Out of nursing program cause i am smoker!!! - page 5

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   GrnHonu99
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I wanted to say that from a patient standpoint, it can be harmful. My 6 week old grandson just got out of the hospital after a five day stay (with oxygen) for RSV. He had one CNA that smoked because I could smell it when he stood outside the room to put on the isolation gown! My daughter-in-law asked that he not come into the baby's room anymore because the smell was so strong and made the baby cough.

    Also - in IL - it is illegal to smoke on hospital grounds. When I worked at our local hospital, it was illegal to smoke in the parking lot in your car even!

    I do not think the instructor should be calling you at home, threatening to tell your mother (how bizarre!), or threatening you.

    However, the no smoking rule isn't that unusual.

    Agreed. If you were told not to smoke it was for a reason. I agree that your grade should have been docked however I think that should have been that. You know you did something wrong, ie smoking during clinicals (not necc smoking in general bc that is your choice), you were punished and that should have been it.

    I also think its rather odd she threatened to tell your mother..how juvenile. I'd still write the papers, you dont want to get behind, but i'd talk to someone higher up, her behavior isn't professional. i do agree with the other posters when they say don't make waves, however, you can have a confidential meeting with a higher up. If they do something then great, if not then it should remain confidential. That is how things worked at my school.

    Oh and just wanted to throw in...to non smokers the smell of smoke is very strong...it just lingers and smells so bad. I don't think nurses should smoke during their shift or immediately before. I totally understand your instructors wishes there.
    Last edit by GrnHonu99 on Jan 8, '07
  2. by   *RubySlippers*
    Quote from carolinapooh

    Having BEEN in the military (and I can't even believe I'm going to say this), I have to say that summation is a bit far-fetched.

    People cannot arbitrarily name themselves the Supreme Authority, which this woman may have done. Nursing school is NOT and SHOULD NOT be "boot camp". Writing papers on lying is asinine and childish - it's something we did in GRADE SCHOOL, and certainly should not be required of adults in a college-level program.

    If the OP is indeed telling the truth - there is NO clear-cut, black-and-white, written policy on smoking, then this instructor doesn't have a leg to stand on.
    I am starting my last semester of RN program next week, and trust me we have been treated like 1st graders from day one, we even had one instructor that did not like for us to get up during her lecture to go to restroom:angryfire she was awful, thank god she retired 2 semesters ago. But, I will tell you I learned the most from her.:spin: The program takes the stand as you are chosen by their criteria, and it is priveledge according themt to be in their program, not that you are paying to go there????? Trust me this was the biggest problem for me out of everything, the control issue with the program.
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I don't think I'd have a one-on-one meeting with this instructor - I'd have her supervisor in also.

    But I see it is too late as you said you have a mtg in an hour and that hour is gone.

  4. by   caliotter3
    I agree with the posters who have advised you to choose your battles wisely. You can turn this bad situation into a Supreme Court case if you choose to do so, but be prepared to be looking at alternative activities in the end. It does not matter how childish, outlandish, or even just plain wrong, you instructor has been in handling this. It boils down to: how badly do you want to finish nursing school? You are forgetting that when you took that space in your school, there were prospective students, just as qualified, that did not even get to start nursing school. Among those, are some who would gladly follow any rules put in front of them. Take your lumps. Write the papers and finish school. Good luck in your meeting. I hope you have not pushed your issues too far. Remember, it will go beyond this one instructor. She may let you redeem yourself, but you have now labeled yourself as a boat rocker, and you will have to toe the mark to live that rep down. The objective in nrsg school is to develop and maintain a low profile and GRADUATE! Do what the instructor told you to do and get back to business!
  5. by   misstaz25
    I did meet with her this afternoon. I was very polite about it and we talked calmly. I didn't threaten or say anything about going over her head. I am sucking it up and writing the papers. She insists on having them and I don't really want to cause to many waves. I have to deal with her for another year and a half. I am considering talking to her supervisor, confidentially, about the issue. I know if it came to it i could take this to court and win, but why cause problems?
  6. by   SoulShine75
    Quote from misstaz25
    I did meet with her this afternoon. I was very polite about it and we talked calmly. I didn't threaten or say anything about going over her head. I am sucking it up and writing the papers. She insists on having them and I don't really want to cause to many waves. I have to deal with her for another year and a half. I am considering talking to her supervisor, confidentially, about the issue. I know if it came to it i could take this to court and win, but why cause problems?
    I'm glad your meeting went well and I'm sorry you have to write those stupid papers. I'd just take it as a lesson learned and lay low around her from now on. Don't give her any reason to pick on you again. Hopefully she'll find someone else to pick on next time around. Good luck.:spin:
  7. by   Princess74
    I agree that your CI seems to have taken this too far, but do yourself a favor and just let it go. If you keep pushing the issue it's going to make you look like a trouble maker and eventually it might just get you kicked out of the nursing program.
  8. by   EmerNurse
    Nursing school isn't like boot camp. I don't ever remember boot camp success being THAT subjective!

