I'm getting a student!

  1. I haven't had a student follow me around in quite awhile, so I thought it would be valuable to ask all of you -- students and nurses who've had students -- what's the best way to get the most out of the experience?

    If you're a nurse and you've done this before, how did you do it and what would you do differently?

    If you're a student, what would you like to achieve?

    You all have such excellent ideas here, I'd like to give the students I work with the very best of my expertise.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   bill4745
    I ask the student what they want to accomplish-do they simply want to observe what we do in the ER? Do they want to do procedures? I usually ask questions of them to get them to think about something before it is done.
  4. by   2shihtzus
    Usually when I have students, I let them know that I walk fast and I move fast. I warn them ahead of time so they don't think I'm trying to run away from them. I let them do the "fun" things...like pull up IV meds into syringes, spike IV bags, pop the cork on an IV abx and let them shake it...that sort of thing.
  5. by   It's Alisa
    We want to do EVERYTHING! lol Everything is new to us...from changing a wound dressing, to giving a med IM, SQ, PO...whatever... but here's the catch, we want to do everything...yet we havn't done ANYTHING yet..so we also need you to walk us through a lot of things.. even the simple stuff (simple for you that is). For example, first time I had to put in a foley cath, I totally 100% blanked on the fact that it's a sterile procedure! and we were only taught that it's sterile like a thousand times. So just let them do what you feel they are capable of doing, and WATCH like a hawk as they do it..and guide.


    - Alisa

    p.s. don't make them do ONLY dirty work...we hate that.

    p.p.s. I've read many of your posts, and you sound like an excellent nurse. Any student would be lucky to have you as a mentor.
  6. by   Sabby_NC
    In my area there is not a lot of hands on for the students.
    This is more part of their clinical rotation to observe the different areas of Nursing.
    I take 3 students with me Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I have 40 students to work my way through.
    The same 3 students I have on both days.
    I ask them questions about what their goals are in nursing, which area they think they may like to work in.
    I take them to interesting patients so they can see the vast differences in illnesses/ diseases and how we cope with their symptom management.
    I always try to take them to my deaf and mute couple to see how we communicate effectively.
    I love it and I LOVE IT MORE when the students are keen. I had 3 students that arrived in high heels, make up plastered on and *sigh* they were so girlie girlie. Hmmmm not sure they are reallllly going to cope being a nurse. Not one of them asked questions or showed any interest really. Now they were tough to have for 2 days. I do hope they find what they wish to do.
    Be open to their questions, invite them to always ask if they are unsure of what you are doing.
    The more you show them, allow for hands on, review at the end of the day the things they got to see or do. They will respect you and always remember their time with you.
    I am sure you will do a splended job
    Do let us know how you enjoyed this.
    Last edit by Sabby_NC on Oct 25, '07
  7. by   Joe NightingMale
    I'd say it's important to be patient (no pun intended )
    I start a brief clinical experience next week, and I'm hoping the RNs will be helpful...I know their reactions can be mixed.
    You might want to be proactive and ask them what they'd like to see. I've been advised to be proactive and ask the RNs for things I need to know, but some students may be too hesitant to ask.
  8. by   BearWayne
    A couple things--don't give your students the option of saying "no" to doing a procedure--get them in there and have them do it. The other thing, if you have down time, talk about your experiences as a nurse. As a student, I love to hear from experienced nurses about all the things they've done--often, I learned about aspects of nursing that I had no idea existed!
  9. by   Reno1978
    I'm a student and here's what I would do if I were you:

    1. If it's their first day on your unit, let them shadow you so they can get a feel for a typical day/routine, but involve them in the patient care that you're providing.
    2. Have a conversation with the student about what they're allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do. Sometimes, depending on the education level, the SON may not allow students to do certain things. For example, we were only allowed to do PO meds in our first semester; no other routes. A first semester student may not be comfortable with their assessment skills and only take one patient, whereas a good fourth semester student should be dang close to being able to handle your whole assignment.
    3. Find out if the student's clinical instructor needs to be present when giving medications or doing invasive procedures!! If the student doesn't seem to know the answer to this, tell them to page their instructor and ask her/him yourself. Some instructors, in my experience, are very strict about this!!!
    4. Try not to forget that you have a student. It was discouraging when my preceptor would do something without me. Things as simple as priming IV tubing can be new and exciting for students.
    5. If a student asks you something, don't be afraid of not knowing the answer...If you don't know (and we can ask some crazy stuff, beleive it) you have the ultimate response of, "Well, I think that's something you should go look up yourself."
    6. Nursing students are learning the latest, so be open to learning something new yourself!


