My day in the ER... (vent)


Today, I had clinical in the ER. I have completely been looking forward to this rotation. What a disappointment... :crying2: My instructor took me to the unit and one of the nurses showed me around. After that, I pretty much ceased to exist. The nurse I was with totally and completely ignored me. It was like I wasn't even there. She didn't even LOOK at me! The tech and one of the other nurses said a few words to me but for the most part, nothing. Of course, when my instructor showed up to check on me, suddenly everyone was super friendly and had IV's for me to start and so on. I am just really irritated and disappointed that my day in the emergency room wasn't a better learning experience. :uhoh3:

ckh23, BSN, RN

1,446 Posts

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience.

Things can get crazy in the ER. Did you try to get involved?


1,917 Posts

This ER is in a rural area and there really wasn't much going on at all. Yes, I tried to jump in but this girl wasn't having it. She's known for her bad attitude and I can totally see why.

ckh23, BSN, RN

1,446 Posts

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience.

If that is the case than I would bring it up to your instructor so that next time you or other students get paired with someone who is willing to teach. From what you described it doesn't sound like he/she knows there is a problem. Unfortunately some nurses are not great teachers, but others are more than happy to do it.


318 Posts

I would say to make sure your instructer knew about how your clinical assignement went, that way there would be understanding as to why you didnt get any experience she may have expected that you get, she could try to make sure you got that experience if nessessary or possible, and she could also try to make sure future rotations there did occur in a manner that was benificial.


1,917 Posts

I am planning to let her know how it went. We also have to write a reflection on our clinical experiences.

Like I said, there wasn't a WHOLE lot going on but I could have at least helped with triage or SOMETHING.

It was a total waste of my time. I could have been STUDYING or something! :)

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

In rotations where you're on your own you just have to interject yourself into something. It is rather awkward, but the more you're around them the better rapport you'll have and it'll be easier.

The entire two years of EMT and paramedic school were like that for me. Imagine being a 20 year old kid, walking into an OR and announcig "Hi, I'm a paramedic student. I'm here to intubate and monitor your patient." Awkaward! Lol. I did it though and was good enough to build rapport fairly quick. The next few weeks were much easier.


12 Posts

I had my first rotation in the ED yesterday, and now my world is turned upside down! I thought I was certain that I did not want to ever work in a hospital, and now I'm online trying to figure out how to get my foot in the door so I can become an ED RN!! Although it wasn't too busy (I didn't even get to start an IV, they all came in with one already inserted), the camaraderie that the nurses and emts and techs displayed made me want to work in an environment like that. I loved the fast pace and quick patient turnover rate! I also loved how a lot of the patients also had an underlying psych issue ( I had previously had my mind made up that I would work in psych / rehab / treatment) Everyplace is different. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I loved my ED rotation, wish I would get another day down there (we only get one, and we were the only group in our class whose hospital allows students in the ED). I feel blessed to have realized what I want to do!

Good luck with the rest of your clinicals. Remember, you are paying for your education and every day on the floor is your opportunity to learn something. You may have to remind your nurse by saying "hey, can I do that"!! I had to speak up numerous times and remind them that I was there to practice skills. Nurses are just trying to hustle, and some weren't born to teach.

You are entitled to be there - remember that!! Jump on any opportunity you can while in clinicals.

I've had clinical rotations in the ER a few times and each time is a different experience. Some nights I walk out and feel I would NEVER want to work in an ER and other times I feel like it's all I want to do. So as with any floor, it really depends on what kind of experience you have and I think the nurse you're paired with makes a huge difference on how you'll feel. If you get the chance go again, you might have a better time.

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma.

don't ever let nurses who don't want you there waste your time! whenever i have had a nurse in clinicals who is not interested in having me, i bring it up with them. i usually say hey, you seem busy or not interested in having me, so i am going to find another nurse to work with today. they either straighten up or agree that i go work with someone else. i immediately call or text my instructor, tell them what's going on, and get placed with someone else. this is YOUR time to learn, demand that you do!


1,917 Posts

You guys all give great advice, thank you! I think I mentioned before that this nurse really has an attitude and I think she was deliberately trying to fake me out. She'd act like she was going over to look at a chart or something, then bolt out the door or off somewhere else. We had a woman in the room behind the nurses station and instead of just getting up and going to the room, she would get up and act like she was going to the bathroom or to take a phone call and would walk all the way around the ER and through reception and triage to get there. Very strange.

I think I'll probably get to go back next semester and if so, I'm definitely talking to my instructor about assignments.


168 Posts

I feel your pain. I just finished my 2 days in the ER. The first day I really loved it because we had nurses that really cared about us learning and remembered what it felt like to be a student. The second day I had mixed feelings. The nurse I was paired with expected me to know everything and was short with me if I didn't. She made me not want to work in the ER, but the ER doctor was great. He gave me that boost of confidence that I needed. He wanted me to assist when he put stitches in a patient and he was very kind and told me exactly what he needed me to do. The head nurse went in the room with him, but he asked for me to come in also. I got to do everything and she just watched. I wasn't even nervous with him. It was totally unexpected from a doctor. I had heard horror stories about doctors with attitudes with the nursesand especially the students. It was a great learning experience so the last day turned out pretty good after all.