Rude/ Inconsiderate nurses during clinicals

  1. 0
    How do you deal with rude/ inconsiderate nurses during clinical?
    Things that really irritate me:

    > not letting me see a specific patient without a good reason

    I want to see *every* patient, not just the nice ones. If it's a danger to my safety or the patient's safety then I understand but some nurses don't give me a reason. The other day a nurse didn't let me see a patient because "she had a good relationship with him" and she spent most of the shift with him, leaving me out. I luckily just tagged along with a different nurse but I felt like she was rude and offered me a poor excuse.

    EDIT: if the patient asks for no students then it's okay as well because of consent and such.

    > Expecting me to know certain things then telling my instructor I don't know anything.

    As a nursing student, I am clinical to learn. I am not going to right away have the skills go into action. It's like riding a bicycle--easy *once you get the hang of it*. Thankfully, my instructor is nice, but it's a mean thing for a nurse to just tell the instructor I know nothing when I am a student trying to learn the things I do not know. But now I am scared to ask my instructor for a rec letter in the future.

    >Leaving the nurse's station to do a procedure/ task and not letting me know.

    This bothers me to no extent. If I see the nurse I was assigned to for the day and kind of saunter off without telling me then I get up, chase her and follow her. If you don't want a nursing student with you then you should have worked at a facility that doesn't take students. I am going to follow you whether you like it or not. Even if you are just getting a blood glucose (which I am sort of an expert at doing now since I have done it so many times) or asking the patient if he needs anything.

    > Saying things like "why didn't you become a doctor?"

    Why didn't YOU become a doctor?

    >Saying "you're timid, is this your first day?"

    No. I am not timid or shy at all. I am comfortable going up to people and asking them if they need help. But these hospitals are potential employers and I am guarded in what I say or how I act in them. I am not going to chuckle at your jokes about the patient because I want a job next year.

    >When the nurse doesn't introduce him/herself to me when I am assigned to that nurse for the day.

    This is just rude.

    What do you do in these situations? How do you handle them? I am just really mad, I had a bad experience this week. I know I am not supposed to be entitled but I am paying 20,000 plus a year out of pocket for nursing school.
    Last edit by babyboobooexpress on Nov 8, '13
  2. 9,562 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 65 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    I have found the greatest thing I can do is prove myself as competent and up until then the nurse has no duty towards me

    Initial question for you, is this coming from multiple nurses or did you have one bad experience

    I ALWAYS introduce myself to the nurse, not vice versa. I am here to learn, they are here to do their job and not hold my hand. I make sure when introducing myself that I tell them what I can/cannot do and that I'm willing to help with anything and want to see/smell/touch as much as I can. Many nurses respond well to this with me and I get pulled in by other nurses because they see how much I want to learn.

    I've never ever had a nurse ask me why I didn't become a doctor, so my assumption is it's in reaction to something you said. If they're saying "you're timid" perhaps look at how youre presenting yourself. You might not be timid, but your body language might be showing that because you're nervous (or something else, but I'm generally a little nervous).

    I'm not trying to be mean, but I went through this myself and I learned some things. When the nurse leaves the nursing station to do a procedure without telling you, they may have just forgotten about you because they're busy. They have a lot on their mind. They're trying to prioritize, they're trying to put together the lab values, they're car broke down this morning, they're getting divorced, they just spent 2 hours cleaning poo... just remember it's not always about you, except for when it is.

    answer call lights, be proactive. respect their boundaries. You'll get there and when you're out, be the best person you can be to the students who come through your floor
  5. 7
    I know it may seem like the nurses were rude but it may just be your perception. I'm not excusing any rude behavior but you have to remember that while your assigned to that one nurse she may have 6-8 patients depending on the unit.
    I will tell you that it's not her job to seek you out and introduce herself to you but the other way around. Also many times these nurses do not even realize that they have a student assigned to them till you walk up and tell them.
    You have to remember that while you are there to learn it's not their job to teach you that's your instructors job! They are there to take care of patients! As for them walking off to do things and leaving you behind 9 times out of 10 it's just because they forgot you were even there. They are already thinking 6 steps ahead about what they have to accomplish that shift.
    Be proactive and seek out things to do. Offer to be her extra pair of hands, she will both appreciate it and be more willing to bring you along. Just remember school only lasts a short time.
    Kipahni, Lev <3, Guttercat, and 4 others like this.
  6. 12
    Quote from obesity33
    How do you deal with rude/ inconsiderate nurses during clinical?
    Things that really irritate me:

