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Advice requested

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Hello everyone I am looking for some advice on what to do with a clinical instructor that I have. Long story short this clinical instructor has made me feel very incompetent , scared , nervous to speak up in clinical. We are threatened at every clinical that we all be failed if we do something wrong , I have been made fun of for a mental health issue I have that shows in clinical, this instructor makes fun of the students and finds any reason to give us lower scores on our evaluations. I go every morning with a knot in my stomach and feel like I am about to vomit. this person has also made comments about how they can't wait to see me do a certain procedure to see what I mess up on. I feel so unconfident upset and defeated and don't know what to do should I just tough it out or talk to someone at the school? I get in trouble whenever I ask a question but I don't know how I'm suppose to learn if I can't ask basic questions. Thank you any input is helpful. By the way I am not a bad student by any means good grades good report with other staff members and have been told by staff members that I am a competent student. I am not one to disrespect teachers but I feel so lost and upset about this I just don't know what to do

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

So up your game. Know your stuff. Be on your toes. Wow her and show her you know what you are doing.I had one like that too. She raised the bar and made me work hard. I learned lots from her. Being nervous at clinicals is normal. You can do this. Meet her challenge and show her you can do it. If she catches you on something then you have learned something and that's a good thing.

Edited by loriangel14

A good instructor will always ask questions, bring up issues you can work on, and try to test your competency. A great instructor will also give you constructive criticism, constructive feedback with both positive stuff and things to work on,and guidance for improving. Is there a way to work with them for the rest of your clinical? Quick tips off the top of my head include: knowing the ins ands outs of your patients, thinking about the procedures you might have to do and practicing them, and trying to anticipate questions. If you research your meds and patho, this should lessen your anxiety. Your instructor might be sadistic, or they could just be trying to make you a super awesome nurse. Looking for failings and asking questions is something all instructors do; some are just better at disguising it in the moment of observing you do patient care.

I don't know what mental illness you are dealing with, but sounds like anxiety is a part of it! I was an incredibly anxious person in my teens and never dreamed I would end up in a field interacting with people all day long. I did this to manage: In clinical I always made a point to arrive 10 minutes early, 5 minutes to do a meditation in my car and 5 minutes to look at my patient notes (in the car). I kept a pocket reference book close by in clinical and always took about 5 seconds to take a breath and center myself before entering a patient room. Take another if you need to during med pass. Breathing is key to helping the mind and body to get focused. Preparation and centered-ness got me through school, and helped me develop presence with my patients.

The moral of the story is this: to survive this clinical you can either change your perspective or change your instructor. If you feel that they are being unprofessional, bring it up to your instructor and ask for advice. Your instructor is the best person to intervene and give feedback if you are concerned. You will come across people like this in your career though and will be miles ahead of future co-workers if you can manage your anxiety and work with the instructor to pass. Please don't hesitate to keep posting, we will try to help you where we can.

Hi Nursehopeful2193, I'm sorry that you are having a tough time with your clinical instructor. First off, if you are doing good in all of your classes, clinicals and the hospital staff like you then you are going in the right direction. Always keep trying to push yourself each day and learn something new. I used to get knots in my stomach as well when I did my clinicals. Try some deep breathing exercises or even just a few sets of simple exercises to burn off some of that anxious energy. Remember that your preceptors are there with you and don't want to see you fail. How you perform in clinicals is also a reflection of their nursing practice and they want to teach you good practice. As far as your clinical instructor they should be giving positive feedback but also critical feedback on performance improvement. If you are not the only one being singled out and bullied then as a group I would go to the clinical director and bring up the issue so that it can be corrected. If they don't know about it, they cannot fix it. Had a similar situation in nursing school and a group of us nipped it in the butt ASAP.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to general student nursing

NICUismylife, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

Start taking objective notes. Do not write down how she made you feel. Write down actual statements that she made, word-for-word. And then analyze it. Is it truly something offensive? Or is it her asking questions, challenging you, making you think and analyze your interventions? Sometimes, in the moment, it's easy to take something personally, to feel bullied or put down, but if you take your actual feelings out of it, and look at it objectively, it's actually not that bad. Now, if it IS insults, then you have objective data that you can take to your instructor and say, "Here is what she is saying to me in clinic. I find it is hurting my ability to learn and grow."

I had a clinical instructor that many students felt was "mean" and "out to get" them. The fact was, she has a stern appearance, and she would not answer questions right away, but rather say "what do YOU think?" or "take a few minutes, go look it up, and then come back and we will discuss it" or "why don't you try to figure it out on your own first." I can tell you that the students who had her, are the strongest students in clinical now. She forced us to think for ourselves, fumble our way through figuring something out (which makes it stick much better!), and in general, reinforced and improved our problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. I am sooo thankful that I had her as an instructor. Clinicals were rough. I felt stupid all the time. I cried a lot. But I learned so so so much from her! I'm a much better student nurse than I would have otherwise been. That's my personal story of the day, lol.

I was once told I was being "inappropriate" for asking questions until I fully understood the concept. I thought we were allowed to ask questions, and I actually do have a need to ask more than once. I really think that this was an example of him being just hateful. What do you think? How should I handle this?