Seasoned nurses eat their young?! - page 3

I am a nursing student, who by the way will graduate in December, and am sick of being eaten alive every time my clinical group hits a new floor. I don't understand how so many hateful people have... Read More

  1. by   ceecel.dee
    Originally posted by Tink RN

    I always ask what they are comfortable with doing (with my supervision) and make sure to explain that patient care comes first and being a fast paced environment, I will only be able to teach as time allows and if things get busy, please do not think I am ignoring you, but hang with me and I hope you will gain a feel for what ER nursing is all about.
    If time allows, I like our nurses to challenge the students' "comfort zone" a bit. We find that most students will say,"I've never done that before" when asked if they would like to "cath a real patient" or whatever, content to let the experience of getting over the "first time jitters" slip away. We try to ask "have you had the theory and lab practice" on a particular skill, and, given we have the time (and inclination...can vary from nurse to nurse), we push a little for the actual "hands on"...and have recieved more than a few letters of appreciation (a few weeks to months afterward) about helping them get over their fear.
    You students must be able to step up and enthusiastically show a desire to learn! Most nurses are rather nurturing, but the real interest must be shown for us to think our time will be well spent. We really do like to make a difference.:kiss
  2. by   llg
    Originally posted by ainz

    As for research, please llg, not another nursing study where nurses are studying themselves, again.

    Yes, we need research in this area. The quality of life for staff nurses (and for students) is an important issue for the profession. When more and more responsibility is piled onto the staff without proper support (e.g. supervising students), it can become too much of a burden. That leads to stress, burnout, bad care, etc. It also chases students away from that particular unit or facility.

    We need to address this common problem and solve it -- and we can't hope to do that until we understand the phenomenon. We need to understand it, identify the effects it has on staff satisfaction and performance, retention, recruitment, quality patient care, etc. Those are all things that matter and they effect the quality of care provided as well as the hospital's financial bottom line.

    llg
  3. by   ainz
    Actually, "angels of mercy" is just a saying. I do not advocate kissing anyone's a_ _. I do think high standards of professionalism and compassion are in order for nursing and can be done without cowering down and taking abuse from patients, doctors, administration, or anyone else. Again, the reason it is appropriate is because of the vulnerability of the people we are caring for and the trust they put in nurses to care for them.

    To me not much is worse than a rude or uncaring caregiver when patients are vulnerable and anxious due to the effects of illness, hospitalization, being away from what is familiar and comfortable for them. Personally, I would not tolerate a rude nurse or doctor when caring for my children, wife, or other family members. Compassion and professionalism can go hand-in-hand.
  4. by   Monica RN,BSN
    OK Students listen up............. I have been in your shoes some 15 yrs ago, and over time I have become a very proficient and valuable resource person. I LOVE THE STUDENTS. Yes they slow us down, and yes it is often an inconvenience, and all that jazz, and I have not got all the answers on how to deal withthe rudeness of those "Military Style Old Nurses" you seem to find here and there. BUT........... I do have a suggestion....
    You see, I am the type wo goes right to the source when there is a problem, never to someone else, and by passing the issue... So my point is, When you get to the floor, Say something like, " Good Morning, My name is __ and I have been assigned to work with you today. I know that you are probably not nearly as exited as I am to have me here today, but I hope that you will be willing to work with me anyways." Then say something like, " I hear you are very experianced and I can learn alot from you" (regardless if you know anything about her or not...) This may make the nurse feel "Important " enough to want to share knowledge as she may then feel that "someone sees her as a role model" and in the end, she will be YOUR role model at least for the day, and may help break the ice and promote a smoother day in clinicals.

    Now, I can't guarentee it will work, but it is worth atry, as what you all have been doing is obviously not working, let's look at this as plan B.

    (By the way, I am a nursing instructor/ community Educator)

    G@@D Luck to you all!!!!!
  5. by   maythen
    I'm a nursing student who's also graduating in December, and I share your frustration. The hospital my class is in was undergoing some really difficult times (an FBI inquirey, charges of medical fraud, and charges of unneccessary surgical procedures). At the same time they were grossly understaffed and taking in students from several different schools (though not all at the same time or days).
    Poop rolls down hill, and (here at least) the bottom of the hill is the students. Any problem that arose (no matter what it was or what day it occured) the nearest student got blamed. I had a charge nurse literally screaming at me for almost ten minutes over a paperwork mistake that was made on a Saturday (my class is only there on wednesday and thursday) and which "may" have been done by an LVN from a totally different school. When another student got our teacher to extract me, the charge nurse chased me down later, specifically to tell me she was NOT sorry because all students are alike and we should be stopping each other from being stupid instead of claiming we weren't there.

