First let me say I admire anyone willing to go into this profession. Now let me tell you how much I have grown to hate having to work or teach them over the years. It simply has to be physically impossible for some people to be so incredible stupid.
Student #1 Bless her heart, she thinks it's all about sitting by the bedside and holding someone's hand to make them feel better. Plus you get to buy all those cute little scrubs with all the designs and characters on them and she loves those shoes she saw with the buckle on them, she is going to get her some of those to wear as soon as she graduates. I want to talk to her in a few years while she is scrubbing blood out of those cute buckles, I will then tell her about Crocs, for now I will let her dream. I want to see her face the first time she realizes she can't see the designs and characters on her scrubs because they are now covered in blood, shit and vomit. It won't take her long to learn to just grab a pair from the cart at work and let the hospital worry about cleaning them. Holding someone's hand in a high level trauma until really doesn't do much to help them out.
Student #2 Ah, this one is going to save the world, she is never going to have a patient die on her shift. I will remind her of this some day. I ask her just how she was going to save the motorcycle rider whose brains fall out in her hands when she takes off his helmet. Her reply? I will stuff them back in and then the doctor can stitch them back together. God I hope I live long enough to be able to see that ground breaking procedure done. I ask her how she was going to tell the parents of a three year old that had just drowned in the family pool that the child was dead. Her reply? Well first she won't use the word dead, because it's so...well....final. She will tell them their child is in a better place now. I explained to her that she has to use the word "dead" because in a high trauma situation nice words like "passed away", "in a better place", "living with God now", "we lost him", can fly right over their head, they don't hear it, they can't take it in, their world is upside down and their brains don't have the ability to process the niceties of this world in a time like that. The word "dead" they get, that they understand right away. Dead only has one meaning. As cruel as that sounds it really is the kindest way in the long run, it leaves no illusions. I overheard a doctor telling a family once that they had done everything they could for their daughter and there was nothing else left they could do. The family was ecstatic, what they heard was "we have give her all the medical knowledge we have and now she doesn't need anything else so she is going to be fine" , another time a nurse told someone that she "was sorry but they had lost their daughter", the family became furious because what they heard was "your daughter is someplace in this hospital but we don't know where we seem to have misplaced her". Student #2 informs me she just isn't going to worry about it because if that time ever comes God will be there with her. I reminded her that he will most likely be there with her but he isn't going to be the one that has to inform the family their loved one just died. God is going to need to be with this one because she has a lot to learn and seems intent on learning it the hard way.
Student #3 This one is actually very smart and going to make a great nurse, she knows everything she should know at this level and is actually a little more advanced. She pulls no punches, tells it like it is. She just has to get over her fear of doctors, or rather her idea that they are Gods (actually most doctors need to realize they aren't God's too). I will not be yelled at by a doctor, I just say fuck you and walk away. I will not let a doctor make me feel less than him, I have a doctorate too, I can even use the title Dr just like he can, mine just happens to be in nursing and his in medicine. I never let a doctor bark orders at me (this is not the same as you hear in the middle of a trauma when we all bark orders at each other because we don't have time to be nice), if you want something ask me nicely or I am just going to stand there and ignore you, you respect me and I will respect you. I would love to see one of them ask me to get him a cup of coffee, I see them do it to other nurses but none of them have ever ask me, they probably already know the answer they would get if they tried to ask me. She has to learn that if she has a patient that needs something in the middle of the night and the doctor ignores her call or gives her some "in a minute" excuse that she doesn't have to and can't accept it. Keep calling him and call bullshit on his in a minute. They don't answer me back in a minute then I call them every minute until they do. Ignore me and we will go see the board. Once she learns to handle the doctors and when that student nurse fear leaves her she is one that is going to learn it quickly, she is going to be an excellent nurse.
Student #4 I don't even know why this one is here. She literally can't stand anything to do with nursing. I think she is one of those that just thinks it sounds good to say "I'm a nurse". Her reply to most requests are either "Do I have too" or "Ewww gross". She spends most of the shift either hiding or picking lint off of her scrubs. I called her name the other day and she actually turned around to see if their was anyone miraculously behind her with the same name. We had a nasty trauma come in, knife to the chest with the knife still embedded (that's a good thing, it can help control the bleeding and also gives the surgeon a guide as to exactly what organs could have been damaged) you never, ever pull out any object that could be in a high bleed area outside of the surgical bay with all precautions in place) so since all his vitals were normal and he was awake and aware I send her in to stay with him until we could get him up to surgery. I suddenly hear him scream. I go running back to find her holding the knife in her hands and saying "He kept asking me to take it out, I can put it back" Are you fucking kidding me, you want to stab him again? Now I have a whole host of problems that didn't exist before and wouldn't have if she had just done as she was told and observe him. Now I have a heavily bleeding wound site and I can't tell where or what organ the blood is coming from. I have a a student nurse's fingerprints all over an attempted murder weapon and blood possibly washing away any other potential evidence. I have a student nurse under my watch that did something outside of the scope of her capabilities. I also now have a ton of paperwork to write up the whole mess. She will never know how badly I wanted to take that knife and stab her.
Student #5 This one, well she's kinda cute but that's about it. She carries a tape recorder around with her and dictates every move we make as we are doing something. "Just had a car accident victim come in, the medics have him on a stretcher and are running fast to Trauma Bay 6, they are now in Trauma Bay 6 and a bunch of doctors and nurses are going into the room, let me get closer so I can see better. Ok, here I am at the door. One nurse is trying to start an IV, one nurse is doing vitals, OMG now they are getting out the crash cart, doesn't look good for this guy...and on and on and on. " I don't know if she listens to all of them later when she goes home, if she transcribes them to help her remember but it is annoying as hell. She can't handle bodily fluid in an form. Blood makes her turn white and back away, piss and shit makes her gag and vomit makes her vomit. Now I am cutting her a break on the last one because even after all these years that is the one thing I can't take. If a patient is vomiting he better be prepared to share the basin because I am going to be vomiting with him. She is fine with a nude woman patient but a nude male patient turns her seven shades of red and she is not going to touch "that thing" for anything. She is terrified of dead bodies. She is there and willing to help (with the live ones) and learn but I just don't know if she will make it unless she toughens up a little bit.
Thank God we only have to deal with 5 of them at a time.