Step one...seems so simple and yet I’m constantly amazed by the number of students/residents/etc that don’t bother...introduce yourself, learn my name, tell me why you are there...just questions, observe a procedure, tertiary assessment, assist with something...don’t just show up or bulldoze your way in.
Step two, as previously mentioned...do NOT touch any pumps, machines, etc. If you want to know how to read one, ask and I’ll help you. But DO NOT TOUCH
Step three, again seems intuitive but I’m always shocked (and pissed off) by the numbers who interrupt while I’m providing patient care. Don’t come and shove your way in between me and the patient I am obviously working with. Your assessment is Not more important than direct patient care. Step back and wait, use this time to ask me questions. Or simply say, I’ll check back in a few minutes.
Step four, if you don’t know what some piece of equipment is or does or how it functions, admit it, ask me. I am more than happy to teach you. I would much rather you ask and learn something than be afraid of asking a “stupid” question. We ALL started out at zero.
If I like you, I can give you just enough information and guidance to sound wonderful. Never underestimate the nursing staff as a great resource, even after you are the attending. After all, we are with the patient for 12 hours straight often for days on end.
The ones who realize that we are all partners in the game of healing patients do well. You can’t do your (future) job without nursing staff, and we can’t do ours without doctors. Respect our time and our judgement and listen to our concerns and you will likely find that you get the same in return.
As already pointed out, you are here asking so you are ahead of the game.