Quote from twintoo
As a student nurse, I would say that the reason they were offended probably wasn't totally because of not being invited. Where I am a SN, we RARELY get breaks. We are just too busy, but the nurses always get their breaks. If we take a break we aren't looked to highly upon, especially if we take up more than our precise space (you know, from hip to hip) in the break room. Also, even if I eat before clinicals I am usually STARVING way before lunch time.
So, I think it could have been a combo of things. They may have been hungry (and cake can keep you tied over), needing a break (which the party would have given them), and wanting to feel like they "fit in".
HOWEVER, even if all those things were true I would have *never* said anything to my instructor about it. Even if we did say something to our instructor, I don't think that she would have complained to the nurses.
I am sorry that you rarely get breaks. Regardless of your role (i.e. nurse or student nurse) you are entitled to eat lunch or at the very least take a break from your work. Is there a reason that you are not allowed to take a break? I mean, I can see if you are only in the clinical environment for 4 hours or less, but if you are spending the better part of a shift, you should at least get a small break, if not an entire lunch break.
I know that on my floor, the students are there for at least 8 hours. This does include pre and post conference. Generally speaking, our students leave the floor at about 2:30PM. They report off and then go to post conference. We love to have students on the floor with us. Yes, students take a lot of time, but in the end, the learning experience for the student as well as for the nurse is priceless. I can not tell you how many times a student would come up to me and ask questions about a disease process or how a lab value impacts upon the patient and how the nurse should read it and respond to it. There are plenty of times when I can not answer the question, which causes me to go to my reference material and look it up. This is great for me, because it allows me to be in a constant state of learning, right along with the students and I have been a nurse for 20 years.
Nursing is a life-long learning profession and for those nurses that do not like nor want students on their unit, I say they need to get a grip and recognize that students are our future.
Thanks for all the responses, it has helped the nurses on my unit understand that we were not being rude.