Dear preceptor - page 8
Dear preceptor.. I came to you smiling, full of energy and ready to tackle the last leg of my orientation journey, with your guidance of course. I haven't really gotten any inclination on where that... Read More
Dec 26, '09Unfortunately, for me, this type of experience has been the norm in most situations involving a preceptor. My initial preceptor out of school on peds treated me like this, and then on my second evaluation stated that she had intially thought she would have to fail me, this after 2.5 yrs of school and clinical placements with NO issues. I asked for a transfer and got one, and a wonderful older nurse who was comfortable teaching and enjoyed it. She was great.
I have been eaten alive at almost every new job, have only stayed at the ones that were friendly. Oddly, they are all in areas where I am the only RN.
I took the perioperative course a few years ago, that being the area that I dreamed of working. It was HELL. My preceptor screamed at me, I was so stressed out that I stopped sleeping, had GERDA daily, and was so relieved to be finished. I didn't stay once the course was over.
I am now afraid to try anything new, as the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
Dec 27, '09Tabitha:
What an awesome post! As an older nurse, I am shocked by what I see! I was told, some years ago, 'teach them the right way'... by a physician. I am laughed at sometimes at work when I want to take extra precautions with my patients so that I can prevent something from happening to them!! I was lucky in my schooling and in my career to have wonderful head nurses, preceptors, etc. They did teach me the right way to do things, to do things the right way to provide the best care for my patients. And if it takes me longer, oh well, so be it! We need to help one another, nurture our relationships, and teach one another. Anyway I could go on and address each part of your post, but will keep it short.
Dec 27, '09Thank you all for responding to this girl. I HAVE SO MUCH EMPATHY too!! I TOO am going thru the same thing right now. I have been in tears going thru similiar trials with my terrible preceptor. I have been a nurse for almost 10 years, but NICU is a whole new ball game for me and she has me so frazzeled I can not even think for myself and I feel like a helpless little girl. To make matters worse, she has my manager thinking that I can't be independent....when in actuality, she doesn't allow me to work independently. She busts in and does all my cares when I ask one simple question. I know that this is not forever, but how do I convince my manager that I can be independent without sounding like I cant take criticism. This woman is KNOWN to be cold and not pleasant and I have heard that there was "no one else" to do it. Thankfully I have had a (day) shift preceptor that vouches for me saying that I should have been on day orientation longer due to extended low census (when I was on days). I didn't get to see much more than feeder/growers on days.....But, now I am scared to even ask a question for fear that she will tell my manager that I simply can't swing this on my own and am not cut out for NICU nursing...My manager did tell me that she wants me to be successful...And I did tell her that I don't feel that I Can't be independent and that the night shift isn't helpful-her response was that I need to show my independence....and that sometimes she gets caught in the middle with she said/he said...But she DID take my preceptors word without even considering my opinion of how it was going....Sorry for such a long post. I am so anxious because I only have 3 shifts left before my final evaluation...and 2 of the days are with someone who has only been with me once. How is she to know what I have/have not done?! Please PRAY that they will allow me to go it on my own. I am a little slow to learn, but once I have it down, if I do say so myself, I am an awesome nurse! I am passionate and professional. I just need a chance in this new position. (BTW, I am already on a 2 week extension of orientation....then after next week, they will reevaluate my progress....I have to admit, I am scared.) What can I do.....to relax. I don't know. Can someone help?
New to NICU with terrible preceptor, Not new to nursing
Dec 27, '09Hang in there! My prayers are with you. I know how hard it is to switch to different areas-and NICU is a whole other planet!
Dec 27, '09I think preceptors forget how hard it is. Shame on them. " Nurses are still eating there young" shame, shame.
Dec 28, '09NeoNurse~the fact that your orientation has been extended isn't a reflection of your abilities~low census and struggling with an ineffective preceptor are contributing factors. Ask for the orientation time you need, and please don't let that nurse push you away from NICU. I hope there are kinder, more compassionate nurses on your shifts who will be good go-to people for you. Hang in there!
Dec 28, '09I graduatedin May, but I was a Surgical Tech before nursing school its the samething, they think that there is only one way to do things!!!
