Monday, July 25, 2011

Kids These Days

I've recently been talking to an old friend from nursing school and it got me to thinking about my experiences in school, or lack thereof, and how much I would have loved to have been an extern somewhere. I was super shy but earnest and I remember how excited I was just to give somebody an Insulin injection. The one clinical day I had in ER was in the rich folk ER across the street from the legit ER, so my one day of experience there was pretty much STDs and lacerations and such. If I had seen a day where I work back then, I probably would have never shut up about it to my family and friends EVER. And I certainly would have been less real world dumb when I started working in ER immediately after graduation with no other experience.
So, it really does kind of bum me out to see the absolute lack of enthusiasm among some the students we do see. Like, beyond lack of enthusiasm and straight into attitude, actually. Most of our students at night are basic medic students. Some of them are freaking fantastic, but others might as well walk in and introduce themselves like, "Hi, yeah, I don't give a shit about this but I'm just doing this so I can become a firefighter and talk to girls about it. " We actually had two the other day that went beyond the usual hide out and eat Taco Bell routine- these dudes were completely shameless about hiding out in the break room. A friend of mine walked back there to grab a drink at one point and mentioned to them that something cool had come in to a resus room and they might wanna check it out. After being acknowledged with a grunt, she went about her business and forgot about the situation until one of them came out and started accusing her of telling on them to the charge nurse. She hadn't done it, but that didn't stop them from complaining to her about how they didn't have time to be out here because they had a bunch of clinical paperwork to do. Later on, they were asked to help with an EKG (one of the few things basic students can do), to which one of them responded "that isn't my job". Lovely. After the massive amounts of attitude, my friend did mention the situation to their instructor who happens to be a medic at our hospital the next morning. She sure did stick them both with the nurse I can safely say is the master of all delegators the next night. That was probably the most important lesson they learned for that semester.
I don't wanna seem like I'm just hating on medics up in here because our nurse extern situation is not much better. Well, not all of them, but the newest chick we hired- oh boy. Homegirl spent her whole first day endearing herself to the staff by telling everyone about how it was below her to fold towels and stock carts, and how it was a waste of her time to transport patients because she was supposed to be learning. Umm. No. You're getting paid, sister. Good money for someone without a degree, too, and you set your own hours, so I would just deal with it, personally. So, I hear about all of this second hand and decide to form my own opinion. She seems fine enough until I go in with her and another nurse with a code brown. My teammate practices the unspoken rule of etiquette when it comes to cleaning shit, as most of us do- unless it's like, your best friend in there with you, the people helping you are the ones that hold and turn and you are the one who cleans up the shit, because it's your patient. So basically, all this new extern has to do is help me turn a patient- and yet, she finds a way to not do it. We get down to business while she runs in and out of the room gathering a bunch of supplies we don't really need. She runs back in and asks what else we need her to get. "We really just need you to come over and help me turn this lady," I tell her. At my size I can only do so much. She then continues to stand in the doorway and complains about the smell for a couple of minutes. "I'll go get you some room spray!" she says, running out the door again. She walks back in making a disgusted face and then proceeds to spray, no shit, like, half a bottle of deodorizing spray in the air, slicking up the floor and essentially macing my teammate and I in the process. Then she walks out the door and disappears while we're still elbow deep in feces. Really, dude? You're in the process of becoming a nurse and you think you're above cleaning poop, too. Good luck with that, honey. I guess you could probably go work at the nursing home.
I just don't understand. It just seems so ungrateful to have an approach like you're above something that you're learning how to do. I would have done piles of bitch work to get the opportunities to see the things these guys do. In fact, I did do piles of bitch work, just with no pay off. Aaand I had to walk to clinicals uphill both ways with no shoes on. These darn kids. They don't know how good they have it.


  1. It becomes demoralizing to see the caliber of the students taking CNA, HHA, EMT and MA classes. They don’t want to do anything that requires any part of their body touching any part of a patient’s body. Why get into this business then ?~!

  2. Oh boy do I hear you sister! Our hospital had an alliance with the college across the road and it's RN program.
    Boy as an LPN (low paid nurse) I heard too much of this same sh*t, "it's not my job" and was treated disrespectfully by these SNs coming for their clinicals.
    The instructors from the school though saw my potential, my passion and my love of the job and were after me daily to come back to school (I did eventually). You see, I was a LPN running the med-surg unit over a bunch of those college RNs who came from that same school for the past 10 years.

  3. Ugh, I remember one student nurse in particular saying the same infamous words: "that's not my job", when it came to cleaning up poop. Oh really?! Well put when you said good luck with that, because last time I checked, I thought we did everything in our power to provide comfort. I guess he thought it was acceptable to leave people laying in their own feces. He has no idea what he's gotten himself into. I hope he doesn't pass the NCLEX-we don't need people like as co-workers.

  4. Ho boy, when I was in nursing school we would have been dumped from the program if we copped an attitude like that.
    "Not my job?"
    Every shit (pardon the pun) job there was was 'our job' as students. If we wanted to graduate we did what the floor nurses and ER nurses said. Period.

  5. I would have killed for a job like that. So, there are good students there who would gnaw off their own hands for you to get that opportunity, it just sounds like maybe they aren't screened very well.

    Can't say much for the medics, and I might have been an unusual nursing student, but that's my take on it. Although, I just graduated in may and got my new grad ICU job by volunteering with a smile to clean up all code browns needed of the nurses during my final clinical with a one on one preceptor.

  6. i cant stand people who think they are above a task. it'll be a wake up call when it's busy and their tech just went MIA on them -- or sadly, it would be unfortunate to be their patient.