Patient Assignments

  • Instructors and/or students consult with the unit charge nurse prior to making patient care assignments. If there is more than one student on one unit, it works best for assignments to be made by the instructor or one student representative. It is not acceptable for different people to come in at different times of the day, all asking the charge nurse the same questions. The nursing unit retains the right to accept or reject the student’s proposed assignment.
  • It is optimal that each RN only have one student assigned to him/her.
  • All students, except those completing their final practicum, are to fill out a Clinical Objectives Communication form and present a copy to the staff nurse responsible for their patient(s) each day.
  • It is the expectation that all students will have clear objectives or goals for each day of their clinical experience or observation. Students are to communicate with staff early and often if there are changes in what the student had planned to achieve for the day. If a student comes to clinical without a sense of what they want to get out of the time, they may be asked to leave the unit/area.
  • Do not have students work on patient assignments at change of shift.
  • Be aware of the potential for competing needs for patient assignments. RN residents in Swedish’s RN Residency Program (new graduates, new to specialty, new to acute care) get priority to patient assignments and preceptors.

Observations in the Operating Room

  • Requests for peri-operative observational experiences can be made up to one year in advance.
  • Contact Anne Beckham, OR Professional Development Specialist, at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter to coordinate a schedule for your students' observation experiences:
  • Students are expected to have an understanding of basic aseptic technique prior to their observational experience. Students will participate in both an online and onsite orientation provided by Surgical Services. All assignments given during orientation must be completed before the students are allowed to observe.
  • Swedish remains interested in and committed to providing OR observation experiences for students who are prepared and motivated. If you have students who do not want to participate in an OR observation experience, we ask that you not schedule them for such.

Patient Consent

Patients have a right to accept or decline being assigned to a student. The instructor or student is to request this approval from the patient. If the patient is unavailable or unable to provide approval, approval is obtained by the charge nurse. Students are to introduce themselves to the patient, explain their role and that they are working with the unit staff. Patient care is not to be compromised by delaying care in order to grant the student a specific learning experience.