Way older than clinical instructor? - page 2

Hi All, I see from this board that there are alot of older students 35+ in age, in nursing school such as myself. I was curious to know if you do have instructors younger than yourself, how do you... Read More

  1. by   Carolanne
    Quote from orrnlori
    This instructor really has you in a tizzy. He may be a total jerk, I don't know. I think you are letting him make you feel too insecure. I was 40 when I started clinicals and I had several instructors in their mid to late 20's. And I had two male instructors. I didn't have a problem with any of them. If anything, the old blue-haired bat instructors were the problems. You are a mature and educated woman and this guy has just blow your self confidence to bits. I know you will make it through this and do a great job in school, finish and become a fine nurse. Quit letting this guy take away what you have worked for, don't let him rent space in your brain. Smile, bend over backwards, do whatever you have to do but beat him at his own game in such a way that he doesn't even know you won. You need to let this go. There's much work to do. Don't assign motives to people or you'll drive yourself crazy. You two obviously have some kind of personality clash. Don't let that get in the way of what you want and what you've worked for. Quit worrying about being older, you will make a better nurse because of your maturity and grace than any 20 year old. You may very well have other young instructors. Don't assume they are judging you and don't you judge them. School is soooooo tough. Don't make it tougher.
    Orrnlori, I love your style! You are RIGHT ON! I hope your posts have helped Joey, I know they strengthened me! It's so true that we go around kicking ourselves over a ripple in the pond that someone has caused us. We can carry the baggage around for EVER, and the offender hasn't given it a second thought since. We create our own monsters which peck away at our self esteem. I admit to being guilty of this too in the past, I was convinced that my second semester instructor was out to make my life hell. She was older than I, a real salty, no nonsense woman who smiled less times than I could count on one hand during the entire semester. Anyway, she really did a job on my head (I love your wording "rented space in my brain!") and it took me a LONG time to get over her. But I woke up one morning and the light bulb clicked ... I'm still in school and still passing and doing well and it's all because of my own effort and determination to make this work, and not she or anyone else can knock that down!! So here I am ready to graduate in May and I still occasionally see this instructor on campus. She now speaks to me like a peer, smiling warmly, asking me what my plans are after graduation. It is a complete turn around, it almost floors me. Anyway, thanks, Orrnlori, for putting things into perspective for us. "Mature Educated Wo(men)" of the world unite!!! :hatparty:
    Last edit by Carolanne on Mar 19, '04
  2. by   orrnlori
    I posted this somewhere else but I will re-state it here. I hated nursing school, felt all the things that the students state here. But then one day I made up my mind that they were going to have to drag me from the building the put my butt in the middle of the street before I was going to give up, and from then on my determination took care of everything else.

    I also experienced an instructor that was just plain sour. No one did anything right, no one was on the ball enough to answer questions the way she wanted. We just couldn't please her. When I went into the second year she also changed to teaching the second year, I was p*ssed. I didn't want to deal with her again. But my, what a difference a year made. Suddenly we were treated with respect, our thoughts considered, our answers right. I actually hugged her at our pinning ceremony. She still teaches clinicals where I work and I see her from time to time. Now there's a smile that wasn't there before and I always get a hug.

    It's hard to see the forest for the trees when you are under such stress, but the forest is really there. Sometimes you just have to make the leap and build your wings on the way down.

    Glad my post helped. I hope it helps joey as well. You see, I want to be an instructor someday and I hope to never forget what hell school was and hope to be the type of instructor that inspires all students and never lets them down.
  3. by   Altra
    Quote from Carolanne
    "Mature Educated Wo(men)" of the world unite!!! :hatparty:
    I may make that my Thought For the Day! :chuckle Thanks!
  4. by   joey1967
    Heh All,

