My externship is not going well - page 2

I posted this somewhere else but want some opinons. I am in between 2nd and 3rd semesters in nursing school and taking an externship. I just started my externship and so far I have found many... Read More

  1. by   loerith
    Calling a meeting, talking about her to superiors will only put you in a questionable light. You said she was "well liked" on her unit. As you said "dont play that game."

    Go with the flow; smile and nod.

    Then after graduation go work in the largest teaching cardiac hospital you can find. That my dear is when the true learning starts anyhoo.

    One more thing....good luck!


    Love and Peace,
    loerith
  2. by   AcosmicRN
    I wasn't trying to be rude with the comments about NPs, and certainly, I wasn't trying to be rude to the OP. Hopefully, I was persuading her not to be an NP. It's sound advice; that's how NPs are treated where I come from. NPs derive their status because they retain an RN, and this doesn't get them anywhere with MDs. To the MDs, they are the assitants who go and do daily rounds for them on patients who aren't critical. That's just the way it is. The nurses where I work don't consider NPs doctors, nor do they consider them part of the "RN" profession. They're just out there somewhere in-between. Granted, they typically earn more than an RN, so there you go.

    I would encourage anyone with a good heart, energy, and intelligence to be a nurse. I believe in nursing. The array of assitants an MD uses (PA, NP, tech, etc) is not something I'm going to encourage. I'm a nurse. The world needs nurses. There is no shortage of MDs.

    That's just my opinion; feel free to disagree, but don't acuse me of being everyone in this group you never liked before. It's just not me.

    Acosmic
  3. by   jaimealmostRN
    OP, I'm very sorry about your situation. I would be polite (as others suggested) but say something like, "Is it possible for me to observe in the MICU or on Nights or the next week?" and then make it permanent. My perceptor is wonderful, but I am not on the unit where I want to work so I am feeling kinda "down" about my externship as well. Learn as much as you can, even if it is just interaction wtih other staff and patients, how to juggle a full patient load,etc. Also, if all esle fails, bring your preceptor Dunkin Donuts, coffee or some other treat just for her/him. Good luck, I feel your pain!!!
  4. by   bluesky
    Quote from NP2BE
    I think that is not cocky, but well put.
    Listen, I was just trying to show you what the (surely unintended) impact of your statement was so you could see how it was interpreted, not what your original intent was. As a multiple question asker myself, there are some lessons that I have had to learn the hard way and one of them is that unfortunately often our naturally inquiring, intellectual nature (which is only seeking to learn more for the betterment of our patients) can be viewed negatively by others. It's not fair, it's not right, but it's true. The greatest challenge I have faced in this profession is finding just the right level on which to communicate with the educators many of whom have self-confidence issues.

    If you haven't had any outward conflicts with your preceptor yet, then your next task is to determine whether (sorry I always spell that word incorrectly) she is a conflict averse person who is harboring negative feelings but doesn't want to talk about it OR just a stressed out nurse with no antipathies in your regard. Either way, I think I would still approach her humbly and inquire generally about your performance and what specific steps you can take to "further our collaboration", or something equally innocuous sounding. That gives her some space to express her opinions without feeling as if she's attacking you.
  5. by   A/A/OX3
    Funny... your quote stands in direct opposition to your recommendations.

    You tell NP2BE to cave and suck up to this self-indulgent, egocentric preceptor wannabe, then close with the following words: 'Well behaved women rarely make history'.

    You also beat her up for saying she is 'the best'. I say, if you got it, flaunt it. There is more than enough low self-esteem in the field to go around. After getting our self-confidence kicked out of us over the years by doctors, managers and other nurses, cowering in the corner seems to be the body English of the profession.

    NP2BE... I say face her head on. Draw a line in the dirt. Going to the charge nurse, manager or your instructor puts someone else in charge of your life.

    Remember... most bullies are cowards underneath.

    Go make some history NP.
    Last edit by A/A/OX3 on Jun 21, '04
  6. by   AcosmicRN
    What you all say about self-esteem is critically important, I believe. I think low self-esteem is at the root of most interpersonal problems between nurses and people in general.



