Lazy Student Nurse Preceptors! - page 2

I am furious over my most recent clinical experience. I'm in my last semester of school and graduating in May. Our school waits until 4th semester to learn IV's. Well, the "goals" for this... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    I think that assigning a student to a traveller was a bad call. The traveller is just trying to get her feet under her, and needs to stop and look up procedures pertinent to that hospital, and find supplies. She was probably already pressed for time and stressed without trying to explain and mentor. It was unfair to both of you.

    I guess I disagree with one of the other posters that held pressure on an aline site. In an ICU and in a crisis the opportunity to be in the middle of things, see what was happening and watching the team aas a whole, how they make decisions seems to me like a wonderful learning experience. Each individual procedure will occur again, at another less stressful time but being able to see the action in a high intensity situation, and reason out why things were done would be super. Trying to check blood, get vitals or give a med in front of ten people who want it done in a hurry and correctly is a horrible way to learn. (but that's just my opinion.)
  2. by   Sleepyeyes
    I agee that the assignment was inappropriate, but for pete's sake, how hard is it to give an SC Heparin shot or change tubing?

    From what you say, jf, there's really no reason you couldn't have done some of those things under supervision. On the other hand, these are things that you will get comfortable with very easily when you are a GN, so don't fret too much about it.

    Do go to your instructor and request a preceptor who will let you do things--and make sure your instructor checks up on you in a couple of hours so if it's another "bust" she can pull you and get someone else for you.

    *don't worry, it'll get better*
  3. by   BadBird
    My suggestion for nursing students is talk to the charge nurse when you arrive, ask the charge if any patients undergo any procedures please come get me so I can learn. When I precepted students I would check with the charge person to see what was coming up and many times had students in a room to observe or participate. Bedside TEE's, cardioversion, etc.. very interesting. I find that if a student is interested in learning and willing to participate then many nurses are willing to share info but if you clam up and just stay with your assigned patient then you will miss out on a lot of learning. Help transfer a patient to MRI or CT, if it is a vented patient you will learn how to ambu bag, monitor for arrythmias etc.. Plus during the CT the tech can show you some interesting things. If you feel that you are not learning enough skills from that one nurse speak up and ask all the nurses at the station if anyone needs a IV please come get me, I think you will get more experience that way. Good luck. I sure wish I had you with me last night, inserted several IV's not just for my patient but I am really good at it so the other nurses come to me before calling IV team. Set up for central lines, art line, NGT, my patient ended up on the vent. So much to learn but you will.
  4. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by sjoe
    The problem is with whoever assigned this preceptor to you. It was a singularly inappropriate assignment for the travel nurse to be given for several reasons, and any competent person would know that.
    B-I-N-G-O.
  5. by   Cafe
    A student should never be paired with an agency nurse as they are learning and adapting to each hospital's policies also. Problem begins with the instructor and unit you were assigned to.
    Second, I am precepting for the first time on the new unit I am on. I have had experience as a preceptor before but am on a more intense unit now. There were some good reminders for me to remember to help the new GN I am working with and utilizing the whole staff in learning experiences is a good way for them to get accepted and adapted to the rest of the staff, by way of assistance and learning from others, at the same time you are orienting them to the unit.
    The one thing you have to always remember, is that through those "CNA" tasks, you have time to assess and pick up on problems with your patient. They sometimes talk with you and clue you in to more things going on as a whole. AND.... just because you become an "RN", doesn't mean you won't do any CNA cares! HA! You will do plenty- remember the shortage also includes CNAs and the more critical the unit the more you do all your own patient care!!! But- I remember being a student nurse and wanting to learn all those skills so I wouldn't be clueless. You will continue to get plenty of opportunities- We all continue to learn!
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I will offer a dissenting opinion here and I'm sure many will disagree, which is OK.

    Nurses vary in their comfort level regarding delegation of tasks to students or other UAP's. It is OUR license after all and many nurses lose their licenses now due to complications arising from delegation. Perhaps this agency nurse had no choice in the assignment, then found herself reluctant to delegate due to her temp status. Facilities tend to look at agency through a microscope anyway...why take extra risks. I can see her point.

    Truth be told, I seem to detect some very unattractive, entitled attitudes in many of today's nursing students...like staff nurses 'owe' them something and this troubles me. Hmm..

    While I agree the student IS paying for clinical experience, the nurses on duty are NOT on the student's payroll.....yet the SCHOOL is getting the money from the overworked staff's efforts. How fair is this really? Rude behavior is never justified of course, but a student should try to see the nurses' predicament too, just as the nurse should see the student's learning needs.

    Hard to hear but true: becoming 'assertive' with the staff nurses, 'reporting' them, or 'demanding' servicing to particular experiences, yet never wishing to help with basic care is not likely to endear students to overworked staff, know what I mean?

    It is also MUCH faster to do something myself than supervise another, and so often time is a luxury we have little of.

    Perhaps the SCHOOLS should take heat in these situations, as they are the ones making the big bucks and expecting staff nurses to pick up THEIR slack, when they are likely already overwhelmed. Novel thought I know.

    But it's easier to blame the 'mean ol' staff nurses' I guess. Nurses seem to take the blame everywhere else, why not here too...<sigh>

    Sadly, I have never in my 26 yr career had a proper orientation to a new job. We just aren't staffed well enough anymore. We learn fast how to put theory into practice and think on our feet; and we either sink or swim.... it's just the way nursing is these days in too many places, unfortunately.

