I just started a job a few weeks ago. I have a different preceptor every time due to 12 hr. shifts. The problem is you are supposed to have only a few patients, instead I have 6-7 acute patients everyday. I did not preceptor where there was a pyxis. I am very slow and hearing the report given so quickly is very difficult. I am slow. The preceptors have no time to really precept you. They have to get their work done. So you are looking over someone's shoulder, etc. They have all tried, but they are too busy to help except for a little bit.

There is no lunch break as the nurse has a phone with her and if she gets a call about a light going off she has to get up and go take care of it, however, you are charged for a 30 minute break. I was also told that you could say you didn't get your break one day, but if you did it again they wouldn't be happy and probably say you are not prioritizing. I literally run from the time I get there to the time I leave, overwhelmed, is not the word.


251 Posts

Specializes in Trauma | Surgical ICU. Has 7 years experience.

Take control! Don't let the task overwhelm your learning.

1. Have a good nursing "brain" The 10 Best Nurse Brain Sheets | Scrubs – The Leading Lifestyle Nursing Magazine Featuring Inspirational and Informational Nursing Articles like these ones from nurse mag. Being organize in the beginning of the shift means you can go to the patient who needs you most.

2. There's always time for teaching and learning. You are a preceptee, it does not mean the preceptor and you can divide patients. S/he needs to be with you. If you are slow, too bad.. you are there to learn. She needs to be with you every step of the way. You are not supposed to take care of any patient on your own without a preceptor. Next time this happens, speak to the charge nurse or your manager. You cannot learn and there's no way they can teach if you are on different sides of the unit. You and your preceptor should be connected to the hip.

3. Learn from observing. The pyxis is easy. Even if they do not walk you through the process, you can observe and learn. It's pretty simple. Ask questions to any nurse if you are stuck.

4. Leave the phone to the person who's covering you. Take your break. It's the law. No excuses. Do not answer your phone if you have it. By answering, you are perpetuating the process and cheating yourself.

5. Be assertive. How can you advocate for patients if you cannot advocate for yourself? Tell your preceptor to watch you pass meds, tell her your plan or goal for the day before you start patient care (ex: "My plan today is to practice my prioritization. I think I'll check my labs, review my patients orders and then assess them. What do you think?") Don't be scared to delegate. If you are passing meds and your preceptor is just there watching you, ask her to answer the phone for you.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Was there a question in there somewhere?

As for the 'no lunch break' thing . . . ABSOLUTELY TAKE YOUR LUNCH. As an hourly employee (not exempt) it is against Federal law to refuse to pay you for any worked time. In my organization (and many others that have had issues with this in the past) all staff are required to clock out for meal breaks... there are no 'automatic deductions'.