I got this the other day in the comments and decided to repost it for everybody to take a swing at:
Dear head nurse, I am currently interning at a heart institute in Texas . All (except one )the RNs here treat me like trash and also are slave drivers , Not exaggerating here.They get paid for the crap i am doing for them . I would truly love to hear your thoughts on this. And heres the best thing , they dont let me learn anything , or watch procedure s , as their filing and copying is of utmost importance to them more than my learning phase. What do you think?
First things first: If you're in a situation where you're supposed to be watching procedures and helping care for patients and you're not able to do that because you're getting saddled with copying, filing, whatever--it's time to talk to the person in charge of overseeing your internship. The primary purpose of a nursing intern- or externship is to learn the theory and skills you'd use in the unit where you're placed.
When you approach your internship coordinator, take in a list of times when you've not been present for procedures because you've been tasked with something clerical. If you've been assigned a job that's not patient-care-related and told that because of that task, you can't practice a particular skill you're meant to master, take that (or those) specific examples in with you as well. You don't have to name the people who've assigned you those jobs, but *make sure you have documented times when it's happened.* Be specific and timed and all that stuff.
("Specific, timed, and measurable" works for more than care plans. Who knew?)
Second things second: When you say the RNs treat you "like trash," what exactly do you mean? Is there a fundamental lack of respect, trash-talking, or lateral bullying? If so, again provide concrete examples--and in this case, you might be asked to name names--to your coordinator. It will help if you can keep a written list of times Person X has said something belittling or bullying to you. This is standard practice in situations when somebody feels discriminated against or harrassed, and it's a *good* standard practice: building a list of incidents helps you build a case.
While you're doing those things, do two more: take a look at your expectations for the internship versus the facility's expectations for the internship. If there's a basic disconnect--in other words, if you wanted nursing experience and they put you into a position where you're learning to be a unit secretary--you'll need to talk to the coordinator about that as well.
Examine the culture of the place where you're interning, too. There are some places that are great, some that suck, and a whole bunch stuck in the middle. If you're in a place that just outright sucks--where there's a lot of what they call "lateral violence," like bullying or back-stabbing--you might need to go somewhere else. If you're in a place that's great but just isn't a good fit for you, again, you might need to find a different position somewhere that's a better match. If you're in one of those facilities that's in the middle, you can work with the people who treat you well in order to carve out a better learning experience.
Can you talk to the RN you mentioned and ask him or her to act as your advocate? That RN might have some insight as to what's happened with previous interns. She or he could tell you if the way you're being treated is something that's habitual, or if there's a better place within the facility to get the experience you want.
When you present all this stuff to the person in charge, be as unemotional as possible. Avoid the terms "slave-drivers" and "crap" at all costs. There's a certain amount of drudgery and general-factotum-ness in every job, and some of that's going to spill over into an unpaid position. (By the way, yeah, those RNs are getting paid for what you're doing. . .but that's kinda the nature of the beast.) Focus on how the stated goals of the internship aren't getting met, and be sure to present possible solutions. You can't just go in with a list of problems; you'll get a much better reception if you can come up with ideas for fixing them.