Do experienced nurses really eat their young?

  1. :uhoh21: OK - so I am about 2 weeks from graduating nursing school, and I did my preceptorship at my hometown hospital. My preceptor was a complete you know what! I mean we've all heard the saying that nurses eat their young, but this really drove it home. I was only there a total of 4 days and she managed to embarrass me in a multitude of different ways. If I couldn't remember how to do certain paperwork specific to that hospital, she made a show right there in front of all the other nurses and CNAs. In front of patients she would scold me like a child for doing things she didn't agree with, even though that is how I was taught to do them in nursing school. I have never pretended to know everything about nursing in the limited time I have spent in nursing school and all of my clinicals have to add up to be about three months tops! I really thought that if I didn't know how to do something I could ask without fearing some awful outcome. By the time I got through there she had me resistant to ask questions, and that made me miserable. Of course I would never endanger a patient for lack of knowledge, but how much humiliation can one person take?? Now I find that I have lost confidence in myself and my nursing abilities, which I know only I can allow that to happen, but I find myself asking: what if you really can't keep up? I LOVE nursing, everything about it. But I want to be good at it as well. Was she too harsh, or was I really unable to keep up like I should have been able to. I'm lost! The worst part is this is the hospital I will be going to work at after I graduate and pass boards. How can I handle working with her, especially if she is who is going to train me?
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    About whit717

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 8

    28 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    No, they don't.

    You just ran into a jerk.

    Please do a search here regarding this subject - you will find many responses.

    Don't put up with being treated badly.

    Best wishes.

    steph
  4. by   Ginger35
    Sounds like this so called preceptor is abusing her position of power in a sense. Or perhaps she is insecure so she is hypercritical of others in an attempt to make herself feel better about her own self perception.

    I am not sure what the structure is there at this hospital, but perhaps if you could change preceptors - then that may be a viable option. Otherwise, the next time she decides to "correct" you infront of collegues, patients et al - you may want to point out that she is being unprofessional in doing this and a simple discussion behind closed doors would suffice. She also needs to be reminded that this is the time for learning for you not reprimands. Actually, nursing in and of itself is an ongoing continuum of learning. Anyone who thinks they know it all is just fooling themselves.

    There is more than one "right" way to perform a procedure, interpret clinical status et al.....Make sure you know your department's / facility's policy, procedures, and protocols.
  5. by   Sherwood
    I prefer not to eat the young nurses.....to soft and need a lot of seasoning. No challenge either. They also cry or whine when you take the first bite or two. I wait until they have aged bit then they just looked shocked when you tear into them and are usually so surprised they go quietly with just that sad look in their eyes.......
  6. by   jill48
    Oh dear Lord, this again? Honey, there are a couple of ongoing threads concerning this matter, look at them to find some good input. Bottom line: There are nasty, evil people in every workplace, nursing is no different. This is just a stereotype and we all know that it's not right to stereotype or categorize people like this. That would be the equivalent of nurses saying that all students are whiny, selfish, self absorbed babies that need to be coddled . Now we know that is not true, but just as there is always one butthead in every class, there is always one butthead nurse on every floor . Good luck.
  7. by   GrnHonu99
    I think the OP wanted advice on her specific situation, not whether nurses eat their young or not, so I wont say "do a search on this subject"

    Your preceptor was wrong. You deserve better. A good preceptor is key to success as a new grad. Express your concerns to her manager and your nursing instructor. For goodness sakes, youve had 3 months exp. you should be expected to ask TONS of questions. Id be more worried if you didn't. Don't beat yourself up it's not you, its her. Good luck though!
  8. by   gr8rnpjt
    I agree with getting another preceptor. How are you expected to learn in such a hostile environment. Make sure you tell HER boss that she was not a good preceptor, and when you start working at that hospital make sure you make it known that you don't want to work with her and never want her to precept you again.
  9. by   Crux1024
    Quote from Sherwood
    I prefer not to eat the young nurses.....to soft and need a lot of seasoning. No challenge either. They also cry or whine when you take the first bite or two. I wait until they have aged bit then they just looked shocked when you tear into them and are usually so surprised they go quietly with just that sad look in their eyes.......

    lol..too funny...
  10. by   santhony44
    You said it yourself in your first sentence: your preceptor was a complete you-know-what.

