problems with nurses at my clinical site - page 2

im currently in my med/surg roation. there are 9 of us at the hospital, and we are all split on different floors. on my floor, there are 3 of us (me and my clinical classmates) for the day. my... Read More

  1. by   Honeybun1206
    thanks everyone for your advice. this situation is just so frustrating to me and to some other students in my clinical. i feel so helpless when this happens, just as they do.

    i just want to get the most out of my clinical experience, because i do want to learn how to become a nurse of course. its so hard when nurses just aren't used to teaching students and just dont know how to guide the students.

    its unfortunate, because those RNs probably dont realize how valuable they can be teaching us students, telling us the tricks of the trade, you know? another thing is that they may not realize that us students are indeed the future RNs, LVNs, etc., and one thing the students must achieve is competency. of course we may never achieve that unless we learn hands-on from the professionals.

    thanks again, i will use your advice during my next clinical and see what happens. im not exactly feeling optimistic but it needs to be done one way or another, right?
  2. by   live4today
    I've always enjoyed working with nursing students, precepting new grads, and as far as I'm concerned we can learn from each other.

    I also understand why some nurses are hesitant to allow students total care over the patients they are initially responsible for on their shift. It is our license on the line afterall, so remember this when caring for each nurses patient assignment.
  3. by   Tony35NYC
    The nurses who work at your clinical site don't know what they're missing. How can they not appreciate a extra pair of hands to help them get their work done? Do all the students in your clinical group have the same experiences? Have you tried talking to the instructor? You really should, you know. Otherwise, you will get to the end of the rotation and not get to do any real nursing stuff.

    I never had that problem since my very first clinical. The nurses would put on a bit smile on the minute they saw us coming on the floor because they know once we're around they could relax a little and not work so hard. Of course we were glad to get any chance to practice our clinical skills, so it was a win-win. I hope the situation improves for your clinical group.
  4. by   icyounurse
    when i was in school and a nurse ignored me and there was nothing to do i always asked other students and the cna's if they needed help with anything and found busy work to not look idle [ emptying linen containers, reading the chart]. sometimes ask other nurses if they would mind taking me with them to do drsg changes, ect because my nurse was so "busy"
    if you are only in med surg 1 don't stress about thinking you have to have a certain amount of clinical experiance. believe me there will be many days where you have too much experiance. you still have plenty of time!
    i didn't get as much as i needed until my practicum. we did 144 hours with just one nurse, and it made me feel much more experianced than clinicals ever did.
    Last edit by icyounurse on Feb 24, '05
  5. by   ganursechick
    I guess that I was pretty lucky during clinical rotations, the instructor that we had has been doing clinicals at that same hospital for over 10 years, and all of the regular staff nurses love her ( and most of her students), so they look forward to having her nursing students....I even had a postpartum nurse ask me during the first semester when we would be coming to her floor to help out, they are really short staffed.

    From the first day of clinicals in report she told the staff what our responsibilities would be for each patient, and we were allowed and encouraged to do almost everything. There were days that I had nurses tell me that they had a really smooth day, due to the fact that most of what they did was just follow around and make sure all the charting was done correctly. If ever I was asked to do something, and did not feel 100% confident, all I had to do was tell the primary nurse and she would show me, and allow me as much hands on experience as possible.

    There was one though, a military nurse(all our clinicals were done in the military hospital) and he got upset that one of the guys in our class missed starting an IV, and asked another student to do it. He told the student, 'well i guess its ok, after all you are 'just a student, what should i expect', with a really nasty attitude about it. Other than that, we had a good time, in some places, we were totally responsible for the patients, but in the clinics, yeah all we did was vitals, and that was boring.

