evaluation; can't sleep, so anxious


Hi everyone,

I am nearing the end of winter quarter; finals are next week. Clinicals were finished last week. I'll be graduating in 12 weeks from the ADN program.

I had a doozy of a clinical experience this quarter. I've always loved clinicals and have always had a positive learning experience with all of my instructors. Sure, they've provided criticism, but I've always learned from my mistakes and moved on. I receive good grades and typically have a pretty good attitude.

My clinicals were hell this quarter. I'm had an instructor named "Jane Doe" (not really!). Things went well the first few weeks of clinicals until I witnessed her screaming at another student in the med room. My classmate was giving morning report while I was pulling medications. I heard yelling and turned around. Jane Doe was screaming at her; stating, “Shut up! Just shut up! I don’t feel good and your voice is giving me a headache!” When she saw me looking at her (just out of disbelief that this was really happening), she screamed at me, “Hurry up! Your time is up!” From that point forward, my clinical experience was true Hell.

Jane Does lashing out became worse at clinicals. She screamed profanities at us by ourselves, in front of the patients, and nursing staff. She would hit and kick the computer. I was once outgoing and excited to try new clinical skills. In Jane Doe’s presence, I quickly became a wall flower in fear of even more verbal abuse.

We are taught to do the “5 rights of medication administration.” Myself, as many others have tried to abide by this rule to prevent medication errors. Jane Doe screams at us to hurry up at the pyxis. We are not permitted to double-check our medications at the machine. On four separate occasions there have been potential medication errors because of this. When I tell her there is a mistake, she screams at me and tells me that the error is going on my evaluation. Please keep in mind that these medications have not left the medication room and I’ve been the one to point out the errors before the medications are pulled out of their foil wrappers. This is very unfair and in my opinion, extremely dangerous. It terrified me that I had to report to her that a medication was dispensed wrongly through the non-pyxis cabinet. When I reported a particular error; she had to call down to pharmacy herself as the dose had not been labeled correctly. I was still yelled at, called “stupid”, and if I made one more mistake, that I would be sent home. Again, these are not mistakes that I had made. The medications have not left the medication room. I've been passing medications for well over a year and I’ve never once had a potential mistake until this quarter.

We administer IV medications. Again, I had many experiences with this last quarter. Our IV medications are typically due at 10:00 am. I am confident in the procedure. On one particular day, I had my IV medication ready at 9:55 am and waited for 55 minutes for her to assist me. At 10:50 am she told me, “You better hurry up and give this before 11:00 am or we’re going to have a serious problem! And believe me, you DON’T need another problem!”

During the rare procedures that Jane Doe allowed us to perform, she often grabs the instruments out of our hands. She makes derogatory remarks throughout the procedure telling us to “hurry up.” On one occasion, she yelled, “Put that penis to the ceiling!” right in the middle of a catherization. The patient was humiliated.

She has spoken to me about bariatric (gastric bypass) surgery on several occasions. She states, “You’d feel so much better.” Again, this is deeply humiliating. I know I’m overweight.

When I went to her about some issues; she stated, “If you go to the DON, you’ll be labeled as a troublemaker. You won’t get a job reference from her or anyone if you complain." Her and the DON have been friends for 30 some years.

Anyway. My evaluation is on Friday. I am terrified. I can't sleep and I've been having palpitations. I feel so sick every time I think about being alone in a room with her.

What do you guys do to overcome this stress? I went to the natural herb store yesterday and bought some stress-free incense and herbs, but they are not helping (Hey, I'm willing to try anything once!). I've never been so stressed/sick in my life.

Thanks for listening,


Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.


I've always enjoyed your posts and I can't imagine for one minute that this woman will really have much bad to say about you. She sounds like a nightmare. No great advice just sending strong vibes your way. Jules


255 Posts

Specializes in aged -adolescent. Has 4 years experience.

Hi Dani

I am sure that all your nursing fellow students and the staff on this ward are only too aware of this woman's dictatorship. How has she managed to keep her job with this amount of abuse? She's obviously burnt out badly. (It's a pity one of the patients didn't report her) I wish you all the best for your assessment. You know what you're doing maybe that's why she's pushing your buttons. good luck!!!:sofahider


14 Posts

I have had instructors like her, I just realize that people like that have issues and it has nothing to do with me and in the bigger picture their opinions do not mean anything as long as they pass me. I find often instructors like like that often make people "think" they are failing when they are not. What you have to remember is this situation is not your fault you have given 100 percent effort and been professional and your instructor has not been.


360 Posts

so danibanani...

how did friday go? Did you get a good evaluation?

