Senior Practicum OR: Is it me or is my Preceptor a braggart?

  1. Hi,

    I am doing my final clinicals in the OR at a major hospital in my area.
    I have this preceptor, who just graduted last year and has been at the OR for a year. It seems that I was 'dumped' on her. She said I was put with her because the older seasoned nurses did not want a student.

    Since being in the OR, I feel like I am being constantly quized about everything here. This is very different from most of my other clinical experiences. She asks me questions about proceedures, equiptment, and meds. I understand her asking me some questions on the medications (though the only drugs I am familiar with in the OR is heparin and antibiotics. The rest I am new to. She expects me to know all these drugs. She made a big deal out of me not knowing drugs like bupivicaine, FloSeal, Tisseel, amongst others.

    My experience with meds is that, I know the basics, but the ones I don't know I look them up before administering them to the patient. There are no drug guides in this OR and I don't have access to their computer system so only she can look the drugs up.

    Yesturday she asked me 'in what situations would you NOT take a blood pressure on a limb?' I responded from what I knew working on the floor, 'a patient that has had CVA, not to take blood pressure on the effected side.' she sad that was incorrect, that it does not matter if a patient has a stroke, you can take the blood pressure on any side. I then told her, all the floors that I have been on don't take blood pressures on the effected side of patients. I guess it was not the exact answer she was looking for, pertaining to the OR. But I was thinking, why is she quizing me on this? During clinicals, when I have had the chance to go to the OR, I have be only observing. Why not just tell me the answer she wanted?

    Another instance yesturday: she asked me what TISSEEL is: and I started to explain it is a drug made up of thrombin and fribrinogen...' before I could finish to explain that it promotes clotting of the blood and will help in sealing the tissue. She was like no, no the drug is not made of thrombin and fibrinogen. And started with her diatribibe about drugs. I pulled out my notes to confirm I was not wrong and then she later admitted that I was correct about it.

    Any time she wants to find information on a proceedure she goes on her computer and looks it up. But then she sits there and asks me questions about proceedures & equiptment and sometimes I may happen to know because of what I happen to have seen during my clinical rotations and other times I don't. And I let her know I don't know and that I would have to look it up. Then she goes through the prosess of explaining. I am wondering, why is she quizing me these questiions instead of explaining? She had 6 months training on the floor to get orientated and more familiair with OR proceedures. I feel like a fish out of water. This is new to me and the nursing focus is different than I am used to, but I know with time I will be able to do excellant. I have been on the floor for 6 days. It seems like I am constantly being tested. I feel this is getting in the way of practicing my OR skills and nursing. Why is she not asking me questions about assessment, positioning, patient advocacy, and safety? Meds are important but I do not think it is a big deal that I don't know the main OR drugs off memory. If I don't know I will look them up(especially before administering them). In this situation I have no access to computers, otherwise I would just look them up on our downtime.

    I feel this preceptor is making my clinical experience painful. I think she constantly quizes me to show others in the OR what she knows. I want to learn and I am learning but I am miserable. I don't feel I can say to her that she is the problem. She and others on the floor ask me if I am enjoying myself, I tell them I am. But I am not. If I say i am not, it will be awkward. So I grin and bear her. I like what I am learning and doing, but my preceptor is the one I have issue with. I feel being asked to switch with someone else would be taken badly. I have 48 more hours on the floor. I will endure. But I am worried I will get a bad review. Should I let my faculty staff know about the situation? I think it is too late to have them switch me around. And on this floor people gossip a lot about everyone, especially my preceptor she is always talking about what this surgeon did in the OR or what some Tech or Nurse did. So, if she has a negative view of me, so will others on the floor since it seems to be close knitt.

    Sorry it is so long. Your help is much appreciated. What should I do in this situation wth out making it worse than it is?
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    About kima84

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 43; Likes: 9
    Nurse, RN; from US


  3. by   Despareux
    Sorry you feel you're not having a good experience. I hope it gets better for you. Maybe because your preceptor is very new, she is, in a sense, using you as a way for her to learn.

    Maybe you could ask her for a list of drugs and procedures she expects you to know, that way, you both can learn from each other.