Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I have been working on my perspective change lately. It's been slow, however, I am making some progress. I believe I'm making some progress....or maybe I'm just fooling myself, but I'm going to stand by the idea that I'm really trying.

My charge nurse asked if I would take a nursing student for the shift. Ugh. Normally, I like having students. I like to teach. I love it when that 'aha' moment crosses his/her face. We'll perform some task and they do it without difficulties. I then ask the student WHY we do it and why we perform it that way. They learn some good lessons that way and things click for them. I find that exciting.
However, at this time I'm in the middle of burn out and trying to deal with it. Like you already know, I'm not there yet.

"Please? She's a final semester student, you can give her all the gross things you don't want to do."
"ugh. Okay."

She turned out to be an awesome person. Enthusiastic without sunshine blowing out of every orifice, eager, and not a lazy bone in her body. The ER got super crazy and she was right there, following me around like a little chick. She received a good education that day, many skills to perform and things to see. I actually had fun teaching her things. I told her that once things got crazy, our conversations would become schizophrenic because the pace would be extremely fast. She did a good job. She stood back when appropriate and jumped in at the right times. I was impressed.
She got to see her first Code Blue. We spoke briefly about it between a chest pain protocol and a stroke that came in. She was amazed by how fast everyone worked and that everyone knew where to be and what to do. She got to help me quickly prep a patient before that person was swept away to the cath lab.
I think she had a good time.
Another nurse asked me to access a Mediport for one of her patients. I asked the student if she's done one before. She said only in lab. I looked at the clock and it was time for her to leave.
"Oh, your shift is done. You probably have a meeting with your instructor."
"Yes, but I can be late. Do you mind me staying for this?"
"Sure, because you're going to do it."

Her eyes widened with nervous excitement. As we gathered the supplies, I questioned her: What patients would have this kind of port? At what angle would you introduce the needle into the port and why? What is different about a Huber needle? Where are these ports in a patient? Why is this a sterile procedure? How do you set up a sterile field? Etc. Then we reviewed the steps before going in.
She did great. I knew this patient, so as long as he was going to get his dilaudid, he didn't care who accessed his port.
Before she left, she asked me if I was a preceptor for their final semester clinicals. This is where they are assigned to a hospital unit and work under an RN. I'm a PRN nurse, so my schedule varies and is not set like a full time nurse. They don't assign us students for their semester clinicals. Too bad. I've had many day clinical students ask me to be their preceptor. Those students said that I explain things in a way that it all makes sense for them. They also said that many nurses are mean to students or ignore them. I don't understand that school of thought.
Anyway, she helped me in my progress to correct my burn out attitude.
Perhaps when I'm old and crusty, I'll consider becoming a nursing school instructor. Who knows.


  1. Attagirl! I bet you would make an awesome preceptor. (even if current scheduling precludes that from happening at the moment).

    1. You're always so sweet! thanks for the compliment.