I want to like my preceptor, but...

  1. No, I'm not here complaining about NETY or any form of eating. Lol! I am a couple days into my preceptorship & it has been going well, I'm just not fond of my preceptor. I find her teaching methods harsh & direct. I'm not a new nurse, hell, I've been a nurse longer than her! So obviously I don't need a lot of coaching or hand holding since I'm just new to the hospital.

    I try to joke around with her & nothing, just straight faced. I get text book lectures & how everything is *suppose* to be, when I know this is the real world & doesn't go by the book. She also tells me to do this & that which gets under my skin. I can't tell you why, it just does. Lol.

    We had a pt. admitted for chest pain & ETOH withdrawal. She was young & I was trying to gain her trust, especially since she really didn't want to be there & was talking about signing out AMA. I can gauge people & how to talk to them, so I dropped the f-bomb infront of my preceptor. Obviously this was a special case & I don't cuss in front of *every* patient. But by the end of my shift, she was very relaxed & stayed. She was more relaxed with me than she was with my preceptor. I know you have to speak to every patient differently. But holy COW did I get an earful after that.

    My preceptor will come up to me & tell me to go do this, go do that. Instead of asking me what have I done & explaining what needs to be done next, she just spouts off a list of crap that needs to be done then walks off. Generally when I'm in the middle of something. I'm not your *****, I'm your preceptee. I'm here to learn & I can't learn if you just tell me to do the crap you don't wanna do. I can tell that's just the way she.

    She does knows a lot but man. Lol. I was with two different preceptors before I started with her & they were great! But then when I started with her I was really bummed out. Hahahahah! I know it's not permanent so I'm just gonna suck it up & just keep swimming.
    •  
  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   macawake
    Congrats on your new job OC!

    I'm going to share my thoughts on your post and if you at any point feel like I'm being harsh or unfair, please know this is exactly the advice I would offer you had you been my best real-life friend.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    I want to like my preceptor, but...
    It's not really important if you like your preceptor or not. Sure, it would make the upcoming weeks (however long your orientation is) much more pleasant, but it's still inconsequential. What really matters here is that she likes you, or rather that she respects your professional capabilities and your professional demeanor. She's been employed by your new employer longer than you have, and she likely has their ear. Her impression of you, will likely have a direct bearing on your future on that floor.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    No, I'm not here complaining about NETY or any form of eating. Lol! I am a couple days into my preceptorship & it has been going well, I'm just not fond of my preceptor. I find her teaching methods harsh & direct. I'm not a new nurse, hell, I've been a nurse longer than her! So obviously I don't need a lot of coaching or hand holding since I'm just new to the hospital.
    Personally I've found as I've transitioned over the years from one specialty to a new one, that despite gaining more and more nursing experience through the years that on some level, I'm still a rookie when I start a new specialty. Have you worked hospital med/surg before? After seven years of nursing I wouldn't expect you to need a lot of hand holding but if the specialty is new to you, some coaching might still be beneficial.

    The orientation period is a time for you to get to know the ins and outs of your new workplace, but it's also a time for your new employer and coworkers to get to know you. Even if her precepting style might grate on your nerves (and I definitely allow for the possibility that your annoyance could be well founded), I still recommend that you just go with the flow. The orientation period is "self-limiting" timewise. Do it her way for the required number of weeks, and when you're "on your own" you can do it according to your own mind/methods.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    I get text book lectures & how everything is *suppose* to be, when I know this is the real world & doesn't go by the book. She also tells me to do this & that which gets under my skin. I can't tell you why, it just does. Lol.
    Suck. it. up.

    Buttercup.

