Nursing students who do not understand what nursing is about - page 6

Yesterday, in post conference a students asked me when are they going to learn "real" nursing. Each student had done med pass on one or two patients that day. When I asked the student what he meant... Read More

  1. Visit  GHGoonette profile page
    2
    OP, I seem to remember a particularly heated debate surrounding whether "bright" students should enter medicine or nursing; if memory serves, you had some pretty cutting things to say about the standard of nursing education and nursing students in general. I am therefore not surprised that some of the responses have been "negative."

    However, it seems that the student you describe is one who might be better suited to medicine, as he clearly thinks the "grunt" work is beneath him. As for the quality of nurses currently entering the profession, it is something that deeply saddens me. Ten, twenty years down the line, all of us "old nurses" will be retired, leaving patients to the mercy of the new crop who, in my country at least, are entering the profession predominantly for money and status. The best hope for healthcare will then be "second degree or diploma" students who have been there, done that, and finally decide to enter nursing because they wish to be of service to people in need. Or, as we used to say, "called" to a "vocation".
    Fiona59 and nep1980 like this.
  2. Visit  Five&Two Will Do profile page
    2
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    When I was in nursing school, we had a student that could be described in the way the OP described her student. He was former military, was all about task and delegation (understandably so) and thought that when he got his license, he would do the "important" tasks and delegate the day to day tasks of bathing, vitals, changing linens, emptying foley bags, etc. to the aides. While he seemed to be focused on what he needed to learn, he proved to be very argumentative in class, thus taking up valuable class time to debate current nursing theory as erroneous. He came across to the instructor and to his fellow students as impatient when learning the basics of nursing practice. Needless to say, when clinical time rolled around, he was a hot mess. Unorganized, blundering, deer in the headlights, completely and painfully out of his element. He was not used to being in the trenches (no pun intended) and rather envisioned himself as a lofty sort who had no time for menial tasks. This guy BARELY passed each semester, and ended up flunking out the last semester because he could not adequately perform basic nursing skills. He left the program embarrassed and deflated. However, he returned the next academic year with a renewed humbleness about him and succeeded in graduating. As I have said before, sometimes we must fail in order to grow.
    Well said indeed I will always believe that nursing starts with the most simple of all tasks and basic patient care. It then builds upon itself ever growing and changing. It is a priviledge to do for others what they cannot do for themselves. I realize that it becomes frustrating to empty that urinal or provide a bedpan for the 7th time in 4 hours. I swear if I ever get to the place where I think that patient care is somebody else's job, just shoot me! That's the kind of nurse that gives our career a bad name. These are the same nurses that gave me a hard time when I was a CNA. These are the same nurses that attempted to make it difficult for me as a new grad. (no luck there old crowes!) Some people are in our profession for the money and job security etc, and I think those are the people who have those unrealistic viewpoints in school. We had them like every other nursing school and for the most part they did flounder in clinical. When students come to our units now, I see the same thing. Impart to your students that nursing starts with the little things.
    jmiraRN and GHGoonette like this.
  3. Visit  GHGoonette profile page
    1
    [QUOTE]
    Quote from Five&Two Will Do
    Well said indeed I will always believe that nursing starts with the most simple of all tasks and basic patient care. It then builds upon itself ever growing and changing. It is a priviledge to do for others what they cannot do for themselves.
    Absolutely. The bulk of nursing care, and that which caused nursing to be referred to as "the caring profession", is basic care. Any nurse who believes this is beneath him/her has chosen the wrong career path.
    jmiraRN likes this.
  4. Visit  JSlovex2 profile page
    4
    i'm a 2nd degree BSN student and i also work in a hospital as an intern. i understand what the OP is saying. sometimes i will answer a call light and to my surprise it will be an experienced nurse who has hit the light to summons my help changing/turning a total care patient ONLY bc she can't physically do it herself. other times i will answer a call light and it will be a new nurse who needs help cleaning a patient (which they could probably do without help) and they have NO CLUE how to go about doing it. this happened just last night. the new nurse had grabbed some wipes (the wrong kind) that we use to bathe patients vs. wipes we use for incontinence. she didn't know what a chux pad was. she didn't know we needed disposable pads. she was generally clueless. i was thinking to myself what a sad state of affairs nursing is in that a nurse doesn't know how to do something as basic as cleaning up an incontinent patient. she asked me, "do we have everything?" and i said, "hang on" and went and got all the supplies. i was telling HER what to do, how to move him, etc.

    i understand that nurses are busy and aides are typically available to do tasks such as cleaning/turning patients - BUT that's not always the case. sometimes an aide might call in sick, it may be short staffed, or a patient may simply require 2 people (if not more) to be moved. nurses should at least KNOW how to carry out such "menial tasks" IMO. really, if you don't know how to wipe my butt, i'm not sure i'm going to have much faith in you when it comes time to save my life. just saying.

    edited to say: after re-reading i feel like i was making excuses for why a nurse might be excused from knowing how to clean up a patient (i.e. if an aide calls in, short staff, etc) but aside from that - the patient is ultimately the responsibility of the nurse. it doesn't matter WHAT the reason is for the patient not being cleaned up (even if it's because the aide was hiding in the bathroom tweeting on her blackberry) it falls back on the NURSE. for that reason, i'd never want to RELY on someone else to do my job. would i expect ASSISTANCE with my job? yes. however, it's hard to delegate a task to someone that you can't/don't/wouldn't even know how to do yourself.
    Last edit by JSlovex2 on Apr 4, '11
    Fiona59, Chin up, jmiraRN, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  Five&Two Will Do profile page
    0
    Quote from JSlovex2
    i'm a 2nd degree BSN student and i also work in a hospital as an intern. i understand what the OP is saying. sometimes i will answer a call light and to my surprise it will be an experienced nurse who has hit the light to summons my help changing/turning a total care patient ONLY bc she can't physically do it herself. other times i will answer a call light and it will be a new nurse who needs help cleaning a patient (which they could probably do without help) and they have NO CLUE how to go about doing it. this happened just last night. the new nurse had grabbed some wipes (the wrong kind) that we use to bathe patients vs. wipes we use for incontinence. she didn't know what a chux pad was. she didn't know we needed disposable pads. she was generally clueless. i was thinking to myself what a sad state of affairs nursing is in that a nurse doesn't know how to do something as basic as cleaning up an incontinent patient. she asked me, "do we have everything?" and i said, "hang on" and went and got all the supplies. i was telling HER what to do, how to move him, etc.

    i understand that nurses are busy and aides are typically available to do tasks such as cleaning/turning patients - BUT that's not always the case. sometimes an aide might call in sick, it may be short staffed, or a patient may simply require 2 people (if not more) to be moved. nurses should at least KNOW how to carry out such "menial tasks" IMO. really, if you don't know how to wipe my butt, i'm not sure i'm going to have much faith in you when it comes time to save my life. just saying.
    True That!


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