I did a dumb thing today and learned a lesson

  1. I confronted one of my instructors today. I was NOT very tactful in the way I handled myself. I have been bothered/annoyed by this instructor for 2 quarters now and today was our final. I received my grade and when most of the class was out of the room, I went up to him and told him he was unprofessional and a few other things. He stood up and looked down at me and told me if I didn't like it I could ******* leave. To say I was very angry is not near how angry I was. I left the classroom and headed straight to the Director's office. In tears, I tried to recollect what happened in the classroom just minutes before. The Director assured me that any foul language would not be tolerated and he would speak to a few of my classmates and to the instructor.

    I was then told by a fellow student that if I continued to act the way I did, that I would not make a very good nurse. That I needed to learn to keep my mouth shut and my head on straight. This upset me because this is a student that I have great respect for.

    So after crying my eyes out and trying to figure out if I should continue, take a quarter off or just quit, I reached out to that student and talked a bit to her. She still says that I was at fault and that I should not speak out. I do agree that I should have chosen different words and not been so defensive when talking to the instructor, but I am so mad.

    This instructor takes pleasure in dropping F bombs in class OFTEN! I think he does it for the reaction. I just felt like I had had enough.

    I ended with a B in his class and I learned nothing about the subject that he taught.

    If you are still reading thanks. I really needed to vent. I am staying in school and I am going to use this as a teaching lesson and just keep my mouth shut. Telling the instructor how I feel will get me no where.
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 3, '12
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    About DawnCaprice

    Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 64; Likes: 35
    from US


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Without knowing all of the details involved, I would agree with your classmate about keeping quiet. In the real world of nursing, you will be fired, or at the very minimum, targeted for harassment if you confront a supervisor or nurse manager in the wrong way and tell them what you really think of them. And, in this slumping economy, most of us need our jobs to stay afloat like we need water to live.

    In a nutshell, most people claim to want your honest feedback, but this is not the truth. Even though people say they want the truth, many cannot handle the truth, especially if it hurts. It is human nature for people to prefer to be told exactly what they want to hear. Your vulgar instructor would have much rather heard that he did a wonderful job teaching the course, even though this might have been far from the truth. Have you ever heard this saying: If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it!

    I know I'm making statements that many readers would rather not hear. However, you need to pick and choose your battles carefully. Fly under the radar, pick your words carefully, regulate your emotions, use the utmost tact in your interpersonal communications, and always remember that people (especially your insecure superiors) have the inner need to be told what they want to hear.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   Sun0408
    Not enough details but if this is over the instructors language, then I have to say: pick your battles. In the grand scheme of things, this is not something to get all worked up over and possibly becoming a target.
  5. by   llg
    While I don't approve of the language used by your instructor ... it sounds like your conduct was also quite inappropriate. On no planet is it considered appropriate or wise to go up to an instructor and tell them unprofessional and whatever "other things" you chose to say. In this case, it sounds as if you were both wrong -- and "2 wrongs don't make a right."

    That's what anonymous course evaluations are for. You should have reported the foul language there as well as any other specific complaints. And you should have voiced those concerns in a professional manner.

    Sometimes, it is OK to give negative feedback to an instructor or to a supervisor -- but you have to choose you battles wisely and use a great deal of tact. It sounds like you did neither.
  6. by   WantToBeMidwife
    You are his student, you in no way should have acted like that. However, his using the f-bomb isn't okay either, but that's not for YOU to deal with. You should have just went right to the dean, not him. Constructive criticism is okay, but sounds like you blind-sided the professor, which I probably would have told you to get out as well. Good luck, maybe apologize and tell him you are just bothered by his language. I'm sure there is more to it, but you should never approach a professor and act like that. You'll simply be fired as a nurse if you do that. Get yourself under control or take a break, it might be good for you. I say this with care, not nasty. Good luck.
  7. by   hodgieRN
    I think telling the instructor he's unprofessional was not a good idea. That's basically a generalization and labeling. It's confrontational. If you are in that situation again, I think it would be better to mention what is bothering you, in a polite way. If you told him that you would appreciate it if he didn't curse during lecture, he would be open to it. People can take offense to being called unprofessional b/c it's mentioning a level of incompetence. You did mention telling him he was unprofessional and "other things." Maybe he took offense to other things that were said. If you do have issues with the instructor, it's probably best to bring them up with the director.

