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'Eating alive' nursing students is counter intuitive.

Filial cannibalism, the act of eating one's offspring, baffles scientists. After all, if the goal of reproduction is to produce as many good-quality offspring as possible, it seems counter intuitive to destroy potential quality offspring.

My recent experience on a busy paediatric specialty ward has me similarly baffled. It seems counter intuitive that a student nurse filled with promise and potential can be quelled, in the same manner that the potential offspring are destroyed when animals eat their young.

How very disappointing for the nursing profession that enthusiastic, keen and intelligent students can be 'eaten alive' on practical ward experience. Though I have had some wonderful clinical experiences throughout my studies, this ward was stand-out awful! The RNs on this particular ward made absolutely no effort to include me or other students in any of the activities they were doing, responded to my questions with apathy or sarcasm, and made a good effort at 'killing' my drive and motivation. To what end, though? What did they hope to achieve by doing this?

We students are their future successors. It seems logical they would make an effort to pass on at least some of the knowledge that can help us 'survive' the world of nursing. But just as logic cannot be applied to the common practice of filial cannibalism; it cannot be applied to the sometime treatment of student nurses.

Amanda Mason-Jones, Associate NSWNA

Member, final year nursing student
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Title Annotation:LETTER of the month
Author:Mason-Jones, Amanda
Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Viewpoint essay
Date:Aug 1, 2009
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