"Maybe you shouldn't be a nurse" - page 2

Hey everyone. I'm finishing up my first semester of nursing school (finals next week :uhoh21:) and today we were doing skills pass off. Well, through the course of the day we had about three people... Read More

  1. by   Mahage
    [quote=Rage;2445027]First of all let me say that I'm 52 years old and was 50 when I started nursing school after retiring from 2 jobs. Now I'm one semester away from graduating, I have been told that I shouldn't be a nurse as well.

    Wow you guys have had some rough instructors! I just graduated from a program which was extremely rigourous and we all knew we had to do it right, but I could not imagine even our most hard nosed instructors shaming someone like that. If they thought we shouldn't go into nursing it would have certainly been handled in a respectful and private manner. I think maybe some people shouldn't be nurses but I don't know that it can be told when you are "on the spot" and under stress. I appreciate my schools approach. You only made it there if you were willing to work your buns off but noone was ever abusive.

    BTW Rage, I am 55 and just graduated. Glad to hear there are other grey foxes on here!
  2. by   llg
    I think a lot depends on the details of the situation -- which are not included in the original post. We don't know exactly what happened, how the students performed, or what EXACTLY was said by anyone in this situation.

    Yes, it is the instructor's job to give the students honest feedback -- even if that feedback is negative. For some students, this may be the first time in their lives a teacher has ever told them that their work was below the acceptable standard. The students' version of how the conversation went may not be totally accurate as they may have had such an emotional reaction to the negative feedback that they are not giving an unbiased account of the actual events and statements.

    We have to remember that and be fair to the instructor in our consideration of the situations. It's common around here for people to assume the instructor was in the wrong whenever a student makes a complaint. The same is true whenever a student complains about a staff nurse. The immediate assumption is that the student is a victim of abuse. That's not always the case.

    However ... it is NOT appropriate for an instructor to be abusive. Instructors should be encouraging and kind when they can be. I'm not going to assume the instructor was wrong in this situation -- but I'm also not going to assume that the instructor wasn't wrong.

    And if you think I don't know what it's like to have an instructor be hard on you, you are wrong. My first instructor had me in the Dean's office during the 3rd week of school because she thought I was not cut out to be a nurse -- and I had that same clinical instructor for 2 full semesters! (We didn't rotate from instructor to instructor in my program. One instructor stayed with a group of 8 students for the whole year.) By spring, my irritable bowl syndrome was so bad I couldn't eat solid food.

    So, I am not someone who has always been praised by instructors. I know what it is like to be on the losing end of a bad instructor/student pairing. But I'm still not going to jump to conclusions on this one.
    Last edit by llg on Oct 13, '07
  3. by   greatshakes
    I remember a nursing student I was with on prac being asked if she thought she should be doing nursing? (A lecturer having a go at her). Although from what I remember she seemed pretty okay on prac anyway and always had all her stuff together. (I was one student they told who would never get through). I saw this same nurse as a RN in A & E the other night when I had to take one of my students down to the hospital. (I am a a RN at a school). She was certainly terrific the other night in A & E and yes she is meant to be a nurse. The trouble is sometimes I think it's a shame that the lecturers don't see these students come into their own a few years down the track because I am sure they'd get a surprise.
  4. by   vashtee
    I think it is harsh to speak to a student that way - I don't know how an instructor could be so cruel. However, I would rather find out I wasn't cut out for something in the first semester than in the third or fourth.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from natania
    However, I would rather find out I wasn't cut out for something in the first semester than in the third or fourth.
    no one else has a right to say that one isn't meant for something.
    if someone truly isn't ready to be a nurse, that will reflect in the weeding-out process, done legitimately and objectively.
    and it should either be this specific process, or you yourself, that can/will determine if one should be a nurse, or not.

