How do I deal with clinical sites treating students like garbage?

  1. So I am a nursing student studying to be an LVN and we do our clinicals at SNFs and subacute facilities. Their treatment of students has been bordering on ridiculous. We're not allowed a place to sit down and put down our stuff for pre and post conferences. We're not allowed to bring our bags work us and are supposed to keep them in our cars. No "talking, laughing or excessive smiling in the hallways." No drinking water in the hallways so we have to step outside. We can't be at the nursing station to see the charts, but we're not allowed to use any tables either. So we have to stand to the side, holding the charts and our notes and using our legs as writing surfaces. And then we get yelled at for crowding the halls or called "The Flamingo Bunch" by passing nurses and staff. We are not allowed to bring our food for lunch and it's in an area where the cheapest lunch is 15-20 bucks and that's hard on a nursing student. And worst of all there's this social worker whose transgressions against me are too many to name. So my question is this: is this something that I'm just going to have to tolerate or is there something I can do about it? Oh and they also keep taking my pens. So there's that.
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    About PaulicusFrumkinius

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 2; Likes: 1
    from CA , US

    21 Comments

  3. by   MiladyMalarkey
    Really the only thing you can do is notify your instructor & if they have a post clinical survey for the facilities fill it out honestly. In short, no, nothing you can do other than that. This may be the only place your school is able to get clinical sites & therefore your only place to get clinical hours. So have to make it work. Your gripe about a social worker & pens have me question a few things but, keep your pens on you & minimize contact with said social worker. Problem solved there.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from PaulicusFrumkinius
    So I am a nursing student studying to be an LVN and we do our clinicals at SNFs and subacute facilities. Their treatment of students has been bordering on ridiculous. We're not allowed a place to sit down and put down our stuff for pre and post conferences. We're not allowed to bring our bags work us and are supposed to keep them in our cars. No "talking, laughing or excessive smiling in the hallways." No drinking water in the hallways so we have to step outside. We can't be at the nursing station to see the charts, but we're not allowed to use any tables either. So we have to stand to the side, holding the charts and our notes and using our legs as writing surfaces. And then we get yelled at for crowding the halls or called "The Flamingo Bunch" by passing nurses and staff. We are not allowed to bring our food for lunch and it's in an area where the cheapest lunch is 15-20 bucks and that's hard on a nursing student. And worst of all there's this social worker whose transgressions against me are too many to name. So my question is this: is this something that I'm just going to have to tolerate or is there something I can do about it? Oh and they also keep taking my pens. So there's that.
    It sounds like a place with limited space, and quite possibly "issues" in the past with nursing students. Even with no students around, our station can get so full that working nurses have no place to sit and no computer to use. Our tiny break room fridge is always stuffed full, too.
    It's a shame that your instructor can't work with the facility to find someplace for you to sit and store your belongings. I really don't see that the facility is at fault or treated you bad, though ...they're just prioritizing, and their paid employees responsible for the care of their patients come first.
  5. by   Triddin
    Unfortunately, as students, you are guests to the ward and have to comply with their rules. I never sat down as a student. Can you keep your lunch in your car so you don't have to buy? I know I subconsciously put any pen that comes into my possession into my pocket... I doubt your pens are being taken maliciously" you can talk to your instructor to try and find work around, but unfortunately, you do have to play by their rules
  6. by   verene
    I'm guess this facility has had some bad experiences with nursing students in the past and that space is at a premium, so really the only thing you can do is try to be polite as possible and get through the rotations. You can also speak to your instructor for how to handle some of the things that are most frustrating.

    Keep your bags and food in your car (bring items that don't need to be refrigerated). If you can't use the charts in the nursing station find a place where you can look at them (there has to be a nook somewhere that is slightly more out of the way), and it may help to split up so you aren't a gaggle of students blocking the hallway. For pens, keep them in your pocket so they don't go wandering off. Either avoid the social worker or discuss your concerns with your instructor and make a plan for having a productive non-confrontational discussion with this individual.
  7. by   Ddestiny
    It's hard to be in places where the culture makes it clear you're unwelcome. I remember in LPN school when we had a specific hospital where the nurses were very openly resentful -- closing doors in students' faces, snide remarks, one even threw her hands up in the air and yelled "I don't have time for this!" and ran stomped off when she was told she was assigned a student. Now that I'm on the other side I can see that not everyone wants to deal with students but a lot of nurses really do love to teach when they get students that don't just want to do the bare minimum. But, student or not, we have to get our stuff done, it all still lands on our shoulders, and we get no additional compensation for taking on the effort of helping in your education.

