Walking on eggshells at clinicals - page 3

Anyone else feel like this? My group has had a few bad encounters with the RN staff. I feel like we are bothering them and they HATE us. One of them flogged another student on Thursday evening... Read More

  1. by   Jelli_Belli
    I had to post this because it was such a bizarre coincidence. My clinical group was supposed to finish the semester on a ortho\total joint floor too, but after two clinical days there our instructor told the nurse mangaer we would not be coming back due to the rude and hostile behavior of the nurses. Now we are finishing out clinicals out back on the ambulatory care unit we just left (which is cool by me, it is such an awesome floor).
    I wonder if it is something about ortho floors that makes nurses nasty. My instructor said she thought it was most likely a jealousy thing because the majority of the nurses on this floor were LPNs and we are RN students. Who knows? I know if I was one of those nurses I would have been grateful for all the help. Oh well, life goes on and it worked out for the best because know we are back on a much better floor.
  2. by   RN BSN 2009
    Quote from zilla704
    Anyone else feel like this? My group has had a few bad encounters with the RN staff. I feel like we are bothering them and they HATE us. One of them flogged another student on Thursday evening while we were there to get our MAR's and round reports for the next day. One refuses to let us help him. He's needed a BGL, or TED hose, or vitals and when 2 different SN's said "I'll take care of it for you", he's said "no, thanks. I'll find my CNA". So to keep the peace we ask as few questions as possible and stay out of the way. It's in no way a learning experience, for sure. I had one nurse who hung blood on a patient that I was assigned to do vitals for during the transfusion. She hung the blood and left. At the first 15 minute increment, her temp had gone up 3 degrees. I went to look for her to let her know and she had left the floor. She didn't tell anyone she had just hung blood, just left the floor. I asked and they said "Oh, she went upstairs, she'll be back in a few minutes", meanwhile I'm terrified this patient is having a reaction. I've hated every minute of this semester's clinicals and I dread every Friday. My clinical instructor said because it's a total joint floor and they are so overworked they are just tired and cranky. I just can't accept that. This is a teaching hospital.

    Are you guys having similar problems?
    That's awful... there are a lot of situations like that... unfortunately... students need a good supportive culture... Hope this ends soon so you can learn and move on
  3. by   kate1969
    you know, its not that easy learning things for the first time, and when I went through respiratory school I kinda had a leg up, I was a nurse aid years ago, I went to medical assisting school and graduated, I worked as a unit secretary in a hospital too, and through all of this, I have seen the students get the pooey end of the stick, and it wasn't just nursing students, the medical interns and residents, cna students, respiratory students, they all got handed the sh%$. I felt so bad for them, but when I went through school, I knew it would happen to me and it did, one respiratory therapist threw an E tank at me and asked me to trouble shoot it, so I did for about 3 seconds and she grabbed it back and asked me, "You failed the tank class didn't you?", wow, I was floored...I haven't failed a class in all of my life....I told my instructor that she had done that to me and my instructor asked how I responded, I told her I didn't say what I wanted to...I stayed professional..then later, I found out that that RT had only been an RT for 4 years...I passed that clinical, I had that lady for 20 clinical days and I made it through, but I'll tell ya, through clinicals, you get to know where you would never want to seek employment...that was my best learning experience...hehe, just try to get through it, its hard, but when you're done, you're done!! good luck
  4. by   charlies
    Quote from Daytonite
    I have to disagree with this. If what you are saying is true, then that would account for all the bad-tempered nurses who just want student nurses and new grads who are trying to learn something from them to get out of their way and leave them alone. Is that the kind of nurse you want to be paired up with in your clinical rotations? I don't think so. So, did you really mean to say that
    Yes, I did mean that. I am shocked that you disagree with me. lol

    However, I might point out that I don't think that it accounts for ALL the bad tempered nurses out there. 'All' is kind of all-encompassing. I would say many, but not all. Some just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
  5. by   Princess74
    I agree with Daytonite, it is part of the nurses job decription to teach students as well as patients. This is especially true of teaching hospitals.
  6. by   leosrain
    Part of the official scope of practice of a RN in my province is teaching students. This includes times when you are buddied with a student. If we don't take time to appropriately teach the students, we are in breach of our our responsibilities. And I think that's the way it should be! There's no reason not to help students learn.

