Dilemma with the instructor - page 2

Hi, I am a first year nursing student and I am in my second semester of nursing program. I am having a dilemma lately with one instructor. She is the last instructor that I have in this semester... Read More

  1. by   suzanne4
    Charting is one of the most important parts of nursing. This is the legal document that describes what was done, etc. If not charted, then in a court of law, it ws considered that it was not done. I teach foreign nurses every day, and we spend quite a bit of time on how to learn to chart properly, how to describe things using the proper English, etc. These are things that are not learned in typical ESL classes. Did you ever approach your instructor in previous classes to say that you were having problems with the charting? What ever you do chart is under the legal license of your instructor...............

    Please let us know what happens...........
  2. by   rnmi2004
    Your instructor was very wrong in talking to you about such an upsetting subject in the middle of a clinical day, & then telling you that you had to finish up the day. It sounds like she had already made up her mind to fail you, so what was the point of having a very upset student care for patients? That was extremely poor judgement on her part. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

    Since communication is such a vital part of nursing, I suggest you focus on continuing to improve your English. Perhaps you could take classes on conversational English. Don't give up--when you do finish nursing, you will have an extra edge when applying for jobs since you're trilingual!
  3. by   msdeeva
    That was perfect advice rnmi2004! I agree



    Quote from rnmi2004
    Your instructor was very wrong in talking to you about such an upsetting subject in the middle of a clinical day, & then telling you that you had to finish up the day. It sounds like she had already made up her mind to fail you, so what was the point of having a very upset student care for patients? That was extremely poor judgement on her part. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

    Since communication is such a vital part of nursing, I suggest you focus on continuing to improve your English. Perhaps you could take classes on conversational English. Don't give up--when you do finish nursing, you will have an extra edge when applying for jobs since you're trilingual!
  4. by   Be_Bodhi_Pure
    Question: so I should just accept what she evaluated me, and drop out from the program?
    Last edit by Be_Bodhi_Pure on May 11, '04
  5. by   suzanne4
    Have you spoken to your director yet? See what she has to say. I wouldn't want one instructor to influence what you do with the rest of your life, but get input from your director, or even another instructor that you have trained under whom you trust.
  6. by   suzanne4
    Remember that there are some American nurses that have trouble with the program, and they are native speakers.
  7. by   justjenny
    Quote from Be_Bodhi_Pure
    Most of my English problems were in the charting. For example, I forgot to chart certain things about the pt. I used the wrong words to describe the pt's situation. This is the only clinical rotation that we first encountered to do charting. Can she understand that I am still learning? When she told me what I did wrong in the charting, I learned right away. That's why the clinical instructor is there for the students. (I told her about this, but she told me that "I have 10 students. All the students can do it, why you cannot?") I told her that "This is my learning curve. I need time to improve". She didn't want to accept. I want to appeal. I am on my way to gather information about her from the students. I have a strong standing on my side. The most difficult part that I face now is, I have a test on this thursday, and final on next monday. This is really not fair to me ;-(

    I have to echo Suzanne4 's post -
    A pts. chart is a legal document.....we have been taught CONSTANTLY on the seriousness of proper charting/documentation ("If it wasn't charted it wasn't done")

    I am interested in hearing more specifics on your instructors complaints:
    (1) Poor English is only a problem in the documentation... you seem to be able to communicate fine.
    (2) Clearly you were upset in the meeting - you probably felt attacked - and yes, perhaps the instructor was being harsh in not allowing a few minutes for you to compose yourself...however, you need to learn to control your emotions....you will wind up someday with pts. that may upset you very much....but it is important to still be able to provide competant care IRREGARDLESS of what you feel inside. You stated you could not give good care to your pt. due to feeling upset and asked to go home.....that would not go over well in my clinical class either...we are professional adults and are expected to act as such.
    (3) You stated the instructor felt that the pt. safety was at risk.....what examples of that were given? Med error? Treatment error?

