RNs on my clinical unit are mean!

  1. Yikes, this is the 4th clinical day on the unit I have been assigned to and our co-assigned RNs are really mean and unhelpful. They really dont want to be bothered with students. They are nice to us when our instructors are around but when we are alone with them they snub us and are really un-cooperative and dont really seem to want to help us. At first I thought they were just busy but its been like this for 4 wks now. Did anyone inform them that they were going to be working in a teaching hospital?????
    Have any other students encountered this? or am I just over sensitive? When I go into the unit to do pre-clinical analysis, the night shift team are really nice and always come over and ask me what I need and who is my patient and they give me alot of info and help.

    Yikes, ???!
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    About julsywulsy

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 21
    RN- ColoRectal/GI
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    28 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    somethings you can't change, do your assigments and try and learn as much as you can...i know that the staff nurses are busy and sometimes they are short and cranky..remember this experience when you are t he staff nurse
  4. by   TheCommuter
    The aforementioned situation is typical, as many experienced nurses find it easier to just do their own work rather than assist students. Quite a few nurses were rude to me when I was a student, but I preferred to let it slide and avoid the mean individuals as much as possible.
  5. by   EmerNurse
    You may find, later when you're on the floor as an RN, that what seems mean or unhelpful is really just a nurse trying to get all his/her own stuff done in the short 8 or 12 hours (s)he has. Ive rarely met nurses who WANT to be b**chy to students, it's more a matter of time, even when I was a student.

    That said, try and get oriented to your unit in the first day or two. Where is dirty utility, med room, etc and write down their access codes if they have one. One less thing to ask, at any rate.

    If you have a clinical question, try and formulate what you know before you ask. For instance, you could say, "I have to give ativan IM, how much should I dilute it before I give it, do we have a policy?" Rather than, "oh my God, how do I give ativan IM?" The way you ask may make a difference.

    Also, never hurts to grovel a little bit, however much is makes you want to choke. Start with "I know you're busy and I HATE to bother you but would you mind helping me set this IV pump, it's new to me." The nursing student who "knows it all" does'nt go over well. Nurses on the floor know that nursing school mostly teaches you how to later learn to be a nurse. The real education comes after you have that RN after your name.

    Your instructor isn't always handy and I know you have to ask other nurses. That said, please remember that even if a nurse helps you out (and say THANK YOU please), you may need your instructor present to do a skill like giving an IM injection. Never go around your instructor, trust me on this.

    At the end of the day, nursing school is full of challenges. Grow a tough skin and remember it's likely NOT you personally, but simply the difficulty of being interrupted when a nurse has just got herself organized for her own day.

    This is actually a good topic for your post-conference. Discuss with your instructor and clinical group the best methods of meeting your learning needs on a busy floor with nurses who are really doing a (tough) job - your instructor likely has "been there done that" from a floor nurse perspective, and may be able to give you some good pointers.

    Good luck!
    :wink2:
  6. by   S.N. Visit
    Some of my clinical nurses are mean as well. I'm talking about three particular nurses locking up all themometers, Pulse Ox's, cotton balls, alcohol swabs , Iv charting books, in drawers that only the nurses have the key's too. They find it joyful to watch us students bombard our instructor to run crazy all day doing simple things such as unlocking our wallaroo's , charts and necessities. Also, Our first day on the floor we were greeted from one of the nurses with this statement, :Alright, FRESH MEAT!" and "******* Students ". The nurses also request that no student is allowed behind the nurses station. Makes it hard to read our patients charts! I could go on and on but I won't. Yeah, a few of the nurses at my clinical site are down-right mean!
    Last edit by EricJRN on Oct 6, '06 : Reason: Language edited
  7. by   FNPhopeful
    Some people are just jerks RNs or not.......only lookin out for themselves, it just amazes me they choose to go into nursing.
    Personally, I would looooooove to help teach students when I start working. Why not? I mean they want your help.

    I just dont talk to those people, mean people suck...they dont deserve the honor of my presence hehe
  8. by   muffie
    were we not all students once upon a time
    having students is great
    they lighten the load
    we revisit the old concepts and brush up
  9. by   Daytonite
    The thing about nursing is that you work with all kinds of people that come with all kinds of personalities. That's just the way it is. Eventually, you will have a patient or two who is going to be ungrateful and mean as well. It goes with the territory. All you can do is go about your business. Remember that the problem is theirs, not yours. Don't get sucked into their "bad day". Resolve not to be that way when you find yourself in their position.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Tanzanite
    Some of my clinical nurses are mean as well. I'm talking about three particular nurses locking up all themometers, Pulse Ox's, cotton balls, alcohol swabs , Iv charting books, in drawers that only the nurses have the key's too. They find it joyful to watch us students bombard our instructor to run crazy all day doing simple things such as unlocking our wallaroo's , charts and necessities. Also, Our first day on the floor we were greeted from one of the nurses with this statement, :Alright, FRESH MEAT!" and "F$cking Students ". The nurses also request that no student is allowed behind the nurses station. Makes it hard to read our patients charts! I could go on and on but I won't. Yeah, a few of the nurses at my clinical site are down-right mean!

    Whoa! I guess those folks are going to stay short-staffed. I cannot imagine any students actually wanting to work there once they get licensed, can you?

    Couldn't happen to a nicer buncha folks.
  11. by   IrishIzCPNP
    I just don't understand being mean...they were in this position too. Last clinicals I had a WONDERFUL RN and NA to work with...the weekend before the RN was good and the NA was this same one as last time. I'm hoping this weekend I get the same NA I've been working with...she's so nice and understanding.

    There's just no reason to be mean.
  12. by   ZASHAGALKA
  13. by   tddowney
    Quote from Tanzanite
    Some of my clinical nurses are mean as well. I'm talking about three particular nurses locking up all themometers, Pulse Ox's, cotton balls, alcohol swabs , Iv charting books, in drawers that only the nurses have the key's too. They find it joyful to watch us students bombard our instructor to run crazy all day doing simple things such as unlocking our wallaroo's , charts and necessities. Also, Our first day on the floor we were greeted from one of the nurses with this statement, :Alright, FRESH MEAT!" and "******* Students ". The nurses also request that no student is allowed behind the nurses station. Makes it hard to read our patients charts! I could go on and on but I won't. Yeah, a few of the nurses at my clinical site are down-right mean!
    Just a couple thoughts:

    If the ones who lock up the supplies have sufficient time to watch the results, their problem is NOT being too busy to treat others decently.

    I would likely go up to the offenders at the end of a day and thank them for the wonderful lesson in unprofessional conduct.
  14. by   MadamMermaid
    Of course some are going to be helpful and some are going to be snotty. I just started my clinicals and this one nurse in particular, from the moment we got there, has given nothing but dirty looks to us. Anytime we asked a question she was curt. Anytime we were around she looked annoyed because she had to do "the right thing" going on with a pt who was upset (dementia unit) and it took time away from doing her meds. It just seemed like she was mad because now she had to do everything the way she was taught. Little does she know she is actually helping me learn. She's teaching me how to deal with jerks in the workplace. I'm sure i'll use this lesson time and time again!

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