Skittish/nervous clinical instructors

  1. Hey everyone,
    I would like to ask some of the experienced members or any members that are instructors a question. I am a "non-traditional" student....(40's), and I am wondering.....
    I started my fifth clinical rotation this last week (half day of 6 hours). I respect my clinical instructor as she has over 40 years experience on the unit, but she gets uptight when students are asking questions, and comes off in a negative way. It seems like she expects us to know everything about the unit (locations of things, policies and procedures...) after just 6 hours on the unit. I know it has been over 40 years since she was in school, but seriously nursing students hardly get an orientation to the unit and we are thrown in with the other nurses and patients. Can someone give me some pointers on what clinical instructors are looking for and what they do not like from nursing students.
    I am in a BSN program (one of the best) and I am an above average student, I have confidence in my ability to be an RN, but sometimes I leave clinicals and wonder/doubt myself.....any words of wisdom would be appreciated! Thanks!
    Peace be with you.
  2. Visit orientbeachgirl profile page

    About orientbeachgirl, BSN

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 28; Likes: 9
    RN Psychiatric Intensive Care; from AF
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Psychiatry


  3. by   BostonFNP
    It sounds simple but just being honest about your current status (where you are in school, your comfort level, your knowledge of the unit, etc) goes a long way to changing the dynamic. I would say "I know you're busy but I didn't get much of an orientation to the floor and I am not quite sure where the flushes are. Would you mind showing me this time and I won't have to bother you again about it?"
  4. by   classicdame
    you might have to lean more on the staff for information. Ask them where resources are located (we have online drug and procedure info). Your instructor may have experience but not on that floor, or in that facility or has not worked the floor in years. Nursing is a dynamic profession and changes are frequent. In other words, the instructor may be scared. Good news - you will only have this person for a short while in your life.
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    look at this as one more learning experience that you will use in your career. you'll be floated to an unfamiliar unit with minimal, if any, orientation. how do you handle it? de2013's approach is perfect.
    sometimes the things you learn aren't an explicit part of the curriculum, but they are useful anyway, eh?
  6. by   Cuddleswithpuddles
    Self-doubt is normal. Everyone goes through it in nursing school. Anyone who does not scares me.

    I cannot give you specific nitty gritty advice on what nursing instructors are looking for because I have given up on that question lol. Their expectations on the little things vary wildly but, all in all, everyone in a position of leadership likes a person who is receptive to guidance. If your professor makes a suggestion, chances are it's not really a suggestion. Follow it. If your professor gets annoyed, say "I will do XYZ next time" and do it. You'll learn first hand all the ways people get to Rome, and which ways you prefer.

    The phrase "I don't know but I will find out" has never failed me.

    I come to clinical rotations way early in the beginning. With permission, I poke around the unit to see where stuff is. I try to make sense of their organization scheme. I may not know where the 12 french soft tracheal suction catheter kits are but I know this big drawer has respiratory supplies.

    If you open a cabinet for one particular item, take a millisecond to scan what else is in that cabinet.

    Find out where you can read policies and procedures.

    Accept that your professor's annoyance is not really a reflection of you. No one knows everything in six hours, much less a student. It's a personality quirk of hers. Brush it off.

    Good luck!
  7. by   orientbeachgirl
    Thank you to all of you! This was very helpful to me!
    Peace be with you!
  8. by   loveoutloud
    this is nursing school honey. The instructors suck. Get used to it..