This "us" vs "them" mentality.... - page 7

by DL-SNUP

11,149 Views | 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. 14
    Many of these posts are too long for me to read (lazy after a long work week, 8hr days, 5 days a week, on my feet allll day dealing with patients, families, surgeons, and anesthesia), I just wanted to say to speak on this once you've been on both sides. The nurses have been students, but the students haven't been nurses. You have to have had both experiences before being able to produce a valid opinion (IMO).

    I'll tell you about an experience I had many years ago when I worked MedSurg. I came to work (we were short, as usual) received 7 patients (which wasn't unusual). I wasn't told I had a student until after I received report, slowing me down because now I have to give the student report. Of course, the instuctor gave the students the sickest patients, so my student had a VERY sick diabetic patient. The student was from the school in which I graduated and it was her LAST clinical rotation (and obviously things had changed at this school when it came to clinical rotations). I went about my normal duties. I did my am rounds, at this time the patient was pretty stable. A little while later I go back to my patient and the student was stuffing breakfast into his mouth. He was diaphoretic and (lethargic) difficult to awaken. I stop her, put the HOB up, run out to grab glucose machine (his BS was VERY low - cant remember the number) Call rapid response, go to grab D50, the team comes........ etc. etc, etc, many of you know the routine........

    In the end that is MY patient, I am responsible for him, had he aspirated (because of the student) it would've been on me, not her. Her instructor was nowhere to be found. After we got his BS up (of course, we have to get it back down because of the D50). I took the time to explain to her why she should not have been trying to feed that patient. It was her ONLY patient. At this point in her student career, I would think she would be aware of what to do if she suspected something was wrong with a diabetic patient. CHECK HIS BS!! GET ME or THE INSTRUCTOR, OR SOMETHING!!! I do not have time to teach you, while you only have this patient - I have several others, who also need me.

    That was a long story that I tried to make short. I have been a student, and majority of the time I had great instructors. Luckily the college I went to, most of the instructors were employed by both the college and the hospital. They had a repore with the nurses. The staff already knew they would have a student, what the student would be doing and we would be doing those things with the instructor not the staff nurse. Being a student is a different type of stress, but it is NOT on the level of stress a staff nurse has on a daily basis (now add a bright eyed student to her stress level) - THINK ABOUT IT.

    It is hard to be a staff nurse. It is stressful and demanding. We have human lives in our hands. Having a student is less work on the techs (CNA) maybe, but not the nurse. Of course we want the students to come out of school great, because when we have to precept we don't want to have to reteach EVERYTHING. The clinical instructors should be there to guide the students, that's what they get paid to do. When staff nurses seem rude or nasty, maybe they are tired, stress, or their body hurts. NURSES ARE HUMAN. We arent always bubbly, we arent always mean either.

    We wish we had less patients, so that we could spend more time with you. Truthfully the CI should give you the guidance you need, because the patients are our FIRST priority (while the students priority is to learn and pass). I WISH YOU MUCH LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE. Remember wait until you are on the other side, believe it or not, your opinion may change.
    Last edit by Mrs. SnowStormRN on Oct 1, '11
    ChristineN, ChristaRN, netglow, and 11 others like this.
  2. 2
    To respond to various statements..

    Yes. I know that hospitals and hospital staff do not *need* students. I really. really. Get that. :|

    I explained what I meant. One day, we will be working with you. And probably getting snubbed by many because we don't know how to do "XYZ". Hear it all the time, and have seen many a post here complaining about new grads that "can't even do xyz..".

    Certainly, 1 instructor can teach 10 students or more at a time. Of course she/he can. Yep she signed up for the job, I know. But again like I said, what we learn in class/lecture and even in the clinical setting, cannot begin to compare to what we can learn from the nurses who have walked this mile a 1,000 times over. I hear all the time how "what and how you learn in school is *nothing* like what you will do in the *real world* of nursing.

    It is obvious that the OP is not some "look at me I am the almighty nursing student" type. I am certainly not the "almighty nursing student" type. I am a student, and nothing more. I also addressed in my post that we do understand that situations make it difficult to teach. "Staff shortages, instructor shortages, crashing patients, your everday job..."

    Remember that line? We are students, not idiots. We do know that you cannot drop everything you are doing to come tend to our every little *please teach me* need. But we do hope you will be willing to throw us a bone sometimes, especially since you were in our shoes at one time and you will be needing us in the future when we are working along side you.

    But I am a student who is waking up to the understanding that attitudes toward student nurses is just pretty nasty. Even on a nursing forum. And that's just pretty sad.