    I've heard that old adage "nurses eat their young" and unfortuantly some people take it to heart, both nurses and students. One of my teachers spent the entire symester telling me I was "worthless", "stupid", and "someday you're going to kill somebody and I'm going to be there to laugh at you". We work almost exclusively by ourselves, with little supervision and are not allowed to ask questions of other nurses. However, there are a few procedures that we must have our teacher supervise. No matter how well prepared I was or what the circumstance was my teacher always managed to find a way for me to be wrong, often not telling me what it was other than to laugh at me and say "only if you want your patient to die" while she walked away. (in one case it was because i had grabbed a 250 cc bag and she wanted me to use a 1000cc bag. the patient was fluid restricted and had been given this med in a 250cc bag for four days. i triple checked the med book and it said to give the med in a 250cc bag too) This was a nearly daily occurance and I spent most of that symester's walk home after clinical weeping my eyes raw.
    There are also students who feel the need to do the same thing to one another. It doesn't much matter how your grades are or how well you do at clinical, at least not to them. What matters (in my class at least) is your ability to kiss the teachers butt and be part of "the in crowd".
    But there are good nurses too. There's the nurse who will go out of her way to find a student to show her "this really nifty new shot we're giving on the floor". Or the nurse who thinks to warn you that the patient you're getting is full of GoLytly, is combative, and throws the bed pan. There are nurses that have made the difference just by a word or a smile between me giving up and dropping out or else coming back the next day. There are wonderful nurses out there. Just as there are wonderful students. And wonderful teachers.
    I agree that some students are nothing but trouble. But I know that not all of us are. There are plenty of us that do all our work and then some, without complaint or problem. We alert our nurse to important changes in status and leave her be the rest of the time. We chart well and work our butts off to be a blessing instead of a burden. In my school it's the teacher who does the supervising and question answering of students, so we're not much involved in the nurses working unless it's to report an important change or to give report before we leave. If you're not a well prepared student you're a student sent home. And if you miss more than one day of clinical for ANY reason you fail the class. We're not allowed to sit down (even to chart) and if you're caught standing around you get sent home. We're not supposed to take breaks, even to go to the bathroom. (though I admit that after my second kidney infection I started breaking that rule).
    While I'm not a nurse yet, I can try to see both sides. I know there are students that are trouble. I know there are nurses that take out their bad temper on students because they know there isn't much we can do about it. Personally, I see it as a sort of flaw in the system as a whole. The system that allowed nurses on PCU to have 9 patients at a time. The system that allows nurses (like the charge nurse that went after me) to be under enough stress that she *does* reach that point. The same system that instructs students to "press your body against the wall and cast your eyes down" whenever Dr. X walks near you. The system that allows a teacher to shred her students self-esteem to ribbons just because she can, or to give the students she perfers a 100% on tests they didn't take because the student wanted a week longer vacation. I only use the term "the system" because I don't kinow what else to call it, other than the monster that ate health care.
    It's bad business all the way around. As a student, there isn't much I can do to change it other than to try to be the best student I can be, to remember the good nurses, and to try my hardest to be one of them when I graduate. Once I'm a nurse and I'm ready to handle it, I'm hoping to try to get involved in changing some of the policies that I see which appear to be contributing to this problem. Just for myself I plan on taking an "assertiveness training course". Being a nursing student has shown me that I'm very good at standing up for other people, but not so good at standing up for myself.
    Good luck to you. And as I keep telling myself. It's almost over. It's almost over. :-)
  6. by   EmeraldNYL
    Maythen, where the heck do you go to school??!! THAT'S ABUSE!!! Not being allowed to go to the bathroom??! I had some bad professors before but that takes the cake. I would report her to the deans of your school, go as high up the ladder as you need to go until someone pays attention to your concerns. There's absolutely no excuse for behavior like that and you don't have to take it!
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Last time i ever had to ASK to go to the bathroom was GRADE SCHOOL.
  8. by   happystudent
    Originally posted by Tink RN
    I've been on both sides of the fence. As a student, on some rotations I was treated kindly and allowed to freely ask questions and observe various procedures etc and walked away feeling as if I had gained something from the experience. On others ofcourse, I was treated rudely and as a burden or abused as an extra CNA and the only knowledge I would gain is what type of adult pampers that particular facility utilized. I vowed to myself at that time I would never treat others the way I was treated.

