Out of nursing program cause i am smoker!!! - page 3

Help, I am at risk of being out of the nursing program because I am a smoker. I really could use some advise on how to deal with a very unfair instructor. I am a first year PN student and we... Read More

  1. by   niceguyOH
    BTW...the Board of Nursing can be contacted if you find out that your school has no such policy. She is not allowed to threaten students or belittle them. I would find out your rules and regulations and then file a complaint on her license!
  2. by   btrue2u
    I agree that this all seems a little harsh, but ultimately you defied the rules. I would probably go ahead and write the papers to stay on track in the program. I would also become versed on the policies of the school and hospital concerning smoking and prepare myself for any future run ins, if necessary. I do beleive it is your right to smoke, but one must also follow the rules and as a nurse be considerate to your patients and colleagues. I would walk softly and pick my battles. I feel this whole incident has been handled inappropriately by both, you both need to handle this like professional adults and not like a high school recess incident involving your mother or name calling. Finnish your papers- stay on track and if need be talk to your dean, you may also take this as a learning experience in the unwavering of nursing instructors rules(they do not play!). Consider quiting.
  3. by   jimthorp
    Quote from btrue2u
    I agree that this all seems a little harsh, but ultimately you defied the rules.
    Like several posters, you are assuming there was a WRITTEN RULE infraction. That has yet to be established.
  4. by   Anjann
    It sounds to me like there are two seperate issues going on here.

    First, You want to quit smoking and the clinical does not allow it anyway. I can tell you from personal experience that when a patient's parents or family members come back in the room from a smoke break on our "smoke free campus", the smell is so foul and I end up coughing at home the rest of the night. Therefore, It is not professional as a nurse either, to bring that to work. The nurses who wreak of smoke make me cough if it get within 10 feet of them. I was a smoker for 16 years and I finally quit when Buproprion came on the market. So it it possible to stop.

    The seperate issue with your instructor injecting her personal issues into the matter and having you write papers and threatening to tell your mommie is very immature. But I can tell you from experience that in nursing school, the best route to take is to keep your mouth shut and suck it up, because if you rock the boat, they will push you out of it.

    In our clinicals we were lucky to get a pee or lunch break let alone time to disappear long enough to step outside. Just stay busy and take some NicoDerm Patches with you if you really think you can't make it through the whole shift.
  5. by   JoeyDog
    Okay I know a lot of people have given you good advice, here are my two cents.

    BTW, I smoked for 6 years, all the lectures in the world didn't help me, it came down to a sheer desire to quite for my own personal reasons. You have to decide what is stronger your desire to be a nurse or your desire to smoke during clinicals/work. Notice that I said smoke during clinicals/work and not smoke in general b/c if you want to smoke at home then you go right ahead missey it is your right!

    1. Write the papers, go over the rules about smoking with a fine toothed comb, file a complaint if you feel you have good grounds to do so. This will keep you in the program and get the ball rolling regarding your instructors behavior. I would talk to your instructors boss about her unprofessional behavior regardless of what happens.

    2. If you have not done so already DO NOT give your instructor the letter you wrote. That is just about as mature as her saying she is going to tell your mom and if you do file a complaint it could hurt you later.

    3. Although you (and the other student) broke the rules, the instructor had already assigned and then carried out your punishment (docking your grades). It is inappropriate for her to decide later that she wants to punish you further, to me that alone seems unprofessional never mind the fact that she did so in the hallway.

    4. DON'T SMOKE WHEN YOU ARE AT CLINICALS!!!! Use the nicotine gum or the patch before, durning, and immediately after clinicals. Don't smoke until you are well away from anyone who could get you introuble.

    5. Try to think about it from a patients point of view. If you come in reeking like smoke (it does reek to non smokers no matter how much lotion/body spray/ect you put on) there is no where they can go. They are pretty much stuck in their rooms (or whatever). If you are around someone who stinks you can get up an go away from that person or try to avoid them. Patients can't get up and avoid their nurse for 8-12 hours.