    Have fun!
  10. by   NewRN2008
    it all depends on the semester of the student, so i think first you need to ask what they cannot do. make them do things even if they dont want to, unless they really just need to see something done first. lots of things in clinicals are diff than we really do in school. my huge thing. DONT FORGET YOU WERE IN OUR SHOES TOO. srry all caps, but to get my point across. i still have nurses that are mean and not nice. and then you get the ones that dont let youdo anything, or even worse, on things that I KNOW i am confident in, esp the "easy" things, pulling IV, doing Saline lock ect...dont need to stare over my shoulder and try and tell me step by step. if you are going to "grill" us on something, be nice, and also, dont do it in front of the patient, please!!! makes us look like idiots. and also feel like one! a big one! if you feel that you need to walk us thru something, we are more than willing to listen, because you probably have a better way since you have done it many more times than we have. I feel that the "grill" sessions suck, but i also know, that is when i learn the most, having to think on my feet. when our instructor asks you questions, be honest, but dont tell her things were just peachy and we did something wrong, and the other way around, dont be mean about us if we did something wrong, esp if its not critical. we do learn from our mistakes and dont need to constantly get yelled at or "talked to".
    I just sent a text to a friend when i left clinicals the other day as a matter of fact. i told her "i vow to always know where i came from, i vow to never be THAT B****nurse that i had today" somedays, i would love to just yell that on the floors, to make them remember they are not better than us, just more experienced. GRRRRRRR can you tell this is a hot topic for me?? never had tooo many prob's until last week. i am in middle of 3rd semester and things i needed help with my nurse didnt give a crud, andthings i had no prob doing, as mentioned in my rant above, hounded me about horribly. she did some things with my pt's that i was supposed to be doing and didnt tell me either, really screw up my flow!!

    GL
    Please dont be THAT nurse
    -H-
  11. by   bigsyis
    I used to ask them what kind of exposures they have had, and what they haven't seen or done. Then, I made sure all of the other nurses on the floor knew that I had someone who needed learning opportunities. Whenever our pt load permitted it, we would help as much as we could. If there was a Code on our floor, we would go to it, if there was room. I would put the student back against the wall, out of the way, but where they could see what a code was like. Try to remember how you felt as a student, and what you liked best and needed most, and try to integrate it with what your student tells you that they need. Also, try to be patient (not always easy for me) and kind, and you'll do well.
  12. by   ERGirl83
    When I was in nursing school the first time, the RN pretty much left me alone to do my thing, and was available for questions and other things I needed her for.

    On more complicated cases/procedures, my RN came into the room with me, but still let me do my own thing, just offered support if I needed it, or asked for it.

    For me, personally that was great. I was nervous about having someone watching over me, when I felt as though I could do the job on my own (I was a titch bit pretentious). But, I know that would make some students (and I'm sure some RN's, whose licenses are on the line) uncomfortable.

    Personally, I think as long as you're a friendly face and you get your student actively engaged, it will be a positive experience! Good Luck!
  13. by   Ms Kylee
    It would be nice if one of the nurses actually talked to us. Most of the time, we stand around bored because the nurses don't want to be bothered with us. We want to learn! I want to be the best nurse I can, but I can't accomplish that when we're basically told to get lost. When students are on the floor, I talk to them and find out what they're allowed to do and what they aren't. Of course, I'm just a NA, and I can't guide them, but I can help them along the way with little things like help with a bath, taking patients to the bathroom, and answering questions like where is the linen cart.

    As an aside here, last week I had to do my first post mortem care with no nurse to help me (haven't had this discussion in school yet either). One of the RN students so graciously volunteered to help me and she had no experience with it either. We got through it... even though it was like the blind leading the blind. When we were done, she thanked me for letting her help and then gave me a hug. It meant a lot to me. After it was all over, I found her instructor and told her what a good job she had done and I really appreciated her help.
    Last edit by Ms Kylee on Oct 25, '07
  14. by   UM Review RN
    Thanks, everyone. I'm going to make a list of websites and books for him/her because it's the last part of the program and they'll be expected to do a lot of stuff. Any thoughts on that?

    This is the last clinial before graduation, so it'll be pretty overwhelming and pretty intense.

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