Keeping your cool at the bedside

  1. Does anyone have any helpful hints on keeping your cool at a patient's bedside when an instructor is either glaring at you or questioning your ability and you feel totally incompetent? I am an easy blusher and get embarrassed easily and I get so annoyed at myself when this happens. I try to maintain my cool and confidence, but when all eyes are upon me, it's tough. I'm also in perimenopause, so the hormones are up and down like a see saw, and this isn't helping. I'm seriously considering looking into Paxil or something like it, I feel like I have mild anxiety at times from all the stress. Any suggestions?
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    About Carolanne

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 604; Likes: 5
    RN/ part time medical transcriptionist


  3. by   essarge
    I had an incident where an instructor berated me in front of a patient and staff.....just because I told her that I had never performed a particular skill. She replied that I should have learned this in med/surg I and then went into a tyrant about how I should have known this before blah..blah...blah. After she was done, I looked her straight in the eye and said "I will try to remember your position on this in the future". When we left the room, I took her off to the side (with a friend as a witness) and told her that her behavior was very unprofessional and that if it happened again I would report her. I passed the course with a B and this instructor has never berated me again!
  4. by   meownsmile
    I hope the instructor didnt really mean to belittle anyone. But the first week of school we were taught a "mission" of nursing. That it is a nurses job to help the patient attain optimal health for each individual. I think maybe the instructor was looking for you to give some rationals about why you were doing a procedure, or how that would help the patient attain their "goal". Remember its not always about what is being done at the moment. You have to remember the plan of care and how each intervention moves the patient closer to attaining the goals of the care plan. Unfortunately in clinicals the instructors want to know you have planned and thought out every little detail before you even touch the patient. Take a few minutes before you go get the instructor to do a procedure and think it through with a brief reason why. Be ready for any little curve she may throw at you.
    Keep pluggin along, you'll make it.
  5. by   happystudent
    Originally posted by meownsmile
    Take a few minutes before you go get the instructor to do a procedure and think it through with a brief reason why. Be ready for any little curve she may throw at you.
    Keep pluggin along, you'll make it.

    Excellent advice.............listen to her you will beeeee alllright
  6. by   essarge

    No, this instructor specifically targeted myself and three other students during that semester. It didn't matter how you answered her questions, you were always wrong. I went to the department chair and hope that something was done so that the students coming up behind me do not have to put up with unprofessional behavior like that.
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    I think you handled that very well, but beware of threatening instructors with reporting...Most of them don't care and neither do the people you report to...often they attribute that to a unhappy student. I still think you did a magnficent job of assertiveness!
  8. by   essarge
    Thank you. IMO some instructor's want subordinate students so that they can "feel the power". With the nursing shortage, I feel that these instructor's either need to be "roped in" by the department or told that if this behavior continues, they will be asked to leave. I know that there is a shortage of instructors as well, but students have enough stress without these power hungry instructors wielding a heavy hand of abuse (for lack of a better term).
  9. by   Carolanne
    Hearing these comments about abusive instructors makes me feel better (well not really), but I thought it was just happening to me. Kind of like when you have a problem and you think no one else in the world is experiencing the same feelings. Anyway, there are a couple of instructors in our school (the two of them are thick as thieves together, too) who must be direct descendants of Hitler. It seems like they take personal pleasure out of making a student crumble at a patient's bedside, just like you said so they can "feel the power." In my opinion, this kind of personality does not belong in nursing to begin with. These women are both seasoned and experienced nurses and teachers, but I think they're burned out. They love to make people quiver and turn eight shades of burgundy. Makes me nervous, they have children too. I feel sorry for them, imagine living with someone like that? But we hold our chins up and plow through the courses, just seems so unnecessary that we have to go through the additional stress of having these kinds of teachers.
  10. by   MandyInMS
    It's a shame so many instructors seem to have the Napolean Complex and feel they need to belittle others.I graduated 14 years ago,sad to see this is still going on.All the advice I can give is hold your head up and keep your eyes on the prize