Lazy Student Nurse Preceptors! - page 3

I am furious over my most recent clinical experience. I'm in my last semester of school and graduating in May. Our school waits until 4th semester to learn IV's. Well, the "goals" for this... Read More

  1. by   Randall
    Just finished my last med-surg clinical today!!!!
    Can honestly say that all the nurses were very helpful and encouraging to me. Excellent experience. I learned a lot and the staff was so willing to show me the better-best way to do things. The "real" way--not just the book way. It was a great learning opportunity.
    However not everyone in our group was as fortunate.
    So a big thank-you to all you who take the time to mentor us rookies--we look up to you and truly want to achieve the level of expertise that you have worked hard for.
    For the others---"Don't shoot the reinforcements"--we're working very hard to graduate and help ease that nursing shortage.
    On to ICU---a little nervous but hopefully it won't totally overwhelm me.
  2. by   DeniseLDRN
    I am a fairly new RN as I graduated in 2001. When I was going to school I had some really great nurses show me things and try to help me. I also had some nurses who just resented having a student in their presence, and tried their hardest to cause me trouble. I managed to make it out of school alive, at least I think I
    On my particular floor a lot of the RN's who don't like students, don't like anyone.. and I mean anyone! On my unit it has been said that a lot of the Nurses have "strong" personalities, and that does not always mix well with everyone.

    I personally love to have a student along for the day. I enjoy giving someone an experience that I never had in my OB rotation. My OB rotation was awful, and nobuddy showed me anything! I have found some students really eager to learn, and others would rather stand around and chit chat with their classmates all day. Then there are still others who just "know it all" and they don't need anyone to show them anything. I know that when I was in school, I never sat around the nurses station reading magazines and talking to my classmates during clinical time.
    I stopped in on my unit this past week to get some books, and there were students just sitting around reading magazines and chit chatting away with one another. Our unit was busy at the time, and all of the staff was running their tails off.
    I really enjoy working with students, heck I was a student once myself and appreciated anyone that would help me.
    Goodluck to the original poster of this thread, I am sorry you had such a negative experience. I think it is great that you are so eager to learn, and willing to take the bull by the horns during clinical. Starting IV's is a skill that is very nerve racking to learn, I still shake like a leaf when I start em...I wish I would have been taught this skill in Nursing school. My patients prolly think I am a nervous wreck..LOL


  3. by   CountrifiedRN
    Originally posted by mattsmom81
    Truth be told, I seem to detect some very unattractive, entitled attitudes in many of today's nursing staff nurses 'owe' them something and this troubles me. Hmm..
    MattsMom, I'm sorry that you feel this way. I am a nursing student, and I haven't seen that attitude in myself or any of my classmates. I can understand that it is a burden to an already overworked nurse to have to delegate to a student that she may have just met that morning, without knowing her competency level. I don't feel that staff nurses owe me anything, but I do owe myself the best experience that I can get before graduating, and sometimes to get that I do have to be assertive, without stepping on anyones toes.

    Yes, I do think that instructors should be primarily responsible for the students that they bring in. But since there are often many students to one instructor, they often rely on the staff nurses to assist. Is this fair to you? No, it's not. Is it fair to the students who need to gain this experience so they can learn safe practice to be with a nurse that doesn't want to mentor? No, it's not.

    But the school has contracted with that hospital to provide a learning environment to the students.

    Not all the blame should be placed on the students/instructors. Part of it is with your employer who expects you to mentor. I don't know if it is part of the job description in a teaching hospital, or if the nurses are given a choice. Ideally, students would only be paired with willing nurses.

