Complaint from preceptor

  1. So here is the backstory. I am in my last semester of nursing school, and doing my ambulatory care clinical rotation at the cardiac clinic. I arrived early and introduced myself and wait for my preceptor to show. My preceptor shows up i introduce myself again and the preceptor introduces herself and explains how the clinic work and what their daily routine is like. It is a slow day maybe 11 patients on the books and 3-4 no shows, so there is a lot of down time. I have a test coming up so i utilized this down time to study for my complex care exam. The nurse I was shadowing left early to take her daughter to their doctor. She did not say anything to me either that was leaving or that she had any issues with me. So I was thinking everything was ok. After post conference my clinical instructor said she needed to speak with me. She told me that my preceptor had let her know she had some issues with me. That I looked disheveled (i have a beard and I guess she said I had something in my beard), I was on my phone (using it to study for the exam). I feel like i went out of my way to learn as much as possible from the situation I was asking questions and asking to watch different procedures. Additionally, in nursing school they have taught us to resolve conflicts you should directly address the person you have an issue with prior to escalating it, yet the RN went directly to my clinical instructor. I want to talk to her to tell her I have an issue with how she handled this, is that appropriate?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   CaliforniaNurse2BE
    I would just move on.
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    You were there to shadow the nurse, not to study for an exam. If they were really slow (nothing for hours) then maybe ask the preceptor if she would mind if you spent downtime studying. As for the phone, anyone seeing you looking at your phone would not assume you are looking at a nursing app. You should have not been using your phone for any reason.
  5. by   jj224
    When I was a clinical instructor, one of my only rules was no phones.
  6. by   fibroblast
    If you did not inform her that you were going to study, or communicate, she may assume that you are not interested (or not as interested). It may show rudeness really. A clinical instructor had an issue that I was on my phone, she was really upset, but then I showed her I was studying 'nursing questions' and not on 'facebook'. But still they don't know what you are doing. I thought my clinical instructor knew me better than that that I didn't cause problems but I guess not.
    Last edit by fibroblast on Feb 10
  7. by   healthandwelness115
    is facial hair taboo for male nurses? Or facility dependent
  8. by   Cat365
    Phones are a huge no no at clinicals. We weren't even permitted to bring them to clinicals.

    Move on. Will you have this preceptor in the future? If not move on. If you will have them again apologize to her/him. Explain that you thought you would use a slow time to study, but that you won't do it again. Make sure your apology is honest and humble. Don't take your phone to clinicals again.

    One thought on the sloppiness. Were your scrubs wrinkled? Scrubs are not the most formal thing to begin with wrinkled they look like PJs you slept in once already. Check your beard after you eat.

    However, the fact that you were on your phone could have come across as either disinterest or laziness. This could have also influenced her opinion of sloppiness. One of my classmates was a large bearded man that even perfectly groomed in scrubs always looked like he was just off his Harley but because of hi interest, knowledge, and attentiveness always got positive reviews from preceptors.
  9. by   Oldmahubbard
    Being on a phone just looks bad in almost any situation. The other person cannot see what is on the screen.

    They don't know you, and will assume the worst.

    Lesson learned.
  10. by   thoughtful21
    I empathize with you. As students, it is hard to know what to expect going into a clinical situation. Every preceptor is different, and we have to figure out their personality, learn their communication style, and learn what they expect from us. We have to do this quickly, right at the beginning of our clinical, and sometimes (like your situation) we only have one day, so there is no room for error. The preceptors then evaluate us based on the temporary relationship they had with us. And our instructors rely on the preceptor's point of view, because they are not there to see what actually happened. It's a horrible feeling to think the day went well and then be blindsided by a complaint.

    It's true that some preceptors are unfair in their evaluations, and some are not good mentors to start with. (Just like there are bad students out there.) Maybe this nurse could've handled the situation better. Maybe she was stressed and distracted herself because of having to take her daughter to the doctor. But I would NOT address it with the clinic nurse. You'll make the problem worse. Don't do that. Unless you will have a long-lasting relationship with this nurse, in which case I would approach it as apology/explanation/won't happen again/thanks for your time.

    That being said, cell phones are almost always a no. My school has given us strict warnings about it. The only time I would pull out my cellphone is if I had double-checked with my instructor/preceptor to explain that it was a good reason and make sure that they were ok with it. (And I know you were studying for a test, and I definitely understand the downtime problem. But you know what I mean?)

    Don't let it worry you too much.
  11. by   Mavrick
    Quote from almostaccunurse
    So here is the backstory. I am in my last semester of nursing school, and doing my ambulatory care clinical rotation at the cardiac clinic. I arrived early and introduced myself and wait for my preceptor to show. My preceptor shows up i introduce myself again and the preceptor introduces herself and explains how the clinic work and what their daily routine is like. It is a slow day maybe 11 patients on the books and 3-4 no shows, so there is a lot of down time. I have a test coming up so i utilized this down time to study for my complex care exam. The nurse I was shadowing left early to take her daughter to their doctor. She did not say anything to me either that was leaving or that she had any issues with me. So I was thinking everything was ok. After post conference my clinical instructor said she needed to speak with me. She told me that my preceptor had let her know she had some issues with me. That I looked disheveled (i have a beard and I guess she said I had something in my beard), I was on my phone (using it to study for the exam). I feel like i went out of my way to learn as much as possible from the situation I was asking questions and asking to watch different procedures. Additionally, in nursing school they have taught us to resolve conflicts you should directly address the person you have an issue with prior to escalating it, yet the RN went directly to my clinical instructor. I want to talk to her to tell her I have an issue with how she handled this, is that appropriate?
    No, no and NO.

    You are not there to educate or evaluate a working clinical nurse. You are a guest in that facility and your main relationship is with your instructor. Go through her for conflict resolution.

    Other than that I agree with everybody else. The staff at the clinic don't know you and would have no idea you are using your phone to study. It just looks bad. I'm sure you could have found something to learn in that clinical setting that would show you are engaged with that clinic and not thinking of something else.

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