As an experienced RN, do you like/dislike having a student nurse assigned to you? - page 2

I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have med/surg and OB clinicals this semester. I have to say I'm a bit bummed out (as are my classmates) by our clinical experience so far. In our OB... Read More

  1. Visit  PalmHarborMom} profile page
    1
    I am a student at the University of South Florida BSN program and my group is doing clinicals at the VA hospital here in Tampa. We have been so lucky!!! The nurses at the VA seem to take joy in quizzing us and showing us new things. We actually have to make sure that they know all the things that we are not allowed to do yet because this is our first semester.

    As a student, I would like to thank all the nurses that take time out of their day to teach a student. We learn a great deal in the classroom and in lab but it is when we are in the hospital that we get to put our knowledge to the test. Being able to do things for the first time and know that you will guide us.... gives us hope that someday we will also be the type of great nurse that you have been to us. So the next time that your student is asking a million questions, just smile and think "Hey, this student really wants to be here"

    Thank you for all that you do!
    SHGR likes this.
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  3. Visit  Wise Woman RN} profile page
    3
    I LOVED having students with me. I loved sharing my nursing stuff, encouraging them, laughing with them, and letting them learn from me... I used to be invited to come to post-conference for a little presentation, a little bit of telling them "war stories" from "back in the day," and generally just loved to have them run with me on the floor.. Some of the clinical instructors would make sure that their students got the "Wise Woman" experience during their clinicals.. Loved it.. I saved all their cards and letters, and go through them every now and then, and it makes me smile..
    SHGR, Esme12, and PMFB-RN like this.
  4. Visit  sharpeimom} profile page
    2
    I always enjoyed having students. I loved sharing what knowledge and information I had with others. I'm married to a teacher and, while I realize I don't share his inate talent, I have always enjoyed sharing what I
    had learned.

    I worked in a state mental hospital and many different types of patients were admitted. Many presented
    unusual diseases even seasoned psych nurses hadn't seen before employment there. That was an ideal learning
    situation for students.

    Because our hospital usually got students near the end of their programs, they were serious not silly, tended
    not to stand around and goof off, and wanted to do their best. As far as I was concerned, answering student
    questions, helping them feel like a part of the team, and allaying their "state hospital patient" fears was just
    a part of my job. One former student ended up being so intrigued by his rotation that he came back after
    graduation as a new nurse.
    Wise Woman RN and Esme12 like this.
  5. Visit  Tarabara} profile page
    1
    I enjoy having students unless they are more concerned about getting info for their care plans than actually just absorbing and learning as much from the day as possible.
    KelRN215 likes this.
  6. Visit  BlueDevil,DNP} profile page
    5
    I don't work as a RN anymore, but when I did I hated even having students on the floor. I hated precepting even more. Please seperate that from the individuals themselves, who were probably lovely people, one and all. I just did not like my routine interrupted. I liked to do things the way I liked to do them, and I didn't like explaining anything, much less everything.

    I didn't mind precepting new hires that had experience. I think being good at precepting and having a passion for it is a talent, much like playing an instrument. Any monkey can be taught to play a piece on an instrument, but few of us become virtuosos. To be that good, beyond technically proficient, you have to love it, deeply. It always strikes me as odd that it is comparatively easy to find clinical instructors as opposed to lecture faculty. I could lecture competently on almost any nursing subject with a week's notice. In 20 years, I was never more than a mediocre preceptor, even though I was an exceptional nurse. Reason being, I simply despised it.

    And the thing is, what nursing students fail to understand, is that every bit of that is about me, and not one iota of it is about them/you. None. I couldn't care less about you (and I mean that in the nicest way possible, lol). So I'm not being mean, I'm just being, shall we say, focused. I simply don't want you around while I'm working. Let's have a drink some other time, shall we? I'll buy.
  7. Visit  Esme12} profile page
    8
    Quote from jamie32764
    I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have med/surg and OB clinicals this semester. I have to say I'm a bit bummed out (as are my classmates) by our clinical experience so far. In our OB clinical, the nurses seem somewhat receptive to having a student under them, but at the same time nobody seems to go out of their way to actually try to teach us anything. One night, sitting up in the nursery waiting for babies to be born, there were 5 nurses that stood there the entire time ******** amongst themselves about how there's not enough coverage....for 3 hours. When I say stood there, I mean literally. The other hospital where we have our med/surg clinical, the nurses don't just seem like they don't want to be bothered, they're downright rude and nasty......to the point of one nurse waving her finger in some of my classmates faces and telling them to "go somewhere else"! I understand that everyone is busy, but why do you have to be miserable too? I'd rather the nurse tell my instructor they don't want a student then to not get anything useful from my clinical experience. It's not a very good feeling when you get home after a long day!

