Precepting the Preceptor - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   hannahmaepunk
    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".
  2. by   QTNewbie
    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!
  3. by   learner1108
    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.
  4. by   Candyn
    I would really want a preceptor like you Ruby Vee
  5. by   yeng_27
    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
  6. by   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.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    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!
  8. by   edrnbailey
    Thank You Ruby!!!! I have been the preceptor and the oriented and witnessed the good and bad of both. I am even guilty of not being the best preceptor and difficult orientee in my career. What I have learned is all nurses are people and all people are different. The nurse the "catches on" the quickest or is over eager my not be the "best" nurse. Sometimes those that start slowly but keep going end up being the greatest nurses and future assets to their department, co-workers, and patients!
  9. by   alodocios
    What an incredible post. I wish it was appropriate to give a copy of it to my preceptor when i get one, as a "please don't eat me, just understand that i am a rookie" plea,but I know it is not! I am currently looking for my first RN position and exposing my weak points to a seasoned nurse scares me witless because i am a perfectionist who knows that no one is perfect. I am very hard on myself and am hoping to get a preceptor who recognizes my effort and is there for me technically as well as holistically. I am very honest and know that the only way to get the most out my precepting experience is to be transparent. I want to learn to be a competent, confident nurse, without being torn down in the process. Are you available to come to CT Ruby?LOL!!! no really?
  10. by   Lev <3
    Great tips, thanks.

    *I think this article should be revived*
  11. by   AutumnApple
    I have precepted a lot. Most of my memories from it are good, but of course I have my low points with it as well.

    The hospital I worked my first job with did not offer "preceptor training" specifically. The offered a more general "leadership" course that anyone could take. It helped, but was more focused on teamwork and dispute mediation than teaching. And not all preceptors took the course.

    Lucky for me, I went through a short (one semester) phase where I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I have a couple education courses on my college transcripts and from them, I recalled the Seven Styles of learning. I applied my knowledge of them to my approach as a preceptor.

    You touched on it yourself already, mentioning how some learn by doing, and others like to watch first time.

    I found it was imperative to identify whether the orientee prefers social or solitary learning. For me, this was always step one and everything that happened after branched off of this.

    Some like to go around the unit with different people doing different things. I might have one of the aids introduce them to the other aids, let respiratory show them how to call for a STAT treatment, and a member of PT was always willing to teach them how to look at the therapy schedule on the computer. Often, I'd not take lunch with this nurse, put them on a time slot with others.

    On the other hand, solitary learners will be overwhelmed by all that. They do better when you become their shadow and keep things 1:1 as much as possible. I'd do everything with them and let them warm up to co-workers as they go along. We'd take lunches together. If there was something happening with a pt on another assignment they needed to see, I'd go with them.

    As you said, being an effective preceptor is so much more than just saying "And this is how we put a Foley in."
  12. by   Libby1987
    Invaluable and timeless article.