taking students, precepting - page 3

I do not precept and I do not take students. At one time I thought I would never say this. However, students deserve better. I want you to learn and do well and have good experiences. ... Read More

  1. by   SFCardiacRN
    I really enjoy taking students "under my wing" for the day but it is very difficult and most of the nurses in my unit don't like it. Not everyone can teach and NO ONE should be forced to. The result is a bad experience for the the student as well. I applaud Mitchsmom for being honest and look forward to walking a student through their first foley cath!
  2. by   girlfromtx
    It really is horrible when a nurse doesn't want a student, and the student is with that nurse. It can get so demoralizing to be with a nurse that doesn't want you with her/him. Clinicals are hard enough with nurses that are patient, much less with one that doesn't want you to have one of their pt's. I think it is great that the OP was so upfront about it. I am a student and I dread the day when I become a nurse and have to take students b/c I see the frustration and extra work we are, but I guess it's the "circle of life" so to speak. You have to have students in the hospital to learn, to be able to replace those that leave.

    *edited to add: I agree with the poster who states that a clinical group is also just as frustrated with the "bad" student as the nurses are...
  3. by   unknown99
    I believe it is stressful and at times hard to deal with students. However, what we nurses have to consider is that we were students once.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Nicky032605
    I am a pre-nursing student, and am wondering how anyone with that attitude would even be able to GET INTO Nursing School!!! You would think during the interview process they would screen people a little better.
    Could you please be more specific regarding to whom that you are referring?

    Are you referring to the nurse that does not like to precept or.... the student that is difficult or those that are upset that a nurse admits that she does not like to precept?
  5. by   girlfromtx
    I believe Nicky032605 is talking about lazy students.
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    the original poster is justified in her feelings and should not be attacked.

    I am a nursing student, and I would prefer to be with a nurse that feels willing to take me under her wing, not a nurse that has to accept the added responsibility when they don't feel up to it on top of everything else they have to deal with throughout the day.

    As for my school...the nurses LOVE to see us coming, because we have excellent training and our instructors do nearly all the supervision. We ARE the nurse for the day, and we do everything from vitals, baths, calling the doc, checking the chart, charting, calling pharmacy, administration of meds and blood products, etc.etc. The nurses just check in with us and our instructor every so often to make sure we are doing fine. Many times we decrease their patient load and they request to have us again.
  7. by   Thunderwolf
  8. by   epiphany
    Quote from Agnus
    I do not precept and I do not take students. At one time I thought I would never say this. However, students deserve better. I want you to learn and do well and have good experiences.

    Taking students is very taxing and time consuming and frankly at times frustrating, when we are not on the same sheet of music.

    It takes a lot of energy and patience and teaching to take on a student. I don't have it. And when I have a day when the demands are already high I do not need to spend extra time and energy with a student.

    I will accept a student occasionally but not as a matter of routine. Ask me first. Perferably ask me after I know what I am up against for the day. If I have a patient go real sour very fast I need people I can rely on around me not a student.

    I will galdly allow you to do proceedures on my patients when you are with another nurse. However, if I say this patient needs cathed and you waite several hours until you get around to it don't bother. I saw this done when anouther nurse offered to let a student do a cath. The student was with a diffrent nurse and both accepted the offer. Yet more than 2 hours passed and they made no move toward doing it. The patient was suffering. The student with her nurse was not that busy. The nurse who had the patient continued to waite after reminding the student because another hour passed. Finally she did it herself. I am not here to waite until it suits the student to do a procedure. If you want the experience take it now or not at all. Life moves fast in a hospital. Be pro active.

    Be willing to jump on an oportunity when it presents itself. Waiting does not cut it. True you may not be able to jump on every oportunity if you can't because you are taking advantage of another opertunity say so. Say when you will be free and keep that commitment or at least tell the nurse you will not be able to keep it.

    I found myself a few weeks ago trying to explain something to a student and I realized that because it is so ingrained in me by now I do it automatically and could not explain it. For many of us it gets to be that way. I do not want to go back to where I have to think about every detail so I can explain to a student. I want to just do it and be done with it.

