New Slant on ADN vs BSN: are ADN programs anti-intellectual?

  1. I was preparing some med sheets that a group of my classmates and I made up for the medications we were given as likely meds to be given.

    While doing this, I learned an interesting fact: that if the urine is alkaline, up to 80% of ASA would be eliminated from the body, compared to 2-3% if it is acidotic (according to Davis' Drug Guide for Nurses).

    When I shared this with the lab instructor, she swept her hand over the mannikins and said "Where would I need to know that?"

    I then shared it with the 1st term instructor, who also teaches pharmacology, who also seemed to shine it on as like "why would you need to know that?"

    After being lectured by the lab instructor some time after this event, she as much as said that I was confusing other students by asking "tangential" questions in class. (For me, the questions help me to form a bigger picture.)
    She said, surely I must have been told this in other classes? I have a long history of education and many many units, and I said--"No, I've never been told that before I entered nursing school." (In fact, I've been told as much that I am "selfish" for asking questions.)

    Another pharmacology teacher put down several foreign students who said that activated charcoal was used in their country as an anti-emetic, for indigestion--she told them that if someone took activated charcoal it would cause them to vomit (not true). How activated charcoal works was eventually brought up by another instructor who assured us that activated charcoal was not an emetic.

    While we are told our ADN program has an excellent reputation, these kinds of responses bother me. I always learn better when I know MORE, because I understand how everything works.

    I feel like my school and I have different educational philosophies.

    Are all nursing schools like this? Is it more prevalent among ADN programs? I am a bit disappointed, to say the least.

    Thanks,

    NurseFirst
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Apr 19, '05
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  2. 54 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I think you made them look bad by sharing information they didn't know. Sounds more like an ego problem than an ADN vs. BSN problem. How irritating to stifle learning.

    Keep learning, keep sharing and keep a curious mind. Don't let the trolls bring you down.
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    Does sound more like an ego problem.

    This happens often to folks with "curious" minds. Teachers try to keep everyone on track, the average, the struggling and the academically gifted.

    Stay curious.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am going to ask you politely, please don't start a war based on YOUR ADN program experiences.

    To answer your question: No, ADN programs are NOT "anti-intellectual". At least, that is not my experience. I am sorry for what you encountered, but to make a sweeping "headline" for a thread like this is sure to be like mixing gasoline and fire and then stepping back to see what happens.....

    Please, take this one up w/your program director when you can. Your philosophy and his or hers MAY be the same, for all you know. There were many times I had discussions with my program director over issues that bothered me. I was glad to be able to bring them to her attention and fortunately, she was a good listener. Not always did it result in any change, (more often NOT)----- but it was good to talk to her and find out she and I were not that different at all in our beliefs, ethics and philosophies.

    In any event, based on what you describe here, You are right to be upset. Use that energy to do something about it! Good luck.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 19, '05
  6. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I am going to ask you politely, please don't start a war based on YOUR ADN program experiences.

    To answer your question: No, ADN programs are NOT "anti-intellectual". At least, that is not my experience. I am sorry for what you encountered, but to make a sweeping "headline" for a thread like this is sure to be like mixing gasoline and fir and then stepping back to see what happens.....

    It's not necessary or fair. Take this one up w/your program director when you can. You are right to be upset.
    Sorry, I wasn't trying to start a war. I was just wondering if I should consider changing programs. I'm concerned that this "reputation" of mine is going to influence my future by limiting my choices in preceptorship and future positions. And I would like to know what other people's experiences are. This doesn't have to be gasoline on fire: we've had a pretty reasonable discussion re: Terry Schiavo. If I had such a low opinion of the other posters on this board to not be able to carry on a reasonable discussion, then I would not have posted it. The question was an honest question; not one to inspire incindiary (sp?) rhetoric. I'm sorry you feel that was what I was trying to do.

    Friends?

    NurseFirst
  7. by   sunnyjohn
    If you feel you are not getting a quality education in your current oprogram or you are not being challenged, then by all means you should look into transferring. It is your money. And you are investing time.

    This program may just not be the right one for you.

    Getting into nursing school is so challenging. I couldn't imagine going through it again with a transfer, though I am sure it is possible.

    Agape.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    You definately have the right to better your situation anyway you see fit, as an adult learner and paying student.

    But I just had major concerns with the title of your thread. It will rub some of us (not just ADN grads, but those who teach in these programs)--- the wrong way, I am only saying.

    I wish you good luck, whatever you decide to do.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 19, '05
  9. by   RN4NICU
    Definitely sounds like an instructor ego problem to me. The information is very important and shame on the instructors if they do not realize the importance. It affects absorption and elimination rates of the drug. How can they not see the importance in that? Alterations in urine pH can open you up to drug toxicity or sub-therapeutic drug levels because of how absorption and elimination are affected. To me, knowing things like that is part of safe and competent medication administration. What is their theory on medication administration? Do they just stop with the 5 rights? (or is it 6 now? I keep forgetting.)
  10. by   live4today
    Quote from NurseFirst
    .................................................. .......................
    While we are told our ADN program has an excellent reputation, these kinds of responses bother me. I always learn better when I know MORE, because I understand how everything works.

