Student sense of entitlement - page 3

by kris113 5,171 Views | 27 Comments

Hi, I am a second year student currently doing my third semester of practicum. During a praxis session, our teacher and my class were going through comments that had been made during our placement, and previous rotations... Read More


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    We recently had a bad snow storm.
    At report, one of the students said "We were all hoping for a snow day". I commented that "there are no snow days in nursing".
    She then said "Well, we are not being paid to be here you know". I practically pierced my own tongue I was biting it so hard not to say "You are a 1st year student with 1 pt for 3 hours - that does not even come close to what I am here being paid for".
    FireStarterRN, Fiona59, and wooh like this.
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    Quote from wooh
    Oh my goodness. We had a nursing student "delegating" to one of our super experienced patient care techs. This PCT had been a PCT longer than this student had been alive, and she is absolutely amazing, works her behind off taking excellent care of her patients.
    You're a student. You don't get to "tell" the staff to do anything. I don't care what rung in the ladder that staff member is on, it's their workplace, and a student is a GUEST in that workplace.
    If nursing school is telling you different, then nursing school is going to lose the privilege of using the facility if they have their students irritating the staff enough.
    LOL. Wouldnt have worked when I was a CNA. Those evil ones I mentioned............they were VERY LOUD, CONFRONTATIONAL and did not like students. Oh my, I can see it now, her pulling students into the kitchen room and just hollering for fifteen minutes. She got turned in once or twice. Her response was always the same, "Then dont assign students to me, cause I'm not going to change." LOL.

    I just have to laugh now thinking back to that. I was lucky on clinicals I guess. Our instructor was very adement about us not being in the staff's way.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Sigh. Nursing students can be pretty clueless, as I'm sure I must have been when I was one. I can recall running afoul of a particular CNA who felt that the presence of nursing students meant that she didn't have to lift a finger for those patients. I recall a nurse I worked with snapping at me that I was going to be on the floor for five hours but wouldn't have time to do baths. What she didn't know was that I was still new at taking more than one patient, and I had to have my clinical instructor present for checking meds and anything to do with IVs, and that because all of these run of the mill nursing skills were new to me, I was incredibly slow. I also remember being called onto the carpet in the middle of the hallway in front of a bunch of other people because the physical therapist, unbeknownst to me, had left a pile of linens on the chair in the patient's room, so when their disabled family member came to visit, they couldn't sit down.

    Now when I have students I try to be very kind and patient, but there are little things that irritate me, such as sitting at the computer that I need to use for hours while they collect their information, or I even had one ask me to make copies of the H&P and labs on a patient because she didn't have time. I was attempting to start an IV on a frail LOL with teeny little tortuous veins, when a nursing student walked in bearing the dinner tray and started talking to the patient about eating and how she should try and eat something, while getting ready to set the tray on the bedside table that contained my IV supplies all laid out.

    But, specifically toward the idea of the sense of entitlement, I recall when I was a nursing student, I felt that since I was going into debt to pay for my education and since I was in clinicals to learn, that I was not there to be free labor, especially to the CNAs that spent their entire time sitting in a corner chatting about their personal lives instead of working and helping out the team. Even though I tried to stay out of the way at computer stations, I still felt that I had the right to use them if I needed to collect information. When we were told that we were not allowed to go into the report room or use the employee break room, it felt like a personal slap in the face. But now, when I go into the break room for my dinner break and cannot use the computer in there to check my work related email, look at my schedule, or double check my paycheck because a nursing student is occupying that computer, it is frustrating.

