A Day Without These Scenarios Makes Nursing Students Thankful

By Ashley Prince, Nurse Practitioner In Training

November marks a month to be thankful for all the great things we have in life. For example, I’m extremely thankful that I made it out of my first semester of nursing school with some good grades and my head above water! But sometimes there are things as a nursing student I would really rather not see in a day – like wounds that expose tendons, C. diff, or a maxed out floor with more post-ops trying to squeeze through. 

Here’s a list of nursing responsibilities that my fellow classmates and I have learned are going to make for one stressful shift – and to be thankful for those rare times when these things don’t show up during your day!

1. Being treated as an assistant’s assistant. We’re well aware that nursing students are the lowest on the totem pole, but please don’t kick us while we’re down.

2. Patient assignments on opposite hallways, with different nurses. Put your Fitbit tracker on- you’ll get you 10,000 steps by lunch.

3. The smart-aleck patient who purposefully gives you a wrong last name or birthday. I need them for a reason, dude.

4. Getting post-ops right before lunch. You want vitals Q15 minutes? Seriously? I haven’t eaten since 5 a.m.!

5. Patients who ask “have you ever done this before?”. Would you like me to lie to you?

6. Getting stains on your white scrubs. No matter how much bleach you use, they still don’t come out!

7. Patients who refuse to walk. Your hip isn’t broken. You have two feet. Now get up and see all the beautiful sights of the floor while I hold the back of your gown closed. That, or you get the speech again on why walking is oh-so-fabulous after surgery.

8. Patients with a PICC line AND multiple drains AND numerous wound sites. I’ll just grab my things and get comfy here, since it looks like I’m not going much place else today. Hope you like watching GMA!!

9. Fellow nursing students who don’t plug in the Dynamap machine. Less than five minutes of battery for vitals on five patients? Come on guys…

10. C. diff. ‘Nuff said.

11. An entire floor of diabetic patients. And, there are not enough AccuCheck machines. And, no one's finger ever wants to bleed.

12. The physician uses regular Aquacel, not the ordered Aquacel AG, on a dressing and you have to re-do the entire thing. There’s gotta be a joke about doctors who don’t follow their own orders. 

These things have all made me even more thankful for the nurses that take the time out of their crazy schedules to let me practice my skills and teach me, and for the patients that put up with my stumbling with Dopplers, dressing changes, and IV flushes. One day I’ll get all this down but until then, I’m just going to keep practicing and laughing at all the crazy things nurses, patients, and doctors do.