    She's not a you-know-what because she's a nurse; she's a you-know-what who happens to be a nurse. She would be exactly the same if she were a teacher, a waitress, a realtor, or whatever.

    She just felt free to express it because you are a student and, she thinks, not able to do anything about it.

    Go to your clinical instructor with as many factual examples of what she said and did as possible. If nothing else, your school should probably choose not to put another student with that person. Depending on your school, your instructor, and their relationship with the hospital, they may also choose to address the issue with the hospital. I doubt the CNO there would be very happy to learn that your preceptor acted this way; it is not a way to encourage people to come to work there!!

    I would seriously reconsider working at that hospital, especially if you know that this will be your preceptor. I personally would drive a long way to stay out of that situation. This is not the way you want to start out your career! Working on the same floor with her is bad enough, but this is not who you need precepting you as a new nurse!!

    She sounds totally unreasonable- you can't expect a newbie to remember every detail of the paperwork, which does vary from facility to facility. It's also not OK to berate you in front of others.

    Good luck to you.
  11. by   ShayRN
    Quote from whit717
    :uhoh21: OK - so I am about 2 weeks from graduating nursing school, and I did my preceptorship at my hometown hospital. My preceptor was a complete you know what! I mean we've all heard the saying that nurses eat their young, but this really drove it home. I was only there a total of 4 days and she managed to embarrass me in a multitude of different ways. If I couldn't remember how to do certain paperwork specific to that hospital, she made a show right there in front of all the other nurses and CNAs. In front of patients she would scold me like a child for doing things she didn't agree with, even though that is how I was taught to do them in nursing school. I have never pretended to know everything about nursing in the limited time I have spent in nursing school and all of my clinicals have to add up to be about three months tops! I really thought that if I didn't know how to do something I could ask without fearing some awful outcome. By the time I got through there she had me resistant to ask questions, and that made me miserable. Of course I would never endanger a patient for lack of knowledge, but how much humiliation can one person take?? Now I find that I have lost confidence in myself and my nursing abilities, which I know only I can allow that to happen, but I find myself asking: what if you really can't keep up? I LOVE nursing, everything about it. But I want to be good at it as well. Was she too harsh, or was I really unable to keep up like I should have been able to. I'm lost! The worst part is this is the hospital I will be going to work at after I graduate and pass boards. How can I handle working with her, especially if she is who is going to train me?

    Awww, honey. Come work with me, I will take care of ya! (((HUGS))) That really sucks.:flowersfo
  12. by   Tweety
    A good preceptor doesn't do the things you descibed and it's amazing she is even a preceptor with those kinds of skills. You as a student/new grad deserve certain expectations to be met from your preceptor.

    You gave this person a lot of power in how they treat you by not letting her know how you felt. What's wrong with saying "I didn't appreciate the way you just scolded me in front of everyone here, let's talk about that". "When you scolded me in front of the patient just now I felt.........."

    Perhaps the multitude of humilations would not have occured had you stood up for yourself from the start. Which is a better approach than running to the instructor. Not that the instructor doesn't need to be made aware of these things. Perhaps it's just her style and she doesn't realize she's humiliating you and how you felt. Maybe she does and no one confronts her, but if you did she would stop.

    We get as much crap as we're willing to take. Easier said than done when your new, I know.
  13. by   whit717
    Thank you all for your advice. I was going to say something to the DON, but I didn't want to sound like I was whining or being unprofessional. Your posts have really put it in perspective for me. I had thought no one should treat other people that way, regardless of the situation, but you all reinforced my feelings. Thank you all for your encouragement. Means alot to hear this from other nurses who know the situation so well!
  14. by   whit717
    I agree with what you said, but I just kept thinking: she is going to have to evaluate my performance when all this is over. Normally what you described is my attitude exactly, she just didn't strike me as a person who would appreciate my honesty about her character flaws. Were I put in the situation again, I would definately stand up for myself more - live and learn right?

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