Bullying in nursing school

  1. I am an older nursing student working to achieve a lifetime goal of getting my RN. I have experienced "Nurses Eat Their Young" from two teachers in the form of remarks like you strntvtsking this seriously, you're the only student struggling with this. When loading a syringe the teacher kept firing questions at me. I finally said to her st one point, "I must not have done this correctly because you keep asking me questions." She said, "Not necessarily." She went on to accuse me of padding my patient assessment. It goes on. Yet I got a final grade of 84.5 in Nursing Theory. I wonder if anyone else has experienced bullying while in nursing school.
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    About Dee112

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 8

    25 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Dee112
    I am an older nursing student working to achieve a lifetime goal of getting my RN. I have experienced "Nurses Eat Their Young" from two teachers in the form of remarks like you strntvtsking this seriously, you're the only student struggling with this. When loading a syringe the teacher kept firing questions at me. I finally said to her st one point, "I must not have done this correctly because you keep asking me questions." She said, "Not necessarily." She went on to accuse me of padding my patient assessment. It goes on. Yet I got a final grade of 84.5 in Nursing Theory. I wonder if anyone else has experienced bullying while in nursing school.
    I'm sure you'll get plenty of responses from posters who are certain they've been bullied in nursing school - whether or not they have actually been bullied. But here's the thing: nurses don't actually eat their young. There is no more bullying in nursing that there is among lawyers, construction workers, law enforcement officers, miners or teachers. Where there are people, there are those who find it difficult to get along with their peers, those who are difficult to get along with and those who would much rather look for bullies than to take responsibility for their own stuff.

    I'm not sure what "strntvtsking this seriously" means, but it doesn't sound like bullying. And it's the teacher's job to make sure you understand what you're doing, why you're doing it, how you're doing it, and what are the implications for the patient you're eventually going to be doing it to. If they're not asking you questions to assess your level of knowledge, they aren't doing their jobs.

    If you're looking for bullies, you will find them. Even if there aren't actually any bullies. Better to go looking for teachers who expect a lot out of you, peers who help you to learn and colleagues who are supportive and welcoming. You're more likely to find what you're looking for, so look for the good stuff.
  4. by   AnnieNP
    I'm so sorry to hear this. The only advice I have is to keep your eye on the prize. Ask your instructors for help and guidance. If you are the only one struggling with certain things you need to find out why. Don't be afraid to ask your instructors for help. Good luck.
  5. by   Apple-Core
    Have you spoken directly with the Professor(s)? Tackle it head-on.
  6. by   RainbowSprinkles
    Random situation, I once worked for a internal medicine doctor. When I first started the job as a medical secretary it was ultimate hell, he would everything right away, he would scold me on numerous occasions, snap his fingers at me, I've cried countless of times, and he question me on everything. Fast forward to now, I currently do not work for him anymore but he is a close friend of mine and many other co workers. He helped me developed thick skin, work efficiently under pressure, and be able to get things done before it was even ask of. I don't have all of the details of your situations but try not to take things so personal; yes nursing is kind and caring but it also could be a cold world. I feel like folks often talk about nurses eating their young but never mention how it may be in the nursing field when interacting with nasty/pushy doctors, patients, and other members of the healthcare team.
  7. by   Wiggly Litchi
    Quote from Dee112
    I am an older nursing student working to achieve a lifetime goal of getting my RN. I have experienced "Nurses Eat Their Young" from two teachers in the form of remarks like you strntvtsking this seriously, you're the only student struggling with this. When loading a syringe the teacher kept firing questions at me. I finally said to her st one point, "I must not have done this correctly because you keep asking me questions." She said, "Not necessarily." She went on to accuse me of padding my patient assessment. It goes on. Yet I got a final grade of 84.5 in Nursing Theory. I wonder if anyone else has experienced bullying while in nursing school.
    If you're worried about bullying, try talking with them about it. You can ask them questions such as "Back in class, you said that I was the only one struggling with this; do you have any tips that will make this easier?" If you frame it in a way that shows that you respect their input, then they may be more likely to tell you why they may think that way.

    As for the many questions, I've faced things like that from coworkers, and even old professors before (outside of nursing though). Usually if I'm being grilled like that, they want to make sure I know what I'm doing/why etc. It's very easy to go through the motions and get stuck on autopilot, but healthcare is a field where we can't afford to be on autopilot - that's where errors happen.