    Do it her way.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    We had a pt. admitted for chest pain & ETOH withdrawal. She was young & I was trying to gain her trust, especially since she really didn't want to be there & was talking about signing out AMA. I can gauge people & how to talk to them, so I dropped the f-bomb infront of my preceptor. Obviously this was a special case & I don't cuss in front of *every* patient. But by the end of my shift, she was very relaxed & stayed. She was more relaxed with me than she was with my preceptor. I know you have to speak to every patient differently. But holy COW did I get an earful after that.
    I used to be in law enforcement and my language can be crude enough to make sailors blush. And I've worked the local police station's arrest cells enough times to understand completely what you mean when you said that sometimes a cussword or three can help facilitate communication Given my personal background I might have told a f-bomb dropping preceptee (with one slightly raised eyebrow for effect) that "well, that was a bit unorthodox but in this case I guess it did the trick". However, I'm not your preceptor. From what you described about her reaction she probably feels that you were being quite unprofessional. That's not the impression you want to make. Whether or not you're strategy might have been effective with this particular patient is not the issue. I think you need to be mindful of how you are perceived by your coworkers. You've worked corrections and are likely more accustomed to hearing colorful language. Your preceptor likely has a different frame of reference. What you said was likely off the charts inappropriate to her.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    I try to joke around with her & nothing, just straight faced.
    Maybe she doesn't have a sense of humor. Perhaps she does, but it's different then yours. Or perhaps she wants to set a more serious tone and interprets a lot of joking around as unprofessional. I don't know which of the above that apply. But I think that the takeaway is to lay low on the jokes front. She's clearly not on the same page as you on this. Again, try to keep in mind that the orientation period is an audition of sorts. Look at this as an investment in your future employment.

    From what I gather from your earlier posts, this job opportunity is welcome. As I've alluded to earlier in my reply to you here, I'm not necessarily thinking that everything your preceptor does is perfect. My point is only that it's in your best interest to make a favorable impression. Don't blow this.

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    My preceptor will come up to me & tell me to go do this, go do that. Instead of asking me what have I done & explaining what needs to be done next, she just spouts off a list of crap that needs to be done then walks off. Generally when I'm in the middle of something. I'm not your *****, I'm your preceptee. I'm here to learn & I can't learn if you just tell me to do the crap you don't wanna do. I can tell that's just the way she.
    You can are certainly free to think to yourself that you're not her *****, I just want to caution you that your poker face has to be good enough that she doesn't get those vibes from you. I really think that it will be to your detriment if she perceives that attitude. Careful!

    Quote from OrganizedChaos
    She does knows a lot but man. Lol. I was with two different preceptors before I started with her & they were great! But then when I started with her I was really bummed out. Hahahahah! I know it's not permanent so I'm just gonna suck it up & just keep swimming.
    I think that you've arrived to the same conclusion yourself as I have been yammering on about in this entire post Low profile, show an interest in learning how things are done on this specific floor and be willing to listen to her (you said it, despite being somewhat incompatible personality-wise, she knows a lot), suck it up and freaking exude professionalism from every pore of your body


    As I started off by saying, congrats on your new job! I'm genuinely happy for you Now just tread carefully and I'm sure that you will rock med-surg!

    Best wishes!
  4. by   Purple_roses
    Hang in there OC! Sometimes it's rough when personalities clash. You'd probably do really well with a more relaxed preceptor, but...

    I have a feeling that this preceptor wants to see that you're teachable. You have a lot of experience, but not experience at this hospital, and how you perform once your training is complete is a reflection of her. Lay low for a bit, do what she says, and then if she doesn't lighten up after a few weeks, maybe have conversation with her about how she feels you're doing and if you could have a bit more freedom.

    I understand where you're coming from with the swearing, but I would have to side with your preceptor on this one. I swear at work, don't get me wrong, just not in front of patients. Your patient may have found it funny, but what if they told their relative about it and that's what got you into trouble?

    Just hang in there! You've got this!
  5. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from macawake
    Congrats on your new job OC!

    I'm going to share my thoughts on your post and if you at any point feel like I'm being harsh or unfair, please know this is exactly the advice I would offer you had you been my best real-life friend.



    It's not really important if you like your preceptor or not. Sure, it would make the upcoming weeks (however long your orientation is) much more pleasant, but it's still inconsequential. What really matters here is that she likes you, or rather that she respects your professional capabilities and your professional demeanor. She's been employed by your new employer longer than you have, and she likely has their ear. Her impression of you, will likely have a direct bearing on your future on that floor.



    Personally I've found as I've transitioned over the years from one specialty to a new one, that despite gaining more and more nursing experience through the years that on some level, I'm still a rookie when I start a new specialty. Have you worked hospital med/surg before? After seven years of nursing I wouldn't expect you to need a lot of hand holding but if the specialty is new to you, some coaching might still be beneficial.

