All too often, I’m told to do a task that I’m completely unfamiliar with. A resident will tell me to go fetch something or an attending will ask me to use some tool. Almost every time, it is a nurse that knows exactly what I’m looking for and will take time to help me locate said items. When you start your rotations make sure to be nice to the nurses on the floors. They are an integral part of the healthcare team and are amazing resources. When I’m asked to go see a patient, I always seek out the nurse assigned to my patient and have them give me an update about how the patient did overnight. They are the best resource for this because they are heavily involved in patient care!
That being said, it isn’t simply a one way street. When a nurse asks about a patient, be sure to answer their question. If you don’t know, go find out and let them know. If you can, help transport patients from one area to the other; if they ask you for help, try your best to help them! Perhaps the best thing you can do as a medical student is to simply be warm and engaging towards the nurses. As long as you’re approachable, they can become your best friends on the floors. I cannot tell you how many times a nurse has saved me, when I’m trying to figure out all the different items and their locations for putting an IV in someone!