I started in ICU as a new grad. it was definitely stressful and difficult. However, it was WORTH IT, to me personally. I had a preceptor with a very "strong personality" it was an expert nurse who was very good at what she does but she was that somewhat cruise control type and she expected me to know what she knows, which is not even possible considering her years of experience. she was that popular and respected "amazing nurse" (both in good and bad way). Before me, she had a preceptee who surrendered and basically asked the director to be transferred and I didnt know until a staff have told me.
I found myself getting eaten alive by her! I did not know a lot and I asked so many questions and get scolded and yelled at and all that jazz. she did not care if it was around patients, other staff and doctors and visitors. It was the worse because others would laugh and whatnot, it was just so humiliating.
Even so, I was still asking, not just her, but the other staff and even the administrators who make rounds in the unit, which was funny because every staff usually avoids them. I was triple-double checking every single thing and it sometimes would lead me to being late with my treatments or not being totally aware of other important details besides just the basic stuff to do with a patient. It is ICU so you have to know everything my time management sucked and I would get reprimanded for it. After a few shifts she started to leave me to my own device, only checking on me every few hours to yell and critique in a negative way. It was like working in fear of making mistakes and losing my license which i worked so hard for. she had no patience for my lack of bedside skills and questions.
I would not be lying if I say that there were times that I almost cried. It was horrible.
I don't know if anyone would have stayed through months of that like i did, but eventually, like about at the end of my orientation, she started to be less of a witch. When I became familiar with the charting software and other basic stuff... she even became as nice as to teach me things nicely instead of making me look a fool in front of others. Funny enough, she told me that I was good enough but not "there" yet... which was oddly huge coming from her. She even wanted to help me to be a charge nurse eventually - she was often the charge nurse with patients. I still feel so strange about that.
Honestly, I do not know what I learned from her. Maybe just being as half as mean as her.
of course, my skills are still developing and i am constantly evolving. I am never going to be as mean to my preceptees.
But because of what she did to me, I learned some skills, like to be more careful, be more confident, turn on my critical thinking cap better, assertive and be mean at appropriate times ; I remember having good comebacks for her insults lol.
My preceptor was a witch. Now, I'm an angel.