Dear Nursing Students/Orientees: A Love Note from the Preceptor from Hell - page 4

Warning: The following post is rife with brutal honesty and frustration. Read at your own risk. Memorandum from the desk of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath~~ Dear Nursing... Read More

  1. by   Lev <3
    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Dude...what's your problem? If you don't want the burden of precepting, or working with students then don't! All of this is so unnecessary. Why make yourself this upset and angry? This letter is dripping with anger and hostility. Glad I don't work with people like this...And super glad I didn't have a preceptor like you either. It doesn't take all this nonsense to help someone become a great nurse.
    I do not agree with this. This describes a great preceptor! Tough love is the best.
  2. by   amoLucia
    Haven't finished reading all the posts but I didn't want to get interrupted and lose this thread.

    To CheesePotato - your post should be xeroxed and laminated, then given out to all precepting newbies in their orientation packet. Would it be a little bit too much to have it hung up somewhere for all to see??? It bespeaks the sentiments of many of us other senior nurses who serve as supplemental/substitute resource nurses.

    Thank you for saying it so well.
  3. by   suziq842
    LOVE IT!!! I WISH I had someone like this when I first started my RN career... nope... I was guided by the ones who seemed to WANT me to fail and made attempt after attempt to throw me under the bus.

    Oh well... so far I have survived even if it is by the seat of my pants
  4. by   anggelRN
    This is certainly NOT my philosophy when precepting. Yes, nursing is difficult. Yes, we do deal with life and death situations. Still, there is little need for the level of drama you’ve inserted into your role.

    Also, I must agree that you are perpetuating quite a few stereotypes.

    I’m sure that this style of teaching will and has been successful with some new grads. We certainly would not have gotten along if you were my preceptor. However, I generally don’t respond well to militant personalities. Hence my abstinence from sororities/cliques/work gossip.
  5. by   amygarside
    This is a nicely written piece, straight to the point and no holds barred.
  6. by   freki
    Okay, I did not read all 43 of the comments before I posted this, so forgive me if I repeat something...

    But as an RN student graduating in the next few weeks, I have to say that I hope to find a preceptor in my first job with this outlook and philosophy. I can count on less than one hand the number of nurses I worked with during clinicals who actually pushed me or actually tested my knowledge base. I appreciate this kind of honesty and belief in potential.

    Thank you!
  7. by   Inori
    hah you sound like my preceptor. she's stern but watches out for my license, few words though when she speaks it mostly cuz i screwed up. Saying nothing means I'm doing stuff right. Uh yes it really is a jungle of predators and survival of the fittest out there. She jumped to my defense when a certain somebody told the NM, directors untrue rumors which ah could have gotten me fired. She treats me coldly compared with other people but .. hey shes' my preceptor not buddy SO after my probation I will invite her out to dinner or get her a gift as thank you for protecting me from myself, other vultures and helping me transition from the perfect school world into real world nursing.
  8. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    This is how precepting should be done, every time.

    If you can't take it, be a candy stripper.
  9. by   wooh
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    This is how precepting should be done, every time.

    If you can't take it, be a candy stripper.
    Although working at a strip club might be a bit much too. Or did you mean candy striper?
  10. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Quote from wooh
    Although working at a strip club might be a bit much too. Or did you mean candy striper?
    heh. Yes, better that, because somehow I doubt someone unwilling or unable to keep it together and cope with the OP for a few measly weeks as a preceptor is going to be able to manage the stress and demands of a career on the pole, lol.
  11. by   cm8816
    Anyone who has ever reared a child or trained a dog understands that kindness works better than the hostility and anger you seem to value. I have mentored using kindness and I can assure you, the preceptee is educated BETTER than when having been beaten over the head with a stick. No, I don't discuss recipes or go for drinks, I am just plain kind to the learner.
  12. by   RxOnly
    Quote from mclennan
    I'm working on my Master's in Nursing Education for the very reason that *I* had a horrific substandard clinical experience in nursing school and feel a drive to be part of the solution.

    I can understand some reasons why you wrote this. Dealing with student nurses all day would get to anyone. But you really could have made your point in about 10 fewer paragraphs. And honestly, it is WAY over the top. I finally just shut down and laughed at your paragraph describing health care as a jungle of predators or whatever. Come on: lighten up.

    And, frankly, it is exactly this mentality that is part of the problem plaguing nursing these days. This whole old school, break-their-spirit, chew 'em up & spit 'em out boot camp garbage is just embarrassing and outdated. Nursing school doesn't have to be some survival of the fittest death race to glory. It is not the military. I beg you, stop perpetuating negative stereotypes! Express your feelings but be aware of their destructive influence.

    I had good and bad preceptors. The bad had personal issues that had long since become demons bigger and more important to them than their reasons for teaching any more; 6 years later, I look back and can see that's really what the problem was. They were bitter and angry about the healthcare system and took it out on their students. The really awful ones enjoyed doing so, and saw preceptorship as a blood sport. Stupid. All they managed to do was make everyone as miserable as they were. No one learned anything.

    The good ones were relaxed but firm, kind but stern, supportive but not coddling, realistic but not threatening. They treated me like a human being, not an enlisted soldier. They had a sense of humor. They didn't think or behave like paranoid, predatory prowlers with a chip on their shoulder. They were just people who shared their knowledge and acted as mentors and that was IT. No overthinking it beyond that. They also seemed to be less "over involved" in the job and had healthy lives and interests outside of work.

    You sound like you are up all night licking your chops and plotting your students' demise.

    I know precepting has its frustrations but jeez. You're a terrific writer and I think it would be put to better use on something more constructive and realistic.

    ::applause:: THANK YOU!!!! Couldn't have said it better myself!
  13. by   cdsga
    As a preceptor-sometimes you just get an orientee thrown in on you-no time to meet/greet, just cursory hello then jump into a day that already has started. So the way things start are sometimes not the best situations for the orientee/student.

    On those wonderful occasions-I ask "Can you follow?" If the answer is yes then I take the lead and teach by doing-asking questions of the orientee along the way, explaining rationale and the facility's policy for this or that. Once that is established, we move on to the orientee showing me what they know and don't know. It's about getting the feet wet.

    If the answer is no, then I want to scream, NEXT!!!! You cannot put a patient through a confused situation. We are not working in a car body shop. Human lives, outcomes are at stake-which put the preceptor in an urgent state of mind. I loved the quote "there is nothing in this world more frustrating, more gut churningly irritating, than someone wrapped in indifference and swaddled in ego." Nobody wants to be derided in public, nobody wants to be seen as unknowing or unskilled. We as preceptors have to practice some tact, but on the other side, if you are causing a problem-get out of the way. You'll surely get your chance to shine and get more experience-there are good days and bad days-fast days and slow days. One thing is for sure-each patient is different, each case is different, some tried and true skills just don't work, and that is the challenge.

    I've said it before-new nursing students are not ready for the reality shock-like it or not-they aren't given enough clinical experiences on and off the school clock, and that is the reason for the precipitous decline of retention in new nurses.