new med/surg grad. Don't want any enemies, got a new preceptor, need advice

  1. so i have worked on the floor for 8 days now, new grad. I worked three twelves in a row on days and then will be working nights shortly. The first week on the floor was really busy. My preceptor wasn't there the first day and the other two she was charge so i didn't get much attention. The second week went a little better but she still seemed too busy to show me how to chart correctly on the computer, had me running around everywhere trying to find things, and just didn't seem too interested to take the time to show me anything.

    The last week with her was horrible. It seemed no mater what i did nothing was right. I thought i was in the wrong until the charge nurse asked if i was okay and that she noticed it as well. The last day I worked with her she told me she was a little concerned. I was only up to three patients, didn't know what to do in an emergency situation, and i needed more time to orientate. Then she gave me five patients that day with all these meds and prn's. i did okay but still felt like i wasn't living up to her expectations. I wasn't fast enough, and she would throw way too much at me at one time. I spent a lot of the time trying to find things or figure out the doc writen orders or figuring out where this medication was held. I went home crying because I knew I did the best I could but it did not seem it was good enough. I wondered what I could do differently the next time and what I could have done better. I always went in with a positive attitude and was ready to learn. I really don't know what went wrong that last week. It went from "you did a good job" the first couple weeks to "I'm a little concerned"!

    I got a new preceptor and he is patient, allows me to take my time when I need to, and I did three patient's like a breeze. Today she found out she is not precepting me anymore (I didn't work today). It wasn't my idea to change my preceptor; the charge nurse that confronted me called me up my first day off from the last twelve and said that it may be better to have a different preceptor. I am not knowing what to say when I see her again. I talked to a few other people who have approached me and they noticed her attitude towards me as well. Any advice out there. Oh and by the way, she did precept another grad and they got along realy well...maybe there was something i was doing wrong!!!?

    I am glad that the charge nurse said something because I don't want to make any enemies. She (my old preceptor) has worked on that floor for 15+ years. And it's not only her, she has a really good friend on that unit as well, they are joined at the hip. I'm afraid that both are going to treat me differently now. I'm not saying I though she was someone who "ate their young" just that her teaching style and my personality and the way I learn were not working together.

    Anyone out there who was a preceptor to a new grad and the new grad left you for a different preceptor not because you were not good at being a preceptor but because your personalities did not match. And when you found out you were not going to precept that person anymore how did you feel and act towards that new grad the next time you saw them. I am so lost, I just don't want any enemies. :uhoh21:
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    I'm a little confused here. Your post started out as having problems organizing your day as well as some confusion over who was precepting you to having personal problems, it seems, with people you work with.

    Organizing your workday is something that isn't covered that well in nursing school and, yet, it is the one thing that I probably spent my entire career trying to perfect. You need to sit down at home when you are away from work and make a list of the tasks that you absolute need to get done while you are at work while you can think clearly. These are called ToDo lists. Things on that list will be stuff like giving medications, taking care of IVs, making sure your patients get their meal trays, making sure their treatments are done, checking and signing off doctor's orders, give change over report and charting. Arrange them in an order that they must be done. Take this first list with you to work and as you accomplish these tasks cross them off the list. Each day that you come home, you will discover things that need to be added to the list. Add them. Make a new list for the next day of work. This is how I started learning how to organize my work days. Eventually, you can stop making the physical list. However, I always had some sort of "brain" or "report sheet" that I worked from. I never trusted my memory and wrote little tasks down as they came up and it saved me more than once from getting screwed up or forgetting about them.

    As for your preceptors. . .some preceptors have different ideas of how to precept. Some are very hands on. Some are of the sink-or-swim type. Sounds like you've been matched with the sink-or swim type. You are an employee now, not a student, and are expected to produce some work. I would suggest that you go back to some of the things that were gone over in orientation that RNs are expected to do during their shifts and if you have to add them to that ToDo list I mentioned above, then do so. The thing about being on a job is that many places expect you to perform on your own--not too much handholding. You also probably had a nurse educator who was with you during your first days of orientation that you should be able to go to in helping you out here in getting organized. At least go to this person as a resource to help you out.

