Clinical Failure

  1. 1
    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.
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 67 Comments...

  3. 25
    Sorry, being late to clinical "quite a few times" is a valid reason for your instructor to fail you just as it is a valid reason for a future boss to fire you. I've seen nurses get fired for this before. If it happens once or twice and there's a legit reason why you're late, they'll likely be understanding. "My car broke down and I'm waiting for triple A, I'll get there as soon as I can" is likely to be met with a better response than "I'm late for the 3rd week in a row but I just couldn't get out of bed." You apparently have been in clinical for a number of weeks if you've been late "quite a few times". My suggestion to you there is to wake up earlier and leave earlier. You know that you're late when you leave your house at the time you're currently leaving, so figure out what time you need to leave to get there on time. You've already failed one course for being late, why haven't you taken that into consideration and started arriving on time?

    It is your personal/professional responsibility to make sure that your TB screening is completed per the requirements of the program and, in the future, per the requirements of your employer. People who did not complete this on time at my hospital job were not allowed to complete their annual review which delayed their raise. Once it was so late, there was talk of no raise and disciplinary action.

    My suggestion would be to stop filing so many grievances (it sounds like the school has valid reasons for what they're doing and, no, being late "quite a few times" is not "the smallest reason") and to focus on your academics. "My test is late because I was filing a grievance against the professor for failing me because I never showed up to clinical on time" is not going to go over well. The school likely has policies on late assignments and clinical arrival times. It's also not an excuse that a test was 2 weeks late because you were "busy writing papers". There's a LOT of work in nursing school, you need to learn time management. You need it in nursing school and you especially need it in real life nursing.
    Rose_Queen, RunnerRN2b2014, AtivanIM, and 22 others like this.
  4. 6
    I know this must be a very difficult time for you, and there is little that will make that feel better until you have some sort of resolution.

    The being chronically late and missing immunizations is an issue in any program. If there are reasons you have been late then you can discuss them and hope for the best.

    I would suggest being honest and letting them know you are ready to make a change and be responsible for the rest of the program.
  5. 14
    I hate to say it, but I don't think you really have any reason to file a grievance. The fact that your test was over two WEEKS late because you were "stacking copies" for your grievance is especially worrisome. You may want to reevaluate your priorities. I wish you luck.

    To add: tardiness and nail polish colors are not insignificant things that you are being picked on for. You are expected to be mature and responsible and do as you're told. We are not even permitted nail polish as it's unhygienic...period. If you can't handle these rules, what's going to happen to you when you're on your own?
    Last edit by RainbowDash on Oct 2, '12
    zoe92, timmedico, Syrenia, and 11 others like this.
  6. 12
    My advice would be to take ownership of your irresponsible behavior patterns, drop the grievance, (most likely will not go in your favor from what you are saying) express your regret, and bring in a written document listing in what specific ways you plan on changing your behavior, in case you forget what they might be before you go in. Then follow through with it. It's sometimes difficult to adjust to what appears to be making a big deal out of little things in nursing school, but they really aren't "little things". You can only see that in hindsight.
    timmedico, Tanacious, mc3, and 9 others like this.
  7. 13
    If you were working as a nurse and arrived late "quite a few times" and blew off getting a TB test done or getting some other job requirement completed what do you think would happen?
    RunnerRN2b2014, tigerlogic, timmedico, and 10 others like this.
  8. 6
    OP, you really have to examine your reasons for being in nursing school. Are you sure you want to be in the program, emotionally? Clearly you can handle the academic material if you get high grades on the tests, but it seems like you're almost sabotaging your efforts in other "little" ways like tardiness and going against the dress code (assuming they talked to you about what to wear--in the program I'm accepted to, they made it abundantly clear.)

    Forgive me if I'm off-base with what I wrote. It's just that if you can do the academic work, why should things like immunizations and being late hold you back from success?
    Last edit by Sumomo on Oct 2, '12 : Reason: additional thoughts
    Rosa_G, mustlovepoodles, SHGR, and 3 others like this.
  9. 0
    I think I would be fired for being late. The TB test I would have been able to get done at my place of employment so it wouldn't have happened. I didn't know where people get those done. I'm still slightly confused about it. I would probably work night shift so it would be easier to arrive early, and hence solve the issue of being late. We're only given one option for the time of the clinical. I always have a reason for being late, but it doesn't matter unless its something as serious as death. For instance, there was an accident on the part of the highway without a shoulder. I come from a different county on the opposite side of town than everyone else in my clinical, so they didn't run into this issue.
  10. 0
    Regarding the grievance, I filed it because she failed me when she was off of the floor with one of her favorite students, and decided I didn't arrive until she got back. There's a lotta favoritism at this school. She also had the staff nurses teach me how to pass meds instead of doing it herself, and based her clinical evaluation on what she heard from other people, since she never spent time with me during care herself. The main nurse she based the evaluation off of was in a dispute with the other nurse I worked with and they were writing each other up etc. Very unprofessional.
  11. 3
    Quote from student1919
    I think I would be fired for being late. The TB test I would have been able to get done at my place of employment so it wouldn't have happened. I didn't know where people get those done. I'm still slightly confused about it. I would probably work night shift so it would be easier to arrive early, and hence solve the issue of being late. We're only given one option for the time of the clinical. I always have a reason for being late, but it doesn't matter unless its something as serious as death. For instance, there was an accident on the part of the highway without a shoulder. I come from a different county on the opposite side of town than everyone else in my clinical, so they didn't run into this issue.
    Ultimately, being on time and being compliant with testing and vaccinations is YOUR responsibility. If you didn't know where to get it done, ask far in advance so that you can prepare. Some small clinics can do it, some pharmacies, your primary care doctor.
    Also, do not assume your facility will do TB testing. Many do not. They simply provide free flu vaccinations.

    If you have been late once, I would leave an hour earlier. I have only ever worked nights. I love nights. Not a morning person at all. I get where you are coming from, trust me. A cup of coffee and a mountain dew are the only reason I am able to stay awake most days. However, I will not let a little tardiness stand in my way. I have come to far.

    For instance, one semester my clinical site was only 8 minutes from my house. I still left 45 minutes early. I grabbed breakfast in the cafeteria, or ate a snack I brought with me. It helped me start my day, while ensuring I was not late.

    If they let you repeat the course, please make a complete change of lifestyle. You have worked so hard to get here, and for such fixable reasons, you are about to lose it all.

    One from our cohort missed two clinical days due to oversleeping more than 3 hours. They allowed her to make up clinicals because he was gracious and was making wonderful grades. They told her not to let it happen again, and it didn't. She found a buddy to call her at a certain time on those mornings. She set 4-5 alarms, some across the room, some in the bathroom. (if you are standing up to turn it off, just get ready!)

    Best of luck in your pursuits, whatever they may be!


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