male instructor touching students - I voiced my concern - page 6

Hi guys, I don't know if you remember that some weeks ago I posted a message here regarding my health assessment male instructor touching the female students during lab classes. Anyway, 98% of the... Read More

  1. by   NJNursing
    Ok then they've complained and they've done all that can realistically be done. And this was an ISOLATED occurance with this ONE class and the ONE group of students. I haven't read anywhere else where this has been going on for several semesters or with several students. I saw where the other students that were standing around her that witnessed this didn't want to say anything, but other than that I didn't see where he just out and out fondled another student or anything of that sort.

    And with street nursing, they tend to be more brash than people are used to and if it was someone who spent decades doing this type of nursing, they may "forget" about proprieties. I'm sure if this has happened several times through several semesters, with him being a new instructor, his butt would have been booted out because he wouldn't have tenure yet. (If they even do tenure there).

    She can go to the police, but I'll pretty much guarantee they won't do anything about it other than ask if she'd like to file a restraining order and then she wouldn't be able to attend school. She's got to weigh her options.

    Quote from Marie_LPN
    They HAVE complained.

    And "street nursing" STILL does not excuse inappropriate touching. Mistakes? He intentionally touches these women. He depends on people not saying anything about it!
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from NJNursing
    Ok then they've complained and they've done all that can realistically be done. And this was an ISOLATED occurance with this ONE class and the ONE group of students. I haven't read anywhere else where this has been going on for several semesters or with several students. I saw where the other students that were standing around her that witnessed this didn't want to say anything, but other than that I didn't see where he just out and out fondled another student or anything of that sort.

    And with street nursing, they tend to be more brash than people are used to and if it was someone who spent decades doing this type of nursing, they may "forget" about proprieties. I'm sure if this has happened several times through several semesters, with him being a new instructor, his butt would have been booted out because he wouldn't have tenure yet. (If they even do tenure there).

    She can go to the police, but I'll pretty much guarantee they won't do anything about it other than ask if she'd like to file a restraining order and then she wouldn't be able to attend school. She's got to weigh her options.
    You don't KNOW that this IS isolated, was my point. This COULD have happened in the past, and surely COULD happen again!

    And she wasn't the only one in the class either.

    And if that crap had happened to me, i'll be ****ed if i'd "weigh my options". I'd know the right thing to do, which would be putting a stop to it and ensuring it doesn't happen to anyone else..

    ONE group is too many. One STUDENT is too many.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 6, '05
  3. by   NJNursing
    Yes, but this is also the real world. Very seldomly does an isolated incident really get such dramatic action as this guy being fired. If he went even further below her panty line and really grazed her genitals then yeah THEN it would be cause for dismissal.

    And I think if this happened in the past SOMEONE would have spoken up and being that this has probably spread by word of mouth throughout the class, it'll spread to the lower and upper classmen. Everyone talks, especially with something like that. I'm sure even non-nursing major people know about it by now. And after all of the attention she has gotten for this professor, the other faculty and dean(s) are aware of the situation and I'd highly doubt it would ever happen again. But if this has happened to others, then it's their folly for not coming forward and i applaud this girl for bringing it to light.

    But at the same time, we're all human. We make poor decisions and we suffer for them. How many nurses make med errors that cost patient lives? Are they now murderers for life? Then we can say that ONE PATIENT was too many - let's just strip that nurse of her liscense and cast her out because of one error? This guy messed up. He had an error in judgement. It's been reported out the wazoo. We can all get upset about it and send our empathy out to this girl (and her class really), but at the end of the day he'll likely keep his job and she's still got to muddle through classes.

    Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.
  4. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from njnursing
    well it's not sexual assault. he did touch her lower than he should have for an abdominal exam, but i live right next door to a lieutenant and several doors down from a state trooper. neither of them said that would be construed as sexual assault. i'm not trying to trivialize it - it was highly inappropriate, but it was still a mistake. he made the mistake of going that low and voilating her "personal" space. it hasn't happened since then and it was reported through the appropriate chain of command. realistically, there's nothing more that will be able to be done. it's just fact. if she really hates it she can withdrawl out of that school and transfer.
    i worked in law enforcement for 6 years and any unwanted touch is generally considered an assault, which is why even spitting on an officer can get a person in trouble for assault. i'm not even going to make the excuse that this instructor was ignorant. it's obvious from almost everyone here that he stepped out of bounds. if we all can see that, then he did too and took advantage of his position of power. the fact that he had his hands down her underwear for something not relevant to what they were studying and then commented on her pubic hair is clearly sexual in nature and not some accident or anything minor. saying this was just a mistake is trivializing the situation. only the victim here can really be the one to decide if she thinks it was a mistake or not. to assume that this man did not intentionally try to violate her but only made a mistake is a mistake! mmh bc can press charges. i'd be surprised if a police department told her she could not press charges in this situation. if it was obvious that just a "mistake" occurred, then the dept. may try to convince the victim not to press charges. but it's not obvious in this case that just a mistake occurred. at any rate, it's not the police dept that determines guilt. only a judge can.
  5. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from njnursing
    but at the same time, we're all human. we make poor decisions and we suffer for them. how many nurses make med errors that cost patient lives? are they now murderers for life? then we can say that one patient was too many - let's just strip that nurse of her liscense and cast her out because of one error? this guy messed up. he had an error in judgement. it's been reported out the wazoo. we can all get upset about it and send our empathy out to this girl (and her class really), but at the end of the day he'll likely keep his job and she's still got to muddle through classes.

    let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.
    they would be murderers if they killed their patients intentionally. just like this instructor would be a criminal if he intentionally touched mmh bh inappropriately. i don't know about you, but i always assume the higher priority when a situation occurs where the facts are not clear. for instance, i would not readily assume that only a mistake occurred if a student confronted me and said an instructor put his hands in her underwear. i would assume that it is very possible that this student could have been assaulted. the safety of the students would come first and thus i would not automatically downgrade this situation to one of just an accident without thoroughly investigating the situation. to do that would be a mistake.
    Last edit by Soleilpie on Dec 7, '05
  6. by   dave1117
    I also have a daughter that is entering nursing school in September and would be quite unhappy if she was violated...Load the gun unhappy.

    That said...

    The first thing I would ask her and of course I need to ask you...And please I am not starting a war here...

    Did he really violate you? Are you possibly being over-reactionary because perhaps you are a modest or shy person? Is it not possible that as your Physical Assessment instructor who is doing live demonstrations he needs to help every student by actually touching you like a patient?

    It would make no sense for a College Professor to violate you in front of other students...Perhaps he was trying to make a point about feeling comfortable dealing with an uncomfortable pateint. As a male nursing student I feel uncomfortable all the time when assessing female patients. I make jokes and small talk to get through, but now reading your post makes me concerned that at any given time I could possibly violate someone for just doing my job.

    As for him apologizing...you were obviously upset. Is it not good and upstanding behavior to apologize to a person who you made upset. Wether he was right or wrong or should I say inappropriate or not, he still upset a student and wanted to make it right, I do not think that automatically makes him guilty of being a pervert if in fact in his mind he did not cross the line.

    OK all that said, if the guy is a pervert and he truly violated you than I vote with the rest to fry his A-s...I just want you to think hard, you may be about to ruin a guys career, credibilty and his life with your accusations. Please be sure you are right. By the way, how long has he been teaching and has this charge ever been made before?

    Good luck, I am sure you will make the right decision...

    dave :wink2:
  7. by   NJNursing
    so you're saying that if a stranger bumps me on the street and it's unwanted it's an assault? :uhoh21: if that were the case, people would be "assaulting" people left and right. i didn't say he stepped out of bounds and that his actions and comments weren't highly inappropriate, but i'm saying he's not going to get fired over it and i doubt that any police action would get anywhere. and it's not like his hands were all the way down her underware and he wasn't lingering there fondling her. he was palpating. going down that far was a mistake and we don't know what he was palpating for or anything of that sort. it they were doing assement say for ob then yeah, you'd want to be down that far to palpate the uterus. there could be a medically rational reason why he did it and again, she felt uneasy about it after the fact and she was unhappy with it all. she complained up the chain of command and the guy was reprimanded for it. it hasn't happened since. what more do you want?

    and i agree with dave's comments as well. i was in the hospital for a week earlier this year (pneumonia/severe bronchitis/atalectasis) and i had a male nurse overnight one night and he had to do frequent breath sounds/heart sounds. i knew that to get the best sounds, you put the stethescope to the skin and he had his scope in my gown on my chest. he brushed against my breast, and it was awkward (being he was a guy) but he was very professional about it and it was over with quickly. everything is a matter of perception and like you i don't want to start a war, but none of us were there and like you i'd hate to see this guy's entire career go down the tubes for just a lack of judgment or a mistake. and like you if the guy did it for a strictly pervy reason (and i highly doubt he did with a bunch of students watching) then he deserves to be booted.

