I was just reading the thread about the nursing student feeling like she's in a den of wolves. As an LVN student, I'm no longer enthusiastic about clinicals.
My school structures clinicals accordingly:
Each student has a check list of tasks that the teacher must observe, ranging from assisting with elimination to changing an occupied bed to applying heat and cool compresses.
We aren't assigned patients or a staff person to work with.
I think some students just walk into a patients room and start caring for him and then let the CNA know, "I'm going to do x,y,z for this person".
<<I think it's rude to do start caring for the person without first asking the CNA assigned to care for the patient>> Am I mistaken in this belief?
After the morning care and breakfast is over, as students, we wander the halls looking for something to do. I answer call lights, assist patients with elimination, spend time with residents who desire companionship, research medications and medical diagnosis for the resident I cared for in the morning. I let the CNAs know I am available if they need me for anything and keep my eyes open for opportunities to help.
There is nothing else for me to do besides hope a call light comes on or research charts for 4-5 hours. I, and most of the students, spend hours trying to stay out of the way of the staff.
When we students huddle together, we appear lazy. When we stand near the nurses station, we are complained about because we take up too much space. So most students stick together in a large utility room with charts spread out so that they look busy.
When I compare this to CNA clinicals, we were assigned a CNA and shadowed her/him all day. I loved the opportunity to do all of the CNAs "grunt" work and enjoyed the fast pace. The CNAs quickly learned to utilize some of us students to help get their work done faster.
In my LVN school, we are only allowed to do CNA tasks, but we are told to think about it from a nursing perspective. We also aren't given a days worth of CNA tasks to do.
Oh and I know, from watching my fellow students getting tattled on, to never speak to the nurses. We aren't allowed to ask questions or ask to observe anything they do.
Rather than complain about this, I'd like to ask other nurses and student nurses what their clinical days are like so I can get some insight into how to make my days more educational and enjoyable.