Being a preceptor blows

Nurses General Nursing


I'm with a nurse that's had 1 year experience in an ICU, who wasn't "making it", and had some complaints from doctors about her care. They put her with me for me to "observe" her, and write down what I see. I decided she would do everything, and I would follow her and be available for questions, and corrections. I didn't realize how hard this is! She can't figure out how to draw blood off a heparin line (should she stop the heparin or not?), she didn't tell me one of the patients only urinated 30 cc's for a 12 hour shift (I thought she should be doing her own I/O doc.), she didn't know whether to hold a scheduled beta blocker for a pt on Neo. She's just not engaged with her pstients, she just goes through the motions, but doesn't really care about them. She seems like she only cares about how she looks as a nurse.

Well, we made a few mistakes today that I wasn't ablle to catch on time, it's actually harder to have 2 nurses together than just 1 sometimes. How do I not hover over this girl, but still watch her so she doesn't harm anyone? Any ideas/suggestions welcome :).

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

I must admit I am really puzzled by this trend of implying that the preceptees' shortcomings are the fault of the preceptors. In the first scenario, the preceptee is a year in, and I'm at a loss as to how their inability to grasp the most basic of protocols is the preceptor's fault. In the second scenario, the preceptee is just a few months off orientation, so I agree it's natural that they might have some questions, but the examples of the types of questions and the frequency of questions the preceptee is asking seems more appropriate for someone just beginning orientation, not someone several months in.

I would think precepting blows too if my preceptee's shortcomings were laid at my feet as examples of my shortcomings as a preceptor.

When does the responsibility shift from the teacher to the learner? If not one year in, or months after initial preceptorship, then when?

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

Update to the last update:

Well, so far nothing has been done about my co-worker. He's still on night shift. Haven't heard any further responses from my management. Lame. So I'm wondering what will happen to him when he kills a patient. Will they keep him then. Whatever. I'm not saying anything anymore.

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