    Ultimately, the job may just be too much for you. But before I went blaming the charge nurse or the preceptors I'd be looking at and asking what I could improve about my own performance first. It's true that it is hard to be the new person on the block but there are ways you could be sabotaging yourself as well. If you are not opening yourself up to their help and criticism that may be a major problem with them and their relationship with you. If they think you are too good to ask for their advice or help, they may perceive you as being aloof and are going to stand by and let you sink or swim just to teach you a lesson, or worse, run you off. If they expect you to be humble and you are not, then no advice I give you is going to help if you are not ready to change attitudes. But, I'm not there with you so I can't know what's going on. Working with other women is sometimes like walking on eggshells. They will not tell you what they don't like about you, but you will know they don't like you by the behavior they display toward you. When you are the new person in the group your behavior with them is critically important to being accepted and your success at the work.
  4. by   Shell5
    she is probably jealous of you. You WILL GET IT! YOU WILL FIND YOUR WAY. Personalities Clash!!! That is life on life's terms. You may as well face it now. Organizational skills is something you will always work on. I still do after 10 years of nursing. It takes some of us a little longer, but that it OK!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You take all the time you need. You are dealing with a human life. You are not there to babysit nor to make friends. It is understandable you want to be liked and to have friends ,but that is not your goal while you are at work. It is to be the best nurse you can be. If that means having a new preceptor then so be it. They will get over it. If someone doesn't like you now, they were probably going to find a reason to not like you anyway. You are not going to like everyone. It is not going to be easy working with mostly all women. I promise you that. Just get all the experience you can and don't let anyone stop you from your goals in life. Good luck
  5. by   NJNursing
    Not eveyone gets along. Sometimes there's just no chemistry. She seems to really want to push you and when you didn't move at the pace she was expecting (or had experienced in the past) she just got impatient. She could be having some stress at work, stress at home and just taking it out on you. As a preceptor myself, sometimes it's twice the work having a preceptee. You have to do your work plus check over all of theirs so that you can stop their mistakes early and make sure you're teaching them the right way. In the beginning it's frustrating, but it gets easier.

    Having a new preceptor is probably the best thing for both of you as you need to have a good experience and she obviously needs less stress in her life. Ultimately it's YOUR license and you need to be taught properly. Don't feel bad about it. In time you guys could probably mend fences or just stay out of each other's way and be polite for the sake of the unit.
  6. by   military girl
    I had to learn this the hard way, but sometimes people will just not like you. I have started a new job in a admin position, and I do feel like the odd man out. But that's okay too, because sometimes you just need to observe how things are.
    If you feel like you need a new preceptor, then it's up to you to ask for one. Don't let other people tell you how you feel, or how they think you should be doing.
    I don't know if they have a preceptor development course in your hospital, but maybe it would be a good idea.
    Want do you want to get out of being a med/surg nurse? You are up to the challenge, but remember, you need to crawl before you can walk.
    At the end of your day, sit down and write out what you think you did well and what you think that you could have improved on. The next day, as time allows, work on the "improves".
    Keep your head up. You are a new nurse, in time, things will come to you. But remember, every one can still learn. If you are in nursing and not still learning, then that is not the answer.
  7. by   amy0123
    I totally agree with Daytonite.

    Hang in there, do your homework.

    My first preceptor was also a "sink or swim" type. I cried because I felt everything I did was not good enough for my preceptor. All I needed was reassurance and a step by step run down of what to do and how to do it. And a pat in the back at the end of the shift. Eventually my preceptor was changed to someone who was truly nurturing and the right fit.
  8. by   veronica butterfly
    I know your post is several months old, but I'm replying in case someone reads it that is in a similar situation.

    You said that on your FIRST day, your preceptor WASN'T even there??? and the next two days she was working as charge nurse??? And you were a new grad????

    Dear lord, please tell me you've found a better place to work since then!

    New grads are terrified. They need to be supported, reassured, hugged, coddled, and retaught everything they learned in nursing school.

    You didn't get the support you needed from this woman. I'm sure she is a terrific nurse, but it sounds like you didn't get any support from this person at all. She may have been a great "resource person" but she certainly wasn't acting in the role of a preceptor.

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