how are student nurses treated on placements?

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Just curious as to how student nurses are treated on placements, are the staff helpful and eager to pass on their knowledge or do they see you as 'getting in the way'?



1,787 Posts

Just look keen and interested - there will be no problems.

Look bored and not bothered - problems.

There will always, like in all parts of life someone that will treat you not the way you want.

Nursing has quite a few of these people, but on the whole nurses love showing newies their job.

Usually you are placed with a preceptor that has done a short course on this. So you should not really be placed with someone who dosen't want to be with a student. C


164 Posts

Thanks, that's reassuring as I was reading posts on a student midwifery forum (UK) and there were loads of students complaining that their mentors were rude and in some cases demeaning. But maybe that's just 'poms whinging' (I can say that as I am one, so no offense to any Brits reading this);)


50 Posts

ceridwyn is right. i have had no problems with my clinical facilitators because they are there for YOU, to be your advocate. if ever i have had any probs on the ward (only once ever) my facilitator has helped me straighten them out.

of course you may have to work with a nurse one shift who is not very supportive but you can ask to be put with someone else or just ensure you don't get stuck with them again. other option is just to treat them like a difficult co-worker and make it your mission to win them over. that is much more satisfying!

i have found that the overwhelming majority of nurses are more than happy to give you as much info as you need and expose you to anything they feel will help you - most people remember what it was like being a student!!!!!


164 Posts

Thanks Evie

I'm sure you are right.


80 Posts

I had problems on the ward I was on but was told later that it was the "problem" ward which received a constant stream of complaints. I was even set up by a nurse in order to make a big mistake. Was told later by the facilitator that we were put into the ward as we were the ones most likely to cope with the staff. Shame. I thought people became nurses to help people.

I am sure though that you get out what you put in. I learnt heaps. Would have prefered half days so that I could get home and look up all the new things that I came across. There was no way that I could work a full day (chock full of stress) get home (2hrs each way) and perform some research.

Still I am not complaining. Looking forward to my next placement.

Farkinott, RN

581 Posts

Specializes in Renal, Haemo and Peritoneal.

As a person who has been both a nursing student and a preceptor I have been on both sides of the fence and have had to deal with problems.

When i was studying I had problems on 2 placements (one was at the facility i worked at as an EN!) but dealt with these in a professional manner and received positive outcomes from both. I was not at fault it was mainly RN's not wanting to precept a student. It is often written into an RN's job description that they will be expected to mentor students but it in reality it is a poor manager that places a student with someone who doesn't want to be involved with student education.

On the other hand I had some great placements and had great faciclitators but in the end it all comes down to you.

-make a verbal contract with your mentor/preceptor (eg. if we get all of the housework stuff done like showers, beds, obs etc. can you teach me about.......................?

-look interested

-identify your learning needs

-if you have deficits, study overnight!!

-remember the RN is responsible for the shift (gain trust)

-if you find faults in practice/methods don't pipe up immediately until you have ruminated on the events.

-if you witness dangerous practice don't compromise yourself or the patient. Speak up or at least consult with yuor facilitator immediately! It may be diffcult but you will feel better about it in the long run.

-Stay positive. Unfortunately there are nurse out there that relish in giving nursing students grief. Don't forget it is their problem not yours!

-enjoy yourself! Before too long you will be paid for what you are doing!


67 Posts

I have just been on clinical, i have to say i have never had a problem. I know students who have had problems. I think in any profession there will always be a rotten apple or may be a few. I have always found it great working with graduates who have finished in the last few years, they know what it is like to be in our position. However i don't mean any offence to hospital trained nurses. I want to ask nurses who were hospital trained, has the culture of nursing changed when training moved to uni? Has it changed a lot?

Thanks. :)


135 Posts

I enjoy having the students on the ward and enjoy working with them. However, I am generally flat strap working on my own, and I find having a student slows me down. (I am not saying this is a bad thing)

When working with a student I like to spend the time allowing them to do things, I supervise like a hawk until I have some idea of their abilities, and I also like to find the 'exciting' things for them, ie insertion of idc, n/g tube etc...but this takes time...

If I had a smaller patient load when working with a student, you would have a happier RN, and I believe a better learning experience for the student.



135 Posts

In reply to your question Rav, YES.! It'll take me sometime to formulate a reply, but I graduated from a hospital in 1990, and things are very different.



164 Posts

Thanks for all the replies, I'm due to go on my first clinical in October so at least I'll be going somewhat prepared :chuckle Although I must admit that I'm really nervous about bathing someone for the first time :imbar


439 Posts

Specializes in Community, Renal, OR.

The attitude of the ward to students comes from the top down. If the unit manager & associates are enthusiastic, the rest of the staff is. In my unit we always welcome students, they keep us young! (And I am feeling my age!)

Joanne :)

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