Clinical instructor...not getting along

  1. Hi

    I don't mean to rant or anything, but I feel this vibe... that she doesnt' like me. I usually take it, learn, and let it go. But this time... has been sort of obvious she doesn't like me. Everytime she sees me, she looks away. and when we have our conference, she has gone around the table and said great comments ..."excellent" to each one, except me, where she has said "the only thing I am good at is hiding". I took it as a joke. it was awkward. and we only had 3 clinical sessions so far.

    First day I was performing a sterile skill, she wasn't my opinion, she looked frustrated, sighed, irritable, in my mind I just wanted to do it but found it nerve-wrecking because she wouldn't stop saying things like "no not doing it right, there is a right way to do it, you look like you don't know how to do this, did you do this a long time ago because it looks like it" repeatedly.

    Our class, whoever had her, loves her. and I want to too. this is making me nervous going in clinicals today but it hasn't changed I can't shake this feeling that she is watching and waiting for me to mess up. I feel targeted and frustrated I can't think straight so I want to know what is best to do in my situation. I want to talk to her/ change clinical sites with no reason, I need advice

    thank you
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    About Band

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 88; Likes: 9


  3. by   julz68
    I would ask to make an appointment with her and talk to her privately and express your concerns. I had one instructor when I was in school that I felt the same way about. Every other instructor I had was great and always had good things to say about my performance, but this one instructor and I did not see eye to eye. It ultimately came down to a personality conflict. I tried to talk with her about it privately, but nothing was resolved. Even tho I had a bad experience even with talking to her about it, I encourage you to try and talk with her. Hopefully you will get a better outcome and it won't hurt to try. Luckily I only had that instructor for one semester so I didn't have to deal with her again. Good luck!
  4. by   MochaRN424
    Wow...Thank God I didn't have this experience exactly but I did have a clinical instructor where th class room portion there was an issue. I failed the class by 1.5 points (Med/Surg II) I wanted to review the test and she had a policy of no review. I went to the board of the school and professionally expressed my concerns. Her policy was changed and I was allowed to review the exam. I also had to depend on her to allow me back into her class to retake the course. Thank God because of how I handled the situation she did not make me wait the year she could have...she allowed me back in for the next semester.

    I say all of that to say not accuse the instructor ie: I feel that you are treating me different etc. That will just make her defensive and deny it. I would as the poster above stated ask to speak to her not discuss with anyone else in the group because you do not want anything to be said back to her in a negative light. Ask her what can you do to be more successful in her group? You mentioned something about her saying you were hiding which gives me the impression you are not where she would like you to be? Express that you want to learn as much as you can from her and that you appreciate her support.

    If that does not work then I would as you suggested ask to transfer to another instructor and be able to state that you have spoken to the instructor and you do not feel confident that you will be successful if you remain in this particular clinical. I would hate to see you fail the course because of what seems to be as usual a conflict in personalities. I wish you the best!!!!
  5. by   mariebailey
    You will have supervisors like this too. Take it on as a challenge to get you in shape for the real world of nursing. Good luck. You can handle it.
  6. by   MochaRN424
    Quote from mariebailey
    You will have supervisors like this too. Take it on as a challenge to get you in shape for the real world of nursing. Good luck. You can handle it.
    Yes the NM are something else....
  7. by   HouTx
    I am often accused of being terminally optimistic but I think this is a great opportunity to develop your conflict management skills.

    PPs are correct. Make an appointment to talk to her - on her turf. Make an effort to consciously adopt this mind set - 'always assume positive intentions' (from the other person). Make sure you "own" your own feelings by using straightforward "I" statements. "I may be overly sensitive, but when you said ......., I felt as though you were angry with me. Is this an accurate perception?" Don't beat around the bush. Find out if you have done something to give her a negative perception. Keep in mind that it may have been something she overheard - maybe she doesn't like the color of your hair or the car you drive - LOL. If this is the case, just ask her how you can repair the relationship.

    Instructors are people too. Sometimes they have students that just rub them the wrong way for reasons that are completely unrelated to the tasks at hand. When this happens, they may not actually be aware that it is affecting the way they interact with you. Once you have surfaced the issue, s/he will probably make an effort to correct it.

    Hey, I had to learn effective conflict management the hard way. My natural response to perceived hostility used to be "ATTACK!!" As you can imagine, this did not really work for me most of the time. I have learned a lot by deliberately seeking the guidance of others that were much more skilled than I was. One of the best (conflict killing) phrases I have learned is "I am so sorry that I am unable to meet your expectations"... think about it. You're not accepting any blame for the actual situation. You are just acknowledging a mis-match between their expectations and your actions. Try it, it works.
  8. by   pumpkinspice555
    Completely understand what you are going through. Just got a terrible evaluation from mine. I try really hard in clinical. Seems like no matter what I do, is never good enough.
  9. by   Crazed
    I feel for you.

    There is a person in my group that is so flustered even the facility clergy commented to me about it. I tried to give this person the benefit of trust and tried to allow them to do something for me. It ended up with me being yelled at extensively and me accepting blame for lack of communication rather than how they handled it. (Which boiled down to them telling my instructor I had told them nothing) Trying to be vague for obvious reasons, sorry.

    I think the best way to diffuse most situations is with humor. I think that some instructors expect students to know things, and behave like a nurse with years of experience. In most jobs it takes 18 months to even begin to be competent yet it feels as if we're pressured for perfection from moment one. There are days I go home and seriously reconsider nursing as a career, but then I realize it's only this particular part of nursing I don't like. It's hard because you have people telling you that you'll be a great nurse but it only takes one instructor who doesn't care for you for one reason or another to make you really think about why you're putting yourself through this. It's a masochistic process the likes of which I couldn't even conceive of before I began the program.
  10. by   pumpkinspice555
    Going through the same experience myself. It's funny, you invest and pay so much for nursing school, and unfortunately you get this kind of experience when others get wonderful experiences. I think of this as a way to grow as a nurse. Unfortunately, in the hospital we will all come across people (patients, nurses, doctors, etc) that we will not get along with at all. At the end of the day, the most important thing is the safety of the patient and what is best for the patient. When you hone in on that, all the drama and crap will just not be important anymore (: My peceptor also gets frustrated with me and it is difficult for me to ask her questions because she makes me nervous and gets mad at me for not knowing. I have a few more weeks in clinical with a new preceptor, so I'm going to go in with a new attitude and make the best of it. Just think, your time with this instructor won't last long. Next time you butt heads with another health care professional or even a patient, you will know how to respond. Just stay respectful and do not argue. When you get mad yourself at the instructor, it is important to keep your professional demeanor. It will be over very soon and after this experience, you will come out stronger and better as a nurse (:
    Last edit by pumpkinspice555 on Feb 16, '13
  11. by   runsalot
    Hi. It's ns. Learn what's she expects and do it. I had a teacher I did not get along with last semester. And she almost failed me out of clinicals for subjective things. She did fail out 2 other students. Change your behavior. She is not going t change hers.
  12. by   csoultz
    I had a clinical instructor like that when I was in school. It seemed like she would pick one person and just have it out for them and I happen to be that person. I was the "new" girl that semester and most everyone else had her the semester before because I switched from nights to mornings. Anyways I just sucked it up kissed her butt and went along with it. She actually made me cry once and told me I would never cut it as a nurse and I would never pass my boards (which I did first try btw). Anyways at the end of the semester I got an A in the class and a good overall review so hopefully you will be ok!