Lazy Student Nurse Preceptors! - page 4

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   essarge
    While I see many good points, I also see an opportunity for some improvements that will not only help the students but the nurses that are preceptors also.

    Perhaps, as a group, the nurses could approach the facility, and ask that a "student preceptor team" be formed (don't laugh too hard!). This would entail that the hospital/facility cover the malpractice insurance for the nurse doing the precepting. Extra pay diff (again don't laugh too hard). Help the hospital/facility alleviate some of the nursing shortage there and help the student, when they graduate, hit the floor at at least a jog and not a dead stop. I feel that this could be run, possibly, through the education department of the facility and offer the nurse doing the precepting the extra training so that they do not feel so overwhelmed with having a student nurse "shadow" them.

    I have been talking to our facility about this type of program and they are looking into it. They feel that, if such a program is implemented, they would treat the nurse preceptor as an "extra" on the floor with an assignment of no more than two patients for them and the student to care for. They would have total care (even the bedbaths) for the patient throughout the entire shift. I really hope that this program takes off. I feel that it would be a great asset not only for the student nurse but also the facility.

    By the way, I am a tech also along with a nurse extern, so I do my share of bed baths, mouth care etc. While it is not my favorite thing to do, I try to put myself in the place of the patient and how I would feel if no one had the time to take care of me. I have also heard students that I attend school with state that "I can't wait until I don't have to do that anymore"...my answer to them is always, don't count on it...you will be the nurse that cannot find a tech to help them!

    Just my two cents worth!
  2. by   hoolahan
    In total agree ment w mattsmom and fab4fan, re the "eat their young" phrase.

    And flo, it is rather nervy of you to make such assumptions about mattsmom, when have you workd beside her??

    I am very pro-students. I LOVE working w students. I spent three years as a nursing ed instructor as well, and I love to teach other nurses, BUT, I do see the entitled attitude in some. Maybe, just maybe, the preceptors are picking up on that tude of giving you a dose of humble pie! Labeling a thread "Lazy nurse preceptors" is not a good way to present your cause, for starters.

    You think this nurse was LAZY??? It was her SECOND DAY in this facility!!! Besides the fact it is totaly inappropriate to assign the student to a NEW (to the facility) travel nurse, If I were her I would be royally pizzed!! I'm flexible, but not that much. Personally I would have declined to be your preceptor in this situation. I just wouldn't know enough about the P&P to properly advise you.

    When you get out of school, guess what? Some days you will get the team or nice assignment, and some days you will have the pt who has unending diarrhea. You better get used to the idea that nurses and not just aides do clean shyt, give baths, and do mouth care. If you cannot find anything to take out of the experience you had, then you are not taking enough advatage of your clinical time. Open your mind!!
  3. by   llg
    This is a really interesting thread for me to read because I am the liaison between my hospital and the local nursing schools who use us for clinical experience -- 8 different nursing schools to be exact. In previous jobs, I have also done a little teaching and been a staff nurse, charge nurse, and CNS.

    I think a lot of people have made some great points. I think the key one is that it is a difficult situation for EVERYONE.

    1. The students need the experiences and sometimes have trouble getting them because of the current stresses in the health care environment.

    2. The instructors are being asked to supervise more students than they possibly can as well as being incredibly underpaid.

    3. The staff nurses are also overworked and not always comfortable with supervising students -- or compensated for doing so.

    4. The hospital is probably receiving nothing from the school in exchange for providing clinical experiences.

    5. The school of nursing is probably losing money as nursing is one of the most expensive departments for a university to try to run because of the relatively small faculty-student ration. They are probably under a lot of pressure from the university as a whole to cut costs because the state is cutting back funding for education because tax payers want tax cuts. Anyone who thinks that nursing schools make money is ill-informed.

    6. On top of that, everyone wants the schools to produce more nurses. Yet, no one is willing to provide the resources to do that.

    The situation is one in which everyone feels "put-upon." Many people feel that everyone else has it easy and is just being "lazy" or "mean" or "unfair" or whatever, sometimes unable to see that the person they are pointing their finger at is in an equally difficulty situation.

    The questions then become: Can we work together to solve the problems? Are we going to be able to each contribute something positive to the situation to help it evolve in a positive direction? ... or ... Are we just going to keep pointing our fingers at each other and dump more grief on them?

    llg
  4. by   onco gal
    There is a lot to be said about the situation, attitudes and responses.

    First of all, on the surface, it was not a good assignment, but this is also part of your learning experience. While a student, I never started an IV and my first catheter placement was in OB with a lady whose bladder was about to burst because she had no feeling secondary to an epidural placement. That was my only experience with catheters.

    But I learned a tremendous amount about interaction among nurses. I "cut my teeth" after I graduated on a med surg floor in a small community hospital that had all levels of patient populations and peds. I also made most of my "mistakes" there.
    My nursing instructors were tough as were my clinicals. I was humble to the nurses during my clinicals because I had not walked a mile in there shoes and their job was not to teach, guide or train me. That was and should be the job of their instructor. This is the bottom line. I always ask the instructor when I have a procedure that the students may want to perform, under "her direction" not mine, and most important always, is whether or not the patient will agree to have a student be involved in their care.

