I have worked with Meredith throughout my entire professional career as a nurse. I'll be honest, when I was in school I had heard that she was challenging because she was always asking questions of her preceptees while other preceptors were just demonstrating and observing. The nurses that were assigned with Meredith raved about her afterwards because she taught them so much. Meredith handles precepting as she does everything else in her life, with enthusiasm and gusto.
It is true that Meredith does ask her preceptees a lot of questions; she also takes the time to discuss the answers. Even after 10 years of working with her she will still ask, "Well, why do you think that?" and confirm that you are right or help research the answers. She always feels victorious when she is looking for an answer and can link it to evidenced based practice or a policy. She can even be competitive with the experienced nurses whenever there is a dispute. It is not uncommon to hear a loud, "ah ha! I found it!" She is passionate about nursing and the passion is evident when she is educating.
Meredith eventually moved to part time and that made making preceptor assignments more challenging but when we find a newer nurse struggling we still rely on Meredith. She has never said no, she meets with them. She will take the time to visit with them outside of work to dissect the root of the problem. One example of this was a new hire nurse was struggling with time management. I was not sure what more we could do to work with them. Then I thought Meredith has the best time management of any nurse I know, so I asked her for help. She met with the nurse for coffee and said, "Tell me about your typical shift? How do you prioritize your day?" "What are you finding most difficult?" She was able to work out a plan to help this nurse get through the day and feel that she met her patient's needs. Then they met for the next few weeks and adjusted the routine until it worked for that nurse. The nurse eventually left our organization but I have no doubt that she is a better nurse because of the investment Meredith put into her.
Now that her children are entering school she has decided that it is time for her to reconnect with teaching. We were able to accommodate this by having her get involved with the new hire skills course for our unit. This enables her to teach not only the functioning skills to the newly hired nurses but the rationale and evidence based practices that reflect in our cares.
Meredith is a social creature by nature and knows everyone by first name. She decided that we had not had a good social gathering in awhile so she invited everyone to her house for a Christmas Party. When I say everyone I mean everyone, from all the Nurses, CNA's, Care Management, Social Services, Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Pharmacist, and Housekeepers. She welcomed us all in and it was by far the best Christmas Party of the Season. This gave everyone a chance to get to know one another and the newer staff a chance to see just how fun our unit's surgeons are.
It is an honor to work with her and to have learned from her.