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

  1. 3
    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.

    Thanks
    juniorjallow, slimlvn, and Andrew19xx like this.
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  4. 42 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    sorry to hear that you were failed during your peds rotation. fortunately, my experience during the ob rotation was a positive one. i have a great clinical intructor who actually tried to get me and the other male nursing students more involved, because she knew how awkward it is for us. i was able to attend and participate in 2 vag deliveries and 1 c/s. some of the patients i were assigned to at first refused to have a male nursing student, but my clinical instructor would try and talk to the patient's and after talking with them, she was usually able to get them to change their minds and allow me to participate in their care.

    as far as failing clinicals at my school, you had to do something pretty bad in order to fail (besides not doing your assigned paperwork). if you can say, what exactly did she tell you was the basis for you failing? from what you have said, i find it hard to believe that she would have any right to fail you, since you have been an outstanding student in your other classes.

    if i were you, i would go talk to the dean of your nursing school and explain your situation. get letters of recommedation from your other clinical intructors stating that you were a good and safe student. ask your preceptors that you were following at the hospital to do the same. if you can get enough people to vouch for you, then you should have enough evidence on your side to get the dean to reconsider and allow you to return to nursing school. whatever you do, good luck and hang in there!
  6. 0
    Back in the days when less and less guys were going into nursing I and the other 2 guys in my class had it made! Our instructors loved us and wanted us to suceed very much. I had no problems with clinicals in any rotation, but your a different situation. It sounds like your instructor wanted more from you and they felt you couldn't deliver. Too bad for them because it sounds like you did very well in all areas. Nightwolf had the best suggestions and I would certainly follow up and persue some answers. Good luck!
  7. 0
    Sorry for what you are going through--hope it ends up with you back in the program and eventually an RN...

    I have had very supportive faculty and clinical instructors. In fact our Maternal Health professor brought in a woman to speak about her experience of having a male L&D nurse. In my OB rotation I did face some very discriminatory behavior and statements from nurses on the unit. The women and families I worked with seemed to really appreciate the care I provided, and the nurses I worked with directly seemed happy with my work. But, I did have to endure some ugliness from other nurses AND a 20 minute lecture from the charge nurse about why, basically, men (only nurses of course, not MD's, scrub techs, whatever) were not welcome on the unit.
  8. 1
    A man in my class was dismissed from the nursing program after failing a clinical rotation. There were issues with the way he carried himself. I do not know the specifics but I do know that the nurses on the ward (I had clinical there at the same time) were making negative comments about him (unprofessional in itself, I kept my mouth shut). Hard to say whether or not his dismissal was due to discrimination or not, without knowing the entire background behind the decision. Good luck in finding a way to finish school.
    Andrew19xx likes this.
  9. 1
    Thanks for the responses. This was actually in a Peds clinical. My OB clinical was actually fantastic and was a very positive experience. Actually, if it had not gone so well I probably would not be continuing to try to stay in nursing school. My Peds instructor so demoralized me that I was actually having panic attacks at the beginning of my OB rotation. Luckily my OB instructor was awesome. She was very supportive especially to male students and made sure that we had positive experiences.

    My Peds instructor was another story. She was very passive, aggressive. I don't want to go into a lot of details about it on a public forum. Initially what happened was that she was called in as a temp from another school at the last minute to replace the regular instructor who went out on emergency medical leave. She had not done our orientation. This was a new hospital for me. The instructor that did do our orientation left out critical information about the hospital's charting and procedures. On the first day of clinical I made what I think most instructors would have thought were minor mistakes in charting and I couldn't calculate a drug dosage for a chemo pt. because they failed to tell me that the current manifests were only at the hospital and couldn't be found in our drug guides. Of course, I was the only student in my group that picked a chemo pt and had never worked on this charting system. I think most instructors would have just corrected the student. Instead, this instructor threatened me with course failure. When I went to explain that I had not been trained in this area she became very angry, didn't believe me, and later drove to campus and read up on my student file.

    I really believe she just expected me just just stand there and not defend or explain myself and just nod without explaining that I had not been trained in any of this. She also has this faux diminuative little girl voice (even though she is a large woman) and I have a very deep male voice. I think she might be intimidated by males. I tried as best I could not to come across intimidating to her and to come across compliant to her as an instructor. Unfortunately I think she was confrontational with me from the beginning. From there each day just got worse and she became more hostile towards me.

    I would catch her repeating incorrect statements back to me all the time. She would accuse me of intenting to do things when I had never said or implied that I was going to do them. Nurses would correct me on a procedure or show me how to do something better but tell me it was nothing major but then on my evaluations it would be blown out of proportion x10 and turned into a clinical fail with details added that had not occurred or what she assumed had occured (she was rarely present but recounting these 3rd hand). Basically she created the reality she either wanted or expected to happen. It was just an ugly scene all the way around.

    I am going to see the Chair of the department but unfortunately it's an uphill battle and a lot of this ends up being a "he said, she said" scenario. I just thought the statement the nursing prof made about bias in Peds and OB clinicals was interesting and wanted to know if anyone ever ran into it themselves or more specifically has seen any literature, studies or documentation on this. It would be interesting if push came to shove to have that to show the Chair.

    BTW, it was interesting but at this hospital my fellow students and I commented that within the Peds nurses we felt that we found some of them to be the best and nicest nurses we had worked with and yet a large portion of them were the worst, nastiest, meanest nurses we had very seen. Ironic !!!
    Andrew19xx likes this.
  10. 0
    When you go to see your dept Chair, it should be to your benefit that you've had good grades in prior courses/clinicals. That may be enough to create some doubt that you really deserved a "fail" in your peds clinical.

    Good luck!
  11. 1
    ...I went through this exact same thing during my peds clinicals for my BSN. I won't go into details except that she was a moron who thought she could push her weight around on one too many guys in the program(no pun intended) I already had my RN and she tryed to fail me for some rediculous out of scope BS because she thought I was just a student.

    There is probably a reason this instructor is part time.

    Stick to your guns and don't back down. I didn't, and the school allowed me to re take my clinicals under another instructor. They got rid of her as an instructor (maybe my case was the last straw) I'm not saying this will be your outcome but just know that you are going to run into these type nurses during your career...expect a good outcome but be prepared for defeat. Much luck to you.

    PIN
    Andrew19xx likes this.
  12. 2
    Oh, hell yeah. And when they couldn't get me academically, or on any safety issue, they flunked me on clinicals and without being able to cite any examples whatsoever, said they felt I "wasn't ready." So there I sat in a room of over a dozen of them being repeatedly asked to confess that I didn't feel ready, or that I volunteered to quit, to all of which I smiled and said I felt fully confident and was ready to continue. Well they kept me out of their little honors sorority with their maneuver, since any failure did so, but they were forced to put an honors seal on my diploma, because I earned it. And you know what? I'd never had a greater boost in confidence in my entire life until I had that experience. Hang tough!
    FunnyPants and Andrew19xx like this.
  13. 2
    seems like a pocket voice recorded could have come in handy. i can guarantee if i have one feminazi intructor run-in i'll be carrying one from then on and make sure i document everything from that point forward. luckily i've heard great things about my school's instructors so i should be fine. in my meeting with the dean i'd be sure to use phrases like gender discrimination, lawsuit, news media, accrediting body, etc. a nursing education is expensive and if discrimination forced you to relocate and possibly start from scratch you could be looking at low 6 figures + punitive damages. for sure if the dean didn't offer to reinstate you and either revisit your grade or allow you to repeat with another instructor i'd let them know my next stop will be with an attourney.
    UMB2011 and Andrew19xx like this.


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