Last Sunday, my sub-group had our last day of Practicum. Thereafter, we celebrated the end of our GNIE 2nd semester at a restaurant together with our Clinical Instructor. We were really happy to complete the 2nd semester successfully, as we had heard from our seniors that it is the toughest and where students are most likely to fail. Indeed, we had lost 2 of our classmates during this semester's Surgery clinical experience.
Our Practicum CI is really helpful in planning forward for our nursing careers in Canada. She even added comments in our Evaluation Forms that she felt would help us clinch RN jobs in future. From my classmates' feedback, she individualized her handling of each student in recognition of his/her strengths, weaknesses, learning needs and approach. We are truly lucky to have her.
That said, various classmates have also privately feedback to me of various "kia-su" (overly-competitive) and/or culturally-insensitive behaviours amongst us. What would be considered "kia-su" and/or culturally insensitive? 2 examples below.
- Hoarding the "easy" patients at every shift. There is no rule to prevent one from arriving early and picking the "choicest easy patients" for oneself. However, please be kind to your fellow classmates and share the workload evenly. Remember teamwork is crucial in nursing. If your team performs well as a group, you are all winners. E.g. 3 of the 4 students selected for Practicum at a Surgery unit -- and we were told they assign the best clinical students to the Surgery unit -- were from my previous clinical group. IMHO, I think it was because we had worked closely together as a group to support and cover each other that we did well as a group. I am very thankful to my clinical group members for their support and trust in my leadership.* [See below for more on leadership.]
- Talking amongst nurses from your country-of-origin using your own language instead of English in a professional setting. Note: Even if the nurses at the unit insists on using non-English with you, you can still reply in English. E.g. AP did just that to the Filipino nurses at her unit talking to her in Tagalog. In that way, she fulfilled the GNIE Evaluation criteria of "Use of English".
Something minor happened on the last day of clinical which confirmed (to me) that my classmates rely on me to set the path for our group.
Our CI decided to end our last day of clinical early since she was satisfied that all of us had met the requirements. My classmates gathered at the cafeteria with the CI. Unfortunately IT and I were delayed by about 45min as something cropped up at our unit. After several missed calls and unanswered text messages from my classmates, the CI sent one of them, X, to get us out of the unit. While the 3 of us were walking to the cafeteria, I asked my classmate X if they have called the restaurant to bring forward our dinner reservation. She replied that the CI had asked the class about the plan and the class replied that they did not know and wanted to wait for me. I was surprised, so I asked, "Isn't HJ (who made the restaurant reservation) there?" X replied, "Yes, but the class wanted you to decide."
I was both surprised and laughing inside. I do not see myself as a leader. IMHO, I am a reluctant, accidental "leader" who stepped up to the plate when the need arose.