    Last semester our clinicals were at a nursing home. Of course the atmosphere wasn't that great but all the nurses were very nice and took time to show us everything they could even though they had 20+ patients.

    Just thought I'd get some opinions from those who have been in the field for a while!

    Thanks!
    Some people are just miserable.......OR.........try Walking a mile in their shoes.

    Perhaps they feel the same way.....maybe they are sick and tired of working short (AGAIN) and that the staffing has been cut AGAIN because there are students.....even though the students leave half way through the shift and more staff isn't called in.......

    Maybe they are sick of being badgered and brow beat by the administration that their satisfaction surveys were poor again and that no raises will be given, AGAIN....... and that there is a nursing shortage and they (administration/management) is "looking" but everyone knows there is a hiring freeze the last 4 years.....they aren't "looking" for anyone.

    Maybe they have a hard time managing their workload, the CNA has been canceled they got rid of the unit secretaries because they aren't needed anymore with physician order entry. Transport was downsized and they have students that they get NO compensation for but have to teach and increase the workload because the usual staff were canceled.

    Your instructor has the responsibility to teach you AND they get paid for it.....the nurses however have another day of grind, being told to do more with less with a smile again....and be sure that the patient is treated like it is a 5 star resort....oh and by the way there are students today.

    Maybe they were tired of being judged by a group of students who(for literally three hours)stared at the staff,......and through no fault of their own, have not a clue to what awaits them upon gradation...IF they can find a job in this saturated market.

    Maybe they didn't like being stared at by a group of students that criticized their every move.

    That may not have been easy, nor pleasant, to hear. I'm sorry......But, It is all a matter of perspective. As a student it is difficult to really see how difficult being a nurse really is.......I am not justifying their behavior.....but nurses are under enormous stress with the demands of administration being unrelenting and unrealistic. The stress to do more with less but make every patient feel there are the only one in the world is mind boggling.

    Having 8 med/surg patients, with 3 ED admits waiting......no secretary and the aid was canceled because............ you have 6 enthusiastic 2nd semester students who are expecting to have an enriching, varied educational experience where they are given undivided attention to be lead (with a smile) and shown amazing things so that their clinical experience is fulfilling and worthy......can try the patience of JOB.

    I LOVE students and I have the patience of JOB...but sometimes I need to encourage student to be slightly more reflective and empathetic to the staff for they (the student) truly do not know what it is like to be a nurse. In your enthusiasm starting out it can be difficult to see the harsh realities of bedside nursing.....although......... I agree, there are some nurses that are just that miserable.

    Just try to remember that sometimes.........you collect the energy you project.

    Good Luck on your journey.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 8, '12
    Orange Tree, KelRN215, RADIATION_RN, and 5 others like this.
  8. Visit  gatoraims RN} profile page
    2
    As a student myself I have to say that,you not the nurse you are following has to make the best out of every situation.(not being snarky it took me a bit to learn this) I have been assigned to nurses that don't want to teach, I do not think it is always that they hate students. We all have bad days, some on the other hand are just not into teaching.

    I have been lucky and for the most part have had great RN's. I however have found (not saying you do this but I have seen many students do this) that there are usually two types of students who complain about not having a good nurse. One is the one who always asks questions, sometimes the RN just needs to do their job without answering why why why. The other is the opposite, they do not ask or say a dang thing. The RN does not know how much you know, what skills you have been taught, ect... So they really do not know where to start to "teach" you.

    I usually start the shift with an introduction. I ask them if I can listen to report. I personal hate when someone reads over my shoulder so I always ask first. I have never been told no. I do not ask questions during report. (yes I have seen students do this) If I am unsure about something I either look it up or ask the RN later, or hunt down my clinical instructor and ask her (I like this one better because she usually pushes me to think outside the box until I am able to figure it out myself). Then I go with the RN who is going home and the RN who is starting their shift and introduce myself to the pt. After that I high tail it to get the pts bed made, vitals done, and am care done. These steps save the RN so much time as well as the techs. Once that is out of the way I find the RN who is usually looking at charts to get to know the pt before they go into the room. I again ask if I can look with them. At this time they usually are very willing to answer questions. But you have to ask. I find the many students don't ask, they expect the RN to give them everything they need to know. I have found that doing this and giving the nurse time to edge into the work shift and showing her that I am not going to just sit around and bug her/him they for the most part are more willing to help.