    Because you deserve better than what I am willing to offer I will not accept you on. If you are a pia (pain in the tush) for what ever reason I don't want to react to that in an unkind or unfriendly way. You deserve better. I deserve to choose to just do my job without the added stress and challenge of teaching, and being a textbook example because that is what you need right now.

    I did have a student last week for one day. He was within 2 months of graduating. I tried to get him to do the meds. He told me he, "has the procedure down and does not need to do it." He watched me. HELLO. I am not the student. I really do have it down. Either you are here to practice your clinical skills or you are not. I did not respond it was his loss. He watched me do assessments. I had to push him to do assessments and they were incomplete. Why was he even there. What a waste of both my time and his.
    I guess he had that down too. So why tell me why did he even show up if he had everything so down pat that he did not need to do anything. He lef tsaying he would ask to work with me again. I think not. I know this is not every student. But no matter how good you are you take energy that I am not willing to give as mine has become limited as I age.

    You may find that unfriendly but I can assure you you will see more unfriendly if I take you on. You need and deserve much more than I have to give.
    Hi Agnus:

    I had some students today, and I thought about your post, so I wanted to share my experience. Now that I'm on the other side of the fence, I got to see what students are like, and I didn't like these students at all. They crowded in my pt.'s room, without acknowledging her presence and proceeded to ask questions to my preceptor about the vitals signs, etc. Then they chatted and complained about how hard it is for student nurses to learn, while ignoring this poor laboring woman. When I was a student, I too, had to try to get information on pts, but I always looked at the charts myself, and tried to be as helpful as possible, but these students were awful. As a student, the comfort of the patient and assistance of the nurse was always my primary goal. I didn't say anything as an orientee, but I was really annoyed.
  9. by   bluesky
    I have a really mixed reaction to this post. On the one hand, the OP has every right to define her boundaries and limit her engagement in activities that she finds tax her too much if they are not part of her job description. Many of my jobs have included teaching and mentoring as part of my job description, yet others haven't so there's the rub. Secondly, I do have an issue with blaming the students for the added stress. Students are not going to do everything right the first time. The student who didn't promptly cath the pt or the student who refused to give the med may have had an important learning experience if you had verbalized that such behavior was unbecoming of a student and not indicative of a great nurse to be. The fact that nurses are too overworked to have the time to mentor effectively is a problem related to work overload... a systemic issue in nursing. If I am overly taxed, and a manager asks me to precept, I will simply say something along the lines of... well I could do a much better job if there were techs here every day and the nurse: patient ratio on this floor was better. I try to use situations where management is asking me for something to advocate for nurses as a whole because we are all in this together.
  10. by   Agnus
    Quote from Squaw
    I can't imagine how a nurse being someone who generally cares for people do not care for nursing students. They are the ones that will be taking care of you when you are in there. Why not teach them everything you know. Are you burnt out on Nursing? If so, get out of the business.
    I am not burned out on the business. When I am I will get out. If you read my post more carefully you would see that I said that I care about students that I love students. THAT IS the reason. I also said that I am older and my energy do not match those who are even older than me. I am not sick however this old body has seen more than you can imagine and is wearing out.

    Students take more than time. The take energy that I do not have to spare. You talk about nurses thaking care of each other. Wonderful. I need to take care of myself inorder to take care of my patients. We all have limitations.

    The problem is the entire world seems at times to believe we are super nurses. And we buy into that expectation and kill our selves.

    I am glad this has inspired you to extend gratitude to your preceptor in the way you have. Please, also consider that nurses like my self also deserve some respect. If I took you on you may not have received as good a learning experience as you did from you preceptor who was eager to take you on. I do teach but not on a continious basis.

