preceptor problems?

  1. How do I address problems with a preceptor? My hospital rotates preceptors, and all have been great except my newest one. He doesn't include me in our patient's care, gets report without me (he gets to work super early, I get there on time), doesn't even give me a quick rundown when I do get there, assigns me the tasks that are important but can be delegated to someone without a license (vitals, intake & output, ADLs) and yells at me when I make mistakes. I forgot to unclamp my secondary IV antibiotic and only the saline ran through, and he went through the unit yelling about how I forgot to unclamp the tubing. Our IV pump was beeping one day and I went in the room to check it out, he came in, ripped it out of my hand and told me to go make sure I recorded the vitals for this hour. I know he is knowledgeable and he is one of the most experienced nurses on the floor, but I don't know what to do. I know I should bring it up to management/charge nurse, but everyone on the floor loves my preceptor and I know it's gonna end up looking bad on me. I don't want to rock the boat and I'm afraid of looking like a whiney new grad who thinks they know it all. But I need to be way more involved in our patients and I need to be taking patients on my own, not being the vital sign recorder. Any advice?
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    About peachypurple

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 28; Likes: 49

    3 Comments

  3. by   HouTx
    Hmm -

    It's sort of an unwritten rule that the newbie is supposed to adapt to meet the expectations of his/her preceptor rather than the other way round... that's how the learning occurs. This means getting to work at the same time so you can fully participate in report. Don't expect your preceptor to alter his (seemingly successful) work patterns to meet your needs.

    Have you actually had a 'crucial conversation' with this preceptor? This means "owning" your own perceptions rather than focusing on his behavior. e.g., "It makes me very anxious when you step in and take over because I feel as though I have done something wrong or you don't trust me" rather than "You're always so bossy and treat me like a nurse aide". This is a much more effective communication technique for addressing conflicts.

    There's another option - passively wait it out. You said that preceptors are rotated, so you'll be getting another one soon. I would recommend taking the more pro-active route. Also - be sure you are accurately tracking all of your orientation goals and objectives, including how each preceptor is rating or "signing off" on your performance record. You don't want to be caught short at the last minute by an unfavorable evaluation. If you dig into this, you may be surprised that some of those "nice" preceptors may not have rated you as highly as you think.

    Wishing you the absolute best for your nursing career.
  4. by   vintagemother
    I second what HouTX said about basically, following along with what your preceptor says.

    I tend to think, since the manager put him/her in charge of precepting you, then the manager thinks he's competent and you will not win any arguments against him/her.

    I think ink that a lot of being successful has to do with being liked. Getting along with your preceptors will help you to be more successful, I think.

    I know that this is easier said than done.

    I'm a new graduate currently orienting with a preceptor. My preceptor mentioned to me that I may want to get to work 30 mins early in order to start my brain sheet and prep work for the day.

    I really don't want to. I currently wake up at 0415 to get to work by 0645. I have a commute plus a kid to get to daycare. I don't want to wake up at 0345. But I think I need to, as I sincerely want to be successful managing my pts.
  5. by   Buyer beware
    OP: Respectful, attentive and prepared, show up on time and willing to learn and take advice. This is what is legitimately required from you.
    Because this relationship is a two-way street and I understand there is a power differential involved, perhaps it would be helpful to ask him about his expectations of you in order to cut to the chase and better define the rules of engagement.
    This way you can jote down notes for yourself to document that you are living up to your end of the bargain just in case there ever should be a difference of opinion.
    You should never be left guessing or having to read the mind of anyone if you're doing the right thing.
    This may be about inept preceptorship skills on his part or just some undiagnosed psych issue.
    Yes, I did say that, didn't I.
    Last edit by Buyer beware on Sep 7, '16 : Reason: w

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