Forgive me, but I've noticed on these boards when a student is afraid of a overly harsh clinical instructor, there seems to be a running theme: angry clinical instructors that embarrass students, intimidate them, and make them afraid of them are the clinical instructors you want, because they make you work hard?
This is grossly incorrect, in my humble opinion. I had a clinical instructor who picked on only me in a class of eight people. She would actually chart for other students, was kind to them. When it came to me, she embarrassed me in front of patients, their families, and other staff. She talked down to me, she consistently made me feel that I was not going to be a good nurse.
Absolutely EVERYTHING I did was wrong, and nothing I did was right. Even when there were no mistakes on my charting, she made it a point NOT to tell me how well I was doing, yet did it with other students.
It had a horrible effect on me: I lost 25 pounds, I was stressed out beyond belief. I was not sleeping, and it took a toll on other classes I was taking. I am an A student, and I began to get grades that were below that. It was then that I took control of my life.
I realized that when there is a person, instructor, boss, manager, who you can NEVER, EVER PLEASE, despite how hard you work, and how correct your work may be, there may be a personality disorder there, and you may need to simply talk to other faculty who may be able to talk to the instructor. You may just need to realize that IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S THEM. And that's ok. It's ok to realize that you are doing your best, and there are people who you cannot please. But lateral violence, nurses being mean and cruel to each other, and younger nurses accepting this attitude and even praising it is baffling to me.
This harshness and uncaring attitude that some clinical instructors show to students is what fuels lateral violence in the nursing profession, and it makes being a nurse more about personality conflicts than taking care of patients. In nursing school
, I have seen more times than I care to remember other nurses who are mean and cruel to new nurses, or me as a nursing student. I don't cower in a corner like many nursing students, I stand up to nurses like that, and demand to be treated with respect.
I can understand that nursing students may be afraid to cross these clinical instructors, but what kind of nurse will you be, and how can you advocate for patients, if you cannot advocate for yourself? You need courage to be a nurse, and it seems that the message on many boards is: "do what you can with mean clinical instructors, be silent, accept the abuse, and move on". This just seems strange to me since as nurses, we need to be strong for our patients.
There is a nursing shortage going on, and we don't need students dropping out of programs because they have clinical instructors stuck in the past who think it's acceptable to embarrass and intimidate students and create a hostile class environment. It's unnecessary, and we as nurses need to acknowledge it.
I think it's high time that abusive instructors and nurses who practice lateral violence to other nurses and CNA's realize just how they are making this nursing shortage worse, by discouraging bright and talented nurses who don't need the cruelty. For those of you who are reading this who practice this behavior and you know who you are: Stop It.
And we wonder why so many nurses leave the profession.