Eirene, ASN, RN

499 Posts

Well guys, my evaluation was on Friday and I survived.

I received a "Minimal satisfactory." Man, that was a kick in the gut.

The following things were said:

  • I need to be tested for ADHD. She stated that I was too flustered trying to pull meds when people were talking to me. Which IS TRUE. I truly need to work on it. On the other hand, I've never had an issue with paying attention. I just don't like to be spoken to when pulling meds. I'm too afraid of making errors. This is something I need to get used to-- multi-tasking when pulling meds. Argh. That one is going to be tough for me to overcome and I know it. But I'll work on it.
  • She told me she didn't understand how someone with such "book smarts" could be lacking in so much common sense. Ouch. I've reflected on that comment for most of the weekend; I really don't understand where I lack common sense-- I've always been pretty good at nursing interventions and such. I don't know? I wish I would have been told this before my evaluation so I could have at least worked on it and questioned on what exactly I did wrong.
  • She said she would have failed me in a heart beat if the DON wouldn't have intervened. Again, I really don't understand what the reasoning is behind this. Sure, I need help with time management and prioritization-- but I improved throughout the quarter. Again, this is something I do need to improve.

The positives that were said:

  • She said I had a great potential on becoming a leader. But she also made the remark that she didn't understand why people came to me for advice.
  • The patients and staff made comments that they enjoyed working with me; but she said that I was too happy in the hospital setting.
  • I always come to clinicals early and prepared.

My mid-term evaluation was darn near perfect. It really went downhill from there. I truly don't understand where I went so wrong between then and now. Sure, there was a personality conflict, but I was never insubordinate. I always said, "Yes Ma'am" when I was told to do something. While I was being screamed at, I never lost my temper or talked back; I just held my head high and took it.

I'm okay. My pride is hurt, but I'll get over it. I just don't understand where many of these things came from. I'll work on them next quarter and hopefully become a good and safe nurse who heals and not hurts. I've never been so beat up on in my life. I'm just so darn happy it's over and hopefully I won't have to deal with her again.

Thanks so much for your support and caring. It helped with my extreme anxiety in dealing with her.


UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Dani, I don't normally say things like this, but here's my take on it. Using the critical thinking skills that you're learning, ask yourself:

  • Did I trust her judgement? No.
  • Could she, as a nurse, be expected to do the right thing for her students, for the patients? Nope.
  • Did you feel like she was unreasonable, maybe with a few psych issues that were interfering with her job performance?
  • Was she verbally abusive? Yes.

With all of those examples, you have plenty of evidence that she was not a good instructor, and therefore, you should not trust her evaluation of your performance by her.

So my advice would be to stop looking at what she said and look at what you actually did. What do you think you need to improve?

It appears to me, through your post, that:

  • You're open to suggestions and criticism
  • You want to do things the right way
  • You care about the patients getting the appropriate treatment
  • You are on time and prepared

Also, please be aware that the "book smarts" versus "common sense" remark only means you have a different life experience or culture than other people. It's a cheap shot that people take who actually feel inferior or threatened by your intelligence.That's not a platitude, that's a personal observation. No one would accuse you of not having common sense if you were coming to nursing from a different culture; they assume that your cultural experience is different.

And guess what? If you're flustered when you're pulling meds and someone starts talking to you, you're not ADHD and unable to concentrate. It means precisely what you said it did -- you're trying to concentrate on giving the correct dose. Only a nitwit would try to distract a student while the student was pulling up meds. IMO, she was flat-out wrong by saying that (at least pertaining to that example).

We have a Med Error Reduction CEU that we have to take for every license renewal period and one of the things they stress is that in order to minimize errors, you need to try to minimize distractions.

To sum -- sorry this was so long -- take that eval and file it away and don't look at it for about 5 years. There may be some grains of truth in it, but overall, it's my opinion that you got a bad eval because you had a bad evaluator.


3 Posts

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3 Posts

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locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

Personally....I think that she is not a instructor that you can tolerate. I don't know how you can really be too happy in the hospital setting. Patient deserve to have a friendly nurse who is willing to listen to them, and work with them in their care. People are people and friendly ones are usually the way that patients know they are being cared for. I consistantly hear that I'm the nicest aide on the unit at work, and one of the nicest students that patients have...from almost all my patients. Go with your gut, if you feel you have things to work on, work on em, and forget that instructor....she is probably one that just needs to leave the field already.


505 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Hospice.

"Too happy in the hospital setting?" Are you kidding me? Are we supposed to be unhappy, angry, or perhaps even hostile in the hospital setting?

That statement alone tells me that your instructor is a few bricks short of a full load. I would not take anything negative she has to say about you too seriously.

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