Friday, April 3, 2009

For Patients and Others: Why you WANT a student nurse

Sometimes we find, on our clinical days, that a patient may want nothing whatsoever to do with us. This is rare. MUCH more frequently, it is their RELATIVES who want us out of the room, and out of their lives. This is, for the most part, A MISTAKE. Yes, I know that we aren't "Real Nurses" yet. Yes, I also know that our questions may worry you, as we are probably young enough to be your grandchildren. You still want us to care for you.
Why? For many VERY good reasons.
1. Your call bell will be answered INSTANTLY. We have (usually) no more than 2-3 fairly stable patients. Odds are, if we see your call bell, we're in there RIGHT AWAY. You see, unlike the staff nurses, we are being GRADED every day. If you are unhappy with us, and tell our instructor that we ignored you, and it was TRUE, we're in Very Big Trouble. So chances are, you WONT be waiting half an hour to go to the bathroom, or get some reglan, or a juice box.

2. We're REALLY (most of us) still idealistic. We tend to really want to help you, and all of our therapeutic techniques are still shiny and new. We still think giving backrubs is entertaining AND we've got the time to TRY all those "non-pharmacologic analgesic techniques".

3. We're terrified of screwing up. We're going to double and TRIPLE check everything we do, and we're paying COMPLETE ATTENTION to the whole procedure.

4. Many of us (especially from MY school) are cute. While I know this has no direct bearing on your patient care, it never hurts.

So please, be kind to your student nurses. We ARE trying our best here, and if you just give us a chance, we'll get you your hot tea in just a minute. After we finish tucking you in with warm blankets.


Life on Pause said...

I like when I have student nurses. I still go to a peds hospital, so not only are they uber-nice/scared/willing, they WANT to work with kids. Which, also never hurts.

M.I.A. said...

I could not agree more!

Anonymous said...

LOL cute is realy all that matters to me... Where do I sign up for my bed bath/backrub?

Joy said...

I am not a nurse but I have to say that I LOVE student nurses. Giving them an opportunity to come in and get experience is priceless. I *think* I had student nurses when I gave birth but I don't remember. And if this person was a student she was so very sweet.