    As I get closer to my graduation date, the responsibility of safe patient care, and the liability if something goes wrong, weighs heavy on my mind. So I can try to put myself in your shoes, and know that it would be something that I may feel uncomfortable about as an RN, and that may be a huge inconvenience to my routine. And believe me, I am so appreciative to the nurses that do take the time from their busy schedule to show guidance and teach. And even when I am paired with a nurse that makes it obvious that she does not want to be bothered or hindered by students, it is my responsibility to ensure that I get the most out of my clinical experience. Someday soon, I may be her colleague, who she depends on to carry my share of the load.
  4. by   montroyal
    jfpriutt, you thread title "Lazy Student Nurse Preceptors!" shows poor judgement and your lack of understanding of the nursing profession. Hospital staff nurses and agency nurses are employed to care for their patients, not to be nursing instructors. Who decided the agency nurse was to act as your instructor. I'm willing to bet it wasn't the agency nurse. You pay your nursing school to provide you with an education, you need to be writting about their lack of providing what you are paying for instead of critizing a staff nurse for not providing you with a service you neither contracted with him/her for or are paying him/her for. I realize nursing school can be diffucult, but you must remeber, it is the schools responsibility to provide you with the training you are paying for, not the staff nurse. I have never work in a nursing position which listed instructing student nurses as part of my job description. Each time I accepted an assignment as a nurse, I accepted responsibility for the care of those patients. I would feel uncomfortable assigning any of those care responsibilities to anyone I don't know, have limited knowledge of their knowledge level, and who is not employed or accountable to the facility I was working in.

    Were the heck was your nursing instructor? The procedures you were looking to accomplish should be completed with your instructor, not a staff nurse. I for one am willing to allow a nursing instructor to supervise patient care with a student nurse. They are afterall the nurse who's liscence you are working under. They know you and your knowledge level and are able to make an informed decision on what you are capable of doing. They are also working under the contract your school has with the hospital, so they have the accountability regaurding you. You may be an outstanding nursing student with a great knowledge base, but I know this cannot be said of all nursing students. To all of you who state there aren't enough instructors, you need to go back to your school and demand they provide you with the services you are paying for instead of demanding the staff nurses provide you the service for free.
  5. by   kids
    It seems to me that some people are missing part of jfpruitt's point here...

    She was assigned to a new agency nurse (bad choice).

    jfpruitt has specific course and skill objectives she HAS to pursue, she informed her preceptor of this but she kept *forgetting*...but she sure remembered she had a student when it came to the less "fun" duties didn't she? Oh yes...the preceptor *had* to change those IVs and give those injections. Bummer, she had a student she should have saved her self the work, delegated and supervised the student doing it.

    It has been a long time since I was a student but I saw my share of preceptors who saw delegating tech work to students to do instead of the tasks the student was assigned to learn.
    jfpruitt has learned how to do a bed bath and has practiced doing it several times by the last quarter of school...what she NEEDED was an oppertunity to practice her advanced skills.
  6. by   hapeewendy
    both sides of the fence over here ....
    as a student I was originally paired with a preceptor who was my polar opposite and didnt trust the fact that I had ANY skill or knowledge to bring to the table, A week later I got a gift from heaven above in a preceptor who not only fostered my growth and skill base but made me feel as though I was part of the team, she reffered the MD's to speak with *ME* and really gave me a valuable lesson in interpersonal skills not just the techie stuff
    some ppl are not meant to be preceptors , its that simple.
    being that you are about to graduate you should take some ownership of this situation and talk to your instructor and address your concerns ,this is your chance to learn as much as you can !!! I admire your choice to enter a very tough and challenging profession and wish you all the best...
    and for all those ppl who want to pawn it off as nurses eating their young I suggest you hold your tongues on that one until you are actually working in the capacity of a nurse, your tune may very well change
    in life there is the good the bad and the ugly
    the same can be said for nurses
    but walk a 12 hour shift in my tattered white nikes before you judge..
  7. by   hapeewendy
    Originally posted by fab4fan
    I swear to God, if hear that expression about nurses eating their young one more time I am going to scream my brains out. Every time something doesn't go a student's way, it's, "Oh, those nurses just eat their young..."

