Have you argued against a Clinical Warning?

  1. If I think that I did everything 100% correctly but my instructor gives me a clinical warning, am I able to argue it? Who do I go to and how to I defend myself? I didn't read anything in the handbook (guide to the nursing program). I don't want to contact the wrong person or follow an incorrect protocol. I also want to know if anyone has argued against something like this?
  2. Visit Decisions7 profile page

    About Decisions7

    Joined: Sep '15; Posts: 16; Likes: 7

    9 Comments

  3. by   optimis
    Did your instructor tell you why you received a warning? As in, what was it that your instructor says you did wrong?
  4. by   Decisions7
    I'm not going to get into a big story on here, she was clear... ly fabricating a story that I made a mistake. I want to defend myself and clear my name.
  5. by   NICU Guy
    Quote from Decisions7
    I'm not going to get into a big story on here, she was clear... ly fabricating a story that I made a mistake. I want to defend myself and clear my name.
    Then we can't really help you. Disputing the warning by going over the instructor's head can put a target on your back. Unless there is definitive proof that you are in the right (not your word against them), I wouldn't pursue fighting a warning. Since you do not want to give your side of the story, we can not determine if you were in the wrong or the instructor.
  6. by   Decisions7
    Guy, you answered my question.
  7. by   adventure_rn
    Without knowing the details, it sounds like a "he said, she said" dilemma. Unless you have some sort of proof, admin will probably side with the clinical instructor over the student.

    In my experience, delving into situations like these tends to exacerbate them rather than resolving them. I'd personally try to keep my head down, respond with graciousness (even if you believe that you weren't in the wrong), try to learn something from it, and move on. The more attention you draw to an issue, the bigger an issue it tends to become.
  8. by   tonyl1234
    Without details, it's hard to give advice. If it's something that threatens your ability to stay in school, and it's an untrue claim, then fight it. If it's just pointing out a mistake, let it go. Without us knowing the exact situation, only you can asnwer your question.

    But I'd only act if that warning actually has a negative effect on you being able to finish school.
  9. by   FolksBtrippin
    I received a clinical warning by my instructor. I started the process of grieving it and the instructor in turn dropped the clinical warning after a discussion with my lecture professor. Instead I was given a "clinical enhancement tool" which is not disciplinary, but extra practice in the lab which I very much appreciated anyway. Note that my school was a highly respected university and was very forward thinking in not punishing students, and actively worked on improving nursing culture.

    I will tell you the details of my story to help you make your decision. I was getting ready to do my first urinary catheter insertion. I had volunteered to be first as I was a very eager student. When I opened the kit, it looked nothing like the ones we had used in skills lab. In skills lab, there were foil packets of lubricant. This one had syringes full of lubricant, and because I had never seen that before, I thought there was no lubricant in the kit. I was totally shocked and I guess I panicked a little bit. My instructor was not gloved up. My instructor said "Before you do anything, I want you to tell me what you will do next." I replied that I wasn't sure because I didn't recognize what was in there. I asked her where the lubricant was and she said "You tell me." I said I didn't know. She then said "I'm not going to let you do this. Take your gloves off and tell the nurse you did not put the catheter in." So I did. The nurse asked me why. I told her that my instructor said I was not allowed. She was thoroughly annoyed with the instructor. The instructor then took me into the linen closet and lectured me for 45 minutes about how I had embarrassed her.

    Then I got a clinical warning.

    Immediately, I looked in my handbook about what the warning meant and the process by which it could be disputed. The first step was an email to the clinical instructor. I asked her why she thought I deserved a warning and not a clinical enhancement tool and she replied that I would get both. The next step was a meeting with the lecture instructor. I sent an email to the lecture instructor who asked me a few questions about what happened. I answered them and she said she was not sure why I would get a clinical warning and would I like a meeting. I stated yes. In the next couple of hours I got an email stating the warning was dropped and an explanation of how to complete the clinical enhancement tool. I did not dispute the clinical enhancement tool as I very much appreciated the one on one time in the lab I got from a different professor.

