Getting kicked out because of panic attack

  1. So I am in my third semester of nursing school, we are a five semester program. I had simulation and had a really bad panic attack during it, making my performance not great. I eventually did everything I needed to but I did have my panic attack. I have only ever had one panic attack before so I didn't even realize what was happening. I froze and started saying "I don't know what to do" even though I knew what to do. I had no idea that I was having a panic attack. I received a notice that I am being kicked out because of my performance in my simulation. Is there any way that I can fight this? I do not feel that I should be kicked out because of something that I cannot control. Yes, I understand it was bad to have a panic attack but I don't think that should be the end of nursing school for me. I have very good grades and have only missed 2 days of clinical my entire 3 semesters because I had mono. Please, I would love advice.
  2. Visit Embrisi profile page

    About Embrisi

    Joined: Aug '16; Posts: 3
    from US

    10 Comments

  3. by   Meow278
    Oh wow. I don't have anything to offer. I just wanted to say I'm so sorry that happened to you. I have panic attacks so I know where you are coming from. I really hope you figure something out.
  4. by   Embrisi
    Thank you. I hope I figure something out too. I just don't want to accept that I may not be able to be a nurse because of my stupid anxiety.
  5. by   TheSquire
    You should be able to petition your program's Admission/Progression/Retention committee to challenge your dismissal - making you repeat the class might be reasonable, but (assuming that your presentation of the facts is accurate...) going straight to dismissal really isn't. You'd have to have your ducks in a row (including letter from your physician, proposed plan to prevent future occurences, etc) to make that route work.

    You may also need to contact the Dean of Students' office, and/or whomever is in charge of ADA compliance - if it's a new diagnosis for you, they should be able to accommodate it short of dismissing you.

    As a last resort, if it is true that you're solely being dismissed because of this one instance, you can choose to lawyer up. However, whether or not you'd want to go that far to force this particular program to keep you is a decision you'd have to make for yourself.
  6. by   Orion81RN
    Wow. That is absolutely insane. I am so sorry. I have severe performance anxiety with role playing scenarios, but that has never crossed over to real hands on patient care. I'd bring that up if they try to say, "if you can't handle a manikin, you can't handle a real patient," because that is simply not true. No suggestions, just wanted to say I'm really sorry to hear this. That is extremely bogus.
  7. by   Meow278
    Quote from Orion81RN
    Wow. That is absolutely insane. I am so sorry. I have severe performance anxiety with role playing scenarios, but that has never crossed over to real hands on patient care. I'd bring that up if they try to say, "if you can't handle a manikin, you can't handle a real patient," because that is simply not true. No suggestions, just wanted to say I'm really sorry to hear this. That is extremely bogus.
    Exactly! When I was a CNA I NEVER had anxiety problems when I was actually working with my residents. Just because this happened in school doesn't mean it will happen in the real world. I'm sure anyone who works in direct patient care would alert other staff or something if those kinds of problems interfered or put a patient in danger. To me that is so unfair to be KICKED out of a nursing program.

    @OP just a suggestion. If you know your triggers now you can be hyper aware of your emotions. Like for me before I have one I can feel it building and building. I think it takes practice just being aware, and you can work on calming yourself down. Like remembering why you are doing this in the first place (caring for people, doing some good in this world, making a difference etc etc).

    Also now that I think of it, this does sound kind of weird that you will be kicked out of the program over JUST this instance. Are you sure it was just because of that? I mean I don't have that much experience with nursing programs because I'm just starting my prereqs in January. Maybe you could verify it was just because of that?

    If nursing programs are that easy to be kicked out of I'm kind of scared. Lol
    Last edit by Meow278 on Sep 25 : Reason: Added some stuff
  8. by   opalbee
    Quote from Meow278
    If nursing programs are that easy to be kicked out of I'm kind of scared. Lol
    Same. If I got kicked out of nursing school for a single panic attack after putting in a year and a half of work into the program, I'd be pissed. I would definitely try to figure out a way to petition it.

    Unfortunately I'm not able to lend you any advice, OP. I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I hope for the best.
  9. by   nursel56
    Quote from Embrisi
    Thank you. I hope I figure something out too. I just don't want to accept that I may not be able to be a nurse because of my stupid anxiety.
    So sorry this happened to you. Especially with just one incident. Panic attacks are awful. You don't mention whether or not you've received a diagnosis of anxiety disorder, even though the subjective experience generally leaves little doubt. Things like hypoglycemia and thyroid problems can aggravate a predisposition to these episodes. If you haven't yet, I would encourage you see your medical healthcare provider first.

    Anyway, the other posters have given you great advice, too. Just know you are far from alone with the issue and do not assume this is the end of your goal to become a nurse. All the best!
  10. by   apmarquez
    A doctor's note would help fight it since it is a medical condition
  11. by   tonyl1234
    Quote from apmarquez
    A doctor's note would help fight it since it is a medical condition
    And without it, freezing and saying you don't know what to do, just sounds like someone who has no idea wtf they're doing.

    But if you can be kicked out over one bad performance in a simulation, AKA a LEARNING environment, don't consider it the end of the world if you can't get back into that school, because it doesn't sound like a very good school and not worth the money that you're paying them.

    FFS, all the rest of us students in here, get tough, you're PAYING to go to school.

    Also, use your past performance in your labs and clinicals to support being able to stay. If this isn't a habit and really was an isolated event, you really be given a chance to go see your doctor, get cleared, or given a medication if you need one, and stay in your classes. If panic or anxiety disorders are enough to not be allowed to be a nurse, half the nurses in this country wouldn't exist.
  12. by   Chrispy11
    Simulations are where you're supposed to learn. It's one thing if you didn't adhere to the program's code of conduct. From what my Professors said, they want you to pass. It makes their program look better. Your situation makes no sense. In your shoes, I'd appeal. Is it just that or cumulative?

close