Clinical Failure - page 6

by student1919

11,891 Views | 67 Comments

So, I am on the brink of getting kicked out of my program due to the clinical setting. I arrived late quite a few times and the instructors don't like me or teach me, just reprimand me. I get 80-90% on the exams but it doesn't... Read More


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    yikes. Doesn't look good for you. If that's one piece of advice for any nursing student or potential student, it's to never ever be late for clinicals. Ever. Get there 30 minutes early if you have to. It's that important.
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    Wow.. Basic rules of my nursing school- you miss more than 2 days (theory and clinical) your out unless its a close family death or you are seriously ill or injured, proper scrubs/uniform, no nail polish, we couldn't even start a rotation unless tb test was done.. Etc etc.. Now as far as the instructor.. Nursing school instructors are different in many ways- some are overly nice, some are way to strict, some have favorites etc.. You go to get through the work and get a foundation for your future job. I have a co nurse who is late everyday.. No one wt the facility does anything because she has been there forever, I am never late but I'm sure if I was I'd be written up and not all medical facilities will provide you with a tb test, mine didn't. When I first started if something went wrong on the shift before mine and I had to carry it out of noc nurse didn't do this I would make an excuse, but I've learned it's not about who did or didn't do what it's about taking responsibility and taking care of it. You can ***** and moan all you want but think of everything you can get done during that time? Take off the nail polish, leave ridiculously early, and ask for help.
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    Do u take any responsibilty in this? Are you ever held accountable outside of school? Doesn't sound like it...
    BuckyBadgerRN likes this.
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    I knew a student that showed up. Early. On 9/12/01. Her brother was missing and last expected to be at WTC.
    Do you have to be THAT committed? Probably not. But when you're compared to students that don't think THAT is an excuse? Three tardies is hard to explain away as "favoritism."
    DawnJ and nursel56 like this.
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    If you are truly willing to change bad habits (being late, etc), consider the nursing process:

    Assessment- You've already gathered why you are having issues in the program.
    Diagnosis- Clinical failure related to lack of responsibility/professionalism and manifested by tardiness (etc).
    Planning- Plan to wake up earlier, accept responsibility (aka drop the grievances) and all rules of your program.
    Implementation- Get your work done, get to school on time, accept school policies. It might be hard, but it's worth it!
    Evaluation- Determine how the change has affected your status. Perhaps the instructor might like you more (favoritism is lame...I agree with you), and hopefully you've shown them that you are serious about the program.

    The program will require sacrifices...less sleep, holding back when you want to write the grievances, etc. It is not my place to say whether you want to be in the program any longer or not...but if you do, show everyone how determined you are to succeed. You've done good with the test grades, so if you can get this part under control, you'll be back on the road to that RN status.
    GrnTea, Jory, rubato, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from student1919
    So, I am on the brink of getting kicked out of my program due to the clinical setting. I arrived late quite a few times and the instructors don't like me or teach me, just reprimand me. I get 80-90% on the exams but it doesn't matter since the instructor can decide to fail you for the smallest reason, such as wearing the wrong color nail polish or being ten minutes late. I already failed one course for that reason. A few days after my grievance over the grade was filed I got an email stating that I'm not allowed to go to clinical the next day because my TB test was overdue so I will probably fail the course, which will be talked about in person. After one F transferring is relatively impossible and the constant meetings make it difficult to accomplish anything other than talking. I was reminded that my test was overdue and asked the status two weeks prior but I was busy writing a few papers and stacking copies of documents for the grievance filing. Does anyone have any advice for me? It would be much appreciated.
    This may not be what you want to hear...but this is my advice:

    It sounds like you have done far too much damage to yourself in this class. To be honest, the behaviors you describe could very well cost you a job in the real world, so I'm not surprised that a passing grade is on the line. I would definitely try to appeal it, but it doesn't sound like the odds are in your favor. Also, take full responsibility for your mistakes, because the more you try to shift blame onto anyone other than you, the worse you will look. It's no one else's fault you're chronically late or wore the wrong polish or missed a TB test...it's solely your fault.

    If you end up having to retake the course or end up transferring...you still need to address the issues that caused you to fail in the first place.

    1. Stop being late. Find out what is causing you to run late and address it--is it traffic, are you slow to get started in the morning, are you going to bed too late and oversleeping, whatever? Yes, there are sometimes circumstances that happen that are outside of your control, such as that traffic accident you mentioned...but honestly, was there a traffic accident every single time you were late?

    2. I'm surprised they let you wear nail polish period: in most clinical programs nail polish at clinicals is a big NO. So ditch the nail polish. If you feel naked without it, see if they permit clear topcoat (don't be surprised if they don't). The point being, adhere to the clinical dress code to a T. Don't think that you can be the exception to the rule because you are not.

    3. Clinical sites frown upon students with expired TB tests. It may very well be their policy--and not your school's--that is keeping you from attending clinical. As busy as nursing school can get, you NEED to stay on top of this and other vaccinations/tests.

    4. Nursing school may seem unfair--and sometimes really is unfair--and that is a fact of life that you need to accept. While you are in nursing school, the instructors' words are law. Doesn't matter what you think of the policies: if you want to play in nursing school, you need to obey those policies. Doesn't matter how busy you are with other things: deadlines need to be met. And to them, it doesn't matter if you have to sacrifice free time, plans with others, freedom of dress, etc. to achieve all of this, because you are expected to do whatever it takes to meet the school's standards.

