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You will not learn anything in the conference room!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

Why are you there then?

Do NOT hole up in the conference room with your classmates. Please! Answer call bells, help toilet patients, pass or gather trays.

If you are paired with me, you WILL learn something. If I have to go to the conference room to say, "Hey, I'm about to titrate a Cardizem drip," why aren't ALL of you following me?

If the nurses were told you'll be doing ADLs for the patient today, and I've told you that your assigned patient needs turned q 2, why am I having to remind you? Why isn't your ONE patient washed up by 1000?

Why, when listening in on report, are you chattering to your classmate? Just because it isn't your assigned patient doesn't mean you can't learn something through the off-going reporting to me, or my questions to her.

There are very few students I've been impressed with lately. Today, two of my patients had students. ADLs only, no med pass. One student was velcroed to my side. She removed a Foley, dressed a sacral wound, hung an IVF bag, and did a SQ heparin all with my supervision. The other did nothing with me, and I had to go to the conference room to remind him on turns and a bath for his patient.

With no humility whatsoever, I can say that you, as a student, WANT me to be your nurse on clinical days. If you've shown me that you want to do stuff, I will give you the opportunity to do stuff. If my first impression of you is that you don't have the initiative to take advantage of what I have to offer you, I won't waste my time on the next clinical day.

I've been where you are. I know that not every nurse wants to teach students. But when I found one, I became her shadow, and I learned a lot.

Wow, where is the instructor? Why are you having to go prompt students?? If any instructor I've ever had saw us hanging out in the conference room it would have been on like Donkey Kong!! There is never nothing to do.

Our facility always tried to do assignments in chunks (one RN has rooms 1A-8B, next has 9A-14B, etc) and so I always find it beneficial to listen to report on pts other than my assigned ones because I can get a quick overview of info in case I get called into that room. I just jot down things like assist info, if they're NPO, (everyone is I/O so that's just a given LOL), etc. That way I have that pertinent info if I answer a call light or what-have-you.

I do have to say though that we would be eyeball deep in you-know-what if we had given a med under RN supervision if it wasn't our day to pass meds. Our instructor always has to approve our med passes. I had an RN last semester who insisted she could do med passes with me without our instructor. She got very angry with me after I thanked her but declined, citing the potential for dismissal from the program for not following med pass protocol. No thanks, I worked too hard to get where I'm at to be given the heave-ho for passing a couple of pills!! Just something that popped out to me in your post (and the school/facility may be different there as well as far as protocol!! :) )

You do sound like a great RN to be with! There were a couple of nurses on our floor last semester that were my "go to" nurses. They were ALWAYS willing to answer a question if I couldn't figure it out/find the answer, very helpful, etc. However, I do have to say I have seen people get their undies in a bunch because an RN snapped at them for asking a question. Nine times out of ten it's because of two things: either A, they asked something that could have easily been looked up or B, they asked the question when the RN was up to his/her ears in something. Use some common sense ;)

One last thing, as a student one thing I have learned is that the RNs are not your single source of info on the floor. I have learned tons from aides, LPNs, housekeeping, transport, you name it. Spread the love, you'll learn a LOT! :D

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

Amen to that! I was the opposite-I kept getting told to give others a turn. I would volunteer to do anything and everything. Even now as a nurse, I will step up and try things that are new. naso-pharyngeal swab, I'm there, penile swab, same, NG tube? Ant procedure that I can practice I will do.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

The instructor was in the conference room with the students. When I opened the door, everyone had their heads in care plans...it didn't look like any type of de-brief or review was going on. I don't know what she was doing!

Other instructors are very good. One I absolutely love, and SHE taught me a new technique on a procedure. She's in rooms with her students, she stands in the hallway and directs wayward students to do things. Having her groups are an absolute pleasure.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

Based on my last post, I realized that my acrimony may be a bit misplaced. Instructors set the tone for their clinical groups, and they need to be aware that they have to model the kind of behavior of their students. Nurses and nursing assistants form impressions of the students based on how the clinical groups behave and interact. To avoid leaving a bad impression, instructors must get out of the conference room themselves.

