RN's vs. Students @ clinicals - page 2

I had my last week of clinicals (for this semester) this week and I really wanted to get all 15 weeks in before I wrote this out. We were on a PCU (pulm/cardio unit) at a hospital and were... Read More

  1. by   MrsCannibal
    TX2007, that is crazy that you had the same locker room troubles! Ya know, these clinicals and snooty nurses get easier to handle the closer to graduating we get! And I should mention, I also had some great nurses who loved mentoring us students, and sharing as much of their knowledge as possible...those are the nurses who make the clinicals worthwhile! I hope that when I am a nurse, I remember what it was like to be a student!
  2. by   christvs
    I am a new RN (graduated in May 2005) and when I see nursing students on our unit, I try my best to remember what it was like to be a student & I also remember having not-so nice nurses in my clinicals. And there is no excuse for someone to be rude to another. That being said, it can be very stressful to be a nurse and have to take care of up to 10 patients and to also have students around asking questions and presenting their concerns to you. Nurses know what we have to accomplish in one shift, and it can be overwhelming at times just to do what we are supposed to do for our patients and to then also be there for the students. Personally, I try to say hello to any students I get and to talk to them when I have some time. If I have time, I will tell them everything I know about what is going on and tell them when I''m hanging blood, or admitting a new pt, etc. But if I don't have time and it's a nutty day to begin with, then it may seem as if I'm being mean and not spending time with my students, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, the patients' concerns and needs do come before the students', so that could be why you are having these concerns. But of course there are also some nurses who are plain rude for no reason, I will say that too! My advice to students is this: come to the floor prepared and eager to learn, and ask to be with nurses that seem like they are not in the middle of an emergency and who look like they have time to spend with you. This will improve your chances of having a great learning experience. I will also tell students I have that I don't mind having them with me, but that they should know I''m a new nurse & have only been one for 5 months, so I will not have all the answers. But what I do know I try to share with them as long as it's not a stressful day to begin with.
    -Christine
  3. by   JentheRN05
    I'm on nights now, so I don't have students anymore But I LOVED having them on days. I would seek them out to do foleys, IV sticks you name it. I got to explain things to them, it was wonderful, because I just graduated in May I remember how hard it was having an instructor following your every move, especially when your primary nurse is a pain in the rear.
    Funny thing is, I NOW work on the unit that had the MEANEST primary nurse I had throughout my schooling.
    One time I saw the way she was treating a student (same way she treated me when I did clinicals there). I point blank asked her why she's so mean to the students. I told her about how I couldn't stand her when I was a student, how she was so mean to me and so on, and asked WHY she's okay with me now.
    She simply replied, because "your a nurse now and you don't leave me with work half done and have to follow you around to make sure you don't mess things up, not tell me when your leaving for lunch, come on, you see it, it happens all the time!" I said, I haven't changed THAT much, she said, no but you have an RN behind your name which means you are finally competent!"
    She STILL after me pointing this out treats the students like sh!t. So when I was on days, I would seek out her student and be a primary nurse to them so they didn't have to put up with her. I was the ONLY one that all the students came to with problems, questions you name it. You know what? I loved being that person, I can't understand why people wouldn't want to be that person. But if I am like this, there's got to be more like me out there. I personally only had a FEW really REALLY hateful nurses. In the long run it was okay, because I knew I would NEVER be like them.
    They were a role model for me NOT to follow:chuckle
    Keep this treatment in mind when YOU become a nurse and have a student.
    I just wish students would work nights!!!!
  4. by   PediRN2B2006
    "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

    I have had days in clinical in which I wish the floor would open up and swallow me because the nurses treated us so bad. However, I always remind myself that these nurses are often overworked and overwhelmed. A lot of times, they are shocked when we show up! It is hard to babysit someone who doesn't know much about what they are doing. it is hard when you have to ask them to pull meds for you, open the pyxis, etc. Many times we are more of a hinderance than a help!
  5. by   NJNursing
    Wow, I feel so much better than I'm not alone. And I could understand it from Christvs's point of view and if I see a nurse is completely swamped then I'll try to be as self sufficient as I can on the floor, but sometimes we'd just get a challenging patient that needed a lot of confirming with the primary nurse because, although I'm caring for that patient, she's still the primary. And there were some nurses we thought in the beginning might be having a bad day (or a bad couple of days), but we'd come back the next week and find out that they were still b!tches to us the following week. They were the ones who wouldn't go into anything in depth, but just answer the questions we had and never volunteered anything extra.

