The student nurse - page 4

by musickx2 9,895 Views | 73 Comments

How do you feel about working with a student nurse? How comfortable are you with the student nurse basically taking over your patients and paper work while you observe? If you are not comfortable with the student taking your... Read More


  1. 4
    In a smaller hospital, like in the area where I live, RN's don't have the "luxury" of not taking a nursing student, no matter what you may believe.
    Fiona59, noahsmama, RNsRWe, and 1 other like this.
  2. 8
    Yes, this may be what you saw while you were actually IN clinical. However, once you left, you can bet your left lung that the RN actually assigned to those patients is going over EVERYTHING you did with a fine tooth comb, because ultimately, those ARE her patients ergo, HER responsibility.
    I don't care what anyone tells anyone, having a nursing student DOES add work to an RN's day!! Some RN's thrive on that and love it, others don't. Tis what makes the world go round....
    Vespertinas, kids, Merlyn, and 5 others like this.
  3. 4
    I totally love working with nursing students. I encourage the students to do as much as possible with me standing next to them, guiding them. I still wear the pants, if you will. Most students require a lot of direction in the PACU, as it's quite different from their past experiences. If they're with me for weeks they're often able to get the job done with less direction, but I always encourage them to ask questions and will throw in my two cents frequently to explain the hows and whys.

    If something needs to happen quickly, I may jump in and do it and explain how and why, and then allow them to do it the next time. For example, if they're fumbling to draw up and calculate how much fentanyl to give, I may draw it up and give the first dose before the patient yanks his IV out and strangles me with the tubing. I'll have them give the subsequent doses and draw up the next vial.

    Honestly, my shifts are typically way easier when I have a student, esp. one I've been able to break in who can help. I do have to talk more, and sometimes get a bit hoarse. It is stressful when I'm trying to let the student take the load, knowing the next patient through the doors is ours.

    Big piece of advice to all students (and new hires for that matter): LISTEN to the nurse you're working with! I'm a pretty mellow dude, but even I get mighty annoyed when someone totally disregards my input, esp. as it pertains to care of the patient at hand.
    Merlyn, LittleMissRedRaider, jpw4200, and 1 other like this.
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    it really is a shame that even on this site, nurses and sn's can be so divided. i am a student nurse, and i hope no one is offended by my response on this topic, because i see it from both sides. i dont think any of us can say with definite certainty that it is "always less work" or "always more work" for the nurse when they have a student. in my experience, it is entirely subjective, and all depends on the facility's rules, clinical instructor/university policies, and sn initiative. even in my small clinical group of 8 students, all in a reputable program, i am completely aghast at the complacency, lack of compassion, disrespect, entitlement and downright laziness of some of my "cohort." hearing "im the student nurse, i don't have to do aide work, that's the aide's job" makes me want to punch a wall. i do have hope however, because i know how i am. i will go in and do whatever i can to make the nurses' jobs easier and comfort a patient, regardless of whether the task is "below" my level of experience and trainig or not. we are all in the business of caring for people, and if we dont feel that way, then what in the heck are we doing?? it's frustrating, but i have to say, the heartfelt thanks that i have gotten from patients, nurses, and even physicians whom i help while i am "just" a student nurse is probably the most rewarding feeling i can think of (well.. short of saving a life i suppose...). heartfelt thanks to the nurses that teach happily and the student nurses that help when they can... its the best way to learn

    and to those arguing on this subject, maybe less sarcasm and a less argumentative tone might help?
  5. 9
    I recognize that I'm not addressing the OP's question (as I am not qualified), however I'd like to weigh in.
    As a student nurse, when I come on to a busy, busy, buuuusy Med-Surg floor, I feel like a jerk interrupting the nurses.
    I am incredibly grateful that they let me tag along beside them and inevitably slow them down.
    Fortunately, I've never had a nurse decline to take me on. That doesn't mean I'm not pleasantly surprised each and every time they say yes. I get the "wary eye" from time to time in the beginning, but that eases up once I've shown a bit of competency in my SN role and show that I am not going to undo their efforts towards caring for their patient (rip out tubes, freak out, whatever).
    I don't think the nurses owe me anything. When I started nursing school, I never considered the fact that one day I may have to precept students, and I can't say that I'd be a ball of funshine and sprinkles with each and every student.
    To the nurses, thank you for not swatting me away, taking the time to teach me, to challenge me, and thanks for not making too much fun of me when i stutter and trip over wheelie things.

