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Clinical instructor that will not teach?

Students   (1,467 Views | 9 Replies)
by MAJ_15 MAJ_15 (New) New

MAJ_15 has 1 years experience .

531 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hello all,

It has been a while since I posted here but, I have a question for all my fellow nursing students. What does your clinical instructor do throughout the day? What has been the most helpful thing your clinical instructor has shown or taught you? I am asking because I think I would like to give my instructor some things that would help my clinical group out. I am in my second med surg clinical and I have the same instructor that I had last session. He is an awesome person but he refuses to show us things like; How the IV pump works or how to interpret the tele monitor. He does not take us aside as a group and "teach" really anything. He's just around to pass meds with us and that is about it. What I have done about the situation is find a nurse that is willing to teach, and just stuck by her side for the 12 hours that I am there. I really want to take advantage of every opportunity to learn and I feel like this instructor just does not want to teach. Plus I have him again for another 8 weeks! How have you guys got through these types of clinicals and actually learned something from them? Do you have any suggestions for me? The instructor is actually a very nice person, I just feel like I am learning nothing from him.

Thank you all in advance!

Good luck to you where ever you are in your program :up:

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268 Posts; 4,124 Profile Views

It seems like the instructor is fulfilling his basic duties by monitoring med pass. Not every instructor can be a super nurse, educating every student at every possible moment.

That being said, it seems like you have a great attitude and have figured out a system that allows you to learn via the actual nursing staff. You'll learn more in that manner anyways, because the nurse you latch on to just has one student to teach, not a dozen or whatever number is in your clinical group like the instructor has.

Of course, it may seem that the instructor isn't teaching you because he recognizes you're somewhat of a go-getter and are maximizing your educational experience by latching on to a nurse, so he's focusing on other students who may be struggling. If that's the case, I would take that as a compliment and realize that you're actually doing very well, perhaps more so than your peers.

Don't stress it, it seems like you're ahead of the curve.

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tsm007 has 2 years experience.

675 Posts; 20,779 Profile Views

To be honest I pick my battles wisely in nursing school. I, personally, would let it go and continue to seek out learning opportunities every place I can. I had a bad preceptor once and I worked right around her. I helped all the other nurses out as often as I could and many of them would offer the kind of instruction you are looking for. Just ask them. "Hey, how do you operate this pump?" or "The alarm is beeping? What should I do when the pump is beeping on the alarm?", etc. I figured out how to turn off the pump if the bag was done running and find the nurse and let him/her know that it was done running or add an extra 10 minutes if there was still fluid left in the bag and then of course find the nurse and let him/her know. This was from asking the nurses on the floor what to do and how I could help. There are lots of little things you can find to learn on the floor just by offering to help the nurses and jumping in as much as possible. I'd stop worrying about trying to get the instructor to be different and seize the opportunities you can find on your own.

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MAJ_15 has 1 years experience.

3 Posts; 531 Profile Views

Thanks! It helps to actually know what they are suppose to do. I thought that I was going to rely on just the instructor to learn. I never wanted to feel like I was annoying the nurse by following them around. My whole group actually said the same things I'm saying. So it helps to get other views! I'll just continue to do my own thing then :)

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,380 Posts; 60,834 Profile Views

If he is trying to help a whole group of students pass meds ... and document those meds ... co-sign your documentation ... write notes for grading purposes ... give a little extra attention to those students who are not doing well ... etc. He may not have time to personally "teach" those students who are doing OK. Remember, he has to research all those patients and meds: he can't be just handing meds out blindly.

He may have to choose between letting you all give meds and not having time to help with much else or else only letting a few of you give meds each day so that he can have spare time left to teach you other things.

He might be the worst teach in the world or the best. We can't tell from your post. But don't assume he is a bad teacher or that he "won't teach" because he is spending his time allowing you to give meds rather than spending time on other things.

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927 Posts; 9,572 Profile Views

To add, what's stopping you from seeking out the answers yourself? You're putting the responsibility on the instructor when clinical is the opportunity for you to learn and make the most out of it. But you also need to be realistic - you're not going to learn how to read a tele strip or an EKG in 5 mins. Our curriculum had a whole 2 hour lecture dedicated to that area (not just the reading part, the whole physiology of it).

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MAJ_15 has 1 years experience.

3 Posts; 531 Profile Views

Thank you for the reply. I do seek out answers myself this is why I always find a nurse that is willing to answer questions. I did not expect him to do a complete teaching but students asked him to do a review of Tele strips plus go over iv pumps and he did not do either. There's only 4 people in my group maybe I was asking too much of him. Thank you for your opinion!

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8 Posts; 606 Profile Views

Do you guys do a midterm and final evaluation for the instructors? If you do, id say include something in there about it

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

3,869 Posts; 28,297 Profile Views

Out of curiosity, what does he say when you ask about, say, a rhythm on the cardiac monitor? Does he flat out say "no, I refuse to talk to you about this?" He really shouldn't put it to you like that; however, he should be teaching you how to use your resources (including more experience nurse and your reference texts) rather than just saying "this is what it is."

Plus, as others have mentioned, he has to monitor the med pass of each student and guarantee the basic safety of the patients being cared for by his students--it his rear on the line if something happens.

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts; 27,207 Profile Views

equipment varies from facility to facility so teaching you how to operate one IV pump may not carry over to another pump. I realize that was just your example. I think you are on the right track to focus on how else you can learn what you need. Find out how nurses prioritize their work and manage their time. Those are the important things to learn. Equipment is a snap compared to critical thinking.

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