Is anything ever good enough in nursing school?

  1. I'm having a problem c my clinical instructor. I don't know what to do. I do know that I am seriously frustrated and feel like I cannot do anything to please her. All of my previos instructors have complemented me and given me much direction. This woman however is driving me nuts. She speaks to us as if we're beneath her and she has no appreciation for a life outside of nursing school. Every day of clinical I get so nervous I feel sick to my stomach. In preconference she always starts with me, asking me what to expect for my pt. and the S/S to assess, and this and that. I give her my answers and explainations and they are never good enough. Her comment is usually, "Yes, but that's not what I'm looking for. What else?" I give every answer I can think of while I'm sitting there about to throw up. Then another student chimes in saying "swelling" when I said "edema" and takes the credit. I now look unprepared and uneducated. I've had to prove myself in this program many times. I'm fine with that. But I honestly think this instructor is trying to make an example out of me and finally, it's running me down. My NPW's and theoreticals are always covered in red ink, and so I sit longer and longer to improve on my weak points. She writes "improved" on them but gives me a "U" on my evaluation tool. This goes on my record and could give me an unpassing grade for this rotation. I'm scared and want to cry. But I can't let them see that in me. I overheard her during lunch. She was talking about screening students out cause they can't handle it.
    I'm sorry guys. I didn't think it would be easy, I'm up for the fight, but I don't think it should be so demeaning. I'm here for my patients. I'm here to help people and maybe save a life in the process. I want to be there for people that are scared, sad, and in need of medical intervention and someone to listen. In school they talk about how to put judgment aside and be caring. Why are they so disrespectful to us?
    If anyone has advice for me to stop getting choked up in front of her and stop doubting myself, please share. It seems as though I'm the only one that feels like I study me a** off, I give up spending time with my husband and step-daughter, I gave up my wedding b/c it was too much time from schoolwork. I am not fresh out of high school and I don't live with my parents. I pay my own bills and thave been on my own since 15 yrs old. I give up a lot because I want to know my stuff and be a good nurse for my patients, why doesn't she see that? Why are they so judgmental?!
    Sorry for the venting.
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  2. Visit Shastalee99 profile page

    About Shastalee99

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 56; Likes: 4
    RN Med/Surg

    10 Comments

  3. by   mitchsmom
    Maybe she's just trying to rattle you (for whatever sadistic reason). Do you think it would work to your advantage to go to her? I think that would show that you aren't scared of her & that you are interested in doing your best. Go to her office and confidently say "It seems like you feel I've been missing the mark with my work. I've usually do pretty well in my classes so it's really concerning me. What would you like to see me doing that I'm missing?"

    Never let her see you sweat... she will probably prey on you more if she thinks she's getting to you... let it be like water off a duck's back & prove her wrong by staying busy at clinical, doing a great job in your work & not giving her anything to go on.

    Also, you said at preconference she always starts with you... could you turn the table and raise your hand to ask her a question or two right away? I would make them intelligent, thoughtful questions, but she isn't going to spend more time on you if you just already took up time asking her questions, and again it shows you aren't scared.

    Don't know if that's any help, but I hope things are better for you! Good luck
    Last edit by mitchsmom on May 1, '05
  4. by   grinnurse
    OMG this reminds me of my third semester clinical instructor. I agree with the above post to speak with her to let her know your not afraid of confronting her on these issues. That's finally what I had to do and after that she knew I meant business and knew my stuff and she backed off. As for the little brown noser in class ignore her cause that stuff shines through and everyone knows how far that will get ya which is not far.

    I don't know why the instructors have to do the power play on the students. I think they tend to forget that we are the one's paying there salary. Also, I have come to the conclusion that those that instruct had a hard time on the floor!! I would say that when you graduate you could tell her that you now know what kind of nurse you don't want to be!! But, I don't like to burn bridges for the future!! You can certainly let it all loose when/if you get the chance to evaluate the program......not that this will help but you might at least feel a little better.

    Good luck and don't let her see you sweat!! You sound like the kind of nurse the profession needs!! People that care and are in it for the right reasons.
  5. by   AKAKatydid
    I was lucky enough to have one of those kinda clinical instructors...

    But honestly, now that I'm done with the semester, I'm kinda glad I had her. She was in-your-face and everything. She'd do what she could to rattle you. It used to bother me SOOO much, and I was so embarrassed when she would ridicule me. ('Course I took solace in the fact I wasn't the only one she picked on!)

