Precepting the Preceptor - page 2

by Ruby Vee

18,162 Views | 21 Comments

If you believe everything you read on allnurses, preceptors, by and large, are awful people put on earth to torment new grads. Since I genuinely believe that most preceptors honestly try to do the very best they can (however... Read More


  1. 1
    Love this! I am precepting my first GN and we just finished up our first week together and I hope she has learned half as much from me as I have learned from her in this week.
    DDdove likes this.
  2. 0
    Quote from jhntsh
    I wish I read this a year ago. I was preceptored a year ago in a large teaching hospital and my experience was horrendous. During a night shift I broke down crying from the pressure of my preceptor and her 'friends' that felt I was incompetent. I am a mature student and they were all very young people. My learning style was quite different from her teaching style. I completed my stint in the department, got a job with the institution and still see my preceptor sometimes. I still clam up when I see my former preceptor and become very nervous. I am still trying to overcome the negative things I was told by my preceptor BUT I AM getting there.
    I had a terrible preceptor also Our school held clinical there and she was a nurse on the floor. She was assigned to do my precepting later. She told me right away before I started that my school didn't teach you anything and her nursing school prepared their students to start on the floor right away with no problem. I knew right away she was going to be trouble. She told me every issue each nurse on the floor had and had nothing good to say about them so I knew when my backed was turned....she was talking about me. If I asked her to show me something she grunted. She handed me my patients papers after report and sent me on my way. If I had a question, or needed to clarify she was very rude. Once I said " I have pushed meds with a Picc line before but maybe you could come with me", she floped her papers down and looked at another nurse as if I was stupid. At lunch time she involved other nurses in discussions and you could tell they were being manipulated into saying things they were not comfortable with. If I see her again now that I am an RN I will let her know how unprofessional her actions were and what a terrible nurse she is for putting her patients at risk just to watch a preceptee squirm.
  3. 2
    One thing I BEG of preceptors or those appointing preceptors: PUHlease delegate the task of precepting to those who like to teach! My preceptor clearly did not like to teach! She was under the assumption that nurses come out of nursing school fully able to put 20g IVs in dehydrated 90 yr olds , draw blood cultures off of said 90 yr old, and know all protocol/procedures from the get go. I did my best to be kind and engaging for a few weeks. I then stated to her that she needed to TEACH me said things instead of assuming or speaking ill of me because I didn't know how to trouble shoot an IV pump or that a PTT needed to be drawn at x time during a heparing gtt rate change!

    Preceptors of the world: If you don't like to teach and are in it for the money, beware of the future nurses you are producing!
    learner1108 and pink_roxy like this.
  4. 0
    I once had a preceptor at a psychiatric hospital here in the philippines. And we were so lucky to have a preceptor who doesn't have to say but "and you call yourself nurses", "can't you do your job for once", "think of the patient for crying out loud!", "how can you be a good nurse if you're doing that?". Very nice teaching skills which made my group think that psych nursing is a big no-no, and that psychiatric patients made our preceptor be that way. My favorite field of nursing, and got the worst experience.
    And at one point we had a clinical instructor who always reminds us that "everything you do here, your license and my license is at stake!" literally everytime. Do you know what impact that did to us? And to top that off, she would accompany us, and i mean each and everyone of us, everytime we give an oral
    Medicine while teaching us what to say to the patient, in front of the patient! Haha, get it? Even simple "omeprazoles" and "paracetamols" she doesn't trust us with.
    With that said, i just hope
    there are more professors who are comptetent enough to meet the needs of their trainees, not just professionally but also "emotionally".
  5. 0
    Thank goodness for this article!!! I am into my third week of precepting, and the past couple of days have definitely had their moments. I don't have the worst preceptor in the world or anything, and I know its a tough task taking on a new nurse, but it's nice to hear that others have survived it feeling the same way I am!! I have no problem asking questions if I'm unsure about something, but my preceptor has her moments when she gets irritated and blows me off.. I've learned I have to wait and reapproach when she's in a better mood and has had a cigarette. I hate this because it makes me question myself and it rattles my confidence, and I often end up asking another nurse if they are available. I know that eventually I'll get through this (Lord be willing), and if I ever "precept" another nurse, I hope I can be as open and understanding as I'd want someone to be with me!
  6. 0
    I hear you. I had a preceptor who needed a cig every 3-4 hours. I could tell by how her mood changed. I used to be a smoker so I know what that feels like. It's not you she is frustrated with, it is the craving for nicotine causing her to want to finish so she can get out for a smoke. So she gets cross. Other smokers will validate this.

    I will give you some tips. 1. There is a schedule she follows (might not be written), you write it out, ask her if it is right, then follow it as much as possible. 2. Make your own notes of what you do each shift for patients even if you stay after the shift to do it. Take it home and study it. Think about what you could have done differently. Tell your preceptor you are doing this. Beg her, if necessary, to go over the list with you and see what she thinks about your decisions. 3. If you forget to do something or make a mistake, tell her immediately and ask what you can do to fix it. Then do it. We all make mistakes. 4. If you think she acts really unprofessional - see your nurse manager and ask if this is behavior is usual with her or if you are doing something to cause it. 5. As hard as it seems to do because after a difficult shift you may be feeling worthless as a possible nurse, ask her to spend time with you to tell you what you did well and what you are still having trouble with. Write down what she says. Tell her this is a list you will work on improving. 5. No matter how cold she seems during the shift, keep asking her questions. Your patients need the answers. 6. Get in touch with some of your classmates and find out how they feel. It will make you feel better if you find that others are feeling like you.

    Hope you can use some of these. You are good. You learned the information you need. Your patients need you. Don't get down on yourself. Good luck.
  7. 0
    I would really want a preceptor like you Ruby Vee
  8. 0
    Quote from finlyone
    I had a terrible preceptor also Our school held clinical there and she was a nurse on the floor. She was assigned to do my precepting later. She told me right away before I started that my school didn't teach you anything and her nursing school prepared their students to start on the floor right away with no problem. I knew right away she was going to be trouble. She told me every issue each nurse on the floor had and had nothing good to say about them so I knew when my backed was turned....she was talking about me. If I asked her to show me something she grunted. She handed me my patients papers after report and sent me on my way. If I had a question, or needed to clarify she was very rude. Once I said " I have pushed meds with a Picc line before but maybe you could come with me", she floped her papers down and looked at another nurse as if I was stupid. At lunch time she involved other nurses in discussions and you could tell they were being manipulated into saying things they were not comfortable with. If I see her again now that I am an RN I will let her know how unprofessional her actions were and what a terrible nurse she is for putting her patients at risk just to watch a preceptee squirm.
    I can very much relate to what you have experienced and I am experiencing it right now and I feel like quitting because its kind of depressing me the way my preceptor humiliates me in front of her co staff
  9. 0
    Thank you for the great article. I am currently going through a preceptorship, and all I hear or read are horror stories. My experience so far has been nothing but pleasant. Maybe I'm just lucky, but so far everyone I have worked with has been patient, kind, and accepting.
  10. 2
    Quote from jcgrund
    thank you for the great article. i am currently going through a preceptorship, and all i hear or read are horror stories. my experience so far has been nothing but pleasant. maybe i'm just lucky, but so far everyone i have worked with has been patient, kind, and accepting.
    i honestly believe that you find what you're looking for, or to put it another way, you elicit the responses you get. so if you go around looking for the mean, bitter preceptor who eats her young, you're going to find that. even if that's the same preceptor that someone else thought was patient, kind and accepting. so kudos for you -- you're eliciting good responses!
    Aurora77 and Altra like this.


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