Pick Your Battles Wisely - page 2
Life is not fair, and neither is nursing school. After having dealt with various sticky situations while attending an LVN program, and later, an RN bridge program, here are my blunt two cents on this... Read More
Dec 7, '12Commuter, even though you bring up primarilay ethical or moral issues in your article, I figure there are just some things in life that are not really worth the time, effort and frustration of getting my panties in a bunch.
Dec 7, '12Thank you for another brilliant article, you are truly a fantastic writer and a great inspiration to students and nurses alike.
I can relate, and wholeheartedly agree to this article. I was a former nursing student as well, just short of graduating, before losing everything I had worked long and hard for. I had done nothing wrong except opening my mouth when I shouldn't have by reporting unethical behavior. Morally, I felt at the time it was the right thing to do, that it was the honest thing to do. It was the worst mistake I could've ever made. Nothing was done to those who were being unethical, but much was done to me in retaliation, and I walked away empty handed while everyone else went on to graduate.
It took a lot, but I've put my past behind me, and started over. I'm finishing up pre-reqs and will be applying for an RN program very soon, in just a couple months. I learned a major lesson from my past though: keep my mouth shut, because sometimes the price of doing the morally honest thing isn't worth the cost.
Dec 7, '12To your credit OP this is a fantastic article! That was very insightful. I am going to briefly explain what happened to me in nursing school. I did well enough to keep my head above water throughout the entire program until the final semester. I had passed clinicals with flying colors and everything was going well until we had an instructor who decided to makes everyone's life a living nightmare. The woman threatened to fail me because I kept forgetting to put air in the syringe before I drew up a medication. Mind you, It's my final semester! I couldn't believe that if I was doing so bad up until that point. Basically, she tortured the other students including myself for no good reason. I wanted to report her abuse so bad! She was even made it a point to tell me that she was going to personally make sure that I don't graduate. Yes, those were the exact words. I remember staying up all night crying. No one has ever made me cry continuously like that before in my life. I remember a lady over heard me on the phone crying saying it was going to be ok. It took everything out of me not tell her that what she is doing is wrong! I wanted to report her so bad, but I had to bite my tongue and take the whipping. My school was not to be tested. I have seen how they callously failed people for grades like 79.5. I knew she would have failed me. So I played the part. I listened to her carefully. Memorized the way she wanted me to draw up air a syringe and that it takes .70 mls to fill out the smaller syringe. I even woke up at 2am in the morning to practice in my head how to hang a piggy back.
So, to make a long story short. She passed me and told me that I did very well and how she was surprised at my turn around. Yes, I had to sit there and pretend as if this woman did not make our lives a nightmare.
Dec 7, '12This is a great article, and it is absolutely disgusting that what the Commuter says is true. These rouge instructors (and it seems as if every nursing program has at least one) are training future nurses to shut their mouths and ignore the wrongs that they are going to find once they enter the workforce. First you keep it shut because you want to earn your licence, and then you keep it shut because you need a paycheck. Before nursing, I spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, and I find way more ethical violations in my LTC job than I ever did in the villified pharm world - and that sure is saying something. I've picked the most egregious events and reported them up the chain of command, but nothing changes - so I'm left to look for a new job.
I worry that we are conditioned to choose NOT to battle (see no evil, hear no evil) because that is seen as the easiest and wisest course of action based on the understandable goal of graduating or getting a paycheck.
Dec 8, '12You know, reading this was like being in dejavu. And that's all i'm going to say. Favoritism is such a terrible thing to see, and so is bullying by instructors, but hey it happens.
Dec 8, '12Doing what is right is always worth it.... not least because evil prospers when good [people] are silent.
However, favoritism and petty politics are very different things than cheating and shorting clinical hours. It would be nice if everything were fair but that isn't really a right/wrong thing. Besides, it is impossible to do.
I do agree that one should think before speaking, especially when interacting with superiors who can make decisions that affect one's future. Also, always use the utmost tact with every interpersonal encounter made.
And that *how* something is done is often far more important than *what* is done.
A question, though.... do you know if the clinical hours were shorted just the once or regularily. Also, if it was once, did the clinical program have a few extra hours built into it? I'm asking because despite an excessive amount of hype about how absenses of any sort were unacceptable, it turned out that it was very unusal that not a single student missed a single clinical hour - so we met the allotted hours requirement before the end of the last day and were legitimately sent home early. Although, the instructor did explain why.
