Dear Nursing Students/Orientees: A Love Note from the Preceptor from Hell - page 4

by CheesePotato | 35,850 Views | 118 Comments

Warning: The following post is rife with brutal honesty and frustration. Read at your own risk. Memorandum from the desk of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath~~ Dear Nursing Student/Orientee: Allow me to start my... Read More


  1. 10
    Greetings!

    First of all, thank each and every one of your for a reply and a point of view. I find the spectrum of answers interesting, to say the least and, sadly, it would take me ages to reply to each.

    A few points, however, that I feel merit mentioning:

    ~~ I most certainly do not have the goal of making anyone cry or otherwise engaging in sabotage, mud slinging, etc etc etc. Participating in any of this behavior would defeat the purpose and render the whole process of preceptorship completely useless. And as someone who was set up....repeatedly...by a preceptor (No, not the one I acknowledge), I can tell you first hand that it's just miserable. I would never do such a thing to someone. That's just....rotten.

    ~~ I do not tear down my orientees or students. Ever.

    ~~ Please remember that any over the top prose are meant to be tongue in cheek and most assuredly taken with a grain of salt.

    ~~ No one should ever, ever be subjected to bullying or feeling fearful of their co-workers.. You have the right to a safe work environment.

    ~~ I have yet to master the whole plume of purple smoke disappearing act. To date, I keep getting my thighs stuck on the entrance to the magic lamp thus spoiling the effect. No, slathering them with Crisco does not help.

    ~~ Preceptor/Orientee mismatch does happen. When it does, it is in everyone's best interest that a proper match be found.

    ~~ Although I may be mistaken, I did not say that I do not enjoy precepting. Some of my favorite times are seeing the moments of "ah-ha!" when it all just clicks.

    I acknowledge and appreciate all of the various opinions and feedback. The passionate responses were simply awesome. This field is blessed to have individuals willing to take a stand in what they view and what they believe.

    Sincerest regards,

    ~~CP~~
    Last edit by CheesePotato on Dec 4, '12 : Reason: Horrible spacing issues and a spacebar that sprouted a mind of its own
    Esme12, roughmatch, lillymom, and 7 others like this.
  2. 9
    "Let me be frank....well, more frank: It is not my job to be your friend. It is not my job to be your nanny, your partner, or your teacher."

    Yikes. This could not be further from the truth, and if you cannot see the errors of this thinking, then you have no business being anyone's preceptor.

    And then you contradict this previous statement:
    "I promise you that my knowledge is yours to access any time, day or night. Even when I've stolen a precious few seconds in the bathroom or are snarfing down a sandwich. If you have a question, for the love of all things sacred and delicious, ask. Yes, even the "stupid" questions."

    And then again: "But we'll relearn/learn it together."

    If that is not partnership, then what is it?


    mharzi, Not_A_Hat_Person, silenced, and 6 others like this.
  3. 4
    CheesePotato, you did it again. Bravo. This crusty old bat has been the mean mother to a lot of folks, and it's so nice to hear from someone else who gets why.
    Esme12, CheesePotato, amoLucia, and 1 other like this.
  4. 14
    Quote from CherylRNBSN
    Um, this article seems a bit over the top to me. Medical professionals are predatory, smell blood, etc.? I've been a nurse for over twenty years. That is way over the top.

    As many other posters have said, the way you precept, and your attitude, your leadership style may be a great match for some orientees.

    But not for me.

    I don't think anyone needs to be "broken down" in order to reach their full potential.

    And it's kind of condescending to think all new nurses need to be petted and coddled, and it is your job to toughen them up and show them how the real world is.

    I, and many others, were well equipped with enough innate intelligence that we already possessed some pretty good critical thinking skills before we ever even started nursing school, and also realize we have an intrinsic responsibility for our own professional growth and development.

    I look at new grads and nursing students as colleagues. I do not try to intimidate them. I get to know them as a person on some level; i.e., ask them when they are graduating, their future career goals, etc. I respect them, and they respect me. I freely tell them everything I know. I assure them there are no stupid questions. That knowing what one does not know is a cornerstone of safe practice.

    Positive, healthy interactions with all coworkers go a long way in making tough shifts bearable, even enjoyable.

    Support, teamwork, respect, sharing of knowledge, modeling leadership, and yes, KINDNESS. Despite whatever else is going on in my personal or work life.

    So I don't worry about my orientees speaking about their experience with me as a preceptor with other staff.
    I agree. I had a clinical instructor who broke and failed me and guess what? It made me hate her even more. She was a complete, wicked witch. My next clinical instructor was very sweethearted and I found that I was more open to her constructive criticism than my former instructor tearing me apart and making me feel like absolute **** about myself. Breaking the hardworker's spirit is just not cool in my book and it fits the stereotype of nurses eating their young to the fullest.

    Some nurses have a complex and feel that they must be "big and bad" to the newbies. If that isn't a way to chase off some good students...
    mharzi, dclong, chevyv, and 11 others like this.
  5. 4
    <----------stands up and applauds cheesepotato's awesome post!! Love it!!

    edit: oh my, some are protesting it?? i may have skimmed something? i will have to go back and read more carefully, as this article did not seem harsh to me, but, i did skim a bit of it.

    edit#2---nope, i STAND AND APPLAUD, i have now read every word, and LOVED it, wasn't harsh, imo, at all, but very realistic. LOVED IT!!
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 4, '12
    Esme12, CheesePotato, Wise Woman RN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    I had two varying preceptors. The first pretty much made me watch everything on the sidelines, I learned nothing. My second, was an extemely kind and intelligent preceptor that truly took me under her wing. She loved teaching and wanted me to be the best I could be. We became close friends, she was even a guest at my wedding. I got lucky in this situation. I wouldn't ever expect to be buddy buddy with a preceptor, but it was nice to be able to work with someone so supportive of me, and I'm not going to lie, a little positive reinforcement really helped me. I don't work from negative reinforcement.
    Although, If I were a preceptor, I would surely get frustrated if I had an orientee making the same mistakes repeatedly. I may take more of a tough love approach with faced in that situation.
    I think its important that people are offered the choice to precept or not, no one should be forced into it. C.P. you sound like you demand your orientees to think which is a good thing. You also sound like you could be a wee bit imtimidating, just depends on the personalities you work with I suppose, as to how well they cope. Cheers to you for putting it out there.
    carme76 and CheesePotato like this.
  7. 1
    This approach works for some people but not others. You may meet someone just as bullheaded as you are and clash. Oh, that's probably already happened though. lol
    CheesePotato likes this.
  8. 1
    I wish I worked with you. Christ help me become an RN already.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  9. 1
    Meant to quote. See below.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Dude...what's your problem? If you don't want the burden of precepting, or working with students then don't! All of this is so unnecessary. Why make yourself this upset and angry? This letter is dripping with anger and hostility. Glad I don't work with people like this...And super glad I didn't have a preceptor like you either. It doesn't take all this nonsense to help someone become a great nurse.
    I do not agree with this. This describes a great preceptor! Tough love is the best.
    CheesePotato likes this.


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