What is the biggest frustration for nursing students? - page 3

Just curious as nursing instructors what do find nursing students complain most about or find most challenging. Thanks.... Read More

  1. by   Diahni
    If I were a nurse on med-surg who was expected to teach and at the same time do my job, I'd feel a little overwhelmed. The hospital is being paid to let the nursing students work there. Who is paying the nurse for this added responsibility? My past experience is that "shadowing" a nurse who is happy to have a student is far better than working with a nurse who has no interest in my being there. Nursing students ought to ask a lot of questions - of course. But what about when nobody is happy to answer them? Not everyone who is a good nurse happens to be a good teacher.
    Diahni
  2. by   Diahni
    P.S. It's very hard to learn in the environment described above by several clinical teachers. As I student, I could tell right off what kind of a day it would be by the way in which the nurse responded to me when I asked about taking report. A preceptor program probably works better because 1. the nurse is trained to teach and self-selected herself to do so, 2. She is being paid do to so. Being asked to teach on top of the regular shift is bound to bother some. It really is an unfair burden to someone who is already working hard. Although it should be the instructor who is doing the teaching, how often can this happen when they have 9 or nine students?
    Diahni
  3. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from Diahni
    If I were a nurse on med-surg who was expected to teach and at the same time do my job, I'd feel a little overwhelmed. The hospital is being paid to let the nursing students work there. Who is paying the nurse for this added responsibility? My past experience is that "shadowing" a nurse who is happy to have a student is far better than working with a nurse who has no interest in my being there.
    I agree with you completely (except I'm not sure what you mean about the hopsital getting paid to let the studetns work there??).


    Nursing students ought to ask a lot of questions - of course. But what about when nobody is happy to answer them? Not everyone who is a good nurse happens to be a good teacher.
    Diahni
    That is why we have a faculty shortage. it is a tough job, and not everyone has the patience to do it. At first, I dodn't think I had the patience, but it is getting easier. I have just adjusted myself to a student's mindset and try to see it from their perspective.

    Many floor nurses cannot do that. it doens't mean they are not good nurses and do not know their stuff. The floors are soooo fast paced.

    When nobody is happy to answer? That's when you gotta defer back to the instructor. I may not know the answer to every question, but I would never turn that around to make it look like you should have known that or I am not there to answer your questions. But I will often answer a students question with a quaestion, to encourage them to think. I am not into spoon feeding answers to my students.
  4. by   Diahni
    Quote from nurse educate
    I agree with you completely (except I'm not sure what you mean about the hopsital getting paid to let the studetns work there??).
    Oh yes, the school pays the hospital. Shouldn't it be enough that they get free labor? I was kinda surprised when I heard this myself.

    That is why we have a faculty shortage. it is a tough job, and not everyone has the patience to do it. At first, I dodn't think I had the patience, but it is getting easier. I have just adjusted myself to a student's mindset and try to see it from their perspective.

    I think the most important thing is to remember that teaching and getting the task done are two different things. I have heard more than a little impatience in the voice of a very patient instructor.

    Many floor nurses cannot do that. it doens't mean they are not good nurses and do not know their stuff. The floors are soooo fast paced.

    When nobody is happy to answer? That's when you gotta defer back to the instructor. I may not know the answer to every question, but I would never turn that around to make it look like you should have known that or I am not there to answer your questions. But I will often answer a students question with a quaestion, to encourage them to think. I am not into spoon feeding answers to my students.
    It's amazing how many questions can be answered by having a computer nearby. What drives me nuts is when there are three different answers.
  5. by   Lucyinthesky
    As a student I have had both wonderful and terrible nursing instructors. The biggest difference between the two that I have noticed is the really good instructors are encouraging, approachable and even slightly empathatic to what we as students are going through. By feeling respected you in turn respect them and want to do your best to please them. The really terrible ones don't realize that making us fear them through belittling comments is not a conducive learning environment, it only makes us second guess everything we know, increase anxiety and makes all of our jobs more difficult. I want to be challenged and independent but I also want to be treated like an adult with respect.
  6. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from Diahni
    Oh yes, the school pays the hospital. Shouldn't it be enough that they get free labor?
    Well, this is news to me, and I can't wait to ask my boss about that one.

    I think the most important thing is to remember that teaching and getting the task done are two different things. I have heard more than a little impatience in the voice of a very patient instructor.
    Just a little reminder: we are human beings too. We are not perfect. We have bad days too.
  7. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Quote from Rain'sWhisper
    As a nursing student, my biggest frustration has been inconsistency in the teaching.

    For example, in lecture we are told one thing then when we have precept, the professor tells us that she doesn't agree with what we were told in lecture and that it should be this other way....grrr...

    It is very frustrating ...how are we supposed to know what will be on the test (not to mention how will we remember the correct thing to do with a patient)? Before I started the nursing program, I had a 4.0, now I can't get above a B because of the inconsistencies, which do nothing but serve to confuse and frustrate.

