Student nurse with question for RN's

  1. I am a new student nurse (started Aug this year) and had my first weekend of clinicals last weekend. I had a fairly good experience with a great patient and pretty helpful nurse. However, many of the students had difficulty communicating with the nurses. For example, students would try to introduce themselves to the nurse and would basically get no response at all, or the nurse would just ignore the student the entire day. I realize having a student there can probably be an annoyance to a very busy RN, but I have found out that usually there is not much communication between the RN's working and the students. I guess I just found this kind of disappointing, as I looked forward to learning a lot from the nurses. Just wanted to hear from some experienced nurses, as to your thoughts on students and what I, as a student, can do to make communication better between myself as a student and the nurse. Thank so much!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   mamason
    Hummm....could it be that the nurses are overwhelmed on this floor. They may just be trying to concentrate on getting their work done. Still, that's no reason for a staff nurse to be rude to a student if the student is trying to introduce themselves. I would just go into my clinicals with a positive attitude and try gain as much positive experience as I can. Look around and try to see what is actually going on in that unit. Are they short staffed? Do they have a high number of high acuity pts? They may not be trying to ignore the students on purpose. It may just be that they are trying to stay on their own schedules so that they can get their job done. Also, if this is an ongoing problem, then, maybe you or the clinical group could discuss this with your instructor. She/He may be able to shed some light on the situation.
  4. by   rita359
    Quote from futurecnm
    I am a new student nurse (started Aug this year) and had my first weekend of clinicals last weekend. I had a fairly good experience with a great patient and pretty helpful nurse. However, many of the students had difficulty communicating with the nurses. For example, students would try to introduce themselves to the nurse and would basically get no response at all, or the nurse would just ignore the student the entire day. I realize having a student there can probably be an annoyance to a very busy RN, but I have found out that usually there is not much communication between the RN's working and the students. I guess I just found this kind of disappointing, as I looked forward to learning a lot from the nurses. Just wanted to hear from some experienced nurses, as to your thoughts on students and what I, as a student, can do to make communication better between myself as a student and the nurse. Thank so much!
    I think your clinical instructor can help break the ice here. Your instructor has to have a positive relationship with the nurses on the unit. After that keep yourself open to any new experience you can get that you have covered in classes. For instance, if some pt needs cathed and you have been instructed in this, get your instructor to volunteer you to do this for the nurse. Keep your eyes open for opportunitities. Dressing changes, Data bases, etc are all opportunities to learn. Your clinical instructor should be the person overseeing you when you perform these tasks. Being helpful will also help break the ice.
  5. by   JenNJFLCA
    I agree with the above poster. I had some bad, some good clinical experiences. It mostly depended on the floor we were on and how short staffed they were. Just try to make the most out of your clinical experience by spending time with your patient, looking up their disease process and meds, asking the nurse if there's anything you can do with your clinical instructor present (pass meds, dressing change, suctioning a trach, etc), etc. If you end up with a rude nurse, remember that this will not be the last time you'll encounter this and start building a thick skin now. I don't think that all nurses, doctors, unit coordinators, etc intend to be rude on purpose most of the time. I try to tell myself that maybe they are busy or having a bad day for whatever reason and let their negative vibes roll off my back. I am a very sensitive person and used to get easily offended/upset, but that has worn off quickly.
  6. by   futurecnm
    Thanks for the replies. I just was curious as to how RN's do really feel about student nurses being on the floor. I would think that a student could be a help to a busy nurse if they communicate who is doing what. In talking to some second year students (2 yr AD program) the student kind of does things independently on their own, which I would think would be detrimental to the patient. I would ideally want to work with the RN as to what responsibilities I am trained to do and let her know what I will be taking care of. I would think this would be in the best interest of the patient. I have just heard from others in the program that nurses rarely want to interact with the students (this is a generalization and not true for all the nurses) and they just want to do their thing and have you do your thing.
  7. by   Tweety
    I find it just the opposite. I'm more than open to students on my unit, but they act like they are afraid of us and they don't speak. They talk amongst themselves, but I have no idea what they are doing with my patients.

    I'm sorry it's that way where you are. It's a two way street, both people need to professionally communicate to enhance patient care first and foremost, and to enhance the student's experience.

    Good luck!
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i personally enjoy working with students, but not every nurse does. on our unit, we're not given much of a choice. the student shows up, and the charge nurse pairs them with the nurse that has the most interesting patient, and often the first the nurse knows about it is when the charge nurse shows up with the student in tow. even if the students choose their patients the day before, the nurse isn't informed until the student shows up. what this means for the nurse is that we're already overworked, and now suddenly we're supposed to teach, too! teaching slows us down considerably and suddenly a day that was barely manageable becomes a day that is totally unmanageable -- and no help to be had.

    now while none of this excuses rudeness, perhaps you can begin to see why some nurses don't enjoy working with students.

    like tweety, i've also been with some students who whisper and giggle among themselves, but won't talk to me. after awhile, that starts to wear on us.

    and one more thing -- don't assume i've heard you and am ignoring you. students in the icu tend to be overwhelmed and intimidated, and an intimidated person often speaks much more softly than they think they're speaking. i simply may not have heard you, the ears having been exposed to lots of loud music over the years. if you catch my eye and speak up and i still ignore you, then you can bust me on my rudeness.

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