    The orientation period is a time for you to get to know the ins and outs of your new workplace, but it's also a time for your new employer and coworkers to get to know you. Even if her precepting style might grate on your nerves (and I definitely allow for the possibility that your annoyance could be well founded), I still recommend that you just go with the flow. The orientation period is "self-limiting" timewise. Do it her way for the required number of weeks, and when you're "on your own" you can do it according to your own mind/methods.



    Suck. it. up.

    Buttercup.

    Do it her way.



    I used to be in law enforcement and my language can be crude enough to make sailors blush. And I've worked the local police station's arrest cells enough times to understand completely what you mean when you said that sometimes a cussword or three can help facilitate communication Given my personal background I might have told a f-bomb dropping preceptee (with one slightly raised eyebrow for effect) that "well, that was a bit unorthodox but in this case I guess it did the trick". However, I'm not your preceptor. From what you described about her reaction she probably feels that you were being quite unprofessional. That's not the impression you want to make. Whether or not you're strategy might have been effective with this particular patient is not the issue. I think you need to be mindful of how you are perceived by your coworkers. You've worked corrections and are likely more accustomed to hearing colorful language. Your preceptor likely has a different frame of reference. What you said was likely off the charts inappropriate to her.



    Maybe she doesn't have a sense of humor. Perhaps she does, but it's different then yours. Or perhaps she wants to set a more serious tone and interprets a lot of joking around as unprofessional. I don't know which of the above that apply. But I think that the takeaway is to lay low on the jokes front. She's clearly not on the same page as you on this. Again, try to keep in mind that the orientation period is an audition of sorts. Look at this as an investment in your future employment.

    From what I gather from your earlier posts, this job opportunity is welcome. As I've alluded to earlier in my reply to you here, I'm not necessarily thinking that everything your preceptor does is perfect. My point is only that it's in your best interest to make a favorable impression. Don't blow this.



    You can are certainly free to think to yourself that you're not her *****, I just want to caution you that your poker face has to be good enough that she doesn't get those vibes from you. I really think that it will be to your detriment if she perceives that attitude. Careful!



    I think that you've arrived to the same conclusion yourself as I have been yammering on about in this entire post Low profile, show an interest in learning how things are done on this specific floor and be willing to listen to her (you said it, despite being somewhat incompatible personality-wise, she knows a lot), suck it up and freaking exude professionalism from every pore of your body


    As I started off by saying, congrats on your new job! I'm genuinely happy for you Now just tread carefully and I'm sure that you will rock med-surg!

    Best wishes!
    No I totally agree with all of your points & I do plan to lay low. I don't even plan on talking to my preceptor about any of this, what's the point? Like you said, I'm new to the unit & to hospital nursing. So I'm just going to lay low & then eventually, I will be on my own. My orientation is 8-12 weeks but I have a feeling that I won't be on the full 12 weeks since I'm not a new grad & that is what my NM told me.

    I think I just came here to vent. It's a new environment & I'm just frustrated. But thank you so much for your constructive critism.
  6. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Purple_roses
    Hang in there OC! Sometimes it's rough when personalities clash. You'd probably do really well with a more relaxed preceptor, but...

    I have a feeling that this preceptor wants to see that you're teachable. You have a lot of experience, but not experience at this hospital, and how you perform once your training is complete is a reflection of her. Lay low for a bit, do what she says, and then if she doesn't lighten up after a few weeks, maybe have conversation with her about how she feels you're doing and if you could have a bit more freedom.

    I understand where you're coming from with the swearing, but I would have to side with your preceptor on this one. I swear at work, don't get me wrong, just not in front of patients. Your patient may have found it funny, but what if they told their relative about it and that's what got you into trouble?

    Just hang in there! You've got this!
    Thank you for a great response! I don't think I'll ever talk to my preceptor, I'm only with her for 12 weeks & in the grand scheme of things that's really not much. But I doubt I'll be with her for that long. I'm already pulling & passing meds & doing rounds on my own.

