This "us" vs "them" mentality.... - page 5

by DL-SNUP

10,733 Visits | 134 Comments

I've been reading through the posts from the last few days, and I'm completely astonished by the "us" vs "them" mentality that is showing up between the nursing students and the staff nurses. Maybe I'm idealistic, but... Read More


  1. 2
    Quote from Spikey9001
    How come you never see the ultrasound, PT, OT and med students being treated the way nursing students are treated...? In regards to the "I don't want you here, **** you" type attitudes?

    There needs to be more camaraderie.
    I think part of it is that they are very task specific ancillary staff....nursing deals with them, the docs, patients, families, etc. Those depts come in, do their job, and go back to another patient. jmo
    Mrs. SnowStormRN and Orange Tree like this.
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    I also think it's completely backwards and asinine to think that an instructor can teach up to 10 students all the ins and outs of skills, patho, and things like that on her own without SOME help from the nurses on the staff.

    To you guys that are opposed to having students and teaching, what do you think should be done? Because apparently there's a lot of "I got mines! Good luck" type attitude and that is counterproductive. I mean if you aren't going to try to revamp the nursing education system and change it, then I suggest you just keep quiet about it or try your best to be a good teacher.

    I mean, I've never seen other disciplines in the healthcare field act like this.

    Med Students: The resident/attending is right there beside them explaining every aspect of the procedure or disease process even if they have to round 40 patients by 10 am.

    PT/OT: The student is right there helping get patients out of bed and documenting with the supervision of a licensed PT/OT.

    Either way, I don't receive the "I'm not welcomed here" vibe from students of other disciplines. But for nursing students, it's like we have to hide in the closets or something or are looked at as vermin. Umm hello...
  3. 1
    Quote from xtxrn
    I respect what you are saying- but the ED isn't the same as the floor.

    There aren't always people to delegate to in all hospitals or all departments. The skills are important to know. And it's not the hospitals job to provide nursing school.....orientation- absolutely- but basic skills- no. You do not know what the NCLEX was like in 1985. it was plenty difficult and LONG. 2 full days of 4 separate sections. There's no way to compare the two.
    You don't know what today's NCLEX is like; LONG testing is not smarter testing albeit I am sure it tests the stamina after a day...lol. Objectively, today's test is more difficult, not less.

    The skills are important to know but they aren't difficult to learn or master really. You can put in 100 foleys in nursing school but until you are nursing full time and throwing in a foley in an 88 year old screaming hissing dementia patient for the nth time, you really just don't get it down.

    I will add the field is more complicated by the fact that hospitals are increasingly more and more strict about what nursing students could and could not do. When I finished nursing school, one hospital did not even want nursing students pushing IV meds AT ALL and certainly no one will let you access medications so that you can think the task through. Increased regulatory and bureacratic requirements do not help students learn either.
    JRP1120, RN likes this.
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    Quote from VICEDRN
    When I finished nursing school, one hospital did not even want nursing students pushing IV meds AT ALL and certainly no one will let you access medications so that you can think the task through. Increased regulatory and bureacratic requirements do not help students learn either.
    Scary! I guess I'm lucky....the hospitals here let us pull all medications except for narcotics, and we can give most meds and hang most IVs w/o an RN present (provided they trust us, obviously). IV teams have made practicing IVs tricky though... we just had to practice on each other until we looked like drug addicts :P
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    I had one really good nurse that I followed. She was an ICU/ED nurse. We had a full patient load that day. She was floating to the floor that I was on. It was amazing to watch her. She did not rush, she did not panic when things were not going as planned. She just calmly moved from one room to the next. It was weird because not once did I feel rushed or like she was rushing it was like we were in slow motion compared to my other nurses, but we still finished everything before everyone else. It was the most relaxing, calm shift I had ever had. Not because of the patients, but because of her attitude. She answered every question I had, whenever I got a nurse that was not always flustered, or somewhat approachable I would ask her or him questions. I hope to be like her one day, not easily flustered, taking things in stride, in control, thorough, and approachable. I wish every nurse could be like that, but it is ideal. Learn what you can, even from the nurses that are not as friendly, they will still have valuable experience to offer. It would be great if students were put with only the approachable nurses. Side note: I know why nurses get flustered with students. I know some students are just plain rude. But it absolutely shocked me that this particular nurse was truly relaxed and at ease, with what I perceived were difficult patients, and truly helping me along and asking me all the time if I had questions. I was shocked she told me to ask her about anything I want to know. She thanked me. Her kindness was needed, because it was sometimes difficult to find a friendly face like that.
    ChristineN, JRP1120, RN, Altra, and 1 other like this.
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    CAT testing is more precise in measuring individual ability than standardized testing. Also, the passing standard for the NCLEX was increased in 2010. Just because you had to sit for hours and answer hundreds of questions does not mean the test was more difficult then vs. now. Those that pass the NCLEX with the minimum possible questions (like I did) passed by answering progressively more difficult questions correctly consistently enough to meet the passing standard without wasting our time on "gimmes".

