your experience does not surprise me. when i was not a pre-nursing student, i was working in a public health setting. once i oriented a nursing student a few weeks prior to his graduation. he made negative comments about having to do his rotation.
i asked him what the problem was and he said, "i don't want to be here. don't you know the kind of people that come here? do you know the kind of people that get tb? they are indigent and poor."
i could not believe what he was saying! i was absolutely horrified! especially because i wished
i could be in his shoes at the time.
i wanted so badly to be working there because i was a nursing student or a rn not because i was a full-time non-healthcare professional holding a dead end job!!! anyway, i figured that maybe nursing school messed up with his education until i took a&p ii and got in-depth information regarding tb.
in fact, many of the students in my course had the same prejudices and dislikes he displayed despite our professor explaining how tb is transmitted and the likelihood of catching it and not catching it given particular situations. thus, to support my professor i educated my fellow students. afterwards the room was silent. possibly because i ended my discussion with a lecture on treating people like human beings despite his/her illness.
specifically i said something along the lines, "don't be one of those nursing students that treats patients like dirt because of his/her illness. you are there to help them and you cannot help people you treat like garbage. besides, if you ever have questions or concerns regarding a particular rotation, be sure to talk to the professionals who work there everyday." my professor thanked me and we moved on to new material.
sadly, tweety is correct. some people remain ignorant in fear despite education. there is really nothing we can do but to try to educate them and move on.