Orientation Nightmare!

  1. 1
    So I am a new grad nurse on a surgical unit. I am on orientation and got my 30 day eval today. Come to find out my manager told me my preceptor raised concerns about my critical thinking skills, and being to "rough" with a patient with pulling a central line. They also said my preceptor was concerned because I gave a pain med with Tylenol to early to an actual Tylenol dose (it was one hour early- you get one hour each way to give a med). Now I am so upset!!! I have to spend 2 extra weeks orientating with another preceptor. I feel very betrayed by preceptor. I am the first person she has ever precepted. She has been short tempered with me, and gets fustrated when I ask how to do something over again. It's like she expects me to get remember everything only after one time of being taught. I have been thankful and kind to my preceptor, and honestly feel like I am doing ok at being a new grad nurse. I know I have so much to learn and want to learn the best practices, but I feel as if I got pushed under the bus on this one. I told my Managers I was fine with doing 2 extra weeks of orientation. Now I feel as though I will be labeled as the "dumb" or "bad" nurse on my floor. I work really hard and am giving this my all and it is really tough to hear this after all my time and effort! I have cried for a whole day about this, and I DON'T cry! Two other new grads on my floor, whom I went to nursing school with, have got the ok to go out on their own. This is what is making me feel really inefficient! I heard my preceptor talking with other nurses and CNA's today about me having to do these two extra weeks....so fustrating! I am just hoping for advice on how to handle my situation! I really would appreciate input!
    -Lost New Grad
    lindarn likes this.
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    Perhaps your preceptor is being unduly harsh. Perhaps she's not - her observations may have merit. She's certainly being unprofessional by gossiping about you, if you actually heard that correctly.

    However....it's only 2 weeks. A total of 6 weeks on orientation is not at all unusual. I think you need to suck it up, keep your head high and your mind open to learning more. You may have a marvelous 2nd preceptor who can teach you many things.

    A year from now, I doubt that anyone on your unit (except for you) will have a memory of you taking an extra 2 weeks of orientation.

    p.s. There is a world of difference between being "allowed" to give a med one hour before or one hour after the scheduled dose, and giving a safe dose of Tylenol. I hope that you study this issue and realize what your preceptor was objecting to: a potentially unsafe dose of Tylenol due to timing of the doses.
    Last edit by roser13 on Mar 29, '11
    joanna73, sicushells, Ruby Vee, and 4 others like this.
  5. 2
    Also check the policy of Med passing our hospital has changed to 30 minutes before or after the time.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and lindarn like this.
  6. 2
    I wish I could have a preceptor again and still be paid... anywho keep at it, you will get through this.. lol, looking back at it now I wouldve asked for 4 extra weeks, im all about being precepted...!!
    MomRN0913 and lindarn like this.
  7. 3
    Hang in there because you are a new grad nurse and experience will make you feel more competent as time moves along. Every preceptor does not have the gift to precept and teach because some of them need more patience, your next preceptor may be great and will have a good connection with you, there is no way that a new grad nurse is going to have the confidence of a nurse who has been practicing for 10yrs. Last, I think the preceptor was immature and non-professional to discuss your orientation with anyone outside of you or the unit manager. I wish you the best.
    whodatnurse, lindarn, and j464335 like this.
  8. 2
    Keep your head held HIGH!! As far as your preceptor's concerns, sure. I understand. But, you are a NEW GRAD! Your critical thinking skills will improve with time, trust me. I see the concern with the tylenol dose, too. But, did your preceptor bother to explain the reasoning to you?? As a new grad, you are thinking of that one hour window in administering meds. But, in real nursing, sometimes there are other things to consider as well. This is where those critical thinking skills come in. It is her job to help you to understand that. It seems like maybe she was pushed into being a preceptor? Not everyone is cut out for it...

    As a new grad, 4 weeks really doesn't seem like enough orientation IMO. If anything, I feel like you are the lucky one, to get the extra 2 weeks! Honestly, 6 weeks isn't even that much time. My hospital gives new grads longer than that.

    I truly hope that your new preceptor is a better fit than the first one. Best wishes to you!
    mustlovepoodles and lindarn like this.
  9. 4
    It may be a blow to your ego today but in the future I can assure you that this will not be an issue of concern for you.

    I suggest you stop measuring yourself against other people and their accomplishments. You are setting yourself up for disappointment and fustration . no one needs the weight of anxiety created by those emotions while they are trying to learn.

    Instead, put your focus into being the best nurse YOU can be.

    You can do this. Calm down, dust yourself off and try again.
  10. 1
    I believe it is more productive if you took the criticism and learn from it. It didnt seem right how the preceptor handled the situation but dont let that get you down. The more you stress about it, the more pressure you'll feel. Learn from your mistake and move on plus having 2 more weeks for orientation will probably be good for you and you'll get more help. Comparing yourself to others will only get you down, you should be proud of yourself for doing the best you can and know that you are always learning.

    GOOD LUCK!!
    Ruby Vee likes this.
  11. 1
    Oh I feel for you. I belive you when you state your feelings, and its hard watching or hear others talk about you and your situation with others. All I can say is do the xtra 2 weeks with your head held high. It can be a gift to have 2 more weeks to experience new ideas and training. You have to look at it as a gift, and when your off orientation and work as a nurse, those people who made it difficult for you will be a long forgotten nightmare. The worst thing you can do at this point is to stress how you feel and fight it. Its going to take away too much time and keep yout thoughts all busy with negativity. Just look at the extra 2 weeks as a gift. let us know how your 2 weeks went with the new preceptor.
    whodatnurse likes this.
  12. 3
    I agree with everyone that the extra two weeks is not a bad thing and honestly, the more orientation you get the better. Also, it's with a new preceptor, which might be better for you in the long run.

    Now, I have a couple of issues with how the preceptor went about things. It takes a certain kind of person to be a good preceptor and I tend to think that many places don't take their preceptor program seriously. Preceptors need to be excellent teachers and they need to be patient. What I have seen is many people signing up to be preceptors because they get extra money to do it OR some people being pressured into precepting because no one wants to do it...including them.

    If the preceptor had these problems with you she should have brought them up during your time together. It is her JOB to teach you how to do the job and help you learn how to do it right. If she thought your critical thinking skills were poor, she should have worked on it with you. If she thought you were rough while pulling the line, she should have brought it up and discussed it with you THAT DAY.

    Now, if your preceptor tried to discuss things with you and you didn't listen or if she tried to help you learn to think critically and you weren't getting it that is different. I think many people who are preceptors are poorly trained, which is not their fault. Some employers look to preceptors as baby sitters, but a preceptor isn't a baby sitter. They are a resource person and teacher.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but maybe the new preceptor and you will get along better. Good luck and don't give up.
    whodatnurse, Bill E. Rubin, and Moogie like this.


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