    I am in the honor society but am in danger of falling below the standard simply because of the teaching inconsistencies----THAT is frustrating.
    Amen to that! Most of the time, there are just slight variations between the way 7 different instructors, the book, and the film teach us; but, it all boils down to whom is testing you. Once clinicals hit, I only listen to my clinical instructor d/t the fact that he/she will be doing our skill grades, etc.

    My biggest pet peeve is when an instructor isn't willing to admit to a mistake, misinformation, etc. For example, I once had a clinical instructor (no lie) that told me I did NOT have to check the pt arm band before administering meds.
  8. by   smk1
    Quote from beckinben
    I totally agree here - there are going to be those nurses almost everywhere you go, and part of learning to function as a nurse is learning to work as a team with all types. And another patient assignment is just not always possible - my reality is that I often don't have enough patients for all my students to have their own, because we're trying so hard to graduate as many students as possible.

    Becki
    I agree with this to some extent, but if a clinical instructor is aware of a known issue with a certain nurse then please keep an extra close eye on their interactions with their student. There is nothing worse as a student, than being made to feel worthless and incompetent at clinical and worrying about a bad report being given to your CI. I agree with the people about the power point slides. We like that you have them, but we should all know how to read by now Open up class time for discussion of more difficult concepts and questions. Test writing is a biggie. i am not one to complain about questions on a test usually, but please realize that we have about a dozen books that are required reading and each book has a slightly different range of normal lab values. Please DO NOT make up a multiple choice test that includes answers where the lab values are all within normal limits or all incorrect depending upon which book you are looking at. That is unfair and is NOT testing mastery of the information. Allow challenges to test questions to be discussed even if no points will be given back. At the very least you may see a pattern of knowlege gap within you class. If you are a clinical instructor be very clear on what is allowed and what is not under your watch. Some instructors straddle the fence on whether or not we can do certain things and it makes it hard for the staff nurses to know if we are just being lazy when we say we can't do something or if we are really prohibited from doing ____. Please realize that grammar and the wording of a test question can change the outcome of the "correct" answer. Look at a students performance history. If an assignment is missing and the student has no proof that they turned it in, look at the students history. If you see an 'A" student with darn near perfect attendance with no history of late or missing assingments, please accept the possibility that it was turned in, but someone put it in the wrong box, dropped it or lost it and allow the student to re-do it if possible. Realize that we don't expect you to know the answer to everything, there is no shame in saying "I don't know". Realize that you are not the only nusing instructor that we have and we may be getting conflicting information about how to write careplans, prioritizing our care and our diagnoses. There needs to be a CLEAR set of directions for careplans and assingments from the teacher who is actually grading the work. The last thing we want to hear is that _____ doesn't belong in a functional health history from teacher A, and teacher B grades it and marks it down for not including _____ because she thinks it does belong. Organization! I have been fortunate so far to have mostly really great instructors, but here are some of the issues be they small or large, that i have seen.
  9. by   smk1
    Quote from nurse educate
    Just gonna give you a little persoective on my clinical. My students start at 7, I get there at 6 to make the assignment. The day staff comes on at 7. Last week, they finally made their assignment by 8;45. I am not joking. there are my students, ready to give meds, and we need to keep the MARs in the books until the nurses gcheck them over. I cannot wait 2 hours for them to decide what district they are taking.



    Again, my perspective (and it's happened to me): the nurse in question is no more likely to be nice to the instructor. As much as they don't like you, they don't like us either. I know it's hard not to take it personally.

    And BTW, the instructor should be doing the teaching, not the nurse. Unless you are in an area where you are supposed to be shadowing the nurse. I am responsible for my students, and do not put my work on the staff nurse. I do, however, encourage my students to interact with the staff, for 2 reasons. They need to learn to deal wit them, and not be afraid of them (and learn how to communicate and problem solve), and I cannot personally go up to each nurse and ask them every question on behalf of each of my students. But when it comes to meds, skills and procedures, assessing pt's, etc....that's my job. it's not easy to do it with 9 students, but i gotta make do.
    Not at all offended. And you are right...there is only so much we can teach you. it is the reality of school. You cannot be proficient in every skill and be an expert in everything when you step out there for the first time.