    I am only and LPN now, just finished and will grad in April, but I know that having good clinical experience as an LPN will help me when I get to that point during my RN rotation.
  6. by   mye614
    Last week during my clinical rotation, I was assigned to 2 patients on the Telemetry/med-surg unit. One of my patient is post pacer (4 days and is doing very well) the other one is confused and needed a lot of attention. My problem is the Primary Nurse I was helping that night I think got a little irritated with me or I must say "frustrated with me", but she didn't say anything to me but instead started being "snotty"... I admit eventhough I'm in my last semester in the RN program I still need a alot of brushing up with the CNA skills (turning/positioning/transferring/making beds while the patient is on it)...All the other tasks an RN should do I was able to do and I must say I'm good (except for the CNS tasks). Instead of her telling me directly and corrected me, she went to one of the other students and asked her " This is your second semester, right?", and then my classmate replied "Yes, is this bad or good?", then the RN replied " No comment!"-with a smirk on her face. I didn't know about it until I vented my feelings to this classmate of mine and she mentioned that that RN actually came up to her but wasn't sure why she asked. Now, I feel like my whole self esteem has gone down and I'm afraid to go back to the Hospital where I do my clinical thinking that she probably told every other Nurses in the Unit about me. Well, this Monday is our last day of clinical. I plan on telling my instructor about this experience I had with that Nurse. Isn't that so unprofessional of her? And plus she should've been more understanding because she was once a student.
    Last edit by mye614 on Feb 25, '05
  7. by   Catch
    Quote from Aneroo
    Sorry if I offended you. This is our last semester, our leadership semester. We have two students who take over as "charge" for eight patients each. The assign the nurses and the students, and I was ASSIGNED that patient. However, I do realize that that RN is still accountable for what I do. That particular nurse I was speaking to, we had had problems with her before about not letting students do things (she's a new grad). I went ahead and stood up for myself, and wanted to make sure she knew what my role was. There tends to be role confusion up on some of the floors. There is a university that also does clincals where we do, and the have first year, first semester nursing students on some of the intermediate units. The do only do vital signs, finger sticks, and ADL's. This particular nurse is from that university, and might not have really had the chance to work with our students and know what our leadership semester is about. I was not trying to be bossy, demanding, or anything of the sorts. I was trying to have an assertive way of telling her what my role was. I certainly hope I did not offend her as I would have offended you. -Andrea
    It seems to me that sometimes there is a fine line between being asssertive and being offensive. A lot of it lies in your knack for "reading" the nurse and in your attitude. Personally, I liked assertive students, but I never had any bad asses. Some nurses are hypersensitive and just want the student to stay the hell out of the way. I've sometimes been at a loss to know what to do about students who didn't have anything to do and were just standing around, and I didn't have time to figure out what to do about them, so if they took the initiative to ask or suggest something I was glad to work with them.
  8. by   Catch
    Quote from mye614
    Last week during my clinical rotation, I was assigned to 2 patients on the Telemetry/med-surg unit. One of my patient is post pacer (4 days and is doing very well) the other one is confused and needed a lot of attention. My problem is the Primary Nurse I was helping that night I think got a little irritated with me or I must say "frustrated with me", but she didn't say anything to me but instead started being "snotty"... I admit eventhough I'm in my last semester in the RN program I still need a alot of brushing up with the CNA skills (turning/positioning/transferring/making beds while the patient is on it)...All the other tasks an RN should do I was able to do and I must say I'm good (except for the CNS tasks). Instead of her telling me directly and corrected me, she went to one of the other students and asked her " This is your second semester, right?", and then my classmate replied "Yes, is this bad or good?", then the RN replied " No comment!"-with a smirk on her face. I didn't know about it until I vented my feelings to this classmate of mine and she mentioned that that RN actually came up to her but wasn't sure why she asked. Now, I feel like my whole self esteem has gone down and I'm afraid to go back to the Hospital where I do my clinical thinking that she probably told every other Nurses in the Unit about me. Well, this Monday is our last day of clinical. I plan on telling my instructor about this experience I had with that Nurse. Isn't that so unprofessional of her? And plus she should've been more understanding because she was once a student.
    The nurse was being small. Sometimes small people feel bigger when they make other people feel small, too. If your instructor is supportive it may help to discuss it with her, but let me warn you, you'll be meeting this attitude more often than you like throughout your career. Maybe the best thing to do with small people is to leave them alone; don't make them your best friends when you become a peer.
  9. by   wonderbee
    Sometimes you run into a nut you just can't crack. Nurses are like a box of chocolates, you don't know what one will be like until you take a bite. Don't get lathered up over one nurse's reaction. For every one like her, there will be one who will come and seek you out to show you something. Preceptors come from somewhere. They're out there. They're excited about teaching. Their excitement is infectious. They're the ones the patients love too.

