RN's, what would you like to see from Student Nurses? - page 2

I just read a thread from the students board that scared the crap out of me. It seems there is not a love between RN's and SN's. I'm going to start school in the fall so just give it to me... Read More

  1. by   MedSurgeMess
    I love students, in fact I teach clinicals on a prn basis. A couple more for the students:

    Don't roll your eyes at the staff at the hospital. Chances are, the instructor knows the staff and will hear about it. It will make a very bad representation of you, and other instructors at school will hear about it as well. You will not have a good reputation as a team player. And no one needs to know that the menial task is beneath you; we all wipe butts on a regular basis!
    Be pleasant. You may have a headache or be tired, but if you feel that bad, stay home! The patients want to be taken care of, not have to hear someone else's problems.
    Lastly, if you don't know something, ask. We'd rather have to tell you how to do it than to have to undo it then tell you how it should have been done correctly the first time.
  2. by   TakeTwoAspirin
    Even if it is not the specialty you "know" you want to be in when you graduate, please pretend like you are happy to be there and want to learn something.
  3. by   catshowlady
    Please do not sit around in the nurses' station, especially a bunch of you. Most nurses' stations have limited chairs and computers at which to sit & chart. If you are charting, that's absolutely fine, but if you aren't, please make sure you are not in the way of someone else charting.

    I understand that you need the chart to do your work, but *please* make sure the unit coordinator or the nurse knows where the chart is. I do not enjoy spending 30min looking for a chart, especially when the doctor is breathing down my neck about finding it *now*.

    Answer the call light. Anybody's call light. Please. You have no idea how helpful that is.
  4. by   vicarious
    Remember that you will get out of the experience what you put into it.
    DON'T be a know-it-all (nobody likes a know-it-all, especially one who isn't licensed)
    DO ask questions (when appropriate)
    and 2 good rules of thumb:
    1. treat the patient as you would treat your mother/grandmother/loved one
    2. if you aren't sure, ASK. (e.g., Don't just act like you know how to pull a Foley because you want to do it. I appreciate your eagerness, but the patient won't.)

    and some more advice..
    you are no doubt going to encounter RNs who are not a good example. it will be EASY to emulate their practices. challenge yourself to be the best. sure the right way is sometimes the hard way. but remember, it is the right way. take pride in your work and the care that you are providing--even as a student. I have found nursing to be both a rewarding and at the same time a frustrating field..on a related note, nursing can be stressful, please forgive any bad attitudes you may encounter as a student nurse. Just grin and bear it, and thank God you don't work there :lghmky:
  5. by   vicarious
    Also, don't talk about your patients. It is so tempting when you are with your clinical group to start talking about your patient and all the things you did for him. But what if the woman taking the elevator with you, even if she is hospital staff, just happens to be his sister? Of course you weren't gossiping about him, but that information really is confidential. Even if you aren't saying his name, how would you feel if you got onto an elevator full of giddy students hearing about how you did this and that and then when you get to your brother's room you find that he was the subject of discussion in the elevator?

    Another tip-do NOT write down your patient's last name down, and if you are going to print something out, make ABSOLUTELY sure you are cutting his name off. There was a story about a nursing student at my school who lost a full report sheet--name, dx, and everything--on campus from a patient she had. A good samaritan, figuring it was property of a nursing student, found it and turned it into the nursing office. Yeah, I would be lying if I said that I knew what the ending to this story is, but I could just see this happening to me--bottom line, cut the names off and use initials if necessary.

    Lastly, maybe others will agree with me on this one, but you will find that most of the "cooool" things that you learn in skills labs or whatever (e.g. injections, blood draws, IVs, NG insertions, Foleys, fingersticks, etc.) are really NOT that big of a deal once you get to the meat of your program. I remember being so excited to give a SQ shot or an accucheck at first. Ha. Fine tune your assessment skills. Keep your old assessments for fun (SANS patient identifiers, of course) and look back every year at how much you have grown.
  6. by   vashtee
    Quote from catshowlady
    Answer the call light. Anybody's call light. Please. You have no idea how helpful that is.
    Speaking of this, make sure you ask about the call light system. I didn't even know what a call light was until half way through my first rotation! No one bothered to explain it.

