A Question For Student Nurses

  1. Get this .... the staff nurses were having our monthly birthday party .... we do this every month as a way to celebrate the birthdays of the staff on the floor. It is really a nice way to say happy birthday without going through a huge expense and ordeal.

    Our unit has students 5 days a week. One regular group and then two groups that rotate. We know the regular students pretty well and infact they will be leaving our floor soon to graduate. Nice group. But, the instructor comes to us and says that "several" of the students complained that they were not invited to the monthly birthday party for the staff (it was held during their clinical time on the floor). and that they were offended and felt left out.

    Of course, the staff nurses were terribly upset. That is the last impression we wanted to give the students. However, we did not want to impose on the students by asking them to bring something in for the party. In addition, we did not have a lot of time to plan this party. It has just never been an issue before.

    I guess I wanted to know from nursing students, what would your reaction have been? Do you expect to be included in staff events for the unit in which you are rotating through while you are in school? Just a question ... would be very interested in your responses.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    RNPATL,

    I think it's nice that your unit does this - says a lot about the comraderie!

    Just my two cents, if this party is held somewhere on the unit (in a conference room or something) where students are going to constantly walk by it, then it might have been a nice gesture to mention it, or at least offer "leftover" cake. If it's held in some other location then I probably wouldn't think twice about it.

    As students, we know we're on the periphery, and usually that's OK - everything has a time & place. Personally, even if for some reason I felt offended to be left out, I wouldn't have brought this up. I think it's a little petty, and I've got a lot of other things to worry about!
  4. by   RNPATL
    Thats pretty much how we felt as well. We certainly never meant to hurt anyone's feelings ... least of all our students. We love our students .... but the nurses felt it was petty as well and were really surprised that it was brought up. Thanks for your response.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It's nice to offer to students, but to me it looks like an employee party, therefore, would not expect an invitation to it.
  6. by   RNSuzq1
    Quote from RNPATL
    Our unit has students 5 days a week. One regular group and then two groups that rotate. We know the regular students pretty well and infact they will be leaving our floor soon to graduate. Nice group. But, the instructor comes to us and says that "several" of the students complained that they were not invited to the monthly birthday party for the staff (it was held during their clinical time on the floor). and that they were offended and felt left out..
    Hi Patrick,

    I'm not a student yet (hope to be in the Fall), but thought I'd toss in my .02 cents. Personally I wouldn't feel offended - I'd know I was just passing through and not an actual staff member. Even if I did feel slighted - I certainly wouldn't complain to my Instructor about it, that seems a little childish.

    Regarding Nurses and their Parties.. :hatparty: My husband is a Respiratory Therapist in a Neo-Natal Unit - he said the Nurses he works with are always having some sort of party and are Wonderful about never forgetting any of the Staff Members Birthdays, Baby Showers, etc., really generous bunch they are. They usually buy a big sheet cake and after the party they leave it in the lounge for the next shift or anyone who passes by :chuckle . I guess if it's bothering you - after next months party - you could call the students in and say "it's so and so's Birthday, there's cake in the lounge if you'd like some". That sounds like a decent way to handle it - doesn't it?
  7. by   RNPATL
    Absolutely ... thanks for your response and in fact that how we nornally handle it. Guess that is why we were all taken back a little as we never really wanted the students to feel left out.
  8. by   yaz
    hi

    if i was a student in that floor....i wouldve expected to be invited but wouldnt be offended if i wasnt...

    a very interesting scenario.
  9. by   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.
  10. by   neonatalRN
    It is very nice of you to think so kindly of your students! On one floor I was one, the nurses wanted nothing to do with us. I would not expect to be invited.
  11. by   Clara
    I am a student and just want to say that I WISH I
    was doing my clinical work wherever YOU work!
    My clincal experience so far has been that the nurses
    barely tolerate our presence. So, I am really impressed
    that you would have even considered inviting them
    to your party. Very nice of you. To answer the question
    however, I would have been honored to be invited,
    but not the least bit slighted if I were not.
    Perhaps it was only one over-sensitive student who
    complained and made the whole group look a littly petty.
    To me it seems you acted completely appropriately
    and with the best of intentions.
  12. by   RNPATL
    Quote from Clara
    I am a student and just want to say that I WISH I
    was doing my clinical work wherever YOU work!
    My clincal experience so far has been that the nurses
    barely tolerate our presence. So, I am really impressed
    that you would have even considered inviting them
    to your party. Very nice of you. To answer the question
    however, I would have been honored to be invited,
    but not the least bit slighted if I were not.
    Perhaps it was only one over-sensitive student who
    complained and made the whole group look a littly petty.
    To me it seems you acted completely appropriately
    and with the best of intentions.
    Clara - you hit the nail on the head. Turns out that it was one student that complained and the instructor felt that she (the student who complained)would encourage the whole clinical group to write a bad review for the clinical experience (based on this issue alone). Interesting to note .... the students that did not have a problem with it came to me later that day and told me that they were sorry for the fuss and that they were not offended. It happened to be one student that was taking issue with it.
  13. by   RNPATL
    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.
  14. by   akvarmit
    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....
    Wow - I guess this shows how different units can be. The students that use our floor always get their break and lunch before any staff nurses even get close to a break! We're lucky if we start lunches by 1......and our students are gone by 2.

    Back on topic - we've done the floor party thing before, and it's always accepted that it's an event concerning the floor staff. Probably, like I said because they're packing up their books by the time we're breaking out any food.

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