Need to Vent - page 3

by zumalong 4,993 Views | 27 Comments

I don't see much activity on this board, but there must be some nursing educators/instructors out there. We have a situation at the school I teach for. One of the students is very incompetant. She has been placed on clinical,... Read More


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    I had the priviledge for teaching at a local college in Canada, clinical med/surg. I was very fortunate that the groups of students I had were great. They respected me, and I respected them. I also worked part time for another college, which had a nursing refresher program. I agreed to an assignment, which really blind-sided me. I only had to spend a week with a student, in a nursing home, to evaluate her clinical skills. She was a disaster! She had no empathy, no critical thinking, no sense of asepsis (I mean, wash your hands!!), the list went on and on. The kicker was that she was also paranoid, and, after working psychiatry for 3 years, I can spot mania a mile away. She was unsafe, verbal abused me, and was physically threatening. Needless to say, I failed her. I also had to go through 3 appeals, as of course, she said I was wrong. It was all part of the great conspiracy to keep her from getting her license. I'm glad that I took notes (about 20 pages of them), detailing everything she said and did that was either dangerous, inappropriate, or just plain stupid. I really felt that I was on trial, and that's too bad. There was support from my colleagues, but it still was an experience that I wouldn't want to relive. Zumalong, you and your colleagues hang tough! Make sure there is plenty of documentation to support the situation. And, even though there is a lot of "bull pucky" that can go along with it, I still love to teach. If we can develop a passion for nursing, even among few, then it is worth it. I agree, though, that it can be scary some of the nurses that we release into the wild.
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    I guess I went to an old school because if you even flinched and your instructor didnt like it you were out. Being booted out hung over our head at every possible way. It worked like a charm if there was someone that didnt cut the mustard they were out, I recall someone taking something to the Head of the Nursing school but I dont recall seeing her after that. Isnt part of your job as an instructor is to weed people like this, if your unable to weed them isnt that destroying the first line of defense in elimintaing process and only allowing the best of the best to contiue on? I wouldnt want anyone that you felt uncomfortable with and incapable of thier job on my shift and I certainly wouldnt want them taking care of a family member. Do they think they will be able to bully thier way into the nursing world? Will it be another reason why a floor looses nurses because of the one nurse who is worthless, but bullies others into doing thier job.
    Yes we are in a nursing shortage but I dont want to fill in the gaps with people who can not understand the basic fundamentals and the chain of command. I need a well rounded nurse that understands every reason and rationele of why and who and what to do.
    Just my thoughts
    Zoe
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    Kimmy2, I relate to your story. Similar issues with a student of mine ended in the school taking out a restraining order against her on my behalf.

    Zoe - I think times have changed very quickly in education and instructors have so little power now. Some schools, especially in CA, are very limited in what preadmission criteria they can apply to students wishing to join a program, and the documentation required to 'fail' a student. I used to feel that the energy and paperwork required to fail (or at least ask a student to repeat) a class was out of proportion to the effort I spent on the students who just did what was asked of them, were appropriate, punctual and safe.

    I have taught in both Europe and the USA in many different settings - an educational adage is that "10% of the students will take 90% of an educator's time." This is not reasonable, but it tends to occur, especially where educators are also nurses preparing students for the unusual role where the lives of others may be in the hands of a poor student if we let that situation continue. But students do bring lawyers (and other, not so diplomatic pressure!) to schools and educators and I found that schools cave in quickly under that sort of persuasion. I believe the graduation of inappropriate nursing students is rife and pervasive.

    I have noted that facilities are complaining about the quality of new graduates. But I have long believed that a practice probation period should be a necessary part of a nursing education; the type where peer RNs mentor and review performance and a fully fledged professional qualification is not granted until real clinical competence is demonstrated. While the BRNs allow one clinical teacher to have 12 nursing students, the odd manipulative/poor one will always slip through the clinical net. The clinicals are so short (time approved by the BRNs) that it is very difficult for a clinical teacher to document and prove below standard performance, counsel, allow time for improvement and demonstrate that this was not achieved - all required for a failing grade.

    One other issue is the quality of some teachers; Europe requires a teaching degree and wide and deep nursing experience before an RN may teach nursing. The USA does not require a teaching degree or background in education. Certainly, a background in educational theory and practice provides a firm framework for dealing with the inappropriate student. New teachers do not have these skills.

