Nursing students - I have a question for you

  1. I work in a NICU that frequently hosts nursing students. They are typically in our unit for only one 8-hour shift. We want to make this the best experience possible for them. So I wanted to ask you students, what would you want from a one day observation experience in the NICU? What information would you like? What would your expectations be for the experience?

    Have any of you had an observation day in a NICU?
    If so, what could have made it a better experience? What did you like about the experience you had?

    Thanks for any and all responses!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   HappyNurse2005
    I've not had the opportunity to go to NICU-I got to see PICU on my peds rotation. THough, I'd like
    -a nurse who doesn't mind you shadowing her/him
    -the chance to ask questions, even silly ones
    -the really good nurses i've seen in units, what they've done, is quiz the student, in a nice way "do you know why this baby (in your unit) is on ______" or something of that nature to help the student critically think. of course, this one can be misinterpreted as mean if said the wrong way or the student is too sensitive.
  4. by   Nursein2006
    Have any of you had an observation day in a NICU?
    If so, what could have made it a better experience? What did you like about the experience you had?


    I just finished my maternity rotation but there wasnt a NICU at my hospital. What I would love for all my nurses to do is too teach me as much as you can. I understand its only 8 hours but I want to know EVERYTHING you are doing and why, I learn by watching. I had WONDERFUL nurses in L&D, i got to see a C/Section, they taught us about monitoring and evern showed me how to set up a table for a vag delivery. I cant say I could do it on my own but I would have an idea. We are like sponges, the more you offer the better we feel.

    Thanks for thinking of us

    Denise
  5. by   mom2michael
    What I would expect from any rotation is that the nurses are nice enough to help, sensitive enough to remember what it was like in nursing school and smart enough to know that nursing students aren't stupid.

    Ask you student nurse questions. If you are about to do something....ask if they've ever seen that done before. Have them help w/X procedure in some way or another. Encourage them to ask questions, show them around and show them where supplies are kept. Maybe they've never worked in that hospital, so show them around to important places (the bathroom, vending machines and food is always nice). Explain to them about any "rules" your unit may have. Introduce them to all the nurses working that day. Have them help in anyway possible, even if that means feeding a baby or changing a diaper. Show them all the babies on the unit, not just yours for the day. Explain why each of them are there. Don't make them feel in the way and above all...don't make them feel stupid for asking questions.

    We don't do rotations in NICU but I work in several mom/baby units in the hospital but I mainly work in NICU (as a tech or as a Unit Secretary). I think it would be great to have students do a rotation in the NICU.
  6. by   Fraggle
    I like being asked questions, too. That's what my my day in the OR very good. She told me what she did, what her day was like, but a lot of it was "do you know why ___?" Or "Why would we be doing _____?" I don't think she had prepared anything, she just went off the cuff as she did her job.

    Quote from NNPStudent
    I work in a NICU that frequently hosts nursing students. They are typically in our unit for only one 8-hour shift. We want to make this the best experience possible for them. So I wanted to ask you students, what would you want from a one day observation experience in the NICU? What information would you like? What would your expectations be for the experience?

    Have any of you had an observation day in a NICU?
    If so, what could have made it a better experience? What did you like about the experience you had?

    Thanks for any and all responses!
  7. by   Aneroo
    Quote from NNPStudent
    I work in a NICU that frequently hosts nursing students. They are typically in our unit for only one 8-hour shift. We want to make this the best experience possible for them. So I wanted to ask you students, what would you want from a one day observation experience in the NICU? What information would you like? What would your expectations be for the experience?

    Have any of you had an observation day in a NICU?
    If so, what could have made it a better experience? What did you like about the experience you had?

    Thanks for any and all responses!
    Thanks for asking! I was able to do a NICU rotation for two days this past semester. My nephew was a 28-weeker, so I was interested in it. There are two parts to our NICU here (although they've just recently moved into a new one, not sure how it's set up), a more critical side, and a intermediate side. The first day I was on the more critical side, and at first I observed during assessments and all. I was able to listen to one babys heartbeat, although I swear the scope took up the whole chest wall. Later on, a nurse from another part of that side came and got me, because she had a FLK (funny looking kid, as she kindly put it). I watched as the MD's and residents checked him out, and watched as they did the usual postpartum stuff (vit K, antibiotics...). A little bit later they brought back another baby, who they had to code right after he was born. He came back with a HR around 80-90. :uhoh21: I had really wanted to go with the NICU team to the delivery, but they were already out of there before we knew what was really going on. I would urge other students to go there if possible to watch.
    The next day I was on the intermediate side, which was OK. I got my baby fix (got to hold babies), but wasn't great for learning experiences. I never really got a tour of the unit either.
    I also liked being asked questions. It reinforces what I know, and I get to learn stuff.
    -A
  8. by   perfectbluebuildings
    I got one day on the NICU and it was awesome!
    This is what made it good: My nurse told me about all of her patients and what was going on with them, and showed me some of the other interesting patients on the unit. She talked with me about what it's like to work there, and what is hard about working there both physiclly and emotionally. She also talked to me about all her experiences there. Also I got to do a lot of hands-on stuff- nothing extremely criticial, but helping feed and change babies and work with the IV pumps. I learned a whole lot and I was there for maybe 4 hours. I agree with people saying ask the students questions, to find out what they know and don't know and want to learn. It was a very neat experience, and an area I am thinking of going into later in my nursing career after I get more general experience. Thanks for being so nice to ask us!
  9. by   NNPStudent
    You students are awesome!

    Thanks for the great input - I can't wait to take it back to committee!

    This is an ongoing project, so keep those replies coming

    :spin:
  10. by   future_neonatal_NP
    man i wish i knew of a place here in Nashville that would let me experience the NICU! i think that basically i would want a tour of the NICU with explanations for some of the main machinery... i've been there once when my baby sister was born, and the machines scared the mess outta me!
  11. by   saintlouis
    I'm in school now, and I would ask that you realize our time in any one unit is so very short.... I'd like to hear more about why you chose the unit, and what working on the unit is like, and everything involved. I've been asked many times by friends, etc if I know what I want to do with my nursing degree- I usually repay "It seems to me that nursing school is less about figuring out what I want than figuring out what I DON'T want..."

    And, please, don't make us do the grunt work just because you can. I mean- I only have 6 hours in the cardiac cath lab- don't make me hold the sandbag a half hour of that time! TEACH me something...

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