I just finished another semester! This time it was 1st semester students. I have to say this is by far my favorite group of students!
When students who have never stepped foot in a hospital come their first clinical day they are so incredibly nervous. To watch them transform and become more and more comfortable is such a wonderful experience for me as their instructor. I also remember that feeling like it was yesterday! To have a clinical instructor that makes you feel at ease is so important. I did not have that experience. And I wish I did! I know for me that I would have learned much more if I was comfortable, but unfortunately I was so concerned about making my clinical instructor mad that I couldn’t relax and enjoy the journey.
I recently saw a post on Facebook stating that in 2011, the BSN degree had been entered into the Guiness Book of Records as one of the hardest degrees to obtain. I am not sure if this is accurate, but I must say from personal experience that it sure felt that way. With that said, the last thing nursing students need is a clinical instructor that is not supportive!
Our clinical experience this semester was a tough one! We were on a unit where the nurses were very cold, unwelcoming, and even “mean” to a degree! I could only imagine if my students had a clinical instructor like I did my first semester – what a horrible experience that would have been! I worked hard to try to salvage their experience and hoped they gained some positives from it. On a funny note, I asked my students what did they want to do as a “Thank You” gift to the unit for having us? I suggested making a collage “What is a Nurse?” I suggested we could use words like ‘Kind’ ‘Helpful’ ‘Caring’ ‘Supportive’ etc. I lovingly called it “my shame board idea”. My students laughed, but decided to buy them a thank you card and some donuts. I was kind of joking but I really wanted these nurses to know what a real nurse is! Don’t get me wrong all the nurses on the floor weren’t like this, but the majority were, and it made it a very uncomfortable experience for us as a whole.
I wrote this blog for two reasons:
1. To bring awareness to this problem
2. To inform students that nurses may try to eat their young but you will meet someone who won’t let them!
What kind of nurse are you? Or what kind of nurse do you want to be?
Lisa Marie Walsh