    > not letting me see a specific patient without a good reason

    I want to see *every* patient, not just the nice ones. If it's a danger to my safety or the patient's safety then I understand but some nurses don't give me a reason. The other day a nurse didn't let me see a patient because "she had a good relationship with him" and she spent most of the shift with him, leaving me out. I luckily just tagged along with a different nurse but I felt like she was rude and offered me a poor excuse.

    EDIT: if the patient asks for no students then it's okay as well because of consent and such.
    Some nurses can get very protective of their pts. I see nurses like this a lot with chronic populations that spend a lot of time in the hospital (ie. Oncology pts). Pediatric nurses and critical care nurses can also be very protective. It shouldn't be seen as something personal against you, and hopefully one of the other nurses on the unit will be more welcoming of students.
    > Expecting me to know certain things then telling my instructor I don't know anything.

    As a nursing student, I am clinical to learn. I am not going to right away have the skills go into action. It's like riding a bicycle--easy *once you get the hang of it*. Thankfully, my instructor is nice, but it's a mean thing for a nurse to just tell the instructor I know nothing when I am a student trying to learn the things I do not know. But now I am scared to ask my instructor for a rec letter in the future.
    Depends what you didn't know. You should come to clinical understanding what your pts medications are and how to administer them, knowing what your pts diagnosis is and what to assess for with that condition, and you should be able to formulate basic priorities for your day. If it is more tasks (ie. Foley or iv insertion) that you will learn with experience.
    >Leaving the nurse's station to do a procedure/ task and not letting me know.

    This bothers me to no extent. If I see the nurse I was assigned to for the day and kind of saunter off without telling me then I get up, chase her and follow her. If you don't want a nursing student with you then you should have worked at a facility that doesn't take students. I am going to follow you whether you like it or not. Even if you are just getting a blood glucose (which I am sort of an expert at doing now since I have done it so many times) or asking the patient if he needs anything.
    Sometimes nurses may need to get a task done right away, and may not have time to instruct a student (ie. If a pt is symptomatic hypoglycemic). Make sure you communicate to your nurse at the beginning of your shift that you are willing to help out with any tasks, including on pts that arent yours. Also, there are certain tasks that some facilities do not allow students to do, so be sure to know if your clinical locations are like this.
    > Saying things like "why didn't you become a doctor?"

    Why didn't YOU become a doctor?

    >Saying "you're timid, is this your first day?"

    No. I am not timid or shy at all. I am comfortable going up to people and asking them if they need help. But these hospitals are potential employers and I am guarded in what I say or how I act in them. I am not going to chuckle at your jokes about the patient because I want a job next year
    Not sure why a nurse would say either of these but try to not let it get to you. Take the doctor comment as a compliment that maybe you seem smart or confident compared to your peers.
    >When the nurse doesn't introduce him/herself to me when I am assigned to that nurse for the day.

