Am I just being anal or is this really BAD??

  1. okay, this has been bothering me for some time but finally i think i have to do something about it. i'm going for my adn at a community college in new england, and this is an actual email we received from our clinical instructor:
    "hi everyone,
    attach is a copy of the rotation schedule and the assignment for this passed sat. it will be do sat. if you want to e-mail it feel free."
    does anyone else see the problem here? we are taking instruction from this person in a field where accuracy counts. this woman has a master's degree in nursing!!! my 2nd-grade daughter writes better than this 20-something y.o. woman with an advanced degree.
    and it's not just the clinical instructor: our lecture professor's "study guides" are riddled with errors: in the latest on cardiac anomalies, she wrote about the "eusebnebger complex" and even mentioned in class how she could not pronounce it. after reading the chapter, i think i found out why: she was actually talking about the "eisenmenger complex"! there are errors all over the study guides (which i tend to ignore now and make my own), the tests, everywhere.
    so --- do i send an email to the don of our school? i'm having a real hard time taking instruction from these people.
    and please note: it's not like these 2 professors are so wonderful in other areas that it makes up for their spelling and grammar shortcomings. in their case, i think the old adage is true: "that those who can't, teach."
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    36 Comments

  3. by   happynewLPN
    I'm a stickler for correct spelling, so in my book, no, you're not being anal.
  4. by   fultzymom
    I'd probably laugh and go about my business. Don't want to get them on your bad side over some spelling words. JMHO.

    Leslie
  5. by   CT Pixie
    Its very possible that the clinical instructor you think emailed it really had someone else type it up and email it out. I know that a lot of professors/teachers have students as "assistants" that do paper work, email mailings etc.

    I personally hate typos and bad grammar BUT I'd rather not point out the clinical instructors mistakes. Which I am sure they are, typos and mistakes, I doubt she thinks its proper English or its the correct way to spell it. This person can make it very difficult for you during clinicals. She could think, "hey SmartyPants likes to point out minor typos and errors..well I guess I'll have to point out hers" where had you not pointed it out she might just let a few minor errors go and pass you along.

    Are you being anal..no. Should you point out her mistakes..uhh, I'd think it would be better not to.
  6. by   RNin'08
    I also have a real problem with grammar/spelling/punctuation errors coming from the professionals that are leading our education. I've been working to let go of some of it but I don't think I'd be able to in this situation.
    If this is something that is happening on a regular basis I think it would be a good idea to politely and respectfully bring this to the attention of the director of the program. Eusebnebger vs. Eisenmenger is more than "just a typo" when the instructor doesn't recognize the mistake.

    RNin'08
    ~my reality check bounced~
    Last edit by RNin'08 on Feb 23, '07
  7. by   Bonny619
    Yep, anal.
  8. by   Daytonite
    You ask "Am I just being anal?" The answer is yes. Now, I don't consider being anal being a bad thing. That's because I'm the same way. I like things to be as perfect and organized as possible--according to MY standards. The world is full of accountants who are the same way. You can't, however, always impose your standards on others.

    But, when you also say things like "do I send an email to the DON of our school?" I think the anal-retentiveness is getting carried too far beyond reason. Please consider this. Not everyone is a good typist. Not everyone is as familiar with all the functions that are available on the computer software programs that could be employed to correct typing errors. Some nursing programs are very standardized and handouts for students are part of a master teaching file that might be maintained by another nursing instructor; your instructor may not have had time to have proofread the material before getting it on the Internet or sending it to the printer. No one is perfect.

    The very adult and professional way to do something about this is to very politely point out to this instructor that there were a number of typos in the document that made it difficult to understand. "Could you clarify something in the study guide for me, please?", or "There's a number of typos in the e-mail you sent on XXX. Could you please clarify what the assignment was?" And, keep printed copies for yourself. Believe me, if you were on the other end of these mistakes the first thing you would be saying to anyone who had gone directly to the head honcho over you was, "Why didn't you say something to me about this first?"

