Staff nurses displeased with clinical students-- need advice! - page 2

I need some advice. Apparently, the nurses where I have my med/surg clinical had a staff meeting and were complaining about my clinical group. They feel that the students are impatient with them... Read More

  1. by   colleen10
    I have to agree with all of the posts above.

    I like Heather's idea and that once you begin the rotation take few minutes with your nurse and up front just explain where you are coming from.

    Tell them what you would like to experience that day, what you are capable of and that you prefer to be unobtrusive and not get in their way, so if they have questions or comments for you they should just feel free to ask you. That way, they won't take your silence as being "impersonable" or think that you don't know what you are doing since that seems to be the way they perceive you.
  2. by   kittyw
    Also - remember to tell them what you can't do. This way they don't think that you will do it and are surprised when it's not done.
  3. by   delirium
    Originally posted by EmeraldNYL

    P.S. I like that idea Baseline, I will suggest it to my professor. Unfortunatly the unit is so busy/short-staffed I don't know if they will have time to have an actual meeting with us!
    In addition to the advice you've received, I'd like to point out this part of your post. Perhaps the problem isn't your clinical group at all, but the staffing on the floor. I have been in similar situations where the RNs weren't quite as receptive to students... not because we're not a great bunch of peeps (because, of course, we are), but because they have so many other responsibilities that precepting a student, and doing so in a supportive manner, is impossible.

    Just a thought.

    I don't know how far along you are in your program, so I'm not sure what your limitations are... but now I take the entire team of patients assigned to my preceptor... he/she checks the meds before I give them and we cosign, I do dressing changes, interpret ekg strips (RN cosigns them), write up discharge instructions, document, give/take report, fill out pharmacy slips, hang IV fluid, troubleshoot problems....

    (wow, I never knew I did so much stuff!)

    The point is, once you get to the point where you can do more things, you're more a blessing than a curse to the RN you're working with, and their feelings change. Or that's been my experience.
    especially where it comes to your clinical instructor & the staff. i once had a clinical instructor that everyone thought was great! she seemed concerned about whether or not us students were getting on with the staff. she would make comments to us about how inappropriate some staff where toward us & re-assured us that she would talk to them or their supervisors. so we all did the best we could the few weeks that we were there...little did we know that this instructor kept a log of stuff that the staff nurses reported to her about us. some students where even made to sign clinical jeopardy/probation papers based on what the staff nurses reported. there was no discussing the situation when it occurred so that everyone involve had the facts fresh in their minds. how can an instructor ask a student to justify something at the end of a rotation that occurred near the beginning?

    another thing that this clinical instructor was good for was talking about everyone. she would tell betty about sue...then run to sue about betty! imo...she kept a lot stuff going-on...but we all didn't see the disaster coming at the end of the rotation.

    so i definitely see why you would be uncomfortable. i think that having a redesign check list & asking the staff what they expect or want is a good idea. asking the staff's opinion on how or what they will give them a sense of control over what will be done for their patients & they'll know just what you'll expect of them.

  5. by   BadBird
    When I was a student one of my rotations was on a floor where the nurses were so rude to us and each other, they we not short staffed back then just obnoxious. As a student I would always look up my medications so I knew what the side effects were, look up the disease processes for better understanding such as CHF, Pneumonia. The nurses only wanted us to do the baths, linen changes and clean the incontinent patients. Our instructor notified the nurse manager that we were there to function as a nurse on more than a aide level, the manager was rude to her also. The Director of the Nursing program had a meeting with us and apologized and said if she knew they were like that and if we weren't almost done with that rotation she would switch us to another hospital. We survived and I told myself how NOT to be as a nurse. Not all units were like that but that one was terrible. My only advise is go in prepared, look up your meds, never give a med or do a task you are unfamiliar with, ask questions even if they don't like it. Remember you only have to be there for your clinical then you don't have to apply there when you graduate. Funny thing is before graduation the Human Resource Recruiter from that hospital visited my school and no one would take a application from her, we were very vocal and let her know why.
  6. by   EmeraldNYL
    Thanks so much for the great advice everyone. It is not so much that the nurses are "mean" (because they are not mean to our faces), they simply addressed this concern at a staff meeting which was then relayed to our instructor. Our instructor is not supportive at all and we got a huge lecture about how we are guests at this hospital; she seems to think it is all our fault and says that my clinical group is a "bad mix of students"?! It is frusturating because I have been doing so well in my other clinicals and I got a bad midterm evaluation from this professor, partly because of the nurses' complaints. We are basically allowed to do everything besides insert IVs and do IV push meds, but when we do something like insert a Foley, pass meds, etc. our instructor demands that we come get her so she can watch. This makes things difficult because there are 7 of us and only one of her. I wish she would let us utilize the floor nurses more and have them watch us do things. So basically there is a lot of tension between the clinical students and the floor nurses as well as the students and the professor. You all gave great suggestions though, I will be sure to try these out on Friday when I go to clinical! Wish me luck!
  7. by   Dr. Kate
    There really is nothing you can do to make having a student easier for the nurses, it's always going to make a longer, harder day. In addition to all that has been mentioned, be sure you communicate with the nurse you are working with--let him or her know what you're doing, what you've done, what you can't do (and reminders really don't hurt we all get busy and distracted). What is esp. important at the end of your time on the unit is report that makes it clear what you didn't do or get done. No one likes nasty surprises of things you thought were done and find out weren't even started.
    Good coffee--the best gift and conversation opener.