psychonaut 5,522 Views
Joined Dec 8, '06.
Posts: 339 (42% Liked)
My favorite instructors in NS generally got the poorest evaluations by most of my fellow students, and for the same reasons: being tough, no-nonsense, and having very high expectations from the students. These were generally the instructors with many years of bedside experience (especially critical care in all its forms), topped with APN and/or PhD training.
These were the instructors who were "mean," "insensitive," and "too difficult." These were the instructors who had to be bullied by students into giving detailed study outlines, and who would dare to do things like include material on tests from the text that wasn't explicitly covered in lecture.
These were instructors like my critical-care clinical instructor who expected me to have a basic understanding of vent settings my first week of ICU clinical. We hadn't even covered that in lecture yet! Guess what: I should have read up on it anyways. The next week, she got me for not knowing (basics) about chest tube care. Third week, she did NOT get me on hemodynamics/lines related to the CVICU, because I had jumped ahead of the lecture and studied the cardiac chapters like mad.
That clinical instructor is a CNS in Trauma who first-assists in trauma surgery. She was awesome, busted my chops and got me to learn. I was very proud to have earned a modicum of her respect by the end of that clinical experience.
She was not invited back to teach the following semester. Too many negative evaluations from students. She made them work too hard, it was our last semester, several weren't even interested in critical care nursing in the first place, and of course...she was "mean."
In a nutshell, the "ideal nursing instructor" will vary by who you ask, and if the majority of the students surveyed are a bunch of whining, entitled brats, then well...you get what you ask for.
Legally, I don't know, but as a condition of employment? And working with the sure knowledge the "clinic" will NOT back you up if you deviate form said algorithm? I would definitely be wary.
I had to fight hard to get time in a NICU as a student. This included changing out of the clinical group I had been in for three semesters, to another group as my original group didn't go to hospitals with a NICU. Even after that was accomplished (difficult, as this division of clinical groups was the dissertation-in-progress of a school admin), I then had to excel at my first three weeks on general ICU clinical to earn the chance for a ten-week final clinical practicum in the NICU. I did all of the above, and had a very positive experience, which ultimately led to my hiring in that unit upon graduation.
I am now on night shift, but spent some time on day shift. After I got over some of my new-nurse jitters, I would always grab the nursing students (often abandoned as Steve describes above) and show them my patients if no one else was giving them any attention (and the day shift crew has more than a few "nurse-cannibals", if you get my drift). Even as a night shifter, if I am out of report early and there are students around I'll get them started scrubbing and looking at the kiddos while the day shift gets ready to start (read: having a cup of coffee and yakking in the break room until 07:35...yeah, I know, petty day/night shift trash talk, can't help it, sorry).
It's fun to show a student things, especially as you know that if they are in the NICU they almost definitely worked hard to get that one day. Helps refresh my own wonder to see their reaction to a <26 weeker, or a catatonic nuero kid, or a beautiful drug baby screaming like a banshee and sweating bullets, etc.
So yeah, no matter how burned I get with nursing, helping out the motivated and interested student is still a blast (and that goes for med students, RT, PT, etc as well).
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