Student nurses are rejecting essential elements of bedside care because they feel it is not a worthwhile learning experience, research published by Nursing Times has found.
The research found widespread conflict between student nurses and qualified staff over the tasks students should do on placement.
Tasks normally carried out by HCAs, such as making tea, washing patients and cleaning, were not seen as valuable learning opportunities for student nurses keen to gain experience with more technical roles like administering drugs.
As a result, many senior nurses feel that students are qualifying with significant gaps in their basic skills. One interview participant said: “I sometimes feel in despair that by the time students have qualified, they still haven’t gained some of the practicalities and common sense - things like time management, basic assessment skills - that we would have been doing on our first round.”
One student was reported to have told a staff nurse: “I keep being asked to do things which won’t help me learn - clear up poo, mop up blood, give patients tea and toast. I realised that I needed to be more focused to learn, and I don’t do those sorts of things now.”
Are student nurses wrong to reject basic bedside care while on placement?