    Quote from soleilpie
    i worked in law enforcement for 6 years and any unwanted touch is generally considered an assault, which is why even spitting on an officer can get a person in trouble for assault. i'm not even going to make the excuse that this instructor was ignorant. it's obvious from almost everyone here that he stepped out of bounds. if we all can see that, then he did too and took advantage of his position of power. the fact that he had his hands down her underwear for something not relevant to what they were studying and then commented on her pubic hair is clearly sexual in nature and not some accident or anything minor. saying this was just a mistake is trivializing the situation. only the victim here can really be the one to decide if she thinks it was a mistake or not. to assume that this man did not intentionally try to violate her but only made a mistake is a mistake! mmh bc can press charges. i'd be surprised if a police department told her she could not press charges in this situation. if it was obvious that just a "mistake" occurred, then the dept. may try to convince the victim not to press charges. but it's not obvious in this case that just a mistake occurred. at any rate, it's not the police dept that determines guilt. only a judge can.
  8. by   Balder_LPN
    Quote from NJNursing
    Well it's not sexual assault. He did touch her lower than he should have for an abdominal exam, but I live right next door to a lieutenant and several doors down from a state trooper. Neither of them said that would be construed as sexual assault. I'm not trying to trivialize it - it was highly inappropriate, but it was still a mistake. He made the mistake of going that low and voilating her "personal" space. It hasn't happened since then and it was reported through the appropriate chain of command. Realistically, there's nothing more that will be able to be done. It's just fact. If she really hates it she can withdrawl out of that school and transfer.
    Most areas unwanted touching is at the least 4th degree assault. And what a police officer is willing to arrest you for is not the same thing as what a prosecuting atty will issue a warrant for. At the least an officer should take a report and forward to the PA to evaluate what charges are appropriate and issue the correct warrant for the police to serve.
  9. by   dave1117
    FOLKS...

    We are not talking about a stranger walking up and touching this ladies Labia...

    We are talking about a PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT University Professor doing live demomnstrations for abdominal exams on a student in front of other students and wanted to palpate her pubic bone.

    Just out of curiousity, if the professor was a woman would any of this being going on? And more importantly, as a male nurse, should I never insert a foley in a female patient? Or better yet, are all the female nurses out there going to give up inserting a foley into a man's (oh by gosh) penis?

    And I did not ask this prior, but what exactly were his comments about the pubic hair. She said he made a joke about seeing lots of pubic hair. Did he say it was curly, cute, sexy? Or did he say in a therapeutic way..."don't worry Mrs. Patient, I have seen many womans pubic bones before there is nothing for you to be embarrassed about." After all, do we not have a sense of humor any more. Perhaps his only fault was assuming that he was dealing with adults in an adult environment and made an inappropriate comment which in his mind was innocent.

    Again, I was not there...nor were any of you other than the OP, so I can not judge what went on. But talk of police, arrest, firing etc for a guy who gets paid to teach nurses how to touch other people, sometimes inappropriately, sounds like a witch hunt.

    They teach us in nursing school that we always need to be doing self evaluations to understand how we feel about sensitive issues...This might be a wake up call for some about dealing with touching and being touched. After all isn't it all the same?