    So it worked out. And it was fully worth it as a clinical warning is a one time thing, the second offense is failure of clinical. My lecture professor explained that clinical warning is not meant for students who struggle with a skill, it's meant for students who come late, disobey rules, etc.

    The rest of the semester that clinical instructor gave me hell. She would regularly come and ask me very detailed questions on my patient's history; looking for me to slip up somewhere. She was extremely hard on me, and would talk about me to the nurses. I toughed it out. She taught me a lot in fact, because she was so hard on me, I worked twice as hard, learning about meds the patient was no longer taking and disease processes that were resolved 10 years ago. My next clinical instructor told me I needed to learn to pare down unimportant facts from my report!

    In the end, the instructor said she was glad that we were able to get over the problems we had. I don't know if it was heartfelt, but I still appreciated that she said it.

    I hope I never run into her again. I hope I never, ever have to work with her. But if I did, it would be basically okay.

    Just know that even if you get the clinical warning dropped, you will still have to deal with this person who made the warning. Be diplomatic. In your grievance, state facts and leave all emotion and judgment out of it. Do not say that the person is out to get you, even if they are. Do not state that the instructor is lying. Just state the facts that support your case.

    If you truly made the mistake you are being accused of, admit to it fully and state what you've learned from the mistake. I learned that lubricant can be in foil packets, syringes, etc. I googled images of urinary cath kits and familiarized myself with them so that would not happen to me again.

    Also, look at what a clinical warning means. Is it a serious disciplinary measure or is it a big fat nothing? If it means you only get one more chance or you're out, then it's worth grieving. If it means that you need extra time in the lab (like my clinical enhancement tool) then swallow your pride and view it as a chance to get better.

    Best wishes!
  10. by   Neats
    "My instructor said "Before you do anything, I want you to tell me what you will do next." I replied that I wasn't sure because I didn't recognize what was in there. I asked her where the lubricant was and she said "You tell me." I said I didn't know. She then said "I'm not going to let you do this. Take your gloves off and tell the nurse you did not put the catheter in. So I did. The nurse asked me why. I told her that my instructor said I was not allowed. She was thoroughly annoyed with the instructor."


    I applaud you for your eagerness but why did you not own up to just saying... some of the equipment did not look familiar to me so my instructor told me I could not do this. Instead it appears by you saying "I told her that my instructor said I was not allowed." stopping there looks like you are throwing your instructor under the bus. (I am sure there was more detailed communication with you and the nurse) but it appears this is how our nursing instructor felt.

    You sound to me ready to over come anything, fight hard, and work hard to be the best competent nurse you can be. You are right miscommunication happens and grudges result from those miscommunications. Remember and I get heck for saying this but nurses learn from their patients and a lot of nurses are passive aggressive-a lot of times without realizing this. I self taught myself (in-depth) about Erickson's stages and when I am dealing with hard to get along people apply those stages to that person, it is then I try to understand where they are coming from, meeting them where they are in my communication with them.

    Those are real life situations that make us who we are today and as much as it makes us feel uncomfortable it made you a wonderful person who can look back on things, learn from those situations, and better yourself for the future....HIGH FIVE!!!!!!!
  11. by   Orion81RN
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Then we can't really help you. Disputing the warning by going over the instructor's head can put a target on your back. Unless there is definitive proof that you are in the right (not your word against them), I wouldn't pursue fighting a warning. Since you do not want to give your side of the story, we can not determine if you were in the wrong or the instructor.
    This!!! I fought for myself over a write up over an untrue allegation. It put a target on my back, and I can't believe to this day that I graduated, because my instructors sure did try to get me kicked out of the program afterwards.

    A few months after graduating, I went and visited my old OB clinical instructor for a letter of recommendation. We had a nice chat about how she enjoyed having me in her clinical. She confided in me that the nursing director told her at the start of clinical to keep an eye on me, that I was a trouble maker or some such nonsense. She told me "screw 'em," and gave me a wonderful letter of recommendation.

    She had a head on her shoulders and was able to judge me on her own accord. I cannot say the same for the other instructors I had who made nursing school hell for me. Keep your head down, OP. When you walk across that stage and get your diploma, you can take my instructor's advice and say, "Screw 'em," and move on happily in your new life.

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