    I hear you loud and clear and do agree with everyone. But (oh, oh here is the doubting Thomas But..), the problem right now is that he has threatend to fail me this clinical. I've chewed on this the last few days and frankly this is what is driving me nuts. I have no control over what he choses to do in three weeks. I called the school yesterday, indicating that I am still unclear as to what areas I need to improve on since none have been provided. I don't have a learning contract, which is normally given out so that there are estabilished guidelines that must be met and agreed upon between clinical instructor and student. So I have nothing to follow, no idea where I might be lacking, no idea what he finds so unacceptable, he has all the power. His out is that I am sick and banned from the unit, and his hands are tied and there is nothing he can do about it. So, if I work my ass off for the next three weeks straight (which is about120 ours of clinical time), great but in the end he has the reason to justify failing me i.e. I was sick, there wasn't enough time to determine my competencies. It is unfortunate the university has allowed invidual instructors to determine, in cases like this, whether a student goes on or gets behind a year. A whole year is alot, it means extra finances, which frankly, I'm not sure I can come up with. I am soooo mad at myself right now for not playing the game sooner. I am sooo mad for coming down with this bloody virus. I have worked and toiled my butt off for 7 months and now this. I was instructed to go to the associate dean with this concern i.e. no learning plan in place to help me improve, but I am worried that if I do, I'll rock the boat with my instructor even further. Boy, it really is hard to accept that a total stranger has complete control over what happens with your life. I've resloved the fact that the best I can do is do my best. I do agree that I know very little about nursing, and even less about what really goes on out of school. However, unless I'm given a plan to follow to improve , I"m like a chicken with my head cut off, running around a unit, caring for patients, looking over their back for the instructor, to figure out what I'm being assessed on. Hmm, I think I'm working myself up again. Thanks for letting me vent. :angryfire
  5. by   zambezi
    I think that your situations stinks...however, I do not think that you are alone...When I was in school, we had the same kind of situation...if we missed more than 3 clinical days we didn't pass the clinical portion. I know that this happened to at least one person...I think that somone else was close but when she got better she had to work out some make up days (which not everyone can do because of liability issues, etc within the hospital). I do not know your situation (other than that is stinks because really...it is not like you are skipping class because you want too)...however, I can see just a little bit where the instructor is coming from...clinical time is for clinical-it is not the same as doing a report or bookwork. Some facilities won't allow you to do make up time on your own due to legal purposes, no clinical faculty available, etc. I hope it gets worked out in your favor...I would have been equally irate if life had thrown that in the way of my school...talk with someone about make up days, see if it is possible...work hard in the next three weeks...try to talk with him (and another instructor, if possible) about what you need to do to pass. Ask what skills you need to accomplish it that time. REad your syllabus to find out what is expected.
    If you do have to fail the clinical portion...try to take the non-clinical classes each term (this was allowed for the student that had to fail due to missing clinicals at my school). She took the policy/ethics/etc: the non clinical classes and got them out of the way so the next year all she had to take was the clinical portions...Anyway, hope it gets figured out soon...

    ORRNLORI--you had some great, very valid posts...
  6. by   llg
    Quote from joey1967
    Boy, it really is hard to accept that a total stranger has complete control over what happens with your life.
    Remind yourself: He only has partial control over 1 thing in your life. He does NOT have total control of what happens with your life. There are lots of other things in your life much more important than this one thing.

    There will always be people who have an influence in your life -- your parents, teachers, spouse, kids, employers, judges, juries, etc. And then, there are those random events such as accidents, natural disasters, etc.

    We never have total control over our lives -- and as humans (not gods) we just have to learn to live with that fact. We need to have faith that, whatever comes, we will cope with it and move on. If he gives you a failing grade, you can pursue whatever appeals process the school has in place. If that fails, you can use the year to earn some money, take whatever supporting courses you can, take courses for a second major ... or whatever else you chose to do with that year to make your life better in the long run. In the long run, you will graduate if you choose to.

    As someone far wiser than I once said, "It's not what happens in life that matters. It's how we respond to those things that makes us who we are."

    Good luck. Keep us posted. We're rooting for you.
    llg -- who was on the verge of flunking out more than once as an undergraduate many years ago, but who now has a PhD in nursing and a great job
  7. by   pattik9898
    Quote from joey1967
    Heh All,

