Abusive and Cruel Clinical Instructors: Why?? - page 2

Forgive me, but I've noticed on these boards when a student is afraid of a overly harsh clinical instructor, there seems to be a running theme: angry clinical instructors that embarrass students,... Read More

  1. by   ImMrBill3, RN
    A group of my fellow students (I have been SOO lucky) had a clinical instructor who was very hard on them. They provided information on the evals and some spoke to the head of dept or dean. Guess what? The instructor was much more understanding and supportive in the future. I don't think she was "bad" before just EXTREMELY tough and very rigid about some petty rules. I think the guidance from admin reminded her it was her job to build us up not shoot us down. So use the avenues you have to express problems (politely!) and it can help others. We had a theory class that was impossible, next semester changes had been made. Input matters.
  2. by   jenawade25
    I totally agree with you. I had a clinical instructor that treated me horribly. Nothing I did was ever right to her. She didn't give the other students in the class a hard time (at first). I had to talk with our class leader about the situation. I almost dropped the class because of that clinical instructor. After that everyone got treated badly equally because she got ****** off because I spoke up about it. I sincerely hope one day all clinical instructors/nurses who treat nursing students and techs/cnas badly get their just deserts.
  3. by   cursedandblessed
    she threatened to quit the first week if anyone went to the dept head again, and informed us we'd be left without a clinical site and we'd all have to repeat. i've never worked well under threats, and it just makes me more and more nervous. i didn't realize why this one girl was so upset about having this person for a ci, i do now. i hope i never have another adjunct.
  4. by   sallber
    Hi Unwell!

    I'm sorry that's happenning to you. As I stated in the original post, go to whoever is over this clinical instructor in terms of hierarchy and voice your concerns EARLY. It's important to give specific examples of her behavior so that they can address it. If that person does nothing, go over that person's head. Sometimes you need to let people know you mean business, and that you will NOT be intimidated just because you are a student.

    Just saying "she doesn't like me" is not enough, and administration can do nothing about that.

    Other than that, file a grievance with your college/university, again citing examples. The key is to not stay silent about these things.


    Let us know what happens.
  5. by   penguinfromCA
    I suffered from nursing instructor abuse myself where i was eventually kicked out of nursing school; i refused to kiss the #$%@% of my instructors and they trump up charges or mistakes against me; i try to forgive them on the advice of my pastor but, being human, the events (eventually the bitter feelings) come back and also the hatred;
  6. by   twow
    Quote from cursedandblessed
    perhaps nursing schools should run background checks on their instructors. just happened to be cruising through our board of nursing website (as recommended by our nursing department to know more about our nurse practice act), and low and behold i found something that explains a whole lot. what you said about mental instability makes good sense.
    what did you find?
  7. by   AOx1
    As a nursing instructor, I can say that I find students have the best retention and success when I ask a LOT from them, but am open about all my expectations up front. I expect the best from all of my students, and will push them to excel. However, this does NOT mean being rude, abusive, unfair, or harsh. The students respond best when they know I will never let them off easy, but that they will never be abused. They feel safe to learn and grow, knowing I am not trying to fail them, but also that I am not just "letting them loose" unsupervised with no expectations or rules.

    You can "make" someone bend to your will by being nasty, but that type of "learning" only extends to the end of the class in most cases. My goal is to get students to a point where they recognize all that they are capable of. Many have had people tell them they aren't smart enough or capable enough their entire lives. When they realize how much potential they have, I don't need to motivate them anymore! They want to be their best for the personal satisfaction of doing so, and my goal is to give them the tools and knowledge to succeed.
  8. by   kdsrn
    As a clinical instructor myself, I feel it is important to have a caring, open attitude with students. This helps them to feel less intimidated and enhances learning in my opinion. I don't really know why some nursing instructors and nurses in general act the way they do. We are a profession well known for "eating our own". I hate it! We are all in this together and are better as a team than we are divided. Go to the Dean of Students about this instructor. That type of behavior shouldn't be tolerated.
  9. by   determined10
    I, too, had a monster clinical instructor who seemed to go out of her way to trip me up and then "discuss" my failings in front of the entire class and others. It got so bad that I just couldn't deal with her and withdrew, although I had excellent grades on tests. I just wish that nursing instructors could understand that we are unsure of ourselves and need encouragement to grow in our skills. The more you do, the better and more confident you become. Bad experiences can scar. Maybe the more students who write about this, the better. We need more nurses-- and compassionate ones!
  10. by   2BSure
    There is not and should never be any excuse for an instructor to behave badly. What makes me crazy is that they do not always know when they are behaving badly. Why? If they really thought it was bad behavior they probably wouldn't do it. The alternative is that they experienced it and therefore justify that others should when coming up in the ranks.

    Personally I see it as bullying. Those who are not the subject of the bullying are so bloody grateful to be left alone they just carry on -- lest the bully set their sights on them. Those who are the subject of the bullying get no lateral support so it makes it nearly impossible to get support from someone senior enough to make a difference. Basically they are stuffed.

    By the way no one's behavior is beyond reproach all of the time.

    Also, a big deal is the shortage of nursing instructors. The choice in some places just is not great.

    The real question is how do you point out bad behavior and not put your future career at risk by attaching your name to a complaint? This is the million dollar question.

    Remember the experience and vow to not to do this stuff yourself or co-sign someone else's bad behavior.
  11. by   Dianacabana
    Thanks for taking the time to write about this issue clearly and concisely. While I have not been the subject of this type of behavior (except one time by a floor nurse), I have seen it and know that it exists.

    Nobody succeeds in that type of environment. Why does it seem sometimes that nurses are against each others' success? Who in the world do you think you're going to turn to when things are tough on the floor one day? We all need each other (as much as we don't like to admit it sometimes!)
  12. by   Dianacabana
    Quote from 2BSure
    There is not and should never be any excuse for an instructor to behave badly. What makes me crazy is that they do not always know when they are behaving badly. Why? If they really thought it was bad behavior they probably wouldn't do it. The alternative is that they experienced it and therefore justify that others should when coming up in the ranks.

    Personally I see it as bullying. Those who are not the subject of the bullying are so bloody grateful to be left alone they just carry on -- lest the bully set their sights on them. Those who are the subject of the bullying get no lateral support so it makes it nearly impossible to get support from someone senior enough to make a difference. Basically they are stuffed.

    By the way no one's behavior is beyond reproach all of the time.

    Also, a big deal is the shortage of nursing instructors. The choice in some places just is not great.

    The real question is how do you point out bad behavior and not put your future career at risk by attaching your name to a complaint? This is the million dollar question.

    Remember the experience and vow to not to do this stuff yourself or co-sign someone else's bad behavior.
    I agree that we need to support our classmates who are unfairly targeted by an instructor or floor nurse!! At least help the student validate that the offending behavior is off the charts. You never know when the tables will turn and you'll need support yourself.
  13. by   muse12
    Sallber.
    I just posted today..your post hits home for me.
    Thanks
    Wish I talked to you before I opened my mouth and left. IN any case, beautifully put...we need more people like you....
    xo

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