Frustrated with Maternity Nurses!

  1. I have a question for any maternity nurses out there--or for that matter any working nurses out there!

    I just finished my Maternity rotation. And I was excited about going because of how different it would be, and the whole baby thing, etc.

    Now? I would NEVER work in the Maternity Center in this hospital!!

    Why? Because of the RNs. They literally told us we would not do anything while there. They said things like, "I don't want students following me. They don't know anything," and "What can you do? You can sit at that table and not get in the way," or upon seeing us eneter the unit in the am, "Oh, Sh..! We have students again today don't we." Some of the RNs just ignored us and wouldn't let us do any care on our patients. Our clinical instructor is part of the staff there and only teaches during this rotation. She was NOT willing to hear our problems or help--we tried!

    Why are these nurses like this?! :angryfire They even told patients that they (the RN) wouldn't let a student care for them cause students don't know anything about nursing. And that was said with the student in the room!!!

    ALL RNs were once students!! RIGHT??? So why are they so rotten to us?? We really wanted to learn from them!!!! We had to wrok hard to keep our attitueds good, but man it was hard not to slap some of them!!!

    Any suggestions???
    Thanks for allowing me to vent!!
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    About missionnurse

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 144; Likes: 3
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in CCU/ER


  3. by   finallyRN
    The nurses there are one of the reasons why there is such a shortage of nurses. The perpetuate that nurses eat their young. I myself are a fairly new nurse (3 years). I still remember what it was like to be in your shoes. Working nights we don't see many students but I always try to give the students a helping hand when they come in early to get their assignments.

    Just remember that not all nurses (materninty or others) are not like this group of nurses you encountered. Most likely they are all burnt out for one reason or another and are just bitter. Don't let their attitudes discourage you.

    My first job out of nursing school was on a med surg floor. The nurses you describe remind me of most of the nurses I worked with there. We were overworked and not respected on that floor. Now, I work in Maternity and the nurses here are the best. I would have a hard time leaving them.

    Anyway, Good luck and hopefully in your next rotation you will have more supportive staff nurses. Don't let these nurses turn you away from Maternity nursing.

  4. by   CountrifiedRN
    Sorry to hear about how disappointing your rotation was. We had the same experience when we rotated through L&D, but the post partum unit the nurses were excellent.

    The only advice I have is that you can try to bring your concerns to the director of your program if your clinical instructor does not do anything to remedy the situation. You are there to learn, and your school has a teaching agreement with the hospital that should be honored.

    If nothing else, just try to make the most of your experience as you can. Since our rotation through the L&D was more of a special observation than a rotation, we only had one day there, and the clinical instructor was unable to do anything about the situation until she made the proper contacts (basically my group was screwed, but the next few groups were treated better). We just took it upon ourselves to look through charts, look up what we didn't know, and we nosed in on some of the procedures the doctors came in to do. When a doc came on the floor, we would introduce ourselves as nursing students, and ask the doc if it was ok to shadow him. Most of them didn't care as long as we asked the patient first when we went into the room.

    I hope things go better at your next clinical!
  5. by   oilerfan
    I may oversimplify the matter by saying that when we are in the hospital the RN's take time out of their rediculously busy day to show us what they can. Your instructor is with you, on the floor, long as a chaffed bum and no more. And some people are just freakin mean...some of us will be too. Labour delivery, by the way, was the worst experience ever.
    Take care
    I'm sorry for the crappy experience that you had, and I'm sorry that there are in fact nurses like that.

    There are 2 things that I want you to learn from this:

    1. As said above, not all nurses are like this. Not all maternity nurses (or ICU, Peds, med/surg, etc) are like that. Perhaps you just ran into a unit that has fallen prey to poor morale. Please don't lump all maternity nurses together.

    2. Use this experience, and always keep it fresh in your mind. It will hopefully keep you from becoming one of those nurses.

    Good luck!

  7. by   Rena RN 2003
    1. speak to the instructor and tell him/her exactly what you just posted here.

    if that doesn't get a more satisfactory result.......

    2. speak to the DON of your program. explain that you talked to your instructor and what happened after that conversation. then tell her exactly what you posted here.