  6. by   sharona97
    i hear you,Blearn RN
    what if a highly intelligent person can't afford a university and didn't get "the scholarship? And the fairly intelligent kid who's parents could afford a university education went, partied and then got thrown out, or ended up with a remarkable GPA and graduated with honors? I'm certainly not talking of you specifically, it's the idea of the humiliation and the possible truths that this instills.I think misleading thoughts, thus IMO it perceives studentsto be in a lower "class" of people and that isn't right.
    Discusssions of ths nature should be held in private between counselors ans students alone with one another. I'm sorry that happened to you.
    Last edit by sharona97 on Oct 12, '07 : Reason: spelling
  7. by   greatshakes
    I agree with the fact that you'd rather find out in the first semester. In fact I challenged the nursing school for letting me go to week 10 in one subject and then let me know I wasn't succeeding. I was ropable. This was happening often to others as well. we'd end up on a hit list..the ones they wanted to weed out.. I ended up failing that subject too. Repeatedly they'd let me go so far in certain subjects and then pull me up. So I said. "If you had your doubts about me accomplishing this skill, why didn't you make sure I oerfected it before allowing me to move on. You are setting students like me up to fail and it is costing us so much more to get our degree." One of them actually took note and said she would change some of the procedure to make sure students didn't fall into the trap and thanked me. That is probably why I had such a difficult time during nursing as I stood up to them. We are all supposed to be wilting violets and obedient little mushrooms and suck up to our lecturers. (I lost repect for one lecturer early on, when raising the question of female circumscision in a lecture on ethnicity in nursing and was told in friont of all the other students that there was no such thing as female circumscision.) This person is now head of another Uni. Sorry it is not on for me. The path would have been so much easier had I been able to do this but that way I would never have made it. I eventually made it but more importantly I did it and managed to keep my self-respect. The dean who earlier took note of my comments, actually shook hands and congratulated me when I told her I had finally gotten through. it meant a lot.
  8. by   DoubleblessedRN
    That really isn't a fair thing for instructors to do. I completed a year of traditional nursing school and the exact same thing happenedto some students. I did not let them treat me like crap. In one class, a new rule was implemented, but it wasn't posted or put in writing for students to reference, so nobody was on the same page. Well, apparently I violated it and an instructor said something to me in a condescending way. I told her after class not to talk to me like that, and she backed off. I did fine in that class.

    During my first clinical rotation, my instructor hated my guts. She was always trying to find fault with me. Well, she found something and exaggerated it. I wasn't aware of the problem until we received our midterm evaluations, and then I took action to correct it. My eval was otherwise satisfactory. (vs. unsatisfactory) At the end of the semester, I received a barely passing grade. She can say what she wants, but my grade was subjective.

    The following semester, I had a very atypical clinical instructor. She was very laid back, but fair. She was honest and straightforward, and would help you with anything you were having difficulty with. After a couple of weeks, I made sure I was the last person leaving our preconference, and I asked her if there was anything she thought I needed to improve on. I think I took her by surprise when I asked her that. She thought for a moment and said no. And I hadn't been doing anything different from my first clinical. I had just missed an A because I didn't do too well on those pain in the a$$ care plans.
    Last edit by DoubleblessedRN on Oct 12, '07 : Reason: misspelling
  9. by   Clays02
    I was in an orientation for my first job as an RN a couple of weeks ago, and the woman who was talking to us discussed the heirarchy of nursing education and the fact that it has stayed the same for the last 30 years +. She said that her educational experience was plagued by a teacher who constantly told her that she would never be an adequate nurse. She proved the teacher wrong but it seems to be a trait for educators to belittle students who lack confidence in order to weed out people whom they deem to be unfit to become a nurse. Of course that's not right. Prove them wrong. When I started nursing school, I noticed this "trait" among teachers and I made it a point to act with total confidence even if I secretly lacked it. I felt like this is what made me successful in nursing school. And smile a lot .
  10. by   nyapa
    When I first entered RN training it was new in a college / uni setting in Australia, and I was in the first year in our town. I had a bad time, and I wasn't the only one. We were yelled at, only 22 percent got through. I left.

