Nursing Lab Preceptor with an attitude..Please help!!

  1. This is a little long ....
    I reentered a program for the last two classes I need to graduate for my RN. I need to only complete the last 16 weeks then I can graduate. Problem is I have a nursing lab preceptor that I had difficulty with during my previous time in the program and it doesn't appear to have improved this time around. I went back in with the attitude, "do whatever it takes to graduate" but there are only so many things I can do. I have smiled, bit my tongue while she makes stupid comments, answered her questions to the best of my ability, put up with her snide comments and rude attitude. But I am at my wit's end. The final straw came today when I received an email stating that she would not sign off on my skills list if I didn't purchase a nursing packet of equipment (i.e. foley, dressing kits, etc.). On the list I have completed all my skills on the list that require any equipment because I had some of my old equipment from my previous time in school or I borrowed from other students to save on the cost since I have only 1 semester til graduation.
    Problem: The dean and her are thiscloseoffriends and the dean tends to believe whatever this lady has to say. My problem I need her signature on my sheet in order to complete all requirements of program. I have cut my hours at work to complete therefore my money is tight. The packet is close to $100. I don't feel that I need to purchase a packet that I don't have a use for. Any comments how to handle this situation? Also she makes my life very difficult (taking extra time to get to me, asking tons of questions while other students don't have this treatment, nasty comments about my personal life, etc.) when I am practicing skills or taking quizzes/test in lab. I just want to finish the RN program but she is making my life He**!!!!! I am not scared nor intimated by her I have been a practicing LPN for 6 years now I do know a little bit of something. WHAT DO I DO? HELP!!!!!! She is an evil woman.

    Sorry for the length.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   BethulieRN
    I am also a returning student in the Nursing Program. If I had my way, I would have graduated this Spring. But, instead I find myself repeating my 2nd Semester of Nursing(I transfered in another Nursing School). This happened last Spring because of a clinical failure. I had a clinical instructor from Hell(very intimidating).

    I was a model student, I did exactly what she asked us to do, such as being prepared before clinical, always on time for clinicals, assuring at all the time safety for my patients, knowing my meds, my psychomotor skills, returning my careplans on time..... you name it, as any motivated student does to fulfill her duties. Only, I find out that was not enough for her. She has been documenting my every move without even addressing her concerns, so that I can improve. On my final day of clinical she gave me a failing grade. she stated that I had poor theraputic communication skills(I have a french accent) also, she saw me about to choke my pt with oxigen tubing. In short, she said I was unsafe. I cried, and suffer depression over this because I knew in my heart that the thruth was not told and I did not deserve that grade. I appealed that decision and find out that the Dean was her buddy. I contemplated a law suit, but I decided to forgive and move on. I successfully trasfered my credit to a very good school, even though I had to wait for a whole semester in order to start the advanced placement . When the officials at my knew school read my clincal evaluation, they could not believe of the unfair treatment that I just received by my forner school.

    To come back to your subject, I will counsel you to buy that package; if you have to borrow cash you must do it. It seem to me that your instructor does not like you as a person and will not care if she fails you. I also notice that they get jalous when student are close to graduating. And, espescially the students they do not personnally like, they do not want them to be at the their level; which is becoming a register nurse. Because after all, whether, they have Masters or Bachelors they are still RNs. So, be carefull and hang in there because you are almost there. Kiss her ASS if you have to; after all if you graduate you never see her again.

    Good Luck

    Ceresk
  4. by   kukukajoo
    I would start DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING!!! This may come in handy at the end of the year. Seems to me she is just weilding control over you and she may continue this.

    Shoot off an email to her explaining to her that you have completed the assignments using euqipment you already had, etc. and then ask why when it is done, would another kit be needed? This may come in handy later but is covering your butt at the same time.

    Good luck!
  5. by   wildmountainchild
    Do what you have to do. Just grin and bear it. I'm fiesty and spunky myself, it would be hard for me to keep my mouth shut about the unfair treatment I was recieving but you have to think of the greater good....graduating!

    The best revenge will be graduating, becoming a successful, compassionate RN and THEN writing a letter to the dean of the school, the accrediting board and the BON about your clinical instructor. Only after you've gotten your liscence and they can't take it away should you complain.

    But I agree w/ the poster who said to document EVERTHING! Document times, dates, witnesses. Save all the e-mails and communications you have with her as well as your replies. Always maintain your professional demeanor. Explain in your letters to the afore mentioned people and agencies that you were intimidated into not speaking out sooner because she made it clear that she did not like you and was looking for any reason not to graduate you. Include the dates, times, and witnesses you've documented.