    IF all else fails, a nice letter to the education department of the facility might be inorder.

    of course, there are likely to be repercussions with that.

    i'm just so glad that we have not run into any nurses that have treated us like this. there were some that were less willing than others to have us tag along but 99% were very helpful to students.

    good luck.
  8. by   Nurse K-Bear
    I had a great OB, LDR and Nursery rotation last year. The RN's, NP's and LPN's where very receptive of us. I could not wait to have a baby after that rotation.

    I am currently a RN student and a LPN. When I am at work, we love to have nursing students. The older nurses are snippy, we just have to remind them that they were once students also. ( I am not afraid to tell them that either when I am at work. During clinical I just go with the flow when I see these attitudes). I am sorry you had a bad rotation. Maybe you can go to another hospital and shadow for a day. This might help change your opinion. Good luck with school!
  9. by   ntigrad
    I noticed more of an attitude with Nursery nurses than L and D. The nursery nurses acted so possessive with the babies, even though I let them know I have 3 kids of my own, but they were also crappy to the babies. I know babies can't understand what you say, but when the nurse changes a diaper and says "you s##t your pants again!" and talk harshly about the moms being faking pain and stuff. I think it's uncalled for. They also would make fun of the more goofy looking babies and did their best not to give them much attention, then smile like a dork when the parents were at the window. I mean, these babies were only in there for 3 days max and they acted like it was taking time out of their lives to care for them. I had my last child there and wondered how they acted to him! He looked kinda like Yoda for a few days but is terribly cure now (age 4) but it breaks my heart that they may have made fun of him.
    Last edit by OBNURSEHEATHER on Nov 11, '02
  11. by   kimmicoobug
    I loved my OB rotation. The nurses were great with me. One of the nurses even asked me if I had a baby there recently, because I looked so familiar. I told her yes, and it was a year and a half ago. She let me shadow her and answered questions. There is one nurse on that unit who has no use for students and can get snippy, but I have never noticed it. (BTW, for the nurse who has no use for students told this to a student at a kid's soccer game and didn't realize the student was a student). I have come across this negative attitude in the ER. I hate getting talked down to. My recent clinical in ER at this particular hospital was terrible. I hated it. I had a clinical in the ER at another hospital a few weeks ago, and I loved it. I think maybe some of the negative attitude might come because these particular ER units do NOT hire fresh grads so they don't feel it is necessary to be overly friendly. Just my opinion.
  12. by   fergus51
    As an OB nurse, I love getting students. In my experience bad rotations have more to do with the hospital and unit's culture than the specialty area. My unit from hell was ortho, and I still have this ingrained hatred of that area and would never have taken a job in that hospital's ortho unit. It came down to the fact that they had about 3 catty nurses and the manager never did anything about their attitudes, which eventually poisoned the whole area.

    I would strongly suggest you see what OB is like at another hospital before deciding it isn't for you.
  13. by   Babe
    My LD clinical started out awful because we were there on a slow day, myself and another fellow student spent most of the day sitting in their break room wishing we had brought books to study , really!! Just about 1hr. before we were to leave our instructor asked if she could get permission would we like to stay over and watch a CS, we jumped at it. At first we felt maybe we had done the wrong thing as the head nurse gave us a little area to stand that was out of the way and reminded us that if we felt weak to lean on the wall and ease ourselfs to the floor as she nor anyone else had time to take care of us. As things really got rolling she watched us and found we were both on tiptoes leaning way over trying to see everything, she said "good grief move in closser if you want to see better",she has a beautiful smile!!!!! We were told we would be welcome back any time. I hope to take her up on that offer one day. No place like it in the whole world!!!!!
    Last edit by Babe on Nov 12, '02
  14. by   CJStudent
    It really depends on where you are and who you talk to. I have had a great experience in Labor and Delivery. Yet some other students in my clinical group always get the 'bad' nurses.

    You just really have to shrug off people that are not cooperative with students. Find someone else to help you or make the most out of a bad situation. We as students need to have these kinds of experiences so that when we are nurses, we can remember how we were treated, and try to break that cycle.

    I know exactly what you are talking about though. I have heard nurses tell students not to change babies diapers, because they didn't "know how to." What you have to do in these situations is just go in there and prove that you are competent and capable. They'll leave you alone after that.

    And I also need to note that it is not just L&D nurses. I have found nurses like this in every area I have had clinical in, and also the units that I have worked as a student nurse tech.

    I often feel like I'm the bottem of a totem pole. The only thing we can do about it is not become one ourselves.