    As far as a nurse teaching you all they know. Again have some respect. You have not idea what you are asking. When I was a student I migh have said the same things you are saying now, because I did not know what I did not know.
  11. by   psych_nurse_2_be
    Quote from girlfromtx
    *edited to add: I agree with the poster who states that a clinical group is also just as frustrated with the "bad" student as the nurses are...
    Yes, I am a STUDENT, yet I am graduating in 5 weeks. Luckily I have enjoyed all of my preceptors, maybe perhaps because I jump at the opportunity to do a skill or help in any way - hey, that's my nature. Not once have I had a conflict with any of my preceptors. I'm even doing my transitioning time with a preceptor I had for one day of clinicals in 2nd semester. So, see if you are nice and don't trash the students, you never know when they will find you at a later time to hopefully prevent you from getting one of those "lazy" students - yes, I've seen those too. However, this is what kills me - have those that are nurses now never had a preceptor? Were you never a nursing student? Did you never get talked down to like you were an idiot in front of others students and in front of hospital staff? This is what I see every single day as a student. Perhaps when you were in school, you learned everything you needed to know from a textbook - if you still have it, can you forward me a copy? I'd sure be happy to learn it all from a book and never have to bother one of you who doesn't like students again. But, maybe you should ask yourselves one question. I'm not directing this towards those who say they are aging and it's difficult to spread your knowledge, I'm directing it towards those who are saying that students just get in the way and are a waste of your time, since you're not getting paid extra for it or receiving any gratification. The question is, who do you think is going to be out their caring for you or your family members one day in the hospital? Do you think it may be one of these students who were not given the chance to develop their skills and grow into the profession because you just didn't like to have a students tailing you around for a few days?
  12. by   Sunshine Sweetheart
    Angus I apperciate your honesty and candor. I am starting my clinicals in Jan and I currently work in a hospital. I see students that come in and are eager to learn and some who are scared and need a little confidence. I do feel that nurses should have a choice on whether or not they want to precept. In all reality they do not always get that choice. One thing that I have learned is that nurses wear a lot of hats and shoes for that matter. Angus, I understand that you feel that you cannot physically handle the demands of precepting a student and that is fine, but you have so much else to offer. By being a more experienced nurse students will want to suck up all of your knowledge. You are a veteran and students can learn so much. Even if you don not actually precept you can still offer knowledge and advice when possible.

    I hear so much about nurses not being teachers, but we are. We may not like it but we are teachers. We teach are patients and families about their disease or medications. We may teach our co-workers and sometimes we may even teach the doctors some new things. Nursing is about gaining knowledge and passing it on to help others.

    I have seen nurses that have been downright rude and ungodly to students but I have also seen others that are wonderful. The nurses that are coming in are the ones that are going to help alleviate the shortage and are the future of nursing. Yes, students may be a pain and we may ask tons of questions, but we do it because we do not want to let nursing down. I personally want to be the best nurse that I can be so I can contiune to do the profession justice like the nurses before me have.

    I am not a nurse and have never had to precept a student, but I have had to precept fellow co-workers in my position. Yes it can be stressful and it may slow down my day or I may have to alter my routine. I always try to remember that I was in their shoes at one time and remember how I felt.

    This is no way an attck on anyone on the thread. Angus you have a right to your opinion and no one should attack you for it. I want nurses to know that not all students will be difficult some might be able to actually help you with your work and not hinder you. Just like it was posted to the poster that they should not assume Angus was "burnt out" nurses should not generalize students either. As students we try our best and want to learn and ase also a little nervous. From the begginning of time nurses have taught and trained other nurses and that is how it will be to the end of time. All nurses should be told that they may be part of their job description so that it would not be a big supprise. If there were no preceptors then where would nursing be because there would be no nursing students!
  13. by   Curious1alwys
    I know it is very hard as a student............especially as a beginning nursing student.........to get into clinicals and see the attitudes of most nurses. To see how overworked they are and how disgruntled they are. On one hand I understand it, but it does not keep me from saying, "wow, do I really want to do this?" This is something that a friend and I have been struggling with. She has since dropped out of nursing school. She saw how it "really was" and decided that she didn't want to have to put up with all that crap everyday. By "crap" I mean the attitude of the nasty nurses for two more years but also the attitudes of the nasty docs that treat the nurses like crap, attitudes from nasty pt's, etc. Getting into clinicals was an eye opener for her as it was for me. I think if you have any doubt whatsoever it is almost impossible to stay in school after you see the reality of clinicals. I think even if you are absolutely sure nursing is for you you still probably go home and cry!!!


    Nursing school reminds me alot of a freshman "hazing" I had at a private high school. I feel like I have been teleported back in time to freshman year!

    Yes, I also have mixed feelings on this topic.:chuckle

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