treatment of students-venting

  1. How are you treated at clinicals by staff? I find the nurses treat us well while the unit clerks and some of the unlicensed assistive personal treat us like crap. What's up with that? Are they jealous because we are making something of ourselves and they are working for $7.00 an hour? For example one of my fellow students saw a newspaper on the desk and just leaned over to look at a picture of a wrecked car and lightly put her fingers on the paper(didn't move it or pick it up) and the unit clerk said loudly "Uh Uh" while shaking her head no and snatched the paper away! "That's my paper!" I was shocked. My friend was embarassed and upset to say the least. Then today I was going to sit in an empty chair for like two seconds to chart vital signs and apparantly it was the unit clerks chair(different floor and different unit clerk) and cleared her throat loudly"UHM UHM" and gave me a DIRTY look while shaking her head no. You know like a was a "bad little girl" ( I happen to be 43 years old and don't appreciate being treated like a child) I said "Sorry but I was only going to be here long enough to chart vital signs." She walked over and slid her chair under the desk while never speaking a word to me. I don't understand how they think being a student makes us inferior human beings. I ALWAYS get up and offer my chair if a doctor or staff member comes anywhere near me while I'm charting and alot of the time I just stand up to chart. I would never want to get in anyone's way of doing there job. I just want to be treated with the same respect as any human being. Well I console myself with the fact that I will not be a student forever and I have an EXCELLENT memory!!!
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    About nursejllrn

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 57; Likes: 3
    RN; from AR , US
    Specialty: 21 year(s) of experience in med-surg/ telemetry/PEDS

    26 Comments

  3. by   MegNeoNurse
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been treated like that! I must say, I am both a unit secretary (what you refer to as clerk, but more of a US/tech) in the NICU and a first year ASN-BSN nursing student and have never treated any students that have come into the NICU to observe/shadow. I can't believe that they were so rude to you. I can say I understand the chair issue, but only because when people are sitting in my chair in front of my computer and I need to put a stat order in I ask them to move. But nicely! Don't let them get you down!
  4. by   firstyearstudent
    Well, I've seen this kind of thing happen and try my best of avoid getting in anyone's way or getting in their space. It may seem rude to you, but from their perspective, you seem rude. It is their workspace and students are basically visitors -- visitors staff really don't have any say about. They have students there semester after semester after semester from multiple schools and no doubt some of them have been rude and in the way and now all students are under suspicion. What the clerk did wasn't nice, but it wasn't all that nasty either (she didn't say, "What the f**k are you doing in my chair?"). The only response is to shrug and say sorry and forget it. As a student nurse you will most likely get in the way at some point. To some extent it's unavoidable. Don't take it personally.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    When I was a student doing clinical rotations last year, I can recall being treated rudely by one of the CNAs. I don't believe I ever did anything to warrant her fury.

    Now that I'm a nurse, it annoys me when students ask to use my pens and paper because they should come prepared with their own supplies. In addition, I am absolutely irritated when students sit in chairs at the nurses station without any regard for the nurses who have been standing on their aching feet all day. I have never treated a student rudely, but these thinks irk me.
  6. by   bethem
    Today a cleaner yelled at me because she had just mopped the bathroom out and I wanted to take a patient in for a shower. Uh, yeah, I totally waited until you'd cleaned it just to make it dirty again, lady. Otherwise, I find that if I am nice to the ancilliary staff, learning their names and greeting them each day, they are really nice to me too. I guess it could be that the clerks (and other staff, other nurses do it too) don't see the need to be particularly nice or friendly because you're only there a short time and they don't want to waste the energy.
  7. by   Tweety
    That unit clerk sounds like a control freak. I've seen a few like that. Good luck.

    You might have taken the chair back "oh, I see you don't need it and since it's belongs to the unit and not you personally, I'll use it as it's my right to be here, just ask your manager if you need further clarification on that.......".

    But seriously, she's not worth your time and space in your head.
  8. by   LogCabinMom
    You know, this bothers me too. I will be starting onsite clinical in a week, and I *know* I won't be happy if someone treats me like this. Yes, I'm a visitor, but guess what, you control freak, the world needs more nurses and that's why I'm here! What if I have to take care of your sorry ass someday?
    sorry, I'm having a day, too -

  9. by   mamason
    Quote from LogCabinMom
    You know, this bothers me too. I will be starting onsite clinical in a week, and I *know* I won't be happy if someone treats me like this. Yes, I'm a visitor, but guess what, you control freak, the world needs more nurses and that's why I'm here! What if I have to take care of your sorry ass someday?
    sorry, I'm having a day, too -

    Not all clinical settings are bad. So...don't let it bother you. You are there to learn. If you find a negative person in your surroundings, then try to stay away from them if it is possible to do so. Some people, wether it be a CNA, unit secretary, or even a RN,just have personality issues. If it turns out to be a really bad situation, then talk it over with your instructor in private. Not all CNA's. unit secretaries, RN's etc. are like that. A lot of times they can really help your learning experience be a positive one. Keep your chin up and go for it!!
  10. by   iToniai
    As a unit secretary myself and a nursing student, I've never treated any of the student nurses like that. I'm sure not all unit secretaries and CNA's are jealous of student nurses, some are actually content with their jobs and they are vital in the functioning of the unit. I know at my job it seems like the older nurses and the doctors were the ones who belittled the student nurses.
  11. by   suzy253
    I agree that not all unit secretaries are like that--quite the opposite. You seemed to have come across perhaps a bad one or maybe someone just having a bad day.

    I doubt very much if they are 'jealous because you are bettering yourself while they make $7/hr'. I'm sure they're doing the best they can. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse or can even afford nursing school. They might be struggling to make ends meet so you really don't know their story. You're there to learn all that you can and not to let an incident like this lead you to make judgments about other people and their lilves.
    Last edit by suzy253 on Sep 27, '06
  12. by   smk1
    Just let it fall off your back. Some people are just like that and you can't change them. Don't let your bad experiences with them make you too jaded.
  13. by   WDWpixieRN
    I have had a total of 3 days of clinical so far, and probably among the most exasperating things has been the treatment by the staff. I have been wondering if it's a matter of our being "intruders", if we're not a part of some "clique" or if they're just so appallingly busy that they figure we've got an instructor with us if we need anything.

    Unfortunately, our instructor can't give us updates on our pt or isn't there to assist with questions we have about our pt....when I left today, I stopped by the RN to let her know we were leaving (she had barely spoke 2 words to me all day and one time was barely civil when I asked a question) and she looked at me like I had grown a second head and said, "Yeah, okay"....what is aggravating to me is these were all young nurses....2 whom we were told were just out of school themselves....okay, so maybe they're flustered themselves...but is civility and a smile and a welcome so difficult? I really feel like we're just considered more in the way than anything, and for those of us really trying to learn things and get familiar with our environment, it's somewhat discouraging.

    Actually, the NICEST person in the 3 days I have been there was the unit clerk....thank heavens, because I can tell she's going to be a person we can use on our side!! She helped me find a utility closet and remade my pt's wristband immediately after asking if we were getting ready to do meds....and all with a VERY WELCOME smile!!

    This is all stressful enough without feeling like we're the enemy when we haven't done anything...we all have all of our required equipment and several of the girls are techs in other facilities....I guess it's just something else to tough out, but I plan on remembering this very well once I'm working!!
  14. by   EmerNurse
    The ONLY downside I remember from nursing school clinicals was on floors where the CNA's attitude was "oh good, my pt has a nursing student, I dont have to do anything for them!". Finally had one instructor, after a CNA walked up and told one of the students that her patient wanted water, tell the CNA that the students were there to learn NURSING skills and that she should go take care of her patient.

    Yes, everything a CNA does is in our scope, and absolutely, they are NURSING assistants, but we all applauded our instructor that day.

    Oh and don't let frazzled nurses get you down. Sometimes we really don't have time to stop and explain things, we are just trying to get through the shift. And you'll be welcomed with open arms, I promise, when you pass that old NCLEX!

    Good luck in school!

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