Preceptorship

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    Man my head is so clouded right now.... I've just completed 84 of my 130 hour preceptorship in the CVR (Cardiovascular Recovery Unit) and I feel just as green as ever.

    Let me back up a bit... First off, I didn't choose this specialty unit for my preceptorship. I asked for CCU (still a specialty unit, I know... but more generalized) because I figured I'd get to see a lot, and if I could handle that, I'd be prepared for anything. My teacher assigned me CVR which I wasn't happy about because it is SO specific that all I see is hearts patients.
    Onto the next part..... One of the first things my preceptor told me is that she was going to apologize to me straight off because she is not a good teacher... fantastic. Now, I'm sympathetic to this because I wouldn't like teaching someone, but then I wouldn't sign up to precept, would I?
    I'm screwed into a corner, because I like my preceptor as a person, she's a very experienced, intelligent nurse... but, I haven't gotten to do @#*&T! Put it to you this way- it's my 7th day and I've messed with an IV pump maybe 3 times and still haven't learned how to use these pumps because they are, of course, different from the others I've used during clinicals. I hardly ever get to really do anything and nothing is really explained to me... I'd like to learn more about admissions, discharge, transfers, and interventional nursing more so even than just skills... any monkey can learn about pushing drugs, hanging IV bags, etc... but it's the how you know what to do and when that really matters.

    I'm just frustrated because I'm about to be out there on my own license and I don't feel prepared... I feel like even though I have all this knowledge and everything, it doesn't matter if I don't know what to do with it..... Hopefully I can address this situation over the next week and get a little more experience in... has anyone else felt this way? Did you feel like you were totally clueless when you started your nursing career? Any encouraging words?
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    A few of my friends had similar experiences with their preceptors. Some nurses do not feel comfortable allowing their students to do anything, which may be your case. I would highly recommend asking your preceptor if you could have your 'own' patients or if you could do all meds for the day. Maybe she will politely get the hint that you feel like you are not learning anything.

    I was very lucky to have a wonderful preceptor. By force of habit, she would often start doing things to 'my' patients and realize halfway through that I was supposed to be learning by doing. There were times in the beginning where I had to either jump in and do things or say something like 'would you mind if I drew these labs' if I noticed she was about to do them. By the end of my time with her I was pretty much on my own for everything I was allowed to be.

    Also, maybe she feels that YOU aren't comfortable enough with certain tasks and does them because you don't ask. If you do speak up and she doesn't allow you to do anything I would talk to your Transitions (or whatever you call it) instructor and see if you can go somewhere else. One of my friends had to do this and was very grateful that she did.
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    I'm in my 2nd month as a new grad and yes, I feel like I don't know anything! I think that's a pretty common feeling. I wouldn't worry, the learning curve is steep as a new grad but not impossible. I'm sorry your preceptorship is not what you imagined, I know that's disappointing. Hang in there, you're almost done! And definitely ask questions and be proactive about getting to do skills -- the worst they can say is no.


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