    Now the flip side. As a RN in the ER, I have been asked to allow students to work with me. I always ask what they are comfortable with doing (with my supervision) and make sure to explain that patient care comes first and being a fast paced environment, I will only be able to teach as time allows and if things get busy, please do not think I am ignoring you, but hang with me and I hope you will gain a feel for what ER nursing is all about. Well ... some students have been outstanding - eager to learn, interested in what I was showing and telling them and hanging to my coat tail through the chaotic moments (traumas, etc). Those impressed me and were worth my effort so to speak. Unfortunately, I have also had the experience of having students assigned to me that showed up with a bad attitude and had no interest in anything I attempted to teach them. One girl I will never forget was actually filing her nails as she sat at the nurses station while I was trying to stabilize an acute MI after I told her , "This is one of those moments I need you to stand by and watch and we will discuss it later."
    Even though I have never allowed a negative experience to effect my attitude with the next, I have a better understanding of some of the attitudes I encountered as a student. I am by no means excusing staff being rude to students but I have wondered if they encountered some of the same bad experiences I have. Try to be a little more understanding. I agree with the "kill them with kindness" post because some people are just rude by nature. Also you will be in the "other shoes" one day. It is stressful to accept the responsibility of having a student with you and knowing you will be held accountable for them as well.
    Keep a positive attitude. You will take something with you from every clinical experience - good or bad - keep it in your memory bank and reflect upon it when you are in the reversed role to keep your attitude in check.

    nice post.........well put
  9. by   NicuGal
    I don't mind the students...it is when they have this big ole careplan that they pretty much want me to fill out. I just smile and hand them a book and say...go to it

    There are days that each and everyone of us is testy and mean feeling...but when you have a big patient load and little time it one does feel put out.

    My advice is...go with a smile, a nice word and if all else fails, bring cookies LOL That has softened some of us up. If it is a continual problem, what does the nursing instructer say? I won't take patients that the instructer isn't around for, I am not getting paid to do her work.

    Hang in there
  10. by   maythen
    EMERALD NYL wrote:
    Maythen, where the heck do you go to school??!! THAT'S ABUSE!!! <snip> There's absolutely no excuse for behavior like that and you don't have to take it!

    *******************************
    I attend a community college in Northern California. Actually, there are some really GREAT teachers here too, in fact my third symester teachers were the only reason I kept going after that last one. I guess their policy is to try to "weed out" students in the first year of the program. My husband started out here too but dropped. He's a kidney transplant and immunosupressed. (not a good person to be a nurse, but he was set on it.) They took on 10 more students than they could handle to get this special grant, so had to weed out at least 10 early on. His clinical instructor kept giving her students patients that were WAY out of their ability (like TB patients and the student was told to just not breath real deep in the room). Even knowing he was immunospuressed and why, his instructor gave him a combative C-diff with Dementia and an HIV positive, HEP A, B, and C positive patient who was just starting to go into DT's and was dying from end stage renal failure due to drug use. That was his second week in clinical as a first symester student. The program I'm in is REALLY very strange to me. The area is pretty backward in it's thinking both in the hospital walls and outside of them. The Docotors are allowed to literally shove the nurses around if we "don't get out of the way fast enough". Most of the nurses in the hospital went through the same program I am, quite a few with the same teachers. It seems to have made them into the kind of nurse I DON'T want to be. You can always tell the ones that came from my college and the ones that didn't.

    Actually, several of us have complained (though I'll be honest and say I didn't have the guts to be among them). First to the head of the nursing program, and later to the school board. We were told that we didn't know what we were talking about, that our accusations were totally unfounded, that the teacher had tenure, and that we just couldn't cut it as nurses. We were told that we could either "suck it up" or drop out and save everyone's time. The students who complained ended up dropping out, and I saw the kind of nastiness directed at them to make sure it happened. Out of a class of 20 we've got less than half of our original group left.
    However, we are all supposed to be sent these little forms to judge how the program was 6 months after graduation. They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Boy am I going to do some squeaking!
    I get through it by reminding myself that I have NO intention of staying here to work. And that I know it's not like it is here everywhere. I want that diploma and I want to pass my Boards. After that these people can kiss my butt. I feel that much of what my class and I have experienced is abuse. But I've got one more symester to go. After that, I'm out of here. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how to change it... and I saw what happened when other students tried.
    Last edit by maythen on Aug 14, '03
  11. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by teeituptom
    Yes we eat some and some of them are pretty damn tasty also. yyaahhoooooooo
    I'm sorry...but :roll I just can't help myself... :roll
  12. by   fergus51
    Being short with students is just counterproductive. in my experience, the rude staff nurses tend to be on one or two units of a hospital when the administration has allowed them to take over with their negativity. They are rude to both students and their colleagues. Next thing that happens is the good nurses start leaving, and no new grads apply to work there. If they are lucky they can con people from out of town to come work there, but once they realize what they signed on for, they quit too. Patient care suffers as short staffing becomes even worse than on other floors.

