The student nurse - page 5

by musickx2 9,681 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
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    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.
    Pepper, you're tough!
    Quote from RockinChick66
    It gripes me so bad to see students with no initiative. Please, just go into the pts rooms and empty urinals, pick up trays, offer snacks, talk with the patient, or feel free to follow me. Just do something other than asking me what you can do all day.
    I think one explanation for this behavior is that the student has never been in the healthcare setting before and has no idea what tasks are or are not okay for them, especially since they've been trained in school to be extra-careful about everything they do. If I empty a urinal, maybe the RN wanted to see what it looked like first. If I offer a snack, maybe the patient is not allowed certain foods. If I follow you, maybe I'm not invited since I've been asking you what I can do and you've not offering any suggestions.

    Some RNs 'dislike' SNs I think because they're uncomfortable with their own practice and it's like they're reminded of the anxiety of school all over again when they're questioned about it.

    Last thought: I wish the hardest part of my day was the med pass. I don't know how to explain it but somehow even when I have very few meds to give, my day is still packed with nursing activities. Thank you for giving one or two of my patients their meds but.. really.. you don't understand it's SO much more than that.
    jelly221,RN, GrnTea, CompleteUnknown, and 1 other like this.
  2. 2
    Quote from gitanorn
    unquestionably, i'm totally comfortable and confident as a season nurse therefore, i wouldn't have any problem with this situation. in addition, i sincerely enjoy teaching and what better situation for the student to have someone to offer constructed guidance and support while performing pt. care. undoubtedly, i would be the one making sure that the student will deliver the highest caliber of nursing care to my patients, while he/she is adhering to the protocol of the facility where i work. having said that, i would teach the student the proper short cuts in order to deliver an efficient prompt total pt. care, it would be a win/win situation in this case for me and the student:d
    what kool-aid are you drinking?
    mc3 and wooh like this.
  3. 4
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I want to weigh in. I am a SN. I know I have never taken a full load, if you are allowing them to take that, then that's your problem. We usually have one patient and the others we just went with the nurse and only did what she/he wanted us to do. If the nurse didn't feel comfortable allowing us to do something, they always told us and we got our instructor or the nurse did it instead. Also, you don't just observe. You have an obligation to the patient still. That means if I were to assess the patient, just because I assessed them doesn't mean you don't have to. As far as meds, my nurse I was with always watched me closely and I checked the meds when I got them from the Omnicell; I checked the meds against the computer; I checked the patient's arm band and asked the patient's name and date of birth. As far as paperwork, I always had the nurse double check it and if I didn't know something, I didn't record it or I asked. Plus, we had to have our stuff co-signed. My thing is, if you don't want a SN, say so. The nurses have said that before...and it wasn't to the instructor, we would be standing right with the instructor when they said that. My apologies if I sound hateful; but I get tired of nurses saying how much they hate students. You don't have to take them. Just remember, you weren't born a nurse; you at one time were a student too.
    I have read through the whole thread, and I know you've already gotten smacked by RNsRWe. But I think it's worth tackling again lest you think she is just an outlier. Your attitude does leave something to be desired, and I can certainly see where a nurse would have difficulty being assigned with you for a day. The thing is, not all nurses have the option of saying "No thanks, I don't want a student today." Nor do we have the option of saying, "OK -- I'd love a student. Just not THAT one." Believe it or not, I remember being a student. I remember being scared to death of offending the nurse, excrutiatingly aware that I was slowing down her day and hyper-vigilent about making sure my patinets were clean, comfortable and cared for. All too often these days, we get students who are convinced that they're "doing us a favor" simply by being there and "doing our work for us." Nothing could be further from the truth.
    VivaLasViejas, wooh, RNsRWe, and 1 other like this.
  4. 6
    [QUOTE=nursegirl75;6321084]I think its the most saddest thing when experiences nurses 'dislike' the present of student nurses. Where do you think you as an experienced nurse learned your skills? From the FAIRY NURSE?!!! Every single one of us started as student nurses scared out of our a*$ and praying that we don't harm our patients. Now student nurses have to worry about hateful nurses who are so darn adamant to Not work with students. I have noticed on my unit the nurses that don't want students, tend to be bitter who are burnt-out and need to get out of nursing! They really have attitude problems. And I am not ashamed to say it!!!!I am a nurse, and I love to work with student nurses. They are such a benefit for us nurses! Not only do they ease the pt load for me (no complain from me there) but they truly want to learn and really go out of their way to help out. I love that I can teach someone and know that they will pass on that knowledge to their peers. Much appreciation to student nurses! You have a fan in your corner!1

    As an experienced nurse, I know exactly where I learned most of my skills -- from the aides and LPNs I worked with on my first job. Not during nursing school, where we had only eight hours of clinical a week and the patients we were assigned rarely needed the skills we'd just covered in the skills lab.


    The reason student nurses need to worry about "hateful nurses" who are adamant not to work with students is that those same nurses have been abused over and over by entitled, ungrateful, lazy or know-it-all students who sap away at your love of teaching and suck up any possibility of "free time" you might have during your shift to hold a patient's hand or comfort a frightened family. We've also had some wonderful students or restore our love of teaching, but the ratio isn't what it used to be.



