Flowerchild - excellent call!!!!
This is going to be a great thread! I have a great story .....
When I was in nursing school, my instructor was a psychiatric ARNP. She had taught at the school for many years and was considered a "pro" by her peers and to be feared by her students. Entering nursing school as an advance placement LPN to RN, my first class was with this instructor. Her focus was to teach, live, eat and breath therapeutic communication and to critically think. I thought that she was a real interesting lady and was concerned during my first skills assessment when she failed me. I was sure I would never pass nursing school as she was one tough cookie.
I was an acute care experienced LPN and knew my stuff (yea, a little attitude - but that would all change). I felt like going to RN school was nothing more than "paying my dues." She was about to teach me that I was not only wrong about my thought process, there was much I could learn. I passed my first semester with her (actually got a "B") and I was a straight A student. As we were registering for our next semester, I realized that not only was I in her theory class, she was also my clinical instructor. The semester was tough .... I thought I was able to communicate very well with my patients, but daily she made me a nervous wreck. She would detail every conversation I had with my patients, ask me constantly why I was performing this or why I was giving that .... she seemed to be on my back every moment. At the end of the semester, the school decided they were going to begin student clinical evaluations to see if the students learned enough in clinical to advance to the next semester. Regardless of the student's theory grade, if they did not perform as expected in clinical, they would fail the semester and be required to take it over.
I was sweating bullets as I read the list of instructors that would be supervising the clinical evaluations. As my luck would have it, she would be evaluating me at my clinical eval. I was paniced! I knew that it was all about to end for me. My confidence was shot and I thought I should bail out before the eval rather than be embarassed by her. But, I toughed it out, went through my eval and passed!
My last semester of nursing school, I thought for sure I would have a new face! Not so .... she was once again my clinical instructor and theory professor. My fear level was still high, but I learned that she would be retiring after many years of teaching at this college.
My last semester of nursing school was unlike any other education I had ever received. This instrustor had personally selected each student that would be in her clinical group. We were never told this until graduation, but she wanted to impart her wisdom, skills and pass the torch to a new generation of nurses. We were that generation. During that semester, she taught us skills and processes that I would have never learned from anyone else. It was almost like she open the flood gait of knowledge and gave it all to us.
As the semester concluded, I took very ill. I was only 3 weeks from graduation and needed to miss some clinical time due to health problems. I was concerned about telling her as that fear of her still lingered. Not only did she allow me the time off from clinicals, she never reported the absences until after graduation and after the transcripts had been sent to the BON.
On graduation day, she took me aside just before we went on stage to collect our degree and she thanked me for being a nurse and for being such a giving and loving student. SHe wanted me to know that the reason she pressed me so hard, was because she knew I could be a great RN.
Today we have lost touch, but I know there are 15 other nurses out there that were in this clinical and theory group that feel the same way. This instructor is and will always be my nursing hero. I only wish that nursing students today have half the opportunity she gave to me. Thats my nursing hero story and it is all true!