    6. Lastly think how badly you would feel if you sent someone into respiratory distress. You wouldn't even be able to help them, you would have to leave the patients area immediately while others tried to fix what you caused.

    Good luck, and maybe this is your opportunity to finally kick the habit, I am so glad I did, it was the best investment I ever made in myself.
  6. by   JoeyDog
    Anjann, I like that comment, if you rock the boat they will push you out of it. I have seen that before!
  7. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from JoeyDog
    Anjann, I like that comment, if you rock the boat they will push you out of it. I have seen that before!
    Push you out and back up the speed boat over you!
  8. by   JoeyDog
    Push you out and back up the speed boat over you!
  9. by   jimthorp
    Quote from JoeyDog
    3. Although you (and the other student) broke the rules, {snip}
    AGAIN, this has not been established.

    Quote from JoeyDog
    4. DON'T SMOKE WHEN YOU ARE AT CLINICALS!!!! Use the nicotine gum or the patch before, durning, and immediately after clinicals. Don't smoke until you are well away from anyone who could get you introuble.
    Rules governing the clinical site or school grounds DO NOT extend beyond them. No institution has the authority to govern a legal act beyond the boundaries of their environment. Those boundaries end once off the institution's property.
    Last edit by jimthorp on Jan 8, '07
  10. by   ICRN2008
    I suggest that you write the papers and get it over with, and make sure that you never smoke during clinicals again. However, I feel that it is important to address this issue with the program director. Familiarize your self with your student handbook before you go in, so that you have a very clear understanding of the rules. I would hope that once the director gets wind of this she will intervene.

    IMO what this instructor is doing is far beyond enforcing the rules. She is harassing students to the point of bullying. There should be written procedures in place that she can use to discipline her students if they do not follow school policy. I feel that assigning extra papers should be beyond the authority of a single instructor- such issues should be brought up with the level coordinator, course director, etc. She should not have the authority to withhold your final grade at her discretion. I am thankful that I attended a program where this type of behavior was not tolerated.
  11. by   JoeyDog
    She said that they were informed about the smelling like smoke at clinicals rule from the begining. In my comment I stated that she go over the policy and procedures of her institution with a fine tooth comb. If it states that students cannot smell like smoke at clinicals, but does not state where and when they can smoke it is a catch 22 anyway. I have never met a person who can smoke yet not smell like smoke.

    I am all for individual rights and I think today's treatment of smokers is borderline discriminatory. However, as a smoker entering in to healthcare it is up to the Op to make herself aware of the rules that govern her academic institution. I based my comments on what the Op said in her statement. If there are no such rules in place then by all means I would tell the instructor she can go......eat a doughnut. If there are rules regarding the whole smoking issue then I think that my comments are valid. Only the Op knows what the rules are, I meant my suggestions as only that, suggestions based on a glimpse into another's life.
  12. by   jimthorp
    Quote from JoeyDog
    I have never met a person who can smoke yet not smell like smoke.
    I have. My ex-wife quit, or so I thought until I found a pack of butts in the glove compartment of her car. As I had previously stopped smoking I could smell it rather easily. She hid it very well.
    Last edit by jimthorp on Jan 8, '07
  13. by   mavisdavis
    I have not read the other responses yet, but I want to comment.

    I don't mean to be harsh but I will be frank.

    You should just write the papers and go on about your business. I do agree that the paper about "lying" is a little far-fetched, considering you did 'fess up -- but -- if you did leave clinicals without permission to smoke, that was truly a poor choice.

    Many people have difficult experiences in nursing school, but you will find difficulties in real life nursing, as well, and it would serve you well to know when to take what is coming and when to fight. This is an instance where you should just do what is required and move on.

    If I were your instructor, not only would I expect the papers if I had assigned them (no matter what reason), but I would also grade heavily against you for your poor grammar and writing abilities in a field where communication is so important.

    p.s. Some of my classmates who were smokers kept a bottle of Fabreze handy to use before going on the floor.

