Here is a creative way of teaching and having nurses apply the Synergy Model in precepting as it relates to making nursing assignments.
Our preceptor course includes the AACN Preceptor Challenge and interactive sessions by the educators. I cover Synergy category A, a brief PowerPoint presentation that reviews Benner's Stage of competence and patient/family and nurse characteristics. I use a handout that summarizes the characteristics on one page.
The audience (mixed units and specialties) is then asked what it means to them in their specialty area, "What comes to mind when you think of resilience in the NICU?" We learn from each other. A brief summary of the Benner handout is also distributed.
A trifold poster board (with cork board glued on) serves as one of four working group boards. Boards are two for medical surgical, one for telemetry and one for ICU/CCU. The right side of the board has "fun and famous" orientees that I collected from the Internet (Derek Jeter, Sade, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, David Smith, Michael Jordan, Madonna, etc.).
Then a description of one of five Benner's stages of competence is listed. The first part of the exercise is to label the correct stage. The center part of the folder has a patient mix and a given patient assignment.
I went to the various units and collected a report on typical patients and changed some of the identifying facts for privacy. The directions say "A preceptor arrives on the unit at 6:40 a.m. and the assignment is as follows: #644 & #645, the preceptor changes the assignment to #644 &# 648.
The patient cards include room numbers, name, diagnosis and description of dressings, drips, support systems, vitals, history, etc. The group is then asked to explain the rationale for this assignment change by considering Synergy Model nurse and patient characteristics.
An answer key with the correct classification guides the instructor. Each group then presents to the whole group and we learn and have fun.