    The answer may lie in lobbying our Boards for higher standards, but as a consumer protection organization, they are unlikely to do that while nurses are in short supply.
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    I am in a class of about 100 and we walk the chalk. Most of the people with bad attitudes dropped long ago. I really can't believe that a student could get away with that kind of attitude & behavior!! I worked very hard to get into my school and wouldn't dream of acting like that -- i mean, i don't always agree with my instructors, but they are a whole heckofa lot wiser than I am and I've got a LOT to learn from them (if i ever become just HALF as good of a nurse as my clinical instructor is, then I will consider myself a success!) I feel that if there is one time in your life to shut up, listen and learn, nursing school is it. And besides, I've got the kind of instructors that you can joke around with, but who can also put the fear of God into you with just one look ( )

    Sorry you are having to put up w that. Good luck with the situation.
    Last edit by nursbee04 on Jan 5, '03
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    Originally posted by zumalong
    Update---the 3 students involved tried to have a greivance meeting against the instructor. They did not follow chain of command, so it has not gone anywhere yet.

    What is so difficult is this one dangerous trouble maker is going to be allowed to graduate. We were told to treat her with kid gloves and make sure if we watch her in clinical, that we don't go into her patient's room without another witness!!! Can you believe this garbage.

    I went into nursing because I love helping others. I still worry whenever I leave the unit that I forgot something and inadvertantly harmed a patient. When I began teaching, I tried to bring my accountability to my students. But some of these students coming through have no sensitivity, accountability, or respect for anyone. It is very scary.

    All I can say is that the agencies that are hiring new grads really should contact the instructors to see what exactly they are hiring. This is one student I will never give a reference to, or even sign her final evaluation--because this says I feel she is competant to be a nurse.

    Watch your loved ones when they are sick!!!!
    I am a student and in defense this would never roll at my school "treat with kid gloves", are you kidding? The rules are the rules and they apply to all. My teachers are tough, and that's the way I want them to be, make me learn it the right way. I have had instructors who made me cry, but I still respect them. It is nice to read an instructor's point of view.
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    Stay the course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    As a practicing RN, I can't tell you how embarassed I am to see what type of grads are out there on the floors attempting to care for patients.
    Skills should be taught in manners, giving and accepting criticism, and communication--maybe before actual nursing theory!!
    I have wondered how some of these Grads got through school and now I know: instructors who have decided to pass them to help the nursing shortage. Please stop helping us!!!!!!!!!!!! You certainly aren't thinking of the welfare of all those patients relying on these new nurses!!
    We need nurses, but we need well-educated nurses. How can a person who has never been there determine they know more than the instructors?
    Give the students your best-and that would include your experience-the real world will knock some sense into them. I certainly hope your administration listens to you and not the students--
    You have my full support.
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    We had one of these nuts when I graduated 17 years ago. She was always cheating on every test. She did graduate and I heard she flew the coop on two hospitals and took sign on bonuses even though she did not fulfill her obligation. She was not 20 years old at the time like I was, she was in her 30's and a mom. Absurd behaviour knows no boundaries of age, race, gender, etc. Just ask teachers of school-age children whose 30, 40, 50 year old parents go to bat for them and try to defend their violent or immoral behaviour. I was an object of a lot of "cattiness" and gossip by supposedly mature, mostly women students because I got good grades. Let's see at the time, I lived at home, had few financial obligations, no kids, etc. I certainly had the opportunity to study and get good grades. Why the hell are we nurses and nursing students so darn snotty? That han't changed over the years. as an instructor, you have a lot to put up with.
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    i am not an intructor, but a nursing student up in Canada. I am very sorry to hear about the students in your program. Sounds like there is too much garbage going on for it to be an isolated incident/student. That is quite scary to me. In my program I dont see many of the things you spoke of. So either, I am too busy with schoolwork that i dont pay attention, or the students at my program are a little different. Hard to say. I think that nursing programs are going to be attracting people who are just there for the money...because of recruitment efforts to ease the shortage. As opposed to people who enter the profression, and stay in it, for the right reasons. in our program we have those performance improvement plans for clinical practice (if someone needs improvement or is unsafe), plus they have a clause about professional unsuitability....that the dean can just eject you from the program if you behave like the students you have described... among the students these interventions are taken very seriously and people cringe at the thought of beign "PIPPed".... best of luck with your situation...


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