Cranky floor nurses? Or snotty students?? - page 2

Hi, all, I am a student at a big teaching hospital and university, and I am curious what sort of experiences you students are having with the floor nurses. I would also like to hear from you floor... Read More

  1. by   waves
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    Most of the nurses I've worked with have been pretty good, but I do have a huge clinical pet peeve.

    First of all, we as student nurses have the fear of God put in us about doing any sort of procedure that we have not checked off on in skills class. Fast forward to clinical, there is always some butt-kissing student that is fawning all over the floor nurse and doing all sorts of skills that they should not be. Then, the rest of us are held suspect by the other nurses because "Student Nurse X did a central line change today, the others just stood around". Even though we are ethically bound to politely say no, the ones that say yes are always the ones getting the 'attagirl' by the floor nurses, and consequently seen as 'more hireable'. And yes, I firmly believe lists are being made even now regarding who should be hired even though we are only halfway through our program.

    I prep at *least* 6 hours for my clinical assignment, and am very helpful etc. But in the end I feel like I am getting screwed over for doing the right thing, and it's very frustrating. I will stick to my convictions on this, because I have no desire to to either compromise a patient or lose my opportunity to ever be licensed. But there is a huge disconnect between what the floor nurses expect and what cares we are able provide.
    I see this too. When I've been preceeded in a dept rotation by other students who are "eager beavers" but do what we were specifically instructed not to do. So I am always cautious...I do want to learn, "get dirty", etc. But I won't cross a boundary that puts me in jeopardy... I have always been a bit paranoid that even doing something just one time is the one time things will go very wrong.

    Giving medications is so often treated as no big deal by some...but those students scare me. They can't possibly be thinking the pt might have a severe allergic reaction or respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest. And if they have...they probably haven't thought about what they should do first. Answering "airway" on the test is not the same as maintaining one in an unfamiliar setting, especially when you are just patting yourself on the back for such advanced care!
  2. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    Most of the nurses I've worked with have been pretty good, but I do have a huge clinical pet peeve.

    First of all, we as student nurses have the fear of God put in us about doing any sort of procedure that we have not checked off on in skills class. Fast forward to clinical, there is always some butt-kissing student that is fawning all over the floor nurse and doing all sorts of skills that they should not be. Then, the rest of us are held suspect by the other nurses because "Student Nurse X did a central line change today, the others just stood around". Even though we are ethically bound to politely say no, the ones that say yes are always the ones getting the 'attagirl' by the floor nurses, and consequently seen as 'more hireable'. And yes, I firmly believe lists are being made even now regarding who should be hired even though we are only halfway through our program.

    I prep at *least* 6 hours for my clinical assignment, and am very helpful etc. But in the end I feel like I am getting screwed over for doing the right thing, and it's very frustrating. I will stick to my convictions on this, because I have no desire to to either compromise a patient or lose my opportunity to ever be licensed. But there is a huge disconnect between what the floor nurses expect and what cares we are able provide.
    Oh, no! Please do not change! I would hate to have a student do something without being fully trained and educated about the procedure!
  3. by   #1rnstudent
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    Most of the nurses I've worked with have been pretty good, but I do have a huge clinical pet peeve.

    First of all, we as student nurses have the fear of God put in us about doing any sort of procedure that we have not checked off on in skills class. Fast forward to clinical, there is always some butt-kissing student that is fawning all over the floor nurse and doing all sorts of skills that they should not be. Then, the rest of us are held suspect by the other nurses because "Student Nurse X did a central line change today, the others just stood around". Even though we are ethically bound to politely say no, the ones that say yes are always the ones getting the 'attagirl' by the floor nurses, and consequently seen as 'more hireable'. And yes, I firmly believe lists are being made even now regarding who should be hired even though we are only halfway through our program.

    I prep at *least* 6 hours for my clinical assignment, and am very helpful etc. But in the end I feel like I am getting screwed over for doing the right thing, and it's very frustrating. I will stick to my convictions on this, because I have no desire to to either compromise a patient or lose my opportunity to ever be licensed. But there is a huge disconnect between what the floor nurses expect and what cares we are able provide.

    OMG I thought it was just our school... I am so glad to know it is not just us. But then again, I am scared to know there are MORE of those 'attagirls' out there who are overstepping their boundaries. :imbar
  4. by   LauraLou
    I think there are both cranky nurses and snotty students. I go into clinical with the attitude that the nurses are not there to teach me and answer endless questions while trying to get their work done. That is what my instructor is for.

    If a nurse seems to like students and will explain things, I am thrilled and take every advantage of the situation. If a nurse appears annoyed that I am assigned to her patients, I keep the contact to a minimum. I think you have to be sensitive to the particular nurse, their patient load and their attitude about students.

