Clinical Location

  1. I do not wish to be a whiner, but....

    I left one school's program as I was originally promised clinicals within range, and discovered I had to cross 2 counties for the entire program. I was lucky enough to get into another program, and now I discover we are only working with 2 hospitals - one is 1.5 miles from my home and the other is over 40 miles from my home. It would take me 5 minutes to get to the first, and over 1 hour to get to the other.

    I am the ONLY student in the class with 2 children, both special needs, working part-time, and the second oldest student. I was told students were assigned based upon our backgrounds for best fit. Is there anything I can do? Any advice will be appreciated - it will be impossible for me to travel this distance with clinicals three days a week for one year. Help!
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   bluesky
    Quote from KristinWW
    I do not wish to be a whiner, but....

    I left one school's program as I was originally promised clinicals within range, and discovered I had to cross 2 counties for the entire program. I was lucky enough to get into another program, and now I discover we are only working with 2 hospitals - one is 1.5 miles from my home and the other is over 40 miles from my home. It would take me 5 minutes to get to the first, and over 1 hour to get to the other.

    I am the ONLY student in the class with 2 children, both special needs, working part-time, and the second oldest student. I was told students were assigned based upon our backgrounds for best fit. Is there anything I can do? Any advice will be appreciated - it will be impossible for me to travel this distance with clinicals three days a week for one year. Help!
    I was very assertive about needing a close assignment.... I always got what I wanted but also got a reputation as a difficult person to deal with. You'd think that nurses would be empathetic but I found the opposite.
  4. by   KristinWW
    Bingo Bluesky!!! I was in tears as I explained my dilemma with this :stone on the other end. I also am getting that rep, but I don't know what else to do. For example, I can't sit and "talk about nursing" with the other student and trot on over to the bookstore for books so I always order online. By two days prior to class starting the bookstore still did not have the list from the instructors. I got it resolved but you can guess where that leaves me.

    Well, did you get your assignment?
  5. by   manna
    Good luck!

    I'm a semi-single mom (my husband lives on the other side of the state) of two boys, and I'll be commuting 60 miles (one way), five days a week for lecture/clinicals. Some clinicals may be up to 90 miles from home, one way.

    Not looking forward to it, but thankfully I won't have to work while doing school and this is just part of the sacrifice of living in a rural area, I suppose.

    I hope that things work out for you! Have you spoken to anyone in your program yet about your assignments?
  6. by   traumaRUs
    Is trading with another student an option?
  7. by   purplemania
    here in Texas people are used to driving long distances so we don't hear a lot of complaints. But I do think you should pursue a conference with the Dean, or your Instructor, or both.
  8. by   KristinWW
    There is another student driving 2 hours each way even though the other clinical site is 1/2 hour away. Yes, the Dean knows how ridiculous this is but they won't budge, and we have nothing to barter with so that's the way it goes.
  9. by   EMTtoRN
    When I start nursing school the hospital options will be as close as 2 mins and as far as an hour and a half!!!!!I am hoping to stay within and hours commute but we will see!
  10. by   mitchsmom
    Like Manna I live in a rural area, so I have to commute 110 miles one way to school- 1hour 45 minutes but no traffic between me and the school. My clinicals will take even longer time wise when I start them because they are in the town (through red lights and traffic- I bet at least 30 more minutes). My school has clinical sites over a three county area (none are close to mine) and they do seem to use common sense about it. Some clinical sites are different for different rotations though - like OB I think is more limited and some have to drive further during that one
    .
    I have been able to go part time and keep the commute to 1-2 days per week (we have some of our classes online) so far. Come January it will be three days/week, and I think it may end up that way for the rest of the way out.
    I have three kids and my husband and I care for them about 95% of the time, and I am a leader of a local nonprofit support group, etc. so it is a challenge. But I try not to bring up these things at school. My school is supposed to be very progressive but I still get the feeling that if I bring up issues at home they will be suggesting that I come back when it is more feasable for me. Whenever there are distance issues (like a class online that I really need to get into so I won't have to commute to a an on-campus section), I just reiterate how I'm outside the 5 county area. I had to really fight to get into one of my current summer classes online, the only reason I did is because I was polite but persistant. I kept asking people and kept going back until I got put in, my other friend who got tired of going to them did not get in. When making my persistant begging rounds I always ask who else may be able to help me if they aren't, or what else they think I should do to make this thing happen. Anyway, I bring up how far away I live but I never bring up the kids or my husband who doesn't even want me in school because that was my choice and because my classmates all have issues that make school hard and everyone thinks their issues are the hardest to deal with anyway.
    Have you formally and personally talked with your advisor about clinicals? Or are you getting the info from other students? I would talk to my advisor and tell her that you need to know what you have to do to get clinicals close to your house so that you can be more successful in the program (i.e. you wouldn't want to do all this and then mess up their NCLEX pass %, now would you?). I would tell her that I am worried about it because it would be a hardship to get to the other hospital (I don't know if it would help if it were a financial burden - gas and child care).
    All you can do is try! I know you can only do what you can do but I would be thrilled if I only had a 40 mile commute!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. by   Sheri257
    Keep in mind that clinicals can be tough for schools to arrange. Here, the routine clinicals are close, but the specialties require a commute. The specialties are required by law and the local hospitals don't have them. Nobody can graduate without those clinicals.