    Also, do you have a PDA? I have one that has a recorder in it. If I were you I would discretely start recording my conversations w/ your preceptor as long as they are in public areas and do not contain identifying info about your patients. If there is no reasonable expectation of privacy then it is alright to record your conversations w/ someone without thier knowledge. For example; if you are talking in a hallway with other people around or in a breakroom etc. Obviously as soon as any patient info is discussed I would just take my PDA out as if I was looking at some info and switch off the recorder. This way if she is outright rude or intimidating you will have proof. On the same idea, it is alright to record your own phone conversations without others knowledge as well. If she bullies you all the time why not coax her into a phone conversation where you can get her unfair treatment on the record. Just an idea. But I would still hold off on acting on anything until I had already graduated.

    At the very least there will be an official record of her unfair treatment and if anyone else complains they will have to believe that person b/c of the proven history of intimidation and unprofessional behavior.
  6. by   Trauma_Queen
    Quote from wildmountainchild
    Do what you have to do. Just grin and bear it. I'm fiesty and spunky myself, it would be hard for me to keep my mouth shut about the unfair treatment I was recieving but you have to think of the greater good....graduating!

    The best revenge will be graduating, becoming a successful, compassionate RN and THEN writing a letter to the dean of the school, the accrediting board and the BON about your clinical instructor. Only after you've gotten your liscence and they can't take it away should you complain.

    But I agree w/ the poster who said to document EVERTHING! Document times, dates, witnesses. Save all the e-mails and communications you have with her as well as your replies. Always maintain your professional demeanor. Explain in your letters to the afore mentioned people and agencies that you were intimidated into not speaking out sooner because she made it clear that she did not like you and was looking for any reason not to graduate you. Include the dates, times, and witnesses you've documented.

    Also, do you have a PDA? I have one that has a recorder in it. If I were you I would discretely start recording my conversations w/ your preceptor as long as they are in public areas and do not contain identifying info about your patients. If there is no reasonable expectation of privacy then it is alright to record your conversations w/ someone without thier knowledge. For example; if you are talking in a hallway with other people around or in a breakroom etc. Obviously as soon as any patient info is discussed I would just take my PDA out as if I was looking at some info and switch off the recorder. This way if she is outright rude or intimidating you will have proof. On the same idea, it is alright to record your own phone conversations without others knowledge as well. If she bullies you all the time why not coax her into a phone conversation where you can get her unfair treatment on the record. Just an idea. But I would still hold off on acting on anything until I had already graduated.

    At the very least there will be an official record of her unfair treatment and if anyone else complains they will have to believe that person b/c of the proven history of intimidation and unprofessional behavior.

    Okay..first off, this is going to be a little off topic, but I have to disagree with recording conversations discreetly. As far as I know, it is against the law to record a conversation without telling someone that you are recording a conversation. This is even applied to us in school when we want to record an instructor's or guest lecturer's material. Our instructors always remind us to ask permission before recording. So I would never advise someone to record anything for the sake of proof.

    Now back on topic...I am also a returning student in my program. I felt that a particular instructor prevented me from passing. I could tell in the way she graded my papers, the way she looked at me, just all of her actions towards me were negative. Come to find out, a classmate who happened to be a "former" friend, told this instructor some negative things about myself and my personal life..Her image of me changed because of this classmate's "opinion" of me... So when she told me over the summer (after failing) that she was going to do everything in her power to make sure I was successful the second time around, I had a HUGE chip on my shoulder and didn't believe this to be true. Now in most cases I would agree with everyone that says "grin and bear it" because I am a very nonconfrontational person. But there has to come a point when you need to confront the negative behavior in order to be successful. In my situation, I ended up confronting this particular instructor (which most people wouldn't do because you NEVER step up to her, she can make your life miserable!) I explained to her that I could tell she had a negative attitude towards me and in my mind I would not be able to be successful after re-entering because of her negative image of who I am...It was the scariest thing I've ever had to do. To my surprise, my instructor took the blame for the situation of being unethical by listening to another student's opinion. After our discussion, I now know that she WILL do anything to make sure I pass this time. She tells me I'm going to make an excellent nurse and she has even more respect for me because I stepped up to her and confronted her when she was in the wrong. She knows how gutsy it was for me to confront her when most others would and now we get along perfectly...

