"Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" - page 5

Hey everyone. I'm finishing up my first semester of nursing school (finals next week :uhoh21:) and today we were doing skills pass off. Well, through the course of the day we had about three people... Read More

  1. by   Neveranurseagain
    Yes, sadly another example that nurses eat their young.
  2. by   jjjoy
    Quote from suanna
    Would you rather hear you should consider another career in your first semester or after you have wasted 3-4 years taking nursing specific classes and finding out you aren't cut out for the job.
    The thing is if an instructor is truly concerned about a student's ability and aptitude, blurting out "Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" when the student struggles at a task isn't constructive. While evaluating the task, the instructor should evaluate the task. If the student isn't performing well and it's a first attempt, it's the instructor's place to help the student improve their performance. If the student continues to not perform well, then it's the instructor's place to fail them.

    If a student is managing to pass all of the tests but the instructor is still convinced that the student won't make a good nurse, the instructor needs to figure out what the problem is. What's there to make an issues about if the student is passing? However, if the instructor has a strong sense that a student won't be happy or successful in nursing and their patients won't be safe, despite the student's ability to scrape by and pass all requirements and despite the various avenues of nursing a graduate may take, then tossing out a curt "Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" isn't the way to express a sincere concern for the student's future.
  3. by   jjjoy
    Quote from pelsmith
    >>no one else has a right to say that one isn't meant for something.

    actually, every American has the right to say something like that.

    What people don't have is the right to not be offended.
    Instructors have a right to say something like that... they have the right to toss off a curt, discouraging comment without any clear evidence given for their conclusion... after all, many a successful nurse struggled at some point in their educations so whatever struggle the student is facing doesn't necessarily mean that "maybe they shouldn't be a nurse"... but the instructor has the right to NOT help their students improve or to help them honestly reflect upon their desire and drive to be a nurse.

    However, a GOOD instructor wouldn't approach a sincere concern about a student's capabilities by tossing of a negative comment like "maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" at the end of a performance evaluation.

    And similarly, students have the right to be offended by such a remark. Being offended may not help them figure out what to make of the instructor's remark... does the instructor say that to motivate students? to scare students into trying harder? did the student do something particularly wrong to "deserve" such a poor judgement from the instructor? if so, what? ... being offended and huffing and griping doesn't help any. But a student can feel offended.

    And I don't think a student should automatically accept such kind of criticism. It could have many different interpretations... does the instructor think the student should just drop out now? does in the instructor think the student isn't trying hard enough? does the instructor say that to just about everyone in order to "test their meddle"? I think the student has a right to question the instructor and press for more specific feedback. However, many students are afraid to do this since nursing schools tends to be such that one mistake could cost you everything, and you don't want that one mistake to be pissing off an instructor who will be subjectively evaluating your performance.
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from dar15
    Listen - good. Believe everything they say? - Don't think so. If that were the case, how many leaders in different fields would be where they are today?
    It's all well and good to be discerning just be sure there is some objectivity there too because our ego's can be very fragile, making the distinction between reality and denial hard to see.
    And for that matter, I see many leaders in all kinds of fields who should have heeded the advice to do something else, but oh-bla-di-oh-bla-da...(that was on a list of the 50 worst songs of all time--I have to agree.)
  5. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from Clays02
    I was in an orientation for my first job as an RN a couple of weeks ago, and the woman who was talking to us discussed the heirarchy of nursing education and the fact that it has stayed the same for the last 30 years +. She said that her educational experience was plagued by a teacher who constantly told her that she would never be an adequate nurse. She proved the teacher wrong but it seems to be a trait for educators to belittle students who lack confidence in order to weed out people whom they deem to be unfit to become a nurse. Of course that's not right. Prove them wrong. When I started nursing school, I noticed this "trait" among teachers and I made it a point to act with total confidence even if I secretly lacked it. I felt like this is what made me successful in nursing school. And smile a lot .
    Even as a straight A nursing student with great clinical reviews, I approach my schooling in the exact same way....fake it til you make it baby!
  6. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from jjjoy
    Instructors have a right to say something like that... they have the right to toss off a curt, discouraging comment without any clear evidence given for their conclusion... after all, many a successful nurse struggled at some point in their educations so whatever struggle the student is facing doesn't necessarily mean that "maybe they shouldn't be a nurse"... but the instructor has the right to NOT help their students improve or to help them honestly reflect upon their desire and drive to be a nurse.
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you are saying, but it sounds like to me you are saying that it is NOT the responsibility of a nursing instructor to help the student to improve. If my assessment of your comment is correct, I find this particularly baffling. If it isn't the job of the instructor to help the student improve, why do they get paid? If it wasn't the role of the instructor (teacher...meaning to teach) to help a student improve, why not just throw us a text book and say "Good luck on the NCLEX"? Nursing is not, for most, an intuitive skill. It requires constant studying and the desire for understanding. If you can't look to your instructor (who is getting paid for that role) to help you to improve, who can a student nurse turn to?

    I do agree with you that it isn't the role of the instructor to play the role of moral police in deciding who will make a good nurse or not IN THE FIRST SEMESTER, that is a choice the student has made and has entered into an agreement with the school that in exchange for money, they will be provided with instruction and education. It isn't the place for any member of the nursing faculty to question a student's desire or reasons for wanting to become a nurse. There are a variety of legitimate reasons to want to go into nursing. Including financial and job security. Just because that might be what leads you to nursing school does not mean that you cannot deliver caring and competent care to patients.