    Tips:
    *when the RN is showing you something and they are not doing it by the book don't say I learned it xyz way. If you really want to know why they are doing it the way they are ask nicely. Say oh I learned a different way is this way easier? faster? more productive? (some might still not like it but I am curious and want to know)

    *show that you want to learn and that you are not just there because you have to be

    *if you are able, look in the chart pretend it is just you as that pts nurse and try to figure out what needs to be done first and why, doing this will usually answer a few questions you would have to ask the nurse, plus it builds your critical thinking

    *timing is everything, if your RN is running around and looks stressed, step out of the way, find something without asking her that will help her out. I have ( I know most nurses like to take vitals themselves before certain meds being passed.) run ahead and jotted down the pts vital signs and taped them to the chart. I told the nurse noon vitals are done ect. I will get trays, make sure water pitchers are full (if not NPO), gotten pts juice, gone in prior to the nurse and asked if they need anything. this way she is not running around getting them things. ( we know many pts treat the hospital staff like wait staff)

    *if the nurse says during report pt Smith will need new IV tubing, I get the supplies the nurse will need and put it in the room for when she is ready. Now that I have been taught I ask if she would like to me do it for her. I wait until she is in the room passing meds ect. so that she knows I did it and did it correct and can tell me if I need to fix something (facility protocol is not always what our book is).

    I know it sounds silly but I try to not be a pain in the butt. I try to avoid the nurses who I know do not like students or are having a bad day. I try to make their work shift easier. I however can be a pain in the butt I know it. But I do try hard to make their day easier.
    Orange Tree and GrnTea like this.
  9. Visit  Indy} profile page
    1
    I don't get students at night. The one thing that would worry me, is I wouldn't want to help or contribute to the student doing a skill that the instructor didn't want them to do, thus contributing to a failed clinical if the instructor is strict.

    I do get new grads, and new hires with experience, and I love precepting and orienting. It is fun, and I love to see the point where they turn and start telling me to back off and they just do the job. I like seeing the lightbulb go on when they start to really understand what they are doing. I especially get giddy when they develop their own ways of dealing with the difficulties of patient and family relationships, and they take responsibility for their patients and manage the load, then delegate to me the things that can and should be delegated. When they are taught right, and they like their job, they are a pleasure to work with later. I think you get out of teaching what you put into it, and I don't take the task on unless I am ready to put a lot into it. There has been a season or two where I didn't think I could do it well, so I didn't. This year has been a good one, and I'm thrilled for it.
    VanLpn likes this.
  10. Visit  mjs2118} profile page
    0
    I honestly don't mind student nurses. On my floor, student nurses are assigned certain patients rather than a nurse so it doesn't really affect my time management and such. If anything, student nurses are a relief because they help complete tasks and on a busy day, that is invaluable. If they need help or if their clinical instructor is not around, I have no qualms about teaching the student nurse myself, although I don't really feel like I am teacher material lol.
  11. Visit  CT Pixie} profile page
    3
    I am on both sides of the fence with this. I am an LPN who has had students and I am an RN student.

    I love having students with me. I love showing them the in's and out's. Ways to make their work easier and more proficient, I love answering questions and if I dont know the answer I am sure to let them know that I am unsure but tell them to write the question down and when we get a minute we will look it up.

    I was always wondering why I was never assigned students when my coworker had them all the time. I finally asked the DON why I never had students and she said she knows I am very organized (to the point of being OCD about it) and I tend to work quickly and move fast. She thought that I would be a little unreceptive to having a student 'slow me down' or disrupt my routine. I told her I'd welcome any student. And that I could very easily slow down to let them observe and help.

    Got my first student the next day I loved it and the student thanked me over and over for allowing her to do all the things I did. I had asked that she give me a list of all the things she's never done, wanted to try/see, or things she had done before but wanted more practice. I did my best to get all the items on that list crossed off. I even went to my coworker for some of the things the student listed but I had no pt that we could use.

    That being said, my love of having students comes to a screeching halt when I get a student who makes it obvious they are not interested, don't ask questions or don't listen as I explain the how and why of what we are doing, act as if they know it all..let me hear "i've done that already" with a sigh or an eyeroll when I have a task/skill to do and my willingness to teach goes to the wayside. Show me you are interested, wanting to learn and eager..I'm your girl...show me you'd disengaged, not interested or bored and I'm not going to put myself out to help and teach you.

