Just a quick vent...

  1. I am having trouble confronting a certain student that is doing something that really bothers me (during clinical). This particular student tends to start doing things for patients that are mine (from my experience; don't know if she does is to other students as well) and this didn't upset me at first but today I found it really irritating. I'm not talking about things like getting them water and crackers, but "skill" type of things that I think I should be doing or at least asked about since it is my patient and I may have not done that skill yet (especially if I picked that patient for a particular reason i.e. he/she has IVPB medications that I want to do). I know that we are all in the clinical setting to learn but I still think common courtesy for your fellow students should not be left out as well.

    Anyone else experience this similar problem? If so, how could I deal with it "professionally" instead of passively and getting angry inside? Or am I just a greedy and unreasonable person? I'm always open to constructive criticism.

    (*Or maybe because it's the end of the semester and I've had it up to here with everyone in my class since we spend most of our lives together ... this coming summer break is MUCH needed!!! LoL!)
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I simply state that i am the one to care for that pt. that she's trying to work on. If she doesn't listen, go to the instructor. I've dealt with this twice from the SAME student, who thinks that because she's worked here-there-and-everywhere that she's worldly. I know this isn't the right way to handle it, but when we got into a debate in the classroom, and she said "you're stupid for thinking that way" I said "well you've proven your mentality for calling me that. Now stay away from my pts. at the hospital" in front of class. That worked. Heck she's even on another floor! lol

    Unfortunately we're all supposed to be adults, but some are a little slow in realizing this.
  4. by   CAMMIERN
    does your clinical teacher know about this student doing these skills unsupervised???:uhoh21: when i was in school, we had to be supervised by either the teacher or the nurse on the unit when we did a skill that we had not done before and needed to be checked off on.. i would take this to your instructor and also find out if this student is doing this to others as well.. also she is liable if she makes a mistake and causes injury to that patient for knowing that she is going around practicing her skills unsupervised. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN!!! it is not fair to that patient, but you have an obligation to correct this now before its to late.
  5. by   nurstudnt546
    Yeah, that's definitely the way I feel like reacting (i.e. like when the particular student came into my patient's room, saw I was in there, and proceeded to do a procedure on my patient. She did ask, "is this your patient?" right before completeing the task, and I wanted to say,"Well duh, I'm in here aren't I? Didn't you see me going into this room all day?"). But I'm too nice and would rather not escalate situations (unless of course the patient's life was in danger).

    This particular student is sort of a "know-it-all" type and likes to do a lot of things during clinical so she can brag and boast about it all at the end of the day. And we carpool to and from clincal together so I just put up with it as much as I can.
  6. by   nurstudnt546
    Hi CAMMIERN,
    Fortunately, the supervision aspect of it all is not really an issue. It's more of a "share the wealth" type of thing I'm talking about. Like if you know you've done an insertion of a Foley catheter 2-3 times and another student hasn't done any at all, then maybe communicate that with the other students and offer to let them do it.

    If I haven't performed a certain skill or feel like I need more practice on it and then that other student comes along and just does it to a patient you've been caring for the whole day ... that really ticks me off.

    In a way, I think I'm part of the problem as well. Some of the students are just a little overzealous about doing this and that during clinical and I'm a quiet and shy person (I'm getting a lot better since the beginning of my program though). So if me and these overzealous students are on the same floor, there's not much fighting or arguing when a Foley Cath insertion or an IVPB skill comes along because these students are on it right away and the students like me are left in the dust.

    So, I suppose I should be more aggressive. I don't know.
  7. by   Boe
    Why is she even in your patients room? We are not allowed in any patients room except our own. I would tell the student that "I prefer to do total care for my own patient and please stay out of my assigned room because I do not want my patient confused as to who his/her student nurse is. Not to mention that the patient has a right to privacy, and you comming in here violates that right as you are not the assigned student nurse." I would stress " my assigned patient" and really force that it is YOUR ASSIGNMENT to work with the patient. I know it can be hard to be assertive sometimes, but you CAN find a way to keep her away from your patients (even if you need to have your teacher ban students from patients rooms that they are not assigned to.
  8. by   nurstudnt546
    Thank all of your replies everyone. Now I don't feel so bad after getting all of your support.

    Boe, I'm afraid that if I take this attitude, then no one will every come into my patient's room even if I need a little help (with moving, turning, lifting patients). I don't mind other students coming in to help me with my patient as I'm always running to help with turning and lifting; even getting a pitcher of ice water for another student's patient - I always let them know afterwards). I just don't want them taking over and performing skills that are valuable to my learning as well ... without asking.

    I suppose I will bring it up (somehow) in a subtle way by kindly asking, "if you are about to perform a skill on a patient that is not your own, just make sure you check to see if the patient is not working with another student already." Which is why we have a specific paper with our names and the room numbers of the patients we will have for that day posted at the nurse's station.

    It's hard for me to bring things like this up because I just hate "stepping on other people's toes" especially if you think they may take it the wrong way.

    Again, I appreciate all of your comments!!! I wish I had as much guts and you all out there!
  9. by   shhh5683
    Maybe you could try the "Oh, thank you for doing that, but I was trying to work on my time management skills." or another sort of "thank you but no thank you" statement? I know it's difficult to get through to some people that way, but sometimes it does work. If not, I would have to say that you should communicate to your instructor how you feel. But dont forget that you will have situations where you will have to deal with co-workers in situations like this when you get out there. Dont forget the chain of command (which starts with the person you have a problem with). You definitely need to take care of this though. You are your own advocate for your education. Dont let someone else take that away from you because they want to brag. Just remember how much time, effort, and money you have put into your education and how he/she is getting in the way of it. Good luck!
  10. by   nurstudnt546
    Awesome comment(s) shhh5683.
    I do want my money's worth when it comes to my education and I should definitely bring it up with the person first before going "up the chain", so to speak. (It's only fair to let that person know that there's a problem before escalating it "behind their back")

    Unfortunately, all of your great suggestions may be too little, too late since this is the last week of the semester and I'm thinking (hopefully) that I will not be at the same clinical site with this particular student next semester (*crossing fingers*).

    But I know that this does not solve the problem entirely as another student may be the same way. For this reason, I will definitely take all of your suggestions to heart when dealing with this situation in the future.

  11. by   Tony35NYC
    Yeah, like everyone else suggested. Approach the student in a friendly manner and tactfully make it clear to her that she needs to back off. Since she's the officious type, she'll probably be offended or get defensive but don't let that distract you or you'll get a rebound effect and then you'll never get rid of her. Just tell her exactly as you told us, that you'd prefer to take care of your patient yourself because you want to practice your skills. Once you've set her straight I doubt she'll do it again.
  12. by   smk1
    maybe a quick talk with the instructor (without mentioning any names), alerting him or her to the problem and they can officially address it in front of the class and that way there is no confusion.

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