    I feel like my school and I have different educational philosophies.

    Are all nursing schools like this? Is it more prevalent among ADN programs? I am a bit disappointed, to say the least.

    Thanks,

    NurseFirst
    This is NOT prevalent among the ADN programs I'm familiar with. It has nothing to do with the type of educational program being taught, but more to do with the mindset of the instructors who probably didn't know the correct answers. There will always be instructors who do NOT like having their education challenged by a student just like there are instructors who don't mind the learning challenge presented to them at "off the wall" moments -- so to speak (unprepared for questions/lectures/answers).

    Some people think that if they are in authority over you that they have to always present themselves as "know-it-alls" rather than to be "human enough" to say "You know, I truly do not know the correct answer to your question, but the answer is well worth our pursuing so we will both know in the event we are ever presented with that question again by someone who asks."

    I don't know about the ADN program you are in, but I know without a doubt no other school in the country could have educated me better, or prepared me better than the college I attended. I always praise that college!

    Perhaps you should take your instructors aside one on one and ask them if they can give you a reason why they put you off everytime you ask challenging or thought provoking questions. That would be something I would do.
  11. by   meownsmile
    Although the information may be important, regardless of whether it is a ADN or BSN program i rather doubt you will get into the metabolic processes of many medications to the point that this would be a major discussion area.
    I think speaking to your instructor after class and having a in-depth discussion regarding this is very appropriate, but classtime is usually very structured because of the amount of information they have to get through. So this just wasnt a major topic she felt she needed to delve into at the time. And rightly so, it would have taken a major portion of her classtime trying to clearify things for other students that werent as intrested in it as you.

    What i might suggest is that if there is a topic that you feel the need to immerse yourself in, you continue your education to include that as a field of specialty. I know of a person that was so intrigued by cardiac phisiology she continued and got a Phd in it. She taught ADN's and was the best instructor you could have asked for to teach cardiac units.
  12. by   RN4NICU
    The thing that struck me was the instructor's reply: "Where would I need to know that?" Um, how about aspirin toxicity - do you think you might want to know about it then? If the instructor had replied "We can discuss this after class, but we need to get through this material right now" that would have been different, but to suggest to a future nurse that she does not need to know things about drugs such as what affects their absorption and excretion, that is a little scary.
  13. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from RN4NICU
    The thing that struck me was the instructor's reply: "Where would I need to know that?" Um, how about aspirin toxicity - do you think you might want to know about it then? If the instructor had replied "We can discuss this after class, but we need to get through this material right now" that would have been different, but to suggest to a future nurse that she does not need to know things about drugs such as what affects their absorption and excretion, that is a little scary.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. The conversation about the ASA occurred entirely outside of class time. In fact, I'm not sure if I even had a class that day.

    Thanks,

    NurseFirst
  14. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from meownsmile
    although the information may be important, regardless of whether it is a adn or bsn program i rather doubt you will get into the metabolic processes of many medications to the point that this would be a major discussion area.

    that little factoid is a major discussion area? i'm a bit dumbfounded by your response. they certainly tested us to know that an asa od causes metabolic acidosis.

    i think speaking to your instructor after class and having a in-depth discussion regarding this is very appropriate, but classtime is usually very structured because of the amount of information they have to get through.

    how is that different from any other academic class? that sounds soooo much like the "party line" to me--almost like a knee-jerk response. in, perhaps the most contradictory activity to that party line was the instructor who decided it was too beautiful a day to have lecture, and for everyone to read the topic in our books.


    so this just wasnt a major topic she felt she needed to delve into at the time. and rightly so, it would have taken a major portion of her classtime trying to clearify things for other students that werent as intrested in it as you.

    i spent over 4 years working in administrative staff in an e.r., i had the opportunity to see asa ods. to me, it sounded like a fact that just might save somebody's life some day. (most tragically, i happened to see a 16 year old who wanted to get back at her mother and swallowed a bunch of asa as a "suicidal gesture" (not real intent)--who died anyway, in spite of that.) again, i don't see how this little factoid would have taken a major part of class time.

    what i might suggest is that if there is a topic that you feel the need to immerse yourself in, you continue your education to include that as a field of specialty. i know of a person that was so intrigued by cardiac phisiology she continued and got a phd in it. she taught adn's and was the best instructor you could have asked for to teach cardiac units.
    meownsmile,

    i have read many of your posts before, and have enjoyed them. but here, you (and smilingblueeyes, whose posts i've also enjoyed) come across speaking some kind of weird "edu-speak" (altho' sbe a little less so.) your last paragraph is also a kind of "all or nothing" thinking that glosses over the issue without really addressing the immediate problem.

    thank you all for your responses.

    nursefirst
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Apr 19, '05

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