    My advice to students is YES by all means let the nurses know what your shift goals are ...but also be open and work as a team member....as this is how we survive nursing.

    And this is NOT a slam to students...just another viewpoint to consider. I wish you all MUCH success...as I was once in your shoes, and remember the frustrations.

    Sorry so long...I'll step off the ol' soapbox now.
  7. by   baseline
    Your assignment was unfair to you AND unfair to the assigned preceptor. Bad judgement on the part of the charge nurse.
  8. by   NicuGal
    Matt'smom...you said it best. That is how I feel, the instucters should be coming and making sure that the student is getting the experiences and making sure she is doing her work right. I am not a nursing instructer, if I wanted to be one I would go back to school and get my masters then teach. If something is done wrong by the student, then it comes back to the staff, not the student and certainly not the instructer. It happened in our unit and now there are near zero nurses that will agree to take students.

    And the attitude does play a big part in it. Pushy and whiny won't get you far. I don't know what they are telling these girls in the schools, but the 'tudes need to be left at the door.
  9. by   Mimi Wheeze
    mattsmom, I am a student and haven't started clinicals yet, but I think you brought up some good points.

    Why do busy nurses, who are not being compensated, have to watch over and put their licenses on the line for students? Just by reading these boards and asking around did I find out this was the case. I just assumed my school instructors would be with me at the hospital to train me, especially in the beginning, when I'm going to be clueless about most every procedure.

    I do feel that students with enough experience would be helpful to a busy nurse, but not a student who's not mastered starting IV's. It just doesn't make sense to me.
  10. by   Flo1216
    Mattsmom-I hope I never have you as a preceptor, no offense. I have never once heard you say a positive thing about students or new nurses. In general, I have noticed that the people who refuse to be supportive of newcomers are the same ones who gripe about them when they start working because they don't know anything. Or if they ask for help they are made to feel incompetent or foolish. I guess these nurses came out of the womb with a stethoscope around their necks and already knew everything. As for the nurse's license being on the line, students ARE responsible for their actions and carry malpractice insurance. The nurse would only be liable if she delegated inappropriately. I cannot speak for other nursing schools but I have to say that I don't feel that I nor my peers feel a sense of entitlement about anything other than receiving respect. It's not like we are sitting at the nurse's station with our feet up reading a magazine. However I see a lot of the staff doing similar things. I shouldn't be snapped at by an RN because a pt wants his IV reconnected and students cannot touch PICC lines. I don't know...I am in my final semester and out of the 3 years I have been here I have found few nurses that are helpful or even friendly. However, the doctors/residents, respiratory therapists, IV therapists, social workers, etc. have been wonderful and I have learned so much from them. Mostly from the nurses, I have learned what NOT to do. It's really sad because we are supposed to be a team and the students depend on them. The instructors can't teach us EVERYTHING. I am sure a large part of our knowledge will be acquired on the job. but I am starting to feel like it is every man for himself.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Feb 6, '03
  11. by   fab4fan
    Truth be told, I seem to detect some very unattractive, entitled attitudes in many of today's nursing students...like staff nurses 'owe' them something and this troubles me. Hmm..

    While I agree the student IS paying for clinical experience, the nurses on duty are NOT on the student's payroll.....yet the SCHOOL is getting the money from the overworked staff's efforts. How fair is this really? Rude behavior is never justified of course, but a student should try to see the nurses' predicament too, just as the nurse should see the student's learning needs.

    Hard to hear but true: becoming 'assertive' with the staff nurses, 'reporting' them, or 'demanding' servicing to particular experiences, yet never wishing to help with basic care is not likely to endear students to overworked staff, know what I mean?

    It is also MUCH faster to do something myself than supervise another, and so often time is a luxury we have little of.

    Perhaps the SCHOOLS should take heat in these situations, as they are the ones making the big bucks and expecting staff nurses to pick up THEIR slack, when they are likely already overwhelmed. Novel thought I know.

    But it's easier to blame the 'mean ol' staff nurses' I guess. Nurses seem to take the blame everywhere else, why not here too...<sigh> quote Mattsmom

    Wow, I couldn't agree with this more. There is major "entitlement" going on these days. Frankly, I feel sorry for that traveler that was there only 2 days and saddled with having to supervise a student, too. Good greif, she was probably just getting her bearings herself...have a little compassion, hey?

    We are not instructors, we are staff nurses. I know that when I extended myself to staff as a student, they reciprocated. Taking a 'tude that something is beneath you to do is not the way to go. After all, one of things you have to do as a staff nurse is learn to work together as a team.
  12. by   Flo1216
    Remember guys...not only is there a shortage of nurses, there is also a shortage of instructors. They do their best but they cannot do it all. I always remember the nurses, not matter how overworked they have been who have taken time to make my clinical experiences valuable. Their pride in caring extends beyond their patients to their future coworkers as well. I think perhaps nurses should nurture their young instead of eat them.:kiss
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Feb 6, '03
  13. by   fab4fan
    I swear to God, if hear that expression about nurses eating their young one more time I am going to scream my brains out. Every time something doesn't go a student's way, it's, "Oh, those nurses just eat their young..."

    I guess the only way to understand is for you to graduate and work on the floor for a few years. And then, when you have 18hr of work that you have to accomplish in 12hr, and get assigned the task of watching over a student/new grad/etc., you will understand how difficult and frustrating it is to do it all.

    It was tough when I went to school, and yet I don't ever remember hearing the refrain, "eat their young" like I do now. It's as if anyone says anything about taking initiative/responsiblity, then that nurse is an ogre.

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