Today I was the "Nurse Manager" for my clinical group. It was also the first day for the clinical group to NOT pick patients the day before actual care. It was quite a sprint for the first couple of hours. After reviewing some of the care plans with my instructor I went upstairs to the floor to check on my peers and see how they were doing. I was not able to find anyone at first. We where an hour into clinical and there was no patient care begin given. I eventually found three of the students in the break room filling out paperwork. While they were getting work done (the work that they were supposed to be doing), I am surprised that they were not near the patient rooms getting this work done. As a RN, we will not be able to get our paperwork done in the convenience of the break room. We will be on the floor getting interrupted by call lights, coworkers, family members and other various situations that arise. I am a proponent of being where you are supposed to be when you need to be there. Occasionally, this does not happen: you go to the restroom, you are helping another person in another room, you are observing other procedures in other rooms or other parts of the hospital, etc. However, for the most part, as a student nurse, you need to be seen by faculty, staff and other students doing the work and being available for patient care, nurse assistance, etc. Basically, you have to make yourself look good in front of others. That was my soapbox. Now I will step down.
On my part, I think that I could have served my peers more today. After seeing the stress that many of them were put under today, I think that I could have offered to assist them more. The leadership position is not about the glory of the title, but it is about serving and being an available reference for others. I have to admit that I did not give everyone in my clinical group the amount of time that they needed. Some I could have given less, others more. I had a very basic understand of the patient needs after visiting with the other students, but to be in that position every day would require a little more diligence on my part to make sure that everyone is receiving appropriate nursing care. Today was about diving in and just seeing what it is really like when you are responsible for more than just yourself. I hope that more opportunities like this come up. I would like to practice my leadership skills a little more in an informal situation. I suppose that these skills do not have to be practiced just in the hospital; they can really be practiced in the classroom, the home or in the community. That reminds me of a really good quote…
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”