    Acosmic
  7. by   loerith
    Quote from A/A/OX3
    Funny... your quote stands in direct opposition to your recommendations.

    You tell NP2BE to cave and suck up to this self-indulgent, egocentric preceptor wannabe, then close with the following words: 'Well behaved women rarely make history'.

    You also beat her up for saying she is 'the best'. I say, if you got it, flaunt it. There is more than enough low self-esteem in the field to go around. After getting our self-confidence kicked out of us over the years by doctors, managers and other nurses, cowering in the corner seems to be the body English of the profession.

    NP2BE... I say face her head on. Draw a line in the dirt. Going to the charge nurse, manager or your instructor puts someone else in charge of your life.

    Remember... most bullies are cowards underneath.

    Go make some history NP.
    Go ahead and wage war.

    See who wins.

    Right now, she has a bigger pencil than you do ....if ya get my drift.




    Love and Peace,
    loerith
  8. by   lady_jezebel
    I quit my externship at the local VA hospital about 1.5 months before it was over & took a job as an NA at the Burn Unit in another hospital. The VA hospital was shoddily run, the nurses were the worst I've ever seen, and the pts received really poor care. The Burn Unit was just the opposite, and I never regretted my decision. I will NEVER work for a VA hospital!!!!

    Externships were a required experience in my program, so I had to do something (work as a nursing assistant allowed me to have a "hospital experience", get my required hours in, and finish up the class). Since your program does not require it, why not just give 2 weeks notice and leave? You'll still get many, many job offers for nursing positions once you graduate.
  9. by   lady_jezebel
    The NPs I know in my hospital are really awesome. They are great advocates for the pts. If we believe that a pt is not receiving the best of care from an MD & we can't get anywhere with the physicians, we call up the NPs. They stand to bat for us. Additionally, they have excellent training and knowledge -- all that I know were RNs for many years before obtaining advanced education. I love the NPs!

    There are a couple of PAs that work with the spine surgeons on my unit. In these cases, where a PA is directly connected to a single physician and follows them wherever they go & assists in care for the MD's caseload, I HAVE seen tense/unequal relationships. These PAs do work with very difficult docs, and often get sh** upon. It can be a very difficult situation for the PAs. But maybe that's b/cs some surgeons can be really arrogant and lack people skills.

    I think a lot depends on the type of relationship NPs/PAs have with their docs or hospitals. In my hospital, the PAs tend to shadow the docs while the NPs work with physicians AND the nursing staff. The NPs provide a lot of useful in-services and continuing education for us. They are viewed by RNs and administration as advanced practice NURSES, which is what they are.

    I did have an NP clinical instructor in nursing school, on the East coast, who felt that she did the majority of the grunt work for her associated docs in a GI clinic. She did not recommend working as an NP, but did appreciate all that she learned in school. I think there may be a difference in NP autonomy b/twn the East and West coasts, for the NPs here in Seattle are very fulfilled!
    Last edit by lady_jezebel on Jun 21, '04
  10. by   bluesky
    Quote from A/A/OX3
    Funny... your quote stands in direct opposition to your recommendations.

    You tell NP2BE to cave and suck up to this self-indulgent, egocentric preceptor wannabe, then close with the following words: 'Well behaved women rarely make history'.

    You also beat her up for saying she is 'the best'. I say, if you got it, flaunt it. There is more than enough low self-esteem in the field to go around. After getting our self-confidence kicked out of us over the years by doctors, managers and other nurses, cowering in the corner seems to be the body English of the profession.

    NP2BE... I say face her head on. Draw a line in the dirt. Going to the charge nurse, manager or your instructor puts someone else in charge of your life.

    Remember... most bullies are cowards underneath.