    Good luck!
    Jenny
  8. by   hopefully
    I do not know why all you people are siding with the instructor. The instructor is not always right. Clearly this person is communicating well from her writing. And this is not an English class, she is taking. I think the instructor is biased to people who are not native speakers because only she is giving her a hard time and not her other instructors. If there was a pattern of complaints by other instructors about her English, then there is something wrong.
  9. by   suzanne4
    Quote from hopefully
    I do not know why all you people are siding with the instructor. The instructor is not always right. Clearly this person is communicating well from her writing. And this is not an English class, she is taking. I think the instructor is biased to people who are not native speakers because only she is giving her a hard time and not her other instructors. If there was a pattern of complaints by other instructors about her English, then there is something wrong.
    I am not siding with anyone. She needs to speak to the Director of her program, as well as one of her previous instructors and get their take on this. You need the forces to be on your side. What ever we say here is not going to help her one bit at her school, only her previous teachers or the Director can offer some input that will actually matter.
    It is quite also different when you are trying to describe a procedure that you did or what a wound looks like when you may not have had all of those words in oyur vocabulary. Routine ESL classes do not teach that.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on May 11, '04
  10. by   Tony35NYC
    Be,

    It is possible that this instructor is prejudiced and that she was determined to fail you no matter what. I've seen it done to fellow students so I know it happens. However, consider your own admission that you made some errors with the charting and that maybe the instructor's criticisms were valid. Even simple mistakes in documentation can be used by an attorney to rip the agency to shreads in the event of a lawsuit.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Never, ever, ever take it personally when a clinical instructor says anything to you. Stick to the skills. If you react by acting out, crying, or becoming defensive they will only use that negative behavior against you when they do your evaluation. You have to toughen up, be confident, show them how professional you can be, and that you've got what it takes to be a great nurse.

    2. Accept criticism if it is constructive and learn from the experience. If they were pointing out errors that you made in your documentation, the issues they raised may be valid. Instead of insisting that you didn't make any mistakes, always ask the instructor to suggest how you can improve. Take note of the suggestions and follow through.

    3. It seems to me that the trouble you had was not with your English but with the formality of documentation. Next time, tell the instructor that you'd like some extra coaching the first couple times you document patient data. Most instructors will ask students to write their assessments on a piece of paper and show it to them before it is transcribed it into the patient's chart anyway. They want to see what you're documenting and suggest changes to ensure accuracy and clarity because you're really practicing nursing under their license. Any incorrect or incomplete information you put in the chart not only reflects badly on them but also creates confusion and the potential for errors when other nursing staff or the physician read what you wrote.

    4. Its unreasonable to expect that any instructor will keep giving you additional time for improvement with documentation while you're in clinical because that's time that you should be using to demostrate proficiency at all your nursing skills. There are nursing books on documentation that you can read on your own that will help you to get the language 'down'. They will give different patient scenarios and show different ways to chart assessments, observations, etc.

    5. Don't think about nursing school in terms of fair and unfair. You have to have a positive attitude and show them that you can do this. Don't give up! Practice your charting and come again.
  11. by   Be_Bodhi_Pure
    But, this is the only clinical rotation that let us do the charting. I couldn't become like an expert right away. She is my 3rd clinical instructor in this semester, I never forgot to check the pt. wristband when I passed meds to the pt with the other instructors. With her, I felt a lot of stress. She wrote down everything you did. She specified every minor mistake that you did, and talked to you in a harsh way. There was one time in the pre-conference, she said "Not offense, but I told my daughter to take spanish class so that she can get her order faster in Mcdonald". I heard some of the students said that she is stereotyping. Unfortunately, the nursing director has the same type of personality like my instructor. I will still need to talk to the director on Thursday, I don't see it will help. Sigh! I am so near to the end of the semester. Only 1 week to go, then, I will be done. However, I think, this will be done forever. I am just so near to take the LPN class :-< I don't know what to think anymore. I got discouraged, and I feel like I don't want to take the trouble to go through the appealing process, instead I will just withdraw from the program. I don't feel like I want to come back anymore. I paid too much effort and sacrify on this program.
  12. by   suzanne4
    But in addition to having problems with charting, you stated that you never forgot to check an armband armband before passing meds with your other two clinical instructors. Did you forget to check the armband with this instructor? If so, that is a major offense in itself. The charting then only added to it.
    Perhaps you should take some time off and then consider what you really want to do. Have you spoken to your parents about this yet?
  13. by   Sheri257
    As usual, great input and advice Suzanne. She's our resident foreign student/nurse expert, and it's usually best, IMHO, to follow her advice.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 12, '04

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