    That said, nursing school is the only program I've ever seen in college where the grading in so many areas is completely based on the opinion of someone who might or might not be professional enough to be objective. There are instructors out there who will grade you based on their own (perhaps unconscious) personal biases. Sounds like this is one of those times.

    So...you have to ask yourself: How bad do I want to be a nurse? I was never targeted as you were (yes, I smoke) but many of my co-students were, for various things, from being too fat, to having a sick child (ONE time). We all sucked up some of the most stupid rules - regardless of school policy, if an instructor had a rule for her class, we followed it, no matter how stupid, idiotic or silly.

    Now, being a smart-alek brat I-talian from Philly... I'd write the papers, exactly to her requirements. She wants a paper on lying. Did she specify what ABOUT lying she wants? Because there's probably some research out there about how people PERCEIVE lying or THINK they are lied to, or how it is defined. She wants a paper about smoking or about addiction? Oh my the fun you could have researching that. APA format please, perfect grammer, properly researched and quoted.

    If you want to, you can find a way to make a paper say WHATEVER you want it to say and do it correctly and properly, with no way to actually find fault with it. Heck just look at some of the research out there that's taken as gospel... what's the one? OH yeah BSNs are the only ones who give really good patient care LOL. Get her paper requirements in writing, specifically, and have at it.

    Ack - that's ME and I'd probably be on my butt for that! Nevermind! Suck it up, write the papers, keep a diary of every single thing that happened, including your grade with the I, the papers you write, a notation of your conversations with her, school policy regarding this, etc. Then AFTER you graduate, and have your diploma in your hand, send a letter to the director of the program, with all of your information and state that you felt that you couldn't bring it up sooner due to fear of retaliation. And that you'll certainly be sharing your experience with prospective students.

    There is no accountability in nursing school, so you'll be well prepared for many of the working environments out there, don't worry.
  9. by   old rural nurse

    I would looove to tell you to take it as far as it goes with her administration, but am afraid you would only get the repercussions and no benefit. Gee, to remember back to my school days when we were all treated like second graders -had to move our desks apart for tests!!! Good luck!
  10. by   welnet66
    I cannot believe some of the responses to this thread. Does anyone not see the real problem here? This instructor is using her authority to harass this person. This behavior is bullying and all too often condoned in this profession. This instructor is using the issue of smoking as an excuse and she should be reported immediately. As a non-smoker and a nurse, I have smelled worse things than cigarette smoke and so have all of you. Second hand smoke has been proven harmful but the actual odor of it has not. This student needs your advice and help dealing with this insecure, unprofessional bully, not a lecture on the harmful effects of tobacco.
  11. by   misstaz25
    Thank you Brefni. I specificly stated I didn't need a lecture on smoking. I have heard them all. I need to know how to deal with this teacher. I have decided to not rock the boat too much, but I do feel that she was completely out of line. She doesn't see that she was. She justified the hallway talk with we didn't come by her office to speak to her. I dont know about the other student but I was by her office to speak about this and she was never there when she said she would be.