If any of you students have an instructor like the one my students had yesterday, don't treat it like an "easy" clinical. You must make the most of a lackluster clinical instructor/group, and take initiative.

la_chica_suerte85, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

It's frustrating that there's such a seeming rarity of good nurses who want to teach and then a plethora of students who would rather not do what they're supposed to be doing when they're there. I've only had one nurse who actually wanted me there and gave me rationale for everything we were doing. The rest are kind of like, "Well, if you want to help but I'm not really doing anything today." and I'm left to go beg off other students who have things to do with nurses who are enthusiastic to teach. Eh, maybe next qtr will be good. Maybe next qtr I'll be matched with someone like you. I'll keep holding out hope. But, it just seems like this division between RNs and students is growing with more RNs being jaded by slacker students (not that anyone could blame them).

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

I am looking into becoming a clinical instructor. I was a teacher before I was a nurse and I love the clinical portion of nursing. I would like to motivate students to be like I was as a student.

Our conference room was the size of a broom closet - how they managed to fit a refrigerator in there is beyond me. So needless to say, there was no huddling in said conference room for all 10 of us. But even then, we get shoo'd away from the nursing station by our instructor. We were only allowed to go there to retrieve the charts to get the overview of the client on pre-clinical day. I'm not sure what this clinical instructor was doing.

If any of you students have an instructor like the one my students had yesterday, don't treat it like an "easy" clinical. You must make the most of a lackluster clinical instructor/group, and take initiative.

I was a clinical instructor for eight years. None of my students hid in the conference room, believe me. There were students, however, who did have instructors who allowed them to hide. And these students liked it! Too many students want "easy" instructors, who don't ask much of their students. It is only after graduation that they realize how much learning they missed out on during their "easy" clinical rotations.

As much as I agree that students should be out on the floor (and in my years as an LPN have complained plenty about those who sit in the break room/conference room all day), I was shocked in my RN program that we are expected to do a LOT of paperwork (involved med sheets, bare bones of care plans, plus more paperwork to be added this coming semester) but not after clinical..DURING clinical. While I appreciate having it done at the end of the day instead of working on it that night, I would much rather be out with my patient or helping nurses do things. I know it makes a lot of nurses, and techs too, think we don't have the initiative to get out and do something with our patients. But dudette10 I absolutely understand where you're coming from with many students!

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

I am looking into becoming a clinical instructor. I was a teacher before I was a nurse and I love the clinical portion of nursing. I would like to motivate students to be like I was as a student.

I'm looking to be an educator in the future as well; I want tongue back as enthusiastically as the nursing instructors that I had in my educational travels. :yes:

cd365c

Specializes in none.

Last spring semester, I was the scared nursing student in the nursing home. I tried to help out, but I was too scared to do much.

Then I worked at the hospital this summer, and I am a proud, confident worker. The circumstances shifted, and I hope that I will be the student who is taking full advantage of clinicals next spring.

Vana21, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cath Lab.

I love nurses that offer to show me different things moreso then the occasional one who wasn't told she would be shadowed by a student and wasn't into that idea.

My clinical instructor is frightning and if we don't have our paperwork done to the T before post-conference we get grilled hard. I always try to learn new and different things when I can, bu some points in the day I absolutly must do paperwork so I can have it finished.

It's a good way to learn time management.

I finished school last semester, and I have to say, while getting hands-on experience was the most important to me, there are instructors that will give you papers among papers among TONS of papers that you are required to complete DURING clinical. Some of these can take up to hours to do. This was the case in my final semester, much to the frustration of me and my classmates.

