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I need my instructor

Nurses   (1,200 Views 14 Comments)

SquatsNScrubs is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, CVICU.

839 Profile Views; 29 Posts

It wasn’t that along ago that I was a student nurse, but alas...

In my ADN program, as long as we were being supervised by an RN we were allowed to do tasks (dressing changes, IV start, insertion of foleys/NGs, etc). At my current gig at a large teaching hospital, I try to seek out these opportunities for students when they arise and offer to walk them though it. However, many of them tend to respond “oh I can’t do that unless my instructor watches me” even if it’s a simple dressing change...and these are last-term students that will be graduating in a few months. Some of these students have never inserted a Foley on a real person! One instructor frequently has 8 or 9 students, so it might take hours for a dressing change to happen if the instructor is busy helping with med passes. 

Is this normal for nursing programs nowadays? I could approach the instructor about it, but I’m still new and she has probably been an ICU RN longer than I’ve been alive. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

3 Followers; 2,576 Posts; 10,260 Profile Views

Actually, you're asking for clarification about the program - so ask away.

This may be an issue of the students not having been checked off on these items (perhaps the first round of clinicals)?

You loose nothing by checking, either with your entity about policy or the instructor.

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363 Posts; 4,517 Profile Views

It's most likely school or hospital policy. I would just ask. I do think there has been a shift away from practicing skills like those on real patients though. Most nursing schools do a lot of skills lab type things on mannequins, and I've found that a lot of new grads don't practice the skills on real patient's until their first job orientation. 

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,341 Posts; 78,781 Profile Views

47 minutes ago, SquatsNScrubs said:

she has probably been an ICU RN longer than I’ve been alive. 

I like using that line with the not-so-new-nurse where I give and get 12 hour weekend-option shift report.

"Hey! I've been a nurse longer than you've been alive! I know more about nursing than you know about living!"

Okay- I'm being old and arrogant, but dagnabbit, I've paid my dues!

Even when I went through the LPN program in 1983 and the RN program in the late '80's, we could only perform tasks under the direct supervison of the instructing RN. It was their licenses under which we functioned.

Now, that didn't mean we students couldn't observe and help out a nurse with a procedure. Heck, even some Docs allowed we students to do things that were outside of the realm of what we should have been allowed to do.

Thirty six years is outside the statute of limitations, isn't it?

I think I'm safe.

 

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,243 Posts; 30,639 Profile Views

2 hours ago, SquatsNScrubs said:

It wasn’t that along ago that I was a student nurse, but alas...

In my ADN program, as long as we were being supervised by an RN we were allowed to do tasks (dressing changes, IV start, insertion of foleys/NGs, etc). At my current gig at a large teaching hospital, I try to seek out these opportunities for students when they arise and offer to walk them though it. However, many of them tend to respond “oh I can’t do that unless my instructor watches me” even if it’s a simple dressing change...and these are last-term students that will be graduating in a few months. Some of these students have never inserted a Foley on a real person! One instructor frequently has 8 or 9 students, so it might take hours for a dressing change to happen if the instructor is busy helping with med passes. 

Is this normal for nursing programs nowadays? I could approach the instructor about it, but I’m still new and she has probably been an ICU RN longer than I’ve been alive. 

It was normal in my program about 9-10 years ago.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 171,993 Profile Views

Go ahead and approach the instructor.  She'll probably be thrilled that someone is interested in offering her students an experience!

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PeakRN specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

496 Posts; 5,548 Profile Views

Some of this will vary based on the school, hospital, and units the students are in.

Our hospital has different rules for students in general med/surg areas, critical care areas, and other specialty rotations. We also have different rules for adult and pediatric care areas, and for students who are under an onsite instructor versus practicum/capstone students.

The instructors are present for a reason and there is no reason you should feel uncomfortable approaching them about students, especially if you are seeking out learning opportunities for them.

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125 Posts; 1,786 Profile Views

Certainly, ask for clarification.   Some students are just shy that way.   Others are like you and would jump at the opportunity to learn a skill they hadn't done.    I still remember one of my clinical rotations in the ER late one night having a doctor call me over to assist him with a central line.   I told him I was just a student so he knew, but I was willing to try.   I think to this day that is the only one I've been near since.

You certainly can ask if you are OK to supervise these students on these sorts of task and if so, apply pressure to them to actually try to do things.   You all got to learn sometimes even if it is a skill you never anticipate needing.   I thought, I'd never see a foley again once I went into school nursing, but that turned out to be an incorrect assumption on my part.

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7 Followers; 3,264 Posts; 21,931 Profile Views

A hundred years ago we were allowed to do anything as long as we were supervised by an RN but only our clinical instructor could check us off for doing skills independently. My first precepting nurse's name was "Spike".  I nearly peed myself.

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TAKOO01 has 3 years experience as a BSN.

155 Posts; 2,888 Profile Views

This was the policy in my program.

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96 Posts; 2,322 Profile Views

I just recently graduated (Dec. 2017) and have been working for a year now. In my program, during the final months, we were allowed to perform skills with just the assigned RN present. How can one instructor be there for every task, for every student? Seems like the students would end up missing out on so much. Not saying this is true for every student, but I know some purposely said those kinds of things, like needing the instructor, because they didn't want to do anything. They were basically there just to say they were. 

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emmjayy is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU, CCRN.

500 Posts; 7,651 Profile Views

We sometimes got permission from instructors to do things with our RN, but most of the time it was a game of waiting for the instructor to get there. I think this approach really hampered my class in terms of getting to do hands on skills. Unfortunately, nursing school is a place where you are constantly worried you're going to get written up or kicked out if you make the slightest infraction. The fear of getting in trouble can be pretty paralyzing, so many students refuse to even consider doing a task under the supervision of the bedside RN rather than their instructor. Pretty sad state of affairs, in my opinion.

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