Everyone always talks about good experiences from preceptorship, but I unfortunately got something I never expected in what was already a stressful term. It's interesting seeing posts on "what the student nurse should do" tips, etc. It's always the student.. Honestly, it goes both ways and I feel that there are some preceptors who shouldn’t agree to mentor/precept nursing students at all. I know preceptees and preceptors can both agree on this. Some don’t know what a preceptee nursing student is and expect them to help & do the work for everyone of the nurses on the unit. They are in their last term, which means they are getting training to be independent, improve their skills, etc. 1)the student is not personal assistant 2)it takes a way the students learning experience 3)devalues the poor student. Preceptors must make any expectations they have clear and stick w/ it. Your preceptee is not a mind reader. You can’t always change your expectations of the student to fit your mood.
For instance, my preceptor told the other nurses I am a preceptee & she will not let me do their work since I have my own patients. Next thing you know, I’m getting a eval that I’m not helping the nurse do their work?!(But, I do! if I’m not busy w/ my responsibilities to my patient). She expects me to ready the rooms for admissions when I'm charting for the other nurses, while she textes & gossips the entire day @the nurses station.. She rolls her eyes at me all the time (which always baffles me..) when I ask her a question (not a silly question!) or when she doesn’t like something OR ignores me completely & textes on her phone! For charting, I followed her recommendations & weeks later she tells me it’s not right? I even used the wording she said I should use.. huh? lol. I check on my patients frequently & hardly ever sit down since I’m so busy; on my eval she tells me all I do is sit down (I got a varicose vein from never sitting down!) & all I do is my paper work for school?..huh? I wish. I tell her I’m actually charting throughout the day (which I’m suppose to do! I wish I could do school work, but this is my patient & work is my priority).
The worst part is she did my final evaluation at the nurses’ station, as she continued to ridicule me..I asked her if we could please continue in another room. She said “No”, rolled her eyes and actually gave my eval papers to another nurse to fill out?! I didn’t feel it was appropriate where nurses and patients are passing by and that's why I asked... She also told me the other nurses are talking about me, which I found odd since I think I have pretty good relationships w/ the nurses and help them when I can..except one!(I was in mid-teaching my patient & she told me to do a patients bed? I told her “I will try to help you when I’m done teaching” She gave me a mean look when I came out of my patients room & did the bed herself..that’s who I feel the negative comment from “nurses” my preceptor meant); I know I wasn’t wrong, who leaves their patient to do a bed?
She tells me I don’t answer the phone correctly too, the way she wants..how many variations can I go w/”Hello, Unit 3, this is__. how can I help you?” she wants me to start off & tell them I’m the student before anything. She just continued to say anything and everything she "feels" "I do everything wrong" in her exact words. I find it insane how she expects so much from me, but never helps me or teaches me...she passes me to other nurses all day & leaves early...and she doesn't tell me until she's walking out the door! Anyway, she also continues tells me on my final evaluation that I she honestly feels that I won’t make it as a nurse, I won’t get a job in her specialty or even a job, she doubts anyone will hire me, I’m not assertive, I’m not confident, I’m not independent, I don’t do things the way she wants, I disappoint her, & that she won’t put this on my eval so I can graduate. Weird since, I'm working w/ my patient all by myself throughout the entire day. She compares me to other preceptees & their preceptors too (mind you, their preceptors actually help them! or, at least give them some guidance lol).
I was very hurt, but I know I must be doing something right when my patients are very happy & thank me for everything during discharge or throughout the day, I’ve been in ICU, ER, Peds, Public Health, MedSurg, NICU, etc. & I do all my work, prioritize, manage my time well & offer to help my fellow nurses on the unit when I’m done w/ my own priorities. I felt like I didn’t deserve what she said..do I? I can definitely relate to the saying “Nurses eat their young”, she definitely tried to break my confidence in myself. What a horrible person to treat a student, or anyone that way. It sucks since if I report her, she will give me a bad eval so I don’t graduate. My preceptor is also the charge nurse & I’m confused how??..I’ve been w/ other charge nurses & I wasn’t babied even if I was a student, AND they also never treated me this way.
So, be careful students & to preceptors please don’t offer to be one if you don’t want to..it really isn’t healthy for student nurses. Everyday was a very tense environment working w/ her & I tried my best..and continued to try and learn. I know the work environment is filled w/ different personalities, but I can't help but think I just didn't deserve this? I just tried to keep a smile on at all times despite it all and it took me a while to realize what she said...just wasn't true!! All I have to say is good luck to all students.
I know now, no one deserves what I went through…
Feel free to share feedback or your own stories
*Note: What happened to me are not
exaggerations. I honestly wish