    I've got Maternity starting soon, and from what I understand, that instructor makes drill seargeants look like pussycats... At least I got an idea of what to expect and how to (pretend to) hold my head high. Students that had the other clinical instructors won't know what hit them when they go into maternity clinical with Dr Devil! :chuckle

    All I can say is fake it 'til you make it. Pretend to hold that head up high!! Your instructor seems like the type that will respect you standing up for yourself... maybe that's what she means by weeding out people that can't handle it? Get 'em, girl! ... what the heck, it's worth a shot, right?
  6. by   mom2michael
    It could be that your instructor sees your potential and rather than think that she is "out to get you" and your the one "she is weeding out"....maybe she wants you to learn to stand up for yourself and think on your feet. Maybe she knows what you are capable of and she wants you to shine.

    Or maybe she doesn't....

    Either way, you sounds like a great person who is going to make a great nurse but you need to stand up for yourself, hold your head up high and know that in the end...this instructor (as well as every other experience in school) is only going to make you a stronger person and a stronger nurse.

    Good luck!!!
  7. by   hangnon
    Quote from Shastalee99
    My NPW's and theoreticals are always covered in red ink, and so I sit longer and longer to improve on my weak points. She writes "improved" on them but gives me a "U" on my evaluation tool. This goes on my record and could give me an unpassing grade for this rotation.....

    ......If anyone has advice for me to stop getting choked up in front of her and stop doubting myself, please share.
    I'd recommend making an appt. with this instructor to go over your assignments. Ask specifically what you can do to improve them. Make sure you clearly understand her expectations. She'll respect you for coming to her for clarification, proving you WANT to improve...and it might even help ease the tension during clinical.

    Also...as far as her having no appreciation for a life outside of nursing school.....get used to it. She's there to teach and ensure you become a competent, SAFE practicing nurse. Your life outside of school is of no concern to her. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh....but I think it's reality.

    Best of luck and keep us updated!
  8. by   tencat
    Hi. I'm a soon to be former teacher and a new BSN student. I"ve worked as a nurse's aide and as an EMT, and in both situations I've run into people that are the same way as this instructor. In both cases, I finally had to stand up to them and let them know I DID know what I was doing to get them off my back, and then their tone totally changed, and they even began to ask to work with me. For some reason, there seem to be a lot of medical people who won't give respect unless you demand it from them. From a teacher's perspective, maybe she is pushing you because she sees you have potential, and she feels (for whatever reason) that you've not reached your potential. I would talk with her and see if she has any pointers, but be confident in yourself. Asking questions of the teacher before they ask you usually gets them focusing on someone else after they've answered your questions. Hope this helps.
  9. by   MandyInMS
    Our instructors called it 'the process of elimination'...in other words pressing you til you are about to crack..then standing back and seeing if you do...tough, YES..but prepared me for the stress of real life nursing...I'd talk to this instructor in a professional non-threatening way about your issues...that just may be what he/she is waiting for.....best of luck hun (((hugzzzzzz)))
  10. by   flaced
    I understand you very well. I had a similar situation, where the clinical instructor was making me very nervous and it seemed that whatever I would do, was never good enough. I never got words of encouragement from her, only rebukes, and I was always shaking when she was around me to assisst with the skills. And believe me, I never got nervous before (I am in the last semester) and always my instructors praised me how good I am (though i believe they exaggerated).
    However, in the middle of the semester I decided that I cannot take it anymore and wanted to talk to my course lead intructor to change me to another clinical instructor. But I had a duty first: to speak to my clinical instructor. Never forget the chain of command!!!

    After I spoke to her, she appologized saying that she never thought that she was so harsh on me. I told her that I really want to learn but this kind of environment that she offers to me is not beneficial and I will finish nursing school missing the best part: final semester, when you really get to do pretty much everything a nurse does.
    Anyway, we ended up being good friends, she even told me that if I feel nervous with her when doing a skill I've never done before, I can do that skill with the nurse. Last week we had our last clinical day, and she said out loud to the whole group, that is there is someone whom she can trust in the group, that is me. I was very impressed with her.
    I remember what a wise man said once:
    "The resolution of a conflict give you more satisfaction than breaking the relationship with the person you had the conflict..."