    I cannot speak to the nurses on your unit that don't want students, but "bitter, burned out and need to get out of nursing" does not indicate any compassion on your part for your co-workers who have presumably suffered through your orientation and helped to teach you everything that you know. I suggest to you that if student nurses ease your patient load, you're not doing it right. Figure out what you need to do to actually mentor the students while ensuring that YOU are on top of your patients and that they are getting the best possible care, and then come back and tell us about burnt out nurses with attitude problems.
    Last edit by Ruby Vee on Apr 3, '12 : Reason: my formatting keeps disappearing
    jelly221,RN, mc3, Fiona59, and 3 others like this.
  5. 1
    I am also a student nurse and have been given a nurses entire load as a last semester student. By entire load i mean 3-4 patients. I did rather well with this because the nurse and i had great communication and worked together to plan the day. This post is not meant to be degrading to student nurses or nurses. I just want a nurses perspective on how they deal with students... Al of my clinical experiences have been wonderful and i have enjoyed and thanked all the nurses that take on the extra work that a student causes them. I do think though that good communication skills are the key to having a good clinical experience.
    RNsRWe likes this.
  6. 3
    Im sorry i should also add that the nurse did all of her own assessments and i did mine and we discusses our findings together, we set the goals for the day for the patient and i would encourage the pt to meet those goals, then report back to the nurse all the interventions i was doing with each pt. if there were meds to give we gave them amd discussed them together and any skills needing done i did with her assistance. From the sounds of it i should be, and i am, very lucky and thankful to be having such a great clinical experience!
    GrnTea, noahsmama, and Pneumothorax like this.
  7. 0
    You need to just jump in and do things
  8. 0
    im not gonna go thru and quote all 5 pages. but i can concur as a student nurse that there are RN's that flat out say they dont like student nurses. or when we are assigned a particular primary RN you can tell by their horrible attitude they dont care to have us around.

    I will say that as a final semester senior, I take on a full team of 4-5 patients, i collaborate with my primary RN, I do meds,assessments and whatever else other RN duties need to be done for the next 8hrs Im there. Having a good primary RN can really make or break your day especially when in the learning role.
    this whole "oh u came over to me to have me check meds and stopped me from working" ...well guess what its ultimately your responsibility as the primary to make sure meds are given properly /safely. and further more alot of the time....(not always.) when we go to get our meds checked off our nurse is either stuffing their face or texting or gabbing to coworkers because they are caught up so we arent really hindering their "flow"..

    I am also an EMS instructor, and I love teaching students, seeing their thought process and helping them succeed. I dont find them to be "in the way" or a bother at all. If anything it keeps both of us on our toes and working together makes the day go by faster. I remember what it was like to be in their shoes and i never forget that... apparently some ppl (no matter what discipline they are in)...seem to forget that too quickly....get off your high horses..lol

    Nursing is about teamwork. you will have senior members and junior members and as senior members its your job to help build our confidence so that we can perform at optimum. & dont forget we lowly SN's will be caring for you all one day...



    To the OP , you didnt sound hateful at all you were quite accurate in your description.

    thats all i gotta say

    *drops the mic*
  9. 0
    Quote from mama.RN
    When I was in school, the nurses (and nurse's aides) were always happy to have a student nurse take a couple of their patients as it actually resulted in less work for them. However, the way it worked with us was that the student nurse was responsible for all patient care for two patients including what both the nurse and nurse's aide would have been responsible for. The nurse did not have to lift a finger for these patients while we were there nor did the NA. The SN's were supervised and guided by the nursing clinical instructor. So, no work was added to the nurses workload, in fact quite the opposite. We even did all associated med administration, treatments and documentation, which was co-signed by the instructor. If we weren't sure how to do something or needed to be walked through a procedure we were doing for the first time, that would be the instructor's job. Occasionally, nurses would invite us to participate in a procedure that they thought would be interesting or especially educational for us, usually after we had proven ourselves to be a big help to them. I didn't realize it was done differently than this. There were a few nurses along the way who were less than welcoming, but they were few and far between and it seemed to be that they had issues with people in general anyway. We were all students once. I would be glad to help another nurse-to-be any way I could.
    this - we have a co-assigned nurse (the nurse that is assigned to the specific patient we are taking care of) but if we need something or have to get checked on meds the instructor does it, co-signs our charts/flowsheets etc...
  10. 3
    Quote from musickx2
    How do you feel about working with a student nurse?
    I enjoy working with most students. There are a few who manifest attitudes which I don't care for but they are the exceptions rather than the rules. They can be helpful but generally create a net-drag on my day (more work, that is).
    Quote from musickx2
    How comfortable are you with the student nurse basically taking over your patients and paper work while you observe?
    Not at all... they're simply unable to do so safely.
    Quote from musickx2
    If you are not comfortable with the student taking your patient load what do you like your student nurse to do while assigned to you and your patients.
    I will allow them to do whatever they're able, and I find that that grows over the time that they're with me. I give them enough rope to learn but not enough to hang themselves (or my patient or me). It's important that students remember that the patient is *never* their patient, only *my* patient that is being shared with them. An adverse outcome will be on me.

    What I like my students to do is (a) ask questions, (b) volunteer, (c) answer lights... all of them, (d) assist with ADLs, errands, etc, (e) pass meds, perform wound care, etc - if they're sufficiently knowledgeable.
    VivaLasViejas, RNsRWe, and musickx2 like this.


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