Charge nurses would complain that we were just sitting around buried in our binders, and we literally had no choice in the matter. I would try to stay glued to my precepting nurse as long as I could and just work on my assignments when he/she sat down to chart, but there would be times where there was only a couple hours of the day left, and I would have to tell my nurse, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to skip this med pass because I need to work on my care plan." If I had a cool nurse that I was comfortable with I'd add "would you mind grabbing me if there's an IV start/foley/dressing change/miscellanous skill I can do?"

I don't mean to make excuses, I know hiding students exist in large quantities and I've seen a lot of them. But sometimes if a student is in the conference room buried in careplans, papers, and charts, it's because their grade will take a ding if they're not. Never hurts to ask.

We aren't allowed to touch patients we aren't assigned to, some instructors at my program wont let students ambulate or even turn a patient without them. I always try to help out answering call lights but I always feel so bad when the patient desperately needs a bedpan and I have to say "Okay, let me go find somebody for you!"...And then that somebody I find gives me the evil eye because I have two hands and should be able to do it...But I don't want to get in trouble with school! Lol. I always try to help out and get as much experience as I can but ultimately I don't want to jeopardize my education.

Just think of how many would-be students of the velcroed to your side type are prevented for one reason or another from being in the learning situation instead of those that give the impression that they don't really care. It is a shame.

I was shocked in my RN program that we are expected to do a LOT of paperwork (involved med sheets, bare bones of care plans, plus more paperwork to be added this coming semester) but not after clinical..DURING clinical. While I appreciate having it done at the end of the day instead of working on it that night, I would much rather be out with my patient or helping nurses do things.

I am shocked too that students are expected to write up their med sheets, care plans, etc., DURING clinicals. Why is valuable clinical hands-on time being used in this way?

When I was a student we went to the hospital the night before to get our assignments; researched our patients, went home and prepared our prep sheets and med sheets, arrived at the hospital early the next morning to check labs, MARS, kardex, etc., and, under our clinical instructor's supervision, began to provide total care for our assigned patients. When we were on the unit, we were providing patient care, not doing any written work. That night, at home, we would work on our care plans, etc., and then the following day in clinicals we would proceed as for the first day. That night we would complete our care plans/other written assignments to turn in the next day in class.

Edited by Susie2310

This "do it during clinical time" is new to me. During my clinical experiences we were not allowed to do any of that activity, short of jotting down notes for the work that would be completed at home. We were expected to come to clinical prepared to do the activities required of us in relation to caring for the patients, not paperwork. That was for the dinner table at home, perhaps at two in the morning before the morning it was due; not for the conference room at the hospital during clinical time.

ICU56

Specializes in Cvicu/ ICU/ ED/ Critical Care.

I love having students, I plan my day around making it the best clinical experience for them that I can. I try to treat them like they are the nurse, Ill snag an extra vocera and log them in as one of the night shift people and tell the monitor tech to call them for their patients. This last clinical group we had would fight to be placed with me. But there are always the few who don't seem to want to take advantage of the opportunities that clinicals present to them.

Personally, the thing that bothers me the most about "lazy" students is that they don't seem to understand that I end up having a ton of extra work, and will end up staying after 15-30mins to finish everything because I've spent the day trying to make sure that they had the opportunities available to them, and that they had ample time to learn and not feel rushed. I don't need a cookie for that, but Id like a little effort since it is the profession they chose to pursue.

I am shocked too that students are expected to write up their med sheets, care plans, etc., DURING clinicals. Why is valuable clinical hands-on time being used in this way?

When I was a student we went to the hospital the night before to get our assignments; researched our patients, went home and prepared our prep sheets and med sheets, arrived at the hospital early the next morning to check labs, MARS, kardex, etc., and, under our clinical instructor's supervision, began to provide total care for our assigned patients. When we were on the unit, we were providing patient care, not doing any written work. That night, at home, we would work on our care plans, etc., and then the following day in clinicals we would proceed as for the first day. That night we would complete our care plans/other written assignments to turn in the next day in class.

That's how it was done 20+ years ago when I was in LPN school but not now. It's crazy!

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