Dear preceptor - page 9

by Ivanna_Nurse | 61,178 Views | 175 Comments

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 guidance is at. You tell me... Read More


  1. 5
    I am really glad that people have brought up gender in this discussion of lateral violence. I am fascinated by how women treat each other in this profession.

    The floor nurses eat my female clinical counterparts alive, while I am treated graciously despite making the same ridiculous mistakes that all students make. I have some flecks of gray, a previous BS, 7 years of EMT-Basic experience, 3 years of mid-level corporate management experience, and the confidence/humility that comes with being 27 instead of 21. From day-one I probably command a little more respect than the average traditional female BSN student; even though I do not deserve it. But without question, the biggest difference is my gender. Certain floors develop a pack mentality that punishes their peers. For the most part, the men I have seen working on the floor rise above it and don't get involved (I know there are going to posters that will have stories to the contrary, but really think about the average [m]urse that you have worked with).

    In seven years of EMS (its how paid my way through my first degree and it is what I am doing now) I have had my share of crap partners. Many of them have way more experienced than me. I have had a handful of bad experiences where I wish someone would have chose a different way in front of an ER nurse or patient. However, it feels like those experiences are less malicious and more temporary than what I see on the floor. As EMTs, even if we don't like each other, we always treat each other with respect so we can get the job done.

    If I had been in Ivanna's position I would have gone to HR and requested a change of floor. When he/she asked "Why?" I would say "Well now that you have asked, I have had this experience........(state facts not complaints or feelings)" And then simply say "It is not the experienced that I had hoped for, and I want feel good about coming to work so I can deliver the best possible patient care." HR would have address the issue (I bet they might even know about the issue already). The next day I guarantee that she would have been treated different. She probably wouldn't have earned many friends, however, the situation would have been corrected. Is work a popularity contest? JCAHO only asks the patient what they think of you. Isn't it better to have professional courtesy, even if it comes out of fear? I bet the next time Ivanna asked a question it would be answered curtly but professionally.

    As I reread my post, I don't want anyone to think that I am saying that men are better than women. We have our own set of interpersonal communication issues. However, this issue is real and well documented. Lateral violence effects everyone, including us murses. Confront lateral violence when you see or experience it. Like poverty, it is generational. Burn-out is never an excuse, and as a professionals we all need to conduct ourselves as such. Please let this be what is it is: an interested third party call to action or the rant of an idealistic soon-to-be grad


    GO GRADUATING CLASS OF 2010!

    -Chris(topher)

    ps lateral violence towards "Basics" from crabby ER nurses is also not appreciated. At least when a Dr. eviscerates you he is polite (well, most of the time anyway)

    ps2 if you don't like "murse" either get a sense of humor or go find a "murse" thread and moan about me
    Last edit by EMTandstudentmurse on Dec 15, '09
    TLCfromSC, fiveofpeep, KarenBuley, and 2 others like this.
  2. 1
    Hey Murse! What a great first post. Welcome to allnurses
    thank you for your insight on what its like from the men's side! Ivanna
    TLCfromSC likes this.
  3. 0
    Way to take the high road! For my final practicum in school my preceptor was extremely "hands on" (and to an extent, I get it, since you're still a student), but nothing nearly as horrendous as that pain in the *$$.
  4. 0
    I think most of us had one of those, I will never forget mine and all the demeaning things she said. A few years later I took care of her family member she was very nice. I think is like the military when you are in basic training they treat you like crap and after you graduate they treat you with respect.
  5. 4
    im going thru it right now.

    ive been a nurse in a post partum/ nursery for 6 months bc there were no jobs out there after graduation. so i finally land a m/s position bc i really want to do critical care. well my preceptor is young (26) and around my age (23), and she knows what shes doing. i on the other hand, am a green nurse.

    so long story short here are the highlights: im a very driven person, so i have taken on full patient loads (5-6) since practically day one. i listen attentively, i do everything im told, i go out my way not to step on toes, im decently organized. im not a slacker when it comes to skills: i can start iv's well (practice on OB admits), NG tube placements, foley inserts, im great with sterile technique since i set up the OR for csections, d/c central lines, i could go on and on (alot of my skills were learned bc in school i always volunteered during clinicals and since i worked at a small hospital i would go down to m/s and ask if any skills needed to be done if i could do it) but when i ask if there is something i can do to do better, i get crickets.(she is the type who talks and jokes with everyone yet ignores me) i never thought i was doin a horrid job on the floor. then boom, i get the bombshell... the preceptor tells me the super wants to see me, and the super tells me maybe im not cut out for it as recommended by the preceptor and i might have to be let go.

    i never had the aura that the preceptor liked me since day one. im very outgoing and friendly, but its not like im not conscientious of my pts condition or the work that needs to be done. i ask tons of questions to make sure im not missing something, yet i get no feedback. she on the other hand, and im not being judgemental, has to be center of attention. maybe its a personality conflict. maybe its a jealousy thing, as expressed by an older nurse ive known for years. i am still employed at the other facility bc they are short staff there so i left a long notice. i felt so confident i was doing well, catching on well to the paperwork and rountine (been orienting for 3 weeks now) or maybe its the enigma of being an OB nurse that i dont know what im doing on a m/s floor. im very smart, im just new to the floor so im trying to take it all in, and im so down now bc i really dont want to be derailed because of a personality conflict and/or a stereotype. I KNOW I CAN DO THIS!

