Does this seem right to you??

  1. Ok, what do you all think of this?

    In my nursing program you are required to take a basic skills lab. I'm not in the lab right now, but what others have told me about it causes me to be very concerned. Apparently when the students get in the lab they are given a handout of skills they need to perform, and a brief list of steps on how to do the skill, and then are told to do the skill in small groups. If they have any questions, they can ask the instructor for assistance. Sounds ok? Here's the problem, the instructor is not demonstrating the "correct" way to do the skill, nor doing any teaching on the skill unless someone asks a question, and then it is only in the small group. One of the students requested that the instructor spend the first 20 or 30 minutes of the class time demonstrating the skills for everyone, since a lot of these students have no medical background at all. (There are a few CNAs in the class who are teaching those in their groups.) The instructor refused, stating that she didn't have enough time to demonstrate the skills!!!

    Is it me, or does it seem a little crazy to expect students to be able to do the skill without seeing it demonstrated properly first??? It scares me to think that I would be expected to do a skill without having a clue how it is supposed to be done! And for the skills test, a bunch of skills are listed on slips of paper that are drawn from a hat, and you do the skill that you draw, and aren't tested on any of the others!! So if you can do that skill great, you pass. That's fine, but what about the other skills?? How will you know if you are doing it right if the instructor doesn't observe you??

    Sorry this is long, but the whole thought of this makes me very uncomfortable. How can I learn anything if the instructor is refusing to teach???

    Shannon
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   New CCU RN
    That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me. I would mention your concerns to your prof asap! Good luck.
  4. by   caliotter3
    You are not getting the education that you are paying for. Take this matter up the chain of command until you get it properly resolved. You deserve better than this.
  5. by   elusive
    Shannon, that is not right at all. Im sure you will be critiqued on the skill before you can perform it on a person in clinical, but someone needs to show you how. She should have TIME to show you. Its her job, otherwise what the hell is she there to do? I would talk to the dean nof your program about it. Get a group of the students together and go in and have a meeting about it. Your paying to be taught, not to fool around until you figure it out.
    Good luck, keep us posted...
    Christy



    Boy that just isnt right at all....
  6. by   meownsmile
    You also must remember, that you wont be doing these skills in clinical without your instructor with you. No instructor would let you go into a patient room and do a veinipuncture or a cath insertion without them or the RN team leader with you. Most of the time you will be observed and get instruction doing the skill on paients until the instructor is comfortable that you are pretty competent at it.
    Be familiar with the steps and rationals for each step in the skill sheets they give you so you will have a clue when time comes to perform it in clinical.
    This kind of sounds like the way we got our skills training. But you have to figure, they have one lab day, maybe two a week, there are maybe 30 to 40 students in your nursing class if you are lucky and not in a huge class. Figure it would take at least 30 min for each student to go through each skill. You are in class all day? 8 hours? thats only 16 students that can perform a skill for the instructor given a 30 min allotment of time(figure that also includes time for the instructor to re-setup equipment so you can start from scratch each time).
    Surely they have the lab open for time outside of class labs for you to practice skills that you feel you need to? If you can go in outside of lab time there may be a instructor that can coach you on the skill you are concerned about. Try not to get to upset about it, and hope you draw something that you are comfortable with.
  7. by   AppyHorseFan
    shannon,
    you said this is "basic skills lab" so i am assuming that the skills involved are handwashing, changing beds, vital signs, transferring pts., and other non-invasive procedures. based on this assumption, let me tell you that from my experience, you are lucky to have an instructor there to ask questions.

    we were given the opportunity (and encouraged) to do our basic skills peer check-offs during the summer before our first semester. occasionally, but very rarely, was an instructor available to us for even private group demonstrations. we had our textbooks, and we had videos/computer sims to help guide us through the skills. we had one day before the semester started for check-offs. we had to work our way through every check-off (with an instructor). if we didn't do it properly the first time, we had the opportunity to "re-do". the only good thing about doing this during the summer is that we didn't have to go to class of friday and work on all of these.

    i know it isn't fair...you/your friends paid to be taught...not teach yourself. but it could be worse...there could be no one to ask for assistance.

    good luck in your future endeavors,
    shonda
    :angel2:
  8. by   canoehead
    I think if she took 10 min to demonstrate at the beginning of class for everyone she wouldn't need to do as much when she went around to the small groups. And if people ask questions in the large group everyone gets to hear the answers. Frankly, I don't know why she thinks NOT demonstrating could work.

