clinicals, why are the nurses such *******.

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Many of the clinicals I have been to so far, the nurses have been complete *******. Now, let me say this, not ALL of the nurses have been, just a select few. My clinical nurses as of now, are completelyyyyy NICE and helpful!

I would like to think it's because we're "in their territory" but from what I've seen, the way they do their jobs (giving the meds 4 hrs late...) I really don't think we're in the way, I think we actually make the situation BETTER.

Any thoughts?

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Think how miserable their lives/work must be for them to have such attitudes ...

guiltysins

887 Posts

I don't think it has anything to do with their lives or work. Some nurses simply don't like having to "babysit" nursing students. Forgetting that they were once in our position a few years ago.

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

I have to say.... ALL of the nurses we have worked with in our clinicals have been lovely and wonderful! They answer questions without attitude and offer suggestions and advice.

They are great!

JBGC4

300 Posts

Take it as a learning experience. They say the skin needs to be thick if you are a nurse. You have to deal w/ mean patients, mean family members, mean nurses and some really nasty physicians. Better to get tough now, then when you are all on your own. But, also take it as a learning experience of how not to treat others.

I'm not sure about floor nurses during clinicals, but I have heard of instructors w/ a cold shoulder for the benefit of their student nurses.

ErinJane

180 Posts

Specializes in Neuro.
Take it as a learning experience. They say the skin needs to be thick if you are a nurse. You have to deal w/ mean patients, mean family members, mean nurses and some really nasty physicians. Better to get tough now, then when you are all on your own. But, also take it as a learning experience of how not to treat others.

I'm not sure about floor nurses during clinicals, but I have heard of instructors w/ a cold shoulder for the benefit of their student nurses.

The only problem I have with this is that patients, families and even physicians are there to teach us. The nurses are. I have been treated like crap by some of my nurses, but I think it has more to do with their personality than anything cultural. I think accepting it and presuming it is for your own good can be okay, but can go too far.

Overall I think the old adage is "Nurses eat their young". I know we are supposed to ignore that phrase and pretend it doesn't exist, but in some cases it is true.

Specializes in IMCU.

If they really think they are "babysitting" student nurses that is completely insulting.

matilda123

178 Posts

Try to remember that these nurses are trying to care for their patients, do reports and paperwork, answer to doctors and patients and families and the lab and cna's and....., then they are given students to train for no extra pay or considerations. might make you kinda cranky too.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.
The only problem I have with this is that patients, families and even physicians are there to teach us. The nurses are.

While no one should be treating you horribly ... the nurses are not there to teach you. The school is probably not paying them anything to teach you. The nurses are there primarily to take care of the patients and to fulfill the duties described in their job descriptions -- which might include a statement or two about students, but probably not much. The desires of the students are unlikely to be at the top of their list of priorities -- though they should not be mean to you.

If you have clinicals on a unit where everyone is grouchy and unhelpful -- what is probably true is that those nurses are being treated badly. They may be overworked and underpaid and shown little respect by their management. They are as much "victims" as anything else. Blaming them is "blaming the victim" and does nothing to solve the problems that exist in that work environment.

While it's true that some experienced nurses "eat their young," it is also true that people unjustly acuse nurses and blame them for everything wrong in a work environment -- when those nurses are in fact victims of that environment. Also, young (or inexperienced) nurses can be just as unfair and cruel in their criticisms of experienced nurses. It goes both ways.

The OP asked "Why.. ?" Well, the answer is that those nurses are probably being abused and are probably struggling to endure a bad work environment -- and the stress on them is showing. When it's 1 person only, it could be the individual's fault ... but when it is a whole unit, the cause is probably something else in the environment. Those nurses should warrent compassion -- not the harsh judgment of a student calling them all a*******

Specializes in IMCU.
Try to remember that these nurses are trying to care for their patients, do reports and paperwork, answer to doctors and patients and families and the lab and cna's and....., then they are given students to train for no extra pay or considerations. might make you kinda cranky too.

We are not talking about all nurses. Please don't assume that every student nurse has their head so far up themselves that they cannot recognize that the world doesn't revolve around them. On a given ward one nurse is as busy as another. Cranky is not the same as hostile or downright undermining. As a tech I have heard nurses gloat over how they "stuck it" to a student. There are few industries that do give extra money when you train or mentor someone. Where I work it is part of an RNs job description to work "collaboratively" with nursing students.

Students are an easy target for a nurse who is a bully.

ErinJane

180 Posts

Specializes in Neuro.

I didn't know that it wasn't an expected part of their duties at most hospitals. At our clinical site, teaching is considered a part of the nurses duties as much as patient care is.

tinybabynurse

96 Posts

We are not talking about all nurses. Please don't assume that every student nurse has their head so far up themselves that they cannot recognize that the world doesn't revolve around them. On a given ward one nurse is as busy as another. Cranky is not the same as hostile or downright undermining. As a tech I have heard nurses gloat over how they "stuck it" to a student. There are few industries that do give extra money when you train or mentor someone. Where I work it is part of an RNs job description to work "collaboratively" with nursing students.

Students are an easy target for a nurse who is a bully.

I agree with this last statement. As nursing students, we are supposed to smile and be okay with whatever treatment we receive. We should be grateful even when being treated like a piece of crap. Maybe these nurses are justifying their behavior by saying to themselves that they are actually helping us become accustomed to being treated this way b/c that is how pts/family/mngmnt/md's/etc are going to treat us once we are RN's.

I think it's true that miserable people like to make other people miserable. So the thankfully few times I've had to deal with nurses like this, I do in fact feel sorry for them and I don't take it one bit personally. I will NEVER treat a student like an ignorant piece of crap when I am working with them one day. Even if I am being treated badly in my work environment it does not excuse my own inappropriate behavior.

In the clinical I'm in right now, the hospital has us evaluate each of the nurses we work with and our evaluations are included in their periodic job evals...we are told may help them get better raises. I cut my nurses a LOT of slack and give them the highest ratings unless they were awful. I know that they are under a lot of stress and it's not easy to add a nursing student to that stress.

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