    The fact of the matter is, if a student cannot perform up to standards set by the faculty, they will not progress to the next level. Of course these decisions should be made as objectively as possible, but time will tell if a student is not cut out for nursing school, and I heavily suspect that the first person to question their ability to become a nurse is the student them self. As students, we aren't filled with inflated ego's about our abilities, we are scared to make mistakes and scared to fail. Some more than others. The best way to determine if a student is cut out for nursing is a combination of their ability to meet course requirements (with the aid of the instructor--not to be misinterpreted as coddling) and an honest SELF assessment of their ability to handle the program or the job.

    Additionally, if a student is having consistent issues regarding tasks, ability to interact professionally with patients/staff, academic issues, or critical thinking abilities, the correct way to handle the situation is to privately sit the student down and outline the problem and provide potential solutions. If the student either does not take the advice or still isn't able to perform to standards, THEN the student might be counseled about alternatives, such as an CNA to LPN to RN program. Some students simply need a slower pace to learn. This does not reflect on the nurse they will eventually become, it merely reflects on their CURRENT abilities, which in time can absolutely improve if the desire and an instructor who is willing to aid the student in improving. If it isn't the job of the instructor to help a student improve, how can ANY student be expected to get a quality education? When you make the decision to become an instructor, you take on certain responsibilities, which include the willingness to present the material in the most practical and understandable way possible and the responsibility to identify weaknesses in a student and develop a plan of how to improve.

    If I misunderstood your comments, please don't take offense, as I apologize in advance. :spin:
  7. by   time4meRN
    I agree with what many said here. It's difficult to judge if what the instructor said was abusive. I would have to know the students background of completing assignments,test scores and over all abilities. Perhaps the instructor was just trying to get a point across to them. I can say though, If I'm the instructor and a student talks tuff to me they had better be ready to prove their point to me when push comes to shove. Because the game is on when the student pulls the "I'm a paying customer card on me". I agree there needs to be nurtchering but there also needs to be tough love. If the student thinks an instuctor telling them that is mean, just wait until they meet up with the cardiac thoracic sergeon that yells screams and throws. The nursing instructor is also there to give the student a back bone.
  8. by   nurse2b2010
    Quote from Rage
    First of all let me say that I'm 52 years old and was 50 when I started nursing school after retiring from 2 jobs. Now I'm one semester away from graduating, I have been told that I shouldn't be a nurse as well. What I told that professor was that I have been told that I couldn't do stuff all of my life.......then after making spec ops in the military, VP of Operations and owning and selling my own successful business, I think I'm a better judge at what I will and will not be.

    The first step to servitude is acceptance................ and accept only what you KNOW to be true. And remember opinions are like rectums.....everyone has one and most of them stink.

    yours truly,

    Rage, your message caught my attention because I am an older pre-nursing student (48 years old) (and hopefully getting in this Fall 08). You're right - I think you (the individual) are one of the best judges of whether you will succeed or not. If you are honest with yourself, you usually know the truth about what is being said. With that being said, however, I think the instructor needs to be tactful in giving her/his advice about the nursing student's capabilities. From there, it is the responsibility of the student to think about what is being said and then make a sensible decision of how to respond.

    Best of luck to you!
  9. by   nurse2b2010
    Quote from pelsmith
    >>no one else has a right to say that one isn't meant for something.

    actually, every American has the right to say something like that.

    What people don't have is the right to not be offended.

    I'm in a nursing program right now. I'm staying in until I either graduate or they throw me out. People started telling me a long time ago that I probably shouldn't be a nurse. After my first couple years on the job, I'll know if they were right or not.

    Marathons are about persistence.

    Pelsmith, can I ask why people would tell you you shouldn't be a nurse? Just curious. I suppose I am curious because I am pre-nursing and I just wonder what kind of reasons people give to say you should or shouldn't be a nurse?

    Thanks!
  10. by   jjjoy
    Quote from lostdruid
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you are saying
    My initial point was in response to someone who had said no one has the "right" to be offended by a statement such as "Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" - at least that was my understanding. My point was that a person DOES have the "right" to be offended and that perhaps the person the person meant that it was useless and unproductive to be offended, as opposed to whether or not they had a right to be offeded. I don't think I made that point too well.

    So my further, not-so-clear argument was that instructors ideally will teach well and be supportive of their students. Nonetheless, they have the "right" to be bad instructors. If they choose to practice the right to be a bad instructor, hopefully, they won't be instructors for long.

    I don't know if that clears anything up or not! Bottom line is that I think instructors SHOULD be supportive of students and if they identify a weakness, to first see if they help the student build on that area before passing judgement on the students' abilities. :spin:
  11. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from jjjoy
    My initial point was in response to someone who had said no one has the "right" to be offended by a statement such as "Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" - at least that was my understanding. My point was that a person DOES have the "right" to be offended and that perhaps the person the person meant that it was useless and unproductive to be offended, as opposed to whether or not they had a right to be offeded. I don't think I made that point too well.

    So my further, not-so-clear argument was that instructors ideally will teach well and be supportive of their students. Nonetheless, they have the "right" to be bad instructors. If they choose to practice the right to be a bad instructor, hopefully, they won't be instructors for long.

    I don't know if that clears anything up or not! Bottom line is that I think instructors SHOULD be supportive of students and if they identify a weakness, to first see if they help the student build on that area before passing judgement on the students' abilities. :spin:
    Gotcha! Thanks for setting me straight! :spin:

close