    This is just rude.
    Why didn't you introduce yourself to the nurse?? The nurse may or may not be told at the beginning of the day she has a student with her, and it is very possible she has no idea who you are. The same nurses don't work every time you do clinicals, and with students only being on the unit for a couple months at most, it can be hard for a nurse to keep everyone straight. I say you take the assertive role and introduce yourself.
    What do you do in these situations? How do you handle them? I am just really mad, I had a bad experience this week. I know I am not supposed to be entitled but I am paying 20,000 plus a year out of pocket for nursing school.
    I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience this week, but I think you need to change your outlook toward staff nurses. Many of them see students on the unit as extra work, for which they get paid nothing more to assist with. They have to double check your charting, supervise your tasks, and answer your constant questions, so you can see when a nurse has a full assignment on a busy day some may prefer not to have students. You seem to be acting as if you are there to make the staff nurses job easier, but you actually make it harder.
    Kipahni, prmenrs, nightnurse28, and 9 others like this.
  7. 6
    I second ^^.... The nurses you're assigned to are not volunteers, they get volunteered when your teacher talks to the charge nurse or however assignments are done. It's not a great system. Often you are seen as just one more thing to accommodate on a long list of tasks. That being said, I personally love having nursing students and I take my own leadership students on a regular basis. I've had opportunity to learn how to integrate a student into my day. It takes effort and time. However, I can see a nurse who is not used to having a student, just doesn't want one, or has never had one, being resistant to include you in their day. As far as not letting you see certain patients- it takes time to build even a tenuous relationship with some patients and bringing another body in there would not work. Don't question it. Be grateful for the stuff you get to see and do, don't worry about what you miss (100% guaranteed it will not make a difference to your future career), and remember you are not graduating with the skill set required to jump into a job- you will have the skill set to begin a long orientation to a job and becoming a new grad nurse. The first years on the job are where you do your learning. So don't stress.
    Kipahni, sharpeimom, JesusKeepMe, and 3 others like this.
  8. 17
    Quote from obesity33
    How do you deal with rude/ inconsiderate nurses during clinical?
    Things that really irritate me:

    > not letting me see a specific patient without a good reason I have no specific responsibility to let you see a patient and especially no responsibility to explain my reasons to you. You are a guest.

    > Expecting me to know certain things then telling my instructor I don't know anything. I do expect you to certain things; you're fortunate, however, that I have no desire to share anything about you with your instructor. It's up to them to evaluate you for themselves.

    >Leaving the nurse's station to do a procedure/ task and not letting me know. If you're "with" me then you're with me; I'm not going to put any energy into 'inviting' you along. Either follow or not... it's entirely up to you.

    (This bothers me to no extent.} It seems to bother you to quite a large extent, actually.

    > Saying things like "why didn't you become a doctor?" We have a point of agreement here. I always ask, though, "why do you want to be a nurse?"

    >Saying "you're timid, is this your first day?" Well, maybe you're being too timid. It's a huge issue, you know.

    >When the nurse doesn't introduce him/herself to me when I am assigned to that nurse for the day. You're just another student on the assembly line... it's up to you to introduce yourself to me, not the other way around.

    I know I am not supposed to be entitled but I am paying 20,000 plus a year out of pocket
    Of which I see... no one penny. I don't owe you a thing.
    All of the above are far more acerbic and extreme than I actually feel. In fact, I get great feedback from most of the students that I host but there is an element of truth in all that I've typed.

    You know that you're not supposed to be entitled... and yet, you seem to think that you are...

    and your willingness to pay an absurd sum of money for nursing school doesn't buy you a darn thing with me. Your attitude and work ethic do but the money that you're paying your school? Your problem, not mine.

    It's also interesting to me to note that while I was in school, certain nurses had a bad reputation for being rude and inconsiderate of the students... and yet I had little difficulty with any of them.

    I hear the same thing about many physicians and used to hear it about professors...

    Take this for what it's worth: It's your job - as a student, as a new grad, and as a new hire - to integrate yourself into the existing culture by changing as needed; it's not up the culture to change itself to suit you.
  9. 1
    I am in a bad mood from a bad experience this week.
    I always am assertive, offering to help, putting myself out there, asking questions, and trying to do things. And without . It sucks because I never had a bad experience with any nurses until the past couple experiences this quarter.
    And 20k a year is not obscene that's how much a good state school costs. Maybe you went to school many years ago or in another state but my tuition is pretty normal.
    But this week my nurse never said I was doing anything wrong. She never told me "oh you are doing this horribly". Then without even telling me I did something wrong she went and told my instructor I don't know what I am doing. If she said "oh you don't seem to know what you are doing" or something I would have worked to prove her wrong. But she said nothing and acted ok
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  10. 2
    As far as her not letting you see certain patients--the patient leaves and fills out a satisfaction survey which later comes back to haunt the unit. You aren't part of the unit and will likely never hear about the results of the surveys. But if that nurse can prevent one more survey from coming back poorly by keeping you out of the room, of course she should do it! This will later effect her entire floor.

