To my preceptor, future students beware (rant) - page 2

Dear Preceptor, This past spring 2010 semester, I was assigned to you for a whole semester to learn the ins and outs of being a nurse independent from my classmates. It was just you and I. I was... Read More

  1. by   marty6001
    You need to report this to your school. Likely it is not the first time this has happened, and furthermore, if the staff saw this going on they will report it to your school as well. This type of behavior is not ok, and I would demand my students tell me/report me if I did this while teaching them. Sorry for your experience, but if nothing else, take from this that you won't behave as such as a nurse.
  2. by   DutchRN
    I am so sorry you had such a bad experience with your preceptor. Nurses really do seem to eat their young. I too had several bad experiences as a student nurse. During one clinical rotation I clearly remember my instructor taking me to a group of staff nurses whom I was to shadow. The response was, "I don't have time for this today". They actually drew straws to see which one would "have" to take the student. I was completely ignored by this nurse for the entire day. I have been a nurse for 12 years now and I try very hard to remember what it was like to be a student nurse and to make the experience positive for them. Sometimes it would be faster for me to do things myself but what a student is able to learn by doing is much more valuable than theory. After all, the students I precept today may be my nurse in a few years.
    This unfortunate experience will make you a better nurse in the long run for you now know the type of nurse you don't want to be. I'm sure you will be an awesome, kind, considerate nurse one day.
  3. by   mfabnurse
    No excuses to treat people like crap. Just say know, you always have a choice in what you do.
  4. by   Stephie88
    I hope you were able to report this person, or give some feedback other than your rant. She may never know the impact she had on you. I think that nursing overall would benefit more if people in the profession would speak openly about issues, and use constructive criticism wisely. Instead many hold everything inside and bad mouth people behind their backs. Ultimately, the patients suffer the ramifications of the cat fight.
  5. by   Mukfay
    A good reason to find a preceptor in advance of the experience (if you get to pick your own, which I supposed not everyone does).

  6. by   Mukfay
    I don't understand your comment jorge512. Are you implying that there is never a situation in which a student is eager, alert, and all she or he should be when the preceptor is not meeting his or her responsibilities?

    No, I would have to say that your statement about three fingers pointing back is a cliche, and it does not apply in every situation. You might say something like: "remember that when we point a finger, 3 are sometimes pointing back at ourselves. have you considered what more you might have done?"

    I mean, don't people deserve the benefit of the doubt when we're not actually there? It's the tendency to jump to conclusions that gets us into trouble as units more than anything else.

  7. by   wooh
    Quote from Mukfay

    I mean, don't people deserve the benefit of the doubt when we're not actually there? It's the tendency to jump to conclusions that gets us into trouble as units more than anything else.
    True, but both people involved should get the benefit of the doubt, especially since we only have one side of the story.

    I feel that since the OP is being posted as a "nursing article," I think we should remember to read it with the same discernment we'd give an article in a nursing journal.
  8. by   Mukfay
    Okay, that's reasonable, but jorge is not evaluating it in the way you describe. You're implying that the student has flaws that are encouraging this behavior on the part of the preceptor (rather than suggesting that this is possible).

    Last edit by Mukfay on May 3, '10 : Reason: mistake
  9. by   wolfie
    I feel sorry that this happened to a new nurse. One thing that hospitals and management need to remember is that teaching like nursing is a gift. I personally don't have that gift. I know why and how I do what I do but I can't teach it to someone else. I have at times had nurses following me but I try to avoid it at all costs because I know that it's frustrating for a new employee and it's also frustrating for me. I think you need to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and I have explained to management at times that they are not doing a new employee any favors. When there is no other choice I of course will help any one. It's a shame after all this time we are still treating new nurses and employees this way.
  10. by   nursel56
    A semester is a long time to be assigned to a nurse who has no interest in teaching. It's unfortunate that there isn't an incremental evaluation in the first few weeks to see how things are working out from the perspective of the preceptor and the student. It should have been a golden opportunity. Congrats on your graduation, LeeKun. At least you will know what not to do if you ever become a preceptor!
  11. by   PureLifeRN
    Having a student nurse following you around is a LOTTTTT of work, espeically if you are forced to do it and dont want to. I like student nurses most of the time, but there are days where the questions dont end and I get so annoyed being followed around and scrutinized. "Why did you give this pill first? Why did you asses the lungs before the heart? Why did you reasses the pain level 35 min after administration when the protocol is 30 min? When are you going to call the dr about a stool softener?" lol. It's exhausting. And 99.9% of the time, there is no compensation. Thats right, I teach for FREE. You pay your nursing school and they send you to me. I get NOTHING out of the deal. The hospital has some contract with nursing schools and nurses are required to teach while taking on a full patient load. A lot of nurses can handle it, and a lot can't.

    I know it seems really unfair and you probably feel unprepared to work in the hospital enviroment. But its not the end of the world, and its certainly not the last nurse you'll work with who doesn't want to teach. Just take it as a learning experience and when you start working as an graduate nurse, be vocal about the type of preceptor you want and make sure you have one that likes to teach. You learn more when you start working for real anyway.
  12. by   Kooky Korky
    Leekun, I'm sorry you had this terrible experience. However, I am wondering why you didn't say anything to your Instructor. Why in the world would you let this terrible experience go on for more than a day or 2? Yes, I know students are terrified of everyone, sometimes justifiably. But gosh darn it, if you didn't say anything, you let her get away with giving you a sub-par, waste of time experience. You'll learn eventually all the things you could have learned during this rotation. But you are now behind, you are frustrated, you can't gain the time back.

    And the situation with your ID? That could have been resolved in about 5 minutes, not weeks.

    Please never let anyone do this to you again. Take responsibility for speaking up - to the right persons. Be courteous, nmature, and firm. Let no one deter you. Keep going higher until you get the right response. Yes, you have to tread lightly sometimes and know when to back off. But you just have to speak up sometimes, my dear. You can't expect mean or lazy or sad or distracted people or anyone else with any other type of trouble to dictate your experience - beyond a reasonable degree.

    I get so frustrated with nurses who expect others to fix their problems or change their behavior. Learn right now that there are just some plain evil people in the world. You have already met one. I don't care what her problems are - when she came to work, when she accepted a student, she should have acted much differently. When she didn't, you should have sought the cure and taken the bull by the horns.

    Best wishes for you in the future. I apologize if I sound mean or harsh or not what you wanted to hear.
  13. by   leekun2010
    Few things I want to bring up:

    -My preceptor is not paid to do this, and she did volunteer for it. She was not forced to do so.
    -I did not have much problems with my preceptor at first, and the problems became more obvious halfway through the semester.
    -My professor already knew what happened way before I knew that she knew.
    -Behind the scenes, my professor tried talking to my preceptor, but my preceptor never replied back to her messages until the end on my evaluation.
    -I had a change of preceptors towards the end of my practicum.
    -I did speak up about this issue.
    -In a way, as weird as it sounds, I am glad I had a nasty nurse as a preceptor because I learned a lot, including the type of nurse I will be.
    -One thing I'm not sure if I remember on my original post: 1-2 times my preceptor went to work hungover. Hungover preceptor = not good.
    -My professor will personally see to it that my preceptor will not get anymore students.
    -The reason I wrote the OP is to bring up awareness about this issue.