This is my sixth of twelve weeks of new grad orientation, and my preceptor is so moody! I don't know all the dynamics, but she doesn't seem to want to be precepting, gets annoyed or ignores me completely when I ask her questions, tells me to look it up, or says, "Never mind, I'll do it myself." She keeps pushing me to take more patients, and I keep telling her that I am not ready for a full case load yet. If I felt like I had any support, it might be different, but I am trying my best to stay positive and professional, and not tell her that I could do more if she wasn't trying to dump her whole case load on me. I am feeling really trapped, because this woman will ask me if I need any help only when there is another nurse or supervisor around. I don't want to make any waves, being new to the unit: I like the other nurses and love the patients. She treats me as if I am incompetent, and I am amking mistakes, since I am having to figure out everything on my own. In the end, though, it's only making me look bad. If I open my mouth, it could easily make things worse. I keep hoping that one of the other staff or the supervisor will notice: now I know what it means when people say nurses "eat their Young". BTW, I am a second career over 35 year old adult, so I am aware of and fine with the demands of the job itself.
Oct 23, '07
I had a similar preceptor for the first bit of my orientation. On the first day I showed her my little notebook with the schedule. I was supposed to mostly follow her around and take one patient for the first few days and it was supposed to be a heart cath patient. She said, "Yeah, we're not gonna do that. We'll have you on a full load by the end of the week." I spent the whole time I was with her LOOKING for her because she figured I had it under control and was acting as a functional for all the other nurses. And she is actually an awesome nurse and it turns out a nice person and a good teacher (she teaches the transplant class for new nurses). But she hates precepting. Anyway, I went to the ANM and said, "Jane is such a good nurse!! But she's so fast...it's hard to learn anything from her!" and I magically got a new preceptor who was fantastic for most of the rest of my time on days (and had Jane on the other days who was actually nicer to me as I got more competent and taught me a lot). Your hospital is probably like mine. You show up and the person who is supposed to be precepting you for the first month didn't even know you were coming and wasn't asked if they wanted to precept.
So anyway, definitely speak up. Try to put a positive spin on it. There is probably someone on your floor who actually enjoys precepting. Get hooked up with them and your life will be better.
Oct 23, '07
If you don't speak up, then no one is giong to take it upon themselves to "fix" this for you. Don't just wait until another nurse or a supervisor notices because you'll be off orienation, on your own, and it'll be too late.
If you want this to get better, say something now. Just go to your educator and/or nurse manager. You don't have to go into specifics, just say that it's not working out and that this particular preceptor isn't a good fit for your learning style.
You're already half way through your orienation though, this needs to be brought to their attention ASAP.
Good luck to you!