    So, the school may not have much of a choice. And it sometimes takes years for schools to arrange contracts for additional clinicals with different or new hospitals, not leaving a lot of flexibility. It's also one of the reasons nursing schools have trouble admitting more students.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 30, '04
  12. by   JudithL_in_NH
    Kristin--

    At my program we can always submit a request for "consideration of special circumstances" in clinical assignments. Inordinate travel time is definitely considered a legitimate request, as is needing to get back home asap (therefore needing a shorter clinical commute) to pick children up at day care, etc. My program is pretty reasonable about it as long as you make your case in writing, and your request sounds legitimate. The faculty aren't ogres; they try to work with us!

    I live 15 mins from one site, 50-60 mins from one, and 30-40 mins from all of the others. Traffic can add 10-15 mins to any of those, and snow can double them. We rotate among the sites q8 weeks, so, for instance, I couldn't request to stay at the one that's 15 minutes away for the entire program (only one specialty rotation is offered there)--I was assigned to that site last semester and, boy, was it a blessing! I haven't requested to not be placed at the most distant site, as I figure I can handle one 8 week rotation with an hour's commute--my youngest is 10 and she has a teenage sister who can meet her bus.

    Make your request professionally and courteously, and too bad if they think you're "difficult"! Good luck!
  13. by   KristinWW
    Quote from JudithL_in_NH
    Kristin--

    At my program we can always submit a request for "consideration of special circumstances" in clinical assignments. Inordinate travel time is definitely considered a legitimate request, as is needing to get back home asap (therefore needing a shorter clinical commute) to pick children up at day care, etc. My program is pretty reasonable about it as long as you make your case in writing, and your request sounds legitimate. The faculty aren't ogres; they try to work with us!

    I live 15 mins from one site, 50-60 mins from one, and 30-40 mins from all of the others. Traffic can add 10-15 mins to any of those, and snow can double them. We rotate among the sites q8 weeks, so, for instance, I couldn't request to stay at the one that's 15 minutes away for the entire program (only one specialty rotation is offered there)--I was assigned to that site last semester and, boy, was it a blessing! I haven't requested to not be placed at the most distant site, as I figure I can handle one 8 week rotation with an hour's commute--my youngest is 10 and she has a teenage sister who can meet her bus.

    Make your request professionally and courteously, and too bad if they think you're "difficult"! Good luck!
    The request was made in writing to the director and the asst. dean, to no avail. They know the distance as the director even cut me off when I spoke her, stating that she lives in the town adjacent to mine so she knows where I am. They are not budging, as too many students would take my place in a minute so I'm stuck. I just changed programs and had to go through the tension all over again, only to have the same thing happen. I am the only person in the program with two children, working, and am the second-farthest away. I just give up.
  14. by   bluesky
    Quote from KristinWW
    The request was made in writing to the director and the asst. dean, to no avail. They know the distance as the director even cut me off when I spoke her, stating that she lives in the town adjacent to mine so she knows where I am. They are not budging, as too many students would take my place in a minute so I'm stuck. I just changed programs and had to go through the tension all over again, only to have the same thing happen. I am the only person in the program with two children, working, and am the second-farthest away. I just give up.
    All I can tell you is that I went through exactly the same thing and was repeatedly told I was "inflexible" and what about so and so who commuted between coasts or so and so who made it to school despite her complete bilateral amputation? (just kidding but you get the idea). Well, it turned out that the so and so's had a lot of help at home so they didn't have to worry about who was going to take care of their children at 5:00 A.M. in the morning when their husbands were still at work and they had to leave to make the 7:00 A.M. clinical at Children's. :angryfire

    To be honest, I lived with my "rep" because I knew in my heart of hearts that I wouldn't make someone else feel bad if they were under duress like that... especially when the program directors favorites always got the placements they wanted... :angryfire Sure I was an angry b***h through all of nursing school, but I graduated anyway and in the end got the placements I needed. I did take away one important lesson from it all about nursing in general, however... most nurses are done with being empathetic after they walk out their patient's door. They don't want to hear about your suffering unless you are their friend and will resent you for sharing otherwise. My conclusion... don't lower my standards for helping others, but don't expect too much from my nursing peers. This is very pessimistic and I'm sure other people have other opinions but there is mine.

    It sounds like you are stuck in the same, not so compassionate type of school as I was. Are there people outside of school who can help you manage your other responsibilities? Do you live near Maryland? I'd be more than willing to help you out in any way I can.

    Lexi

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