I found that many nurses are just miserable, especially the ones who work night shift they come into work with there issues and leave in the morning with them and u have to suffer with them for the 12 hrs..
They act like its everyones fault for A. picking a loser for a man/husband B. Children are out of control cause they r to busy trying to keep up with things they could not afford if they only worked one JOB!! C. Before they chose this profesiion they knew it was demanding we experience that from the first they of clinicals so I don't understand what is the problem!!! They r just miserable and want to mk everyone else miserable.
Dec 30, '09Tabitha-
Your article made me reconsider my attitude when i take report from the ER(i work in the MICU). There are times where i get really frustrated when the nurse can't tell me the vent settings or why she/he didn't treat a low K or, like last night: why the hell she didn't ask the Doc to change the septic, and tachy, patient's presser from dopamine to neo.
Maybe that nurse was having a crazy night and was getting slammed left and right. Maybe she had a cranky Doc, who doesnt take kindly to vasoactive suggestions. Maybe she did all she could just to keep the patient from coding again.
I get frustrated and ****** off when i have a Doc yelling at me for things that i "missed" and here i go and do the EXACT same thing to another RN...
Dec 30, '09As nurses it is our repsonsibility to intervene in situations like this. Most of us have been in your shoes and you would hope this would guide us how to influence another nurse new or not. Sometimes we are our own worse enemy.
Dec 30, '09As difficult as it must be to tolerate her acting out like that maybe view it as an opportunity to use her as a model of what you never want to become. I have met nurses with similar erratic behaviors. Who needs their abuse? I also believe that you should confront her.....pull her covers about her actions in a diplomatic honest manner.I am sure the administrators put the newbies with her and figure if they can survive her then they are fit to work there. Sad.
Dec 31, '09I have precepted many, many nurses in my time, and unfortunately you hit the nail on the head. For some reasons, as nurses, we tend to 'eat our young'- even if they are not 'young' in age, they are the newbies. I have fought against this concept for so many years. As the leaders in a unit or facility, we need to quietly assess the capabilities of the 'newbie' and work on strengthening weakness, not running them out the door. Too many great nurses have been pushed out of a new situation because of preceptors just like the one described here. If you are not preceptor material- then just DON'T. Allow the other nurses to do the job. I have always felt that a warm welcome and the chance to prove themselves is the way to approach a new nurse to an area, or even a new grad. You don't know what a person can do unless you let them prove themselves to you. I am sorry for your experience and I hope a lot of nurses read this- because we need to hear it. It reinforces me to make sure that the 'new guy' is welcomed and trained appropriately- after all we need a TEAM to make it work. It is all about the PATIENT and without a team approach, that patient may be forgotten!
Dec 31, '09I think that this is such a sad reality in nursing. When I began nursing I was a PCA, and part of the reason that I wanted to educate myself further was for respect. PCA's are the low man on the totem pole and crap always runs downhill. Since I've been an RN I realize it runs uphill and sideways too. Horizontal violence is one of the biggest problems nursing has, and until we can unite and be peaceful among eachother, there is no way we can unite to face the problems on our unites with cutbacks, increased pt ratios, overtime, burnout etc. Right now, on the floor it is dog eat dog, there is alot of favoritism, and I think that these preceptors may think that by shining a light of negativity on someone else they take the focus off their own shortcomings, keeping them in the manager's favor and keeping their brown nose status. It is not the best nurses who are rewarded for their work, it is the ones who keep management informed and act as 'stool pigeons'. I often think the only thing that matters to anyone is whether I will show up on short notice to cover their butts because they are always short, it doesn't really matter if I do a good job when I get there.
Dec 31, '09I love this "letter". It sure does hit the nail right on the head, but it goes for a lot of nursing or any staff in health care. I am a recent grad, I have worked in acute care as a CNA but only LTC as an actual nurse, I am terrified to go into a completely different setting, with new faces, procedures, and being "green". Personally, I feel like I still need that person behind me saying, "yes, do it that way". So, that being said, I don't want to be at work (a new orientee) any more than anyone else does, so lets make this a good day!!!! I wish it was that easy!