    That being said...there's very little you can do. Keep your clinical instructor on the loop, but otherwise keep your mouth shut if you're anywhere that an employee might hear you. If you make a remark, even a joke out of frustration, that can be all it takes to get the whole program removed from that clinical site. Follow their rules even if they're ridiculous (can't put down your stuff during conference?). Do what you need to do, keep your nose clean, and remember that every experience is a learning experience. Sometimes you learn what you want to do, and in less optimal situations you learn how you don't want to be perceived, or what kind of things you will or will not tolerate from a place of employment.
  8. by   CharleeFoxtrot
    Quote from PaulicusFrumkinius
    So I am a nursing student studying to be an LVN and we do our clinicals at SNFs and subacute facilities. Their treatment of students has been bordering on ridiculous. We're not allowed a place to sit down and put down our stuff for pre and post conferences. We're not allowed to bring our bags work us and are supposed to keep them in our cars. No "talking, laughing or excessive smiling in the hallways." No drinking water in the hallways so we have to step outside. We can't be at the nursing station to see the charts, but we're not allowed to use any tables either. So we have to stand to the side, holding the charts and our notes and using our legs as writing surfaces. And then we get yelled at for crowding the halls or called "The Flamingo Bunch" by passing nurses and staff. We are not allowed to bring our food for lunch and it's in an area where the cheapest lunch is 15-20 bucks and that's hard on a nursing student. And worst of all there's this social worker whose transgressions against me are too many to name. So my question is this: is this something that I'm just going to have to tolerate or is there something I can do about it? Oh and they also keep taking my pens. So there's that.
    Okay so dump some hostility and look at these things one at a time and widen your view a bit to realize it ain't always about you.
    1. no space allowed? Maybe there isn't a space available.
    2. Not allowed to bring bags in? Bags can't be left unsecured and all over he place it's a H&S regulation. Fire marshals are so narrow minded not to take your needs into consideration!
    3. No loudness in the halls? Yeah I hate it when I am a guest in someone else's home (which is what that facility is to the residents) and they ask me to be considerate of other people.
    4. Not allowed to be drinking water in the hallways? That's because it's also against H&S regulations and the facility can be cited with huge fines attached.
    5. Have to stand? I'm sure the tables are for resident's use.
    6. No putting your stuff in the facility's lunch room? Bring a cooler and pack your lunch.
    7. Keep your pen in your pocket. And while you are at it, open your eyes and ears and mind and perhaps you will learn something from the experience.

    So I am curious,what did the social worker do to you, what catastrophic "transgressions" occurred? Tried to get you hooked on Meth? Hacked your phone charging up thousands of dollars on Steam? Hit on you? Made disparaging remarks about your resemblance to a flamingo? Seriously, the over the top hyperbole and self-centric remarks totally undermine any point you were trying to make.

    tl/dr version: This is how it is, either you deal or you don't.
  9. by   dream'n
    No "excessive smiling" in the halls. Wait...what?? And why does this make me laugh?
  10. by   Rionoir
    The place I'm doing my clinical they love the nursing students, we do most of the work on those patients for the whole shift. Our clinical instructor is the one teaching, not the nurses for the most part. What exactly do the nurses "not have time" for? LoL
  11. by   ramonabeth
    I'm also an LPN student doing most of my clinical rotations at an SNF / rehab. I've been going there for about 9 months now. I've literally been ready to quit because of one of those nasty bully nurses then a few kind words from another pulled me off the ledge. Here is the irony. The nurse that pulled me aside and told me I was going to be a great nurse someday was the boss.

