Not sure this environment is for me

  1. 0
    I'm currently a in second semester of my junior year. This semester I've been experiencing constant discrimination from my female instructors and nurses at clinical.

    At the start of the semester 2 of the clinical instructors decided I'm not fit to work in their field so they've been constantly riding me. It started when they would pester me, asking questions like, "Are you sure you want to be a nurse? I don't think you do." They've also made comments such as, "You don't have the character for this, you're not going to make it. You just have the wrong attitude."

    Apart from the verbal abuse, my instructor has made me redo half of my long notes because I got 1-2 things wrong. Other students who left things out or missed things just had to go back and fill them in, no problem. Redoing a long note is an easy 6+ hours of work.

    Female nurses in my clinicals treat me like poo (other students as well, but I've had some outstanding experiences). For one of my unit reviews my nurse went as far as to fabricate situations to say that I behaved inappropriately and asked inappropriate questions. She said during a tracheostomy I said inappropriate things...reality: I stood with my back against the wall in complete silence for the entire procedure.

    I'm sick of being told I'm not good enough by everyone in my profession. Why can't I just be a nurse and care for people? I've never had a complaint from a patient and have had several patients tell me that I've provided better care than any of the nurses they'd had.

    I'm a married, unattractive male and ask questions because I want to learn; none of that seems to appeal to these women. They seem mostly to want hot, single guys they can drool over, or if you are a hot doctor they whisper can about what sex positions they'd do him in (trust me, I've heard it). Another guy in my program is having some similar experiences, but the 6'3" hunky guy in our class as it easy; the women just melt in his hands and he can do no wrong. That's fine, I don't need that treatment, I just don't want to be treated like crap.

    I'm just not sure what to do at this point. I enjoy caring for patients and it's incredibly fulfilling. This program has been far and beyond the worst experience of my life and I genuinely regret it. I'm afraid that when I am in the field it will be no different. Why isn't nursing about the patients?

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 0
    I'm not sure where you are located, but in my unit we have 4 male nurses. They are very good nurses - I would let them care for me and my family. They contribute a different point of view (which can be refreshing) and contribute their brawn where I am sometimes in need. (Consider someone combatant, or transferring a bariatric patient.) If you love nursing, I hope you stick with it and make it through. The world needs good nurses male and otherwise.
  4. 0
    Sorry to hear you are having a bad time.. My experience is that nursing school is up and down.. I had an A&P teacher tell me I wasn't going to get into the program and I should think about other options..I am now in my first semester of an ASN program. Everyday is a new challenge but this is my life, not my classmates, my instructors, and most definetly not any of those nurses on our clinical floor. Why do most people say they want to be a nurse? Because they want to help people..so my advice is rememnber why you got into nursing, people will be people which is evil in their mannerism but just remember that you want to help people so do just that. Good luck!! Hopefully next semester is better!
  5. 1
    Start taking a pocket recorder and recording them. Use it to your advantage. I cannot stand people like that at all.

    I had an instructor in school that didn't like me, wrote me up with blatant lies as well, and then tried to kick me out. She was rude to everyone, but I don't know why I was the bullseye of the target. A "board" confronted me about it, and boy I let them have it. I didn't sign anything, and I was told it was all confidential, lol. I wrote my own account of everything that they said they'd put with my file (in file 13 probably). I threatened them with legal action. They'd already been sued a couple of years prior so maybe they wanted to avoid the negative publicity. I come from a profession of report writing, and I told them I was going write a report on everything that was said, get it notarized, mail it certified letter to the university chancellor and everyone down until the department chair finally got the "courtesy" of receiving a CC'd copy. I also pulled my weight. I'm not going to say what I did for a living, but I pulled it to my advantage. I did also say something along the lines of, "Do you ladies really think this is the first time I've ever received a frivolous, empty threat? Do you honestly think I'm going to back down from this and let you have any one of you have control over my future?" They left furious, I skipped the next class, went home and typed it up, and not another word was ever said about any of it again.

    I graduated too with honors, got licensed, got a good job, and immediately started grad school.
    Chinook2 likes this.
  6. 1
    Wow - I just hate to hear that you are having such a bad time. Nursing is not 'anti-male'. I feel as though I need to apologize for our profession if you have had experiences that have led you to believe that it is.

    Based on the information you have provided (about inappropriate conversations in the workplace) this behavior constitutes sexual harassment. I hope you take appropriate actions to follow through. The people who have participated in those conversations are contributing to a hostile workplace environment which can incur significant liability to the organization. Their managers need to take action before it spins out of control with serious consequences.

