Can students be helpful, or are they just in the way? - page 2

I am a second quarter student in an accelerated BSN program in my second clinical rotation. My clinical is a preceptor-style -- I am paired with an RN, I have one of his/her patients, but am allowed... Read More

  1. by   MIA-RN1
    I love having student nurses and the instructors seem to like assigning them to me. I just grab the student up and take him/her with me on everything I do. Several have said that their time with me was a huge learning experience. I am a newer nurse, and I love the fact that I can still very clearly remember that awful, knee-knocking feeling of clinical, and as such I try to decrease it for the students when they are on our floor.
    Sometimes it takes a little longer to get things done but for the most part, so far at least, its been a win/win situation.
  2. by   Dinith88
    Quote from Megsd
    I-- if she wanted me to clean bedpans or...
    gag/puke/yuck. Do people still do that? (we have cna/nurse-fellows who usually do pan-patrol...but the pans are plastic...and disposable...and get sloshing or splashing of poop around plastic pans where i work!)

    Anyway,...i think most students are helpful, respectful, and well-intentioned. I'm a preceptor so i'll get paired with them on occaision. I've personally only dealt with one student who i absolutely couldn't stand. She was a returning-student with degrees in biology and physics...thought she knew everything and generally made an ass of herself...but she's the exception. And i had her sloshing poop-pans (kidding!)

    I think the ONLY thing that wierds-me-out is when i'm charting and a student is breathing on my neck watching me. But it's just my i usually wait until they're gone to chart...
  3. by   Tweety
    I love having students. They are never in the way and always helpful.

    To me it sounds like this nurse was having a bad day. I think she was displacing that on you inappropriately. However, I appreciate you cutting her some slack, even though she was in the wrong for treating you like that.

    Please don't be discouraged from the experience by laying low and not offering to help because you might miss out on some learning experiences.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 30, '07
  4. by   LadyNASDAQ
    This is one of those times you are watching a RN overwhelmed with her assignment and not asking for help. I guess she felt she would bring herself down a few notches. Not a good idea to be like this at all so learn a lot from this especially later on. I never say I don't need help if I do and you shouldn't forget that. It's never a good idea because that other task may be a lot more important and when you're tired you could make a mistake.
  5. by   jjjoy
    Of course, bad days will happen and that's to be expected. What this brings up to me is that means that the nursing students' already fairly limited clinical experience is just that much more limited. You've only got X number of clinicals and some of them will be wipe outs through no one's fault. It's the same way that too many hospitals are staffing these days. They staff the minimum for an "ideal" day where there are no problems, interruptions, surprises and then the staff are left scrambling most every day because how often do "ideal" days happen? And as we see, this also leads to nurses being unable to give appropriate attention to students and preceptees because patient needs will always come first. So students go from standing by helplessly watching nurses who are too busy to stop and explain what they're doing to being that nurse and trying to learn on the fly how to juggle everything. That's my personal peeve with nursing school.

    Thanks, OP, for sharing your experience and know that you are not alone in this type of experience! It does sound like just a bad day and an overwhelmed nurse. I like the idea of seeing if you can talk to that nurse another time and see how she views that day. She may barely remember what she said or what she was thinking about you, having had so many other things to deal with!

    Good luck with your studies!
  6. by   ZootRN
    I had a student with me last week. Very sweet girl, willing to learn and to help out. I had a very busy day, and tried my best to give her best possible experience, but never had a minute to sit down and eat and had to stay over to finish charting. This is reality - explaining everything you do slows you down. I was treated poorly by preceptors when I was a student, so I'll never give another student a hard time, but some days are just worse than others.
  7. by   Antikigirl
    OH man..when I get a bad day or things flying at me from different directions I am very flustered and rather 'leave me alone' too. It isn't that I don't want help, or that person around...I am just swimming in things and need to get my ducks in a row...and the only way I can do that is in my head with no unecessary distractions (or distractions I can try to quell). I usually am cool and appologize and explain this as soon as I am able .

    As far as learning from students...YOU BET! It is great to have a student that is open to the experience and not a 'know it all' (they always make things difficult just like in regular life expereinces! LOL!). It is cool to see things with fresh eyes again, or a different perspective and share yours! I love it frankly! I have only had one probelm with a student...all the others have been fulfilling for both!

    Also, a hint into a frantic day...I am trying to learn how to let people help me during this time as self improvement. You see, I tend to get overrun, and have the hardest time articulating what it is I need someone to do...takes me longer to explain what to do than it is to do it myself or spend that time reevaluating my time management and priorities. I feel that this is an area of improvement for so many, and heck...I like to improve! This one is a hard one...LOL!

    LOL, you actually should see me explain things at this is like "well...uhhhh...mmmmm...well the patient in...ummmm...oh heck purple monkey dishwasher on the hill would make more sense right now...I will get back to you..thank you for the offer!". I am so funny sounding..even though I will not see it that way at that time.>LOL!

    Don't take it personally...I know that is hard, but once you are an RN and slammed like will understand quick how your brain goes into TILT! And you have only scant moments to fix it! LOL!
  8. by   truern
    Please don't take it personally.

    I'm a new grad myself, and recently I was asked if I'd mind having a student shadow me for the day. On any other day the answer would have been "Of course, I'd love to have a student!!", but not this day. I'd just received report and was feeling overwhelmed at my patient assignment. A patient that had been mostly "okay" the day before had been in the toilet the majority of the night. I felt I could handle the situation, but only IF I COULD GIVE IT MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. I just didn't have what it would take to make a good clinical experience for somebody else when *I* was feeling challenged myself.

    Turned out that the patient was okay and the day went smoothly, but it could have easily been the other way around.

    I'm sure you're a great student and will make an even greater nurse. You already have "heart"!!
  9. by   Purdue_Nurse
    I agree with the previous posters. She was having a bad shift and unfortunately, directed some of her frustration at you. It sounds like you did everything that you could to help. Try not to worry about it too much and don't let it keep you from trying to learn everything you can at the next clinical. Hope things go better for you next time!
  10. by   maddiegirl
    Try not to take it personal. Too often, during a stressful shift, someone gets the brundt! If it allows the patient to be able to get quicker, better care, so be it! As they say, nurses eat their young, my advice to you is to not let the nurse know that the issue upset you. You know you did what you could, offerred your help. In nursing, we are a team. Whether everyone wants to "play" on the team affects our patients. Sounds like you are a real team player to me! Keep up the good work!