Bipolar nursing instructors

  1. I am in my last 8 weeks of my first year of an ADN program. Throughout this entire 8 weeks my clinical instuctor has been driving me crazy. Two weeks ago we had midterm. Everything was fine. She said I had a little too much anxiety but that would ease with time. The next week, she asked me a question about something in the chart and when I hesitated trying to think of the answer she became very angry. At the end of that clinical she told me she was failing me. I went home in tears. She called me that night at home and said she would give me another chance but I would have to do an extra clinical day which I did and it went well. At that time I had only 1 clinical day left and that day also went well. At the end of that clinical day, she again told me she was failing me. She said she did not think that I was ready to go to 2nd year. I stayed calm but told her that I would appeal her decision.SHe became visibly upset and told me that maybe if we could do 1 more clinical day that she could probably get me passed. I told her no. We had an exam the next day and I was so upset I could not study. There was no sense of studying or going in and taking the exam if I failed clinical. Before all
    this started I had a B in the class. She told me to go on to class and take my exam and to come talk to her the next day after the exam. So I went to class the next day and took the exam and got a D. The worst grade I have had. Right after the exam she came into my class and told me she had decided not to fail me after all. Now I have my final coming up and have lost points due to the bad grade. Should I go to the Dean of students? What can I do??
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Curious1alwys
    Ok, is there more to this story or does this teacher just get to decide whether she wants to fail you/pass you according to whatever strikes her fancy that day?? Sounds totally harsh. She shouldn't be able to go back and forth like that and make you do all these extra clinical days. Are you leaving any other information we should know about out???

    If not, if you are doing well...er, were doing well in clinicals and class and this teacher is totally unjustified then YES I would complain. I feel horrible for you! How awful! Best of luck to you!:kiss
  4. by   LEL
    Quote from Julie029
    I am in my last 8 weeks of my first year of an ADN program. Throughout this entire 8 weeks my clinical instuctor has been driving me crazy. Two weeks ago we had midterm. Everything was fine. She said I had a little too much anxiety but that would ease with time. The next week, she asked me a question about something in the chart and when I hesitated trying to think of the answer she became very angry. At the end of that clinical she told me she was failing me. I went home in tears. She called me that night at home and said she would give me another chance but I would have to do an extra clinical day which I did and it went well. At that time I had only 1 clinical day left and that day also went well. At the end of that clinical day, she again told me she was failing me. She said she did not think that I was ready to go to 2nd year. I stayed calm but told her that I would appeal her decision.SHe became visibly upset and told me that maybe if we could do 1 more clinical day that she could probably get me passed. I told her no. We had an exam the next day and I was so upset I could not study. There was no sense of studying or going in and taking the exam if I failed clinical. Before all
    this started I had a B in the class. She told me to go on to class and take my exam and to come talk to her the next day after the exam. So I went to class the next day and took the exam and got a D. The worst grade I have had. Right after the exam she came into my class and told me she had decided not to fail me after all. Now I have my final coming up and have lost points due to the bad grade. Should I go to the Dean of students? What can I do??

    You are there to learn not to be terrorized. Take the proper steps and report her.
  5. by   Julie029
    I went to her after my exam and asked her what she was trying to do to me. She said she had done alot of soul searching the night before and had been reading her Bible. She said that she had seen a weakness in me in clinical and felt that I was not cut out for nursing. That is why she was going to fail me. At one point in clinicals she told me that I needed to withdrawl and that I should think about another occupation. Anyway, she told me that she could not fail me because I have alot of compassion. She said she thought I would struggle my 2nd year and she hoped the best for me.
  6. by   gwenith
    She is an instructor not a prophet from the almighty - document document, document in the most dispaddionate way possible and take it up the chain of command. If she cannot give you a define reason - a clinically related reason for the failing grade then you have due cause for appeal.
  7. by   AMARTIN1
    This lady sounds crazy and shouldn't be teaching!!! She doesn't know if your cut out to be a nurse or not. She is not GOD and shouldn't be bringing the bible up as a reason to fail you!! Don't get discouraged and don't back down. You made it your first year and can make it a second. Good luck to you and God Bless :angel2: AMARTIN1
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Julie029
    I went to her after my exam and asked her what she was trying to do to me. She said she had done alot of soul searching the night before and had been reading her Bible.
    This clinical instructor is problematic because she really shouldn't intermingle your clinical experiences with her personal soul-searching or readings of the Bible. If a true weakness exists with your clinical performance, then she should have been able to put it in writing. It is definitely not professional to for this instructor to connect your clinical performance with any religion. After all, nursing students are continually learning new things throughout the course of their schooling and therefore aren't perfect.

