Help! Religion and clinicals

  1. Hi all. I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm just wondering if there's anyone out there who has ever had a problem with religous observance and attending class or clinicals. I'm in my first semester of an ASN program and any previous problems I already discussed with the program head and I gave her a calender for the next year and a half so we could deal with future problems before they come up.
    I just found out Friday that they're planning to have clinicals to include Friday evenings next semester - which is like a big no-no for me. Is there anyone else who has experienced this problem - do you have any advice for me. I really don't want to have to push off graduation because of how they scheduled clinicals but I still need to get my clinical hours in.
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    About StudentC

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 24


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Religion might not factor into the clinical times. However, have you tried to change your clinical time? Perhaps trade with another student?
  4. by   Nickle
    You're going to have to take the initiative and try to suggest possible solutions to your clinical instructor. I've found that managers, etc are always more receptive to accomodating your requests when you propose a solution. How long are your clinical shifts? Could you stay, perhaps, four hours later each time to make up the hours? Even if you had to leave the floor for post-conference and then return to the floor afterwards? If your instructor is available via cell phone or pager, that might be a viable option.
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I would politely but assertively begin my way up the school's chain of command to plead my case.

    Somebody there will understand your situation. Or at least, somebody will understand THIER situation if they don't work with you. Same difference.

  6. by   StudentC
    Thanks for the advice and support. I have a meeting with the program chair tomorrow to discuss some alternative options, and at least one of my instructors is willing to also speak to her on my behalf. It turns out there's another person in my clinical group who also can't do evenings, and she said she would be willing to go in with me and pay someone privately to supervise us on a different shift. Since there really isn't anything else I can do until after tomorrow, I'm kind of just crossing my fingers and hoping the program chair is receptive to something outside of scheduled clinicals.
  7. by   Altra
    I hope that you are able to trade schedules w/another student or find some other alternative for your clinical time. However, you must realize that many hospitals and clinical sites accomodate large numbers of students from several different schools. Clinical times are limited. While it was proactive of you to have attemtped to address this issue with your program director before the start of clinicals, that does not alter the availability of clinical experiences for students at that particular facility.

    Good luck to you.
  8. by   fry.girl
    I sent you a PM...

  9. by   Jessy_RN
    Definitly try to trade schedules. Good luck
  10. by   CHATSDALE
    this may be a temporary solution...have you given thought about what you are going to do after graduation??
    what hours are you going to want to work..not everybody is able to accomodate co-workers needs
    i worked with a man whose religion forbade working from friday sundown to sat sundown...caused a lot of friction between him and some of the younger staff members who wanted to go out on weekends..
  11. by   StudentC
    Well the good news finally came. Thanks to my wonderful amazing accomodating and generally unmatched program chair - I'll be able to go to classes next semester with few problems. Due to previously unknown issues with some of our clinical sites, the entire rotation schedule ended up changing... and in a way that helped me even more. As of now, there will only be 5 Friday evenings which will be a problem, and that previously mentioned amazing person told me she'll arrange all 4 of my observations (OR, PACU, other stuff I don't know what yet) for Friday days and then I'll only end up missing one day of clinical which won't be a problem as long as I don't miss any others. Yay! I think I might have scared people by the smile on my face when I left her office!

    Chatsdale - It sounds like your coworker and I have the same issue. In terms of what one does after graduation - you find a facility that will accomodate. I've had instructors tell me they don't wonder if by accomodating me they're actually crippling me later on. On the other hand, we do live in a wonderful country which for the most part allows for freedom of religion. My mother has been a nurse for over 25 years and in her experience there have been hospitals she couldn't work at because they practiced religous discrimination. On the other hand, the hospitals she has worked at sometimes call and ask her if she won't come back. We all make choices about what's important to us and work the rest of life around that. Just as my religion is what's important to me and something I won't compromise on at any point in the future for school or a job, younger staff members who feel the yen to get out over the weekend always have the choice of looking for a job that will always make that a possibility.
  12. by   GPatty
    I'm glad everything worked out for you!
  13. by   1Tulip
    I suspect you can work this out with your school. I think, whenever possible, the school should try to accomodate you. BUT have you thought about how this will play out when you are an RN?

    I am a Protestant in a denomination that takes a high view of the Sabbath. (Sunday, of course for us.) I try whenever possible to have that day off. Failing that, I try to get the morning off to attend services. Failing that I go to work. I can do so in good conscience because "doing good" or "acts of mercy" are permitted on the Sabbath. (Doesn't the Law of Moses say something about pulling an animal out of the ditch on the Sabbath?) I know an anesthesiologist who is a Seventh Day Adventist and he pretty much follows the same stradegy.

    Of course, I'm not a clergy person. But it might not be a bad idea for you to work this out theologically with the leader of your congregation. He or she may be able to ease your conscience about those times when you are pressed to work on Friday, or... alternatively strengthen your determination to make your stand and live with the consequences.
  14. by   fergus51
    I have worked with several nurses who were able to make those compromises. A jewish friend of mine used to work my saturday nights all winter (since sundown was always before the shift started in the winter time) and I worked her friday nights. It was nice because I could always plan things for saturdays without worrying about work. When she had day shifts scheduled for saturdays, she was often able to work sunday for Christian nurses who wanted sunday off in exchange for them working her saturday. There were the odd times she'd have to work, but she seemed to get most of them off without too much trouble because she was willing to do favors for her coworkers in return.