    Quote from charlies
    Teaching patients is a nurse's responsibility, teaching students is an instructor's responsibility.
  7. by   charlies
    well, at least we get paid better to teach students than the instructors, eh? I didn't have anything else to do anyway.
  8. by   arciedee
    The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses states: "The nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development."

    To me this means that nurses have a responsibility to assist in the education of student nurses. Of course the ultimate responsibility lies with the clinical instructors, but when there is only one instructor to eight students (or whatever the mandated ratio is in your state) and the nurse still has the ultimate responsibility for the patient, then it often necessarily falls to the nurse to make sure that the student has the information necessary to do the work at hand. I've heard too many stories of students hiding out in broom closets from fear. It's ridiculous. The nurses who tell us how much they love having students because we lighten their load... those are the ones that make us want to work all that much harder. We're all on a team, here. The more I know -> the less I bug you -> the happier we'll all be.
  9. by   charlies
    Quote from arciedee
    The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses states: "The nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development."

    Please, that is a little general isn't it? It doesn't specifically say we have to educate students. You might as well say that that quote means we have to administer their education program, and develop their curriculum. Why not, right? After all, what else are we going to do in 12 hours?

    But whatever, you teach the students all you want, I don't care. Unless your teaching of the students means your not getting your job done and I have to take up the slack. Because I will not do that.
    Last edit by charlies on Apr 1, '07 : Reason: editing gives me the jollys
  10. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from charlies
    After all, what else are we going to do in 12 hours? Unless your teaching of the students means your not getting your job done and I have to take up the slack. Because I will not do that.
    Sorry to chime in here, but can I clarify from a student perspective all I'd like to see?

    Technically, the pt we work with in clinicals is YOUR pt (from what we've been told and what it says on the whiteboard).

    I am required to report in to you when I start my shift. If the pt needs a procedure done and my instructor is not sure how YOU want it handled or when, we are told to "check with the nurse". If there is a med in question (apical heart rate up or down; glucose in question, etc.), we are told to check with the pt's nurse to get the final decision about whether to admin that med. When the pt has VS that are off, or a dressing or drain that seems to be not quite right, I am supposed to come tell YOU to determine the next course of action. If the dr. writes up new orders during the day, I am supposed to come check with you to see if you're on board with that. When I go to lunch or leave for the day, I am required to report off to you.

    I try not to "bug" you otherwise; you ARE busy and most of us who are half conscious can see that. I don't necessarily want you to TEACH me about those things; that IS what my school and instructor are for.

    But please, don't act like I am a pain in your neck. Don't roll your eyes at me or sigh or act like you really wish I didn't exist. Acknowledge me with something other than a scowl and act like you CARE that I am trying. If I HAVE to come to you with these questions (and sometimes I am not any happier about it than you), please be somewhat thoughtful and let me know you appreciate OUR consideration for YOUR pt and give me the insight I am asking for. Many times I am in as big a hurry as you are to be on my way and getting MY work done.

    The majority of us try to stay out of your way, particularly when we know we are a blight on your landscape. But we can't help but love those nurses who act like we aren't the biggest idiots who roam the face of the floor of that hospital. Who, even though they're swamped, will either tell us that the time is not right, hang on a few -- or stop, think, and then look us in the eye and answer our questions, explain it if they think it will help, and then either come help us with it or tell us to let them know if we need help with it.

    Somehow, I don't think that requires a nurse to abscond her position of responsibility with their pt and expect you to pick up the slack or that it will require anymore time of you than if you did it with YOUR pt to begin with.

    Then again, I am JUST a student and perhaps you can educate me otherwise.
  11. by   queenjean
    I see both sides of this; I am an LPN on an acute care floor with 7 years experience (and no, I am not jealous of RNs or student RNs); and I am also an RN student now, doing my own clinicals.

    We students have the impression that we are there to learn, our RN is there to teach us, and that it is easier to have a student than it is to have the patient by themselves. Wrong. It is so freakin hard to have a student; it doubles your work load. AND you are responsible for everything the student does. My last student acted a bit insulted when I asked if she knew how to start an IV piggyback, "Yes, I've done *tons* of them." so I let her. Without directly observing her. Then the pt calls me to the room about 15 minutes later, while the student nurse is on break, to tell me that she is bleeding everywhere. Because the student nurse was not familiar with our tubing system I guess, did not screw the hub in properly (just pushed it in) and it worked it's way loose and the patient lost quite a bit of blood, and it is MY responsibility.

