Nursing students and immaturity

  1. 1
    Hi! I wanted to bring something up that really surprised me & I'm not sure what to do about it. First of all, let me say that we have a number of males in our nursing program, and they are top-notch, fantastic, helpful, compassionate, and mature - I really enjoy having them around. This is in no way a comment on male nursing students. But here's what's going on.

    A couple of the young male nursing students in my Master's (!) program think it's funny when our instructor talks about problems involving genitalia. They giggle in class and basically don't act like I would imagine someone studying medicine would act. Okay, okay, it may be unusual to hear an instructor speak frankly about the vasalva maneuver or imperforate anuses on newborns if one is not used to hearing about such things. But COME ON, we're in nursing school!

    What's bothering me is that a couple of the guys have apparently been talking about me - I've had a couple of comments shouted to me across the cafeteria, and just recently one of them walked up to me after a big test and said, "Hey, X tells me you have an imperforate anus. Is this true?" Then he just stood there staring at me, I guess waiting for my response.

    I'm just not sure how to respond to this kind of comment. I am a woman in my mid- to late- forties, and I guess I don't expect to be spoken to this way by a colleague. The two guys who are saying these things are younger than me, by the way - one is in his twenties, and one is in his thirties. As far as I know, I haven't said or done anything to make these guys mad, but I feel like I'm being picked on/harrassed. It's so immature and frankly embarrassing for me that I guess I've been too shocked to respond or do anything about it. How do you think I should handle this line of questioning? I want it to stop right now, and I certainly don't want to respond in a way that will just exacerbate this behavior. I feel like nursing school is stressful enough, and I just want to do my best, graduate, and become an awesome nurse.

    Thanks!
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 42 Comments...

  3. 5
    Ignore them and they will go away.
    SoldierNurse22, Meriwhen, Altra, and 2 others like this.
  4. 0
    Perhaps - but so far I haven't responded & it's escalated. I was hoping there was a way to nip it in the bud. Maybe it's too late for that.
  5. 5
    I have no idea why adults (male or otherwise) would think it ok to speak to you like this, or act this way in general. Ignoring them may work, but you are better off telling them that you dont appreciate the way they are talking to you as it is degrading and rude. Tell them if they continue that you will take further action. I doubt they want to lose there spot in class and will stop. If they continue to act this way to you directly, or if it gets worse, then work your way up. You can notify your instructor. There are policies at most, if not all, campuses that have policies against this type of behaviour. Especially when they are picking on another student. You shouldnt have to feel embarrassed or asked off the wall questions in attempt to arouse you while at school.
  6. 19
    You could respond with "I hear you ARE an imperforate anus." And walk away.
    Kandy83, i♥words, Wise Woman RN, and 16 others like this.
  7. 2
    Ha! That's funny! I was actually thinking about talking to my advisor about this, but I don't want to cause a big stink because I really do think these guys just don't have the maturity to understand the implications of what they're doing & I figure they deserve a chance to self-correct. But I do want them to understand that what they're doing seems (to me, anyway) to be a little sinister and hostile. And I want it to stop asap.
    Esme12 and lorirn2b like this.
  8. 5
    Quote from lorirn2b
    You could respond with "I hear you ARE an imperforate anus." And walk away.
    Hahahahahaaaaa! I would've said "Your mom's a perforated anus," or "Your face looks like a perforated anus" but I like yours better.

    OP, you can go one of three ways. Complain to the higher ups, ignore it, or respond to your ridiculous hecklers.

    I think complaining will make things worse (the blatant stupidity may stop, but animosity will fester.) Ignoring it isn't working. And you don't come across as the type to get yourself in on the joke to diffuse it.

    So...what to do, what to do.
    Last edit by Stephalump on Oct 14, '13
  9. 3
    I find that ignoring it is the worse thing you can do, as they assume you are one they can act this way toward without any repercussions. You may in fact show in your face the discomfort, yet you do nothing. It reminds me of a work situation that I had once where I had almost all male co-workers. A couple of them would come to my desk throughout the day and say something lewd or ask something personal. It was often just a sentence or a gesture. But it made me uncomfortable and created an environment that was very unpleasant for me. Only when I told them outright to stop and also informed my boss, did it stop. I first tried not to respond--to ignore it--and it got way worse. I'm not sure how to advise you, but I would calmly tell them to stop and make it clear that it makes me uncomfortable. I'd probably say something like, "When you talk to me like that it makes me uncomfortable. I want you to stop. Don't do it again." Since you say it is escalating, I would also go to the teacher and work my up from there if it did not stop and/or something was not done about it.
  10. 33
    My response would be this: "You are no doubt aware of the Code of Conduct penalties for sexual harassment? If you're not, I suggest you get REALLY familiar with them very quickly. I would hate to have to move this any further up the disciplinary ladder than our little meeting right now. Kapisch?"
    Everline, tcvnurse, mebe5, and 30 others like this.
  11. 11
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    My response would be this: "You are no doubt aware of the Code of Conduct penalties for sexual harassment? If you're not, I suggest you get REALLY familiar with them very quickly. I would hate to have to move this any further up the disciplinary ladder than our little meeting right now. Kapisch?"
    winning!


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