I don’t usually post this kind of story submission, but it does ring a bit true. I do know preceptors sometimes have a difficult time providing feedback to their preceptees at the end of the shift, only to spring problems and issues on them later. Anne, RN writes:
It was toward the end of my orientation as a new grad when I got a message from my day shift preceptor, wanting to know “how orientation was going.” When I called her back she proceeded to tell me a long list of everything I had done wrong over the weekend with my night preceptor. I was at home on the phone and she was at work talking to me, so I felt backed into a corner.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, my night preceptor told me I had done a great job as she scrambled onto the elevator to go home. I had given an antibiotic late on Saturday night and I had acknowledged it and the next day made sure I gave it on time. My night preceptor told me when I acknowledged my lateness not to worry about it since nurses that have been working for 20 years forget things sometimes. So I thought nothing more of the situation, that is until I received this phone call. On her long list of things I had done wrong was that I gave this antibiotic late. Her other criticisms included only giving IV pain meds when the patient had PO ordered, meanwhile my night preceptor had told me that since the patient was NPO i shouldn’t give them because it would make her sick.
Then she proceeded to blame me for another nurse’s needle stick, which she later apologized for. She also said that people were saying that I didn’t care and that I always looked bored, which is completely not true. Most nurses go into nursing because they DO care. After 8 weeks how do other people think they can judge you on something so personal? I had a lot of respect for my day preceptor until that day when she backed me into a corner, since then I can’t think of her in the same light as I once did.
My night preceptor was awful as I am sure anyone can tell, always giving me positive feedback and going behind my back to tell others that I was awful. On my first night shift with her she was talking about sex half the night, which made me extremely uncomfortable and as a new person I didn’t think I could say anything. Luckily my night preceptor has since left my floor but I still have to see her on occasion and my day preceptor has an important position on my unit. I wanted to share my story because I think it is a great example of how nursing eats their young. There were many nights when I went home crying and wanting to quit nursing. Nursing is harder than I ever thought in nursing school, but I am a tough person and I have since successfully completed 3 weeks on my own!
And since it’s been over a month since I received this submission, hopefully Anne is now off orientation and doing well!