    Also, be careful about doing something so simple as to give a patient who is thirsty some water. The first call light I answered was for a stroke victim who wasn't allowed to drink water unless it was thickened, but I didn't know it (who would think it?). Fortunately, a sympathetic CNA came to my rescue before I did any damage.

    Here's another useful tip: during my first semester, I found the CNAs to be much more patient with me than the nursing staff. After all, during the first semester, you won't be allowed to do most of the skills you will be learning about in school independently. If you have down time, it is a good idea to offer to help the CNAs. They don't spend much time in nursing school focusing on this aspect of work, but you WILL be doing it later.

    Likewise, if you find a friendly nurse, you can ask if s/he minds if you shadow them for the day once your own work is done. To be honest, I never did this with the unfriendly nurses (and yes, there ARE some of those out there).
    Last edit by vashtee on Jun 30, '09
  7. by   yazzy26
    This is a great post! I too will be starting my clinical rotations in the Fall in NYC and I am just terrified that I will 1)be "left out" of performing such tasks (I hear that before you are allowed to do ANYTHING you MUST FIRST get your clinical instructor's permission and in some cases, they even have to observe you performing whatever task/procedure it is...) and 2) being overwhelmed and "unprepared" to do tasks and procedures.

    Right now I simply volunteer and I find it frustrating that all I am allowed to do is stock PPE boxes, serve trays, and fill water pitchers. I wish I could do more, but I know it's learning process and I will definetly be printing all of the replies here to remind myself how I can be helpful and make the clinical experience the best it can be!

    thanks all.
  8. by   tlc2u
    RN's what would you like to see from student nurses?
    When I was in nursing school my nurses were either very busy and did not have much to say (never heard anything negative from my nurses) or they were less busy and occasionally took a second to express their appreciation of whatever the student was able to help with.
    As students we had so much paperwork required to turn in to our nursing instructor we were all focused on (Clinical Instructor, how can I be successful in clinicals) that we had little time to worry about how much could we be helpful to the nurses.
    Although we felt we were being helpful to the nurses with the patient care we were giving; our main focus was caring for our patients, quickly providing our nurse with necessary information and then making sure we completed all the requirements of our "Clinical Instructor."
    If there are any CI's on this board I think an interesting question would be, "CI's, What would you like to see from student nurses? or what advice do they have for being successful in clinicals.
  9. by   metal_m0nk
    Wow...with some of this stuff, I'm really shocked that it's necessary to point it out. Scarfing down donuts that were gifted to the nursing staff? Eye-rolling in response to reasonable requests? Yikes.

    But then some other things, seem to be just a liiiiiiittle over the top - like, don't touch the window in a car you're riding in without asking? I'd most likely ask before cracking a window to get some air out of courtesy ("Hey, you mind if I roll this down?"), but daaaaamn, Gina. Letting your finger slip from that hyper environmental control button for just a second won't cause the world to come crashing down around you, I promise!
  10. by   shoegalRN
    Quote from JoPACURN
    I love students, but they don't often come to our PACU because we are too busy and learning is very difficult.

