Good Preceptors?

  1. Hi everyone ... I've been a lurker here through most of my nursing school and have really enjoyed this forum. This is my first post, and I wanted some expert advice from all of the experienced nurses.

    This message is for nurses who precept and nurses being precepted. I just recently started a critical care internship at a large hospital and was hoping for some insight about qualified preceptors. My hospital has a great 3 month internship for all of it's ICU's (there are 6 of them) and we float to every one before being placed in the one we want (and the one that want's us). I started in April and will be done at the end of this month.

    My latest experience is leaving me a little apprehensive, mainly because of my current preceptor. She has been an ICU nurse for about 2 years in the CCU, and before that worked on a tele floor. I knew I'd have problems before I even started in the CCU from what other nurses in the hospital told me (i.e., "I feel sorry for you", and "Just try not to pick up any of her bad habits" and so on).
    From my experience, she's pretty unorganized, she doesn't let me do a lot of hands-on stuff with the patient's, when I ask her clinical question's she gets irritated and tells me to go look it up myself, and she's been having really bad mood swings -- - some days she's really happy and most day's she's really mad. I know as a new nurse I need to absorb as much knowlegde from my senior nurses as possible, but it's really hard to do when the senior nurse doesn't want to teach :uhoh21: .

    It's nearing the end of my time in CCU and I REALLY like it. Luckily, I've been able to go into other rooms with other preceptor's and learn a lot from them, but I still feel a little disoriented in the unit because my preceptor doesn't let me do much. At the end of the program we do an evaluation of the preceptor's and I want to be honest, but don't want to make anyone mad. I've overheard several of the other nurses in the CCU complain about her and how she shouldn't be teaching and how awful the new nurses she precept's do when they're on their own. Should I say something about it? I' m stuck! I don't want this nurse finding out about it when I really want to work in the same unit. But then again, I don't want future RN's to have to go through the same stuff I did. I've talked to other nurses in my internship that had her and they feel the same way.

    How have everyone else's internship's been? Have your preceptor's been good teachers? Did they let you do a lot of hands-on, or am I being silly? And if you precept, do you let your new RN's do as much as they're able to? How do you handle this situation? Thanks in advance for the advice. Sorry if this is long winded!
    Last edit by remigirl on Jun 17, '04
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    About remigirl

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 5


  3. by   purplemania
    Performing skills is the easiest part of nursing, because you can learn them by observation and a little practice. The hardest part is time management and prioritization of tasks, which I understand you are NOT getting from this preceptor. Be sure to ask questions of everyone, especially "How to you manage to get your charting done on time" and "Do you have any advice on planning my medication admin. rounds". It is important to complete the preceptor evaluation truthfully, although you do not have to be witchy about it. Just state the facts and say you could have learned more if----. At least this preceptor has taught you how NOT to perform.
  4. by   remigirl
    At least this preceptor has taught you how NOT to perform.

    That's a good way of thinking about it. Thanks
  5. by   CNMtobe2012
    Hi everyone,
    I am ordering my nursing supplies for the fall. My supply list has serveral items one being KELLY CLAMPS. What are they and were can I get them. I am currently ordering all my other supplies from I conducted a search and I didn't get any results for KELLY CLAMPS. I called the nursing department at my school and no one was available to assist me but the secretary said she thought they were scissors, but..... scissors are on my list too. HELP.
  6. by   versatile_kat
    I think alejuandria posted in the wrong place.

    Anyway ... I'd let your manager know about it. Otherwise, you're right - this preceptor will continue to teach (or not teach the way you make it sound) new nurses and leave them feeling the same way! I know you probably don't want to step on any toes so early, but it'll save new nurses in the future.

    just my 2 cents!
  7. by   nekhismom
    I've had a good preceptor, an ok preceptor, and a bad preceptor. All in 4 short months since graduating! The good preceptor was open to questions, encouraged independence, shared her time organization tips with me and helped me to learn the policys and procedures required of my unit. She was helpful with charting, and searched out many learning opportunities for me while I was orienting.

    THe ok preceptor was quite friendly with me, but was slow to let me do things on my own, and was kinda mean about my not knowing how to do things at times. But she would answer the questions I asked her, and helped me learn how to deal with some of the docs that were very picky.

    The bad preceptor just leaves me on my own, isn't available when I ask questions, isn't helping me learn the way the unit works, and doesn't help me find learning opportunities. She assigns me pts and does not check to see that my work is ok, that the pt. is ok, etc. It really irks me, because even if I HAD messed up, I would never know from her.

    I would DEFINATELY try to get a different preceptor if I were you. I have tried myself, but no one else on my unit has enough experience to orient me. I feel like having a bad preceptor is teaching me how to be a bad nurse. I don't see it as "at least you know what NOT to do", because that still leaves me not knowing what I should do. If the preceptor is that bad, for your sake and the sake of others behind you, let someone know!!!

    Best of luck to you!
  8. by   meownsmile
    I would word your evaluation very carefullly. She may get a copy of the evaluation or it might be brought up in her yearly eval and you may have to work with her later so dont burn bridges. Find at least one thing nice to say even if you have to say she is neat in her appearance when at work. Write out inuendos and use I's not she's, that will lead them to come to you for more explaination and then you can give them your opinion in private. "I could have used more time to understand her organization skills", "I could have used more instruction from her when trying to prioritize my tasks". Definately leave them with the impression "she" is the focus of the eval without using "she" in your writing. Remember you arent really there to critique her skills. If you have good experiences with other preceptors specifically state that, who they were and why. They will be the ones they go to when they want to get feedback about what unit you will work best in. And if they try to put you with this particular nurse for orientation when you start your job,, tell them you prefer not to have this preceptor and why, dont mince words. They already know she isnt a good person to train a new employee but that job is usually split amongst those on the unit, each taking their turn. Good luck.
  9. by   versatile_kat
    Hey remigirl ... any news on the eval? I'm curious, becasue we kind of have the same situation where I work (people precepting that everyone agree's SHOULDN'T be precepting). Hope all is well!
  10. by   NP2BE
    I just started my externship and so far I have found many precpetors to be hlpful and informative. Expect for mine. My preceptor is an arrogant, whiny nurse who likes to power trip, thinks she knows everythimg, and doesn't want to teach me anything. Its quite obviuos she is in the precpetorship for th $2 an hour extra. I distinctly got that feeling when she asked me why I was in a hurry to learn things (as this was slowing her down). She was hoping I would be a lazy extern conent to take up space. Too bad for her. This is an optional gig for us at our school, so we are all externing because we are the best in our class, and the one who want to learn the most before graduating. I am so aggravated!
  11. by   bluesky
    To me it sounds like you have a bum rap here. I would go to the nurse manager ASAP and voice my concerns. What's disconcerting is that you'd think the NM would already know that this woman is not the most competent and not place her with students. If all the other nurses are even less experienced or competent than she is (as evidenced by your statement that she is one of the only ones with enough experience to train you), this may be a real red flag as to the overall desirability of that nursing unit alltogether.