    Then there were others (mostly newer graduates) who would pull us in to start/dc foleys, hang IV's, do injections, dressing changes, adventitious lung sounds, heart murmurs, circulation issues, etc. Those nurses would come seek us out and say "hey I'm going to do X would you like to see it or help?" Those ones we thanked specially in a card we gave them and whom we mentioned on our clinical evaluation.

    Remembering how I was treated, I swear to you all on this day, that I'll never treat a student like that. I will always remember where I came from (being I'm going to continue on with my BSN/MSN after I graduate) and make sure that I help the students the best I can.
  6. by   tencat
    So far I have had great nurses (knock on wood), but sheesh. If a lot of hospitals are like that I can see why people would have serious thoughts about quitting nursing school. It would be horrid to work with people like that, either as a student or as a real RN. What kind of horrible people throw other people's clothes on the floor???? Put a lock on a locker if you don't want anyone to use it. Jeez.
  7. by   berniemcr
    I'm wondering if you can say either where you go to school or what the hospital was. I too am in NJ and was at 1 hospital 2 semesters and what it has taught me is that I will never work there. The nurses were nasty with the students, one another and the patients. My third semester I was at a unionized hospital and besides being nasty, I saw the "tenured teacher" attitude, that the union will cover my A**. I am out of school next week--hopefully on a floor within a couple of months, and let me never forget what I hated and change it.
  8. by   beepeadoo
    Quote from berniemcr
    ... The nurses were nasty with the students, one another and the patients. ...
    From the outside looking in I'd hazard a guess that you hit the nail on the head. These nurses aren't nasty to students... they're just not very nice. period.

    What a shame, and what a vicious cycle... Mean nurses scare off good students who then don't go to work at that hospital meaning more mean nurses...

    Which just leads me to say, I know one might be overwhelmed. Lots to do. Not a lot of time to share with students. BUT it's all an investment in the future -- in one's own work experience, that hospital/clinic, and the profession as a whole. New trainees, no matter what the profession, are NEVER a help to those who are working. It's just the nature of the beast.

    That said, baptism by fire is not a thought that is exclusive to nurses. The trenches in general kinda follow this rule. Law enforcement, soldiers... etc etc, all give the new guy a hard time.
  9. by   skyyhiflygirl
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I'm an experienced ER RN and I have to apologize. We are a large teaching hospital and we have up to 13 nurses working at one time which seems like a lot. However, we provide clinical experiences for three schools of nursing, an LPN program, a surg tech program plus multiple EMS agencies. It is stressful to have a student. I'm a case manager and I truly welcome the students but having more than two with me, is not helpful to them or me. I am not excusing such rude behavior from this floor. However, you're cut because (at least in most areas of the country) there are many students with few clinical opportunities. Just vow that you will not be like they are. Take care and congrats on getting through this.
    This is a HUGE issue here in the Desert where I live. There are only three hospitals and there are 50+ students at different levels. It is absolutely crazy most of the time but the RNs, techs and NAs have been fabulous. They are definitely stressed because of the numbers of students (RN, LVN, Psych Tech, EMT, and CNA programs - not to mention the MA, Surg Tech, Radiology Tech, etc training that also has clinicals - plus the High School program that introduces students to health care). The Staff is inundated from morning to night. They still are required to care for the student's patient and even offer some instruction if necessary. This area has a huge nursing shortage and they welcome the opportunity to teach, but it is very stressful and there are those that just say "I can't do it today". "I am burnt out."

    Its a problem and a crisis nationwide. But I must say it sounds like your nursing school has not adopted its local hospital training ground. . .relationships must be built to make it all work. . .unfortunately, it is the student who suffers.
  10. by   alexillytom
    I'm also in NJ and I am extremely grateful that I haven't had any horror stories r/t my clinical experiences and the RNs. For the most part they have all been very helpful. Sure, we encountered one who was a witch, another who wouldn't let us chart on her patients, and couple who tried to warn us away from nursing.
    However, there was one LPN who was the absolute best. She was so willing to share her knowledge with us. I learned alot just shadowing her. I was absolutely thrilled when she was my assigned nurse. She is also in school working towards her RN. I also have to give alot of credit to our clinical instructor. If we needed to ask a question, and our nurse was unavailable, she was right there. I enjoyed my first clinical rotation immensely. I'm looking forward to next semester, even though I've heard the nurses at the next hospital are not so friendly. We'll see.

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