    This instructor shouldn't expect perfection out of you. If you are making an attempt to learn and master your skills, she would be unfair to threaten to fail you.
  9. by   Leda
    You need to seek outside help, from your academic advisor and/or the director of the nursing program, ASAP. Nursing students are evaluated based on the published clinical objectives for the nursing course. If you meet the critieria for the clinical objectives, then you pass. If you don't, you are to be notified specifically where you are deficient so that you can remediate the deficiencies prior to the end of the course. Instructors are not supposed to make unilateral decisions concerning clinical failures. This should be done according to published nursing department policies and procedures.

    Nursing students can fail clinically but due process must be followed and that does not seem to be the case according to your post.

    Best of luck to you for a resolution to your situation.
  10. by   nurse4theplanet
    This woman has serious issues with life in general if she is having to do some serious "soul searching" and consulting her Bible about what decisions she should make about a student. She also is abusing her power as an instructor, and confusing her own values and feelings with her responsibility as an instructor

    She seriously has lost her marbles and is toying with you emotions

    Definitely report this because she will do this to another who may not have the courage to speak up. If your school is as strict as mine, I am sure they will not let you retake the test that you did poorly on. However, this teacher is not mentally stable right now. (Don't misinterpret that into me not being spiritual and calling her crazy for using her religion to make decisions...I pray about everything) As an instructor she has a duty to fail any nursing student that she feels would be dangerous to the client based on objective observation of the students level of preparation, time management, safe and effective medication administration, and appropriate and safe nursing interventions. Not how she "feels" about the student, the "vibe" she gets, her nursing "intuition", or any other "hunch, urge, premonition, etc.etc." :angel2:

    If you followed your schools clinical rules and guidelines, hospital guidelines and protocols, and provided safe and effective nursing care then she has no grounds to consider failing you or making you do extra clinical time. And you have the right to receive her decision in an appropriate time frame, not be stuck waiting for an answer. That is what urks me about nursing school, everything from clinical to careplans is so subjective, and you can be kicked out based on one person's perception of your abilities
  11. by   psalm
    ...one of my clinical instructors was going thru some big-time marital woes and it reflected in her behavior towards her students in clinicals and in the classroom. She wrote me up for some things on a clinical day and I was supposed to sign it. I signed it AFTER I wrote a rebuttal or "my take on the situation", I agreed to some of it but not all of it and wrote that she was there to guide me blah blah blah. Turns out I wasn't getting the messages she had supposedly passed on to all the other students...and why was that? Dunno. But she did play favorites and I wasn't one of them.

    ...as was said before, DOCUMENT! And go to dean of nursing or whatever your school calls it with the proof you have. This can't continue. I am praying for you. Be strong.
  12. by   fiestynurse
    This instructor is not being objective in her evaluation of your clinical performance. It appears that you are the victim of her emotional instability. I would definitely make an appointment to speak to the Dean. I had a similar experience with an instructor, who was going through a divorce. My mother accompanied me to the meeting with my Dean after I told her what this instructor had done to me during a clinical. Needless to say, I was transferred to another clinical with a different instructor and received an "A" in the class.
  13. by   Thunderwolf
    You have received good counsel here. You are being trained to be a nurse, based on clear OBJECTIVES set by the school. You are not training to be a nun or religious person. I agree...abuse of power. Maybe the instructor needs to take a sabbatical for additional soul searching on her part. But, that is not in your control or issue. It only becomes your issue when it impacts your training. Document, report it up the chain...but, only after you have clear documentation that presents your case.
  14. by   suebird3
    [font=Comic Sans MS]Good luck! Let us know how your situation goes.

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