Students, RNs and medication admin - Is this crossing boundaries? - page 3

I am a first year first semester nursing student. I have been in clinical for 11 weeks. We started passing meds 3 weeks ago. Our clinical group has 8 students an our instructor has been dividing the group in half for passing meds... Read More

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    Quote from JustBeachyNurse
    I think the biggest distinction is a first semester student on first med pass vs 2nd/3rd/4th year student who has demonstrated competence & reliability. I doubt there are many schools that permit first semester students do their first med pass with anyone other than a school clinical instructor. Responsibility & independence increases with time & demonstrated competence. Just like confidence increases over time.
    This is why we're allowed to give meds the way we do in 3rd Semester. We've demonstrated competence, and earned the responsibility to have the independence that we've been given. We all know we're not quite ready to to be RNs, but we know that we'll be ready to step up to 4th Semester and take on that role when we get there. We all also know that if we do wrong, then we mess (put kindly) things up for not only the rest of us, but those behind us as well. One skill that was taken away from all students (for some reason) was doing BGL checks. I doubt it was a student from my school, but one bad experience by a hospital and everybody loses.

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    Thank you all so much for your comments and different points of view. We have many different university's students on our floor at different stages in their training. Some are 4th year, some have only been on the floor for two weeks. The RNs, at times, understandably get confused as to who should be doing what. Occasionally, the "nurse" to whom I was to report was actually a 7th semester student nurse! Talk about confusing roles.... When I am asked to do something that is CLEARLY out of my scope of experience (this week I was asked by a phlebotomist if I could "real quick" get some blood for her since she was running behind...Um, no?) then I clearly refuse. Med admin can be tricky. Thank you all for your input, I'm sure many students, especially those on a mixed floor like mine are apprehensive about the politics of this issue.
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    Yes, it would be presumptuous of you to expect to give meds without your instructor as a first semester nursing student. A staff nurse will supervise you in order to establish competency, as your Preceptor, when you're in your final semester of school, never to babysit when you're in first semester. That's your instructor's job, and trust me, she wouldn't have it any other way.
    It's not politics. It's policy and procedure, and it should be clearly outlined in your Clinical Guidelines book. You should know it well. If you demonstrate the opposite, it may raise a red flag that you have the potential to be unsafe.
    Don't rush. Take your time, and enjoy the journey.
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    I rarely recall giving meds unsupervised as a student. Even with a preceptor,, especially if you weren't drilled backwards and forwards on each of those meds ahead time. After first semester, you could within reason do whatever the staff nurses were willing to supervise. While I certainly never was unaccompanied, the staff nurses would often let me tag along with them and would go over what they were doing. I got to draw up IV push meds, insulin and so on even though I usually didn't give them without my instructor. however while I did this stuff, the staff nurse was there saw the whole process and always double checked my work. It varied with clinical instructors some were very strict about not doing anything med wise without them. Others were more relaxed.

    Also as a student, I rarely had pixis acess, usually you gave meds with your instructor or the staff simply because you couldn't give them any other way. So the whole issue was a mute point. 4 students doing med passes especially first semester is alot. 2 at most is what I recall from each clinical day even for 2nd semester.

    As the staff nurse, students are a mixed bag. I always try to provide opportunities for them and I will let them help with meds, but anything they give is done with me in the room supervising, unless their insturctor is in there. I do think it would help if nursing schools would at least regionally get guidelines together for different levels of students. my floor gets students from 4 different schools everything from 101, to precepting match ups and I never know who is doing what.

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