It has been said that “in theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. But, in practice, there is.” This quote may best explain the reality shock phenomena in nursing.
Reality shock is the reaction of new graduate nurses when they discover that the work situation that they have prepared for does not exactly operate within the values and ideals they had anticipated. As a preceptor, understanding and recognizing the phases of reality shock will assist you in helping your preceptee to successfully work through these phases.
· high energy
· fascinated by the newness of the experience
· focused on skill mastery and fitting into new role
· harness energy and enthusiasm for learning
· be realistic, but do not put out their fire
· assist in socialization and integration into their new culture
· experience frustration with conflicting values/practice
· generally become negative
· offer support — be a good, nonjudgmental listener
· offer objective points of view by acknowledging negative and highlighting the positives
· lessened tension/anxiety
· objectively evaluates situations
· differentiates between effective/ineffective behavior
· assist in seeing the positives
· support participation in improving the work environment
· understands/accepts role in work environment/culture
· conflicts resolved between school/work cultures
· assist in use of new coping skills
· acknowledge milestones
This has been shared with permission from the Health Alliance of MidAmerica, LLC as part of the Preceptor Academy.