The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 19, 1987- Page 5
le Nursing students
life:" ,4 ---.infh..I
MA t VJURY WU-N L I, tJ £> IG
By LISA POLLAK
Bobbie Jo Franzese, like all nur-
sing school sophomores, takes a
class called Basic Concepts in Nur-
On most days, she attends lec-
tures, listens to seminars, reads
books, and studies for exams. She
worries about her grades. She pokes
and prods and soothes away the
imaginary ills of sneering plastic
becomes a nurse.
Franzese and her 90 sophomore
classmates are perhaps not doing
anything out-of-the-ordinary when
they put on their blue uniforms and
walk over to the University Hospital
to care for patients once a week.
After all, they are training to be
nurses, and practical experience is
arguably the best training for any
Of course not, because for most
students school is as different from
"real life" as plastic dummies are
Last Wednesday for several hours
Franzese became a nurse. Her day
began at 7:30 a.m., on the neuro-
logical ward, floor 4B. Franzese and
five other students started by walk-
ing from patient room to patient
room, listening as the evening nurse
briefed the morning nurse on patient
conditions. This was to be
Franzese's fourth "clinical experie-
nce." It would be infinitely easier
than her first time, she predicted.
"At first I was so nervous. I had
never even been in a hospital before.
My first fears were that I was going
to do something to hurt the patient,"
Franzcs remembered. "Now I now
what to do, I know I'm not going to
hurt them. I feel comfortable going
into see my client alone."
But the ward does not have what
you'd call a comfortable atmosphere.
These patients are ill and in pain.
Many are recovering from surgery
and don't have the clean, plastic
appearances that the dummies do.
The hospital is where nurses learn to
be nurses - or that they don't want
"A lot of the first sight are
shocks, that's for sure," Franzese
admitted. "You can go to the classes
and listen to the lectures and do great
on the tests, but here in the hospital
is where you decide that this is or
this isn't for me. A lot of students
do drop out of the nursing program,
that's for sure. In my group none
have dropped out. There's a couple,
though, that started the clinical work
and then began to think about other
options. But no one has quit. It's
funny though, because a lot of
people think that nursing school is
such an easy thing. But they pro-
bably don't think about the things
we have to do."
The nurses discuss those
"things" with faculty instructor
Debbie Wierzinski before beginning
their work. The nursing duties -
giving the baths, changing the
gowns making the beds, evaluating
vital signs, and aiding in physical
rehabilitation - have been practiced
in simulation. But the men and
women on the ward are of course
heavier and sicker and grouchier than
"The magic word for today is pain
and discomfort," Wierzinski an-
nounces. She has selected for each
student an appropriate patient so the
students will learn "how different the
pain needs of different people are.
We will try to determine how to best
help our patients handle pain, how
we as nurses can learn how to make
Franzese's patient is a 40-year-old
male who has just undergone a
lumbar lamenectomy - a fusing of
his third and fourth vertebrae. He is
confined to bed, barely able to move
his head. But Franzese is comfor-
table with her assignment, unlike
one nervous student who is assigned
to care for a 20-year-old' football
player. "I'm worried about main-
taining a professional relationship,"
she said. "He's so hot!"
The student's discomfort is just
one of the unexpected hurdles en-
countered in the clinical experience.
"At first it's really hard to know
what to say to them," Franzese
explains. "You feel awkward asking
them the questions on your check-
list; you're talking to them so
personally, -you know. You have to
be careful and watch how the patient
is going to respond to you. They
may feel sick or unfriendly, but as a
nurse you must accommodate them.
Once I establish a sense of trust,
though, it's just like asking a friend
how he is. You just try to be
comfortable. You make sure they
know you're the nurse - but not
that you're assessing their condi
Franzese of course completes her
tasks smoothly. Her patient does not
think she seems young or inex-
perienced. No he doesn't feel like a
guinea pig; why should he? he asks.
Franzece agrees. "Really I - allFof
us - 'aren't doing anything out of
the ordinary," she says. "Later today
I'll be a student. Now I'm just a
nurse doing his care for the day."
The class is called Basic Concepts in
Nursing. But for Franzese and her
classmates, it's basic training for
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
dummies in a simulation laboratory.
On most days she is a student, still
learning to be a nurse.
But several hours each week, the
dummies come to life as patients
whose ills are not imaginary. Basic
Concepts in Nursing becomes just
Nursing, and Bobbie Jo Franzese
Gay rights group
(Continued from Page 1)
Nordby would only say, "I am
not at liberty to discuss a change in
Each LaGROC member gave
Nordby the Affirmative Action of-
fice's standard complaint form which
includes a question about sexual ori-
entation. Students asked Nordby
what she does with those sheets,
since the questionnaire asks about
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But of the many University stu-
dents who are also "in training" for
someday-far-away jobs and careers,
how many actually become profes-
sionals on a weekly basis? Do the
pre-laws argue cases? Do pre-meds
make diagnoses? Do the business
majors execute corporate takeovers?
IS THERE ANY HOPE
An Analysis of the Current Situation
and Reflections on the Future
. D ° q
Saturday, November 21,19879A:
9:00 A.M. -12:30 P.M.
Michigan League Library Room (3rd Floor)
Panel of Speakers:
Elizabeth R. Ordinario
The seminar is free and open to the public.
For further information, contact
the Ecumenical Campus Center at 662-5529.
Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies,
Ecumenical Campus Center, International
Center, Philippines Michigan Club, Office
of Ethics and Religion, Sambayanan, United
National Association, University of the
Philippines Alumni Association in Michigan.
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