    Think constantly about the why - why does the pt need this medicine? Why are you giving it to them? Why are you giving that particular dose? Why are you administering it in that particular route? Why are you drawing your meds in that particular manner?
    There's so many 'why's! Don't take it personally if you can help it; it sounds like your instructor is trying to get you to think on your feet more.
  8. by   Dee112
    Gee Ruby, you found a mistyped word which seemed important to you especially since you pointed it out. It should have been "You aren't taking this seriously." This was after my first clinicals day when we were required to get a certain number of each of the vital signs. Silly me was trying to do this honestly and fell behind and didn't get the assignment completed. I saw classmates who also didn't get the assignment finished and padded the numbers before they handed in their papers. Yes, you get punished for being honest. What I mentioned was just a few of the incidents. It was a constant stream of snide, subjective statements when reviewing my work. I don't need anyone to make me "tougher" and able to deal with difficult patients, family, doctors, etc. I am paying good money for this school. What I need is an education. When I ask a teacher in my first clinicals class what the Angle of Louis feels like and she and her peers stare at me without answering, how is that education? I have talked to one school official who said I was the third person to come to her with this issue. It IS a problem. There is reasearch and documentation available if you want to learn about this. If you don't want to learn then you are perpetuating the problem. Tell me what benefit or how it is education to reduce an grown woman to tears while she is pulling meds for the first time? The teacher totally ripped her apart not only in front of her classmates but the floor nurses and PCAs. You don know me and you don't know my life experiences. How "tough" do you have to be to be a female head union steward for 7 years? I had someone follow me into the parking lot and threaten to beat me up. I also had my car keyed at this time. I've stood up to Management and Administrative people who could make my wortk life miserable. I've sat in contract negotiations with big city lawyers and called them on it when they changed the wording that we just agreed to. So don't talk to me about being "tough." And that's just the tip of the ice berg. That's an excuse for the kind of treatment that is being perpetuated. I'm in nursing school. I'm not at the police academy, or medical school, or law school. I don't care if people in those fields also abuse and mistreat others. I'm concerned first about the nursing field.
  9. by   MiladyMalarkey
    I don't know your situation but I'll share an experience with you. Had a boss, super type A & was what I thought a micromanager. I despised her, always thought she was riding my ass & nitpicking my work. She was a tough cookie. When I left my position a couple years later & sat in her office to tell her, she tried convincing me to stay as a supervisor position (equivalent to hers) was opening & she felt I should go for it, told me I was one of the best employees she's had. Point is, she rode me hard in my work, but made me one of her best workers & she actually liked me the entire time. Like I said, don't know your situation but it may be a matter of tough love, they see your potential & are pressing you hard to get it. You'll hate that in the moment but may look back one day & think that was the person who sharpened your skills & you as a person. Just a thought.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Dee112
    Gee Ruby, you found a mistyped word which seemed important to you especially since you pointed it out. It should have been "You aren't taking this seriously." This was after my first clinicals day when we were required to get a certain number of each of the vital signs. Silly me was trying to do this honestly and fell behind and didn't get the assignment completed. I saw classmates who also didn't get the assignment finished and padded the numbers before they handed in their papers. Yes, you get punished for being honest. What I mentioned was just a few of the incidents. It was a constant stream of snide, subjective statements when reviewing my work. I don't need anyone to make me "tougher" and able to deal with difficult patients, family, doctors, etc. I am paying good money for this school. What I need is an education. When I ask a teacher in my first clinicals class what the Angle of Louis feels like and she and her peers stare at me without answering, how is that education? I have talked to one school official who said I was the third person to come to her with this issue. It IS a problem. There is reasearch and documentation available if you want to learn about this. If you don't want to learn then you are perpetuating the problem. Tell me what benefit or how it is education to reduce an grown woman to tears while she is pulling meds for the first time? The teacher totally ripped her apart not only in front of her classmates but the floor nurses and PCAs. You don know me and you don't know my life experiences. How "tough" do you have to be to be a female head union steward for 7 years? I had someone follow me into the parking lot and threaten to beat me up. I also had my car keyed at this time. I've stood up to Management and Administrative people who could make my wortk life miserable. I've sat in contract negotiations with big city lawyers and called them on it when they changed the wording that we just agreed to. So don't talk to me about being "tough." And that's just the tip of the ice berg. That's an excuse for the kind of treatment that is being perpetuated. I'm in nursing school. I'm not at the police academy, or medical school, or law school. I don't care if people in those fields also abuse and mistreat others. I'm concerned first about the nursing field.
    I begin to see why you're having difficulty getting along with your nursing instructors.

    My mind reading skills and my crystal ball are both AWOL, and I didn't realize that "strntvtsking" meant "you aren't taking this seriously." I'm so sorry to unfairly question your "mistyped word." But apparently your mind reading skills are wonky because I neither said (nor meant) that you need to get "tougher". Your seven years as a union steward and the violence you encountered then have little to do with your nursing school experience. The only common denominator is you.

    You say you're looking for an education. From what you wrote, it sounds more like your nursing school instructors are trying to educate you rather than bully you.
  11. by   AmyJo2018
    { When loading a syringe the teacher kept firing questions at me. I finally said to her st one point, "I must not have done this correctly because you keep asking me questions." She said, "Not necessarily." }
    I wonder if the questions were just an exercise in focus while being distracted. When I was in Nursing Assistant clinicals and my instructor was watching me perform a skill, I would talk through what I was doing. This seemed to reinforce my practical knowledge of the skill and maybe prevented some of her questions.
  12. by   Quota
    Quote from AmyJo2018
    { When loading a syringe the teacher kept firing questions at me. I finally said to her st one point, "I must not have done this correctly because you keep asking me questions." She said, "Not necessarily." }
    I wonder if the questions were just an exercise in focus while being distracted. When I was in Nursing Assistant clinicals and my instructor was watching me perform a skill, I would talk through what I was doing. This seemed to reinforce my practical knowledge of the skill and maybe prevented some of her questions.
    Yep, that's the most awkward part about skills check offs. We are expected to narrate what we are doing as we do it to a certain extent. If you don't the instructor checking you off will ask you questions to get the information you aren't providing yourself. Pretty standard stuff. They want to make sure you understand what you're doing and WHY you do it.
  13. by   /username
    There's an old saying. If you meet *******s all day long, work with all *******s, and your family is full of *******s, you're the real *******.



    Your only reply in this thread shows that you're the *******.
  14. by   tell it like it is
    yes, and if you a minority, they will poo poo you and ask if you are too 'sensitive'. The dean of the allied health program where i went to get my RN and was top of the class resigned te year after i was harassed and discriminated against. I knew what was going on, so I taped the instructors. If only you could have seen her eyes when i played the audio recordings....

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