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Orientation Drama for Your Momma


What should I do?

  1. 1. What should I do?

    • Quit
    • Tell my manager
    • 0
      See if I can get moved to a new unit
    • Get new nursing job before next shift
    • tell nursing students main prof not clinical instructor
    • all of the above
    • 0
      change careers

7 members have participated

Several weeks into orientation on a very busy med surg floor that has a "fancy" specialty name but is just another med surg unit, I have 2-3 nursing student come up and tell me they are going to be doing stuff with my patients, they didn't ask, they just told me. I was basically shocked...seriously. And like I witnessed during my clinical rotations, they basically did nothing but critique and criticize what I was doing and didn't let me know when and what they were going to be doing in my patients room. And I seriously am not sure if it was 2 or 3 students.

Guess what? They came back the next day and let me know that they were going to be passing meds... Didn't ask, didn't tell me their names again. Their professor spoke not one word to me, but did at one point during the day make a hideous high pitched sound as she looked at my computer screen and stormed off. My bad for not having it locked.

Didn't realize it was a mock JCO visit or hell they are superior to JCO. So basically I had a grand total of 3-4 nasty toads watching my every move. There were several other experienced nurses on duty and I really don't get why I had 2-3 nursing students with me and why their professor thought it would be a good idea to put them with a nurse 7 weeks into orientation...

In 7 weeks I have had multiple preceptors and I am not sure what this one was thinking but I did observe her take part in some staff splitting brought about by the students and professor giggling and snickering about me. Why my preceptor was discussing me with student nurses and taking part in negative comments directed at me during shift change is pretty mind blowing. I am supposed to be able to function in a toxic work environment like that? I let a solid 24 hours go by on this one and not really sure if I should bring this up with my nursing manager or not. In the city I live in there are currently 30 nursing jobs available that I am aware of and my nurse educator said she has the ability to move new hires to different units, but I have my doubts that she has that kind of clout. I have been told that on my unit there have been several nurses that orient there for 4-5 weeks and they are never seen or heard from again. Theres been a good 3 other incidences of bullying that I let fly, but at the end of my last shift after the staff splitting and 2-3 nursing students and the cackling professor I did tell my latest nursing preceptor that I didn't like how things went down and that I cant function in an environment where that behavior goes on...No one can or would want to and damn sure shouldn't have too. Come to think of it there was another time I spoke up about some negative comments made about me as well.

I guess in the end the college is a bottom shelf public university...university ha ha ha. whatever, some of the behavior is just how nursing is. Should I discuss this with my manager? Maybe if they ask or bring up their opinion of how I am doing? What do you guys think? I bet I can snag an interview at a different hospital tomorrow and interview before my next shift. Guess the hospital can replace me with one of the nursing students that wont graduate for another year and a half if they do graduate and get licensed and choose to remain in this area... Bad business huh? What do yall think?

Edited by NRSKarenRN
spacing added

First off, disengage from the drama, unsubscribe to the foolishness, and look at this logically--"Wait, hold up--what exactly are you doing for which patient? And when you come back to me with vitals and your head to toe assessment, I will let you know if you can assist me in medicating the patient".

I would go to your manager factually, and without any emotional attachment. "I understand that students have got to learn clinically. However, the patient assignment I am given, I am responsible for. Because I am orienting, I am finding that students are telling me what they are going to do and not do as opposed to asking. There is a huge margin for error. I will advise said students to do take the necessary steps ie: assessing the patient, however, I am uncomfortable with this practice, and need your feedback on how to deal with this effectively and in the patient's best interests"

The cornucopia of foolish and unprofessional behaviors are everywhere. Especially if a manager is not actively involved in what the students are going to be allowed to do, and how they are to do it. Other's personality/professional issues are not your concern. If students are criticizing your work, challenge that "Think about a whole patient. What are you assessing here? What are you seeing and hearing? It is worth discussing with your instructor how to do an assessment that is correct"

Then my favorite: "Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Noted, and I shall take it under advisement". Then disengage.

And make very sure they say out loud to your patients "Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time, as I want you to be DELIGHTED!!"

You can't polish a rock and call it a diamond. Clear instructions on what the students can and can not do is key, and your manager can answer that. Perhaps the solution is that the clinical instructor and the student take your patient if they are going to 100% care for them. They can give you report when they leave and if you are still on shift.

Best wishes

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Totally agree with jadeLPN's perspective & advice.

Bottom line - no matter how many students are involved, the organization (hospital) remains completely responsible for the welfare of the patient & quality of all care provided. So - that means YOU (employee & authorized care-provider) outrank both the students and clinical instructor (not professor, that's a much higher rank in academia). Do not let them (instructor & students) touch your patients unless you are completely satisfied that the activity is in line with the patient's plan of care & they are competent to perform the activity(ies). Don't hesitate to address questions and ask for information in a very professional way (as jadeLPN suggested).

BTW, make sure you are familiar with your organization's policy on locking your computer and be sure to follow it. You don't want to leave yourself open to criticism or discipline for this sort of minor issue.

I don't exactly know what you mean by "staff splitting". Is this like playground behavior of 'mean girls' choosing up sides to make fun of someone? If so, just ignore it & they'll get bored. It's hard to be a bully without a victim.


Specializes in OR, CVICU/CTICU.

^^ This (both PP's). YOU'RE the charge nurse where these students are concerned. They should not be able to move a finger without going through you first. Both the students and the clinical instructor need to be aware of this. If necessary, go all the way up your chain of command because, at the end of the day, it's still your patient. Was there not a clinical contract between the school and the hospital? My school's contract made it very clear that the student had to defer to the patient's nurse prior to any action.

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

I guess in the end the college is a bottom shelf public university...university ha ha ha.

I think this particular bit of nasty snobbery could have been left out.

Jade gave you great advice. Stop passively simmering and start dealing with these people with professional assertiveness. I seem to remember being taught that the assertive style of communication, where the rights of both parties are respected, is the appropriate one for nurses.

A question: did you actually hear your preceptor saying bad things about you when s/he was talking with the clinical instructor? Or did you make an assumption that they were laughing at you?

Edited by Red Kryptonite

How can students be assigned to patients who are also assigned to a nurse still in orientation under a preceptor? That's the issue to take up, not the giggling.

You can find strength and a thicker skin when you take a patient advocacy perspective, we're usually braver and more confident standing up for someone who is more vulnerable than ourself.

Just a side note, I had an CI who would make us confront the nurses, if they were not doing everything 100% by the book.

It was very uncomfortable.