What do you want to see from students on your unit?

  1. I'll be starting clinicals in September at a very big University Hospital. After reading many comments here for the past 5 or 6 months now, I started to wonder:

    What is the ideal nursing student?
    What do you expect from them, whether you are working directly with them or not?
    What can we do to make your day better?
    How can we develop your faith in us?

    Thanks for any info.
  2. Visit SusanKathleen, RN profile page

    About SusanKathleen, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 378; Likes: 238
    Teacher --> Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Trauma/Burn ICU, Neuro ICU


  3. by   grammyr
    I can tell you from personal experience that the students who really make my day are the ones who, at a minimum are interested in what we do on a daily basis. Ask questions. Most of us do still remember what it feels like to be a student and be scared to death of making a mistake or sounding stupid. There are no stupid questions except the ones you don't ask. Chances are I probably asked the same or a similar question in nursing school. If you are asked if you want to watch a procedure being done, say yes because you may not have the chance to see it done at another time(if okayed by your instructor.) You will have something to talk about in post conference that your other classmates won't have seen or been exposed to.
  4. by   Apollorn
    Good question. As a student, I find that preceptors enjoy someone that have open channels of communication. Basically updating your nurses on the status of your patient throughout the day, etc. I've found some preceptors really enjoy it if you let them know your plan for the day and what skills are on the team and if you can join/do them. Also, using a team approach you will learn amazing things from your preceptors. Last but definitely not least, have fun. Having a good time with your preceptor while in clinical makes learning and teaching that much more fun.
  5. by   nyapa
    Oh heck yeah, I remember what its like to be a student. As a preceptor, I know how daunting the student role can be.
    To succeed though:
    1. ask questions, as others have said
    2. be willing to listen and practice as per preceptor
    3. don't go outside your boundaries as proscribed by your learning institution
    4. recognise your shortcomings - we all have them, and try to improve on them. Most preceptors should be willing to assist
    5. Accept praise. This indicates strengths, and builds up confidence, and is important.
    6. Be proactive
    7. Try to develop good communication skills, with the patients (good way to gain trust and therefore be able to assess/help them more proficiently), other staff members and medical and allied health teams.
    8. report your actions, concerns, and don't be afraid to act as an advocate for your patients.
    9. try and ensure that you have a good theoretical background, but by the same token, you are not expected to know everything. When a preceptor asks a question, it is to help you think, not a test to catch you out.
    10. convey that you want to learn...

    But as someone else said, really do have fun!
  6. by   bollweevil
    Quote from SusanKathleen
    I'll be starting clinicals in September at a very big University Hospital. After reading many comments here for the past 5 or 6 months now, I started to wonder:

    What is the ideal nursing student?
    What do you expect from them, whether you are working directly with them or not?
    What can we do to make your day better?
    How can we develop your faith in us?

    Thanks for any info.
    Not to be a terrible person but just to honestly answer your questions: What I want from a student is that she/he not be with me (that I not have primary responsibility for her). I am old and crotchety and can't handle the strain right now. I will help students as I am able, I wish them well but I just don't have the patience.

    I think students should be focused on the work, not on their cell phones, smoke breaks, or other personal matters. I know students have children to think about, etc. but mainly they need to be about the business of learning. It's really aggravating to try to show someone something, only to realize that she was focused elsewhere, like on the phone.

    If you come to Clinical well prepared and enthusiastic, if you are reasonably adept at social skills, if you don't overwhelm me with fragrances (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, perfume, dryer sheets and laundry stuff, and so on), I will be eternally grateful, as will your sick patients, many of whom are seriously bothered by fragrances.

    Be quiet, be attentive, stay out of the nurses' station, give your seat to the staff and doctors. Don't bring a whole lot of stuff with you, like all of your books.

    If you really want to, bring some bagels and cream cheese or a vegetable platter but only do it once in a while. Send a thank you card after your rotation is over. Address it to the nurse manager and cite the staff who really made your time on her floor a great experience.

    Don't be a know-it-all. And please forgive me for not wanting a student with me very much.
  7. by   amya215
    Great question...as a fellow student I have these same questions and there are some great tips here.
  8. by   PsychNurseWannaBe
    I want a student who really wants to learn the profession. I want them to ask me any and all questions they have. I want them to listen to what I say BUT to know that it is ok to question me. It is possible that they learned something new or they have a concept learned wrong and the only way to fix it is to talk about it.

    I want a student to admit if they did something wrong so I can help make it right.

    I want a student to represent the profession...put away or cover up the thong. Stop wearing red panties with a white bottom. Wear a nice top so I don't see the "girls" hanging out. Look presentable and don't smell like a french xxxxxx. And get rid of the fake nails.

    To the guys...SHAVE unless you are trying to grow a beard. Again...find matching undies to go with the white bottoms. And a little cologne goes a long way, especially the cheap stuff. Stop oogling your female counterparts. Especially the ones that haven't put the "girls" away.
    Last edit by PsychNurseWannaBe on Mar 20, '08 : Reason: typo
  9. by   TigerGalLE
    I want a student to be assertive and confident in the skills they know. I want them to ask questions they don't know. I don't want them to pretend that they know it all. I want a student to spend time with the patient. They usually only have 2 patients. So I know patients appreciate the extra time they can offer them. Spoil the patient that day. Give them an amazing bath, help them whenever they need it. I don't have the time in my day to provide this kind of care for my patients.

    Also help others on the unit. Our nurses and assistants are super busy. If you are just standing around help others, help answer call lights, make rounds and ask patients if they need anything.

    Like others said. Don't take up all the chairs in the nurses station. Don't stand around talking to each other, it is loud enough in the nurses station. If you are really bored it is okay to read the chart. Sometimes students find things I never had time to research.

    If I ask you to do something for a patient don't complain. That is why you are here. I hate to make my students gophers. So I try not to do that.

    OHH and eat breakfast. Please don't pass out on me because you didn't eat breakfast.

    Okay I'm done

  10. by   sshannon
    I can tell, just because you asked such a great question, you're going to be the kind of student I will love having! Best of luck in clinicals and in your studies.
  11. by   classicdame
    Get involved with patient care. You can ask nurses to let you know when something needs to be done so you can "assist". I am an RN but I followed an LPN around one day as my assigned patient was stable. I learned a lot from that nurse! Listen to the charge nurse interacting with other nurses and the unit clerk. You might learn who has to have blood drawn, get assistance to potty, hang blood, be transported --- everything you do is a learning experience. If you think you know how to get someone to the potty just wait till it is a hip fracture patient. You need that experience.