    Just wanted to say that at my school the CI isn't required to do all of the meds and other skills with the students. The students can do it with the instructor or and RN, so I can see how the poster who stated her nurse may have 9 patients could get testy about doing skills with the student. I try to do things that may take awhile with my instructor (like my first catheter insertion) so the RN doesn't have to wait and waste time watching me. Just pointing out that it is different everywhere you go.
  10. by   smk1
    One thing that can make a frazzled/overwork nurse breathe a little easier (unless they are really just mean), is proper communication from the beginning. When i arrive at clinical and meet the nurse that i am assigned to, i introduce myself and let her know what I can do by myself and what i have to have an RN to watch me do. i let her know if she can expect me to do the assessments and chart them and ask if she would prefer me to go over my findings with her before charting them and I have a copy of my current do's and don'ts list for her to see what I can do, do with supervision or absolutely under no circumstances can touch. I let her know my brief plan of action for the day running down my priorities and letting her know that I know when meds are due and asking any questions about how a med was ordered. I then tell her that i can do ____ procedures unsupervised on her other patients if she needs it done (BG sticks, D/C IVs and putting on saline locks, simple dressing changes etc...) i also let her know that i would love to see _____ procedure done so if she has one scheduled let me know if it is ok for me to come watch. this process usually takes 5 minutes or less and i head out to start working. i like to keep busy and I feel as though if i take charge, the nurse doesn't feel like she has to babysit me, i get a better learning experience and usually a good report to my CI.
  11. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from SMK1
    One thing that can make a frazzled/overwork nurse breathe a little easier (unless they are really just mean), is proper communication from the beginning. When i arrive at clinical and meet the nurse that i am assigned to, i introduce myself and let her know what I can do by myself and what i have to have an RN to watch me do. i let her know if she can expect me to do the assessments and chart them and ask if she would prefer me to go over my findings with her before charting them and I have a copy of my current do's and don'ts list for her to see what I can do, do with supervision or absolutely under no circumstances can touch. I let her know my brief plan of action for the day running down my priorities and letting her know that I know when meds are due and asking any questions about how a med was ordered. I then tell her that i can do ____ procedures unsupervised on her other patients if she needs it done (BG sticks, D/C IVs and putting on saline locks, simple dressing changes etc...) i also let her know that i would love to see _____ procedure done so if she has one scheduled let me know if it is ok for me to come watch. this process usually takes 5 minutes or less and i head out to start working. i like to keep busy and I feel as though if i take charge, the nurse doesn't feel like she has to babysit me, i get a better learning experience and usually a good report to my CI.

    Wow!! I haven't been doing this for that long, and for the most part I have had 1st year students (I did have 3rd semester students once), but I have never had a student establish a rapport like that with the floor nurse. This is a perfect example of what the students should do (although you are probably going above and beyond your responsibility, but you are doing what is comfortable for you). Speaking of comfortable, everyone is different. And I think the reason many students do not do the above is b/c they are not comfortable in communicating with the staff. I know I wasn't as a student.
    But communication is the key.

    Please DO NOT make up a multiple choice test that includes answers where the lab values are all within normal limits or all incorrect depending upon which book you are looking at. That is unfair and is NOT testing mastery of the information.
    Yeah, that's just ridiculous. That's not testing anything at all.

    Some instructors straddle the fence on whether or not we can do certain things and it makes it hard for the staff nurses to know if we are just being lazy when we say we can't do something or if we are really prohibited from doing ____.
    I was told by my boss that I am not to let my students do fingersticks, because of quality control (we don't have ID #s to enter into the machine, and something once happened that a staff nurse had an issue and she tried to blame it on the student, even tho the ID# was hers). So we have to constantly say "No we don't do fingersticks" and i'm sure they are thinking we just don't feel like doing them.
  12. by   smk1
    Quote from nurse educate
    Wow!! I haven't been doing this for that long, and for the most part I have had 1st year students (I did have 3rd semester students once), but I have never had a student establish a rapport like that with the floor nurse. This is a perfect example of what the students should do (although you are probably going above and beyond your responsibility, but you are doing what is comfortable for you). Speaking of comfortable, everyone is different. And I think the reason many students do not do the above is b/c they are not comfortable in communicating with the staff. I know I wasn't as a student.
    But communication is the key.



    Yeah, that's just ridiculous. That's not testing anything at all.



    I was told by my boss that I am not to let my students do fingersticks, because of quality control (we don't have ID #s to enter into the machine, and something once happened that a staff nurse had an issue and she tried to blame it on the student, even tho the ID# was hers). So we have to constantly say "No we don't do fingersticks" and i'm sure they are thinking we just don't feel like doing them.

    I didn't always start my day like this, and I found that the nurses were either confused about what i could do and what they needed to do, they constantly looked worried and there was a lot of general confusion. I also found that i missed out on procedures and chances to do skills because the nurses took care of things because they didn't know that I could do them. I started midway through 2nd quarter doing this and I have found that it works well. everyone has to find a way of communication that works for them, but when you start the day off letting people know what they can expect from you it usually smooths the way for true communication.
  13. by   jjjoy
    I know this is an old thread but...

    If this kind of self-introduction is a good idea, why not give the students a starter script they can use if they're not sure how to approach their nurse?

    Eg: "Hi, I'm XXX, a student nurse from XXX School. I'll be working with patient XXX today. I expect to (do AM care, take I/O, administer oral medications). I will not be hanging IV medications today. My instructor will supervise and sign off on any treatments I administer. Is there anything you'd like me know before I get started?"

    The students could tweak them and add to them as they grow in their skills - eg: I'm also qualified to (insert foley catheters, administer IM injections) and would appreciate the opportunity to perform such procedures should they come up.

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