    I know you want to have a good clinical experience, but honestly clinical doesn't prepare you to work as a RN. I went through all my clinicals plus had extensive work experience, but once you're on your own, nothing your experienced during clinical will prepare you for that.
    Kipahni and Lev <3 like this.
  11. 2
    Quote from krisiepoo
    Initial question for you, is this coming from multiple nurses or did you have one bad experience
    It was 2 bad experiences over the course of my 2 years in school. I have had less than optimal experiences but they weren't a big deal. 99% of the time it's a positive experience or an ok one.


    Quote from krisiepoo
    I ALWAYS introduce myself to the nurse, not vice versa. I am here to learn, they are here to do their job and not hold my hand. I make sure when introducing myself that I tell them what I can/cannot do and that I'm willing to help with anything and want to see/smell/touch as much as I can. Many nurses respond well to this with me and I get pulled in by other nurses because they see how much I want to learn.
    I always introduce myself to the nurse. This time around the nurse just said "hi" and didn't tell me her name or anything. I had to surreptitiously look at her ID badge.

    Quote from krisiepoo
    If they're saying "you're timid" perhaps look at how youre presenting yourself. You might not be timid, but your body language might be showing that because you're nervous (or something else, but I'm generally a little nervous).
    Yes I need to maybe work on my body language. I am not a timid person at all.

    Quote from krisiepoo
    When the nurse leaves the nursing station to do a procedure without telling you, they may have just forgotten about you because they're busy. They have a lot on their mind. They're trying to prioritize, they're trying to put together the lab values, they're car broke down this morning, they're getting divorced, they just spent 2 hours cleaning poo... just remember it's not always about you, except for when it is.
    Generally I just try to chase them down and keep this in mind. Just today I am annoyed from a bad experience. This week was like a tipping point of anger for me.


    Quote from krisiepoo
    You'll get there and when you're out, be the best person you can be to the students who come through your floor
    yes I can't wait to be somewhat established and I can't wait to work and one day be an educator or professor
    Not_A_Hat_Person and krisiepoo like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from rncat2000
    I know it may seem like the nurses were rude but it may just be your perception. I'm not excusing any rude behavior but you have to remember that while your assigned to that one nurse she may have 6-8 patients depending on the unit.
    This unit was only 2 pts/ RN. I know that they are busy. What irked me is that she criticized me to my prof.

    Quote from rncat2000
    I will tell you that it's not her job to seek you out and introduce herself to you but the other way around. Also many times these nurses do not even realize that they have a student assigned to them till you walk up and tell them.
    Yeah I always walk up and introduce myself. It bugged me that this one time she didn't say "hey I am Xyz" or anything. I had to look at her ID to figure out who she was.


    Quote from rncat2000
    it's not their job to teach you that's your instructors job! They are there to take care of patients!
    I am not expecting a lesson plan, but I do want to be able to learn what I can. They don't need to teach me every single move they make but if I ask them "what are you doing" they could explain a little bit. I know that it is my instructor's job to teach but I believe that it's also their job to teach. They applied to work for a hospital that takes students and I don't know how the management works but they shouldn't be shocked that they might have a student following them. If it was so horrible for them to teach then they could go to a different hospital.


    Quote from rncat2000
    Be proactive and seek out things to do. Offer to be her extra pair of hands, she will both appreciate it and be more willing to bring you along. Just remember school only lasts a short time.
    yeah I am 100% of the time. Thankfully some very good nurses on the floor appreciated that I cleaned their poop and stuff that day because my nurse didn't really want me (I was forbidden from being with her other patient and our patient was d/c'ed)


Top