    As for the original topic, we don't have nursing students in the ED where I work, and for very good reason. I simply do not have the time to teach a nursing student without compromising patient safety.

    However, I was a nursing student myself not too long ago. Our clinical groups were limited to eight students, and it was our clinical instructors who were responsible for supervising us; it was our CIs that we developed the primary teacher/student relationship with. In addition, we were only on the floor for five hours each clinical day, and our responsibilities included whatever patient care tasks our clinical instructor assigned, as well as meeting with our CI to review our care plans, then revising them as needed, doing whatever research we needed to do in order to do it, writing learning objectives and reflections, etc. If we needed to be check off on a skill, we had to wait for our CI to come and supervise. If we were fortunate enough to be assigned to patients with a staff nurse who liked to teach, it was just icing on the cake, but never expected.

    I was only treated rudely by one nurse, who muttered under her breath "You only have two patients and don't have time to do a bed bath???", when I really did not have time due to the agenda that my CI had planned for me that day. Other than that, I was at worst treated indifferently, and at best welcomed by friendly nurses that liked to teach.

    I was treated the worst by CNAs. To them, if there were nursing students on the floor, they expected the nursing students to do their work for them. I would overhear them saying to one another "Well, I have a nursing student, so I only have [their patient assignment minus however many patients I was assigned to] patients today", or walk into a patient's room and introduce themselves to the patient saying "I'll be your CNA when the nursing student leaves at one o clock", or tattle on me to the charge nurse for not doing something they made the incorrect assumption I was supposed to do.

    What they did not seem to understand was that I had a set of skills that I was expected to practice correctly under the supervision of my CI, and that when my CI showed up, I had to be ready to go. I could not be caught up in a patient's room getting the patient out of their SCDs and CPM machine, assisting them to ambulate to the bathroom with their walker and IV pole and getting stuck in the bathroom with them because they're a fall risk, when my CI shows up to supervise me. For one thing, I already knew how to do that, since I had to be a CNA to get into my nursing program and had worked as a CNA for the 2 years prior to starting it. Plus, learning how to delegate was part of the expectation; talk about awkward!

    I had to know every single medication; its mechanism of action, why the patient was receiving it, whether it was a safe dose, possible adverse reactions to monitor for, and all of the nursing implications. I had to be able to answer any question my CI might ask me about any medication or treatment or procedure I was responsible for. I had to be prepared to practice a new skill such as a sterile dressing change, central line dressing change or DC, drain DC, insulin or LMWH heparin injection, etc. etc. when my CI showed up and said "It's time".

    Anyway, I like the model where the CI is responsible for supervising, because even though the students aren't able to shoulder a lot of the workload because they are on the CI's schedule, it does take the burden off of the staff nurses to do the teaching. In the program that I graduated from, that changed during the preceptorship that happened in the final term prior to graduation, when we were paired with a staff nurse (who's participation was voluntary, plus they had to have a certain amount of on the job experience and go through an orientation process to be "allowed" to precept a nursing student) working toward taking full patient loads and practicing independently but under the watchful eye of the preceptor. I had a really great preceptor, and overall a very good experience, and I chalk it up to her actually wanting to teach and feeling like it was a privilege that she signed up for, not a burden thrust upon her.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Oct 1, '11
    JRP1120, RN and xtxrn like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from VICEDRN
    You don't know what today's NCLEX is like; LONG testing is not smarter testing albeit I am sure it tests the stamina after a day...lol. Objectively, today's test is more difficult, not less.

    The skills are important to know but they aren't difficult to learn or master really. You can put in 100 foleys in nursing school but until you are nursing full time and throwing in a foley in an 88 year old screaming hissing dementia patient for the nth time, you really just don't get it down.

    I will add the field is more complicated by the fact that hospitals are increasingly more and more strict about what nursing students could and could not do. When I finished nursing school, one hospital did not even want nursing students pushing IV meds AT ALL and certainly no one will let you access medications so that you can think the task through. Increased regulatory and bureacratic requirements do not help students learn either.
    Not saying it's easier- I'm saying that it takes 1/8 of the failing grade from the 'dark ages' to pass.....our students that failed could have 599 right, but fail. That's 8 times the number of questions (that you know nothing about ). The broader scope was useful in weeding out those who really hadn't gotten it. That's all.

    75 correct answers is not reassuring about the competence of a nurse......sorry- not much will change my mind But I respect your view on this

    Skills aren't difficult to master- but the students need to be exposed to actually doing them IN school.... If the hospitals are fussing, that's another indication that the process of educating nurses is flawed.