    I will add that I'm scared to post on these boards. I am also showing an incredible amount of restraint by limiting my emoticon usage to one. For now.
    Gold_SJ, Fiona59, GrnTea, and 6 others like this.
  6. 4
    Catzilla, you sound like the kind of student nurse I'm very happy to have around and with an attitude like yours, I can keep my swatting tendencies well in check and I'll do everything I can to show you and teach you even though that means everything takes longer.

    I think most of us like to teach, what I don't like is being told by a student what they will and won't do, or what they've done once before so don't need to ever do again.

    It's not about what the student needs, it's about the patient. I see you get that, but it's amazing how many students don't.

    And hey, don't be afraid to post!
    Catzilla, Fiona59, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    Frankly, I think a student nurse should be taking a full assingment, with guidence, by the end of their education. It would prepare them better for the real world when they graduate.
    This idea of having students only taking 1 pt at a time does not prepare them for the real world. Orientation is NOT the time to learn how to manage a full pt load in my opinion. Orientation should be about learning how things are done in this specific hospital/unit, not about how to learn how to manage a full pt load. that should have been done during the last semester of nsg school.
    My last semester of school had us taking four patients by ourselves, but it was only 3/4 of a day, so not a fair comparison to the "real deal". Still, for those four patients, we handled AM care, meal assist prn, meds, assessments, charting. If our patients were going for tests, we got them ready and received report afterward along with the returned patient. It was hard, I remember, but it was also a taste of what it would be like later (at least for dayshift, the workload was close, although it was still easier).
    Merlyn likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from Catzilla
    I recognize that I'm not addressing the OP's question (as I am not qualified), however I'd like to weigh in.
    As a student nurse, when I come on to a busy, busy, buuuusy Med-Surg floor, I feel like a jerk interrupting the nurses.
    I am incredibly grateful that they let me tag along beside them and inevitably slow them down.
    Fortunately, I've never had a nurse decline to take me on. That doesn't mean I'm not pleasantly surprised each and every time they say yes. I get the "wary eye" from time to time in the beginning, but that eases up once I've shown a bit of competency in my SN role and show that I am not going to undo their efforts towards caring for their patient (rip out tubes, freak out, whatever).
    I don't think the nurses owe me anything. When I started nursing school, I never considered the fact that one day I may have to precept students, and I can't say that I'd be a ball of funshine and sprinkles with each and every student.
    To the nurses, thank you for not swatting me away, taking the time to teach me, to challenge me, and thanks for not making too much fun of me when i stutter and trip over wheelie things.

    I will add that I'm scared to post on these boards. I am also showing an incredible amount of restraint by limiting my emoticon usage to one. For now.
    I can see the first line was directed at me, so....I would never want you to NOT weigh in, especially when you have such a positive attitude. I objected to the original student's post because I felt it was inappropriate in light of the question being asked. Your opinions ARE welcomed; I saw no antagonism in your post and it actually made me smile.

    You'd be welcomed by most any nurse who likes to teach, most certainly
    Catzilla and Fiona59 like this.
  9. 1
    You shouldn't feel like a jerk or a nuisance. Continuing competence is an integral part of nursing and no one should make you feel like you need to kiss the ground they walk on because they're sharing their knowledge with you. I'm so tired of these holier-than-thou attitudes that are displayed on these boards from some nurses; yeah, it's been said and I'll say it again - everyone was a STUDENT at one point in their life. Students should be respected and valued, they are vessels of YOUR knowledge who will be leading the nursing world once you're out of the game.
    Catzilla likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Since I'm not the one to whom this post was directed, I can't accept or refuse your apology, but I must say you not only sound hateful, but your comment about "nurses saying how much they hate students" is really off-target.

    I don't know a single nurse who "hates" student nurses. But you, the student, really should remember that your very presence as a student creates additional work for the nurse to whom you are assigned (or, to whom you have patients SHE'S already got as her assignment).

    Um what?

    Two things here. One, you don't know a single nurse who hates student nurses? Well, your post was completely unnecessary and oozes resentment towards nursing students

    Two, having a student nurse creates additional work for you? How so? Because you have to read over their documentation? How long does that take, an extra five minutes out of your day?

    I'll admit nursing students in their first ever clinical placement may take a bit more of your time just because everything is new to them...luckily they have instructors on the floor to guide them, they are not your sole responsibility.

    When I was a student some short months ago, I was placed on the floor that I work on now, a busy surgical floor. I had a full patient load and worked unsupervised while my preceptor sat around playing Angry Birds on her iPad.


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