New nurses poorly educated - page 2

Over the last couple of years I have noticed increasing numbers of nursing graduates who are unable to do nursing procedures. Please let me know your opinions on this situation. Do you let the... Read More

  1. by   burger914
    I don't know if any hospitals in your area have student nurse or collegiate nursing positions, but I took a student nurse position and I felt that it helped alot. I had more responsibliltiy than a CNA and was able to alot of things with the nurses. I got more foley experience then I did in clinical. It just helps to feel the equipment and get used to holding things correctly so you don't feel like butter fingers.
  2. by   mia
    Im really glad that this is coming to light. I will be graduating in December from a BSN program and let me tell you I am really nervous. I know I have not attained the clinical skills of my predecessors who attended diploma programs or even associate degree programs. At my school the emphasis is definitly on paperwork. When I express my concern to my clinical instructors they usually say, "Don't worry you'll do all that when you start working." My thoughts are , gee, I would rather practice some skills now . I know Im going to very embarassed if after I graduate I must tell my preceptor that I never started an IV . I know that it must be difficult on our clinical instructors to make sure that everyone graduates with a certain degree of technical skill, especially when you attend a large University. Still, I feel somwhat cheated. I mean, I did pay for my education. I just hope that our future preceptors are empathetic to our situation and will be patient with the newbies. Just give us a chance and I promise we will learn as quickly as we can!!
  3. by   NICU_Nurse
  4. by   NICU_Nurse
    Okay, had to test..haven't been able to submit on here for days! I am a student; four months to graduation. I, too, am terrified that my hands on skills are...lacking. I have had the opportunity to do peg/og tube feedings, wound care, og insertion (once!), many injections, med administration, and hanging fluids so far. I am no expert in ANY of these skills; some have only been done once or twice, some (ex., peg tube feeding) were done oer a YEAR ago. In these last four months, we're learning to start iv's, but based on the actual amount of experience with other skills so far, I'm betting I'll get to do it no more than five times if I'm really lucky. Our instructors focus tremendously on theory, saying that nursing school is only the BEGINNING of the FOUNDATION of aactually being a nurse; we'll learn it by doing, they say. I have YET to start a foley cath on ONE SINGLE LIVE PATIENT!!! I couldn't even properly practice with the dummy; we had to use our hands as the 'urethral orifice'! (Use your imagination! The dummy didn't have...ahem...internal openings.) How do you think we new grads feel??? Do we not know in our hearts that we are going to get to work in that brand new job and be picked on/eaten alive/laughed at/scorned upon by some of those nurses who are more experienced? WE KNOW THAT!!! And if any of you are like me, you're petrified! I can TELL you how to do something, but do I have actual hands-on time with it? Likely not. It's terrible. We've been told that there aren't enough patients/skills to go around, and been forced to huddle around a bed while ONE student does it, and the rest watch. (Sometimes we take turns! *groan*) We've been pulled to and fro about the hospital, bouncing from unit to unit, begging the nurses to let us hang their IV's, etc. We've had nurses who don't want to wait for our instructors to be free for to supervise us (this happens ALLLLLLLLLLLLL THE TIME!!!) so they go ahead and do it themselves. Well, I TOTALLY understand that they are busy, understaffed, and more deft at these skills, but in the end, we're losing valuable opportunities to practice. Do I blame those nurses? Hell, no. It will probably be the same way when my license is on the line and I'm training or teaching a student or new grad. Still, from the student's perspective, or mine at least, the whole thing sucks. I can only pray that what I lack in experience, finesse, and general know-how, I can make it up in enthusiasm, friendliness, and an aching desire to learn. Take pity on us! We want to be nurses! We're doing it however we can. We'll get the hang of it. Eventually. ;>)
  5. by   Lisa32
    Hey folks? What's involved with the bachelor's program anyway? I'm transferring to one as soon as I finish my RN. Is is mostly management type stuff? More science? Clinicals? How hard is it? Anybody done online ones?
  6. by   JWRN
    I graduated 8 years ago, I had great clinical experiences. I did search them out, as this is what my clinical instructors encouraged. I would seek out opportunities for IV starts, foley insertion, NGTs, etc... I did an indepedent study with one of my clinical instructor, and spent a total of 90 hours in the EC of busy teaching hospital in TX Medical Center, and got to do many things and learn tips from the nurses that had been there for years, they were really receptive to students, of course there was every type of student you can imagine (nursing, medical, Xray techs, PT students, etc. For those nurses who have an elective to do, I would suggest signing up for independent study, if they are available, which at most 4 year programs they are..Sign up for area your are interested in, I think a great place for starting IV's would be OR holding or Outpatient surgery, of course this might limit other skills you would like to learn and perform....Just sonething to think about for the students out there... I would suggest to the students who posted replies to seek out skills and procedures and let the nurse know you would really like the chance to do the skill or procedure either with them or your instructor.....

