For some time I have been doing further training to become a practical instructor. There I learn how to instruct nursing trainees in the practical part of their training. Only nursing staff who have completed such further training are allowed to do this. According to the law, qualified staff who are taking part in a further training course to become a specialist nurse in the intensive care and anesthesia field, for example, may also be instructed by experienced specialists. In our clinic, however, this task is usually also carried out by practice instructors. Because they have to be present when the course participants take their final exam – so it makes sense if they are on board from the start.
Ten percent of the practical training of trainees are instructions. That is much. That’s why there are several practical instructors in our clinic: Five central ones take care of the nursing trainees. Each of them is responsible for specific stations and operational areas.
In addition, there are decentralized practical instructors on the stations who take care of trainees and participants in the specialist courses. I’ll take on such a role in the intensive care unit from October – then I’ll be a full practical instructor. However, I already look after colleagues from the specialist course, because that is part of the further training.
Instruction days are often a challenge for the entire team. Normally, a registered nurse takes care of two or three patients per shift. Now, however, the practice instructor takes on the same number of patients together with the training participant.
On duty before the actual instruction day, the supervised nurse selects a patient who is then the focus of the practical work. For this she prepares a complete anamnesis: social environment, previous illnesses, diagnoses, eating behavior – the patient is taken apart from top to bottom. After the service, the preparation continues: Three nursing diagnoses are worked out and the associated goals and measures are formulated.
On the instruction day, the nurse presents the practical leader with the work from the previous day, as well as a plan for the daily routine. Then the nurse takes care of the main patient and another, while the practice instructor accompanies and observes: Are the treatment methods correct? Is hygiene guaranteed? How is the behavior towards patients? The last hour of the shift is reserved for a reflective discussion.
Despite the extra effort, I enjoy guiding colleagues. This gives me the opportunity to pass on the fascination and passion for my job.
Pola Gülberg is an intensive care nurse. In this column, the 38-year-old talks about her work at the district clinic in Ebersberg every week. The collected texts are below sueddeutsche.de/thema/Auf Station to find.
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