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Communication Barriers with Preceptor

First Year   (2,418 Views | 4 Replies)

4,390 Profile Views; 321 Posts

Is anyone else out there being trained by a nurse whose thick accent and grasp of the English language make learning difficult? I am a new grad RN on an intermediate care unit and I have always been one for diversity and both nurses who are training me are excellent, but there are a lot of communication barriers between us. For example, I will say one thing and my preceptor interprets it as another and vice versa. I feel like this might not be such an issue if I caught on quicker, or if I had already been a nurse and was just transferring to a new unit, but I am admittedly a slow learner and I really need things spelled out for me.

With so many communication issues between myself and my preceptors, I feel like I don't get the instruction or explanations that I need to really learn things right. As a new grad, I am struggling with being a new nurse in a hospital I never did clinicals in and the communication barriers just make it so much harder. I probably should have said something about this issue right away, but we're a month into my training now and the clinical lead also has an accent and is from another country and I don't want anyone to take anything the wrong way if I request an American preceptor without an accent.

Anyway, just wanted to vent about it and see if anyone else faced any similar obstacles. I still have 4 weeks left of training and I thought it would be getting better by now and I would understand my preceptor more with time, but every day just leaves me more and more frustrated!

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116 Posts; 3,925 Profile Views

Every one talks with an accent.

You might only be used to an American accent but Americans like every other country citizens talk with an accent.

I know people who find it difficult to understand Americans.....bwhy?.....because of their American accent.

You will encounter people with various accents in the hospital who are sick...you will have to deliver the best care possible...and the ability to communicate effectively is a requirement.

Also a lot of the Doctors and top staff are foreign born so will have Non-American accents.

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321 Posts; 4,390 Profile Views

Every one talks with an accent.

You might only be used to an American accent but Americans like every other country citizens talk with an accent.

I know people who find it difficult to understand Americans.....bwhy?.....because of their American accent.

You will encounter people with various accents in the hospital who are sick...you will have to deliver the best care possible...and the ability to communicate effectively is a requirement.

Also a lot of the Doctors and top staff are foreign born so will have Non-American accents.

Thanks for the reply!! You're right, lots of the doctors and patients have accents as well but it seems different since they are not my primary teacher. I feel like a jerk even complaining about it, but I have just never had such a hard time learning before and it is frustrating as I constantly have to find better ways to express myself or ask lots of questions because I didnt understand the first time. But I guess it all is part of the learning experience...today was a good day so hopefully it will get easier! The funny part is that I want to be a nurse in Latin America eventually...my Spanish is weak so I think I would have had a heck of a time learning in Spanish if learning in English is already this difficult for me. :p

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LizAnn has 30 years experience and specializes in LD,med/surg,psych,LTC(DON),home health.

14 Posts; 2,112 Profile Views

I agree that we all have accents or some type of communication issues. And that as nurses, we must learn to communicate effectively despite barriers. However, when it pertains to communication difficulties with your mentor, I feel that is a huge safety issue that needs addressed ASAP. You are short changing yourself and potentially harming patients down the road.

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868 Posts; 14,433 Profile Views

You are not a jerk. Yes you will have to care for patients and work with professionals whose accent are difficult for you to understand, but as a NEW nurse, you need everything to be made CRYSTAL clear, this is not really the time to adjust and roll with the punches. You need to understand and to be understood, this is a critical time for you.

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