As a 3 month old RN, I can understand your aggravation, but let me see if I can explain this from the student nurse' perspective.
OMMV, but at my college, we.were.told.to.follow.specific.patient.protocol. These were set by the college/facility, and were completely non-negotible. Completely. Failure to follow them could you dismissed from the program. They weren't kidding. They applied to any level student at any clinical facility. Period. Alll of our clinical classes were limited to 10 students and on RN instructor. Unlike other school, we didn't go the night before and be assigned our patient. We got them the morning we got to the hospital, and no one, including the intructor, was intimately familiar with the patient. Or the staff. So, we would meet, get our assignments, read the chart (as much as we could), and off we go for the day.
One of the things we were taught was to call the patient by Title. Lastname. Even if we were told by the patient to call them by their first name. I had to explain several times that due to my program requirements, I had to call them Mr. Doe, and that I wasn't trying to be deliberately rude by ignoring their requests. (Honestly, you could be expelled from the program for this; not that it was life or death, obviously, but it had to do with following orders---kinda like making a bed in the Army. Make sense?) We were also told that ***we*** needed to follow all facility protocol, even if the staff wasn't. So, just becasue the staff RN didn't check on the patient every hour, we needed to. No, wait---we had to. For example, if
I hung blood, I had to stay in the patient's room for 15 minutes to monitor for any reactions. No exceptions, no excuses.
Now that I'm experienced (haha!), I do have the freedom to call you Mary, if that's what you perfer. I can just stick my head in the room and take a peek to see if you're OK. If the dr has odered your meds to be given XXX, then yep, that's what you're gonna get. But not as a student nurse. We could not.
My heart felt suggestion from a not-to-long-ago- student nurse; request that they aren't assigned to you. I think it would make your treatment better for you, and quite frankly, it would probably take some stress off of them. (We had to answer to our intructors for any infractions, and I'd hate to see them get in trouble only because they were following non-negotible orders and protecting their student position. Students were kicked out for seemingly inane actions--none that endangered the patients lives, but yet they failed to follow protocol. Again, kinda like the Army. )
Thank you for this perspective, it was very interesting and informative. It also helps me feel less guilty about requesting not to have them. I wouldn't want for them to find out and think it's because I think they're awful or something. I also think maybe I will mention this to the woman who is the director of nursing at the hospital/university. Maybe she can't do anything, but I just think it's terrible that one of these kids could be kicked out for following a direction from a senior nurse about something that's best for the patient just because it doesn't follow protocol.
That is exactly what I expected. I think it would be kinder to ask not to have a student then to put them between a rock and a hard place.
I'm not sure why you think I'd want to do something like that? I said quite clearly in my last post "...even if they can't stop following the rules, maybe there's some sort of compromise, like quietly sticking their head in the door and I can give a thumbs up or something if all is well. If after a couple of tries, it's still not working out, I'll go ahead and request no student nurses."
I just want to point out that if you complain about the student nurses for following floor protocol and mention that the veteran nurses are not following the same policies, you may get the veteran nurses in trouble. I'm a nurse and on my floor, the nurses got in trouble after a patient complained about the student nurses checking on him every hour. Our manager decided that if he was only complaining about the student nurses, it meant the we (the floor nurses) were not doing our jobs and not doing our hourly rounds. We were marked off on our evaluations and we all got less points, which resulted in much smaller raises. Just something to think about.
I think if you have talked directly to the student nurses and there is no change, you should request no student nurses.
Thanks, I hadn't considered this. I will make sure when I mention this that my complaints are focused on the changeable issues or protocol in general and not the individuals.
That said if the doctors orders put a patient in danger and the nurse follows those orders she'll still get into trouble for it and potentially lose her license - standing in coroners court saying 'the doctor told me to do it' isn't going to work as a defense
I'm at an excellent hospital and I am very confident in my doctors' expertise that they would not endanger me in such a silly way. Also, I don't think that we should take this into the territory of debating how a lawsuit would play out. I don't really want to get the thread closed over it, and given the nuances of such a complicated hypothetical case, I don't think there would be any way to really accurately debate that anyway.
Maybe I just missed it, but what exactly did the student nurse do that endangered the patient? The only issue I see is that they asked (repeatedly, unfortunately), if the patient wanted their meds during tx, not after. Did I misunderstnd someting? J/C.
Called her by her more formal name (not a threat), checked on her more often than she would like (not a threat), the food thing seems like a problem because of OP's tendency to get sick but is following protocols.
I think that a problem is that when a nurse/doctor doesn't follow follow protocols, even when the patients are OK with it - in fact even when they wish it, the hospital or insurance company can still dump them as being too dangerous because they are the type to go rogue.
The potentially threatening things would be eating during treatment because it's a room with IVs and multiple patients behind curtains and therefore the potential for bodily fluids to come into contact with the food/drink, although since they are so on top of it when it comes to making sure bodily fluids don't get anywhere they shouldn't, very thorough in cleaning up if they do, thoroughly clean the beds/"rooms" between each patient, and since I know better than to eat while there is any blood or medicine actually out and I'm very careful when eating there, the risk is minimized. However it is, as far as I have been told, not a rule, but very very very strongly recommended. The other potentially threatening thing would be their insistence that I take my pills at the beginning, even though that makes me sick. The food was ordered by a senior nurse and approved by my doctor, and the pills at the end was ordered by my doctor, and there are notes in my chart about these things, so by ignoring/pushing against them, they are directly disobeying a doctor's orders to the detriment of the patient, and putting me in the middle of it.
The rest are simply my preferences, however I included them in my first post because I wasn't sure how to handle them, as they are the true matters of etiquette here. However, since we don't actually know what the exact rules for the RNs are at the hospital and they seem to be very competent and safe and responsible in every other way, I think it would be best not to assume that they are all breaking the rules all the time and on the verge of going rogue.