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How do you treat your nursing students?

I work on an OB floor and I love having students because I can teach them to do all the little things that I don't have time to do, like vitals, pericare, newborn feedings and simple teaching. If their professor is around I'll give them injections or IVPBs to hang. It's a learning experience for them so I don't feel like I'm dumping work on them. Some of the nurses on the floor don't trust the students though so they just have them fetch towels and pads, or retrieve medication from the pharmacy or take labs downstairs, or they do nothing at all. How do you utilize nursing students on your units?

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc.

I work on an OB floor and I love having students because I can teach them to do all the little things that I don't have time to do, like vitals, pericare, newborn feedings and simple teaching. If their professor is around I'll give them injections or IVPBs to hang. It's a learning experience for them so I don't feel like I'm dumping work on them. Some of the nurses on the floor don't trust the students though so they just have them fetch towels and pads, or retrieve medication from the pharmacy or take labs downstairs, or they do nothing at all. How do you utilize nursing students on your units?

Are these students in clinical?!!! :wideyed: I may be wrong but I don't think the purpose of having students is for them to do the things you don't have time to do. They need to be taught the big picture of nursing care not just the tasks. And your co-workers aren't helping by utilizing the students as techs/orderlies/gofers.

Ummmm nursing students are there to learn. Having them "gofer" for a busy RN is not among them. I take them with me to do all I do, observe what I do, and if legal/able, having them do it WITH ME, not FOR me.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Their clinical instructor should be communicating with you an a regular basis - letting you know what skills they are permitted to do and seeking feedback on the student's performance. If this is not happening, the CI has basically abandoned their role - poor students.

Things vary a lot from school to school.

In my current job, I was told that I would have a student by my side every shift I worked for 12 weeks. I never saw a clinical instructor; I felt like it was all on me, a nurse with limited experience, to make this work. We were given little or no guidance about how to go about dealing with students. I was lucky that I had a couple of outstanding students who went on to have fantastic careers.

In my first job, the nursing instructor was on the floor the entire time with the students, and they did a lot more direct supervision of the students. A couple of my patients were turned over to the student + instructor and I did checking in to make sure the care got done and I was updated. In this job, the instructor had about 6-7 students and did most of the teaching.

applewhitern, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

All the students I have been around had their own assignments to do, and also had their instructor with them. The only time I had much interaction with students is when I would take on someone doing their preceptorship to graduate.

The only way to learn is by doing. If I have them give meds, I ask them to tell me the rights of med administration and quiz them on the meds. I also quiz on disease processes with the patient involved. You would be surprised how many patients like to teach nursing students

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

We just had pt that needed a portacath de-accessed. I was going to check off one of the nurses on my unit who hadn;t done it. I took the student AND the potential employee who was shadowing me. I work in a teaching hospital, so the pts are used to a gaggle of people coming in. everyone got a turn feeling for the "wings" on the catheter and then the nurse did her thing. The pt was GREAT and it was fun to see others learn new things. If my student wants to go get a pt a glass of water while I finish charting something, that all right with me, but I try to find out what they NEED to do. Sometimes it is the things that I may be too busy to do, but if I have something cool, I'll wait for them :)

In my ASN program when the OB clinical rotation came around the instructor told us that on that floor we were not allowed to give meds and only limited patient care. We could only observe procedures and help out on the floor. I was able to go into a C section and was simply told that if I felt like I was going to pass out, I should put my back up against the wall, so if I did pass out I will slid down the wall, and they would get to me when they could. Fortunately that did not happen. I think on the OB floor it's a little different for students, they are not able to do as much patient care. We also did not have to do care plans in our OB clinical.

AJJKRN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown.

We always had an instructor on the floor. I think I was very blessed with my school and clinicals. We rotated ED, ICU, cath lab, OR, and even went to One Day Surgery to start IV's. In our OB clinical I got to watch multiple vaginal and C-section births. In my first C-section my instructor had me place the patients foley. We did newborn assessments, did their eye drops/goo and gave their vaccinations. I will never be comfortable working with peds but I will never forget my experiences and how fortunate I was during my clinical rotations. So my answer is, I teach them everything I think they'll absorb and watch/guide them through anything they can legally do during their clinicals!

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

When I have a student, I have her shadow me. She is there to learn MY role, not the CNA role. By the time she gets to me in my speciality area (previously L&D, now community health), she is at the end of her program, so I don't think it's useful for her to be doing only things she has been doing since Med/Surg 1. Not only that, but in my specialty area (which is the same as yours, OP), I want her to see and learn things that she would not be able to get anywhere else. She cannot learn my role if she's not with me, watching what I do. When I feel confident in her skills, I will allow her to do certain things, but only in my presence, because if she is not doing it correctly, I would not know this unless I was watching her do it.

It really depends on where they are in their program. At the place I work, we have 1st quarter or 1 semester students who most do not have any experience at all. With those student's you have to teach the tasks such as patient care; peri-care, cath care, showering. Those are tasks the NACs do, the students follow NACs around for the first couple of weeks then start following the nurses. They also will pick patients to do a care plan and by the end of their term, full patient care. The instructors that we have with those programs are fab! I really like having students because there are just some things nursing school doesn't teach you. In many cases, I felt that I could have learned more than I did when I was in school. So I try to teach them things I learned after school was out along with the stuff they should be learning. When I have to go hunt supplies down, I take them with me so they can learn how to sign things out and teach them that often times doing things for themselves takes less time then hunting someone down to go get it for them. We do not let the students ever do meds on their own, either popping them out or giving them. Their instructor or I are with them (when I have students) Most of the time their instructors are fine with the students doing meds with me even if it is not their patient. I take them with me when I do wound care, foleys, simple creams because there is always some information to give them. I just hope that somewhere down the line that even a little thing I told them makes sense and helps them in the future... Never know you might be working with those students as nurses down the road. Give them a good experience!

When I entered nursing school, I had been a NAC for over 8yrs so I was not green. But I can tell you some of my clinical experiences left a lot to be desired.

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