Precepting/Orienting

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    I've been asked to orient a nurse to our department who has been a nurse longer than I have and has even been a charge nurse at one point. She has re-located to our area and so now, here we are. Thing is, a few people have worked with her at her old facility and it seems she has an awful reputation - not professionally, but her personality. I've worked with her twice so far and other than a very flat affect, I'm yet to find the 'w'itch that people have made her out to be. I know that we all have a mean streak, and I will admit that I tend to take the Polyanna approach (I try my best to give people the benefit of the doubt and let them show their colors versus pre-judging and hanging them without cause) but I can't shake the feeling that we're both being set up somehow. Other co-workers keep asking me "so whadya think of her"...and because I don't have any juicy bits to offer, they seem genuinely disappointed! It all seems so childish to me. Why hire her if they think she will be disruptive? Or is it that they think I am so naive that this is truly a test for me? I don't get it.
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  4. 6 Comments so far...

  5. 3
    I'd like to commend you on giving her a chance and NOT offering those juicy pieces of gossip up there.

    Perhaps when this Nurse was at the other facility she was going through a truly difficult time in her life outside of work, and it spilled over into her work. So she got a reputation...who knows. perhaps the other work environment was awful.

    Now, she may be in a better position...and not prepared to be disruptive/disagreeable/mean or whatever label she had before.

    Dont think it was a specific test for you, but if it were, your attitude is perfect.
    healthstar, GrnTea, and kids like this.
  6. 0
    Thanks for your kind words. I suppose I just couldn't shake the feeling that we're both somehow expected to fail.
  7. 0
    I found with people like this, ask what they know, what they need to go over and if they are familiar with policies. Sometimes letting them have some control is better. And when people ask you about her, just say, I don't have a problem with her. I hate situations like that!
  8. 1
    It is never a bad idea to take the moral highground. We all make mistakes, and I certainly am not the same person now that I was 20 years ago in terms of maturity and life experiences. You are doing the right thing by going into this without judgement. You have no personal history with her, so just let the orientation take it's own path. Even though I have been a nurse a long time, I learn something new with each new job or situation change. She may be a very competent nurse in your area and just needs to learn the flow. If so, she will learn quickly and your job will be done.

    I have always avoided the gossip, backbiting, sniping behavior of other staff and I go home every day with a clear conscience. If you hear something, even if you think it is true, it doesn't mean it needs to be passed along. The only reason to pass any information along is if the person you pass it to will be a better person because you said it,(uh, your slip is showing, you have brocolli in your teeth) or if not passing along certain information puts someone in danger.

    If this person has a bad attitude or does not give good care and customer service, then it will all come out eventually. You just do your job to show her the ropes in your area of expertice and let the chips fall where they may. Best of luck to you both!
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
  9. 0
    Personally, I would feel uncomfortable orienting someone who has more years under their belt then I do, unless it is a different specialty that you are familiar with and is new to them. I have only been an RN for 3 1/2 years so I don't know best...just my personal opinion. I also agree with you on the back biting and politics stuff and staying clear of that stuff.
  10. 0
    Your situation sounds so similar to the one I recently found myself in. I was orienting a nurse who had many more years of nursing experience than I did, said that she was charge in small and large facilities. She didn't have a wonderful reputation (actually it was downright bad), but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that she simply needed a better fitting job to be happy. So far, she has done well.

    Sometimes people WANT to see newcomers fall on their face (think of the way student nurses and med students have been treated in the past) because back in the day, they themselves were 'thrown into the pit' with a sink-or-swim mentality from their preceptors/professors/instructors/attendings. This mentality has by and large dissipated, and preceptors WANT to see their orientees succeed.

    Keep giving your orientee the tools that she needs to be successful. You are doing a great job by not joining in the gossip. Don't be nervous that you are orienting a more experienced nurse-nurses who have been in the profession and switched to a different avenue of nursing understand that they have to be oriented. It might SEEM like you are being tested, but from your accounts, you seem to be passing with flying colors! Keep up the positive attitude and keep giving positive reinforcement to your orientee when it's due.

    Good luck, and stop worrying yourself!


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