How not to be a nurse…or what I’m learning in clinicals

We’ve been in clinicals for about 10 weeks now and I’m getting a pretty good feel for the nurses that we work with.  Unfortunately, many of them don’t really care to help us learn.  Now, these are the actual floor nurses, when I’ve gone with my patient for procedures in other parts of the hospital the other nurses have been thrilled to teach us and to have us get hands on with stuff.  That is one of the reasons I’m thankful that my clinicals are in a teaching hospital.

Even though the med-surg floor nurses aren’t jumping out of their skin trying to give us skills (here, why don’t you do an enema), we are definately learning stuff from them.  Primarily, how not to be a nurse.  There is the nurse who can almost never be found.  It seems as though this nurse comes on shift, gets report and then disappears.  I can spend my whole shift (6 hours) and see this nurse only once.  Then there is the nurse who feels that my duties as a student nurse are only those of the CNA and tells me only to give bed baths, change linen and that kind of thing.  While I have no problem doing those things, I’m not going to nursing school to learn CNA skills, so if there is something I haven’t seen or done, I’d like to do that instead.  This is the same nurse who doesn’t like the charting we are doing and prefers for us just to study her charting because it is more in depth.  Although I understand her point, she is essentially double charting because she is rewriting the assessment in the nursing notes, even though there is a flowchart for it.  But my all time favorite nurse is the one who can fill out all the assessment flowcharts before even seeing a patient.  The psychic abilities with this one are amazing! “The LOL in 25 bed 2 is breathing fine and her IV site has no redness or swelling” This was brought home when my LOM who had a small bowel obstruction was listed as having been eating a regular diet with normal BM’s.  The whole reason LOM came in was because of inability to eat.  Argh!

At the other clinical site some collegues told me of the CNA who managed to give 8 patients a bed bath in 5 minutes.  And while one student was in the room with the patient by herself, the nurse psychically assessed the patient, because the assessment was in the chart when she came out of the room.

My clinical instructor totally rocks though because she isn’t afraid for us to do anything.  If our patient needs it (or any patient on the floor for that matter) she will go with us and let us actually learn stuff.  And the other nurses/techs/doctors in the hospital have gone out of their way to show us stuff and explain things to us.  I’ve got to say that I’m loving every minute of it!  And next semester I get 2 days of clinicals!!!

~Flo

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Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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