Quote from Jinx322
The nurse that you're paired up with during your clinical rotations can make or break your love of a certain field. I fully understand that you (RN) has been at the hospital since 6:45am, or earlier, have 6+ patients who don't all understand that you are trying your best to care for their needs. Have more than likely been peed, pooped, and/or vomited on, and are more than likely late with your assessments because of a difficult patient but please, I beg you, don't take it out on me, the young naive nursing student that is following you like a lost puppy; because I want to do is learn something other than what's in the text book. I'm here to learn, to see what 'real' nursing is all about and who knows, I might be a colleague in a few years. We as students are truly like a ball of clay and how you treat us during these rotations does mold us. Remember, you were a student once too!
A couple immediate thoughts:
A) In the scenario you describe, you are
seeing what "real" nursing is about, and
B) If the RN to whom you are (probably randomly) assigned for clinical for one day can "make or break your love of a certain field," you must not "love" the field too much to begin with.
I don't mean to be critical; I've been a student, I've been a staff RN with students assigned, and I've been a nursing instructor in a number of different programs over the years. I don't understand this newer model of assigning students to a staff nurse and expecting that person to do the teaching for the day; when I was a student, and when I am an instructor, of course
the clients assigned to the students also have staff nurses assigned and they do
"cross paths" and interact during the course of the day, but I have never expected the staff nurse to be responsible for teaching or supervising the student -- that is the responsibility of the student's instructor
. I have a hard time understanding the "here, take my student for the day" approach as anything other than laziness or inadequacy on the part of the instructor. And, OP, lots of other nurses feel that way and that's part of where the irritation or brusqueness from the staff nurse comes from. The instructors from your school are getting paid to be clinical instructors. The staff nurses are getting paid to do their own job; 99% of the time, they were not asked or given any choice in whether they want a student assigned; and a lot of them are thinking, "Heck, if I wanted to be teaching students, I'd get a teaching job -- why isn't the instructor doing her !@#$ job!" I've been in situations where I've gotten one or more students "dropped off" in the AM with no preparation or warning, either from an instructor or from my superiors (I've been in situations where I haven't ever seen
an instructor; I've been in situations where I didn't even realize there were students on the floor until mid-morning!) It's not as simple as "they don't care about helping educate the next generation of nurses" -- it's more that staff nurses do
recognize that it's a big responsibility, one for which we feel unprepared and ill equipped (while the person who presumably is
, and is getting paid for doing it, is either nowhere to be seen or is cooling her/his jets in the break room all day ...)
IMO, this is one of the many problems with many nursing programs these days, and one of the reasons hospitals are becoming increasingly reluctant to host students for clinicals. "This, too, will pass," as they say, and, before long, you'll be on the other side of this equation -- don't let your experiences with a few irritated nurses discourage you along the way, and remember not to take out your frustration on the students in the future!
Best wishes for your journey!