    I ran into one of my friends a few years later; she told me that a certain lecturer had told her that I was "never meant to be a nurse". Funny that! I was already one, because after leaving uni I went and did my hospital based EN (similar to LPN) training. (This was a while ago; I think they had only just invented the electric light and the telephone *evil grin*)

    But it took me years to walk into that building to complete my RN. When I finally mustered up the courage to do so, it was funny that that same lecturer was kind to me. I don't hold grudges, she is basically a nice person. But really, these ppl in power should realise the effect they have on ppl.

    I passed my RN (and it had been upgraded from a diploma to a bachelor's degree so I must have been capable of studying hmm? My work as an RN is not that much different from that as an EN).

    If you think you are meant to be a nurse, then keep your chin up, work towards it and don't listen to anything subjective from anyone, lecturer or no. There is more than one path, as you can see from my experience.
    Last edit by nyapa on Oct 12, '07
  11. by   heartrn35
    When I was in nursing school one of my instructors said "The problem with nursing is that nurses eat their young." At the time I thought that I had never heard something so odd. 10+ years later it was probably the truest thing I learned in nursing school.
    If the student the OP was speaking of was doing so poorly then this point should be brought up to the administration of the school and run through the proper "channels" so that a reveiw could be done and documented, but that would limit the distructive capability of the instructor.
    This instructor is someone who feels that their opinion is LAW. She is able to see the future and KNOW that THIS ONE AIN'T GOING TO MAKE IT. And this is where nursing shoots itself not in the foot but the head. Yes, nurses eat their young, and then stand their and say "well they just did not have thick enough skin" or some other stupid comment that relieves them of the need to be responsible for their words.
    We all live in the same world and we all know that "sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" isn't true, so why do we talk to (about) each other as if it isn't true???I digress.
    I am all about being honest with co-workers, students, bosses, etc. and not letting things slide by so as not to rock the boat, but slicing and dicing is best left to the Japanese steak house, not to how we communicate with each other as nurses. As another posted earlier, opinions are like rectums...I don't want to hear from yours. I'd rather hear some facts.
    Last edit by heartrn35 on Oct 12, '07
  12. by   elprup
    I was told also. But he added a big ole story which included, "he would not let me take care of his mother..I scared him..and once he had a preceptor who just couldn't get it right, even with an added month under his preceptorship". Needless to say, he made me feel soooo bad. It is one think to say he has "concerns" about me, but come on.

    I agree, a student that is not trying needs a talking to. I am a 37 year old single mom, and I want my BSN. It is my ticket out of poverty and into careerhood. I have been in school for over 5 years, left a domestically violent husband and overcame a pain condition while raising two small children. I understand what I need to do and I am doing my best. After I calmed down from being upsest, I realized that my teacher had no idea what I was capable of. Heck he was never around during my clinicals anyway. My patients were always taken care of and my RN's said I did a great job! And I sure wrote a reply to his end of semester report on me. (It was very nice - but explicitly explained my stregnths and weaknesses). That made me feel better, knowing it would be in my permanent file.

    Best of luck.

    What I find most distressing though - what if I would have believed him and quit?
  13. by   GadgetRN71
    Sadly, there are a few instructors that shouldn't be nurses! I think it is possible to have high standards for your students and not be abusive.Expecting students to tolerate it just turns out more nurses that are afraid to advocate for themselves when they are out in the real world.
    Would love to hear a story of a student who responded to "you shouldn't be a nurse" with "YOU definitely shouldn't be a nursing instructor".I think I'd have to buy that person a beer!:biere:
    When I was in school, no one wanted to be "the goat". Now, the goat could very well be a good student with great clinical skills. This happened to a friend of mine in her last semester-previous to this, she had always had wonderful evaluations and she was a strong student as well. Her instructor for clinical just rode her nonstop over nonsense things. Come to find out, this woman had a "goat" every semester. She especially disliked you if you were attractive and thin and single mothers were a huge target. We would all like to think that nursing instructors have integrity and represent the best of our profession, but sometimes, you will get one that exemplifies the worst of our profession.(ie cattiness, backstabbing and young eating!)
    Last edit by GadgetRN71 on Oct 13, '07