    I know in the past 5 years of nursing I always seek out students if there are any on the unit I was working, and always ask if they have had the chance to do IV's or Foley's, or NGT's, trach care, etc... And if there instructor needed to be there I would let the student page them and see when they were available, or if I could watch and supervise them during the procedure....Even now as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, I try to be aware of students if they are in the ICU's and TELE units that I have, and ask them what skills they need, and I will keep an eye out for any specific skills they are looking to learn and do.....

    I remember what it was like being a student, so I always try to help them if I can, either find procedures they can watch or skills they can do.

    Well that's my 2 cents....

    Remember, have faith and never stop learning.
  7. by   Jenny P
    Way back in ancient time when i was in nursing school; part of our learning curve was based on the "see one, do one, teach one" theory: you didn't get tons of experience doing a particular skill, but you first watched a procedure being done, then you did it yourself, then you taught someone else to do the procedure. It worked so well because of the different types of learning involved; after all, if you could do the procedure well and teach someone how to do the procedure correctly, you usually weren't going to mess up with poor sterile technic (or whatever)- you had gained confidence by being able to teach someone else the correct way to to the job.
    I strongly reccommend that some of you newer nurses try it; it isn't neccesary to do 30 foley insertions right off the bat, but it is necessary to learn how to do the procedure correctly to teach someone else.
  8. by   BeeStrong
    If any nurse ridicules you or gives you a hard time when you are trying to learn, just ask "Do you remember being a student?" That will usually break the ice, because every last one of us old battleaxes was a new grad and can remember feeling the same way if we try hard enough. Don't let anybody put you down for asking a question or wanting to learn....we have all been there, believe me!!!

    Best wishes,

  9. by   JennieBSN
    I gotta agree w/Jami on this one...BE AGRESSIVE. When I graduated, I had given TONS of injections, inserted many foleys, suctioned, dressed wounds, observed open heart surgery (internship between junior and senior year on thing I ever did), etc., etc.. The way I got 90% of my hands on clinical experience was by ASKING for it. I didn't wait for the instructor/nurse to approach ME, I approached THEM and made it known I was an eager beaver when it came to performing ANY procedure I could get my hands on.

    HOWEVER, we were not allowed to start IV's, either. When I had to learn to start them, I was TERRIFIED.

    Finally, I haven't had much contact with new grads lately, as I work labor and delivery and we don't hire new grads....but we've all been new grads at one point in be patient with 'em, folks!!
  10. by   cannie
    It astounded me to hear of how the training is going now. I've been out for 7 yrs (and going back this yr) and feel that I had excellent hands on training. We had a checklist of procedures to do before we could graduate i.e. 3 IV's, 2 foley's, 1 NG etc. I did have to do a bit of pushing and searching to get these but we all managed. Now I work in an ICU so we don't get a lot of new grads. At this point though, I think all my co-workers would agree, I'd just be happy to have a pair of hands that wouldn't turn white and faint at blood and ooze. We all learn sometime so jump in and do it! Some, not all, nurses will be glad to let you perform a procedure you haven't done before. Let them try. If you know they haven't done it...give it to them. If our school's are putting nurses out there unprepared we, as a profession, have to help pick up the slack. I'd rather show them than have them covering my and my patients back sides unprepared in an emergent situation. My training never (and I don't imagine ANY do) covered clipping new open heart chest wires with a motorized saw so internal cardiac massage could be done. But one day someone handed me a saw......
  11. by   Lisa32
    That's cool, Cannie. Do you know, a girl in my program just graduated this year, passed the NCLEX and went right to Critical Care? (ICU) The hospital she went to was a big trauma hospital. I saw her recently-it's been about 5 months since she started there and she is absolutely DROWNING. (Personally, I can't believe a new graduate would start in such a specialized unit) She said she didn't know how to do ANYTHING, she got 3 IV sticks in at school, hardly any venipucture, and the rest of it, phhhhhtttttt! And this is a girl who worked as a Tech the entire time she was in school! I think this is a horrible situation that MUST be remedied. When I get into Clinicals in Jan I'm going to be such a pain in my instructor's butt they'll help me just to get rid of me! Plus, this is a safety issue. What if, God forbid, I hurt someone??????
  12. by   jlangrn
    I guess I was blessed with pretty good clinical rotations while in nursing school. I did actively search out any opportunity to do any new procedures and let the nurses know I wanted any procedures I could get. It helped that in the hospitals where we did our rotations, were a lot of past graduates from our nursing school and they were always great to give us every opportunity. I have worked with a few new nurses or soon to be nursing students and try to give them the opportunity to watch or do any procedures they can. Even with the absolute BEST clinical experiences as a new nurse we all feel like we don't know enough.
  13. by   JennieBSN
    Wow!! As a new grad I went straight into NICU. Personally, it wasn't the skills or work that got me, it was the STAFF. BARRACUDAS!!

    New grads in the ICU is a hotly debated topic...I personally don't work ICU now, so I wouldn't speak for those nurses. Crappy clinicals shouldn't hold you back...the learning curve for a new grad on ANY unit is steep, it's just the skills and nature of the unit that's different. That girl would probably feel like she was 'drowning' no matter what kind of unit she worked on.

    Just MHO!!