    You will learn and become proficient in the technical skills, however, the interpersonal skills are a continuing challenge of nursing. Instead of resenting the travel nurse, you could have taken the higher road and said "since we are in this together, I am willing to help you get through the shift as much as I can". I cringe when I have heard nursing students say, I am not going to nursing school to "wipe butts". What better way to assess your patient's skin? Think about the patient first, not your own inconvenience. You will learn the technical skills I promise you!
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Great points llg. Will colleges put out the $$$ to hire additional instructors? Will students be willing to pay more for nursing school tuition IF the schools supply more clinical instructors? So much of this is about $$$.

    I tried teaching...didn't like it...I had too many students (the whole hospital to cover) and couldn't do a good job (gee sounds just like staff nursing...LOL!)

    For the record, I always put myself out for a student or a new nurse when I have one around. But nursing is a team sport...we get back what we put in and this goes for students too. If they are 'me-me's'and won't see the big picture and work with the team a bit...well, as was said we only have so many hours in a shift and patient care will ALWAYS come first.

    In my area students practice under the RN's license when the instructor is not present, which is 99% of the time. So bottom line it IS the RN's decision regarding what he/she will delegate to a student (who is another form of a UAP).
  6. by   hoolahan
    I would LOVE to be a nursing instructor in nursing school, BUT I will not spend 30,000 in blood sweat and tears only to take a job which pays 25K per year. If there is such a nursing shortage, why don't the schools consider utilizing BSN's, at least for assoc nursing schools, as instructors?? I would happily let the school put me through my MSN as a tuition reimbursement perk. I have a lot of experience, a lot of patience, and I love teaching , but w/o the MSN, in NJ, I am not "worthy" to be a nursing school instructor. Their loss as far as I am concerned. I think I have a LOT of offer, but they (PhD academia) cannot open their minds to the possibilities.
  7. by   Flo1216
    Perhaps the phrase of nurses "eating their young" wouldn't be heard so often if there wasn't an element of truth to it. The object is to attract more people to the profession, not drive them away from it. If students are treated like dirt, why will they want to be part of a profession that doesn't welcome them? It's not about students not getting their way...it's about courtesty and mutual respect. Most students are scared to death and could benefit from the guidance and support of a seasoned nurse. Sure, there will always be some students with attitude problems but that goes for any profession. Just as there will always be a lot of nurses with attitude problems. It doesnt' have to be that way. I have been mentored by wonderful nurses who are just as overworked, stressed and tired as the next person. They didn't snap at me for no reason, or complain about having a student, as if I were deaf. They didn't make me feel like a burden. They weren't rude or nasty. They had patience and made my clinical experiences valuable. In my opinion, these people truly define the word nurse. Too bad these lovely souls seem to be few and far between
  8. by   Flo1216
    As far as starting IV's are concerned, we do a rotation with the IV therapy nurse, as that is their specialty. It works out better that way. I guess every school is different and some are better than others. The quality of students probably varies as well. I can't help but feel defensive though, being a student myself. All I want to do is learn and I don't feel I should be shortchanged simply because each student doesn't have their own personal instructor. I work in a hospital and I know how busy nurses are. I try to do as much as I can on my own but there are times(gasp) when I have to "bother" the staff nurse. Also, usually I try to go to my instructor first and they defer you to the staff nurse. A lot of times they can be of more help than the instructor because they are the ones taking care of that person every day. It's tough all over. And I would rather annoy someone with questions than to try and go it alone and make a mistake. I think some students are afraid to ask for assistance because they have been ridiculed or make to feel incompetent. So please....can't we all just get along?
  9. by   Flo1216
    llg...I like the way you think
  10. by   Flo1216
    Hoolahan....how is that nervy? I have read many posts on this issue by Mattsmom and the impression she puts forth is that she is less than accomadating to newcomers and students. Not everyone is a good teacher or not everyone is willing to precept. When I graduate I want to work alongside a preceptor who doesn't resent my being there. I want to learn. In my opinion the best way to learn is to be taught by someone who WANTS to teach. DO you honestly think that we can be taught everything we need to know in nursing school? Of course not. It just seems as though a lot of the experts cannot be bothered with the beginners. However, the experts seem to forget that they were once beginners themselves. We rely on your experience to help mold us into good nurses. Nursing is SUPPOSED to be a team profession and the newcomers cannot be expected to make it on their own, without support from their coworkers. It's sad to me that we live in such a me-oriented society. I wish I could replace the word ME to the word WE. The world would be a much nicer place.:kiss
  11. by   fab4fan
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Flo1216
    Perhaps the phrase of nurses "eating their young" wouldn't be heard so often if there wasn't an element of truth to it. The object is to attract more people to the profession, not drive them away from it. If students are treated like dirt, why will they want to be part of a profession that doesn't welcome them? It's not about students not getting their way...it's about courtesty and mutual respect. Most students are scared to death and could benefit from the guidance and support of a seasoned nurse. Sure, there will always be some students with attitude problems but that goes for any profession. Just as there will always be a lot of nurses with attitude problems. It doesnt' have to be that way. I have been mentored by wonderful nurses who are just as overworked, stressed and tired as the next person. They didn't snap at me for no reason, or complain about having a student, as if I were deaf. They didn't make me feel like a burden. They weren't rude or nasty. They had patience and made my clinical experiences valuable. In my opinion, these people truly define the word nurse. Too bad these lovely souls seem to be few and far between [/QUOTE

    Malarkey...the fact is, there are a lot of students with this attitude of "entitlement"...another phrase bordering on becoming hackneyed.