    Good luck to you,
    F
  11. by   nrse2B2005
    Quote from Shastalee99
    I'm having a problem c my clinical instructor. I don't know what to do. I do know that I am seriously frustrated and feel like I cannot do anything to please her. All of my previos instructors have complemented me and given me much direction. This woman however is driving me nuts. She speaks to us as if we're beneath her and she has no appreciation for a life outside of nursing school. Every day of clinical I get so nervous I feel sick to my stomach. In preconference she always starts with me, asking me what to expect for my pt. and the S/S to assess, and this and that. I give her my answers and explainations and they are never good enough. Her comment is usually, "Yes, but that's not what I'm looking for. What else?" I give every answer I can think of while I'm sitting there about to throw up. Then another student chimes in saying "swelling" when I said "edema" and takes the credit. I now look unprepared and uneducated. I've had to prove myself in this program many times. I'm fine with that. But I honestly think this instructor is trying to make an example out of me and finally, it's running me down. My NPW's and theoreticals are always covered in red ink, and so I sit longer and longer to improve on my weak points. She writes "improved" on them but gives me a "U" on my evaluation tool. This goes on my record and could give me an unpassing grade for this rotation. I'm scared and want to cry. But I can't let them see that in me. I overheard her during lunch. She was talking about screening students out cause they can't handle it.
    I'm sorry guys. I didn't think it would be easy, I'm up for the fight, but I don't think it should be so demeaning. I'm here for my patients. I'm here to help people and maybe save a life in the process. I want to be there for people that are scared, sad, and in need of medical intervention and someone to listen. In school they talk about how to put judgment aside and be caring. Why are they so disrespectful to us?
    If anyone has advice for me to stop getting choked up in front of her and stop doubting myself, please share. It seems as though I'm the only one that feels like I study me a** off, I give up spending time with my husband and step-daughter, I gave up my wedding b/c it was too much time from schoolwork. I am not fresh out of high school and I don't live with my parents. I pay my own bills and thave been on my own since 15 yrs old. I give up a lot because I want to know my stuff and be a good nurse for my patients, why doesn't she see that? Why are they so judgmental?!
    Sorry for the venting.

    Its OK. I have one just like her. What I have done is talk to the vice chair, who told me to write everything down and photocopy all your stuff she gives back to you, in case she tries to fail you. My instructor has been a continual problem I guess. I am her living pet peeve, and she does her damndest to make me miserable. Successfully, too. But I have everything written and emailed to the vice chair, and when this rotation ends, watch out!.
    good luck
    andrea
  12. by   Shastalee99
    Hi guys,
    I really appreciate your advice. It's nice to know my feelings are justified, but I need to brush it off a little more.
    Since then I approached her to go over my exams before the final. She again said my paperwork was unacceptable, but can see I spend a long time to improve and wants to go over things c me. At first I was like, "Here we go again." But I was goingt o tell her how I felt in the utmost professional manner. We sat down after lecture and she showed me what I was doing wrong. They're the most simple mistakes. Here I'm writing my nurs. dx/goal and I'm not being specific for the following nurse to fullfill successfully. I was saying my pt. had altered tissue perfusion, but wanted to administer O2...? I was getting the dx. confused and thought because Sparks and Taylor or Doenges had such great interventions c that dx, they MUST be appropriate. Not so. I was understanding the first part, the last but not the middle. I understand veins and arteries, but not the best interventions for venous occlusions...
    My instructor asked me why I put certain things down and I answered honestly. I felt like she was again putting me on the spot, but I looked at her and saw she wanted to help despite she seriousness. We went over things and I realize my paperwork shouldn't be taking me 4 hours to complete. It's much easier. See I notice that I look at things to intensly. The answer is right there, but I can't imagine it's be so simple, so I make a mountain of out a molehill.
    I said I'd re-do my paperwork and showed her the next morning. She said they were excellent and perfect. I was psyched! We went over my last 4 exams and the same thing-answer right there, chose something else b/c I didn't believe they'd have such an obvious answer. I also figured out that I'm a "hans on" learner. Tha's why I'm good at clinical and at work. I can handle the pressure, but ask me outright to list facts and I'm blank. Now I read the chapter c the tables and pics to help and magine myself doing it on the floor. If I have to practice c my lab bag I will.
    I'm so glad I found this site. I tell everyone about it at work and school. Thanks again for the awesome advice. It's comfortingt o hear others c similar probems...err opportunities..lol It's also nice to have some TCT done to me for once!
    shastalee99@aol.com

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