Are you invisible to your preceptor?

  1. So either you are an experienced nurse who just obtained a new job or you are a new nurse with a new job. Either way you'll have a preceptor (shoot yourself right away, get the slow death over with). Sometimes it's all good and the preceptor is good, and you melt right into the new job.
    But SOMETIMES you are the invisible man/woman! Your preceptor for the most part ignores you almost altogether! They want to leave on time, so they just mostly give you a few pt's , show you what they HAVE to show you (like the secret code to the room where the emesis basins are). Then they move to the rest of the assignment instead of giving it to you and standing behind you to make sure you know things, like "where are purple blood draw tubes?" "what's the number to the IV team?"
    So what happens is you flail, you ask others, you take 10 times longer than you should if your preceptor was standing behind you. The crabby nurse on the floor sees you asking too many questions to everyone and tells your Manager who then thinks you're an idiot, so she asks your preceptor who says something like "well I thought she/he knew what they were doing, I've explained what they need to know, (once, super fast) , so I JUST took a few pt's for her/him to help out, I mean how much help do they need? I was right here, I don't know what's WRONG WITH HER/HIM!

    You only have so long to learn so much before you hear the "it's not a good fit" speech.
    Even very experienced nurses get this crap treatment when they go to a new area.

    I precepted for the 1st time a month ago. Guess what, I made a point to pretend I was her and treated her accordingly! She thanked me profusely when it was all over with. I gave her my badge and said, "even down to swiping the badge to walk into a room, I'll let you do it all, and I will be right here next to you, so you have nothing to fear, it will all be great." Right at the end of the 1st shift I made a list, 1-10 of each thing to do and when, like 1. go here to get your assignment, 2. go here and do this. 3. click a. b. c. to log this, etc etc etc.
    I handed her that list and said that's how we'll start tomorrow, and if you ever don't have me there, then follow the list to the tee, until you totally know what's what.
    I was even prepared to let her use my login and just change the password everyday, so I could stand behind her and let her type it all in. Luckily her password and ID were all working the 1st day on the floor.

    The only thing I can say about crappy precepting is you may lose your job as the new person, but I already KNOW two people who did and found other jobs right away, I actually saw that happening with my own eyes and though my Manager didn't fix it, I wrote that person a glowing letter of recommendation and told her to use me as a work reference.
    And don't BE that bad preceptor when it's your turn to be one!
    Read the story below, even Doctors get treated this way when they get precepted!
  2. Visit BrendaH84 profile page

    About BrendaH84, BSN

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 109; Likes: 131


  3. by   Cobweb
    That's a great story. Kudos to you for recognizing the problem.
  4. by   Wegie57
    Awesome! A good preceptor makes such a difference. I have had both kinds and boy does it make a difference!
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Precepting isn't easy -- at least, not if you're doing it right. Unfortunately, not everyone is a good preceptor but our turnover of new grads is so high (we seem to be the feeder unit for the local anesthesia programs), everyone gets forced to precept whether they like it or not. What you describe is no doubt the end result of poor preceptors (who have no interest in precepting) being forced to do the job.

    But then there are those who profess to LIKE precepting -- because they want less work to do. I've had those types of preceptors, too.
  6. by   annaotis
    I really do love precepting new grads and those starting in a new position, and certainly not to do less work. Kudos to you being a wonderful preceptor! We need more like you!
  7. by   rnaria
    I genuinely hope I have a preceptor like you when I begin! My worst fear is not being able to learn/do my best because of someone not really willing to help and be there. Everyone should be more like you!
  8. by   BrendaH84
    Thanks. i hope the best for anyone of you who reads this.
  9. by   ktenor
    Wow thank you for your post. I am just beginning my first job and I deeply hope I get a great preceptor like yourself.