Dec 8, '12Here's what you do if an instructor asks you anything:
Don't Look At Your Tie - Ocean's Eleven - YouTube
Dec 8, '12Quote from SaysfaaThe clinical hours were being cut short on a regular basis by this one particular instructor. Since this was a second job to earn some extra money, he did not really put his entire heart and soul into the task of teaching.A question, though.... do you know if the clinical hours were shorted just the once or regularily. Also, if it was once, did the clinical program have a few extra hours built into it? I'm asking because despite an excessive amount of hype about how absenses of any sort were unacceptable, it turned out that it was very unusal that not a single student missed a single clinical hour - so we met the allotted hours requirement before the end of the last day and were legitimately sent home early. Although, the instructor did explain why.
It took place in the state of California where approximately 954 clinical hours are required prior to completion of an LVN program. The nursing program was set up for exactly 954 clinical hours, so any students who were absent or late had to make up the time.
This particular instructor was cutting clinical days short for his own convenience without notifying the school's administration, so he was basically falsifying records through omission (re: not revealing he was ending the clinical shifts early).
Dec 8, '12Thank you for the article! This is essentially the advice I was given by a recent grad just before starting my program.
Dec 9, '12its so true, u have to know what battle's u want to fight or not. SO WHAT the teacher sent u home early, go spend ur extra time studying in the library, or volunteering at a hospital or nursing home gaining some experience, with human interaction and communication.. picked a fight with a teacher and u lost. I NEVER tried that in nursing school, and i walked out unscathed, no failing grades or failed classes. the teachers are the boss and ur the student. thats just the way it is
Dec 9, '12If you watch Weeds, Mahalia James says "Fair is what you pay on the bus." I keep that in mind in my nursing school experience. Sometimes it's little things like such and such clinical group got to do this and we didn't, or someone performed their skill in front of this instructor who was more exacting. Get. Over. It. There is no way that your experience is going to be exactly the same as everyone else's. Your job is to get through, not quibble over one or two points.
Dec 9, '12Quote from TheCommuterThis is a widespread problem, the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. I was a clinical coordinator for a short time, and I would hear officially (but mostly non-officially) that certain CIs always let their students out early. Part of my job was to evaluate the CIs, as well as the facility (was the unit the right fit for the level, etc). There were ones that I purposely went to later in the shift, after being tipped off. And sure enough, there were a couple of times where the group was MIA. Either never showed up, left early, or no one has seen the group in weeks. When my boss approached the CIs, there was always an excuse (Oh, I took them to a specialty unit this week, they stayed late last week, so I let them out early, or a bunch of other nonsense that could not be confirmed or denied). The bottom line was this: The CI was not reprimanded because a) no student would rat her out, either for fear of repercussion (which I totally understand, from their perspective), or b) the students were HAPPY to be getting out early, or c) we were so desperate for CIs. Sad, but true.The clinical hours were being cut short on a regular basis by this one particular instructor. Since this was a second job to earn some extra money, he did not really put his entire heart and soul into the task of teaching.
Choice B (as stated above) was a real, legitimate thing in this setting. I was so embarrassed to be a part of an institution that would accept this type of mentality, much less having colleagues that would enable it. One of the full timers there adjuncted at another institution, where students complained about her because she never let them out early. Are you kidding me!! How on earth do you go to a higher up with a complaint like that??
I am at a different institution now, and it's not all roses there either. But I keep my mouth shut when I hear of other groups who have the 'day off', or alternate arrangements have been made. I am not a coordinator, so it really isn't my business. So I stay out of it. There are times where my group has had alternate arrangements made, all on the up-and-up. I don't have to answer to anyone except my coordinator, my chair, and my conscience
I am wondering if the student mentioned in the OPs scenario was one who was not part of that mentality, therefore it was maybe her word against the rest of the group?
I hate to hear about all the underhanded things that go on in out profession. But, it happens in every aspect of life.
Dec 9, '12Quote from ProfRN4Thank your very much for providing your perspective as a nurse educator and a formal clinical coordinator on this sticky issue. I think we really needed to hear from someone who works in higher education.This is a widespread problem, the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. I was a clinical coordinator for a short time, and I would hear officially (but mostly non-officially) that certain CIs always let their students out early.