    And, if another student told you that you aren't going to be a good nurse, try not to worry about it. Everyone has there opinions and some people love dropping their over-inflated wisdom on others. There will be times where you will need to stick up for yourself. I don't think you should learn to keep your mouth shut, but try to not let things get to you.
  8. by   Skips
    I agree with the other posters. You should not have confronted the instructor aggressively like that, nor should he have used inappropriate language in the classroom. It sounds like your attitude may have not been that great in that class to begin with if you had previously had anger toward this instructor, and the instructor possibly caught on. Be anonymous next time. Sorry. :/
  9. by   MedChica
    You handled the situation incorrectly. You shouldn't have 'jumped' him. You 'confronted' him. You were too aggressive and he responded in kind because was on the rec'ing end of an insult. You weren't standing up for yourself. You were the aggressor, ironically.
    If there's a problem with an instructor. Inform the Dean and let them handle it. That's their job.
    Was there a battle to be waged.
    Yeah, probably. Just... not by you. This entire situation is 'above your pay-grade', so to speak. LOL

    It's fine, though. Lesson learned.

    In the meantime --
    you seem to have a pretty huge 'set', if you know what I mean! A girl after my own heart... LOL
    However, tact...is 'the gentle art of making a point without making an enemy'. You've gotta understand that there are ways to go about voicing displeasure or standing your ground w/o being openly confrontational. For what happens when you back people into a corner?
    Nothing positive, usually.

    You're not going to be a good nurse because you wont' grin and bear abuse?
    I disagree. Completely.
    A backbone is not optional in healthcare. Shocking, I know. But...it's true.
    Ignore you classmate.
    With that attitude? I bet when she hits the floor - she'll probably be on AN nurses crying about a work situation that's like something out of 'Dynasty'. I bet... when a doc/provider or nurse rips her a new one for no good reason? She'll thank them, ask for 'another'...then chase Ambien with liquor to put herself to sleep.

    Never suck down abuse. Never let anyone speak to you any sort of way simply b/c they think they can... and I learned that lesson in one of the most unlikely of places: The military. It's ok to stand up for yourself.
    You don't have to 'keep your head down and hush up'.
    No, ma'am. The irony? That some female nurse's (usually, I never see male nurses going on about it) with this attitude will continuously whine about not getting any respect (from docs, other nurses and management)? These women don't have it within them to be anything other than doormats.
    So, why would they get respect? You have to teach people how to treat you. These bow 'n scrapers are unable and, unfortunately, 'weak' and meek animals are the easiest to spot in the herd.
    Sad, but true. Oh, well.
  10. by   DawnCaprice
    Thank you MedChica and everyone for your words.

    I have given what happen yesterday A LOT of thought. I am going to use this as a lesson. I am by far a meek and mild girl. But I do need to learn the art of keeping my mouth shut and picking my battles better.

    I am going to back to school today with my head held high and my mouth shut. lol!!!

    Let me say that I have NO other issues with any other staff at my school. I am on the Dean's List (until this quarter) and I have perfect attendance. I am in my 3rd quarter out of 9. I start clinicals next month, so the real work is just beginning.
  11. by   DawnCaprice
    Quote from hodgieRN
    If you are in that situation again, I think it would be better to mention what is bothering you, in a polite way. If you told him that you would appreciate it if he didn't curse during lecture, he would be open to it.
    This instructor was told/asked to not continually use that language. What he would do is use foul langauage and then agree that he knows it bothers us. Still I agree that it does not make what I did any better.
  12. by   DoeRN
    Quote from DawnCaprice
    Thank you MedChica and everyone for your words.

    I have given what happen yesterday A LOT of thought. I am going to use this as a lesson. I am by far a meek and mild girl. But I do need to learn the art of keeping my mouth shut and picking my battles better.

    I am going to back to school today with my head held high and my mouth shut. lol!!!

    You don't have to keep your mouth shut. You need to learn the art of tact. You can get your point across in a professional manner. Maybe you should take a communications class. Don't put up with something you think is unjust. Learn how to communicate this in a way that will get your point across and not offend other people.
  13. by   sharonp30
    I wish that we could all be so honest, but in the end, you will end up paying for that honesty. It would be like telling your boss how ignorant he is, you just don't do it. Being a nurse, you are going to have to deal with a lot of personalities, you can't tell the patient that she, is a pain in the @ss, on discharge day. I think that your friend is giving you very good advice, she is looking out for your best interest. I know it stinks, but in this world there are unwritten rules. This is just one of many, but at least you learned from it. Thanks for sharing your story.
  14. by   nurseprnRN
    When I hear bad language, I think to myself, "I went to boarding school, lived in a houseful of guys in college, and worked ICU for a long time. If I haven't said it myself I've at least heard it once or twice." Then I forget it.

    If you already know he has probably been reprimanded for his language already and that he probably does it to pull your (collective) chains, why would you give him the satisfaction of letting him know he succeeded? Play it cool and pretend you've heard it all before (and believe me, you WILL hear it a lot in your work sooner or later). This is also a technique you'll need to hone to a fine edge when you have teenagers of your own.

    I agree with the poster above who said, "Put it in the course eval," and let the chips fall where they may.