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Clinical Instructors say the darndest things


Today was our last day of psych clinical. At post conference, my instructor looked us all in the eye and told us, "none of you will ever be psych nurses" and then heavily implied that we don't have compassion! I know the people in my group well, and they are really great people. I have seen most of them go the extra mile for their patients on a regular basis. It was just so rude and out of left field!

I know there are some great instructors out there, and some not so much. Have you heard a doozy lately?

Rather than flaming her or him on an anonymous internet sotw, did you consider asking why she or he made this comment?

Rather than flaming her or him on an anonymous internet sotw, did you consider asking why she or he made this comment?


that's the most intelligent reply to one of these questions I've seen in a while. We should encourage our peers to seek answers and insight into their daily struggles rather than going out amongst their peers in search of validation of their feelings.

Rather than flaming her or him on an anonymous internet sotw, did you consider asking why she or he made this comment?

Yep! I did talk to her after. She's actually a very sweet person and definitely did not mean for her comments to come across the way they did. But I think anyone would have walked away from that situation feeling like "what they heck?"

As a student, it's tough enough to have confidence that you'll ever be anything close to a good nurse without an instructor saying something like that to you. I'm sure you remember what that feeling is like. I know a lot of students come on here to complain about negative feedback they received, and don't want to take responsibility for the actions that got them there. That wasn't my intention at all, I just needed an outlet. I hardly flamed her.

Ioreth, ADN, RN

Specializes in Ortho-Neuro. Has 1 years experience.

I had a clinical instructor tell me once that I "was too smart and this is why your classmates hate you." Needless to say, my classmates did not hate me, and thought this instructor was off her rocker

This same instructor told another classmate that "You didn't check for jugular distention, so you just killed your patient." The classmate in question is very thorough in her assessments and did indeed check for jugular distention (there wasn't any), but didn't verbalize it.

Sometimes clinical instructors are weird, but they are human too. Shrug it off and move on.


Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 1 years experience.

There are far worse things in life than not having your clinical instructor's endorsement for being a psych nurse. Did you want to be a psych nurse?

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

It's highly likely that no one in your clinical group will be a psych nurse. As far as I know, no one I went to nursing school with went into psychiatric nursing, it's probably among the less popular specialties. I don't really think there's that much to be made out of this.


Has 1 years experience.

Alright, I completely understand the frustration. However, take a step back and think about why she said that.

Many nursing students go into nursing forgetting about the number one priority: The patient!

A good student is one who takes such criticism (even if poorly communicated) and think about why it was said, and how to improve.

The 3rd day of clinical (2nd semester student) my instructor was blunt and told me my nose was buried in the computer. She also told me that I wasn't preparing myself to pass meds properly. I thought to myself "Seriously?? We haven't even been tested on it yet!" At first I was irritated and annoyed until I went home and thought about it that night. I came to the realization that she wasn't doing it to be mean, but to basically get my butt in gear. I studied my medications like crazy since. I studied the patho related to class content (even if I wasn't going to be tested for another 3 weeks). She told me today how well I've been doing.

It's hints like these that mean the instructor feels you're missing something critical in your care. Try not to take offense! Every student gets it at least once.