cliques in nursing school

  1. 0
    I have just completed my first semester in an LVN program and my second rotation unfortunately didn't go as well as the first. I felt like a total outcast in a small group of 5, including me. For example, all 4 of them would stick together and help each other with turning and bathing, but when I needed help, none of them wanted to help me and they would treat me as though I am invisible, as if I weren't even there.I discussed this with the teacher but she wasn't concerned the least and she wasn't a good teacher to begin with,she definitely had her favorites and I wasn't one of them. I'm not sure what the reason was for me being singled out. Maybe it was because of all of them are Asian, and I am not. I am a nice person and was more than willing to help out my fellow classmates, but when I needed them they were no where to be found. I felt as though I were an alien. Nobody deserves to be treated this way, especially when they haven't done anything wrong. Anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks for reading.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights: Student Edition newsletter.

  2. 29 Comments...

  3. 6
    There's absolutely nothing you can do to make this clique of people be fond of you. There's also nothing you can do to make them help you out when you need it. The players in this game already have their minds made up. You've told your instructor, and based on the reaction that you describe, this teacher is also uninterested in the issues that you are having.

    You are simply going to have to get through school without any assistance from this clique. After all, you are not in school to make friends. You are there to graduate and eventually earn an LVN license, so keep your eyes on the prize at the end of the rainbow. Good luck to you!
  4. 2
    Ignore them and keep doing your own thing. You only have to get through this rotation so you've gotta suck it up. If they're never willing to help you, maybe you should stop going out of your way to help them. You can always ask staff members for an assist if you're truly in need. There will always be cliques, and it's not worth your time stressing over how to make them like me on this.

    Good luck! Like TheCommuter said, focus on the end goal and let everything else slide off your back.
  5. 2
    As other have advised, you will have to step up your game on your own, without their help. Go to the extra lab hours, look for videos on youtube on a skill, etc. to make through this session.

    As you may already know, you cannot change others. You can only change yourself. And, you are definitely not changing to fit into the clique. You are changing your M.O. to be better in clinicals by becoming a stronger student.

    However, don't do anything if you think that it is going to cause injury to yourself or to the patient. Be vocal and ask for help. It's a safety issue and phrase it in such a way. And, I am not discouraging you from helping others, but, for now, you really need to help yourself first. Reserve that emotional energy and strength to pull yourself through.

    You can do this!
    t_tkimbrough and jennlaVICIOUS like this.
  6. 1
    It is not fun feeling like you are on the outside of a group. Try not to see them as being specifically exclusionary and that their behavior is designed to purposely hurt you or your feelings -- it is unlikely to be about you. People tend to group with what is familiar (they have some geographical commonality -- although Asia is an awfully large area). They are probably just too self involved.

    Be professional with them. When you need help, look one of them in the eye, use their name and say "Would you please help me with _______". That person then has to say yes or no. Don't make a request to the group -- no one will feel responsible for a reply.

    What is important is to get away from your belief that there is favoritism from the teacher and the feeling you are being singled out. Feelings are not fact. Your thinking this way will only harm you by making you feel less than and possibly make you defensive.

    Good luck.
    sincerebliss likes this.
  7. 0
    This is bound to happen when large groups of women get together. The only thing you can control is yourself. I suggest you start to learn to get comfortable by yourself and with yourself. This will enhance your ability to exude confidence in handling these activities. When you're handling your own business, by yourself, it stands out. When you feel like you can't do it, ask for help. No need to feel down about it, be assertive in making sure you get help to handle your business. Last but not least, pray for the pettiness to go away!

    Much luck!!
  8. 1
    This is not America's Next Top Model. I'm the only male in my class of 15 and from day one I have been more than helpful to everyone. I get emails from classmates with questions all the time. I am greatful that I am able to help my fellow classmates. Besides, isn't this why we are becoming nurses!?!? - No "I" in teamwork.

    However, not to sound like a jerk, but sometimes I think because of the type of students (young and inexperienced), you often see a difference vs. someone who has had several years of professional work experience both in and out of the medical field.

    Nonetheless, all you can do is do your best, get good grades, pass NCLEX and you'll be the one who's laughing last.
    t_tkimbrough likes this.
  9. 0
    Did you ever speak up and ask the other students for help?


    What I meant was did you wait around for others to help you (assuming that if you were kind enough to help them, then those other students would reciprocate) or did you verbalize a request?
    Last edit by chicagoing on Dec 25, '10 : Reason: addition
  10. 1
    Thank you all for your promt replies. I agree with what most of you have to say about just not letting it bother me and try to focus on my main goal. Chicagoing,yes I have spoke up and asked students for their help and whenever I do, they always make up some excuse that they are busy with something else and so I just stopped asking them. There was one time I let our substitute teacher know that I needed a hand and she let one of the students know, but then when I went back to the room no one came, so I went back out and the student that the teacher had asked to help me was just standing there behind the teacher and then the teacher had to tell her again that I needed help. Finally she came to help me and while we were working together her friend starts asking her in a whining voice to come help him, but she was smart enough to tell him that he had to wait because she was helping me. It doesn't bother me so much that they ignore me its the "not showing teamwork" part that gets to me. Shaas, I like your reply and your right I'm not going to change myself to fit it in to this clique. I pray that next semester I will have better luck.
    demeanor89 likes this.
  11. 0
    I know exactly what you mean. And yes, sometimes it hurts.(after all we are humans who are taught to be part of a society/community so to be isolated or excluded is very difficult.)

    Vent away. It is frustrated. It seems you know that you are in class to learn & become a nurse, not become "best buddies and lifelong friends" with the other students. Lack of team work is disappointing, especially when it is very obvious that they jump at the chance to help each other.

    Hold your head high. Do your best. Ask politely for assistance when you need it.

    Oh and be certain that their actions are often noticed by others (facility staff). If you are willing to help and do whatever is needed, that too will be noticed.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors