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How hard is it for you when the instructor does it wrong?

Pre-Nursing   (472 Views 9 Comments)

SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

9 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,802 Visitors; 211 Posts

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Dear nursing students,

I'm teaching fundamentals of nursing - and not for the first time. I've taught it as an adjunct and as a full time professor. Each time I teach I think to myself, "I hope I never have to teach this course again." Why? because I feel like what we teach you isn't what nurses actually do. I'm not saying you aren't supposed to do it like the ATI videos. I'm not telling you your fundamentals book is wrong! Those resources are based on best practice - on what is safest for your patients, and on what will give your clients the best outcomes. Unfortunately, what we teach you doesn't resemble real life nursing in the slightest...or does it? I can only speak from my experience - I've taught nursing for 10 years, and I've been in a lot of facilities and not one of them has upheld the high standards taught in the classroom setting.

Last Friday, I was in a hurry to get our clinical day wrapped up, and we got asked to do a bed bath at the last minute. I should have said "no, sorry, we don't have time for that." But instead, trying to be helpful, I said "yes", and I helped a brand new nursing student, on her first day of clinical, give a bed bath. I pretty much did EVERYTHING differently from how I had taught her in the sim lab. And now, four days later, I'm still waking up every morning feeling really ashamed at how I behaved. In post conference, I apologized and acknowledged to her and to the students my mistake, but I still feel...I feel embarrassed.

I'd like to know how those of you who are new students feel about what I did? My student is too afraid of me to tell me the truth - and I don't blame her. It's too high stakes for her to say, "Dr. Miller you really let me down." I know from experience that it's inevitable that you, as nursing students, will find out from your clinical experiences that many nurses don't do things the way you are taught in class/clinical, but my question is, how does it make you feel if you instructor is the one demonstrating the incorrect procedures? When this happens, does your instructor acknowledge the error? If so, how does that make you feel?

Thanks for your honest responses. I've got thick skin, let me have it, and I hope you'll also give me some advice for the future. 

Sincerely,

A frustrated nursing instructor

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I guess my question is:  Did you do the bath in a hurry and because of that it was done incorrectly OR did you do the bath correctly in accordance to how they want it done at that particular clinical setting and it was just different as to how you just taught them to do it?

Either way, I think it's fantastic you spoke up and said something to explain and correct what you did.  Chances are, they will probably remember how to do it correctly next time because you pointed out what was the wrong way of doing it.

This also shows them you're human.  Mistakes can happen to anybody including those w/ some years of experience.  I think a lot of new grads feel they have to be "perfect" the minute they hit the floor, and for that reason, they flog themselves at any mistake they make while being a newbie.

Perhaps when you are teaching these types of skills, you might want to preface them by saying something such as: "This is the correct way of doing XYZ procedure.  Please bear in mind, different facilities might have different protocols as to how to do this.  When you get out in the real world, make sure to ask for follow-up w/ your supervisor/manager/charge nurse, etc.. to verify........blah blah blah..."

Edited by Mergirlc
clarification

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

9 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,802 Visitors; 211 Posts

On 3/13/2019 at 9:30 AM, Mergirlc said:

I guess my question is:  Did you do the bath in a hurry and because of that it was done incorrectly

Perhaps when you are teaching these types of skills, you might want to preface them by saying something such as: "This is the correct way of doing XYZ procedure.  Please bear in mind, different facilities might have different protocols as to how to do this.  When you get out in the real world, make sure to ask for follow-up w/ your supervisor/manager/charge nurse, etc.. to verify........blah blah blah..."

 

I'm ashamed to admit I did it incorrectly because I was in a hurry, AND with a student. I talked to my therapist about this and she suggested a good way of framing my feelings would be to say, "Thank you for your patience as I accommodate to my new role."  I wouldn't have done it incorrectly as a nurse, but I did it incorrectly because I was distracted and stressed by my new role as a clinical instructor. 

Good advice, and I am proud to say that the instructors I work with DO that  - we definitely tell them these things!!!

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This is actually a good learning moment for your students.  This is a great example of how easy it is to get distracted during a task and to not do something correctly.  The great news is, nobody got hurt during this bath so it wasn't too big of a deal.  What you might want to point out is how easy it can be to get distracted by something so simple and sometimes more severe results can happen (wrong meds, wrong amount, etc..).

Use this as a learning moment for yourself and your students.  You are human, stuff happens.  Don't beat yourself up over it.

Good luck!

 

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

9 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,802 Visitors; 211 Posts

Great advice...I love it! I appreciate you turning it into a positive - very helpful.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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How do you give a bath the wrong way?

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

9 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,802 Visitors; 211 Posts

On 3/19/2019 at 6:48 PM, Sour Lemon said:

How do you give a bath the wrong way?

We teach them to fold the washcloth a certain way, and then show them how to use it only once for each body part. You use one washcloth in the soapy water, then another in the rinse water. The student washed the patient's bottom, handed me the washcloth, I rinsed it and handed it back to her instead of getting a fresh cloth. The patient wasn't visibly soiled, but it was NOT correct procedure. I'm feeling so ashamed as I write this. But I put it out there, so I'm confessing. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 10:04 AM, SafetyNurse1968 said:

Dear nursing students,

I'm teaching fundamentals of nursing - and not for the first time. I've taught it as an adjunct and as a full time professor. Each time I teach I think to myself, "I hope I never have to teach this course again." Why? because I feel like what we teach you isn't what nurses actually do. I'm not saying you aren't supposed to do it like the ATI videos. I'm not telling you your fundamentals book is wrong! Those resources are based on best practice - on what is safest for your patients, and on what will give your clients the best outcomes. Unfortunately, what we teach you doesn't resemble real life nursing in the slightest...or does it? I can only speak from my experience - I've taught nursing for 10 years, and I've been in a lot of facilities and not one of them has upheld the high standards taught in the classroom setting.

Last Friday, I was in a hurry to get our clinical day wrapped up, and we got asked to do a bed bath at the last minute. I should have said "no, sorry, we don't have time for that." But instead, trying to be helpful, I said "yes", and I helped a brand new nursing student, on her first day of clinical, give a bed bath. I pretty much did EVERYTHING differently from how I had taught her in the sim lab. And now, four days later, I'm still waking up every morning feeling really ashamed at how I behaved. In post conference, I apologized and acknowledged to her and to the students my mistake, but I still feel...I feel embarrassed.

I'd like to know how those of you who are new students feel about what I did? My student is too afraid of me to tell me the truth - and I don't blame her. It's too high stakes for her to say, "Dr. Miller you really let me down." I know from experience that it's inevitable that you, as nursing students, will find out from your clinical experiences that many nurses don't do things the way you are taught in class/clinical, but my question is, how does it make you feel if you instructor is the one demonstrating the incorrect procedures? When this happens, does your instructor acknowledge the error? If so, how does that make you feel?

Thanks for your honest responses. I've got thick skin, let me have it, and I hope you'll also give me some advice for the future. 

Sincerely,

A frustrated nursing instructor

I am not a student RN but can remember how it feels to be one.

I admire you because you told the students that you had made a mistake. Making mistakes, as much as we hate it,  are NORMAL and we are all our own worst critics! You owned up to it. And as we all know.... things don't always get done like they did in SIM lab, as much as we would want it to.

 

 

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

9 Followers; 38 Articles; 13,802 Visitors; 211 Posts

1 minute ago, amusedRN750 said:

I admire you because you told the students that you had made a mistake. Making mistakes, as much as we hate it,  are NORMAL and we are all our own worst critics! You owned up to it. And as we all know.... things don't always get done like they did in SIM lab, as much as we would want it to.

 

 

Thanks, that means a lot. 

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