Never Give UP!

  1. last october of 2005, i started an or program here in vancouver canada. i came into a situation where the instructor bullied me, criticized me, ignored me, laughed at me. it was a horrible 5.5 months of dreading going into class/the or, crying, feeling stupid, questioning myself. to make things worse this instructor put me into an or room with her two friends who always yelled at me, belittled me, and made nasty comments....right in front of the doctors and other students.

    i was told things such as, "you've had it easy haven't you? you've had it easy all of your life" (implying i'm spoiled), she laughed at me with her favorite pet student, made things up about my performance or had expectations that she did not for the other students, she was sweet to the other students and ignored me in conversations, she would hug the other students and chat/laugh with them, even at one point went for dinner with them...minus me of course.

    even when i did very well or knew things the other students did not, my failures were highlighted instead...right in front of the other students. i would receive feedback right in front of the other students, "...you really need to improve ...you're lacking...bla bla bla ". in front of the other students, she even told me that the instructors and her feel that i am arrogant...when i started crying she changed the topic. the list is so long, needless to say, my confidence was down to 0.

    two weeks before graduation i was blamed for an incident that happened in the room....for a mistake the anesthetist and the circulating nurse made...because i did not notice this mistake, i was informed i would not get my certificate at the same as the other students did, but instead receive it sometime during my year commitment to the hospital. (this wouldn't even be a guarantee).

    that same week, two weeks before graduation, my instructor put her friend into my room, an instructor from another school who didn't work in my or or ever interact with me. this woman started yelling at me, she delayed surgery while all the surgeons stood sterile watching as i had to prep a patient over and over again. at one point the doctor himself said its enough, the prep is done, however this woman wouldn't budge telling everyone i had to do it the right way. with tears in my eyes i looked up at the or door and saw my instructor standing there with a smug grin on her face. she was enjoying ever moment.

    at that moment, i looked her friend in the face, stated the following, "i do not deserve to be treated like this, you are a cruel to me and i've had enough of this, i quit" ....and i left the or that moment and never returned.

    it was a horrible experience, two other students out of 12 also quit this program one finding her instructor difficult and the other simply did not want to be an or nurse after everything she went through. i should have gone to the union. however i was so unhealthy and sad after five months of hell, i had to get my sleep back on schedule, eat healthy, workout, and start feeling good about myself.

    after much thought, i realized that that particular or and instructor were not right for me. it wasn't me; it was the whole situation and instructor.

    after quitting i took six months off, was accepted into a masters program in a area outside of nursing, but decided that i couldn't just start something new without doing my or certificate...proving to myself that i can do it and am good enough....the woman, the instructor made me feel like a complete failure.

    so i went back and did a three month course on my own. in fact, i moved to a whole new city across the country to do this program. everyone there loved me and treated me so well. it validated to me that i am not stupid (as the or teacher had told me) and that i can be an excellent or nurse.

    i am so proud of myself. i just got the certificate in the mail. 14 months after i had started the original or program. to anyone out there, students and nurses alike ...never give up, don't let one or two nurses/instructors decide what your future will be like and please, never let anoyone tell you who you are.

    never give up, only you know what you are capable of. love yourself and respect yourself, others will too if you set boundaries in the way you want to be treated. also, always document document document situations and report situations...even if it’s off the record...so someone more objective and outside of the situation is aware.


    never give up.

    cheers
    Last edit by silly1982 on Dec 30, '06
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    good for you - to know yourself and your abilities

    you instructor sounds very unkind and unprofessional
  4. by   muffie
    a pox on that nasty unfulfilled, unself-actualized, poo-poo, dodo OR instructor

    wishing you every success and happiness in your new job and city
  5. by   muffie
    hi fellow canuck
  6. by   silly1982
    Canada!
  7. by   anne74
    Congrats! You are to be commended. You went through emotional/verbal abuse, and climbing out of that low place is incredibly hard. Most people would not be that strong - good for you!

    I went through a similiar situation. My first nursing job was on a med/surg speciality unit. My first preceptor was the devil. Very impatient, very inflexible and rude. If I made a mistake she would berate me, roll her eyes and walk off, disgusted. It made me feel like crap. It lowered my self-esteem so much - I was terrified to come to work, terrified to do anything because I was so afraid I'd do something wrong. I actually regressed and became "dumber" - making silly mistakes because I was so nervous and upset all the time. Then I had other nurses who would talk about me, send emails about mistakes I made, how I "was struggling" and needed to be watched more closely. I questioned myself and thought I made a big mistake and I had no place being a nurse.