    If you feel that the actions of your instructors are strictly based upon the fact that you are male, you need to have a conversation about this with the director of your program. Ordinarily, I would recommend that you talk to those instructors, but it seems that you may want to have a 3rd party involved. This is a very serious accusation to make and very difficult to prove. However, the school should be very concerned that you are feeling this way.

    BTW, "attractive" is a very relative term. To an semi-exhausted, on-her-last-nerve bedside nurse who just received her 4th admission in the 10th hour of a 12 hour shift - the most attractive person on earth is the one who steps in to call pharmacy and help straighten out the med orders on that last admit. Just sayin'...
    EricJRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    I just got done getting reamed by my instructor and program coordinator in her office (ya, nice 2v1). The nurse that wrote my bogus review was apparently contacted and she had no further information to provide than her vague blanket statements. I'm still the liar though because I can't justify what she wrote on her behalf? The program is more concerned with the public face of their school than defending their students apparently.

    I asked if I could elicit reviews from my patients or their families (similar to the paper that our nurses fill out about us) if they desired. They said that is strictly prohibited and they "weren't sure what action we'd have to take in that case." Great, so I can have nurses say lies about me but I'm not allowed to get writing from anyone else that says anything to the contrary?

    Apparently I "do and say inappropriate things" but nobody that has accused me of these actions can say what those actions actually were. They revoked my ER rotation. They say that all these punishments and papers they force me to sign saying how bad I am are for "my benefit." It's obvious CYA for them for if/when they finally get rid of me. Yeesh.

    Gonna be a long last year. Thanks again for the kind words. I'll try to keep my head down and plow through it. I keep thinking "and these people are nurses? the most 'caring and selfless members of our society?'"
  8. 1
    How can you be sure the negative comments etc. are because you are male? I had an instructor say similar things to me (e.g. I wasn't cut out to be a nurse. I didn't seem well-suited to it. I didn't seem to want it very badly. etc.) -- and I am female. By your own admission, even the female students are treated "like poo." So, maybe it has nothing to do with your gender.

    I've been a nurse for over 30 years and have worked with several men who are nurses in several different settings. The kind of "extreme sexual harrassment" you are blaming this on is something I have never seen in my career. But I HAVE seen lots of students get treated harshly -- and was treated harshly myself as a student -- and in no case that I have seen, was it strictly because of gender. There have been other dynamics at work. I suggest you talk to someone who knows the culture of your school who can be objective about the situation there and give you some input based on that objective assessment. You sound as if you have assumed it is gender-related and aren't considering other possibities. Maybe some of those other possible dynamics are at play here -- and you could improve your situation if you can get a handle on them.
    elkpark likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from tailsspin
    Apparently I "do and say inappropriate things" but nobody that has accused me of these actions can say what those actions actually were. They revoked my ER rotation. They say that all these punishments and papers they force me to sign saying how bad I am are for "my benefit." It's obvious CYA for them for if/when they finally get rid of me. Yeesh.
    What are you doing signing their papers?! You just shot yourself in the foot by admitting to it. NEVER sign anything of punitive action in academia or the workforce.

    Sign traffic tickets though because you can be taken to jail and made to post bond if you don't, lol!
  10. 0
    I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ask you about your behavior.
    Are you seeking out learning opportunities?
    Are you turning in your paperwork on time?
    Are you volunteering to do procedures and take care of things for the nurses and techs?
    Are you positive that your behavior is 100% professional, and that you're not going to clinical with an attitude?

    Sometimes when you dislike something about your environment, it will show through in your body language and attitude. Really take the time to think about what you could change, and what's really not true about your behavior.

    There are always things to improve upon: you are not perfect.

    Edit: I accidentally responded to this under the male nursing student forum. I am not a male, but I still stand by what I post. (:
  11. 0
    Quote from Skips
    I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ask you about your behavior.
    Are you seeking out learning opportunities?
    Are you turning in your paperwork on time?
    Are you volunteering to do procedures and take care of things for the nurses and techs?
    Are you positive that your behavior is 100% professional, and that you're not going to clinical with an attitude?
    I understand where you are coming from completely, and you are right that I should not neglect to scrutinize myself with diligence. When considering my own actions I take pride in being objective as I can. I have always taken a strong stance on owning my own mistakes. For instance, I was late to a lab one day and two instructors later took me aside to ask why I was late. I told them that I failed to schedule my time appropriately and that I have no excuse for my actions but would like to own my mistake and instead of offering excuses, to offer an apology for my actions.

    Anyway. I am confident in my actions. I have made mistakes both in my life and in my student nursing. I know what those mistakes are, and this case I am being disciplined for is not one of them.

    I'm not trying to spark debates or incite anyone - honestly the whole point of this is just to vent some frustration and maybe elicit some encouraging words. How's that for honesty?

    Thanks for letting me whine on here.


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