Rude Preceptor

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    I just recently started a second job as a RN on a bariatric unit ( I also work at a psych hospital). My preceptor has been a nurse for 30 years and is precepting both me and another orientee. However, she is very rude to me and talks down to me most of the day. I try not to get upset when she talks to me that way. for example, I asked her what suppiles did I need to d/c an ON-Q medication pump, just beneathe the skin ( my first time). She told me to get the supplies then when I d/c the pump, she proceeded to take me to the side outside of the pt's room and tell me that I sould have brought a bag to place all of the dirty materials in. If she wanted it that way, then I wander why she had not told me when I asked her what all to bring. I have been with her for 2 weeks now and 3 pts/family members even have picked up on her demeaning ways toward me. My pt today told me that she talks to me bad and that she is way harder on me than the other orientee who she precepted the last 4 hours of a 12 hr shift ( I work only 8). Another pt said that she should know how it is to be new somewhere. I am not blundering around, I get all of my work down in a timely fashion and provide good nursing care but this preceptor seems to get upset because I ask her about technical stuff due to me not being exposed to all procedures and equipment. Then on the other hand she pretends to be so nice to me.

    What should I do? Am I being eaten because I am young?
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

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    I had did an RN externship this summer and for the first time realized what "a real nursing" is about: some RNs on the floor wanted my classmate and I to work every weekend, stay longer hrs, not take time off, do extra work (take a patient from each RN, plus also do a PCT job for everyone on the floor) etc. My classmate started arguing with everyone and it just made things worse for her and she quit. I figured I should always go higher on the ladder and always talked to the Associate Director about my schedule, time off etc. Anyway, as time passed I etablished a great relationship with my coworkers as they realized I won't let them push me around and I believe they started to respect me and I always have the Associate Director on my side.

    Do not start arguing with your preceptor. Just ask to have another one. Maybe the supervisor/Associate Director can tell your preceptor that they are switching you to be with another one so you can get the experience of working with different RNs. It's hard to be new one the unit, but you have to play smart: don't gossip, complain, argue etc. Be nice, friendly polite but at the same time let people know you won't let them treat you badly... God luck!
    ladylikeRN likes this.
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    Oh, smth else. I once worked with an old RN that worked at our unit only rarely. She was very proud to have 100+ years of experience. She was though very slow and forgetful. I went with her into the patient's room. The patient was mad at her because she called for her pain medication many times, but RN was slow to come. Anyway as the RN gave the medication, she told me smth like: "You need to check her vitals now. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" without any reason to be rude to me. I did not say anything in front of the patient, but as we left the room, I came close to her, looked her straight in the eyes and said: "You have no right to talk to me like that, especially in front of the patient. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" She was just shocked and could not say a word. But she only worked at my unit few times... You should be less sharp with people you'll work with on daily basis... Anyway don't let anyone put you down even though you are young...
  6. 4
    Quote from ladylikern
    what should i do? am i being eaten because i am young?
    so far, all you've said is that you're having a bad experience with your preceptor. that doesn't mean you're being "eaten."
    Fiona59, pebbles, FireStarterRN, and 1 other like this.
  7. 2
    You should go to the NM and ask for a different Preceptor. You are trying to learn the procedures. If this person is not helping you then she is hindering you during the learning process. That's simply not fair to you.
    ladylikeRN and FireStarterRN like this.
  8. 1
    I had a preceptor that was always demeaning to me. I think she liked the power trip. She was so rude to me in front of patients that one lady apologized to me for asking for pain medication. After a few bad experiences with her I learned to just stand up to her and not let her push me around.

    As far as nurses eating their young, I personally hate that phrase. I think there are bullies in all walks of life. You will encounter people like your preceptor in any profession you choose. It is how you deal with them that makes the difference. Just remember that someday you will be a preceptor and don't make the same mistakes your preceptor has made.
    ladylikeRN likes this.
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    In your example you say that she took you aside outside the pt. room, which to me sounds appropriate so far. As far as bringing a bag to the room to take out dirty supplies, maybe she just forgot to tell you to get it. I have gone to a room many times and forgotten the dirty bag. I was too intent on getting everything I needed to do the procedure itself that I wasn't thinking about the disposal part. Sometimes people come off sounding rude when in fact they really don't mean it that way, I have had people tell me that I do that sometimes. Maybe you could just talk to her about it and take it from there, sometimes a little communication goes a long way. I wouldn't take everybody elses word that she is harder on you than some of the others before I talked to her. If in fact she does belittle you and make your orientation more difficult then I would ask for a different preceptor.
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    It sounds as if this is a personal dislike she has taken to you, since she isn't doing it to the other preceptee. I agree with the above post; request a new preceptor. You can cite the fact that 3 patients have given you unsolicited comments regarding her rude behavior in front of them. For every person who speaks up there are many more who don't, so obviously her behavior is blatently rude.
    ladylikeRN likes this.
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    She sounds like a crank. Get a new preceptor STAT.
    YellowFinchFan and ladylikeRN like this.
  12. 1
    Asking for a new preceptor is a good idea, IF the preceptor is not one of management's favorites. In my situation it did not help. I was not assigned a new preceptor. The NM was good friends (drinking buddies) with my preceptor and told me to "suck it up and learn to listen to "X" because she knew what she was talking about". Hopefully you are in a better situation.
    ladylikeRN likes this.


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