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How do I become a better nurse?

Nurses   (423 Views | 13 Replies)

Marythenurse1994 specializes in not really.

99 Profile Views; 18 Posts

Hi there. I have been struggling for some time with the nursing field. Is this my dying passon? No. But I want to make it in this field by obviously working hard. I dont know why, but every time I am shadowing a nurse/precepted by a nurse, I get the feeling they dont actually want to help. There's always missing information and I have to fish it out. The first few days are okay, then it usually goes downhill from there. No matter how eager I seem, how curious, it never seems to be enough. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong, in the wrong career, or if I am paired with the wrong instructors. 

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12 Followers; 3,985 Posts; 30,146 Profile Views

I hate to say it but you might have to adjust your expectations. If it were desired (by the employer) that preceptors would be available and able to give orientees an in-depth nursing education, time and resources would be provided for that. As it is told and experienced by many, these things are instead in short supply. General regard for the process is in short supply too, as far as I can tell.

Continue to seek out information both on your own and through asking appropriate questions. Try to develop a good rapport with your preceptor, including (through your pleasant actions and words) expecting them to not leave you completely on your own after a few hours or days.

Where are you in your career and/or orientation?

Edited by JKL33

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Just me. specializes in None.

79 Posts; 485 Profile Views

I struggled with my preceptors.  I think it was me more than it was them.  I think I was just scared to the death.  I had so many questions and I think I overwhelmed them.  Sometimes I would look at how they gave a shot and question their technique (to myself), or that they weren't there when I needed them.  If it is a particularly busy unit, could they just be distracted by the patient care?

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

240 Posts; 967 Profile Views

3 hours ago, Marythenurse1994 said:

 every time I am shadowing a nurse/precepted by a nurse............few days are okay, then it usually goes downhill from there.

I am curious, are you at one job with serial preceptors, or have you had several jobs?   If you have had several jobs, no one may want to put the effort into someone who may not stay.  Being a preceptor is very very hard, and exhausting and there is no extra pay.   Nurses have a huge amount of information that they are trying to juggle in their brains at one time, so their answers may be short and abrupt.  If you can, try to use other resources for some of your questions.  If it's a medication question, ask a pharmacist.  If you can look something up on the internet, do so.  There is a you tube video for just about anything.  

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elanab27 has 1 years experience.

15 Posts; 189 Profile Views

Following! 🙂 

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Marythenurse1994 specializes in not really.

18 Posts; 99 Profile Views

@JKL33 you're right i often forget about that. I just cannot stand the lack of inclusion, e.g. a preceptor should print the schedulef for the day and include the student. it's little things like that i have to fight for, but it's fine. guess i'm just ranting.

@JustMe that's meeeeeeee, i feel you! It's a little annoying when they selectively hold back on info, that's the vibe i get. but i know it's not always on purpose.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,270 Posts; 18,309 Profile Views

@Marythenurse1994 are you a nurse or a nursing student? It's unclear from the details in your posts, and the answer will definitely help guide our responses.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

4 Followers; 1,778 Posts; 3,737 Profile Views

24 minutes ago, adventure_rn said:

@Marythenurse1994 are you a nurse or a nursing student? It's unclear from the details in your posts, and the answer will definitely help guide our responses.

I'm confused as well.  It sounds more like a student

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,270 Posts; 18,309 Profile Views

1 minute ago, Marythenurse1994 said:

@Hoosier_RN @adventure_rn I'm a nurse.

Great. In the scenarios you're describing, are you on orientation for a new job/specialty? Are they bouncing you around between a bunch of different preceptors? Are you shadowing people in other specialties?

It is very frustrating to feel as though your needs aren't being met on orientation, especially if you don't have any continuity because you're bouncing around between too many preceptors.

I know it's easier said than done, but I wouldn't take it personally, or see it as a reflection on nursing as a whole. As "nursy" mentioned, precepting is hard and preceptor burnout is very real. Oftentimes people who really don't want to precpet get pushed into it anyway out of unit necessity, and that can create a really bad learning environment. It sucks, and it isn't fair to the orientee; however, like I said, it shouldn't be a reflection on you or on nursing as a whole (i.e. just because a person hates precepting doesn't mean that they hate nursing).

I think your best bet is to find some kind of mentor on the unit, whether it's an educator, a manager/assistant manager, a preceptor, or even just another nurse who reaches out and is kind to you. They might be able to help you process your experience.

In addition, I'd meet talk with whoever is organizing your orientation (i.e. your educator, your manager, etc.) and create a strategy to optimize your orientation. That might mean pairing with you with different preceptors, or finding a way to better vocalize your needs. For instance, you could explain to your preceptor that it's hard for you when you don't have the printed schedule, and could they print an extra one for you in the future.

If it makes you feel any better, I too have had some crappy preceptors with bad attitudes. It made orientation unbearable, but once orientation ended, things did get better, and I do still love nursing. Orientation can really suck, but if you push past it, things will eventually get easier.

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mmc51264 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

2,786 Posts; 39,222 Profile Views

Quote

I just cannot stand the lack of inclusion, e.g. a preceptor should print the schedulef for the day and include the student. it's little things like that i have to fight for, but it's fine. guess i'm just ranting.

I don't know a single nurse that "prints" a schedule for the day. I am a precepting nurse. And a charge nurse. 

Time management is very important to being a good nurse but thinking that you are going to have some sort of "set" schedule is not realistic. 

A "normal" day would be: get report, introduce yourself with offgoing nurse. We have a worklist on EPIC that can be customized. I set mine my time and see who needs the most meds early. Or see who might need pain medication (on my ortho floor, pain management is usually priority #1). 

Pass meds and assess, charting as I go as much as possible. We have high turnover rate with as many as 10-15 admits/discharges on a busy day. 

A preceptor should be helping you find your way, not parroting the way they do things. I have collected many types of "brain sheets" and share them with my preceptees to let them try different ways of organizing. 

I work at a teaching hospital so I feel that it is a better learning environment for all than other places. 

Be upfront with your preceptor. He/she is there to help you. I was a school teacher for a while and I used to tell my students to be selfish: If you don't tell me you don't understand something, I have to assume that you understand or have no questions. 

I hope you can find what you need to succeed. Don't give up!!

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Marythenurse1994 specializes in not really.

18 Posts; 99 Profile Views

@adventure_rn thanks for the encouraging message, i appreciate it 🙂

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