Having a difficult time with my Practicum Experience: - page 2

by mistymae22 4,559 Views | 29 Comments

I feel awful. Practicum experience is suppose to be one of the best learning experiences in nursing school. I am working on the postpartum unit, and it was my number one choice. I thought for sure that I would love it; however,... Read More


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    Thanks VeronikaRN! I sounded quite negative on my first post. I should try being more positive. That's a trait of mine that I've been trying to work on. I haven't had all bad experiences. My main preceptor still lets me do things and the nurse I worked with let me do a lot of skills. Some days, the nurses are appreciative of my help, and they say thanks many times to me. Even my former preceptor who complained to the manager about me, when I see her on the unit, I am still polite and I smile and I say hi to her. I mean, that's all I can do. This week was just difficult, because the day I was suppose to work, there were not many nurses that wanted to take in a practicum student for the day, and my preceptor was doing another job. It depends on the nurses who work on the day, if I clash with em or get along with em. I notice I get along with the older nurses versus the younger nurses, in general. And the newer nurses, are the best teachers because they understand what I'm going through the most. I do get what you mean about the different teaching styles, and how one seems lazy, but aren't. I am just used to a certain style...I was always taught to always keep busy on the unit..and when i see nurses on the unit gossip/talk about their personal lives a lot more than check on their patients, I find it odd. But i guess it makes sense for my unit to do that a lot, because there cases aren't as critical or intense as other units..... I just have a different personality than them, and I'm more like, "go go go go go" whereas, they like to sit and chat when their patients don't necessarily need them at the moment.....

    I figured, that I fit in way better in a med-surg unit. lol
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    Lol yea I know what you are saying. I did my final preceptorship on a med surg unit and I really loved it. Back at my ob rotation on postpartum I was dying of boredom. It's just not my kind of thing. I enjoy fast paced, busy, multi-tasking, running around like crazy kind of shifts :-)
    So just try to make the best of the rest of your school, then pass your NCLEX and you can be the kind of nurse you want to be. What I've noticed is that in nursing positive attitude and a little humor can go a long way. Even when some are being mean or ignoring you, don't let it hold you back. I've had nurses say straight to my face "oh no I have a student?", but I've made it through my 2 years and so can you :-)
    mistymae22 likes this.
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    Thanks! I'm almost done. 7 more clinical days to go on the unit! Next week, I'm going to do 3 days...so after that, I will have 4 more left. It goes by so quickly. It's also difficult when my preceptor looks at me like i'm a dummy for not knowing how to do something or not remembering material from a year ago. Before this clinical qtr., I haven't stepped foot in a hospital in about 6 months! So, I haven't had practice clinically wise. I know I looked and sounded dumb my first two weeks especially, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable as I am in the hospital more and more. In fact, the more i'm in the hospital, the more i'm loving nursing (: I love taking care of the adults lol. But the babies are such cuties (: I will try to get my eval done by the nurse that I worked with this week, because she let me do a lot with her; therefore, I feel like she'd give me a more accurate and fair eval than any other nurse i've worked with. Hopefully it goes well!! I just wanna pass and move on, pass my NCLEX, and work on a medsurg floor (:
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    Misty I can feel and relate to your frustration. I am like you and I have to stay busy, that way I feel I am accomplishing what I am there for. Our goal as nursing students is to learn and gain experience in every clinical site we enter. I would be unhappy as well if I was at a clinical site and the nurse did not utilize me in even the most smallest task. My advice to you is to find little things to do while she is doing her thing. There is always something to clean. Grab wipes and wipe down the counters, phones, portable vital machines. Round patients make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need. Let the nurse know that you are checking on pts. and to grab you when she needs you. One good thing about clinicals is that we get a feel of what area we want to work and what area we don't want to work in. It also teaches us to be that "awesome RN at my clinical site.." kind of nurse when we have nursing students. We all start somewhere!! Good luck! :}
    mistymae22 likes this.
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    Yah, I try to clean something and I always check on my patients and see if they need anything (: Then, I ask other nurses if they need help. Most of them don't take me up on my offer though. I just feel like such a bother to my preceptor though. I asked her about my eval this week, I didn't even work with her this week, and I went to the unit to give her the eval...but she was too busy to fill it out this week. So I spoke to my teacher about it, and she said that its ok to ask the last nurse that I worked with to do my eval. I then emailed my preceptor about it and said that I'm just gonna ask so and so to do my eval since I worked with her this week (midterm week). She hasn't responded, and I probably should've left it alone until I see her next time, whenever I see her. That's also the thing that's different between me and them, I like to sometimes repeat myself to emphasize a point or restate what they say to me to make sure I got it right, but in their minds...it sounds like i'm not listening or paying attention or i'm just bugging them. My preceptor is the kinda teacher where if she tells or shows you once, she expects you to get it right after that. Which is understandable, but i'm the kinda student that needs to review, study, and do a skill over and over again before I master the skill! I just have different ways of learning, and I'm ok with that. It just clashes with some instructors. Which can be uncomfortable...unfortunately! It's been so inconsistent, because she has different jobs on the unit, so I can't be with her all the time now. So, i'm just winging it and showing up, and hoping and praying to work with a nurse that will be willing to work me. It's really sad. I just feel awful because I thought i'd love my practicum experience and I was sooooo excited before clinicals began! All my classmates I feel love their practicum sites and have such great working relationships with their preceptors. And i'm just left out of the loop, desperately trying to work with someone who is at least somewhat willing to work with me for at least just one day....
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    I had a section about learning styles during my orientation this week. It covered your learning style as well multitude of styles. The take home message is to know how to communicate your learning style, and respecting everyone's learning style. Another message was if you want a good learning experience, it is best to communicate you learning style, get familiar with your preceptor's learning style, and make a plan. No learning experience is a one size fits all, and these are parts of everyone's personality...you will find the same types of personalities on every unit, and every job.

    Take your experience in stride. Make sure you communicate your learning style, which is logical, and maybe visual, and a little hands on because you like to stay busy, you ask people to repeat the process and like to know the step by step process. I suggest from this point on, communicate that you have a go go go attitude; you may ask to repeat steps in order to learn, etc. Make your self clear...that's how you can advocate for yourself, and make the best of your learning experiences, and your career, because there are going to be plenty in your career...still learning something new everyday as I go up the ladder, and I've been in healthcare for about 13 years, and plan to be for MANY years, and plan for many experiences.
    mistymae22 likes this.
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    I precept people in the OR and it is an exhausting job.  Cut your preceptors some slack.  You said at originally that you forgot some of your basic nursing skills but then in your next post your turn around and make an ugly comment about your preceptor not knowing what to do when a patient was SOB.  What's the difference?  Go in there with a positive attitude and don't act like everyone is out to get you.
    KelRN215 and mariebailey like this.
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    Well the difference is is that they are experienced nurses and I am not. If I don't know something, some give me a hard time about it, but they don't know other things either. And I wasn't attacking my preceptor, she did know what to do, but other nurses were running around the unit panicking. I just think many of the nurses in my unit are not use to really sick patients. They freak out about any sick patient. I don't think everyone is out to attack me, it would just be nice if they worked with me. If you remember what it's like to be a student, think about going to clinical where no one really wanted to work with you or teach you. Not fun! And the skills I forgot to do aren't basic skills you see on every unit, they are skills that specifically obtain to OB, in which I haven't taken OB clinicals in a year.
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    I hate to say this, but it sounds like your attitude needs some work. Good luck with everything. (:
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    Just remember this experience when you are a nurse with a student a few years down the road and do your best to teach them as you would like to be treated now (:
    mistymae22 likes this.


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