overwhelming feeling of learning a whole new type of nursing on top of memorizing instruments, learning multiple different procedures, and trying to build relationships with all different disciplines. I love sharing my knowledge and helping staff transition into a new role.”

Tim Kaizer, photo by Ryan Wilson IWK

Tim Kaizer Day Surgery/Recovery Room RN

“When I started in Day Surgery/ Recovery Room what I liked most was the staff. They were always friendly, engaging, caring and willing to help. Over the years I’ve enjoyed preceptoring and sharing my knowledge with new learners and new staff. When asked if I would preceptor here it was easy for me to do. Being a preceptor in a positive and collaborative unit has been rewarding.”

Sara Laffin, photo by Ryan Wilson

Sara Laffin Day Surgery/Recovery Room LPN

“What I like best about being a part of the perioperative team is being there for kids on their worse day, helping them overcome their fears and anxieties and supporting them as they realize they can do hard things. As a preceptor I have the opportunity to impart my knowledge and skills to new staff to help kids reach their potential. This is very important and so rewarding.”