Please tell me I arnt the only one

  1. Hi all,

    I think I just to need vent or maybe write and reflect.

    I am on my med/surg clinical placement, Im a 2nd yr student (mature) studying nursing as a second career and now having the thoughts "oh what have I done, have I made the right decision about coming into nursing".

    Met my preceptor on Monday and thought we had "hit it off" shadowed her for the first day and thought ok this is going to be an enjoyable placment.

    I'm on afternoons, i'm in handover writing my notes and my preceptor annouced to me that she wanted to me to go with another nurse. The other nurse then looks like a stunned mullet at me and i thought omg i can tell she does'nt want a student anywhere near her.

    So i was dumped by the preceptor and put with someone that does'nt want me. I went to the nurses station to rewrite my handover information as i had written notes on the preceptors pts. The preceptor said can you move out of the way and go and read some notes or something, all the other staff turned around and looked at me I was really embarressed I just got that horrible feeling...I am in the way, no one wants me here. I went on to explain I was trying to find out the names of pts that the nurse you put me with has, i got a withering look.

    So when I find these pt's and check their history the nurse I am supposed to be with is no where in sight. So i spend my time just wandering around looking for her i feel and look like a lost puppy. I asked the other nurses if they needed any help all said no they are fine. I finally fnd the nurse i am supposed to be with and she send my to do some obs. I think great something to do, look for the obs equipment there isnt any. So I start doing manual bp's and temps which took me ages cos i couldnt the bp stuff. I find my equip and do the job the nurse comes to find me ask if i had finished I said no, there where no obs trolley so i was doing it manually. She points to the obs trolleys that had been in use by others before all lined up.

    So the nurse goes missing again and I'm left wondering around looking for jobs to do, there are none, so i go to the office, and get in the way again
    cos all these nurses are so busy. Then my preceptor comes in and complains she is soooo busy and hdnt had a break, she tells the nurse I was with to tell the student to put her pt on the bed pan cos she was off on her break.

    I spent the rest of the shift 5 hours clock watching, i just thought, you know you could be at home with your husband and kids what are you doing here, I was so tempted to go home, so went to the staff room and let a few tears roll down.

    So rather than get in the way in the nurses office I stayed in the staff room and complete mywork books, when the shift had finished I just left and cried all the way home.

    I just felt completley neglected, in the way, useless and not able to assert myself cos I had let myself be put in a "lowly" student position

    I dont no if I have too higher expectations of people, or whether I am just a softy

    I think preceptors like so much to be busy, that they cannot stand not doing anything, they have to learn to delegate tasks to students even if they will have to stand and not do anything while the student gains experience. Students will love you for it

    I do feel better for sharing, I hope I am not the only one who has felt like this.
  2. Visit dubstar profile page

    About dubstar

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 20; Likes: 4
    District Nurse


  3. by   november17
    Actually, if you are precepting, you should not be simply given tasks to do by your preceptor. You should be trying to provide care on your own initiative with the patient(s) you are assigned. If I was just standing around holding the nurse station from running off and waiting to be told to do things, or in the backroom doing my homework, I'd get crucified by my instructor.

    I don't know, maybe the system at your school is different than ours.

    I'd certainly complain if my preceptor was pawning me off on other nurses though - If a nurse agrees to take on a student then they have the responsibility to work with the student, not pawn them off on other nurses.
  4. by   dubstar
    I know I am going to speak to my clinical lecturer today when I go in.
    I had to invent jobs to do last night it was really bad.
    It wasnt for lack of trying to involve myself either, I have very high work ethic and not a lazy student.
  5. by   caliotter3
    I wouldn't let the behavior of these nurses put me off if I were you. If you don't take this bull by the horns and assert yourself, you will most assuredly find yourself failed for the semester. You should immediately speak to your preceptor and your clinical instructor. Your clinical instructor has the obligation to make certain that you are placed appropriately and are treated in a fair manner. But the person who is going to make this clinical rotation work is you, and no one else. Do not let another clinical day go wasted like this one. Otherwise, there is no one to blame but yourself for the consequences.
  6. by   dubstar
    Hi again

    just to explain our system of clinical placements over here.

    our college sends its students to clinical placements, the preceptor is a staff nurse who works at the clinical placement. The preceptor is trained to help students learning practical skills and gain experiance

    Our clinical lecturer works for the college and visits us three times a week to see if we are ok
  7. by   Scrubz
    At the hospital I work at as a CNA there are some nurses whom I'd love to precept under if given the chance, and there are others that I wouldn't precept under even if they were paying me.

    My point is, there are good ones, there are bad ones, sounds like you got a bad one. If you had done the exact same things with a better staff things would probably have been different. So don't let it get you too down.
  8. by   Daytonite
    hi, dubstar!

    why don't you try doing this when you are at your next clinical. . .ask whatever preceptor/nurse you are assigned to exactly what it is you are to do. tell them you have no idea what it is you are supposed to be doing, so they need to tell or direct you. that's the assertive way to handle this. also, when you have finished tasks, instead of asking if you can help, tell others that you need something to do. ask, what can i do now? or, would you please give me something to do? you ask a question in a way to control the answers you get. ask questions so that ignoring you or shrugging their shoulders won't be an option for them. if they can't give you direction, then you'll have to be just a little bit more assertive and ask for direction making it clear that you expect a positive response. lawyers word their questions to witnesses who are testifying in order to get the specific kind of answer they want all the time. they learn how to do this; it is not something that comes naturally. when you are having trouble finding the nurse you are supposed to be with, the way to ask about her is to go to someone, anyone, and tell them "i'm supposed to be working with xxx and she's disappeared on me. would you please help me find her?" always get the names of the people you're assigned to and use them. when the co-workers of these nurses who want to disappear realize that they are either deliberately or not deliberately hiding from you, their peers will get after them just to avoid getting pestered by you! think about how little kids get attention. persistence pays off.

    the psychology at work here is that the staff picked up on your sensitivity and uncertainty and used it against you. it wasn't very nice on their part to do that and they should have been more attentive to your needs. that failing, however, you then, have to be an advocate for yourself. armed with that knowledge and some backbone (assertive techniques) and you shouldn't be seeing any more tears any time soon. the problem is not that you made a wrong career choice; the problem is that people hurt your feelings and you let them. you can change that. the fact is that as a nurse you are going to be interacting with all kinds of people of different character. you cannot assume that everyone is going to be kindly toward you. some knowledge of behavioral psychology will be very helpful in understanding why people act the way they do.

    you will find that most ward nurses are pretty assertive and busy. sometimes that assertiveness can become aggressive. it's not nice for them to do that. your protection from that is to learn basic techniques of assertiveness and use them. if you're not used to being assertive in the face of aggression, it can be hard at first. however, like any learned skill, practice makes perfect. it was hard for me at first, too. my heart would pound and i would start sweating when i had to stand and confront a nursing assistant. i used to practice what i would say while i was driving to work or write the sentences i would say on the back of my report sheet so i wouldn't forget the right words to use. but, i started standing my ground and doing it. eventually, the heart pounding and sweating went away. no more milquetoast personality for me. now, i can be just as much a battleaxe as anyone of my peers. and, someday you will be too.

    you're allowed one free cry. now, you've had it. time to learn about assertiveness and move on. good luck in your future clinicals! - assertiveness - this is a really nice online assertiveness tutorial from australia. click on the links to proceed through the tutorial. includes sound clips of examples. - assertiveness for doctors. an interesting site that links you into information about being assertive. includes a list of books with information on assertiveness.

    welcome to allnurses!