    I have learned something from every nurse I have worked with, even if it is only that I never want to be like her.
  5. by   Mandylpn
    My first clinical at the nursing home, the nurses were not so nice to us but the CNA's were very nice. At the hospital I am at now the nurses and everyone are VERY nice to us, they come and get us if they have a procedure they think we might need to check off on.
  6. by   Mandylpn
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I'm a floor nurse who loves to teach......and nursing students who love to learn are my favorites! I'll take a student who peppers me with questions, isn't afraid to get their hands dirty, and dives in when there's a new experience to be had any day, over one who thinks they know it all or one who waits for experiences to be handed to them on a silver platter. And the ones who never seem to have any questions scare me the most......to my mind, the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked, and if a nurse is too arrogant, too lazy, or even too shy to find out what they need to know to take care of a patient, I certainly don't want them taking care of MY patients.

    Another thing I think students need to understand is that as nurses, our responsibility is to the patient first, and the student second. While I'd never attempt to justify anyone's being rude, sometimes a patient's situation changes so quickly that we become intensely focused on what's happening with them, and we aren't thinking about you---we need to call that code, run for the crash cart, push the amp of D50, transfer the patient to the ICU, get the restraints on someone who's out of control, or whatever. Don't take it personally!

    And even when things aren't as desperate as all that, we are frequently understaffed, or a patient's family member dumps all over us, or the doctor tears us a new one because the labs he ordered haven't been done yet, or the patient with C. diff has just had another massive incontinent stool five minutes after we changed her bed for the 10th time this morning. We get hungry and tired, we get cranky, and sometimes the social niceties are the first casualty of a long, frustrating shift. Again, it's not personal.......contrary to popular belief, nurses are people too, not perfect angels who never get upset or have a bad day. We've got mortgages and screaming kids and overdue bills just like everyone else. If someone is rude or condescending, that's a shame, and it does reflect badly on nursing as a profession.......but people are rude and condescending in other fields, too, and yet we rarely hear about nasty investment bankers or petty insurance agents.

    Just my perspective.

    Very well said, and bless you for working so well with the students. (we) need more nurses like you to mentor us. Thank you so much. :angel2:
  7. by   paramedic52
    While I haven't started nursing school yet (will start this Fall), I did have to do hospital clinicals while I was in Paramedic school 7 years ago. From reading the boards here, it seems like we had to do some of the same stuff as nursing students ie. Iv's, push meds., pt. assessments, V.S., ect.

    Anyway, my first clinical experience started out horribly. I showed up in the ER on my scheduled day early and eager to learn. I met the nurse I was supposed to be assigned to that night. When I introduced myself she said "Well, I don't know what you expect to do tonight because I'm head nurse and don't have time for a student. I guess you can just walk around the hopital or go sit in the lounge." While I understood she was going to be busy, I was just floored by her attitude! Luckily, I had been to that ER numerous times as an EMT bringing in pt.'s and knew one of the other nurses there. I asked the head nurse if I could hang out with the other nurse and she said "I suppose so." I had a wonderful time with the other nurse and I was greatful I was able to shadow her instead of the head nurse. She let me perform all the procedures I was there to accomplish -- something I don't think I would have had the chance to do with the other woman. :chuckle
  8. by   VickyRN
    I am a relatively new nursing instructor. Believe me, I appreciate all that the kind-hearted but harried floor nurses do for my students. There have been some that have gone out of their way to make my students' clinical experiences a great one, and again, kudos to you.
    My students and I have had a wonderful clinical experience this semester (unlike last year ) in a small community hospital in my hometown which had never had nursing students before. This has turned out to be the best clinical site of all! The nurses have treated us like royal guests and could not have been kinder or more hospitable to me or to my students.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Apr 24, '04
  9. by   kar212
    Personally, I enjoy working with students. Most students I work with have been fairly competent. I don't tear them down if they make a silly mistake. God knows, I was certainly not a star student when I was in school! I can remember having instructors who didn't think I would make it as a nurse and I can remember working with staff nurses who were rude. I decided when I was a student that one day when I was the RN and I was working with a student, I would be kind and respectful. It works quite well. Those students will someday be your co-workers. I say, be good to them and teach them well!
  10. by   Chaya
    Some thoughts on the student experience from both perspective:

    -COMMUNICATION is key, guys! The student should find their patients' nurse and briefly state the duties they will be expected to perform with the patient in question; when accomplished they should report to the nurse that they have done whatever was agreed to as well as any unusual findings (as one nurse would report these things to another after any instance where patient care is shared).

