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Fired from my preceptorship

Lite User
Name: New Grad Nurse

I'm a new grad nurse. I was recently fired from my preceptorship in critical care.

For the first few months, I was trained on the day shift. My preceptor was the charge nurse. While the individual was a good and knowledgeable person they barely had any time to watch over me.

By the second week, I was already basically caring for patients on my own. At times it was because he was too busy, but at other times I was put with another individual to watch over me and more often than not, they'd sit by the desk chatting or on facebook while I was just expected to do, everything.

I had several red flags from people who warned me that I should speak up and not allow me to take care of patients alone. I listened and agreed inwardly, but I still tried to do my best.

I still tried to live up to their expectations and be as independent as possible, but at times I was obviously overwhelmed.

After about two months I was moved to a new preceptor. This individual acted like a sort of drill instructor, trying to tear me down at every oppurtunity. I accepted this treatment and appreciated her knowledge. This person micromanaged every detail and when I did certain things incorrectly, just shut me down because she believed I should 'already know how to do this'. I'm not sure how I could explain how little I actually learned from the first two months.

Then a medication error occurred. The medication never actually reached the patient, was caught by myself before any entered the patient, but had a high potential for patient harm. It happened while a person who was really concerned about and was trying to teach me, was in the room helping me, but I'm the one who caught the error. I self-reported to my preceptor and got sent home.

The next day I was called in by my manager and was told I'd be given one last chance. I never asked to change preceptors but was told it wouldn't be possible at this point to do so.

I resolved to do everything right, to double check every medication, etc. etc. etc. I came in early, did my research on the super sick 1:1 patient, and prepared myself for what was to follow.

In the past I was never even allowed to touch these patients without permission. That night I was expected to do everything and got a bit overwhelmed. I called the person in to double check every drip. But the one time they didn't double check, I had told the preceptor my plan of hanging one compatible IV medication with another compatible IV medication. Once in the room though, I got mixed up, and put it with another medication that I knew it was compatible with from my past experience. It was not, however, what I told my preceptor in my original plan.

Because of what I told my preceptor originally, they were convinced I'd made a mistake. I went back in the room, and placed it on the port that was my original plan, but they were convinced that the medication I had originally planned to Y site it onto entered into where the patient through that line.

When I tried to explain what happened my preceptor believed I was lying and that I was trying to cover for a medication error, and I couldn't convince them otherwise. I was sent home, and now I'm 100% certain I'm going to be fired for it.

Worse yet, I'm scared to death that they might report on my license. Patient safety was always my number one priority, but due to my lack of experience and training, I fell short on this and I'm devastated.

Is there anything I might do to salvage this situation?

What should I tell future jobs when I have to admit that I got fired from a preceptorship for this reason?

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2 Responses to “Fired from my preceptorship”

  1. NattyRN Says:

    That is just awful! I detect some humilty in your recount of what occurred. As a potential grad myself I feel similiar, the support is missing and eventually it tells on you. I have figured no good way to go about rectifying the issue as egos are quite inflated in critical care. I have studied consistently and still manage not to do anything correctly. I hope some senior nurse could reply to you’re post and give both of us some valuable insight.

  2. MichelleRN Says:

    We all have had one error or another on our license and a lot of times it is unfortunate it is from the carelessness of a preceptor or someone bulling us or lack of caring for our advancement. I truly believe today for me tomorrow for you. Walk away learning from the situation, ultimately you are responsible for the outcome but your preceptor is also responsible because she is suppose to be with you checking and double checking everything before you do anything, To the new employer,admit the situation that you had a med error due to lack of knowledge and supervision while being precept. I wish you luck, you will always remember this and treat someone else with kindness when precepting it is their license and yours involved

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