    ????
  9. by   Love-A-Nurse
    may i suggest not to "only" take the word of students, about instructors or the particular program, as "cold hard facts", as they tend to sway toward a hyperbole or an understatement. example, i was told x,y,and z about my program and almost formed an opinion based on this alone; i have not encounter such as of yet. it too depends on the individual, not to say your source is lying.

    even if it is true, we as students, are suppose to read before hand and ask question of that we don't understand. basic skills are not being taught in depth where i am either. if there are questions before check off, the instructors are answering and for the most part doing a demostration.

    like shonda, students were advised to take the nursing assistant program during the summer session to get the basic skills portion of the program and just be checked off during this semester.


    edited to include the word, "only".
    Last edit by Love-A-Nurse on Sep 26, '02
  10. by   shanzo89
    True, I don't know exactly what is happening in the class, that's just what a few of the students in that skills lab have told me. I was feeling a little freaked out about the whole thing last night, mainly because I'm not able to take the skills lab this semster. They made 30 of us drop it, and we're supposed to take it next semster because they didn't have the lab space for all of us. I guess what worries me the most is I'll have this lab and another assessment lab next semster, as well as a clinical experience. I started thinking about it yesterday, and started worrying that I'd be so far behind that I wouldn't have a clue when I got to the labs/clinicals next semster.

    As far as I know, it's basic skills - handwashing, getting patients out of bed, etc. I don't know more than that. I do plan to talk to the program coordinator, just because I'm worried about doing two labs at once. I plan to express my concerns to her about what I hear is going on in the labs.

    I could just be overly emotional right now. My husband's company is about to go bankrupt, so he won't have a job after Friday. My parent's family farm is going bankrupt, so they may have to sell. My stress level is pretty high right now.

    Thanks for letting me vent anyway!! When I talk to the program coordinator I'll let you know what she says. Part of it is that this is a brand new program that they started, with new curriculm, etc. So that may be part of the problem, I don't know!

    Shannon
  11. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by shanzo89
    true, i don't know exactly what is happening in the class, that's just what a few of the students in that skills lab have told me. i was feeling a little freaked out about the whole thing last night, mainly because i'm not able to take the skills lab this semster. they made 30 of us drop it, and we're supposed to take it next semster because they didn't have the lab space for all of us. i guess what worries me the most is i'll have this lab and another assessment lab next semster, as well as a clinical experience. i started thinking about it yesterday, and started worrying that i'd be so far behind that i wouldn't have a clue when i got to the labs/clinicals next semster.

    as far as i know, it's basic skills - handwashing, getting patients out of bed, etc. i don't know more than that. i do plan to talk to the program coordinator, just because i'm worried about doing two labs at once. i plan to express my concerns to her about what i hear is going on in the labs.

    i could just be overly emotional right now. my husband's company is about to go bankrupt, so he won't have a job after friday. my parent's family farm is going bankrupt, so they may have to sell. my stress level is pretty high right now.

    thanks for letting me vent anyway!! when i talk to the program coordinator i'll let you know what she says. part of it is that this is a brand new program that they started, with new curriculm, etc. so that may be part of the problem, i don't know!

    shannon
    (((((shannon))))). you and your family will be in my prayers.

    any new experience will add to the stress level. you have us to vent with anytime.

  12. by   nrselisa
    Our lab is the same way. We do have 3 chances to pass each skill before we are kicked out of the program. Usually we meet with other students & go over the info together. The CNAs in the class are really a big help! It is very stressful. Right now we are working on colostomys, NG tubes, enemas, & meds. The instructor did demostrate the meds for us. We also have a VERY large skill text book that covers each procedure step by step.

    Lisa
  13. by   kittyw
    "True, I don't know exactly what is happening in the class, that's just what a few of the students in that skills lab have told me. I was feeling a little freaked out about the whole thing last night, mainly because I'm not able to take the skills lab this semster. They made 30 of us drop it, and we're supposed to take it next semster because they didn't have the lab space for all of us."

    What kind of school is this?!? To accept a certain # of students, enroll them, and not have enough room for 30 of them in a lab?!!?
  14. by   caliotter3
    This school isn't the only one that is disorganized. My friend was told on the first day of orientation that 4 people would be chosen to revert to alternate status. The school insists that they informed everybody about this. No one was told a thing prior to the first day. They won't know for awhile. My friend quit her job to enter this class. If she reverts to alternate, then no job, and no school. The next class won't start for 2 yrs. She is furious.

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