Some of Us Are Trying to Help You...

Posted
by Music in My Heart Music in My Heart Member Nurse

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 12 years experience.

I very often read posts on this board which complain about the staff nurses. I was a nursing student, too, and I know that such criticisms can be valid but you should know that a lot of us really dig having students around and look for opportunities for you to learn.

I work mid-shift (which means that my shift overlaps both days and nights) and I recently was helping out a colleague who had a student assigned to her. We had just intubated a patient and were tending to our post-tube tasks (e.g. OG tube, Foley, etc).

The student was just standing at the end of the bed so I looked at him and said, "Alright, time to do an OG tube."

He responded, "Um, I don't know if I'm allowed to when my instructor isn't around."

I replied, "Well, I don't know either. Please close the curtain and either come in or step out."

He closed the curtain and tentatively stepped inside at which point my colleague handed him the OG kit. He stepped up to the HOB and we talked a bit about NG vs OG, indications and contraindications, followed by guidance as to what to do.

A couple of minutes later, he'd dropped his first OG on an intubated patient.

I still don't know if he was or was not allowed by his program to drop the tube but those opportunities are relatively rare and I figured he should take advantage of it when it presented itself...

So, young Padawans, know that some of us staff nurses are actually invested in your learning... not because we have to but because we like to.

nlitened

nlitened

739 Posts

You are awesome! I hope I get lots of nurses like you when I start clinicals!:geek:

NuGuyNurse2b

NuGuyNurse2b

927 Posts

LOL I wish I had you in my clinical. Our nurses sadly, don't step up to the plate like that. it's like they don't want nursing students so we literally have to be the aggressive go-getter or else we won't get to see anything.

mrsboots87

mrsboots87

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience. 1,761 Posts

I love nurses like you OP. I have yet to get paired with a "mean" nurse yet like people around here complain about, but my most recent nurse was by far the best. She offered to let me do pretty much all the skilled tasks she had to do. Some I couldn't because I knew I would risk getting in trouble for without my instructor but it was awesome that I got to do more. You sound like you are awesome and enjoy teaching your students that get paired with you. And I would be lying if I didn't admit I have gotten to do a few things that I wasn't sure if I was supposed to do without an instructor, but they were things that couldn't wait for me to ask and get my CI up there so I just went for it. I hope I get a nurse like you for my first NG or OG when one comes up. It makes practicing for the first time less scary.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 7 years experience. 3,488 Posts

You are awesome! I hope I get lots of nurses like you when I start clinicals!:geek:

I had a few nurses that were like that in school. Remember why you're in school. You're not there to huddle around the nursing station or break room. I would be willing to bet that if you show some initiative and a willingness to learn and just jump right in... even if it's just to observe, do it! Just by being willing to do stuff and see stuff, you can turn a rather boring clinical shift into one where you get all your clinical skills checked off quickly and in the multiple.

Know what you may only do with your instructor present. Early on in your clinical experiences, there'll be more of these than ones that you can do "on your own" or with a supervising RN. Toward the end of your clinical time, you'll find that the reverse is true. There'll be much you can do on your own and/or have RN supervision and only a very few things you're not allowed to ever do or may only do with your instructor. When certain opportunities happen, and you'll know what they are when they do, try to get in touch with your instructor so that you can get the OK.

As a nursing student there will be opportunities that will happen that you'll get to do that just aren't available to a regular floor nurse. I've been able to follow patients from the floor to surgery, the EP lab, the cath lab, x-ray, ICU... and so on just because the opportunity presented itself.

Whatever you do, take active control over your learning experience. If you don't, your experience won't be all that good. You'd be amazed what you can find to learn, even on a very "boring" Med/Surg floor...

SopranoKris, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in ER & Critical Care. Has 7 years experience. 3,151 Posts

I love having nurses that want to teach!

abalone

abalone

Specializes in CVSICU. 98 Posts

I love your style! But, for all the nursing students that don't have a rock star for a nurse preceptor; step up to the plate! Show some initiative. Have a pt that needs a Foley/NG/OG/....? Ask your RN if you can perform the task, assist, or observe? Your education and clinical are what you make of them. BE PROACTIVE!!!

gearedup

gearedup

32 Posts

I hope I have nurses like you when I start clinicals! I really enjoy doing my skills checkoffs (the first few made me a nervous wreck, but it's so much better now!), and I can't wait do be "in the real world". I've done a lot of hands-on stuff as a "lay-person" tending to my father in the months he was home before he passed away, and developed a passion for patient care. You really can make a difference, even if it's just in their comfort level.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 3,663 Posts

That was good of you, but we were told that we can be failed out of the program for doing stuff without an instructor present. We were told that staff nurses do not know what we can and can't do and that it is up to us to know. I would have been leery like that student was and probably would have asked my instructor. That's just me though. It's not worth getting kicked out of my program and ruining my career over.

ANRN2B

ANRN2B

26 Posts

That was good of you, but we were told that we can be failed out of the program for doing stuff without an instructor present. We were told that staff nurses do not know what we can and can't do and that it is up to us to know. I would have been leery like that student was and probably would have asked my instructor. That's just me though. It's not worth getting kicked out of my program and ruining my career over.

We risk the same fate. For as much as I would love to assist and learn new tasks, I will not take the chance of getting in trouble or getting kicked out of my program. My instructor has made it VERY clear we are not to go beyond what we are allowed to do, which at this point is nothing more than therapeutic communication and doing vitals. The other day I could not even assist the RN with giving the pt. a boost.

I appreciate the fact that my awesome instructor is easing us into this whole new world and I know my time to shine will come :)

FineAgain

FineAgain

Specializes in ED; Med Surg. Has 7 years experience. 372 Posts

I so would have done that with you, especially behind closed curtains. I wouldn't have spread it around either which is how such things cause dismissals.

I am willing to bet two things. One, that the student will talk about this experience until he dies, and two, that he will pay it forward and do the same for the next generation of students!

Thanks for being that kind of nurse!

Everline

Everline

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health. 901 Posts

I love nurses like you. Thank you for giving a student that opportunity. Having said that, I would have had to step out as we were not allowed to do any invasive procedures without asking our instructor. Generally, she had to be present but in my last med-surg rotation, she let us do things with nurses. But we absolutely had to ask first. She told us day one that if we did any invasive procedure without her present or without her explicit permission, we would be sent home and failed. She'd failed students for it before us. I wouldn't have taken that chance. So the thing I hope nurses understand is that sometimes students want badly to do things, but there are rules we have to follow that sometimes interfere.