    I hear you loud and clear and do agree with everyone. But (oh, oh here is the doubting Thomas But..), the problem right now is that he has threatend to fail me this clinical. I've chewed on this the last few days and frankly this is what is driving me nuts. I have no control over what he choses to do in three weeks. I called the school yesterday, indicating that I am still unclear as to what areas I need to improve on since none have been provided. I don't have a learning contract, which is normally given out so that there are estabilished guidelines that must be met and agreed upon between clinical instructor and student. So I have nothing to follow, no idea where I might be lacking, no idea what he finds so unacceptable, he has all the power. His out is that I am sick and banned from the unit, and his hands are tied and there is nothing he can do about it. So, if I work my ass off for the next three weeks straight (which is about120 ours of clinical time), great but in the end he has the reason to justify failing me i.e. I was sick, there wasn't enough time to determine my competencies. It is unfortunate the university has allowed invidual instructors to determine, in cases like this, whether a student goes on or gets behind a year. A whole year is alot, it means extra finances, which frankly, I'm not sure I can come up with. I am soooo mad at myself right now for not playing the game sooner. I am sooo mad for coming down with this bloody virus. I have worked and toiled my butt off for 7 months and now this. I was instructed to go to the associate dean with this concern i.e. no learning plan in place to help me improve, but I am worried that if I do, I'll rock the boat with my instructor even further. Boy, it really is hard to accept that a total stranger has complete control over what happens with your life. I've resloved the fact that the best I can do is do my best. I do agree that I know very little about nursing, and even less about what really goes on out of school. However, unless I'm given a plan to follow to improve , I"m like a chicken with my head cut off, running around a unit, caring for patients, looking over their back for the instructor, to figure out what I'm being assessed on. Hmm, I think I'm working myself up again. Thanks for letting me vent. :angryfire
    kiddo
    i just jumped into this discussion. i am the 52 y/o broad that was threatened by my clinical instructor as well. i wrote the chick up, threatened to get a lawyer and raised holy hell because an evaluation said "i needed to improve my therapeutic skills with my patients" this statement was grossly incorrectand capricious, as well (in my estimation) a move to have me removed from the program. my final review states that among my strong points is " i have warm and caring relationships with my patients". fancy that. well, brother (or is it sister) you need to put stuff in writing to your instructor, copying the program director and dean. start by repeating what the instructor said and the date you first tried to engage him in a conversation about this (i.e., he's kicking you out) and how you have approached him several times to obtain the corrective action to circumvent this. you unfortunately have been ill (how many clinicals did you miss?) and would like to undertake whatever remedial action is necessary to make up the clinical work. can you join another clinical group? go to two clinical experiences a week (you guys have more than one clinical group?). the time that has elapsed since you approached this guy with the problem has been x amount of days/weeks that could have been used to make up the work. no answer is not the answer! are you a woman? could he be discriminating against you in any way shape or form? why are you repeatedly asking and not receiving an answer? you can speculate in the letter. don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. i think people that go into teaching in this profession have mental problems and get off on torturing people. they're sick and better yet they're scared.

    i havent been following your problem. this is from someone who has been there and is not a carpet for anyone. for crissake not only am i older, better educated (2 masters and a long career in business to include consulting for ibm, ge, boeing)....i know how to play the game, much better than they do. hell, i'll write the letter for you if you want. (need the details)
    good luck
    patti
  8. by   pattik9898
    [QUOTE=pattik9898]kiddo

    good luck. it is hard when the instructor is breathing down your back. i know personally what that is all about.
    Last edit by pattik9898 on Mar 20, '04 : Reason: bad advice
  9. by   newgrad2004
    Joey dont say that Im a year older than you!!
    And yes I get teased but whats funny is until they knew how old my kids were they were "clueless" to my age. Now they tease me and even as we were preparing to get our pictures in for our "pinning" ceremony they say "Oh look HER childhood pictures are in black and white! she is old!!! arg. The pic is from the 70's and personally I LOVE black and white and still take black n white pics!! Nothing better or more elegant than those.
    Any way I have plent of older students in my class, but they dont get teased as much because I am joking around with fellow students they tend to tease me because they know they can. But I have a couple who are like late 40's and a couple who are like 50-51





    Quote from joey1967
    Wow, sounds wonderful that so many "older" women are going into the field! I am the oldest one in my class, the average age of the students are between 23-24, and I really notice the age difference. My mom is in her 60's and most of the people in my class think that is ancient! As for the instructor thing, does anyone think that men and women communicate differently? Has anyone had a younger male nurse instructor? I feel that I am being evaluated and almost looked down upon due to my age, like what is someone my age going back to school for. I'm not married, without kids, and that almost seems to be a mark on me. I'm usually asked "oh did you go back to support your children". It seems it is almost a given that I've been married and am now divorced which I haven't been. This particular instructor just assumed that was my situation. I actually have two degrees and this is my third, and I just like to learn but I don't want to have to explain myself and the reasons why I decided to go to nursing school. At any rate, I've had great relationships with everyone up until now, maybe it will get better, but I won't hold my breath. I'm happy to hear that everyone here has been accepted so favourably into the profession eventhough they are older than the "average" student.

    Last edit by newgrad2004 on Mar 20, '04
  10. by   orrnlori
    I really really like Patti's approach!
  11. by   opalmRN
    Quote from joey1967
    Hi All,

    I see from this board that there are alot of older students 35+ in age, in nursing school such as myself. I was curious to know if you do have instructors younger than yourself, how do you relate to them. Are you having any problems communicating with them?
    My preceptor is young enough to be my daughter. We have a good relationship. She respects my life experience and previous knowledge of diagnostic imaging and I respect her nursing experience and education. We don't have any problems communicating.

    My very first night I explained to her being an older student I sometimes need to do extra steps to reinforce my learning. I ask her to be patient with me if I ask for further instruction and hopefully someday I will be as confident a nurse as she is. I feel very fortunate.

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