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I **heart** Nursing Students!

Posted Oct 14 2008 5:13pm

I work in a teaching hospital, so we end up with students of all different types. Med students. RN program students. LPN program students. PA students. EMT and paramedic students.

The students I like best, by far, are the nursing program students, both RN and LPN. We are in the midst of many different programs with students roaming the hospital, getting their clinical portion of their education. I almost always have a student nurse with me, when they are on the L&D unit.

We have a list for each of the different programs, regarding what the students may or may not do. Personally, I let them do more than what they are allowed, specifically, having them get gloves on and gets hands on assessment/vital signs of the newborn babies. Nursing students who are the least bit interested in peds/OB love this hands on experience, I have found.

I love to teach the students about how to read a fetal monitor strip, and what the different decels/accels/variability/baseline, etc mean. Some of the students just soak it up, and you can tell that before they even say anything to you about their goals after graduation, that they want to work in L&D. I highly encourage all students working with me on L&D to apply for positions on the unit, if that is their passion about nursing.

Molding young (or older!) minds about OB nursing.....I love it!!

I was supposed to have someone "shadow" me for a shift this past week, but they never showed up. We have nursing students come through from time to time to shadow on L&D, because this is the area they think they want to work in after graduation. Personally, I find it fantastic that my employer (The Hospital) lets students shadow like this. It gives them a broader viewpoint of what nursing in L&D really is, versus just a few hours on the unit for their clinical experiences.

We currently have a new nurse that remembers me from when she shadowed on L&D for several days. Funny thing is, I honestly didn't remember too much about when she shadowed with me! It was about 2 years ago, which makes sense to me as to why I didn't remember her. My long term memory is spotty at times. However, I am glad she found her shadowing time on L&D as a good experience - because she loves working on L&D with the rest of us!

Now, with paramedic students, I either love them or can't stand them. Some of them are the cockiest, most arrogant people I have met. Some are just plain weird. I had a paramedic student recently who was awesome though. They're allowed to start IVs on our L&D patients (if the nurse allows them to), and I saw no problem with him starting IVs for me. He did an awesome job too.

I think though, that sometimes it's hard for the patients to be open to having a student, especially a male student, assisting me with their care. I always give my patients the option to not have a student with me, if they do not feel comfortable with it. I usually word things like this: "I have a paramedic/nursing student named Jane/John working with me today. Is it ok if she/he observes and helps me care for you today?" That gives the patient the choice to say either yes or no, while also cluing them in to whether the student is male or female. If the patient says yes, I then have the student come in to the patient's room and introduce themselves, and start their own therapeutic conversation.

Students: always get permission from the patient (via her nurse) to observe or assist with care. Then, please introduce yourself to the patient, and let them know that if they need anything, they can count on you (and the nurse) to assist them in their needs. Finally, when you are done with your clinical shift, please thank the patient and her family for allowing you to participate in their care. Believe me, when you show these common courtesies, the patients will appreciate you, and whatever you've done to help them.

Students: ask me questions! There is never a stupid question. If I haven't explained rationale for something, ask me! I love to teach what I know about OB. Forgive me if I am so busy with something (like during fetal distress or a stat c/section), and can't give a good explanation at that moment. I promise you, I will tell you why I did what I did, and what was going on, after the fact, when the adrenalin has finished coursing through my veins.

To this day, I still remember the student nurse named J. who helped during my birth of my first child - almost 19 years ago! She was awesome, and stood out in my mind, even more than the nurse who took care of me for my birth!

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