    Look at how many students come here and say stuff like, "I have a pt with "X" diagnosis...give me some nursing dx." When you gently suggest ways for them to think it through, they start whining that you are "eating your young."

    Hey, there were nurses that were tough on me when I was new; I didn't, however, expect staff nurses to be my personal mentors when I was a student.

    Personally, I love having students. But nothing makes me madder than asking a student to help me with something and have him/her say, "I've already been checked off for that," even though they weren't busy at the time.

    There was a perfect example of how to work as a team, and it was passed up. So, if I'm busy doing what asked you to help me with, don't condemn me when I don't have time to help you fulfill your check list.
  12. by   fab4fan
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by fab4fan
    [B][QUOTE]Originally posted by Flo1216
    Perhaps the phrase of nurses "eating their young" wouldn't be heard so often if there wasn't an element of truth to it. The object is to attract more people to the profession, not drive them away from it. If students are treated like dirt, why will they want to be part of a profession that doesn't welcome them? It's not about students not getting their way...it's about courtesty and mutual respect. Most students are scared to death and could benefit from the guidance and support of a seasoned nurse. Sure, there will always be some students with attitude problems but that goes for any profession. Just as there will always be a lot of nurses with attitude problems. It doesnt' have to be that way. I have been mentored by wonderful nurses who are just as overworked, stressed and tired as the next person. They didn't snap at me for no reason, or complain about having a student, as if I were deaf. They didn't make me feel like a burden. They weren't rude or nasty. They had patience and made my clinical experiences valuable. In my opinion, these people truly define the word nurse. Too bad these lovely souls seem to be few and
    far between
    [/QUOTE

    Malarkey...the fact is, there are a lot of students with this attitude of "entitlement"...another phrase bordering on becoming hackneyed.

    Look at how many students come here and say stuff like, "I have a pt with "X" diagnosis...give me some nursing dx." When you gently suggest ways for them to think it through, they start whining that you are "eating your young."

    Hey, there were nurses that were tough on me when I was new; I didn't, however, expect staff nurses to be my personal mentors when I was a student.

    Personally, I love having students. But nothing makes me madder than asking a student to help me with something and have him/her say, "I've already been checked off for that," even though they weren't busy at the time.

    There was a perfect example of how to work as a team, and it was passed up. So, if I'm busy doing what asked you to help me with, don't condemn me when I don't have time to help you fulfill your check list.:

    As the Don Henley song goes, "Get Over It."
  13. by   fab4fan
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by fab4fan
    [B][QUOTE]Originally posted by fab4fan
    Originally posted by Flo1216
    Perhaps the phrase of nurses "eating their young" wouldn't be heard so often if there wasn't an element of truth to it. The object is to attract more people to the profession, not drive them away from it. If students are treated like dirt, why will they want to be part of a profession that doesn't welcome them? It's not about students not getting their way...it's about courtesty and mutual respect. Most students are scared to death and could benefit from the guidance and support of a seasoned nurse. Sure, there will always be some students with attitude problems but that goes for any profession. Just as there will always be a lot of nurses with attitude problems. It doesnt' have to be that way. I have been mentored by wonderful nurses who are just as overworked, stressed and tired as the next person. They didn't snap at me for no reason, or complain about having a student, as if I were deaf. They didn't make me feel like a burden. They weren't rude or nasty. They had patience and made my clinical experiences valuable. In my opinion, these people truly define the word nurse. Too bad these lovely souls seem to be few and
    far between
    [/QUOTE

    Malarkey...the fact is, there are a lot of students with this attitude of "entitlement"...another phrase bordering on becoming hackneyed.

    Look at how many students come here and say stuff like, "I have a pt with "X" diagnosis...give me some nursing dx." When you gently suggest ways for them to think it through, they start whining that you are "eating your young."

    Hey, there were nurses that were tough on me when I was new; I didn't, however, expect staff nurses to be my personal mentors when I was a student.

    Personally, I love having students. But nothing makes me madder than asking a student to help me with something and have him/her say, "I've already been checked off for that," even though they weren't busy at the time.

    There was a perfect example of how to work as a team, and it was passed up. So, if I'm busy doing what I asked you to help me with, don't condemn me when I don't have time to help you fulfill your check list.:

    As the Don Henley song goes, "Get Over It."

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