Just a little advice for SN's in clincials...

  1. Last night I was working on a patient who had a bilateral total knee surgery. Poor thing was so knocked out from the operation and a flight from out of state (across the US infact) that she was sedate to the point of having to be watched very closely!

    Well...I noticed some student nurses getting their info for the day and was all smiles and helpful to them. The instructor (who was one of mine back in the day) asked me for a challenge for one of her star students. I thought this lady would be a great canidate in the AM and suggested her.

    So I leave the pts room to go get another pt their 2100 meds, and all the sudden I see a white coat leaning over my pt. I don't know this person at all...so just when I was going to ask...she turned. It was the student nurse giving my sedated patient jello and water!!!!!

    I asked what she was doing...and was very casual about it..."hi ya..whatcha doing?". She looked at me like I was Satan himself...I am NOT kidding..and said "YOUR patient was thristy...so I thought maybe she needed some fluids and some food!".

    OH NO SHE DIDN"T! She didn't just talk to me that way!!!!!! It was very accusational like I didn't care about this patient who just recieved two blood transfusions and I was in that room almost all shift! She didnt' just tell me that I was not tending to my patient who can't swollow well so I voted NOT to give her fluids because of severe risk of aspiration (I was using swabs and tiny ice chips..but had to even cut out the ice chips!).

    I calmly told her that she needed to introduce herself to the nurse in charge of a patient before going into a room...that I am totally responsible for that patient and now I am going to have make sure she didn't aspirate! And to please NEVER do anything for a patient unless you ask the nurse...there maybe something you do not know about the patient!

    She just huffed off...

    WOW! I love students, but this one was really in a bad mood! I didn't get upset till later on, I was still Mrs Calm and Cool! But wow...when I was in clincials we were not allowed to touch the pt unless you were under the guidance of the RN and your instructor was on floor (and hers wasnt' at that time). And if you wanted to introduce yourself that evening...you introduced yourself to the nurse tending the patient then and there first and let them know what you were doing!

    Please...let the RN's know you are going in there in this case, and don't do anything without the RN's approval please! This patient was so sedate that that jello and water could have seriously hurt her...doesn't sound to serious to someone new, but heck...as we all know...what seems simple can have 10 ramifications in medicine...

    Thanks for listening...I have never run into a student that has ever acted like this! Most have been wonderful, helpful, respectful, and great to have around!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    This is a case of someone who is going to accidentally kill some unsuspecting patient some day. What a space cadet! Too bad I wasn't there with you. I would have known exactly what to do with her sorry butt. I won't take attitude like that from anyone anymore.
  4. by   suzanne4
    That behavior of hers is just not acceptable, and I do hope that you reported her to the instructor and your manager.

    A patient could be put at risk for that, and she does not have a license permitting her to take care of patients. When she is on the floor, she is there under her instructor's license. I hope that she gets a clue as to what she is to do and not to do when there.
  5. by   sissyboo
    How childish of her!! I hope she grows up a bit before she's actually nurse. Thanks for the story...
  6. by   nurseangel47
    Wow! Sounds as though you were as tactful as possible. Shew! Scary!
  7. by   cardiacRN2006
    Problem was, she was actually thinking that she was helping/caring for the pt.

    She didn't use her critical thinking skills, and when you pointed out to her what she did wrong, she was embarrased.


    Yes, this mey be one of those that won't learn from her mistakes and end up killing someone. She's probably so used to being a 'star' student, that she's forgotten what it's like to be humble. It's a long way to fall when you're up that high...
  8. by   SarasotaRN2b
    I'm not even in nursing school (I've work as a HUC), but before bringing anything to a patient (i.e. water, food), I first check to see if there is an order or if the patient is NPO, and if water/food is okay, I then check with the primary RN.

    Unbelievable!
  9. by   MBARNBSN
    First let me say that you are a nice nurse!!! I am sure other nurses would have tore the student a new one and rightfully so. The student in question was not acting like a Student Nurse since she was performing without supervision AND doing so without thinking (assessing the patient before deciding to feed/potentially kill the patient).

    I find this entire situation to be odd. My class has not started to actually touch patients yet because one thing we are having drilled in our heads right now is that WE ARE TO DO NOTHING WITHOUT OUR CIs right behind us. They have the license, we do not!

    We are also not allowed to perform interventions without telling our CIs why. If we cannot explain why we are going to perform the nursing action to include feedings, then we cannot perform the action. This of course must occur AFTER we have assessed the patient (we are not allowed to take the word of anyone including our instructors).

    By the way, we are not allowed to treat the staff, who may be future employers or co-workers, like dirt! We are to represent our program positively, which means we must act and dress like professionals at all times.
  10. by   muffie
    star nursing student needs an attitude adjustment, that's for sure
  11. by   medsurgnurse
    I hope you reported this student to the instructor.
  12. by   smkiya
    In clinical we were not allowed to touch the patient until we got report from the RN. First we'd print and review the rounds report, then report from the RN, then prioritize our care and objectives. Questions and clarification on patient status and tasks would be asked and the RN and/or CI was always involved. When doing my ER rotation there were a couple patients who requested water/ice chips and I wouldn't do anything until speaking with the RN. I was even told once by the RN that she couldn't make that initial decision so I had to get the ok from the doc. (patient in CHF, SOB, crackles, I gave 80 mg lasix iv and patient had 1700 cc urine in 2 hours... of course he was thirsty, but he was on lasix for a reason. doc ok'd a few ice chips).

    During an NCLEX review class, one of the questions was what task would you delegate to the UAP. When some students said the right answer out loud, a couple of students (from a different school) said in protest, that's ridiculous the UAP can give a glass of water!!! The patient was 30 minutes post bronchoscopy.
  13. by   firstaiddave907
    yes it definitely sounds like the star student needs a big attitude adjustment
  14. by   SteveNNP
    That student would have had "stars" floating around her head as her butt hit the pavement if she did that to my pt!!!!

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