    I consider it a professional responsibility to do what I can to help students learn. I don't do their homework for them, but I am patient with them and never rude. If we don't provide them with a place they can learn, we'll be the ones suffering in the end.
  13. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by maythen
    I'm a nursing student who's also http://register.abracat.com/c2/finda....xmlgraduating in December, and I share your frustration. The hospital my class is in was undergoing some really difficult times (an FBI inquirey, charges of medical fraud, and charges of unneccessary surgical procedures). At the same time they were grossly understaffed and taking in students from several different schools (though not all at the same time or days).
    Poop rolls down hill, and (here at least) the bottom of the hill is the students. Any problem that arose (no matter what it was or what day it occured) the nearest student got blamed. I had a charge nurse literally screaming at me for almost ten minutes over a paperwork mistake that was made on a Saturday (my class is only there on wednesday and thursday) and which "may" have been done by an LVN from a totally different school. When another student got our teacher to extract me, the charge nurse chased me down later, specifically to tell me she was NOT sorry because all students are alike and we should be stopping each other from being stupid instead of claiming we weren't there.

    I've heard that old adage "nurses eat their young" and unfortuantly some people take it to heart, both nurses and students. One of my teachers spent the entire symester telling me I was "worthless", "stupid", and "someday you're going to kill somebody and I'm going to be there to laugh at you". We work almost exclusively by ourselves, with little supervision and are not allowed to ask questions of other nurses. However, there are a few procedures that we must have our teacher supervise. No matter how well prepared I was or what the circumstance was my teacher always managed to find a way for me to be wrong, often not telling me what it was other than to laugh at me and say "only if you want your patient to die" while she walked away. (in one case it was because i had grabbed a 250 cc bag and she wanted me to use a 1000cc bag. the patient was fluid restricted and had been given this med in a 250cc bag for four days. i triple checked the med book and it said to give the med in a 250cc bag too) This was a nearly daily occurance and I spent most of that symester's walk home after clinical weeping my eyes raw.
    There are also students who feel the need to do the same thing to one another. It doesn't much matter how your grades are or how well you do at clinical, at least not to them. What matters (in my class at least) is your ability to kiss the teachers butt and be part of "the in crowd".
    But there are good nurses too. There's the nurse who will go out of her way to find a student to show her "this really nifty new shot we're giving on the floor". Or the nurse who thinks to warn you that the patient you're getting is full of GoLytly, is combative, and throws the bed pan. There are nurses that have made the difference just by a word or a smile between me giving up and dropping out or else coming back the next day. There are wonderful nurses out there. Just as there are wonderful students. And wonderful teachers.
    I agree that some students are nothing but trouble. But I know that not all of us are. There are plenty of us that do all our work and then some, without complaint or problem. We alert our nurse to important changes in status and leave her be the rest of the time. We chart well and work our butts off to be a blessing instead of a burden. In my school it's the teacher who does the supervising and question answering of students, so we're not much involved in the nurses working unless it's to report an important change or to give report before we leave. If you're not a well prepared student you're a student sent home. And if you miss more than one day of clinical for ANY reason you fail the class. We're not allowed to sit down (even to chart) and if you're caught standing around you get sent home. We're not supposed to take breaks, even to go to the bathroom. (though I admit that after my second kidney infection I started breaking that rule).
    While I'm not a nurse yet, I can try to see both sides. I know there are students that are trouble. I know there are nurses that take out their bad temper on students because they know there isn't much we can do about it. Personally, I see it as a sort of flaw in the system as a whole. The system that allowed nurses on PCU to have 9 patients at a time. The system that allows nurses (like the charge nurse that went after me) to be under enough stress that she *does* reach that point. The same system that instructs students to "press your body against the wall and cast your eyes down" whenever Dr. X walks near you. The system that allows a teacher to shred her students self-esteem to ribbons just because she can, or to give the students she perfers a 100% on tests they didn't take because the student wanted a week longer vacation. I only use the term "the system" because I don't kinow what else to call it, other than the monster that ate health care.
    It's bad business all the way around. As a student, there isn't much I can do to change it other than to try to be the best student I can be, to remember the good nurses, and to try my hardest to be one of them when I graduate. Once I'm a nurse and I'm ready to handle it, I'm hoping to try to get involved in changing some of the policies that I see which appear to be contributing to this problem. Just for myself I plan on taking an "assertiveness training course". Being a nursing student has shown me that I'm very good at standing up for other people, but not so good at standing up for myself.
    Good luck to you. And as I keep telling myself. It's almost over. It's almost over. :-)
    This is one of the saddest posts I have yet to read! (((((((((maythen)))))))) Don't you worry not one little bit, because I totally believe, what goes around, comes around! One day the Lord might just allow that "woman" and I use the term loosely, to be have to ask you for help one day!

    You just hold your head high, and KNOW that you are ONE tough cookie!!! But you know what?? You stand up for yourself just fine. Cause just by going back to that class everyday, and being on top of things, you let that """"" know that NO ONE is going to stop your progress! YOU GO GURL..!!!

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