Clinical questions

  1. Several of my friends that have been in the clinical portion of the program, have made comments about how some of the nurses were "mean" or "rude" to them because they were students. One of my friends dropped out of the program because she said it was so bad. I told her that maybe the nurses are testing them to see how they react under adverse situations. If they can't take it from the nurses, then they probably aren't going to handle pts very well either. She didn't like my "reasoning" and was convinced that some of the nurses were just mean to student nurses.

    What have your experiences been both as a student and as a nurse working with students? I am waiting to be accepted to the program, and any help you can give on what I as a student can do to fit in with the nurses would be greatly appreciated. I don't have a problem with a nurse "testing" me (if that is what in fact happens), but if there is anything I can do to help the clincials go smoothly, I am open for any input you have.

    Thanks,
    Kim
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Kim,

    I think the biggest trouble lies in that the floor nurses tend to be fried crispy for understaffing and stress. No, it is not a reason to be rude and mean but it does happen and I have been on the recieving end of that treatment. However, I truely felt that nursing was my calling so when the time came that I was in a position to set an example for the students. I would sit down with the instructors and ask what they were studying and try to help find really good patients so that they could learn. Working nights kept me from having too much interaction but I tried the best I could. I think it is a shame that your class mate let a group of rude nurses influence their decision to drop out. But not to brow beat, it makes me question that student's dedication and resolve to the nursing profession. There will always be a few rotten apples around. The important thing is to be better and set a better example that them to help boost the image of nurses.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yes, I suffered at the hands of very stressed-out and overworked nurses. their rudeness was legendary. I just set my sights higher and kept my eye on the goal. I did not let these people get me down. I saw them running all the time and understood but did not take it personally. THEN I remembered...

    And I still do. I treat students FAR better than I was treated. I never forgot what it was like. So must you----forge on. You will work with really nasty people at times. You must learn not to take it personally and also know when to draw the line and take no more. Be NO ONE's DOORMAT and use the golden rule. You will make it though. Take care.
  5. by   purplemania
    Some staff nurses see the students as an extra burden. Students are not there long enough to learn the culture of that facility and understand the pecking order, etc. Just do your job, try not sound like a smart aleck, and learn. One day you can be their co-worker and SHOW them how nice it is to be nice.
  6. by   fourbirds4me
    There were several nurses and entire units that treated us badly. I have vowed to try not to do that but didn't you know that......nurses eat their young?

    Hang in there!
  7. by   AndyLyn
    We have quite a few rotations of students come through on the medical floor where I work, most of them are in their 2nd or 3rd rotation. I love having a student with me, and try and go out of my way to make it a good learning experience for them, but a lot of nurses feel like having students makes a tough job tougher. Try and remember that when you're on the floor, you need to jump in with both feet (nurses love ambitious help!) and if you've got a question, try and come with an answer either from your instructor or from a text before you ask a busy nurse. Most nurses will answer your question, but if there's an easier way to get the answer, try there first! And, like it's been said, don't let a grumpy one make the rest of us look bad! Hang in there, you'll be having students of your own before long!

    Andrea
  8. by   new2nursing
    I am a ICU nurse who is dealing with the older nurses eating their young right now. I have been hauled into the office and told of mistakes that the senior staff has done and not taken responsibility for and blame put on me. I have gotten the union involved and had their statements revoked but that doesn't erase the pain in my heart I feel. It is hard to work in a area where you know that they don't want new nurses. I don't get it, Fresh eager learners to take off the pt. load you think would make them all happy, but instead they are caddy, and talk behind new staff's backs and critisize everything even in front of me with no regard. We have 4 new staff (2 new grads and 2 experienced) Their is definately a difference in attitudes and demeanors towards the new least experienced. I vow I will never turn into that kind of nurse. I will be a eager mentor
  9. by   Katnip
    As a student, I've worked with some really horrid nurses. And some incredibly outstanding, compassionate, and helpful ones.

    My adult health clinical had the most who were awful, and oddly enough it was the agency nurses who took the time for us. A few staff nurses also were shining stars.

    Peds, the nurses kind of left us alone...except for the agency and travel nurses. OB the nurses were very helpful in guiding us around.

    Psych, there were one or two nurses who helped us, but mostly we relied on DCAs. The other nurses pretended we weren't there.

    ED and ICU nurses rocked, so did the nurses in trauma OR, PACU, and ICU. Even the CRNAs liked students.

    My home health nurse was fantastic.

    It depends on the facility and the unit you're on. Each unit has its own atmosphere, and that climate is going to affect everyone, including students.

    And no matter where you go, no matter what industry, you're going to run into at least a few bad apples. Just take a deep breath, grit your teeth and open your lips. That way at least it looks like you're smiling.

    And when it's your turn to have students, remember how you felt.
  10. by   Angelica
    I just graduated and I can honestly say that I have not had any bad experiences with the nurses I have worked with. Maybe I was just lucky.
  11. by   Kim62
    Thank you all for the advice. I am pretty thicked skin, so I don't take things personally. I deal with a few people now at my present job (manufacturing company) that are....well let's just say, challenging! I think my age helps because I have learned to control my temper over the years (well control it better), and not to let people's rudeness bother me. Don't get me wrong, I still have a temper but I have learned to pick my battles much better.

    I agree with you Untamedspirit as far as my friend's dedication....or lack thereof. I really think she was looking for a reason to quit and she found one.

    Thanks again everyone. I appreciate the feedback.

    PS: Thanks for the warning about nurses eating their young. You just can't get information like this any where!!!
    Last edit by Kim62 on Jun 6, '03
  12. by   new2nursing
    I don't understand why but I can only live by example set.So one should remind the nurses that DON'T EAT YOUR YOUNG
  13. by   Gator,SN
    I have worked with a few nurses that wanted to take a bite or two, and I have been very upset about it, but my advice to any fellow student that has to deal with this type of personality is to suck it up! Its not fair and its not right, but when the time comes and I am the nurse, I will remember my own experiences and make the choice NOT to treat others this way. You will learn a lot by just watching others behavoir.
    I always felt better later when I realized that one of those hungry nurses had really shown me what and who they are. After that it got easier.
    Gator
  14. by   VickyRN
    I am a relatively new ADN instructor and from my experience, it depends on the floor and the climate of the hospital. Most of the nurses have been nurturing and welcoming to the students (there is always one or two nurses out of the crowd who are stressed, hyper, controlling, or just plain having a bad day). One floor, however, was just like a snake pit. I have never, ever witnessed such venomous people in my whole career of nursing. This, fortunately, was the exception. A lot of the floors are staffed with new grads (due to high turnover) and these tend to be very welcoming and empathetic to the students.

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