In nursing school clinical did you experience discrimination / bias from instructor?

  1. 1
    Hey guys,

    So I am an older male nursing student and I just failed a clinical course in pediatrics. Prior to this course I had great grades and very good clinical evaluations. Because this was a semester course and the Peds portion was during the 1st half, I went on to complete my OB clinical during the 2nd half and received a great evaluation. Therefore I know this Peds evaluation was bogus and biased. Unfortunately though, the department's policy is if you fail a clinical you are out of the program.

    An acquaintance of mine talked to a nursing professor from another nursing school with a BSN program and told her about my situation. One of the comments that the professor made was that it is typical for males to have problems with clinical instructors in Pediactrics and OB clinicals, especially older males.

    I definately believe this was the case in my situation. Without going into a lot of details, it was apparent on the first day of class that my instructor had issues with me and even stated that, "we have issues that we need to work on or we aren't going to pass the class". This culminated in her making many factual falicies on my final evaluation. Bottom line was, among other things, she did not like that I spoke up for myself when she accused me of doing something wrong or, more rightly put, she wrongly accused me of doing something I didn't do.

    Anyway, I am defending myself based on the many different factors and not just on the gender bias and/or discrimmination I felt occured. I wanted to know though, if any of you on this forum ever faced any discrimination or gender bias in your clinical classes? What happened? What did you do about it? Do you have any literature that details statistics about gender bias/discimination in nursing schools (I'm having a hard time finding any)? Did any of you seek legal help for it? Who did you handle it with your school/department? How did they handle it?

    Any help, info, input, discussion, encouragement you can offer would help.

    classykaren likes this.

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  2. 32 Comments...

  3. 1
    We had the same situation in my peds clinicals. The instructor actually said that she didn't like men in the program and didn't think that they belonged in nursing. Many students complained about her and she was eventually removed from the faculty.
    classykaren likes this.
  4. 2
    Hi! I'm not a male nursing student but an African-american nursing student at the University of Colorado. I just failed my med/surg clinical over a substandard care plan when I had just a few days ago I had a glowing midterm evaluation. Like you, I spoke up for myself and was advised that I needed to develop conflict resolution skills--funny. Also, like you, in order to justify failing me the instructor came up with a written justification that was chock full of falsehoods--it was like Alice in Wonderland!

    I am planning on filing an official grievance because it was clear this instructor had issues with me from the very beginning. I was ignored by the other nurses while my white classmates were embraced and taught procedures and medication administration while I was busy bathing patients and changing sheets. Try to use the process by going to the dean. Staff at the university has more at stake in seeing minority nurses succeed. I am currently re-evaluating why I would want to be a nurse.

    I'm sorry for your situation but now I don't feel so alone.

    disgruntled in Colorado
  5. 0
    Our instructors are ---- VERY ---- encouraging of the male students (mostly 20-22 years old + one 30) since we have been the largest male count in .. well ever.

    However there is a situation where one of the male students ... in this case I really believe it had absolutely nothing to do with him being a guy and more about his work performance in general ... he thought the prof was beating him down with criticism everyday while from an outside perspective you would have thought the prof was just doing her best to push him along, despite it looking like she was picking on him.

    Other than that, he thought he was going to fail mid evaluation, but passed with no problems.
  6. 1
    Get a lawyer. Subpoena previous records made my students, particularly males, the areas she evaluates. Sue her and the program. You'll win if you push it.
    classykaren likes this.
  7. 1
    I experienced a similar situation while I was in a Masters in Social Work program - another predominately female profession. During my first semester field clinical experience I was placed at an agency without any male's. During that time I was ignored when I needed guidance and help with my clinical skills, often accused of being gay (which I have no qualms with homosexuality but it is an inappropriate statement whatsoever at the workplace), and at one point was put in dangerous situations for unnecessary reasons. I was made to see clients with aggressive histories of assault in their place of residence when there was a strict "NO HOME VISIT" ban on their case - yet my supervisor said "you're a male, you can handle it." By the end of my 1st semester - I had decided that Social Work was not for me, and informed my supervisor and academic advisor at my field-placement and school that I would be terminating my internship. My supervisor was not pleased, as I was taking on an enormous amount of work and responsibility (for free) and the organization was understaffed. After the review process, she stated that I had failed the semester becuase I had not completed a sufficient amount of material to show that I had succeeded in completing the semester requirements. Meanwhile, I had 30-35 clients and was actively participating in their mental health therapy and ran 2 MICA (mentally ill chemically addicted) groups twice a week, while the other social work female students were protected, and only saw 5-10 clients and ran no groups. Luckily - I kept a personal copy of all of my therapy notes and group sign off sheets, and presented them to my academic advisor (who was also a male, probably worked in my favor) and discussed how I felt that I was being singled out as a male and also talked about the inappropriate comments made towards me by my supervisor. Long story short - I passed my fieldwork, left the school after that semester, and that field location is no longer allowed to accept interns.

    The most important thing I can say from all of this is to ALWAYS keep additional copies of absolutely anything you hand in to your supervisor that will contribute to your grade. Also, do not be afraid to use other faculty members to contribute to your alibi and help in building your case. It is important to advocate for yourself. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
    classykaren likes this.
  8. 0
    A male student in my program failed out but it was after the second med-surg semester. I felt that he was probably discriminated against judging from what was said about the situation. However, this guy did not help his case any by the way he carried himself. He was extremely "laid back", actually very slouchy and lazy-looking all the time. I could see him having problems anywhere that an alert, cutting-edge demeanor would be desired. He also did not take responsibility for his performance. That would have been the killer for him. I just felt it was bad because most likely he wasn't given much help by the faculty.
  9. 0
    It's really upsetting to hear about your situation. I just graduated in December with my ADN and I have to say that I did not encounter any instances of bias/discrimination at all. This includes the faculty and the staff of the various facilities where I had clinicals. I was ready for it, espeically in my OB and Peds rotations. However, it was quite the opposite, in OB of all places. I was treated just as any female student was. I only ran into one instance when an OB patient wasn't comfortable with a male nurse.

    I hope that you don't just let this go but continue to fight this issue with the administration at the school. People seem to forget that nursing was once a male profession. Read up on Luther Christman. He paved the way for the modern male nurse and advanced nursing as a acience as well as an art
  10. 0
    I haven't experienced any discrimination at all. To the contrary, everyone tells me how smart I am to get into this field. The "awkwardness" of being male that I anticipated couldn't be further from the truth.

    I feel sorry that there are still instructors holding to the traditionally female role. My grandfather is a nurse as well; imagine how bad he had it!
  11. 1
    Hey guys a little advice from a female. When I was in school the guys had no problem. Be yourself Be a guy you can still help out to lift stuff and help the instructors get props down and do the guy thing. Then everyone feels they are keeping with the same gender roles they are supposed to. Let your playful not stupid personality out you don't want them to think your stupid but dad nab it showem what you got so to speak. speak up in class let em know your smart and youll fit in and have friends get into the groups for studying and for goodness sake get numbers all over the place the first couple days of class so you can call people and they can call you about clinical work and class projects etc. God luv ya. Men make awesome nurses and we need you desperately if you truely think you are being discriminated against go to the higher ups early on got it now go kick some butt. smiles o4
    hugoseal likes this.

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