    Good luck to all, dave :wink2:
  10. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from NJNursing
    So you're saying that if a stranger bumps me on the street and it's unwanted it's an assault? :uhoh21: If that were the case, people would be "assaulting" people left and right. I didn't say he stepped out of bounds and that his actions and comments weren't HIGHLY inappropriate, but I'm saying he's not going to get fired over it and I doubt that any police action would get anywhere. And it's not like his hands were ALL the way down her underware and he wasn't lingering there fondling her. He was palpating. Going down that far was a mistake and we don't know what he was palpating for or anything of that sort. It they were doing assement say for OB then yeah, you'd want to be down that far to palpate the uterus. There could be a medically rational reason why he did it and again, she felt uneasy about it after the fact and she was unhappy with it all. She complained up the chain of command and the guy was reprimanded for it. It hasn't happened since. What more do you want?

    And I agree with Dave's comments as well. I was in the hospital for a week earlier this year (pneumonia/severe bronchitis/atalectasis) and I had a male nurse overnight one night and he had to do frequent breath sounds/heart sounds. I knew that to get the best sounds, you put the stethescope to the skin and he had his scope in my gown on my chest. He brushed against my breast, and it was awkward (being he was a guy) but he was very professional about it and it was over with quickly. Everything is a matter of perception and like you I don't want to start a war, but none of us were there and like you I'd hate to see this guy's entire career go down the tubes for just a lack of judgment or a mistake. And like you if the guy did it for a strictly pervy reason (and I highly doubt he did with a bunch of students watching) then he deserves to be booted.
    When I say unwanted touching, I mean where someone intentionally touches someone against their will. I'm not talking about bumping into someone walking down the street. The key word here is whether it was intentional or not. There's just no reason for this instructor to be anywhere inside underwear. Period! There's a difference between being a student in class and practicing assessments and actually being a patient. As a student, I would not allow an instructor to stick his hands on my breasts or in my underwear no matter what he or she was trying to teaching. However, as a patient, I would allow a doctor or nurse to enter those areas, if it was necessary for the exam. I'm not even sure this instructor was reprimanded as you stated. I believed someone talked to him but I'm not sure he was actually reprimanded.
  11. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from dave1117
    FOLKS...

    We are not talking about a stranger walking up and touching this ladies Labia...

    We are talking about a PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT University Professor doing live demomnstrations for abdominal exams on a student in front of other students and wanted to palpate her pubic bone.

    Just out of curiousity, if the professor was a woman would any of this being going on? And more importantly, as a male nurse, should I never insert a foley in a female patient? Or better yet, are all the female nurses out there going to give up inserting a foley into a man's (oh by gosh) penis?

    And I did not ask this prior, but what exactly were his comments about the pubic hair. She said he made a joke about seeing lots of pubic hair. Did he say it was curly, cute, sexy? Or did he say in a therapeutic way..."don't worry Mrs. Patient, I have seen many womans pubic bones before there is nothing for you to be embarrassed about." After all, do we not have a sense of humor any more. Perhaps his only fault was assuming that he was dealing with adults in an adult environment and made an inappropriate comment which in his mind was innocent.

    Again, I was not there...nor were any of you other than the OP, so I can not judge what went on. But talk of police, arrest, firing etc for a guy who gets paid to teach nurses how to touch other people, sometimes inappropriately, sounds like a witch hunt.

    They teach us in nursing school that we always need to be doing self evaluations to understand how we feel about sensitive issues...This might be a wake up call for some about dealing with touching and being touched. After all isn't it all the same?

    Good luck to all, dave :wink2:
    Do medical students practice giving each other pap smears or do anal exams on each other when they're learning how to do assessments? No. This man has crossed the line with his so called teaching methods. We're not talking about a patient-nurse relationship here. We're talking about a student-teacher one and it's a much different relationship on a different level if you ask me. And please tell me why it's necessary to palpate one's pubic bone when teaching about abdominal assemssments. It's not a matter of the instructor being male or female because I'd personally have a problem with either sex sticking their hands in my underwear at any time during class. It's inappropriate and I'm not sure talking about anyone's pubic hair during class is considered having a good sense of humor. In fact, it would be crossing into the area of sexual harrassment. Some may find it hilarious and others may be offended and that's why he shouldn't be commenting on such things during class.
  12. by   mmh_bc
    Hi Guys.. hi Dave...

