The problem with multiple preceptors...

  1. Is that I have to take a half step backwards each time.

    When my educator says I will be getting a new preceptor, I usually bite my lip, keep my breath hushed and low, and keep to myself. If you think about it, variety is good, because there's many ways to organize your day, do a procedure, and be a nurse. I figure I would learn something new from a new mind.

    But that's not the case.

    Apparently this coming week I'll have my 4th preceptor as I enter my 10th week of my orientation in critical care, because my educator has led me to believe that it's whats best for me. It's as if a new set of eyes will magically turn my mostly competent skills as a new grad into a superstar.

    If you were to ask me if I'm happy with my progress as a new nurse, I'd say yes. I'd say I'm not perfect, I'd say I make some small mistakes, and I'd say my biggest problems are prioritization and getting a little faster. I've been told these are things that should come with time and experience. Are they a big deal? Yes. Can they be fixed? Most definitely, I'm sure every new grad goes through it.

    My most significant obstacle is that everyone says I am "doing fine" when I ask, and then I hear from the higher-ups that I have some problems and my co-workers expressed some concern about my progression and skills. Wait...what? No one told me this. If I knew I would fix it, honestly.

    I'm tired of hearing things behind my back. I grew up in a culture where you talk to someone face to face if you need to. I can't fix a faucet if I don't know it's leaking.

    So apparently the remedy to this is to have me switch preceptors, yet again. Which means I have to re-learn their way of doing things (because it's wrong any other way), and it's ultimately a step back.

    Management hired me as a new grad because I've been told I'm bright and grasp things easily. I was talked up like an all star football team that is Superbowl or bust, and honestly, I'm a new grad. There's going to be more bust than bowl, here.

    Has anyone had a similar situation? I overall like my unit, but I have the feeling that their expectations are too high, and they are ultimately setting me up for failure. I'm hard working, and I do a good job, but apparently it's not up to their standards. It's times like these where I wish I had 1 year of experience, so I could entertain the possibility of interviewing and looking elsewhere.
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    About Loque

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 52; Likes: 38


  3. by   blueyesue
    I completely understand how frustrating this is. By my 6th week I have had NINE preceptors. Some of whom have just got off orientation themselves.
  4. by   anotherone
    That is the way it works in many places. Where I work, no one wants to precept so orientees get up to as many precepters as there are staff members. Also complaints/suggestions are rarely made to the person. More likely you are discussed to your manager and educatir without your knowledge. Get used to that and assess the rumors for validity and try no to get too into it unless your educator or manager brings them up. I have seen new nurses make a big scene about "gossip" or being set up to fail etc..... and none have lasted. The ones that do the best just ignore all of that.
  5. by   HouTx
    My deep sympathy to the OP - dealing with multiple preceptors is the pits.

    Hopefully, the OP is being provided with specific, objective information about progress toward the goals of orientation. If not SHAME ON EVERYONE. Orientation should not be a game of "gossip" with everyone providing their opinions on how well/awful the orientee is doing. There should be defined criteria... 1) what needs to be accomplished, 2) timeline for accomplishment, 3) criteria by which success will be judged. Any other type of system is completely sub-standard, from an educational perspective.

    The OP should be able to refer the latest preceptor to documentation that reflects what remains to be accomplished - so they don't waste time and effort going over the same things over and over. "Prioritization" is very difficult to measure so it should be associated with criteria that are measurable such as "responds appropriately to all crisis-level alarms" or "adjusts schedule to accommodate urgent physician orders". See how these would be much better to work on than simply "does not prioritize appropriately"?
  6. by   Loque
    Thanks to everyone for their help and insight. I have done alot of thinking over the past few days, and plan on waiting everything out for a little bit longer. I like working there, and if I just stay strong and deal, I would have no problem. I don't have much leverage as a new grad still on orientation, so entertaining transfers is most likely difficult. I'm also not sure how green the grass is on the other side. I will agree that perhaps having less acute of floor may benefit myself as a new grad as I learn how to become a nurse.

    So... maybe more thinking to do