Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Students

Someone has decided that, since I've been at Frozen Northlands Regional for over a year, i can be trusted with shiny new nursing students. Well I'm not sure what it says about the REST of the nurses on our floor, but apparently they like working with me. This might be because my stock answer isn't "go away" it's "look it up, tell me what you THINK is causing him to be that odd shade of yellow, and we'll talk". But I dont know what this particular school is teaching them. Cause DAMN. First off, when I was at Very Catholic Nursing School, we were taught that YOU. DO. NOT. SIT. DOWN. not unless ALL the nurses are seated, AND there are seats left over. Because if your nurse isn't sitting, YOU SHOULD BE HELPING- not just on your patient either! How about checking if all the beds are made? Everyone is washed up? Anyone needing ambulation? I know these are all students in their FIRST med-surg clinical, so they're not allowed to do a lot of things without me or the instructor, but ALL OF THOSE THEY CAN DO. So when they leave at the end of their clinical day, and TWO of my patients havent had their beds changed? or been walked? PLEASE! THERE WERE TWO STUDENTS!!! I mean, I'll get to it when I can, but I was dealing with the FOUR ENEMAS I had to give to the wildly unstable post-Whipple in one room, whose bowels havent moved in a week, and who was becoming progressively less coherent...but that's its own post. Suffice it to say, he was practically a one-to-one patient, on a five patient assignment.


Rob Fraser MN RN said...

I really love this piece of advice. Unless you have a medical reason, do not sit down until your nurse sits down. That really could be extended to say, don't sit down until EVERY nurse on your unit is sitting down. If there are other nurses that look stressed or busy go help them. You don't need to watch your nurse document and unless they want to talk to you about something this is a great time to offer help to other nurses. Yes this is partially to be nice, but also be selfish. This is your time to get experience, and your opportunity to learn. Do not waste it!

Not being assigned to patients or other nurses is not an excuse for sitting down. You have a very limited amount of clinical time and if you want to be an awesome clinician you need as much experience (practicing doing ACTUAL interventions, care and work - not just watching) as possible. Every patient you turn, every bed you make, every assessment, injection and intervention you do will make you a better nurse. Not only will it make you a better nurse it dramatically improves the chances you will get a good reference and a job you want when you graduate.

Even if you are not able to do something, being positive, energetic and willing to help goes a long way. The nurses you ask will come find you when there are great opportunities to learn (injections to give, dressings to change, NG tubes to insert etc). Sadly, no one remembers the quiet nursing student when there are interesting opportunities.

Finally, I want to say thank you. To all the students who do work their tales off, we really appreciate it! To all the nurses who took and continue to take time mentoring me, thank you!

Rob Fraser RN

Alpine, R.N. said...

Also, there is only ONE right answer to the question "Would one of you like to help me with this procedure?"

That answer is "YES!!" After all, how many times do you get a chance to try a procedure BEFORE you're responsible for getting it right?