    It really depends on what side of the fence you are on, but ultimately I think it comes down to everyone wanting to be treated with respect. I didn't like being treated like something scraped off the bottom of a shoe when I was a nursing student, and now as a nurse, I don't like when nursing students are oblivious to things that are important to me, like computer access, and not placing dinner trays on my work surface.
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    I am a recent graduate and I can see what nurses and nursing students are talking about. As a student the teachers would like us to think of ourselves as "equal", which we are not. We are there to learn and have new experiances to hopefully one day be able to say we are "equal". I have always made it a big deal to make sure I am not dragging my nurse down and helping her/him as much as I can. In turn I have noticed that I was always pulled in to see the different procedures or try my techniques. I experianced so many different things because I went the extra mile to make sure that I was not a burden. (My favorite was being charge nurse for the day and was allowed to go to meetings and answer the charge nurse phone.) I think it is a balance...we as student must realize we are guests and act as such. This is not our hospital we are visitors and must be respectful. Yes we need to get our paperwork down for the day, but the nurses need it more than we do. I really do think that in orientation the instructors need to remind the students that we are guests and we need to act as such. I have seen too many times where students think they are above everyone. (Maybe they don't realize they are acting this way, but actions speak louder than words.) In our group our teachers made us delegate tasks to our CNA and in a few situations it didn't work out so well. I was a CNA and I know how it is, I made sure to help out if I had the time and always remained respectful. I truly think that people that would like to become RNs should take a course as an assistant so they can later remember what it is like. Okay off topic...but overall I have seen the sense of entitlement in students and I think that we need to learn how to balance everything. I have met nurses that hated to have students but I made sure to stay out of their way and try to be helpful to earn the chance to be taught by them...in the end they usually always became friends and I learned something that I may not have learned from someone else. Everything is a learning experaince, be it good or bad...so learn from it and apply it to your next experiance.
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    Quote from llg
    when i see or hear the phrase "sense of entitlement" in the context of nursing student behavior -- it conjures up images of students who think that their needs come before those of others. "i am a student and am here to learn and that comes first, before your need to have a reasonable work load, take a break, use the chart, etc."

    i was struck by the op's statement that her school teaches the students are taught to "hold themselves equal to the staff." that may be part of the problem. while all people should be treated with courtesy and respect, etc. .... the needs or desires of the students are not the hospital's primary responsibility. the staff's primary responsibility is to the patients, not the students -- and students need to be gracious as they sometimes have to "take a back seat" to the needs of the patients, the staff, and the hospital. some students are better at doing that than others.

    perhaps in their efforts to be patient advocates, some of the students are giving the impression that they believe their patient's needs (or their learning needs) are more important than the smooth functioning of the unit as a whole.
    this pretty much describes what i think of when i hear about students with a "sense of entitlement."

    i've worked with students who seem to believe that their needs and their "rights" to do procedures, become involved with situations that are good learning experiences, observe, etc. comes before anyone else's needs. sometimes we have orientees whose needs come first -- we hired this person, we're paying for their orientation. we need to get them the experiences before we give the experience to a student. and sometimes patient care comes before the student's learning experience.

    now if you want to talk about a new orientee's sense of entitlement . . .
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    From what I've seen in the healthcare world, no matter how long you've been at it & how much experience & education you have, there will always be someone who trumps you. I guess that means you should never let yourself get too big for your britches.

    I did hear an interesting story from my school, though, about a student who had a bad rotation on a particular floor. The instructor insisted on the students delegating to the Techs & one Tech in particular made her life miserable because of it. She also was given a hard time by her patient's primary nurse. Now that student nurse is Charge Nurse on that same floor. Guess which Tech & nurse are looking for a new floor to work on?
    I guess the toes you step on today just might be attached to the a** you'll be kissing tomorrow!
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    Quote from janhetherington
    I see students interact with nurses in which the nurses are annoyed at what they perceive as the students' sense of entitlement. Sometimes students do act that way. Students believe they should be able to practice skills at every opportunity and get so excited they forget the patients are human beings, not there for their education. Sometimes students also act as though the staff must take their opinions to heart and get indignant that the nurse doesn't give pain medicine, comfort a family, call the doctor about something the patient wants, etc. because the nurse is grappling with other more important problems at the time. Students don't understand the hospital culture, be it right or wrong, that says new nurses (and by extension students) have to prove themselves before they are given equal status with more experienced staff. All that can add up to what seems like a sense of entitlement.
    Or the student isn't willing to do anything or will do only what she wants to do, not any more or anything different, should an opportunity arise. Or the student's eyes are on the clock or they hide out or the student is on the phone, stuff like that. Or maybe they say stuff like, "I don't need to learn that (something in the bedside care arena, like bathing, bedpans, and the other hands-on things) because I'm going to be a
    midwife, NP/CRNA/Manager.

    I think it's interesting that your Instructor couldn't tell you what the term meant. She sounds like kind of a screwball .
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    It's not been *that* long ago that I was a student....I think it has more to do with maturity and respect than anything else. I would never have taken a chair that a nurse needed...heck, who had time to sit?!? I gave up charts right away when they were needed by staff. I was respectful and THANKFUL for the opportunity to learn in a clinical setting.

    Sadly, I seldom see that type of students. I'm not sure what instructors are telling them is ok, but it's NOT ok to take chairs and space meant for staff...it's not ok to hog computers that staff need to look up labs, etc...it's not ok to think that student needs trump patient/staff needs.

    Hopefully this thread won't get pulled like the last one did.....
    Fiona59 and wooh like this.


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