I just started my first nursing job on a busy post surg/oncology floor, graduated in May. I had the normal week long hospital orientation where I learned about the computer systems and the HR stuff. After getting my schedaul I saw that I was going to start on the floor this past Monday for a 7 week floor orientation. I was so excited. I thought finally I was going to get to watch how the nurses do it. They would teach me all the tricks.
So, Monday I get to work and meet my preceptor, nice but stern. We listen to report and then we head out onto the floor. I started to follow her into her room, and she said I think I'm going to have you do the assessments on the last two rooms. I thought, sure I can handle this, then we would have more time to do nursing stuff together. Well, those two assessments turned into hanging IV meds. Then I was doing IV pushes, and changing fluid bags. None of which I was bothered with good experience. Luckily I had had a clinical in the same hospital, so I knew my way around the MAR.
About lunch though is when things started changing. First I hung blood on 2 different patients. She was shocked that I had never done this before, but we can't do it in nursing school
. She did the check with me and then just left me to do the rest. Then she gave me a phone and said you have to go call the surgeon and get orders on for this pt. This was kind of scary, because it was my first time getting orders and she gave me no more advice then your going to be fine. Then the phone started ringing non-stop and I was getting calls from the different units to take report on transfer pts. It was all just so overwhelming. At the end of the day I was hoping for maybe a hey you made it, but all I got was I hope you know that this was an easy day.
Today was my second day and I thought well this is going better. I had called a couple of Docs for orders and things were going fine. I still haven't quite figured out how to keep everything organized, but I was feeling better. That was my motto today, better. Then about 4 hours after I got home I got a call from the unit to find out if I had hung an antibiotic. I had but just forgot to cross it off in the MAR. I felt so stupid and my day was cast in a whole new light.
So, now what I whined and vented, I want to let you know that I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I know that everything I do is valuble experience, but I was just hoping for one day on the floor where I could follow a nurse to see how my unit flowed.
Aug 30, '06
Oh wow, it sounds like you handled that very well!! I probably would have cried the whole time and never gone back!
On my first day, I didn't do anything except shadow my preceptor ..... yeah I helped with things here and there, but I mainly just watched. There were A LOT of things that I didn't get experience with in nursing school
and my preceptor never acted surprised that I didn't know how to do a lot of things. After all, nursing is an on-the-job training type of profession.
It sounds like you know to ask questions when you don't know how to do something and only to do things you feel comfortable with doing. And you're doing the right thing by meeting with the educator. I would definitely ask for a different preceptor
. There's no harm in asking to be put with someone different. I remember my educator telling me on my very first day, that if I EVER felt like I needed to be with a different preceptor for any reason, not to hesitate to ask. She said some people just don't fit, have different learning styles, etc.
This is YOUR orientation. I can tell you right now, from reading what you wrote about this preceptor, she is not precepting you for the fact that she loves teaching. She's only doing it so you'll do her grunt work. She wants to have an orientee do all her work for the next 7 weeks so she can sit around on her butt all shift. That's exactly what it sounds like to me. There are some great preceptors out there ..... nurses that will take you under their wings and TEACH you. They won't act surprised when you tell them you haven't done that before. They won't tell you to call so-and-so or do such-and-such on the first day and not give any advice whatsoever. They will do it first and have you watch. Then they'll have you do it, with them there at your side, encouraging and supporting you. Then they'll eventually let you take your own assignments and do everything on your own, with them there if you have questions or concerns. That's how it should be. Please don't sell yourself short. This is your orientation and you need a good preceptor that is willing to take this seriously and mold you into the great nurse that you'll be.
Good luck to you, I wish you all the best! Let us know how the meeting with the educator goes.
Last edit by RainDreamer on Aug 30, '06
Aug 30, '06
Quote from blaaveispiken
Has anyone out there had a GREAT experience with their preceptor? How did they precept you?
Yes, I had a GREAT experience with my preceptor. She precepted me like I mentioned in my previous post .... let me shadow her first, let me watch her do things the first time, then was there while I did things, then gradually let me do things on my own and was available to me when I needed her, etc.
It might be harder though on med/surg type units when you have a lot of patients. I'm in an ICU so we always had 1-3 patients, but there were nights that it was insanely busy. It's hard to learn when it's busy like that. I remember plenty of times being overwhelmed and just in shock. One night after my baby coded my preceptor just gave me a hug. She said in no way will I feel comfortable doing that for a LONG time and I won't be expected to. She was very supportive. Every morning after my shift was over she would tell me "you did great tonight". That is SO SO important. Just 4 little words like that can mean the world to a new orientee.
I had an amazing preceptor, I couldn't have asked for anyone better. She LOVES teaching. She taught me about why things happen, why we're doing this, what's going on with the baby, etc. That's why it's important that preceptors want to precept and that they like to teach. Sure, anyone can sign up to be a preceptor and let someone follow them around, do their grunt work. But it takes someone special to be a great preceptor. They're out there.
Last edit by RainDreamer on Aug 30, '06