    I know the cursing is a huge no no but I felt in that single situation, to gain that patient's trust it was ok. By the end of my shift the patient & her fiancé were thanking me & didn't want me to leave. I've never had that happen before. It made me feel great & gave me a real reason why I became a nurse. I would normally never cuss in front of any other patient or their family, this was the rare exception. I knew I had to gain her trust to relax her since her CIWA score was so high & her anxiety was through the roof. It worked & I don't regret it.
  7. by   Purple_roses
    OC this is the perfect place to come and vent. Vent to us after every shift if you need to! Get it all out of your system here. If you'll notice I've been a bit salty about nursing around here lately in the hopes that I get it all out here instead of telling my manager to shove it where the sun don't shine
  8. by   Been there,done that
    You don't have to like your preceptor. You know your stuff, just smile and nod.

    Best wishes in your new position!
  9. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Purple_roses
    OC this is the perfect place to come and vent. Vent to us after every shift if you need to! Get it all out of your system here. If you'll notice I've been a bit salty about nursing around here lately in the hopes that I get it all out here instead of telling my manager to shove it where the sun don't shine
    Lol. True, true. That's why I came here. I don't want to get irritated one day & snap at her. I don't think it would happen but I would hate for it to!
  10. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You don't have to like your preceptor. You know your stuff, just smile and nod.

    Best wishes in your new position!
    Lol! I know she knows more than me about hospital nursing, there's not one single doubt about that but I have been a nurse for 7 years. A lot of the nurses I work with are so fresh (3 or less years)! That's just so weird to me. I have no issue with it, we're all nurses & we're all a team. I've just never been on the opposite side with more experience. I've also been hesitant to speak up since I'm new to the floor & hospital world.
  11. by   rkitty198
    My preceptee fired me. He was awesome, really great. We had these ridiculously easy patients. He was very independent and quiet about what he needed. I am loud, talkative, outgoing (at work only). I kind of let him loose, checked in, not much by way of learning because they were so easy. I have been precepting for 11 years and to this day have very good relationships with all my preceptees (we still talk, email, get together). It's not about me as much as it is about them. He was honest about it. No hard feelings because I wasn't feeling it either, not that I would have ever said a word about it. He didn't seem open to my suggestions and if I did suggest anything he was resistive. So another preceptor is best. I am glad for the switch.
    If you really feel like you are not benefitting from your preceptor I don't see any harm in asking for another nurse to be with citing "wanting to see how other nurses do things" just to get different perspective.
  12. by   Scottishtape
    I had a hard time with the preceptor thing too since I had so much LPN experience under my belt.

    I smiled, kept my mouth shut, and celebrated when my time was up.

    I kept thinking about how they're used to preceptong fresh nurses and that plays into part of it.

    I had a little desk calendar that I crossed off each shift and had a count down to when I was on my own haha.

    You'll get there girl. Kill her with kindness.

    You got this!
  13. by   ThePrincessBride
    When in orientation, do what your preceptor says....unless she is intolerable. As soon as you are off by yourself, do your thing.

    I had a preceptor who I swear wanted to see my butt fired. She hovered, she belittled (she made some underhanded comments implying that critical care nurses were more superior to med-surg nurses...I was just coming out of med/surg and I confronted her about it), she nitpicked and finally, I had had it. I got different preceptors and none of them had any issues with me, nor I with them.

    Orientation for me was so stressful and traumatizing, but I assure you, once you are off and working independently...it is glorious.

    Best of wishes!
  14. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from rkitty198
    My preceptee fired me. He was awesome, really great. We had these ridiculously easy patients. He was very independent and quiet about what he needed. I am loud, talkative, outgoing (at work only). I kind of let him loose, checked in, not much by way of learning because they were so easy. I have been precepting for 11 years and to this day have very good relationships with all my preceptees (we still talk, email, get together). It's not about me as much as it is about them. He was honest about it. No hard feelings because I wasn't feeling it either, not that I would have ever said a word about it. He didn't seem open to my suggestions and if I did suggest anything he was resistive. So another preceptor is best. I am glad for the switch.
    If you really feel like you are not benefitting from your preceptor I don't see any harm in asking for another nurse to be with citing "wanting to see how other nurses do things" just to get different perspective.
    It is nice to see it from the preceptor's side. If it really gets untolerable I may ask to switch but right now it's just a wee bit irritating.

close