    She said there are rules in the nursing program and she stands beside her punishment. My issue with this is she wrote it up as a critical behavior and a first offense on anything is to be an admonition notice. Two critical behaviors in a semester and you are out. This was the very end of the semester but I still feel it was thrown way out fo proportion. She also tried to say the incomplete was for a clinical paper she didn't have. I have the other student as a witness the incomplete is for the extra papers. She also said the threat of telling my mother is because she wanted me to know she would not do that. Well why bring my mother into it if it was not to intimidate me? She made that threat with the other student present also, so I would have her as a witness to the way it was worded and it wasnt a joke.

    I know many nurses and nursing instructors are very much against smoking, but I still feel she is way out of line. I am going to keep track of everything from here on out and when I do have that diploma in my hand I am contacting the state board that regulates the program and telling them just what I think. I would stand up more now, but most of us have already learned it just causes harsher grading.

    Actually here is an example. We were told we had to go to an all day conference out of town. We were given the option of Thurs or Fri to go. This choice was given by her superior. We all chose Friday. Well Friday would have been lab/clinical day anyway and it was for that class. This teacher pouted like a grade schooler because she had to teach that day and couldnt go. She blamed us and graded us harshly for a few weeks. She also threw in a paper on the conference. Now this is a large class of about 99 through out the state. Only our 18 had to go to the conference and we had to spend our whole day there instead of 4 hrs in lab. We left at 5:30 am to drive there by 8 and didnt get dismissed from it till 4:30 and still had to drive home. She made us write a 2 page paper on the event to top it off. No other site was required to do anything like this. She is instructor over all 99 of us, but only her students at my site had to go through this. We, all 18 of us, wrote her a letter stating her attitude toward us about the day chosen and the harsh grading and treatment. She pulled all of us aside and said we were being immature. I think she was immature to pout about day chosen, if it was an issue we shouldnt have been given an choice. We chose the day over a month in advance so we could make plans for daycare and school for our children. She expected us to change it just over a week in advance and we refused. Over 3/4 of the class has children, half of them single parents, and to find someone else to take mom's spot for a day is not easy. People had taken the day off from work and were scheduled to work the day she wanted to go. It just wasn't an option to change the day with little notice. This is the kind of mature woman I am dealing with.
  12. by   Tweety
    It sounds like she's on a power trip, making up the rules as she goes along.

    I'm sure a student smelling of smoke is not a good thing and follows under some hygeine policy. But to make you write papers on quitting smoking, etc. and with holding your grade doesn't seem like she herself is following proper p&p.

    Good luck. Sometimes you have to choose your battles just to survive and get out. Other times you have to risk and stand up and fight.

    I'm so old, I actually had a nursing instructor who would ask "who wants to go smoke with me" and take a group of students who smoked with her.
  13. by   Freedom42
    Quote from brefni
    I cannot believe some of the responses to this thread. Does anyone not see the real problem here? This instructor is using her authority to harass this person.
    I'm with Brefni. I also think the OP is handling the situation well. She's standing firm. And she's been very clear about smoking: She wants to quit. That's not the issue.

    The issue is this instructor's bullying behavior. When you decide to put your head down and "get back to business," as one poster put it, you are simply enabling that behavior to continue. The OP will do herself and all future students a behavior by calmy and carefully bringing this attention to the instructor's superiors. Why is "rocking the boat" equated with negativity? Why is someone branded a "trouble maker" for standing up for herself?

    Another poster suggested that she "consider (the) dynamic" of the number of people who want to be in nursing school versus the relative scarcity of instructors. The instructor, the poster suggested, is more valuable.

    I suggest we consider this dynamic: When you pay thousands of dollars in tuition to attend a college program, you have entered into a contract with that institution. That's why such schools have harassment policies and other standards clearly spelled out -- that's part of their end of the contract. If the OP meets her end of the bargain, asking the school to meet its own standards isn't causing trouble.

    I suggest that the instructor's threatening to call the student's mother -- regardless of the infraction -- is harassment, and that is an issue separate and apart from the student's smoking.

    One other question for the OP: How old are you? I wonder if this instructor thinks you won't challenge her behavior because of her age.