    I am taking two classes in health information management which involve computer technologies and they both involve online components. Both instructors have posted announcements for which active links for online quizzes or websites weren't there that were supposed to be there! Each time I'm sure the instructors were deluged with e-mails from students notifying them of this. With any online e-mails or assignment instructions you should also be making and saving copies of them for your own protection. One instructor failed to post the link to a quiz this past Tuesday as she had promised. I sent her a very simple e-mail that said "There is no link provided in the Chapter 5 Assignments for the test." This is the response I got back the next day. You'll notice it also has a typo in it. "Hey guys, I was pulled into a bridge call all day yesterday until 47AM this morning. I will get the test up into the website tonight before midnight, so I apologize for any of you chomping at the bit to get this test over and done with. Sorry for the delay, (name deleted)"

    As a working nurse, you are going to make rounds with doctors many times and they will tell you that they are going to order such and such for Mr. or Mrs. XXX. Later when you sit down to sign off orders you'll discover that the doctor failed to write that order. Now, you could get all angry and report him to his chief of the medical service he practices under. But, that doesn't solve the immediate problem for you or the patient. And, the chief of the medical service is going to hang up the phone after talking with you and throw a thousand nasty curses at you (or ROTFLOL) that, thankfully, you'll never hear. You'll have the authority to write a verbal order in the chart. You may not like it and you may think you're doing the doctor's work, but that's a part of this work and it does happen from time to time.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Some of my nursing instructors could not properly punctuate their written communications, and seemed to have spelling and grammatical skills that were far below an 8th grade level. However, complaining to your school's DON will only make you appear to be the troublemaker. Here's why.

    Nursing instructors are virtually irreplaceable, whereas nursing students are highly replaceable. It is immensely difficult to attract and retain nursing instructors because of the low salaries. After all, an MSN-RN can serve as the DON or chief nursing officer of a healthcare facility for $80,000 to $100,000 yearly instead of teaching for $50,000 per year. The DONs of nursing programs do not want to be bothered with complaints about their indispensible instructors, because it will be nearly impossible to find another person to teach the classes at the school's lousy pay rates.

    Nursing students, on the other hand, are very replaceable. If one student drops out of the program, there will be thousands of applicants who are willing to fill that spot. The bottom line is that the school's DON does not want to hear complaints about these mediocre instructors under any circumstances, so I wouldn't try it.
  10. by   Bluehair
    Too anal? Personally I don't think so. In a court of law your documentation can be picked apart for accuracy, including spelling & grammar. Cases have been made where the lawyer was able to connect sloppy documentation to an overal attitude not committed to accuracy and that is why the patient suffered, blah blah blah. I don't see this as being any different.
    Should you make a big deal out of it right now with your instructors and up the chain of command? My personal approach would be to not do that. I would ask for clarification on topics I did not understand and leave it at that. I prefer to keep a low profile when in a position where I could be eliminated with little or no excuse. If you offend the instructor you could find yourself in the position of being a victim of retaliation. An alternative would be to wait until you are done, then write a letter citing some of these examples as room for improvement for future students. In my opinion, it does certainly look bad to have instructors who do not have a basic understanding of how to operate spell check.
    Good Luck!
    ps - another alternative is to transfer to a different program....
    Last edit by Bluehair on Feb 23, '07 : Reason: typo
  11. by   LindseyLou2222
    Get used to it. Most of the instructors are "nurses" not "professors." I have 2 instructors just like that. Nursing instructors are hard to come by these days, no one wants the pay decrease. We just let it be...
  12. by   RN BSN 2009
    pick your battles... lol
  13. by   nurse_drumm
    I don't think you're being anal.... I don't think proper grammar and spelling is too much to ask of someone who's trying to teach others how to care for other people's lives.... call me crazy. It's kinda like those who say orientated while giving report on someone who's ORIENTED. Makes me want to gouge out my own eyes.... LOL

    (Yes, I'm using spell check now....LOL j/k )

    ~Nurse_Drumm
  14. by   arciedee
    I think everyone else here has made the right point. I have one professor who holds a PhD and her comments and assignments are practically unintelligible due to the lack of proper punctuation and spelling. Do I think that this is lazy? Yes, I do. But I am only going to complain about it to myself. I might make a comment at the end of the semester in our anonymous course evaluations, but I'm certainly not going to say anything to her personally, though it bugs the heck out of me that I spend a bunch of time and effort producing papers for her to read and she can't be bothered to double check her brief comments in return :uhoh21:

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