    Finally one day I got in trouble because I didn't know how to do the paperwork/faxing, etc. for admitting a patient on the night shift. I didn't even know this process existed - my preceptor never showed me or even told me about it. The charge nurse decided that I was having trouble being off orientation, and I needed to be watched closely. So all the charge nurses had a meeting, and then preceded to start treating me like a child. I got fed up, and told them I couldn't work there anymore. Luckily my hospital has a new grad counselor - I talked to her, and got switched to a new unit. I am so much happier now! I also realized that I wasn't an idiot - I was just surrounded by evil, negative people. I'm thriving in my new unit - everyone is supportive and sings my praises. I finally feel validated being a nurse. There are a lot of sad, miserable people out there - you have to take control of your environment and eliminate those negative people who try to bring you down. Those people I used to work with are crazy.

    Good luck to you. I'm sure you're going to do great things. Maybe one of the best things you can do is become an instructor yourself. From your experience, you'll have compassion and wisdom that students need and deserve. We do, after all, PAY these people to teach us - not intimidate and harrass us. You should write a letter to your school's dean or someone just to bring this to their attention. Probably nothing will directly come out of it, but at least it puts a bug in the right person's ear to let them know this is going on. In fact, this miserable instructor is probably making some other student's life hell right now.

    Good for you for protecting yourself - you came out on top!
  8. by   MBARNBSN
    GOOD FOR YOU!!!! You have a lot of strength that most people only WISH they had including the pathetic "pet" students that went along with this crazy person's harassment! :angryfire

    You did the right thing. You had to remove yourself from the situation because it was impossible to get through it being attacked on a daily basis. I am the same way, if I have to go around an obstacle because going though it is next to impossible, you better believe I will! I'm all about never letting them see me coming!

    You did an outstanding job and I am very happy that somewhere deep deep deep down inside you when you were at your lowest you continued to believe in your abilities. Sometimes that is all it takes for a strong person to get right back up and reach her goals.
  9. by   oktravelnurse
    Good for you! It is really sad how some people react to new grads and students. Sometimes you just can't explain why or how someone acts. We need nurses, OR techs, etc. You were obviously getting a bad deal. Whenever I have had to train a new nurse I always ask what works best for them. I've never had a complaint yet. And everyone should realize, no one can work w/ a gun to their head (meaning unecessary pressure). I had such a hard time in school w/ the Chair of the nursing department that towards the end the other nursing faculty did not agree w/ the way she was treating me. I had to have a little meeting with her and explained that she was discriminating against me, I was advised by the rehab office to sue the univ. When I confronted her w/ her injustices and stated if she did not quit this kind of treatment I was going to sue the university and sue her for loss of income. I never heard another word out of her mouth. The entire time I was in school it seemed like I was sick. Her arrogance caused her a lot. She didn't go to the hospital when she should have and waited too long. When she was admitted she only lasted about 24 hours and died. She had only been retired for a year. Needless to say I believe that what goes around comes around. I'm glad you went back to school, you not only proved something very important to yourself you also restored your self-esteem. Good for you!
  10. by   Tweety
    Congratulations. Best of luck in all that you do.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Congrats - perseverance is such a great attribute and you have it!
  12. by   SarasotaRN2b
    My question is why is this allowed to happen? Is it a combination of those that have stronger personalities allowed to prey on those with more timid personalities? I know as I get older I'm not as timid as I used to be. I'm more likely to not let someone right roughshod over me.

    I guess I am just curious, that's all!
  13. by   silly1982
    Well I went to my OR manager when this was happening...she told me she new about this, but that the OR suits a certain personality type and that, although it is unfair, OR nurses do, "eat their young". This is what she told me...and also to hang in there.

    I should have gone right to the top, because this woman not only wasted 5.5 months out of my life, but the pain I experienced was horrible mentally and emotionally.

    I'm not sure why this is allowed to happen, but it happends everywhere in nursing. In Nursing school people would fail clinical just because they didn't get along with their teacher.

    There isn't a system of "checks and balances" in nursing, where nursing students (Whether already professional nurses doing an OR specialty or actual nursing students) have rights and have someone advocating for them.

    It seems sad miserable nursing teachers prey on ppl they dislike. I've heard of it over and over again, it just didn't happen to me till I had two years of nursing experience and was upgrading and specializing in the OR.

    Its sad and I think, even all these months later I am going to write a letter to someone higher up about my experience. At least it will be in a record somewhere. I feel stronger now to do this.
  14. by   dmarie (GA)
    I want you to know that your story inspired me. Believe in yourself! Good for you! :spin:

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