unable to read preceptor

  1. HI EVERYONE,I AM IN NEED OF SOME INPUT.I HAVE STARTED ON MED-SURG AT A SMALL HOSPITAL,AND MY PRECEPTOR WAS VERY FRIENDLY TO ME THE FIRST FEW DAYS AND NOW OUR RELATIONSHIP IS STRAINED.I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.EVERYTIME I MAKE A MISTAKE I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL IDIOT(I AM OLDER THEN HER).I DO NOT GET ANY FEED BACK FROM HER UNLESS I ASK.I AM FEELING VERY INTIMIDATED.SHOULD I SPEAK WITH HER OR ASK TO HAVE ANOTHER PRECEPTOR??THANKS FOR YOUR HELP,MY EXPERIENCE THERE IS NOT TURNING OUT POSITIVE OR SUPPORTIVE.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   hollykate
    Hi Spitfire,
    I experienced a similar thing with my preceptor, except I felt she was hard to read from day one. Well, I felt like I couldn't talk to her so, I went to my manager. She had both us us sit down and hash it out. Imagine my surprise when my manager told me my preceptor told her privately that I was doing really really well! It worked out this way, but I wish I had approached my preceptor first. I still have to ask her for feedback soemtimes, seems people forget how much we really may need, i have an especially hard time reading how I am doing. I go off precepting in a week, and I know I will miss my preceptor, it was the first new grad she has ever precepted so I know we both learned a lot from it (for instance, she worked for a week under the belief that I did not even have a nursing liscence- that was so not fun.
    Experienced nurses will (i hope) second me in the effort required to be a preceptor, especially of a new grad. Perhaps she is a little tired? Her exhaustion, however should not affect your experience! This is your time to get comfortable with the unit and your role as an RN. You have enough to worry about without feeling intimidated. If you can, ask your preceptor, if you are intimidated (as I was) ask your manager what can be done- a new preceptor may or may not be the answer. I wish you the best of luck, please let me know how it turns out
  4. by   soundsLikesirens
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by hollykate:
    [B]Hi Spitfire,
    I experienced a similar thing with my preceptor...........to respond to the original message:..........I wouldn't feel like I had to say something to the preceptor, because your communication has already broken down. Go to the unit manager, explain, and request another preceptor...hopefully, there is another one. To the lady who said her preceptor told the unit manager she's doing well: why didn't she tell you, also? The responsibility for communication belongs to both; but mainly the preceptor as they are the one already established in the unit, taking a teaching role. They are the model.

  5. by   Joankim
    I am in orientation currently, have been a nurse for 21 yrs, but out of the hospital setting for several years. I am remembering now how humbling orientation is. It is uncomfortable having someone constantly checking up on you, and calling you on thing that are not done correctly.

    I also remember what it is like to be on the precptor end of things. It takes a lot of patience and understanding.

    I keep reminiding myself to take advantage of the help while it available and to give mnyself a break. I feel very inept at times because I am slow... it takes forever to find supplies for the first time, to chart in the computer and to even call the pharmacy, because I don't know the number and have to look it up! Thing get better every day, and it is somethiong we have to go thru to "get there"

    And yes, there were days when I dreaded having to precept. I just wanred my own pts and to do my own thing! So I need to remember that when I am being precepted as well. We are only humans who are working very hard!

    [This message has been edited by Joankim (edited September 02, 2000).]
  6. by   spitfire
    THANK YOU FOR THE INPUT.TUESDAY I WILL SIT DOWN WITH MY PRECEPT. AND ASK HER HOW DOES SHE FEELS I AM DOING AND FOR ANY SUGGESTIONS.MY HUSBANDS INPUT WAS - YOUR NOT THERE TO WIN A PERSONALITY CONTEST BUT TO GET USED TO THE FLOOR AND NURSING.SOMETIMES I THINK EXPERIENCED NURSES FORGET JUST HOW FRIGHTENING AND OVERWHELMING A NEW NURSE CAN FEEL.SPITFIRE
  7. by   hollykate
    Spitfire, I wish you the best of luck on tuesday. Be wary of a new preceptor, however, I had a different one for one day, and it was actually a terrible experience! I think, however, you will feel some peace when this gets resolved anyway it turns out.You don't need to win a popularity contest, but it is hard to learn when you feel intimidated! Even though communication has broken down, if you approach her first she will feel less like you "never told me and went behind my back" That is certainly not your intention to "get her in trouble" though she may feel that way when called by the mgr to discuss this issue! Please let us know how it turns out!!
    For sounds like sirens: My preceptor thought that by telling my at the end of each day: "You did a good job" that she was giving enough feedback. Perhaps for some, to me, it sounded sort of like a pat answer. I agree, the responsibility for communication/etc. should lie mostly on the preceptor, as they have been in the unit,but you know, since we don't live in an ideal and perfect world...and I am surely not an ideal/perfect person, I can't expect my preceptor to do the precepting thing perfectly- especially since, as I pointed out, she has never worked (no one in the unit had) with a new grad. New to me new to her, but we are muddling through.
  8. by   Mijourney
    Hi spitfire,
    If you are not already aware, nurses, overall, are labeled as passive-aggressive. In my opinion, nurses tend not to communicate clearly and concisely with one another face to face. Unfortunately, many nurses do not mentor well for whatever reason. I am sorry that you and some of the other posters are experiencing relationship strain, but it is quite common as I have frequently experienced this myself in new positions. As I have become more knowledgeable about the profession and gained more work experience, I have taken situations less personally. I agree with the other posters who advise you to go to the supervisor about your feelings especially if you have already attempted to discuss concerns with this person or feel uncomfortable in talking directly with her. If the staff is short on your floor, maybe she is responding to that. I would just make sure that if you get another preceptor, only establish a professional relationship with her and not engage in personal discussions if you are accustomed to doing so. I would not discuss personal issues with anyone until I get my feet grounded and am familiar with everyone. Best wishes.
  9. by   soundsLikesirens
    Originally posted by hollykate:
    Spitfire, I wish you the best of luck on tuesday. Be wary of a new preceptor, however, I had a different one for one day, and it was actually a terrible experience! I think, however, you will feel some peace when this gets resolved anyway it turns out.You don't need to win a popularity contest, but it is hard to learn when you feel intimidated! Even though communication has broken down, if you approach her first she will feel less like you "never told me and went behind my back" That is certainly not your intention to "get her in trouble" though she may feel that way when called by the mgr to discuss this issue! Please let us know how it turns out!!
    For sounds like sirens: My preceptor thought that by telling my at the end of each day: "You did a good job" that she was giving enough feedback. Perhaps for some, to me, it sounded sort of like a pat answer. I agree, the responsibility for communication/etc. should lie mostly on the preceptor, as they have been in the unit,but you know, since we don't live in an ideal and perfect world...and I am surely not an ideal/perfect person, I can't expect my preceptor to do the precepting thing perfectly- especially since, as I pointed out, she has never worked (no one in the unit had) with a new grad. New to me new to her, but we are muddling through.
    ********I don't understand; you said in your previous post that you were surprised to find out that your preceptor told the unit manager that you were doing a good job.....implying she wasn't telling you. Yes there are people who might get their nose out of joint if she goes to the unit dir. first; but her job performance is at stake here....I still say the best thing would be to let the unit manager know what is going on. And yes, they are both responsible for the communication but the preceptor is the role model and, to me, has the most responsibility. Even if she has never precepted before, it shouldn't be that difficult to realize she needs to communicate her impressions to the new person she is helping.

