Feel like giving up


Today I have completed a 2 week 3rd year clinical placement in a very specialised service with a small staff. I have attended each shift with an open mind and ready to be involved and learn, I have not always been included by my preceptors, I have asked many times to be shown some of their more specific tasks and until the final 2 days of this placement I had not been shown anything. It's a bit hard to explain exactly what I mean without identifying my placement location, so suffice to say that my first week I was left to watch a lot, I didn't have any procedures explained or demonstrated, I felt like a lost puppy following these preceptors around. I attempted to engage but this too was shut down. I did everything I was asked and didn't complain to anyone. Well today I get a visit from my clinical facilitator to advise me that she had received feedback that I was 'dismissive and unapproachable' - to say I was incredibly upset by this would be a huge understatement. I have never had anyone say this about me, let alone in a clinical placement. My clinical facilitator was very good to me and allowed me time to collect myself and calm down a bit and then listened as I told my side of the story. She advised that I should not take it personally and I should chalk it up to experience, put it behind me and forget it. While I am am glad that she has understood my point of view, how do I put this behind me? I had great feedback from the two preceptors I had the past 2 days and I felt like I was doing ok, then this bomb was dropped on me. My clinical facilitator signed me off, gave me good written feedback and sent me home but I feel awful, has anyone else been in this situation? I feel so deflated thanks


113 Posts

I'm not sure that I've had exactly the same experience as you: in my program, we didn't have the opportunity to observe anything that I would call "very specialized services". We did OB, ER, Telemetry, Med/Surg....probably our most specialized was Hospice. I will say that our instructors specifically explained to us that the lack of specialty clinicals was for the very reasons you listed: they had a bunch of students who had "negative experiences" with them, and who "did not find the experiences helpful" and other similar vague phrases that I'm sure had exciting stories behind them.

That, along with your facilitator's reaction seems like a good indicator that you should put this behind you and brush it off. It's fantastic that you are an introspective caregiver, and that you have such commitment to self-improvement....but it sounds like your facilitator came to the conclusion that this criticism was not warranted nor constructive, and you should follow her advice.

Luck, unfortunately, has a lot to do with our experiences in clinical: I'm sure all of us who have gone through clinicals have many nurses we can point to who were fantastic and took us under their wing...and a few who were really duds - who acted like we were scum under their shoes that they could not be bothered to acknowledge. Or worse, who saw us as scapegoats! I know myself how hard it is to put it behind you, but it sounds like you've taken stock and cannot figure out how you could have done better. Take solace in the fact that your facilitator came to the same conclusion, and move forward.

And if you ever find yourself in a specialty with a student at your elbow, remember to smile at them once in a while! :)