    So there's just another opinion of trying to resolve your situation. Try confronting this instructor first. If you're not happy with the outcome, go to the Dean..If you're still not satisfied, go above the Dean. There are always protocols to follow. If it wasn't explained to you that you need to buy an extra package of supplies, then she has no right to not sign off on your things. These same exact situations happen to us "returning students", sometimes we're not told to buy certain things because we already have them...We always go to our instructors as a group because they forget sometimes that returning students aren't required to complete certain activities. They always look into it and things are always solved in a positive manner.

    Just remember that you are a person and everyone deserves to be treated with decency and respect. Sometimes we lose sight of this because we don't want to cause friction...But that does not give an instructor the right to walk all over you and treat you disrespectfully.
  7. by   canoehead
    Write an email to her and cc it to the person above her, but start saving your money. Schools have hoops they expect you to jump through whether they make sense or not and this appears to be one of them.
  8. by   Kathyz
    Pay the $100 and do what she asks! Maybe she's being hard on you b/c she knows you'll be a good RN one day. I thought a college professor was always picking on me. Turns out he thought I was a really good student. People show it in different ways. I know it stinks but we're the student and they're the teachers. Good luck!
  9. by   hardworking woman
    I first want to extend my empathy and admiration to all of you who have experienced unfair treatment from someone in authority during school – it is a horrible experience because these people should be mature and fair and there should not be abuse of power issues in a school – that doesn’t bode well for the future of nursing.

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']I visited this website and have been reading a lot because I encountered a similar situation this past Friday and feel upset and very worried and my mind is racing so that I can’t study. I’m in an accelerated program and have to constantly study and write assignments and participate in clinical or class so being upset is a handicap.

    I have a leadership class and the professor is awful. She gave us no guidance or support with the clinical requirement – we had to find a preceptor we could follow around for a total of 30 hours in 5 weeks on top of a full summer semester credit load. She wouldn’t even give us the list of outside facilities we have a contract with – she read it to us in class so fast no one had time to write them down. We have to keep and submit journals with directions for what has to be in them. We have to write a ridiculous final paper and use theory and a whole list of requirements about management, leadership using a theory model and it is such a boring and unwieldy assignment I dread it. We had to get a contract signed and have the preceptor agree to all these pain in the ass things they had to provide access to and take us to meetings and it is endless – for 1 credit!

    I made the mistake of winding up with a preceptor in an outside facility who I don’t know. Everything was fine except that she is a head nurse and busy and seems sometimes to not want me around but her staff all seem to like me and I help them out a lot with tasks they don’t want to do and I have been having a positive time.

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']I had to give the preceptor an evaluation for me and she gave it back and I looked at it when I left and she gave me 1 – on absolutely everything. – The grading is 1 through 5 points with 1 being the worst.

    She has never let me help her – I took the initiative to write a note (not meant to be a nurses note) because after she left one day something occurred with fighting family members of a patient and one family member came to me and asked if her sister was allowed to ban her from seeing her aunt. I told her I would let the staff know and have them call her and I handled it perfectly.

    Anyway – the preceptor did say when I said I would be back next week – rolling her eyes – are you learning anything here?! She never asked me to do anything or gave me any direction on what I should be doing there – never gave me an indication I wasn’t doing well in this clinical. I did feed difficult residents and did spent time with them and talked to them and walked with them and the patients hug me and kiss me – so I can’t be all that terrible. I have a problem with being “too nice”, a non-threatening person and on-confrontational. A lot of nurse managers seem to be bullies – am I wrong in that assumption?

    I wondered if they think I am planning to pursue a job there after graduation. I am not but they never asked. The director of nursing there asked me when I graduate and I am wondering if my preceptor is jealous and spiteful – I can’t tell.

    I want to ask you all…should I…Go back and speak to this woman? I really REALLY do not want to cause she is closed and stubborn and I have already put up with too much.

    Should I go to the student counseling office at school? They’ll give me some counseling ******** but they can’t and won’t get involved. My professor for this course would be more than happy to blame this on me and fail me – she is a mean person.

    I am tempted to fake the evaluation form and hand in a forged signature copy and that thought scares me – why should I be dishonest and risk being thrown out of school and ruining everything because I have too many hurdles to deal with?! I am graduating this summer and this is really upsetting. Help! And Thanks Nurses! And best wishes to all of you who are suffering with professors and preceptors from Hell
    Last edit by hardworking woman on Jun 22, '08
  10. by   SunnyAndrsn
    Is there someone at your school that handles discrimination? YOUR finances are YOUR business, how on earth does she know where your supplies came from? You obviously had the supplies to get checked off on the skills, right?