  10. by   rhollandrn
    Hi spitfire, sounds like you are in a tough situation. I am a preceptor on a med-surg and peds unit, and i have oriented 4 new grads. Maybe your preceptor isnt comfortable teaching a new nurse, are you her first? Not every nurse likes to teach, or is happy with the extra responsibility. If she is unhappy with the job then she should tell your supervisor, and not take it out on you. It is hard to keep the communication going, we use one form where the orientee lists their goals for the week and says how they think they are doing, and another form that the preceptor fills out to tell the orientee what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what areas need improvement. Using these forms every week really helps. I definately think you should just ask her if she thinks you are doing ok, and if there are any particular problems you need to work on. If she wont communicate fairly with you, you should go to the supervisor. Good luck and keep us posted!
  11. by   hollykate
    Hi spitfire,
    Just wondering how things go with the preceptor? Hope its better
  12. by   spitfire
    TAHANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE ADVICE AND COMMENTS-I LOVE THIS SITE!I DID APPROACH MY PRECEPTOR AND ASKED HER HOW SHE THOUGHT I WAS DOING AND IF SHE HAD ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THIINGS I NEEDED TO FOCUS ON IMPROVING.SHE SAID SHE THOUGHT I WAS DOING WELL AND JUST NEEDED TO FOCUS ON TIME MANAGENENT.AFTER 4 DAYS WITH ALMOST THE SAME PATIENTS I FOUND MYSELF WITH ENOUGH FREE TIME TO ACTUALLY OFFER HELP TO THE OTHER NURSES AND HELP THEM WITH A FEEDING -BATH AND PASSED SOME PAIN MEDICATION.I ALMOST FELT GUILTY BECAUSE I HAD MY PAPER WORK DONE EARLY.I FEEL MY STRESS WAS RELATED TO HAVING POST-OP PATIENTS SOMETIMES 2 COME UP AS SOON AS I CAME ON.THIS MEANS DEALING WITH N/V AND PAIN.MY PRECEPTOR IS GIVING ME ALL THE ROOM I NEED NOW AND IS JUST CHECKING TO MAKE SURE ALL MEDS WERE PASSED AND PAPER WORK IS ALL SIGNED OFF AND ANYTHING ELSE I MISS.SHE ASKS IF I'M OK OR NEED ANY HELP.THINGS HAVE IMPROVED SINCE I HAVE SIGHTLY MORE CONFIDENCE IN THE FLOW.MY EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN MANY THIS WEEK- A 15 YEAR OLD WITH A DRUG OVERDOSE-A 28 YO WITH A SPONTANIOUS PNEMO(CHEST-TUBES) AND A 91 YO WITH A NEW HIP AND A LAP-CHOLI.SO MUCH IN A WEEK.I AM GLAD I AM HAVING THIS EXPERIENCE.PEACE AND LOVE...SPITFIRE
  13. by   hollykate
    AWESOME, you are really coming into your own. Isn't it funny how we are all trained in theraputic communication, but find communication with our peers sometimes near impossible? I got off precepting this week and am having good experiences as well. Best Wishes to you.
  14. by   jwl300
    Regardless of the outcome and how you choose to handle this situation, please remember that this person who is a preceptor today, will, in a very short time, be a coworker. From your words, I sense that this coworker feels threatened. You can only change you, not your preceptor. Try to avoid being defensive, stay positive, and avoid stooping to her level of unprofessional behavior.

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    Jennifer

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