    Clinicals are just like a job, since they are basically job training. There will be people you like and those you don't. When you have spare time, do you ever go ask if there is something you can do to help? Maybe a Blood sugar or Routine vital signs? Our clinical instructor encourages us to do these things. It really makes a difference with most nurses that we are willing to pitch and be useful. There will always be that one who you can't please. That's about her, not you. Look around and figure out what else there is to be done and learn. If you are huddling as a group, you are not learning anything. Maybe take the time to talk to your patient and ask how their illness affects their life. There is a lot to learn there if you look for it. Remember, you paid a lot of money to be there. Get everything out of it you can.
  12. by   mzinfinit
    I've only been to one nursing school, but several clinical sites, and this doesn't sound horrible to me. A few sites I've been have had similar rules, so my advice would be to try and tolerate it. The time will go by fast.

    We were always able to evaluate our clinical sites at the end of a rotation, hopefully you will be able to, and can professionally air your grievances at that point. At my school, the surveys always asked if there was appropriate space for pre and post conference. I said "no" and followed up with explaining how that affected my learning. Sometimes they use new sites.

    We asked our instructor for permission to photocopy the pages we needed from the charts at the beginning of the day. She hesitated at first, but we agreed to cut the identifying information off of the top of the pages immediately, and later put the copies in the lockbox shredder. before leaving. She approved.

    Eat before clinical. Learn flat affect, carry granola bars in your scrub pockets, leave your bag in the car, drink water in designated areas, don't socialize while you're reviewing charts and you will get through them quicker. Also, I bought one of those folding clipboards that fits in my pocket. Really helps eliminate "leg writing".
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from PaulicusFrumkinius
    So I am a nursing student studying to be an LVN and we do our clinicals at SNFs and subacute facilities. Their treatment of students has been bordering on ridiculous. We're not allowed a place to sit down and put down our stuff for pre and post conferences. We're not allowed to bring our bags work us and are supposed to keep them in our cars. No "talking, laughing or excessive smiling in the hallways." No drinking water in the hallways so we have to step outside. We can't be at the nursing station to see the charts, but we're not allowed to use any tables either. So we have to stand to the side, holding the charts and our notes and using our legs as writing surfaces. And then we get yelled at for crowding the halls or called "The Flamingo Bunch" by passing nurses and staff. We are not allowed to bring our food for lunch and it's in an area where the cheapest lunch is 15-20 bucks and that's hard on a nursing student. And worst of all there's this social worker whose transgressions against me are too many to name. So my question is this: is this something that I'm just going to have to tolerate or is there something I can do about it? Oh and they also keep taking my pens. So there's that.
    It sounds like a clinical site where the behavior of students has been ridiculous. Some facilities just don't have enough space -- space for people to store their bags and their lunch, space for people to sit and peruse the charts. When space is at a premium, the employees get first dibs.

    I've been at work where a class of nursing students had stuffed the refrigerator to overflowing, and I observed three students pulling the employees lunches out of the refrigerator to make room for their own. I've worked where every chair in the nurses station was occupied by students who were rude when asked to make room for staff. I've seen students take several charts off the unit to look through them -- to the point where the nurses couldn't do any charting until the students had left for the day.

    I am sorry, but the students who have come before you have abused the facility and the staff, and you're paying for it. You'll see things from the other side in a couple of years.
  14. by   Pampam82
    Nursing school is just one of those hit or miss things. During my LPN training I met some great people and I met some people that really made me question the profession. As some others have stated it is definitely something you just have to deal with. Whenever you experience something negative, simply make a mental note of it. It will help to shape who you become as a nurse. You wont treat anyone the way you have been treated. Its just a learning process all around.

    To all of you who have taken the time out of your day to come at these questions with an over abundance of negativity, YOU are dragging the nursing profession down. I can only imagine how your patients must feel when you respond to the questions that they have. Not everyone wants to be babied when they make these inquiries. Sometimes its ok to just say, Nursing school is going to suck at times but keep your head up and you'll get through it. You were a student at one point and I'm sure that encouragement went a lot farther than receiving a snarky response to your questions.

    To the OP, You got this!.....and hide your pens because nurses like me will snatch them up all day : )

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