I AM A RECENT GRADUATE AND I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO A CRITICAL CARE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM WITH A MAJOR HOSPITAL IN MY CITY. UNFORTUNATELY MY PRECEPTOR MUST BE NURSE RATCHETT'S CLOSEST RELATIVE. EVEN THE PATIENTS CALL HER NURSE RATCHETT. HOW DO I GET THROUGH MY PRECEPTORSHIP WITHOUT LOSING MY COOL, MY PROFESSIONALISM AND MOST OF ALL MY JOB???????? I AM DESPERATE FOR SOME ADVICE..... HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 16, '99
You didn't indicate how old or experienced your preceptor is -- but sounds like "old school phenomena" i.e.: I had to go through rough times to start out and by God so will all that come after me! or as we otherwise phrase this unfortunate attitude as "eating our young".
Have you tried to talk to Supervisor, etc. about a "personality clash"? If this is impossible (as I suspect it is or your message wouldn't sound so desparate) then remember for your own sake that this person will not be your preceptor forever... If he/she has experience then try to sift through the crap and learn what you can. Don't take the rough stuff personal as it sounds like he/she treats all with disregard. I hope for the sake of nursing that this type of preceptor is rare, as good communication is essential to nursing these days. Most of all -- Good luck and hang in there, it will definitely get better and soon you'll be on your own.
Sep 11, '99
I would support Kathryn's advice about talking to your clinical coordinator (or whoever).
I would also like to give you a couple of other things to think about. Firstly, she may not be aware that she projects this image (it's true!) - you could very politely, firmly and assertively tell her that you find the way she treats you unacceptable.
The other thing you might try is a bit of sincere, but pointed flattery - or positive reinforcement for something that she does help you with - that can cause the eyelids to flutter on even the most hardened of old cows, and can be surprisingly successful.
If none of that works, be constructive and honest in your evaluation of the program. If you don't have a formal evaluation process - make a point of writing a letter to the most relevant person. You may save another of your colleagues from your experience.
Sep 11, '99
I am also a new graduate that has just completed my orientation and can relate to what you are going through. The amount of stress that you are dealing with is tremendous right now, so go easy on yourself.
Yes, I too, had difficulty dealing with the different personalities of preceptors. While the majority of preceptors were excellent, their were a few which I label as "slimmers". "Slimmers" are nurses who have an excellent nursing knowledge behind their belt but carry with it years of built up anger and a negative attitude. DO NOT LET THESE TYPE OF NURSES SPOIL YOUR ATTITUDE OF WHAT NURSING IS!!! See them for what they are.. Insecure and resentful...They want to use their clinical knowledge which they have obtained over several years to intimidate you as a new graduate.
My best advice is each day, remember what motivated you to first go into the nursing field and pray for strength to get through each obstacle that seems to hinder your path.
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