nurses at clinicals, how to deal?

  1. I've had a problem with some of the nurses at clinicals. each time I go to tell them something about a patient they tell me I have to wait 5-10 minutes until they're good and ready and often only half listen. I usually don't bother the nurse anyhow unless there is an abnormal vital sign or something wrong in the assessment or pt is in bad pain. today the iv was beeping and i knew why but didn't know how to fix it so i went to the nurse and again had to wait. but i was told by more than one nurse if an iv is beeping and left to run dry it will suck air cause an occlusion and often have to be restarted.and so i was actually doing her and the pt a favor. but she didn't see that. she would have had to call the iv team and wait and then any further iv therapy would have been delayed. and in reporting off she really didn't seem interested. it seems if we're not passing meds we're not doing anything important for the patient so we're seen as a nuisance. but we still do care, vitals, assess, blood sugar, dressings and procedures!! this has me a little distressed would she want me to wait 5-10 minutes to tell her the patient is hemmhorhaging, chest pain or not breathing. not that i wouldn't attempt to do something but i just don't understand. i am careful when i talk to them if they are talking to someone else, the doctor or on the phone of course i don't bother them. and i don't tell them petty things, just things i feel they should know. i say excuse me tell them what needs to be said short and sweet but she didn't let me say anything to her unless she decided when.
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    About Purple Princess

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 155; Likes: 2


  3. by   dacryocystitis
    Is your clinical instructor around during clinicals? If something needs immediate attention and the nurse will not listen to you, then you should direct your concerns to the instructor.

    If the matter is not urgent and could possibly wait 5 minutes then let it wait. I know this is difficult to hear, but they just want to make you sweat a little. They want to have the power!! I don't know why...but it always seems to be the case. For some reason the floor nurses and students just don't seem to mesh very least from my experiences.

    Try not to let it bother you too much. It happens to everyone!

    Ultimately, your instructor will pass/fail you not the floor nurse. Go to him/her with your concerns first.
  4. by   AuntieRN
    purpleprincess....I am sorry you are having such a rough time at clinicals. I really have no answers from you but wanted you to know that most of us as students have experienced similiar treatment from nurses. I do not know why. Just try to bear with it and do your time and try to not take it personally. Now if something like chest pain or hemmorrage comes up I would interupt no matter what the nurse was doing and be assertive in telling her this can not wait 5-10 minutes it may beed to be dealt with now. Good luck to you!!!

    I also agree with dacryocystitis...go to your clinical instructor if you do not get the satisfaction you are looking for when trying to report to the floor nurse. That is what they are there for, to help you out.
  5. by   santhony44
    Is it possible that you might be interrupting her train of thought about something?

    Try walking up to the nurse and not saying anything, just standing there with an expectant look on your face. Wait for the nurse to acknowledge you then tell her what you have to say.

    If you're in the patient's room and the IV pump goes off, just hit the call button and tell the clerk "Mrs. Smith's pump is beeping." Save yourself chasing the nurse around, let the clerk page her.

    Maybe you have just run across rude nurses, but I know that if I'm in the middle of documenting something, or trying to get my thoughts together, getting interrupted can be disruptive, and I might end up forgetting something. I know I've had people think I was rude for asking them to wait a minute until I finish this, but sometimes I need to finish what I'm doing before I talk about someone or something else. I like to get finished with Mrs. A before I start hearing about Mr. B.

    That's assuming, of course, that what you have to say is important but not an emergency.
  6. by   Nurse1966
    I'm sorry they're giving you a hard time...I'm one of those nurses, we have students regularly. My coworkers and I LOVE to see the students show up. I always try and make it easier on them...printing off strips for their cardiac lectures or running labs and H&P's. We do have a few nurses that are not "student-friendly" but the clinical instructor is the same one for years and years, and knows who to avoid. The only advice I can give is just blow it off, because if the IV infiltrates or goes bad, the nurse is ultimately responsible...not you. I'm not saying don't do anything, but you do your part and the rest is up to her/him. We should have enough respect that if a student has something to say, we listen. Sometimes we forget. Anyhow, think of it as a learning experience, in that you now know what not to do when you have students around.
  7. by   RN-Diane
    Maybe you could start by telling them that you know they are busy. then just say, "I would love to help you if there is anything I can do for you so you can have a chance to look at the IV for XYZ. I think this is what is happening with it." I am an orientee at a hospital. Stuck in the middle. I have lots of questions for my preceptor, but I also love to show students if I am doing anything interesting!! Good luck!
  8. by   PANurseRN1
    Also, what you as a student consider to be emergent may not necessarily be emergent to the nurse. I agree with the other poster that you may be approaching at a bad time or it may be your manner of approach. In any case, you should have a clinical instructor around to be helping you. I have a huge beef with drive-by instructors that just drop off their students and vanish for the next few hours. We are not staffed to provide the attention students need. It's not fair to the students or the staff.
  9. by   Purple Princess
    i see what you're all saying. i've tried the stand there and wait to be acknowledged too but sometimes the nurse just starts walking away and surely they see me there. but i guess most nurses have 6 patients or so, meds, iv's procedures but usually get help with care. and then all the charting, getting orders, tests etc. we have 2 patients and sometimes also meds but still have to do all the care too so it's sort of like having 4-5 depending on the patient demands. and maybe what i think is important they already know about or have experience to know that it might not be important. I'm just so over chasing nurses around sometimes we have 2 nurses to report to. We have done Iv's and operating the pump but we trained on the baxter and this guy had a different pump. Plus we have to have the teacher there for everything. I sort of know what to do but today we weren't doing meds or Iv's so i figured i better not mess with the pump. it's almost like i introduce myself, my responsibilities and the nurse is like that's nice go away so i can do the important stuff and don't bug me. 4 months from graduation and we're still treated like go getters, aides. but one thing i noticed in the mar is meds that were due at 8 were being given at almost 10 o'clock! only when we pass meds do the nurses seem more appreciative, not always but usually.