    Go make some history NP.
    I was merely trying to accomodate her goal which is to have a successful career on the unit she has chosen as the only one she cares for. You are blindly accepting her characterization of the preceptor which clearly stands in contrast to that of all her peers. Your ad hominem argument about my quote is not relevant here. Women chose the right historical moment to make a stand, a carefully chosen one which will have historical meaning. This other nurse is just as disempowered as she is, in the end. She is not defeating an oppressive power or making working conditions better for herself or others with some kind of inflammatory exchange. I have had my share of inflamatory exchanges in the workplace in the past and have found that it does none of the things which I strived for i.e; build solidarity among workers, earn the respect of the "victim", or resolve the conflict.
  11. by   moia
    The fact that someone is popular on their unit can have nothing to do with their nursing ability...we have a few that are very kind..constant note senders and party planners but they would never be on my list to look after any of my loved ones.
    I respect them for entirely different reasons.
    More importantly as a student it is impossible to know if a preceptor is well respected...the exposure to other staff is limited and controlled to people the preceptor likes.

    I think the real issue is this time is DONATED time...the hospital and the nurse are benefitting from having an extra hand and they have a real obligation to fulfill their end of the bargain.
    The nurse volunteered and took a course..she knows what is expected of a preceptor so she has NO excuse...she can't hide behind personality conflict bull because she took a program specifically designed to train her to work through that issue.

    The preceptor has taken on a student under false pretenses and needs to be called on it.
    The student may have sit and grin and bear it but this needs to addressed so this preceptor doesn't continue to put another student through the same situation.


    This student could have taken a paying job that gave her nursing experience...instead she chose a learning experience...why should she be penalized?
    And like her I was a great student...a great student nurse ...and a great CVICU nurse and if anyone didn't like my self confidence in my on abilities that wasn't MY issue.
    Poor self esteem and this nasty attack dog attitude to anyone that has confidence and belief in themselves really needs to stop. It is pathetic.
  12. by   whinnymay
    In my last semester @ the nursing school I attended, the school gave us the speech of how the preceptors had too attend the class. They also stated how choosing a preceptor was a delicate process. Well when I went to meet my preceptor, she didn't even know that she was getting a student. This was the case with half of my class. This was a required class to graduate. It was a horrible experiece. I do have to confess that I learned a lot. I just recently quit a job, and the preceptor there was verbally abusive. Everything she taught me sticks in my mind-regarding lab,assesments and procedures. I don't know if this was a good or bad thing.
    Last edit by whinnymay on Jun 23, '04
  13. by   NP2BE
    Thanks everyone for your inputs. Today was even more horrible then last week. I woke up hoping today would go better, hoping that things would click but they didn't. I go to her trying to make myself useful with what I know she is okay with me doinng ( assessing and taking vitals) and ask is there anything else I can do. She barely speaks to me and charts without me knowing it. Meanwhile my fellow student and her preceptor are having great communication, she is setting up rooms by her self, giving meds, hanging drips, intubating NG tubes, and I am just watching . She is my friend and all, I am not mad at her. Her preceptor has her involved not only in her patient, but in every nurses patient on that unit. And to add insult to injury, she comes over and gets involved in a procedure on the patient my precpetor has been assigned to. I am as always gloved up, asking what I can do, being ignored. I give up and just sit down, the other nurse probably think i am lazy. The three of them then sneak off to lunch together (the 2 preceptors and my friend). I am not mad at my friend, or her preceptor, just fuming mad at mine. Maybe being male and all they don't want to discuss kids and swimming lessons and whatnot, and it would be great if my precpetor liked me, but really thats not what important.I expect her to act professionally whether she likes me or not and let me practice skills. That is what she is being paid yo do, I havbe already past the point of getting a refund for the class, and there are no other preceptors available ( I checked). I have been nothinbg but respectful to her. I will continue to do so, but Maybe tommorrow I will confront her. I have informed my instructors about the siuation, they agree it is not good and are trying to find somewhere for me to go. I can some up her attitude in one statement. On our first day, I asked what I could do to help. She said can use our charting system? I said somehwat but i'd like to learn it. She said "what is your hurry?? I may just drop it. My self esteem is shot to hell.

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