    I have to say, though, that if they are willing to "hang" with us, and don't mind our craziness, it's great for them.
    I did part of my Capstone in the PACU and I loved it! I would rather work there, after I've gotten a year of ICU experience. It was a great learning experience and the nurses were all wonderful! They didnt have students over there very often, but they all took well to me. I was told I have a great work ethic because I really enjoyed learning and I would take every opportunity to learn when I could. I also went around to each bay asking the nurses could I help with something, as little as getting a warm blanket, or a cup of ice, the nurses really appreciated it. I also assisted with transporting patients and offered to do that alot, because it would leave the nurses available for the next patient. I wish I would have done my entire Capstone over there.
  11. by   RosalindRN
    overall I like students and I can remember being a student and feeling unappreciated by the nurses on certain units. I also felt like I couldnt be trusted. We also use to bad mouth the nurses over small things they didnt do or how short they were with their patients. Now that I am a nurse I can see how I didnt have all the facts as a student. I got really ****** off at a student for questioning me about medicating a pt before doing a dressing change. I was already mad at the doc because he came in and removed a wound vac off of the patient without any prior notice and just left the wound open and the lady was screaming her head off. I gave her pain meds but it wasnt gonna help her when she was already in pain before he ripped it off and he left her wound exposed. The student got cocky with me and was like" Youre not gonna give her more pain meds". Okay fisrt of all she is a renal pt and if I give a bunch of meds to a 100lb renal pt it will eventually catch up with her and knock her out or worse. And secondly, her pain is important but covering up this gaping wound before she bleeds to death is my main concern right now. I dont mind you asking me questions but I can do without the attitude because I feel like I have been doing the work to make the decisions. Even after you pass the NCLEX and spend the next 5 years working with 7 pts every night for 3 12 hour shifts, I still will not appreciate your cocky attitude. I dont even tolerate that off my own co-workers.
  12. by   cursedandblessed
    i am a student, and here's what i learned (one year to go!!)

    be nice to everyone, the tech's, the nurse's and the cleaning staff-yes dadblame it the cleaning staff. you never know who could be important to you in the future.

    once things get rolling in hospital clinicals, get some alcohol wipes, a couple of flushes, an empty 10 ml, couple of 2x2's and some tape to keep in your pocket, at the beginning of the shift. even if you're not the one to flush the iv, you're nurse may have used all of her's and you can pull one out of your pocket, someone used all of their alcohol swabs, you've got one. if you are offered the chance to pull a foley you've got the 10 ml to draw out the fluid. this shows you're prepared. all of the nurses know they can grab me as i walk down the hall and i probably have what they need or can go get it.

    never say i'm not here to do tech work, are you too good?? guess what?? tech work is your work once you're a nurse: you're just allowed to delegate it to uap then. just because it's delegated doesn't mean it's not your responsibility to see it's done.

    at the end of your rotation, do something nice for the staff, bake cookies, bring doughnuts, take up a collection between the 8 or so of you it doesn't cost a lot, and a thank you card for the staff and floor director. (note to self, remember on sunday to go and pick up the fruit from the store.)

    when your nurse has a patient who's on the call bell constantly, offer to take the calls, take a few minutes while you're in the room, many patient's who do this are afraid, or have anxiety. some of them will respond to some extra tlc, some won't, but you're answering the calls will help out your nurse tremendously.

    keep your mouth shut about your patients in the cafeteria, halls, elevators. not only does this break your patient's privacy, it is unprofessional, and you'll be known as the mouthy, untrustworthy student.
  13. by   rachelgeorgina
    I know that it's totally unacceptable to identify your patient in any way in discussion (wherever that is - the lift, the nurses station where people can hear you etc) however can you talk about a procedure that you may have preformed without disclosing any identifying patient features? On my last clinical I got to watch a bronchoscopy, which I was really pumped about and really excited about and wanted to share with my class mates who were on other units and wouldn't get the chance to see one done. I didn't disclose anything about the patient (except that I saw his tumor & that there was heaps of bloody sputum, which I guess can be patient specific) & I got told off by my instructor for being to enthusiastic about discussing the procedure and for HOW I discussed it. I was probably really excited and didn't exactly use the most professional language (I probably called a few things "really cool" and described bronchioles as looking like caves.) Was I unprofessional for being overly enthusiastic?

    What is the right way to share something that you may have done during the day? How can you do this professionally and without disturbing your pt's confidentiality?