I work in a teaching facility where I am bound to run into any kind of student at any given time. EMT/ Paramedic students in the ER. Nursing students on the med/surg floors. Respiratory therapy students in my own department. Medical students any-fricken-where. You don't have to look too closely to tell they are students because their status as newbs just screams from them.
Let's start in the parking lot. If there is a cheap stethoscope hanging from a rearview mirror in any vehicle, that car belongs to a student. It's almost like a staus symbol. It's supposed to scream, "I work in healthcare and therefore am beyond cool.". Instead, it screams, "I am obnoxious and think I am going to randomly run from my car and into the fray to save a life. As soon as I finish school." I never did this. First of all, cheap stethoscopes are crap. You cannot hear with them. My very first stethoscope was a Littman Master Cardiology. $300. And it lasted me through my entire education and the beginning years of my career. As a matter of fact, I just replaced it last year. I never hung it from anything in my car because sun and cold, both, are damaging. And besides, I'm not that cheesy.
The Scrubs. If you have to wear scrubs as a uniform as a student, For the Love of All That is Holy, wash them first. Nothing says "I don't have a clue" like a pair of scrubs that still have that new sheen to them and come complete with creases down the legs or the sleeves. Just sayin'. We will all know you are a student, and by default, semi-retarded.
That Snazzy Piping. If by chance scrubs are not your uniform and you have an issued uniform (Student Nurses, this is you.), there is no hope for you. There is nothng that says you don't know what you are doing than that horrid piping they insist on having along every seam of every piece of uniform you all are made to wear. The only thing I can say to you is that it will all be over soon.
The Stare. They all have it to varying degrees. This goes for the resident fresh from medical school, looking lost and as if they are playing dress-up in Mommy or Daddy's lab coat, to the nursing student in the ICU seeing a critically-ill patient for the first time. All the way down to the RT students I encounter, who sit in our department waiting to do rounds with their preceptor and looking at all of us like we are Creatures from the Beyond. Nothing says "I am dumb enough to kill your loved one" like that stare.
It's not that I have anything against students. I was one once, and I was just as dumb. I never did the stethoscope thing, though. What I did do was feel uber-cool because I got to wear scrubs and have a steth around my neck. Ha! Those were the days. And then I couldn't wait to get out of school so I could buy cute scrubs in place of the navy ones they made me wear in school. Now, years later, those cutesy scrubs hang in my closet while I wear the OR greens everyday. I also don't feel quite so cool these days. Instead, I've become jaded. It's just what I do. When did it get like that? When did I get hard and bored and so blah about the whole thing? Maybe I need to revert to my student days.