I am currently nearing the end of the 1st week of my 1st clinical placement in year four, and I am so frustrated with my preceptor. I feel like a lot of the time I am left on my own to figure out what it is that I am supposed to be doing. I am her 1st student, and it really feels like I have to plan out everything. I feel like a fish out of water, especially since I have been out of clinical for a month and have never worked on this floor before. I feel so jealous of this other student on my floor who has an older nurse who is with him all the time, and seems to be giving him more direction. I'm just nervous because by the end of this placement I am supposed to be doing 75-100% of my preceptor's workload, and I don't really see how that will be possible if things continue like this.
I am planing to talk to her about it, and I realize that I should be asking more questions, but also keep getting overwhelmed with all the things that I don't know yet.... Maybe I'm just stressing out too much???
Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone could share experiences with new preceptors and how they handled it?
Sep 15, '13
Moved to Nurse Colleague Forum, as is better suited to this type of inquiry.
Sep 15, '13
I was in your preceptor's position at the beginning of this year. I would ask to set some goals with her and let her know about taking most of an assignment. Open the lines of communication. Some people are just naturally better teachers, and it takes awhile to get the hang of precepting. It's a lot of effort and energy to precept so don't be afraid to take initiative and ask questions or request to do assessments, etc.
Sep 15, '13
I would suggest that you bring this matter to your clinical instructor or the one who is over the preceptor experience. It sounds like this preceptor may not be a good fit for you and for your learning needs.
Sep 16, '13
I would state to the preceptor--I am going to be taking on most of your patients, and I am confused as to how I should be managing my time. Can we go over how you set up your day?
Use a paper "brain" and think about how you need to set up your plan of care. Look at your chart, review your meds. Be SURE to note if your patient(s) have any PRN's and last time given, or any meds that are given at unusual times. Also if there's finger sticks and insulin. As any of the above are time sensitive. Make sure you observe and participate in assessing the patient for the shift. Remember head to toe. Make sure there's been a BM in the last day or so--note anything that you need to speak with the RN about (is there a bowel protocol if patient has not had a BM in a couple days?) Learn how the patient moves. Do they get up independently? With assistance?
Finally, are there any orders that have not been completed? That you are waiting results on?
Then, be sure to review with your clincal instructor to be sure that you are setting up your day as you should. If your clinical instructor says "no this is not correct" then ask him/her what you could do differently. And be honest--"I am having a hard time following my preceptor".
Also, don't be afraid to ask where you can find references to look up what you need to. Sometimes, the best thing you could do for yourself is to know where the references are, and how to use them.
Sep 16, '13
If you are still in school, your preceptor still has responsibility for those patients and should be sticking pretty close to you. If she is not, I would try to express your concerns to her and discuss how the two of you could work together more effectively
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