    As a student LPN I had some bad experiences with nurses who made it well known they hated having a student and I had ones who bent over backwards to teach. I'm paying it forward for the ones who went out of their way for me. As an RN student I've had nothing but awesome nurses who make my clinical experineces a great learning and growing opportunity.

    My best suggestion show the nurse you are interested and engaged, ask questions, be thankful for any and all skills/procedures presented to you for you to do. Even if you've done it 100 times, do it 101 times..you only get better with each experience.
    Fiona59, SHGR, and ElSea like this.
  12. Visit  SE_BSN_RN} profile page
    0
    Quote from jamie32764
    I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have med/surg and OB clinicals this semester. I have to say I'm a bit bummed out (as are my classmates) by our clinical experience so far. In our OB clinical, the nurses seem somewhat receptive to having a student under them, but at the same time nobody seems to go out of their way to actually try to teach us anything. One night, sitting up in the nursery waiting for babies to be born, there were 5 nurses that stood there the entire time ******** amongst themselves about how there's not enough coverage....for 3 hours. When I say stood there, I mean literally. The other hospital where we have our med/surg clinical, the nurses don't just seem like they don't want to be bothered, they're downright rude and nasty......to the point of one nurse waving her finger in some of my classmates faces and telling them to "go somewhere else"! I understand that everyone is busy, but why do you have to be miserable too? I'd rather the nurse tell my instructor they don't want a student then to not get anything useful from my clinical experience. It's not a very good feeling when you get home after a long day!

    Last semester our clinicals were at a nursing home. Of course the atmosphere wasn't that great but all the nurses were very nice and took time to show us everything they could even though they had 20+ patients.

    Just thought I'd get some opinions from those who have been in the field for a while!

    Thanks!
    You weren't assigned to a nurse during your OB rotation? You know, with that 3 hours of downtime, I would have grilled my nurse for all she was worth! What an opportunity to learn, wasted!! I had a great OB rotation, and learned a lot, and because of that, I want to learn more! Our first day, they didn't know we were coming, and my nurse actually apologized, they had already done their morning assessments.

    And, with admits waiting why would they cut staff? Students aren't allowed to do the paperwork! (based on another posters posting of staff being cut because they knew students were coming in...)

    I did miss an opportunity to do a cervical check because I asked my instructor too late if we could do one. My nurse was going to let me, but being the diligent student "We can't do that!"....I missed a chance for the "real world" experience! (Yes, I know about the increased chance of infection, I don't need a lecture, LOL)

    I have a hard time remembering I am not the nurse, but the student, when I go to give meds or what have you. (I am an LPN already, so I was in rush rush mode!) I was asked to go do something and said "OK" and got everything ready, and headed on down the hall and went "wait.....time out!" Had to go back for my instructor!

    I try to remember if I were that nurse, with a student, what would I want to learn? What did I want to learn, when I did this rotation...what's important for them/us to learn?

    As a result of awesome clinicals and the impression we made on the nurses, I was told they hope to see me interviewing there. Only problem is they don't hire new grads in L&D! Yes, I know, most grads say that's where they want to be, and that is exactly where I want to be. My passion for babies/women and education/knowledge of the whole experience (personal and school) has fueled that passion even more. I would consider it a great honor to work with those nurses who told me they would have let us do their assessments, and morning cares. That, to me, says a lot about the staff.....and the work environment!
  13. Visit  applewhitern} profile page
    1
    I don't mind students, as long as they are willing to learn something. I have had quite a few who would be quick to tell me "I already know that," or "We've already done that." It would be better if they were just appreciative, regardless. I had a post-op patient once, who a student was assigned to. When the patient came back from surgery, the student never went in there to see the patient. I finally said "We get vitals every 15 minutes on the post-ops, etc." She ran to her instructor and complained that I wanted her to do vitals!! I never said that, I was just teaching! So, it goes both ways.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  14. Visit  Rose_Queen} profile page
    1
    Depends on the student. Those who want to be there, are interested, ask questions- I love. Those who are there only because it's a requirement, have no interest in learning anything, and sneak off to the lounge to sleep (true story- said she felt faint, was found sleeping on the couch in the lounge shortly thereafter. oddly enough, never saw that student again...)- why should I spend my time teaching you when you have no interest?

    Except for very few facilities, nurses are not compensated for working with students.

    And the misconception that you're lightening the nurse's workload? Not true, because the nurse has to check behind the student to ensure that everything is done plus take care of all things the student can't do (such as my first semester with clinical we weren't allowed to touch the IV).
    Fiona59 likes this.


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