Pick Your Battles Wisely - page 2

by TheCommuter 6,089 Views | 28 Comments Senior Moderator

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 matter: suck it up, choose... Read More


  1. 0
    Commuter - again you speak the truth so well.

    I do have some concerns. Firstly, reporting something anonymously may be a useless exercise in futility. Like a big case of 'he said, she said' and most likely, difficult to investiagtively follow if specific details are needed by administration.

    And secondly, is there not any type of 'whistleblower' protection against retaliatory actions available??? After all, we are talking about institutions that may be Civil Service, and/or those who are probably receiving some federal-type funding, be they grants, scholarships, work programs, student loans, etc.

    I agree that chain-of-command should have been the first and best approach. After that, caution and discretion wuold then be the next way to go to keep targeting at a minimum.

    I have a hard time seeing much of a chance for a winning outcome in the type of situations.
  2. 0
    Sounds like my school..failed a friend in final clinicals. Looks like nursing school is just a nightmare everywhere and they're complaining of nurse shortage. very unprofessional
  3. 0
    Sometimes when the reality is directly in front of you, you realize that the real world is cruel and nursing school is not an exception. Thank your for showing and telling us the darkside of nursing school situations.
  4. 0
    Commuter, 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.
  5. 4
    Thank 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.
    umbdude, cp1024, NJnewRN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    To 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.
    HMAmara and TheCommuter like this.
  7. 2
    This 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.
    cp1024 and TheCommuter like this.
  8. 0
    You 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.
  9. 0
    Doing 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.
  10. 0
    Here's what you do if an instructor asks you anything:

    Don't Look At Your Tie - Ocean's Eleven - YouTube


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