    I guess the only way to understand is for you to graduate and work on the floor for a few years. And then, when you have 18hr of work that you have to accomplish in 12hr, and get assigned the task of watching over a student/new grad/etc., you will understand how difficult and frustrating it is to do it all.

    It was tough when I went to school, and yet I don't ever remember hearing the refrain, "eat their young" like I do now. It's as if anyone says anything about taking initiative/responsiblity, then that nurse is an ogre.

    and WOOT!
    originally posted by nicugal
    i have to agree with emily's mom....who assigned this and where was your instructer? did this instructor ever show up on the floor and check on you? first, i wouldn't get mouthy or confrontational with the staff...that isn't going to help. second, you need to speak to the instructor...that is her job to make sure you are getting the experiences you need, that isn't all your job. third, you should have never been assigned to a traveler, unless it is a long term one that has been there for a while.

    i have a big problem with nursing students being let off on the floors and the instructors never come and see what is going on. that is just plain wrong. that is why i don't take students anymore, i am not taking full responsiblity for a student, the instructers need to take some of that responsiblity. jumping off the soapbox.
    i believe that was the feeling of the preceptor...she probably thought...thanks a lot for dropping a student off in my i've got one more person to be responsible she does the best thing for her which was to pawn the bath-off so that she knows just what the student was least for that period of time that it takes to do the bath/mouth care.

    i'm not saying that i agree with what this nurse done...because she should've said that she was overwhelmed or something to that effect...instead of pawning-off "busy work." that's where one have to be careful is the place one except employement. if you work in a teaching hospital...everyone is expected to take-on students from time to time...despite having 7-9 patients on the floor & 2 patients in the units. these preceptors put their licenses on the line whenever they allow students to work under them...& probably without extra pay. it's not enough that nurses have a high paitent/nurse ratio...but now they have to factor in the student (students in some cases) as well...that is too much! i've seen rns get two to three students on the same shift that they've inhereted from the instructor(s)...many are too *nice* to say something to them & just take the the students on. some nurses just do what the travel nurse did which was to do all of the risky stuff herself because she didn't want that added risk of co-signing for a student. so now the rns have to supervise the lpns, uaps, & the students all while trying to keep the patients safe.

    i completely agree that it's the instructors' responsibilty to instruct/teach these skills to their students & not the staff nurse. damn, no wonder so many nurses are burnt-out sooo soon!

    thoroughly disgusted!
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Feb 7, '03
  9. by   caroladybelle
    I am a travelor,

    At my first assignment, I spent 6 hours in a classroom orientation - mostly the same restraints and OSHA mandidated garbage we do every year - every where.

    Second day - er night - I "oriented" to the floor - use the term loosely. As we were short an LPN and an RN, I spent alot of time doing bed baths and passing meds, jobs that I have perfected in the last 10 years of being an RN (and two years of being a tech.) -why wasn't I given time to demonstrate more important skills to my preceptor? Because quite bluntly, the patients needed their meds and needed to have their teeth cleaned, their diapers changed, needed turning, etc. My preceptor was running her rear off doing much of the same, and had little time to precept anything. It would have been lovely to have an organized orientation, but it isn't bloody well going to happen in this century for, agency, travelors, regular staff or students. And sometimes Nursing is fluff my pillow, rub my back for all of us.

    Second night on floor- I was floated to two other floors without more than 10 minute notice, had my assignment completely changed twice during the shift on one of them. I took report, and as it was walking rounds, saw 23 patients that shift. Did I choose that for my second night on the floor - don't think so.

    Third night on floor - I was left as the only RN on a 17 patient oncology unit - thank god, there were only two chemos, and only four bloods to hang and I had wonderful LPN's.

    If anyone had ever attempted to put a student with me, to be precepted ------well, it wouldn't be pretty.

