I am also doing my externship - (one more year to go for my BSN). My preceptor doesn't even touch the patient for his "assessment". He gives meds and then he "charts" according the previous shift. He wouldn't know what a diuretic is for, if you asked him. He takes an hour break every hour. He doesn't even read his patient's chart. He doesn't prime his IV's. In other words, he does the minimum that's required of him to go undetected for his shoddy performance. He's been there for years, and I don't how he's managed not to kill a patient. (Maybe he has, but it's gone undetected) I am self-motivated, and even as a know-nothing extern, I know that this is kind of patient care I don't want to provide.
During my school clinical rotations, in four rotations, I've only had ONE good nurse - during which time, I milked her for everything I could, and I pushed her to challenge me. When I get a sucky preceptor, I do what I can on my end. I observe his mistakes, learn from it. I look at the patient's chart and check the medication and read up on the patient's condition. I make sure their dressing are clean, and I flush their IV's when needed, so that they don't have to go through the agony of getting a new one. When I see dangling plasters left all over their bodies I change or remove them, because it gives them some dignity. When they have questions, I answer them, or I try to find out what I can. I educate them when they need it. There's always something to do, and something to learn. Even with the worse preceptors, I can practice ascultating and listening to heart and lung sounds because that's independent.
And when I cannot handle things myself, I bug him all the time - ask him questions, tell him what the patients need - and is a general pain-in-the-*** to him. I think I am in the same spot as you. My preceptor wishes I was as lazy as he is, but too bad for him, I am not.
I motivate myself because I always keep in mind that there's some sick and anxious HUMAN BEING who needs me, and that's what matters. But it SUCKS that I don't have many mentors to look up to. It sucks for us all who wants to learn.
Quote from NP2BE
I posted this somewhere else but want some opinons. I am in between 2nd and 3rd semesters in nursing school and taking an externship.
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 everything, and doesn't want to teach me anything. Its quite obviuos she is in the precpetorship for the $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 content to take up space. Too bad for her. This is an optional gig for us at our school, so we are all externing (those of us from my school anyways)because we are the best in our class, and the one who want to learn the most before graduating. I am so aggravated!