    thankfully i have an awesome super, and im being moved to another floor with an older, more experience nurse/preceptor, who btw hugged me the first day she met me.

    but im still blown away! maybe its me, maybe its my nursing skill, but seriously! i feel like ive been discarded without any bit of remediation or guidance! im so confused. i just hope it gets better, bc i dont want to leave a job that supports me during these hard financial times for one that does not seek to help me grow as a nurse.

    nurses truly eat there young.
  6. 3
    Take heart--my friend, who was 44, was precepted by a 28 year old who decided that my friend was not cut out for the ICU, and that the preceptor has "serious concerns" about the quality of my friend's training and nursing school. Which, by the way, is a very respected university nursing school in US News, etc.

    My friend, after changing preceptors, had a successful career in the ICU, and is now in CRNA school.

    So your ex-preceptor can go take a hike. You will SUCCEED!

    Best wishes,

    Oldiebutgoodie
  7. 0
    Quote from zebsmom2002
    Part of me is curious. Some facilities require nurses to perform in a "leadership" role for staff nurse III or IV status. You may have run across someone who is doing this only to complete thier clinical ladder--not because they want to do it. Also, it's sometimes really difficult to get nurses to be preceptors--potentially another case of someone doing it who really doesn't want to. Not that any of this excuses their behavior, but it may explain it.
    That has been m experience twice with horrible, demeaning preceptors. I've even been told by them that is the only reason they do it.
    I wish there was some sort of feedback that went to their managers at the end of these preceptorships.
  8. 0
    Quote from JenPen2332
    That has been m experience twice with horrible, demeaning preceptors. I've even been told by them that is the only reason they do it.
    I wish there was some sort of feedback that went to their managers at the end of these preceptorships.
    Unfortunately, your instructor is most likely between a rock & a hard place. They have to keep a good relationship with the manager & facility to be able to keep students there, so depending on the relationship between your instructor & the manager the quality of your experience may or may not be addressed. Also, sometimes it's either a misrable preceptorship--or none at all. Unfortunate, but sometimes how it goes. I also suspect that the manager probably has a fairly good idea how it went, most of them do, unless they're completely clueless about what's going on in their unit (not usually the case)
  9. 0
    It is unfortunate that you had this experience, hopefully you will learn for it if only what not to do. This is a great example of "nurses who eat their young". It always amazed me when experienced nurses made negative comments about new staff. I would tell them "I didn't realize you were born knowing everything"! No matter where we are in life there is always something to learn. We all need to be open to learning and willing to teach.
  10. 1
    I had not one but two horrible preceptors...."he needs a foley - have you ever done one?" "not on a male, but I know I can do it"...so in front of 5 others in the ER she blirts "WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING YOU AT YOUR SCHOOL?? DON'T YOU KNOW ANYTHING??"..."its the land of oppurtunity in clinicals, and they oppurtunity did not occur" I replied.."but, I can do it"....this went on and on every day. I'd call my instructors and say "get me out of here!!" and they'd say but you live right by that hosital..hang in there..it's only 11 more shifts..you can do it. I cried and cried...I felt like scum..I allowed her to steal my zeal...and prayed she'd get a DWI from the VFW..Ms Suicial attempt x 2 Beer lover single preggers!..Then in RN school I decided I'd drive an hour to go to my preceptor clinicals...my GREAT preceptor gets a "gallbladder attack"..and I have to find a preceptor once again..My instructors happily found one for me...she was catty, uninterested in teaching, who ignored this 53 year old, like my questions bothered her, my usefullness to her, was cleaning up observation rooms, or tending to MRSA patients, I did notice when I had a patient refuse a hydrocodone she did not waste it but placed on top of the pexis..all day it sat there...I got to the point where I really did not care I was her cleaning woman and just wanted the torture to be over.....once again..my teachers said..but, that soon will pass ..you'll do great. Well, I have learned, being from a rural area, my first preceptor, has tried to commit suicide twice, and was unsuccessful, and my second preceptor from the redneck gettos of life..got fired for stealing narcotics from the patients. LET ME DO THE HIRING...Lesson for all Nursing Students..grab a preceptor quick, don't be shy about it, don't let the instructors go to the hospital and have mean nurses trying to earn brownie points or boost their self esteem by being hateful..grab you to do their dirty work..only to laugh at you...like nursing hazing..its not a good position..and it will stick with you, for years, like the Herpes Virus....Where is administration? Also we are flooded with RN's LPN's looking for jobs..and can't find them. I found a job where the turnover is extremely high, 3 year LPNs hate hate hate..newly hired grads...who can't get in the "click"...or where no compliment is ever given...where your mistakes are blown out of proportion (if your on fire..the boss looks at you..not them) so others can't see what they are doing, not takeing vitals, not charting correctly, leaving you with messy IVs, not medicating patients so that you get slammed coming on to your shift...it goes on and on. I have had a lot of jobs in my life but none has been so full of such hateful, mean spirited, people that don't get fired...its the nice ones that leave.
    oldiebutgoodie likes this.


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