    First a travelor shouldn't be precepting you.
    Second, a nurse new to the facility should not be precepting you.
    Third, the nurse precepting you should have had a chat with your instructors as to goals and skills - and whose license that you are working under. And if you are working under the preceptor, and s/he wishes to limit what you do, to limit her liability - then you and the instructor should make other arrangements. I have had some nursing instructors/managers just drop students on the floor with little notice - and wonder why they are not well received and/or used as NAs.

    Quite bluntly, I work very hard as a travelor on the floors I work. It is difficult enough to keep track of state laws, facility rules, different nursing school rules and the newness of each facility. My agency doesn't contract with your school. And I don't know your skill level from Adam's Housecat's, so I am going to be reluctant to precept you in a new role. No insult but I value and protect my license, my job and my reputation, as I am sure that nurse was. I think that your instructor should have handled things better.
  10. by   nursenatalie
    Ok, where do you guys go to nursing school?? I am in my last semester in nursing school and we have our instructor with us at all times. It is our INSTRUCTOR'S liscense we are working under, not the staff nurse, and yes we have malpractice insurance. Our instructor assigns us two patients the day before clinical and we do preps on them that night. In my experience staff nurses are very excited to see that they have a student nurse. We, along with our instructor, provide total care for the patient and when we leave for the day we give report to the staff nurse. We started IV's second semester under supervision and if we have five successful sticks then we are allowed to insert IV's with minimal supervision. Maybe I'm lucky because I have gotten experience in clinical and it is because we always have an instructor to teach. Staff nurses shouldnt have to take extra time out of their day to teach students. If the students are to be there then they should have an instructor. Last week there was a nurse who requested that she have a student because she knew that for at least eight hours she would have two less patients.

    I would not feel comfortable "co-signing" with a nursing student with whom I had just met. Our instructor co-signs everything we do and takes responsiblility for us...I can't imagine why your schools put the responsibility on the employees of the hospital to teach! I'm glad I chose the nursing school I chose!
  11. by   emily_mom
    That's what I was going to add Natalie...thank you! We carry our own malpractice insurance and work under the instructor's license. Only when I am at work as an Intern do I work under an RN's licensure.

    We don't "follow" nurses during our clinicals. We have our own patients and our instructor is with us when we pass meds and such.

    I had never seen this shadowing of staff and no instructor until the university came to the hospital. They have students on 3 floors with one then can they pass meds, etc...? It is thrown on the nurses, which is unfair.

    I agree with whoever said that when you have 18 hours of work to fit into 12, you can't be quizzing people on meds or watching them do every procedure. It takes a great deal of trust on the RN's part.
  12. by   delirium
    We also have an instructor with us on the floor at all times.

    If we float to specialty areas such as ER or ICU there are only limited things we're allowed to do.... passing meds is *not* one of them.
  13. by   FullMoonMadness
    I can see both sides of this problem. I am an LPN but I am also a student in transition program,God willing I will take my boards in December and be an RN.My class is now made up of traditional students who have not worked a liscenced shift yet and some old mares such as myself.I see that quite a few of the "new" students don't really have a realistic grasp of what a day in the life of a nurse entails.Many of them do have an "Im entitled"attitude. That will change in due time.The reality check is not always easy.
    At the hospital I work at.if a staff nurse is going to be a preceptor to the students,they go through a training course ,and are paid an additional differential on the days they precept. These same nurses are our preceptors for new hires.The preceptor program is strictly voluntary,which I think is a good thing because not every one wants to do it.I dont think it is fair to blame a staff nurse,or call her a "lazy preceptor" if she is not suited to that position nor wants to be a preceptor. I know that there is a shortage of instructors,but that is neither the staff nurses fault or problem.Your instructor made a very poor choice in assigning you to a nurse who was not herself oriented to her surroundings.She is the one you should take issue with.
    And, I have found that people who believe in that old tired mantra about nurses eating their young, wear it out on their sleeve and are the most likely to get eaten. If you go looking for it,it will most likely find you.