    -as a student, I frequently found the nurses pretty abrupt. It worked better for me if I asked them when there would be a good time to speak with them for a minute or two about Mr.X. About half the time they would say "now is OK" or that we could talk while we walked to the storeroom to get dressing supplies or something. Once in a while they would say something like "Catch me in about ten minutes; I found if they felt I did give them the option of choosing a less frantic time they were less resentful.

    -as a nurse, I do expect the student to find me and tell me what they are intended to do (as well as what they are allowed to do by their instructor), and to ask or at least let me know when it is necessary to take a chart for charting or a page of the MAR to sign a med off.

    -that being said, I have enjoyed the students I've had. I like knowing that my patients have one person looking out for them specifically when so often I have to juggle their needs with those of 7-8 other patients, charge, paperwork, familes, etc,etc. If we don't have anything nifty for the students to see/do, I at least try to ask the questions to direct their assessment (ie; lungs sounds for a patient on aspiration precautions. I also try to reinforce how much can be assessed by doing routine care such as bathing ( skin assessment, pain assessment, neuro/ mental status, endurance/ fatigue, SOB, unusual odors, etc).
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    ......... But in the end I feel like I am getting screwed over for doing the right thing, and it's very frustrating. I will stick to my convictions on this, because I have no desire to to either compromise a patient or lose my opportunity to ever be licensed. But there is a huge disconnect between what the floor nurses expect and what cares we are able provide.

    I agree w/ the above post. I've been an RN for four years and was an LPN for seven. So, I've been a nursing student twice.

    As a student, I was assigned to a nurse who tried to pressure me into give a med that was not (yet) ordered. I would not do it, and she wanted nothing more to do with me, thank goodness. A fellow student was kicked out of the program for doing a procedure which she was not trained to do. She was in the room when a pt coded, and an MD started yelling orders. She just followed them, but should not have.

    When I was a student, most of the nurses were nice, helpful, and glad to have students around. Others were mean, hateful, and even downright psycho.

    Having been on both sides of the fence, I think when nurses are less than happy to have students, it's because there is generally poor morale among nurses at the facility, and working conditions are poor. Also, there are a good number of nurses out there whom are totally burnt out, but who have to keep working. I overheard one charge nurse at a clinical site say "Just to add to the confusion, the dam# students are here today."

    As a nurse, I have never been told ahead of time when I am going to have students or a preceptee. My pt load is never lessened in order to allow for time spent on students. Just as always, nurses are expected to just deal with everything they are given to do.

    As another poster said, I really enjoy working w/ students and preceptees who are inquisitive, excited, enthusiastic, have a little healthy anxiety about being there, and who want to be there.

    Nothing worse that getting a student or preceptee who is just a lump, nothing to say, no questions to ask, etc. Unless, its the student who thinks they know it all and are far too superior for grunt work like linen changes or peri-care.
  12. by   angel337
    i worked full time as a patient care tech all through nursing school, so i have a different perspective on this issue. my expectations were not very high of the nurses that i was assigned to as a student nurse because i realized that i was not a priority. i sought out learning experiences and helped the nurses as much as i could. too often i felt like i was an extra cna instead of a student because the nurses would say things like "we have students today. they can do all the patients total care". i wouldn't get to pass one med or be involved with any procedures because i was too busy bathing patients!!. students know that bathing is part of nursing but as a student you need to learn as much as you can about disease process and nursing interventions. you are only on the floor for a short period of time and that time must be used effectively. nursing instructors also need to make it clear to staff and students what the goals are for that day. i had an instructor that would assign students maybe 4 patients and require the student to do everything for the patient, including meds and baths. i liked that approach alot better because i felt like i was being utilized the way i should have been. and as for students that think cna's are supposed to do the dirty work, i fault their instructors because NO student should go into clinical with that attitude. my instructors made it clear that RN's have to get dirty too and sometimes that is the only time you may get to assess your patient. my instructors were brutal and we all graduated with a realistic view of nursing. good luck with your clinicals
  13. by   CyndiW35055
    I graduate nursing school in August, yay!!! Clinicals have been wonderful for the most part. I have been asked by fellow students how I manage to always look busy. My answer, is because I am. I personally went and asked EACH nurse that if they had ANYTHING that I could do, to let me know and I would be happy to do it. From doing someone elses vitals to giving a suppository and even digging out an impaction that the RN asked if I would do because she stated, "I really don't care to do this." Then on the other side, I had a nurse tell me that, "I don't have time to deal with students". Most of the nurses have been so accomodating and absolutely wonderful to work with and to be around.

    I jump right in, do what has to be done, and at the same time try to not be underfoot all the time. I really can't wait to finish. This is all that I have ever wanted to do and all that I have ever wanted to be. I know that there will be hard days, grumpy people, and vomit everywhere, but that is what I have signed up for. For me, this will be the life. )

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