    Your school should have someone who handles diversity/equal opportunites find out who that is and get them involved.

    Other options? Buy the stupid packet and sell it to another student, buy it and through it away or donate it to another student (yeah I know, the tight $$ again) or buy it, get her to sign off on it, but keep the receipt and return it to the bookstore.

    Yeesh, what a witch.

    Quote from mizzou_ivy
    This is a little long ....
    I reentered a program for the last two classes I need to graduate for my RN. I need to only complete the last 16 weeks then I can graduate. Problem is I have a nursing lab preceptor that I had difficulty with during my previous time in the program and it doesn't appear to have improved this time around. I went back in with the attitude, "do whatever it takes to graduate" but there are only so many things I can do. I have smiled, bit my tongue while she makes stupid comments, answered her questions to the best of my ability, put up with her snide comments and rude attitude. But I am at my wit's end. The final straw came today when I received an email stating that she would not sign off on my skills list if I didn't purchase a nursing packet of equipment (i.e. foley, dressing kits, etc.). On the list I have completed all my skills on the list that require any equipment because I had some of my old equipment from my previous time in school or I borrowed from other students to save on the cost since I have only 1 semester til graduation.
    Problem: The dean and her are thiscloseoffriends and the dean tends to believe whatever this lady has to say. My problem I need her signature on my sheet in order to complete all requirements of program. I have cut my hours at work to complete therefore my money is tight. The packet is close to $100. I don't feel that I need to purchase a packet that I don't have a use for. Any comments how to handle this situation? Also she makes my life very difficult (taking extra time to get to me, asking tons of questions while other students don't have this treatment, nasty comments about my personal life, etc.) when I am practicing skills or taking quizzes/test in lab. I just want to finish the RN program but she is making my life He**!!!!! I am not scared nor intimated by her I have been a practicing LPN for 6 years now I do know a little bit of something. WHAT DO I DO? HELP!!!!!! She is an evil woman.

    Sorry for the length.
  11. by   BethulieRN
    MIZZOU IVY,

    I graduated this May 2008 and I am studying for my NCLEX boards now.
    What about you?
    Where are you now?
  12. by   JettaDP
    I think you should pay for the packet, continue borrowing from people, and then return the packet and get your money back!
  13. by   Daytonite
    You say you are not scared or intimidated by her, but you didn't mention whether or not you actually talked with her face to face to tell her the rationale behind why you don't feel you need to purchase this equipment packet. That would be the professional way to handle this instead of dwelling on her evilness. We had a nursing professor like this when I was in my BSN program and the only way to deal with her was to work up the chain of command starting with talking to her first and stating our case. Only then could we move on to the next step of going to the head of the nursing program who was supposedly her friend--and she would listen--as long as we had talked to the professor first. As it turned out, she knew what a lunkhead her professor friend was and she really wasn't her friend at all, it was a perception that many of the students had. You will find that management will give others the illusion of cohesiveness among the work force in order to hide indecision and disagreements in the ranks. As a rule, good managers don't share gossip or disciplinary matters among the crowd since it would be a violation of the person's right to confidentiality. Bottom line is that you really don't know how this nursing lab preceptor is thought of by her boss. Nursing school is a time to practice what you are learning not only as a nurse, but as a future leader. So, (1) confront this nursing lab preceptor calmly and tactfully but in person with your rational arguments. If she won't budge, be assertive and tell her you are taking the next step and going to take it up with the dean. (2) Go to the dean with your same argument and ask for a decision.

    This is how a competent leader would handle this in the workplace. You are moving from an LPN to an RN role. The weight shifts a little more on your shoulders to solve problems that come up. More and more the buck starts stopping with you, the RN. Welcome to our world Future Problem Solver.
  14. by   simplysimple_5
    Hi Ceresk,

    Did you say you graduated from Waubonsee's nursing program? Which school were you at before? I would love to chat with you, as I am looking into transferring into another program after having a horrible experience with my instructor threatening to fail me.

    I dropped the class and when I tried to get back in, with my instructors suggestion, I was not allowed re-entry. I also suffer from depression and have been so upset with all this, and am trying to finish somewhere soon. I was only 10 weeks away from graduating!

    Thank you! :wink2:

    Steph

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