I'm new here but I thought I would ask this question since so many of the nurses on this site are so helpful and encouraging to students.
I'm in the 3rd semester of a 5 semester program. We have six clinicals per semester. Of them, I've had (I'm serious) 5 clinicals where my patient's primary RN would talk to me. We're supposed to find them (all but impossible when they don't wear name tags) and introduce ourself. When we do, I usually don't get a smile. Lately, actually, I hope
for something as nice as this: :stone
I know these are busy floor nurses. At the same time, we students often feel like we're thrown in with little guidance as to what our roles/boundaries are and do little but stand in the way. One clinical, I had an excellent nurse who took me by the arm into every patient's room she entered, and explained what she was doing and why. She did this all day. It was the best clinical I've had, hands down.
Most of the time, though, IV fluid bags are hung, meds are pushed/administered/hung, procedures performed on my patient while I'm off finding clean linens or tracking down the PCA to give her the patient's last vitals (because I'm essentially doing her job: bathing the patient, taking vitals and I&O). I don't mind doing these things of course, and I know I'm low on the totem poll, but being halfway through the program now, it's terribly demoralizing to stand around all day doing nothing, ignored (at best) by the staff--one complained that I had the chart when I'd made clear to the unit secretary where I had it and that I'd happily hand if over if needed. I just had to copy some labs (which, as every nursing student knows, you need to know). Our role on the floor is very unclear. I'm typically a hands-on type of person, but I can't push IV meds, give injections, or even give PO meds without my instructor present, nor do a procedure as simple as d/c'ing an IV. And I don't want to make matters worse with the staff by overstepping my bounds.
Our clinical instructors are pretty good, but mine always seem occupied with another student in my group of 6 or 7. And unfortunately they seem to be under the impression that we're working with great nurses who are student-friendly. I don't know if there's a communication breakdown, if I've been especially
unlucky (my classmates have similar stories, though), or if it's just a fact of life that floor nurses cringe when they see a cloud of white student nurse uniforms approaching and therefore refuse to share skills or information. I'm not the crying type, but I want to cry after each clinical because I essentially feel I've wasted 6 hours standing around while real work goes on around me and fear I'll graduate with no experience.
Any information or encouragement would be appreciated (I'm not normally so whiny, honest