BAD Preceptor, HELP!

  1. Hello to all, I recently graduated from nursing school, passed my boards, and was offered a job in the ER at my local hospital, where I did my preceptorship. Sounds like a fairy tale right?? WRONG. Here is my dilemma, since I am a "New grad," going into emergency care, there is a 6 month probationary period during which two days of our shift are spent on the floor with our chosen preceptor, and one day a week is spent in the classroom, where we cover basic emergency scenarios and practice how we would react, etc. This is all seemed great at first with wonderful support from the educators running this "new grad orientation to ER," program, until I met with my preceptor. She does not offer any guidance, or support what so ever! I feel like I'm "shadowing" her more than anything, and when I ask her to allow me to participate in providing patient care, she basically IGNORES me. I'm not lying. I ask her questions regarding the patient's we get and why she does the interventions she does, how this affects the patient physiologically, etc., and she answers me with "you should know that." Don't get me wrong, I know that I should research and continue studying to be more prepared, however, isn't a Preceptor's "job," to offer guidance and education, especially if one is actively involved?? I really thought that this is what a preceptor was! PLUS, during our classroom day, we are told that if we aren't asking our preceptor questions, then we aren't doing our job. So in a nut shell, I have gotten to a point where I feel so uncomfortable asking her any questions at all, for fear of a mean reply or even just being ignored by her, that I have considered quitting my job... I feel so stressed everytime I have to go to work, not only because I AM AFRAID I will NOT make it through the six months of the probationary period, but because she is really mean and unwelcoming. I have thought of speaking with my educators regarding this ( they are responsible for us new grads during this probationary period) but I don't want to sound like a tattle tale or an immature person, especially because my preceptor is supposed to be a "REALLY GOOD," experienced nurse. I honestly don't feel like I'm benefiting from the preceptorship experience, especially because I hear the rest of my colleagues speak so wonderfully of their preceptors and how much they learn from them. I'm totally missing out PLEASE ADVISE! God Bless.
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    About Lizzy84, RN

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 22; Likes: 8
    Registered Nurse, Emergency Department


  3. by   APatriganiRN
    I'm also a new grad, and while everything is going well for me so far, I know for a fact that you're not the first/only person to have a problem like this. I was offered a few different jobs and explained the orientation/precepter deal, the whole 9 yards, and they're pretty much the same everywhere....
    To get to it, every manager that offered me a job discussed precepting/orienting, and REASSURED ME that sometimes, you just don't click with your preceptor, and it's no one's fault, nothing personal, etc, just different styles. These managers and HR recruiters all told me- sometimes it just doesn't work out, and you can talk to your manager about it and get set up wth someone else. They say it happens now and then, and they try to put you with someone you can mesh with better. Saying something along the lines of, "So and so is a really great nurse, who is very knowledgable and good at what she does, but unfortunately, as much as I respect the work she does, I don't feel that we're meshing/ this is a good fit/ this is working out/ etc etc".
    Whatever you say, make sure that you give her props and emphasize that you like/respect her (even though you prob don't, and I don't blame you)- that way you aren't "tattling" on her, and you're lessening the risk of future hostile interactions with her.
    I know it's easier said than done, but hang in there!!! So many new grads are still struggling to find jobs, and you found one in EMERGENCY CARE!!! You must have worked so incredibly hard to get this job, and you don't deserve to have one mean person ruin it for you!!!
  4. by   shoegalRN
    Just because she's a good experienced excellent nurse does not mean she is a good preceptor.

    Go to your nurse manager or whoever is in charge of the new grad program and ask for a change in preceptors. Let them know your learning style and her teaching style are not compatible.

    Good luck to you!
  5. by   HouTx
    PLEASE discuss this with your educator. The precepted experience is part of your educational process... just like clinical rotations in med school. So your educator needs to know if this is not working like it should.

    Be sure to be very objective and focus your discussion on events and behaviors, NOT on personality issues. If you are supposed to be completing an orientation task-list or written objectives, be sure to update your list and share this with the educator so that she/he will have a better idea of where you are at in the development process.

    If there are problems with communication, be very specific in how you describe these; provide examples when you can... ex: "He does not respond to my questions".
  6. by   ht07401
    I had this problem and never spoke up and it did cost me my job. Say something!!! I strongly encourage you to speak to your educator and/or manager and ask for a new preceptor.