    Answering all those questions the student nurse has is MY responsibility. Insuring that she does not harm my patients is MY responsibility. Insuring that she learns something (even though I have never taken any classes on education, nor am I familiar with what her classes have covered so far, or what she needs to work on, somehow I am supposed to know all these things); it's all MY responsibility. It is also not always great on the self esteem to work with students. When you ask me a question I don't know, it is hard to say, "I don't know," even if you dont' smirk after I admit my ignorance (and it certainly doesn't help if you DO smirk; do you think I really want to work with you after that?!?). Or if you criticize my sterile technique. Or the way our hospital does this and that (like hang blood, I noticed in an earlier post--yes, it is our hospital protocol that blood run very slowly for the first 15 minutes--in our hospital, anyhow, it wouldn't be the nurse being a freak, it would be her following protocol.) Point is, we all hear you griping about us in the break room--how we don't know anything, how we don't do things the proper way. Yes, sometimes you are right--sometimes, though, there is more than one "proper" way. So maybe you should hold your criticism for later, okay?

    As a student, it is equally as difficult. How am I supposed to know the politics of the floor? If I don't get the opportunity to perform something, or watch you perform it, or have you help me by walking me through it, how am I supposed to learn? If you treat me as an aide, or worse, a nurse who is working with you, and you assign me my own patient(s) while you work separately with the rest, how exactly are you going to help teach me anything when you actually have no idea of what is going on with my group? I see charge nurses assign a *heavier* group to the RN with the student, because "she has help." No she doesn't! She needs a *lighter* group, so that she has more time to work with the student! And you don't need to make disparaging remarks about the students' abilities or physical attributes or the mistakes they made while you are standing at the nurses station or in the cafeteria. Nothing tears us down like that, knowing that you think so little of us that you are telling the world how terrible we are behind our backs.

    As nurses mentoring students, we need to be more open. We need to be more attentive, and explain our actions and rationales. We need to tend to the student nurses, not turn them loose to sink or swim. We need to be encouraging and open, and invite (and then answer!) questions.

    As students, we need to ask appropriate questions at appropriate times, and also need to learn that sometimes the best way to learn is to keep our mouths closed and our eyes and ears open. We need to ask for help when we think we might need it. When we make comments, we need to think before we speak; not "You are doing that wrong, in school we learned to do it XYZ." (a quote from a recent student): rather, say, "Why did you do XYZ like that? I learned a different way, could you talk me through your way?" Most importantly, we need to remember what it is like, so that when we are the mentor, and there is a brand spankin new student in front of us, we don't say "Oh, now I understand why my mentor nurses were evil, now I realize how difficult students are;" Instead you need to remember how hard it was to be a student, and how much your mentor could teach you (for better or worse), and become the mentor that you yourself wanted and needed as a student.

    Climbing down from my soapbox today, because I work again tonight, and anyhow, I've probably bored you all to death by now...
  12. by   PedsNurse322
    It must be an ortho thing, eh? The ortho unit at the hospital that I am doing my M/S rotation at will not allow students on their unit, period.

    The RNs that I've worked with so far have been helpful, although one of my classmates got a crab the other day - but then, this RN was bitter to begin with because she had been pulled from the ortho floor (lol) to work, and then got a student to boot.

    Another RN on the unit tries to avoid the students, and our instructor says it's because she's afraid were going to ask her questions that she won't be able to answer, and she'll look dumb. Makes sense...
  13. by   charlies
    Quote from wdwpixie
    Technically, the pt we work with in clinicals is YOUR pt (from what we've been told and what it says on the whiteboard).
    Then again, I am JUST a student and perhaps you can educate me otherwise.
    .....the patient you work with is not my patient. Lol, the patient you work with is most likely Daytonite's patient. All four of us are much happier that way. All six of us if you include the charge nurse and the instructor.
    Last edit by sirI on Apr 5, '07 : Reason: edit to comply with TOS