Your first time with a student

  1. 0
    First off, this is not, I repeat NOT intended for the purpose of wailing on students. If your first time with a student consisted of a know-it-all type student then whatever, do share, but please don't lets run with it, eh?

    Last Friday I had my first student. I wasn't precepting or anything, he was just shadowing me. I wasn't expecting it. I showed up at 0650 and it was sort of casually mentioned that the local state U's RN program was doing their OB rotation and today was orientation. I noticed that this one guy kind of meandered over to me, so I wasn't sure if they were assigned or what or if it was just a pick a nurse and go.

    He was very nice. Good guy. The problem was that...well...say you walk the same way every day and the scenery is consistently the same, day in and day out. Then one day suddenly *BOOM!* there's a car parked where there was no car parked before.

    And the balance of the cosmos has suddenly been shifted! The program has been shot! Methergine? What is a Methergine? Who are you? What room am I in? Who is that teeny little human laying there?!

    Perhaps it was the stress of having a pretty sick toddler at home (it had been day like...4 of diarrhea for her) I don't know. What I do know is that I turned into a totally bumbling idiot. I was dropping pills, dropping pens, dropping my clipboard. Forgetting things, trying to walk and talk was suddenly like riding a unicycle. He was gracious, bless his heart, he had no interest in OB anyhow. But I can't believe that me, the one who had precepted student LPN's and new LPN's in clinic when I was an LPN was so clumsy! I like the idea of teaching, but I'm thinking we'll give it another year before I raise my hand to take on a student!
  2. 21 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I still don't have a year's experience (August is when I was a full functioning RN). I loved having a student initially - I taught some things and felt like, "wow, look what I know."

    Now I don't really care for it (most of the time). I really enjoy teaching people things - but when I have the same patient load, meds to give, antibiotics to hang, doctors to call, blood to hang, etc, and I start to explain everything it realllly slows me down. In nursing school we never clung to the nurses like the students on our unit do. We had our instructor with us. She was the one to walk us through things and who we passed meds with. Many students also seem bored because people aren't coding and nobody is bleeding out....

    I really try to be very nice, but some of the attitudes of the students are just terrible - "I didn't want to take that patient, I saw they had diarrhea" or "No you can go ahead and give the heparin shot, I don't want to gown up to go into the room." Also because of my age (many students are older than me), I've constantly had stuff that I said be questioned. Like stuff I 100% know. Very frustrating.

    However there is another student who actually makes life a ton easier because she is smart and helpful and actually willing to ask when she is unsure rather than guess and risk a patient's safety!

    Hope that wasn't too ranty. I do enjoy teaching, just wish I had the time to do it better!
    anotherone and Fiona59 like this.
  4. 0
    Personally, I usually love having students. I haven't been a nurse that long myself, but in the few years that I have been, I've learned a ton. I still vividly remember being a student and I love investing in the education of future nurses- if they are interested in learning. But I've also had those "duh" moments with a student following me. Just today I missed what I thought was an easy IV start on a patient in DKA. Of course, even the big kids in DKA can be hard sticks because they are so dehydrated. (Not to mention this patient had about twice the subcutaneous tissue that he should have.) But I was still embarrassed. I did feel better when the next, more seasoned, nurse also missed her attempt, though. The good thing is that the student probably didn't even notice the mistakes. We are much harder on ourselves than other are on us, usually.

    s0ad, working in an ICU, our nursing students generally do stick pretty closely to us, but you can definitely tell the difference between an interested student and one who really doesn't care much about learning. But I've also noticed that you can usually link a disinterested student to a disinterested instructor. We get a lot of nursing students in our PICU. Generally, they come one at a time for one week out of their rotation. The bulk of the students stay on the general floor and one student comes to the PICU. There are some instructors who drop off their student and never check back with them for the entire 6 hours they are with us. So if the student is going to do anything or learn anything it's up to the nurse to teach and supervise them, which is definitely more work. It seems like the students who know that their instructor isn't watching over them are more likely to sit at the nurse's station with a chart and their iPhone rather than search for things to do. But we also have instructors who are really involved in their students' day. Just today we had an instructor on the unit who spent the entire day bouncing back and forth between her PICU students and her floor students. She was explaining diagnoses, talking them through procedures, giving meds, helping the students complete charting and assessments... She and her students even admitted a couple of our step-down patients. It was really helpful because the instructor was helping the student- the nurses didn't have to. And because I knew a nurse (the instructor) was supervising, I didn't have to be so vigilant about checking up on the students. Maybe these students seemed more willing to learn because their instructor took an interest in them and took responsibility for their education, rather than entrusting their clinical experience to the very busy nurses on the unit. Invested instructors = invested students. Or maybe the students really hated the PICU but the instructor just kept such a close eye on them that the students were forced to act engaged or risk failing. Either way, I appreciated it.
  5. 0
    I was given a student (120 hour preceptorship) a few weeks ago and I know what you mean about becoming a bumbling idiot. My student probably thinks I am the biggest klutz. I am always dropping things, tripping, and going into the wrong rooms. He laughs but inside is probably like, "OMG, what is wrong with her?!" Haha.

    To be honest, I thought I was going to like having a student more than I do. I love teaching but it's hard to have someone following me and expecting me to know everything. Maybe because I am only a year and a half out, I am not as confident. There are also a lot of things I know the answer to but don't know how to explain.

    I am enjoying myself now but I won't be volunteering for another for a little while.
  6. 0
    I love having students but if they don't show much desire to learn they get left behind. I still have a job to do to take care of my pts. Also I'm not digging some of the attitude we're getting when it comes to helping the techs. Most of our students have been AMAZING though! The best students really do seem to have the best instructors.
  7. 0
    Quite like having students but some of them seem to forget that just because they aced their anatomy exam, or have memorized the renal system, that basic nursing care is no longer their concern. We have nursing assistants on our ward but the RN's still do some of the showers and the students turn their nose up at it as if theyre too good to do that!
  8. 0
    If he wasn't interested in OB, he'll likely forget the whole day anyway. I knew I wasn't interested in OB so for my clinical, I just floated through the day and didn't take much note of anything.
  9. 0
    Quote from Vinniesguy
    Quite like having students but some of them seem to forget that just because they aced their anatomy exam, or have memorized the renal system, that basic nursing care is no longer their concern. We have nursing assistants on our ward but the RN's still do some of the showers and the students turn their nose up at it as if theyre too good to do that!
    This ****** me off so bad.
  10. 0
    Quote from Vinniesguy
    Quite like having students but some of them seem to forget that just because they aced their anatomy exam, or have memorized the renal system, that basic nursing care is no longer their concern. We have nursing assistants on our ward but the RN's still do some of the showers and the students turn their nose up at it as if theyre too good to do that!
    How do their instructors allow them to get away with this behavior?? I still remember when I was a student I was responsible for my pts assessment, meds, ADL's, and vital signs. The only thing we weren't allowed to do were blood sugars cause we were not provided with a code for the machines
  11. 1
    I love having an eager student. There are a couple in this rotation though that sit like bumps on a log. They stare off into space. I have to direct them to do vitals, ADLs, answer call lights etc. Ain't nobody got time for that! I am happy to teach but I won't coddle. If I have this type of student I just wind up leaving them in the dust. If they want to learn they are going to have to make some attempt to keep up and show some initiative.
    dudette10 likes this.


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