    I have thought about this issue over and over again, and I still feel quite angry when I think about it! I have had other male instructors before in this nursing program and none of them was so disrespectful to us, as this one was. I have no questions in my mind, that this guy got used to over-use his power in class and maybe, he didn't ralize that he was crossing the line because he got used to be in this comfortable position of authority. I took other class with him last term, and he would constantly make the students feel really small. Everyone seemed afraid of him, as he always told us that he has the power to control our marks. I am not the only one feeling uncomfortable with him. He also has no rights to say to a female student who is overweight that she is fat, when she is lying down in bed pretending to be the patient. Overweight people already have issues of their own and who is he to say whatever is in his head? Why does he need to call students to the corner and ask personal questions? Who is he to tell another student who is uncomfortable with him to take anxiety pills, etc?

    I just want you to know, that I have no intentions of ruining his career, however, I have no regrets of talking to the dean or nursing coordinator. Someone IN THE ADMINISTRATION needed to be aware of this situation, so hopefully it won't happen again. I needed to do this to have a peace in mind. I needed to do this to let him know how I felt, and how my other classmates felt, even though they didn't say anything. I requested changes and will continue following up. I also want you to know that usually I am not a shy person, as I have a male physician, who does pap smear and other pelvic examination on me, but there are guys out there that for some reason make us feel threatend and scared.

    I think that when you build rapport and respect your patients privacy, it's a win-win situation. That guy was insensitive to me, he grabbed my panties when I was saying "no" and his comments about pubic hair were not a joke, as no one laughed. In fact, the other students who were in the other cubicles, also didn't find it funny! Who cares if he has seen lots of pubic hair? That whole situation wasn't about him, it was about me, plus I am not his patient and although he is my instructor, he is a stranger, and not my nurse because I wasn't sick and in need of his helping hands. He could had asked me if it was ok to touch me, and not put his hands on my panties when he knew by my reaction that I didn't want him touching me.

    If some of you don't consider this sexual offense or assalt, it's ok.. but I was the one lying there and I am the only one who can say for sure how I felt. I felt violated and felt yes, that he crossed my comfort zone. At a hospital setting, when you in fact have a health condition and are surrounded by people that are being paid to care for you and monitor your vital signs, etc, it's a different story, but at a school setting, he could had perfectly used a manequin/model or a willing student. Why instead of approaching me and talk about the other organs in the abdomen, he went straight to my pubic bone??????? He has no rights to put his dirty hands on us, period! He played mind games with us for the whole semester, and didn't care for the way we felt. I heard that in the previous 2 years that he taught this course, he never touched a student, but they all complain of his authority and teaching methods.

    Because I don't have intentions of ruining his career at this moment (in fact I never had such intentions), I am giving him a chance to change, so I won't phone the police. As I said before, I already noticed positive changes in his classes and he seems to be respecting us more, and also seemed less judgemental and bossy. Before, he wanted us wearing panties and bra, but for the next clinical course in january, he already gave us the program outline saying that we can wear shorts, t-shirts or tank tops as I requested.

    Nursing school doesn't need to be stressful and I am one of the best students in my class, so I deserve to be treated with respect, because I am not attending this college just for fun. Also, there is no way I am quitting the nursing program or transfer to another university. If there is one person that needs to change, this person isn't me. If I hear that this ever happens again, than I will encourage the students to do the same I did.

    If we don't stand up for ourselves, who will?? So Dave.. I don't think you should be so worried about being a male nursing student, but "ask" for permission before touching a woman/classmate... and explain to her why and what you will be doing. It never hurts to be gentle.

    Bye..
  13. by   NJNursing
    mmh,

    well when you add all the little details like that (which were omitted previously) then yes, he is out of line. He's just one of those people who gets off on having the power and control over other people which is very unfortunate. I would never have tolerated a teacher like that. I would have formed a petition or a letter and had anywilling classmates sign the letter about the horrendous teaching. Then I would have sent it to that professor, to the course coordinator to the dean of nursing to the dean of the health & sciences department then to the dean/president/vice president of the entire school.

    I'm glad that at least his mannerisms are looking up. I hope it continues to stay that way for you guys. Stand your grounds and if he talks down to you (or any other classmate) go to him after class and say "your comment about x was highly inappropriate and I found it offensive/embaressing/inappropritate/etc". Hey may not be aware of his comments because he's been that way his whole life and everyone has just tolerated it instead of confronting him on it.

    Good luck. :-)

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