    Nursing school is something to be taken very seriously, as nursing is a serious profession. Nursing instructors have no tolerance for the excuses and antics that may have worked for students in the high school or even non-nursing collegiate setting. That's how it is. You need to take this seriously if you want to be a nurse...and I suspect you have not yet realized how serious it is. I sincerely hope you do.

    Best of luck with your appeal and your future plans.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Oct 3, '12
    GrnTea, Jory, and TheCommuter like this.
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    Quote from student1919
    So, I am on the brink of getting kicked out of my program due to the clinical setting. I arrived late quite a few times and the instructors don't like me or teach me, just reprimand me. I get 80-90% on the exams but it doesn't matter since the instructor can decide to fail you for the smallest reason, such as wearing the wrong color nail polish or being ten minutes late. I already failed one course for that reason. A few days after my grievance over the grade was filed I got an email stating that I'm not allowed to go to clinical the next day because my TB test was overdue so I will probably fail the course, which will be talked about in person. After one F transferring is relatively impossible and the constant meetings make it difficult to accomplish anything other than talking. I was reminded that my test was overdue and asked the status two weeks prior but I was busy writing a few papers and stacking copies of documents for the grievance filing. Does anyone have any advice for me? It would be much appreciated.
    If you were in our program, you would fail clinically after you second tardy. You would be kept out of clinical if ANY of the things like TB skin test, CPR card, vaccines, flu shot, drug screen, etc. are not done. WHY? We sign an agreement with clinical agencies that you are disease free, and will NOT spread TB to their vulnerable patients. No one is willing to take your word that you don't have TB, cannot spread flu or pertussis, know CPR, etc. If your failure to meet expectations led to a patient acquiring a serious illness, the school and hospital would be sued for damages.

    Nurses have to submit the Tb test, attend fire & safety, OSHA training, keep CPR up-to-date, renew license, etc. every year for their entire career. It is up to YOU, not anyone else, to get all these things done on time. No excuses! Managers hate nurses that they have to bug to get things done, and doing this, plus being late means you will not only never get promoted, but they will probably find a way to fire you eventually, just for being such a nuisance.

    When you are late, what is the nurse waiting to give you report so he or she can go home supposed to do? If you do this repeatedly, your colleagues will hate you; do it three times and you will get disciplined and eventually fired.

    If you cannot live with these standards--be on time, every single day, on the unit, ready to work at the start time; stay on top of all the things required of you, etc.--find another line of work.
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    Not to be mean but yah you should never be late to clinicals.. It really reflects poorly on you... Set an early alarm, have all your stuff ready the night before so you just get up, get ready and go... As far as nail polish... again not to be mean but no nurse should be wearing ANY nail polish..Your nails will harbor microbes... I really stopped reading there... You should really think about why you chose the path in the first place and focus on that... It is not easy but it is worth it and being a nurse... you can make such a huge difference in people's lives if you do it right... Set your mind to it if this is really what you want to do... It is ok if this is truly not for you... :-) If so then use your talents in other areas... You did well on the technical stuff... perhaps another focus area like respiratory or XRAY or Dental... YOu have to want to succeed... anyhoo... I wish you the very best
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    You sound immature if you know being late is becoming a major issue and yet continue to do it. That is a sign that you are not taking clinical seriously and the instructor probably sees it as a sign of disrespect. Would you be late to someplace you really wanted to be say a party or vacation? Also we can't wear fake nails in nursing as its a source of infection. FYI hospitals are very strict about absenteeism and tardiness, even by only 1 minute! Hospitals rule by discipline and you wouldn't last long with your habits of being late and nail polish! Also hospitals are very strict about safety measures and will suspend you if you are overdue with TB tests or nurse license renewal or recerting BLS/ACLS. Your attitude is probably what got you in hot water with the instructor. These things are signs of disrespect, immaturity and not taking your clinical seriously. Nurses need to be meticulous, and mature because mistakes can endanger patients!

    If this is so important to you then you need to make some major changes. You can't be a free spirit or rebel in nursing, it is like the military, rules, rules, rules and you have to toe the line and although it can be grating, it is understandable because we have people's lives in our hands!
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Oct 4, '12
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    Now that I think about it, I WAS late for clinicals ... once ... in my entire tenure of the nursing program. The power had gone out overnight and reset my clock radio (the 9 volt battery backup was missing). When I woke up my clock was blinking 4:00am but the light coming through window said otherwise. I jumped out of bed in a panic and ran to my cell phone with a silenced ringer. Sure enough, it was about 7:15am! I was 15 minutes late to my OB clinical, and I had several missed calls and text messages from the classmates that I carpooled to the hospital. They ended up catching a cab to get there on time. I called my instructor, who was not too happy with my lateness. I ended up arriving to the hospital an hour later. As restitution for being late, I took it upon myself to do an extra clinical day in the NICU, and that was quite acceptable to her (even though she later said I did not have to, but I wanted to make up for it anyway).

    From that day forward I started to set both my clock radio AND my cell phone alarms on clinical days. Never late again!

    I was brave enough to ask her for a recommendation letter months later when I applied for a job at the university hospital, and she did mention in the letter that I was late once to clinical but made up for it on my own initiative. I guess that was a positive spin on the incident. I ended up getting hired, so fortunately all ended well.

    I was lucky. Repeated lateness however is really unacceptable. The first and only time should have been your (no pun intended) wake up call to get your ducks in a row.
    SCSTxRN likes this.


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