    Do you take report from the staff nurse? This is an opportunity for her to find out what your scope of practice will be. She might ask. If she doesn't, let her know what you can and cannot do. As you get later on in your clinical skills, the nurses will love to see you. In fact, they will count on your presence as an extra pair of skillful hands and observant eyes. I really noticed a difference between first and second year.
    Last edit by wonderbee on Feb 25, '05
  10. by   Aneroo
    Quote from RNKittyKat
    Sometimes you run into a nut you just can't crack. .
  11. by   xokelly2
    I have had some darn awful nurses in the clincal setting!!! They can be so rude sometimes. Then there are always the good ones who want to help you out! The worst is when the nurse your working with treats you like your not important. One I had last week took her dear old sweet time having lots of personal conversations while I was sitting beside her waiting for report. Is my time not as valuable as yours?

    Well anyways I know this maybe contraindicating what I just said but does anyone else get a major case of BORDOM at certain clinical sites?? It's like were there for 7 hours two times a week and for 5 of those seven hours were all struggling to look like were busy when we really have nothing to do. other clinical sites youre so busy your head spins!!!! Crazy!
  12. by   saintlouis
    I realize it's the primary nurses responsability in the end, as they are an employee of the hospital, but in my clinicals it is stressed from day 1 that if you signed it, you own it. It's my initials in the chart, and if I'm ever called on it it's MY butt (along with my INSTRUCTOR'S butt) on the line. If I do something wrong and don't ask, I'm accountable. Along with my blessed instructor, who is accountable for giving me the task in the first place....

    I think a lot of the frustration stems from RN's asking students to do something, only to be told "I can't" or (worse) "I don't know how." If it's within my scope of practice, and I don't feel confident, it's MY job to track down my instructor for guidance. The Primary's job isn't to teach, and for them I think it's often easier and quicker to do it themselves.

    My only bad experience was a couple of weeks ago, and she was cranky, mean, and generally annoyed I was there. After I chatted with her later in the morning (after the AM rush), I found out she was a floater, a recent <2yr grad, and that there were no techs on the floor that morning. I simply don't think she was up to the task, and was at her wits end. After a shakey start (and my new knowledge), I switched to "give me a list of things you will need to have for your upcoming drsg changes, etc. and I will go gather them (hunt, steal, scavange) and make your life easier" mode. Even with her busy schedule, she managed to say something nice about me to my instructor.

    Do your best, and remember you will have other nurses. And remember your first job is not to make more work for your primary. Then try to learn something. Help your fellow students, and smile a lot.

    In the end, MOST of them are grateful you are there to lighten their load....
  13. by   mye614
    Even if I had that awful experience with the RN I was supposed to help, I still try to justify as to why she was frustrated and snotty with me. Maybe she was having a bad day that night, and then there I was being "dumb". But I would've appreciated it more if she was more upfront to me instead of being snotty and going to one of the other students. She made me feel really stupid and unappreciated.
    See the problem with me is being so scared and nervous. I feel llike whenever I touch a a patient (like placing them on a bed pan or turning and positioning them) I feel like I would cause them more pain. I always take it upon myself to make them as comfortable as possible without them lifting a finger or something.
    That night when she got frustrated with me, I was helping her clean the patient up ( 83 year old confused male with fractured knee and contractured arm both left side). This patient has been laying on his poop and pee for God knows how long ( The PCA must've known student nurses are coming so they decide to wait til we get there to clean the patient up). To make the story short, I didn't know exactly know where and how to do the task without being unorganized (it was a big mess). Finally I got done cleaning the patient up and I called the RN to help me transfer this patient to the recliner so I can change the sheets on his bed. So she came and noticed that the patient's depends (diaper) wasn't put in perfectly ( the patient is dead weight and I tried the best I could to put the depends on), then second frustration was when we were transfering the patient she noticed that I didn't know the proper way of transferring the patient (the patient didn't get hurt). then from then on she started giving me a snotty and sarcastic attitude. I know my instructor will probably say "Go and practice your patient care skills (turning/positioning/transferring) in the lab...with the manequins...". But my point is yeah I can go and practice but it's alot different when you're actually in a hospital setting dealing with real people not manequins..Manequins are stiff and just lay there and say nothing....Sigh...sigh..sigh..I'm so frustrated wiht myself after that last clinical I had...Do you think I should take a CNA class to brush up my skills?

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