    Quote from misstaz25
    Help, I am at risk of being out of the nursing program because I am a smoker.

    I really could use some advise on how to deal with a very unfair instructor. I am a first year PN student and we just started clinicals in Nov. I have an instructor that is absloutely against smoking. Of 18 students in the class only about 6 are not smokers. We were informed that if we as much as smelled of smoke during clinicals we would be docked in our grade.

    One day another student and I got busted for smoking. Please no lectures on smoking and how bad it is. I really would like to quit. Anyway, our grade for the day was docked in every area it could. I would be fine with that. What I dont feel is fair is the way the instructor handled it after that.

    A few days after the incident the instructor pulled me into her office when no one was around. She flat out asked me if I had smoked, and I said I will not lie, I did. She asked why after knowing her clear views on smoking I would do that, was I just that addicted? I told her yes, it is an addiction. This teacher than asked me about the other student and if she had smoked also. I felt uncomfortable about her asking me about another student, but I admitted she did also. I told her that I was sorry and would make sure it didnt happen again during clinicals. In fact I had just done another clinical the day before and told her in no way did I smoke before or during that clinical. This lovely woman told me that I need to think about what my punishment should be for disobeying her rules. Now remember my grade got docked for smelling of smoke. She also threatened to tell my mother about the incident. My mom works at the college but in a totally unrelated department.

    A few days later she pulled me and the other student aside in a public hallway to lecture us and give us our punishment. She stated that we would write a 2 page paper with 2 references on how to quit smoking. Also we would write a 2 page paper on lying. Now I never did lie to her, she asked me if I smoked and I told her yes I did. If I wouldnt have confessed she wouldnt be able to punish us at all. Then to top it off she wants a 3 page paper on patient abandonment. She informed us, this is on the very last day of class before Christmas break, that we will have an incomplete in her class until she recieves these. I feel she is out of line and that she did this in a public hallway is just aweful. She wanted to make an example of us in front of the other students and I feel she handled this poorly.

    I am furious. I have read the policies and procedures for the program I am in and nowhere does it say anything about smoking. In fact I dont think she can even assign extra papers because of it. My grade was docked as we were warned would happen. How can she make up extra punishment when I was punished by my grade? How can she make up extra assignments when we were told our grade would be docked. I earned a very hard A in her class. I got a 98% on her final.

    Also this woman is a constant overeater and is constantly snacking on candy and other fattening treats. She flat out admits she cant live without candy. Yet she has the balls to judge anyone that smokes. She actually will pick out little things to dock grades on just because someone is a smoker when a nonsmoker can do clearly worse and recieve a better grade. I wrote in a letter to her that her behavior toward me and the other student was rude. In public to degrade us and ask us to write about effects of smoking and lying. How would she like it if she was asked to write about her eating habits and lack of exercise and how her fat butt is bad for her health? She can walk around with a jelly donut in her fat hand, but god forbid she smells smoke on a student.

    She called me at home tonight to inform me that if she does not have these papers in hand by Weds of this week she will not let me continue in the program. I am considering taking her actions to her superiors and filing a greivance with the college regarding my grade.

    Is it fair for a teacher to withhold your grade because of something like this? I have wrote her a letter pointing out how unfair it is and that I will not write extra papers for being a smoker. I admited to her I was wrong to smoke during a clinical, and said it will not happen again. My grade for that day was lowered because of it. I expect the grade I earned for the semester. I completed her course and than on the last day she throws 3 papers at me as a punishment!!!

    I wrote her a letter that I expect the grade I earned and will not be treated like a child and will go to the board if she follows through on her threat. I feel I should add I am a president and deans list student. I have a print out of the points in her class and have earned a 96% fair and square. The class is over and I have an incomplete at the time deans and presidents list are being made, so she has taken that from me.

    Please no lectures about smoking, if i could just quit I would. I want to know if her behavior is even justifiable? What are my legal options in this?