    Here (2003) on pediatrics, we had students a lot (and med students). And the instructor was there. I worked 7p-7a, so didn't see them much after day orientation. The instructors were attentive. The students were not a problem...(I did see some on days during my own orientation). But they seemed to walk down the halls in groups, and not much patient interaction. I can see not doing IVs on pediatric patients- unless an older adolescent with healthy veins. But it looked like a lot of looking in rooms.

    It's not really nursing school without knowing how to do basic skills- that is a liability to the staff nurses who get stuck with a nurse who has no clue- and is understandably terrified. But it's not the staff nurse's job to finish the student/newbie's education ....they need to have basic skills - and those are lacking. Basic patient care needs have to be good enough to at least do SOMETHING on their own.....a PCT can take the vitals, the nurse needs to have the 'real' skills.....they are not trivial

    We can agree to disagree I'll still sleep- and still feel the students' got ripped off.

    Sample NCLEX questions.....look pretty basic....JMO

    http://www.studyguidezone.com/nclexrn_practice1.htm
    Last edit by xtxrn on Oct 1, '11
    elkpark likes this.
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    Quote from xtxrn
    It's not really nursing school without knowing how to do basic skills- that is a liability to the staff nurses who get stuck with a nurse who has no clue- and is understandably terrified. But it's not the staff nurse's job to finish the student/newbie's education ....they need to have basic skills - and those are lacking. Basic patient care needs have to be good enough to at least do SOMETHING on their own.....a PCT can take the vitals, the nurse needs to have the 'real' skills.....they are not trivial
    That's the thing. In my program, you had to have your CNA certificate just to be accepted, and acceptance was so competitive that only students who had actually worked as a CNA were accepted. So it was assumed that if you were in the program, you already had those basic skills. They didn't teach us how to do bed baths or denture care, because we already knew how to do those things. In clinical, our focus was not on basic care, since we already had those skills down. We were there to learn things that you need a license to be able to do. We certainly weren't forbidden to help out and take someone to the bathroom or help them clean up in the morning or help pass meal trays, but only if those things weren't interfering with what our CI wanted us to be focusing on that day.

    It's my understanding that not all programs have the CNA requirement, and sadly, the program that I graduated from has done away with it as well. I think that's a mistake.
    JRP1120, RN and DL-SNUP like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from xtxrn
    Not saying it's easier- I'm saying that it takes 1/8 of the failing grade from the 'dark ages' to pass.....our students that failed could have 599 right, but fail. Basic patient care needs have to be good enough to at least do SOMETHING on their own.....a PCT can take the vitals, the nurse needs to have the 'real' skills.....they are not trivial

    We can agree to disagree I'll still sleep- and still feel the students' got ripped off.

    The real "skills" are minimally invasive procedures that the MDs got bored doing themselves. Historically, it was considered too complicated for an RN to take BPs; now, a tech does it. Most of what we do including foleys and iv starts are not skills and can be learned readily by pretty much anyone so yes, i can consider them trivial activities. I believe these skills are generally performed by an RN because it increases accountability but not because they are difficult.

    As for doing it themselves, I will happy supervise and teach but you need to do it to know it and that doesn't require much other than watching a youtube video and having a basic understanding of sterile procedure so no, don't care if you never practiced one in skills lab either. Heck, half of the equipment varies from place to place.

    The truly protected activity of a nurse is assessment and development of nursing plan of care that follows.
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    Quote from VICEDRN
    The real "skills" are minimally invasive procedures that the MDs got bored doing themselves. Historically, it was considered too complicated for an RN to take BPs; now, a tech does it. Most of what we do including foleys and iv starts are not skills and can be learned readily by pretty much anyone so yes, i can consider them trivial activities. I believe these skills are generally performed by an RN because it increases accountability but not because they are difficult.

    As for doing it themselves, I will happy supervise and teach but you need to do it to know it and that doesn't require much other than watching a youtube video and having a basic understanding of sterile procedure so no, don't care if you never practiced one in skills lab either. Heck, half of the equipment varies from place to place.

    The truly protected activity of a nurse is assessment and development of nursing plan of care that follows.
    But YouTube should not be nursing school They need to have the "basic" (or trivial if you prefer) skills before they graduate. Yes- they have to hone their skills in their early years in nursing.

    Low expectations results in mediocrity at best imo. I don't think that's acceptable. My opinion.

    I'm not used to the YouTube nursing school, and find it almost criminal that schools are charging students to get a generic computer education- who knows how qualified the video demonstrators are.... Just sad .....

    Knowing how to do it is the problem- they don't . On the First Year forum, I asked about what students felt they missed out on in nursing school....nearly all said clinical exposure and skills. This isn't my drummed up idea- I asked.
    ChristineN, kids, Aurora77, and 2 others like this.


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