    And I don't need that.
    JRP1120, RN and JacobK like this.
  3. 1
    The talk among my co-workers lately has been that hospitals are hiring new grads in large numbers (at the low, new grad rate of pay) and finding ways to rid themselves of much more expensive veteran nurses. The veterans feel their job security is threatened. I would think that would be a dis-incentive for the veterans to help train students. Not saying it justifies rudeness, but we're in a recession here and everybody and their sister is going to nursing school, the market is flooded with new grads.
    xtxrn likes this.
  4. 10
    Quote from xtxrn
    So the DEU is the hospital having to clean up nursing school....an expanded preceptorship. How sad that something like that is needed.
    If it's like the one I know of, the nurses are NOT volunteers, they don't get a lighter assignment, and they have to do the work of the clinical instructor. And then the nurses get told by the person in charge of the program how much they enjoy it. (Because if we weren't told, we wouldn't know how much we enjoy it, we might be fooled by our feelings of being overworked and our feelings of anything but joy.)
    Because bedside nurses weren't already doing the jobs of everyone else in the hospital, we now get to do the job of the clinical instructors.
    At some point, there's no more to give. And students are pretty much at the bottom of my priorities. Don't blame me. Blame the school and the hospital management that seem to think that I have an endless well of time.
    Last edit by wooh on Oct 1, '11
    kids, elkpark, carolmaccas66, and 7 others like this.
  5. 13
    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.
    You think med students get treated better than nursing students?
    kids, caroladybelle, NanikRN, and 10 others like this.
  6. 6
    Quote from wooh
    You think med students get treated better than nursing students?
    Someone apparently is unfamiliar with studentdoctor.net.
    NanikRN, netglow, CCL RN, and 3 others like this.
  7. 3
    Quote from wooh
    You think med students get treated better than nursing students?
    LoL! I missed that post. Med students getting treated better than nsg students??? LOL! Yeah right.
    NanikRN, CCL RN, and Esme12 like this.
  8. 6
    Quote from Flo.
    When I went to nursing school we had a clinical instructor on the floor. We asked the CI all of our questions and disturbed the RN as little as possible.
    This is exactly how my clinicals were & I'm a new graduate. I had no idea that other programs did it differently!
    ChristaRN, CCL RN, Aurora77, and 3 others like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from nursel56
    Part of it could be that when I was in school and probably for some years after the prevailing culture was that the student-staff nurse relationship was not 50-50. We were there to learn but we never thought or were told "it's their job to teach us" or threaten not to do a task because of a perceived attitude problem the student believes the nurse has.

    The only attitude that mattered was ours, (as students). I would compare it to medical education or a military-like hierarchy. So what you may be seeing is a bit of culture shock from people such as myself who are appalled at the "what are you going to do for me?" attitude that seems to be very prevalent now.

    I've never seen a staff nurse act in an abusive manner toward a student, and if they did - they should be disciplined for it. Being ignored, being asked to do the same task over and over, asked to do jobs that are often met now with "don't you have a tech for that?" would never have been questioned. We just did it.
    xtxrn likes this.
  10. 22
    Quote from See The Moon
    To respond to various statements..

    Yes. I know that hospitals and hospital staff do not *need* students. I really. really. Get that. :|

    I explained what I meant. One day, we will be working with you. And probably getting snubbed by many because we don't know how to do "XYZ". Hear it all the time, and have seen many a post here complaining about new grads that "can't even do xyz..".

    Certainly, 1 instructor can teach 10 students or more at a time. Of course she/he can. Yep she signed up for the job, I know. But again like I said, what we learn in class/lecture and even in the clinical setting, cannot begin to compare to what we can learn from the nurses who have walked this mile a 1,000 times over. I hear all the time how "what and how you learn in school is *nothing* like what you will do in the *real world* of nursing.

    It is obvious that the OP is not some "look at me I am the almighty nursing student" type. I am certainly not the "almighty nursing student" type. I am a student, and nothing more. I also addressed in my post that we do understand that situations make it difficult to teach. "Staff shortages, instructor shortages, crashing patients, your everyday job..."

    Remember that line? We are students, not idiots. We do know that you cannot drop everything you are doing to come tend to our every little *please teach me* need. But we do hope you will be willing to throw us a bone sometimes, especially since you were in our shoes at one time and you will be needing us in the future when we are working along side you.

    But I am a student who is waking up to the understanding that attitudes toward student nurses is just pretty nasty. Even on a nursing forum. And that's just pretty sad.


    And I don't need that.
    Then quit. I promised myself I would stick to reading in this one, students are ambitious, idealistic ans starved for knowledge and excitement. That's why students still in school have 3 years experience, they are excited to join the team....Right?

    Oh well....so much for good intentions.

    I am NOT paid by the school. No one asked me if I wanted to be a nursing instructor. I don't like to teach. (I do but this is for argument sake). The hospital (who does pay me) has cut my staff because the students are there. If your instructor is not there it's MY license that you are putting in jeopardy. Your instructor has 10 walking talking able bodied, speaking students. I have 7 patients......4 totals, 2 partials and 1 walkie talkie. I am responsible for my seven patients, the LPN, and 2 aids...and now 2 students. I have 2 surgical admits, 3 discharges home one to LTC. They are calling for assigning ED patients to the beds that aren't empty yet and it's only 10am. The student wants me (needs me) to watch her give meds through the NGT and doesn't know how to check for placement. My other student states they have never spiked and IV bag an needs help and my aide can't get a reading on the glucometer and that patient seems strange. Where the #&*% is that instructor!!!

    You students should be the ones P.O.d. YOu are paying thousands of dollars to the college to teach you how to be a nurse and they are short changing you! They are NOT doing their job. Excuse me for not being at your beck and call but that's what your instructor is paid for......call me in a couple of years and I'll see how patient you are then....

    I am also sick of the general "younger generation" sense of entitlement..... that I owe them something just because they're there.....because I don't. You have to work HARD to be a nurse. Really hard. I owe you nothing, I had to earn my education too. The sarcasm I encounter out of a percieved sense of entitlement that they are "owed" something DRIVES ME NUTS!

    Thanks....I feel better. *wine

    Disclaimer.......My rant was not intended for any specific AN member or anyone else for that matter....just a general frustration at the bad manneres and poor attitudes of those entering the profession.
    bubblymom373, ChristineN, kids, and 19 others like this.


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