expectations

  1. For us new nursing students I would like to know from you RNs, your opinion of nursing students, what do you expect from us, helpful hints, what we can do to make your life and ours easier. Janice
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    I vividly recall being a nursing student.I vowed never to be like "those awful nurses" who seemed devoted to making my presence at clinicals feel unwelcome and unworthy. Now thay I have been an RN a few years, I still try to hold to that student vow. However, I can tell you a few common sense tips that will win my favor w/ nursing students...

    Please know that I love nursing students who are enthusiastic and eager! From the start of the shift, I like to know what you plan to do, what you can't do, what you observe and what questions you might have.I do enjoy teaching you things, especially if I know ahead of time what skills you might want to learn. Yes, I am very busy- but if I know what you are interested in, I can help you find new & exciting learning experiences.I love students to shadow me.Come see what is being done by the nurse "behind the scenes!"

    If student nurses take over the role of the nurses aid, then I especially like if they come tell me the vital signs or any unusual findings that they observe.Please let me know if you want to take the nurses notes, borrow the chart, etc. so I don't have to track them down.Report off to me before you leave the floor at the end of clinical. Basically, I love student nurses who try to work as a team member. Just as you have your goals for the day, I have mine,too. It's great if we can communicate w/ eachother about our goals and findings throughout the day.

    Please check w/ me if you have any questions or find anything that "doesn't seem right." Your help is appreciated! A positive, prefessional attitude goes a long way for us all.Good luck & hope you have fun learning!
    ~kona
  4. by   babs_rn
    Well, now!

    I work in a busy ED, and none of the other nurses seem to "have time" to "deal with" the student nurses. What a crying shame! I have seen so many just stand there, lost, not knowing what to do, and it saddens me.

    Not to brag or anything, but I came to work just the other day and a student nurse (unusual for our dept, a BSN student!) was there and followed me into a patient's room - and when I realized she was a future RN (as opposed to a tech), I took her under my wing and was thrilled to have her shadow me the rest of her shift. I found out later that she had gone to one of our veteran techs and asked her if anybody was going to show her anything or let her do anything, and that the tech told her, "Wait till Barbara (me!) comes in. She's a really good nurse and she's really nice and you'll like her. She'll take you in". She was SO eager to learn, and to do, that I was impressed enough by her to mention to her that she might want to follow in the footsteps of other students before her and work part time in the ED as a tech while she goes to school and, since she reacted positively to that, I took her to the nurse manager at the end of her shift.

    Bottom line is this: I don't encourage anybody to go into nursing (I'm getting out of it myself) but if you're dead set on it, I will help you any way I can. I remember what my student days were like (pure hell) and I, too, refuse to be "that way" to students who work with me. I enjoy showing things to people eager to learn. I like explaining the little intricacies of the nursing work world that aren't taught in school. I am well aware that nursing is well known for "eating its young".

    On the flip side of that, though, if you just hang around and act like you don't really want to do anything, don't expect me to advocate for you in any way whatsoever. It is as I told the student the other day, I'm not going to give anyone a hard time unless they are lazy or just plain stupid and should know better, because that's dangerous. Students are there to learn. Nurses, I guess just forget that and view the student as an impediment to their job. That attitude is beyond me.

    Maybe the instructors should coordinate with the nurse managers of the departments to determine what nurses are willing to act as preceptors for the students and assign the students directly to them and only them. That would certainly have a positive impact on the students' education. It's an idea to bring up, anyway.

    Good luck and God bless. You have a long row to hoe.
    Babs

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