Nursing Instructor Anger Management - page 4

I have a problem and I need some advice... I am a non traditional adult college student (I'm 39 years old). After raising my daughter, I felt it was time to go back to college and complete my nursing... Read More

  1. by   Oldmahubbard
    It is not OK! A lot of things happened to me in life, in other professions, and in nursing, that absolutely were not OK.

    They were total BS.

    But all these years, I have still had to make a life, and a living.

    The standard to bring any type of legal charges is very, very high, and the law is always on the side of the higher status person.

    The OP was not injured, so it is just not worth it.

    Ok, I have said my piece.
  2. by   opalbee
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    Maybe it's because I work in mental health but I just can't see how a nurse could view someone throwing your phone to you, especially since you caught it, as an assault.
    She didn't throw her phone to her, she threw it at her.

    Do you think that it wasn't "assault" because it didn't hurt OP? She stated that it could have hurt her if she had not caught it. What if we changed the perspectives a little bit..? If I threw my phone at my instructor at anger, do you think that she would see that as assault? Or what if I threw my phone at a patient in anger? Or my spouse? Or if I was a high school teacher, and I threw my phone at a student who was being unruly? How do you think his parents would see that?

    Note- I'm no longer talking about what OP should do about the situation. I think perhaps other users are right, that maybe she shouldn't report the situation and make herself a target, that she should just focus on finishing up her 3 months. I don't know what the best way to handle this situation is, but she's gotten plenty of great feedback to make a good judgement. I also don't think that we should normalize the instructor's behavior because objectively, it was absolutely inappropriate and could've potentially harmed someone.
    Last edit by opalbee on Jan 22 : Reason: (I originally misinterpreted the initial response)
  3. by   Oldmahubbard
    Her instructor is definitely crazy, make no mistake.

    But when I was a teacher 3 decades ago, trying to get my Masters in Education as required by my state, I encountered a crazy instructor in a summer session for teachers.

    He didn't throw a cell phone at me, cell phones didn't exist.

    He threatened not to give me credit in for the course, because I had missed a class. I was at a necessary job interview. He left a nasty message on my answering machine.

    I went to the Dean to complain, and the Dean was completely on the side of the Professor.

    I had to do whatever they said, or risk my entire career. I had to play nice. A few sexual metaphors are coming to my mind about the approach I had to take.

    I had to be subservient and take whatever was shoved into my mouth.

    A month later, the professor, who was in his 60's, fell apart in class, and started ranting and raving like a mad man. It was terrifying.

    A bunch of people then went to the Dean.

    I got my credit and went on with life.

    The moral of the story?

    You are a lowly student, or employee, and you can forget making any complaints, especially if you violated any rules.

    I missed a class, and her cell phone was disruptive.

    The experience was both traumatic and instructive.
  4. by   FolksBtrippin
    Quote from opalbee
    She didn't throw her phone to her, she threw it at her.

    Do you think that it wasn't "assault" because it didn't hurt OP? She stated that it could have hurt her if she had not caught it. What if we changed the perspectives a little bit..? If I threw my phone at my instructor at anger, do you think that she would see that as assault? Or what if I threw my phone at a patient in anger? Or my spouse? Or if I was a high school teacher, and I threw my phone at a student who was being unruly? How do you think his parents would see that?

    Note- I'm no longer talking about what OP should do about the situation. I think perhaps other users are right, that maybe she shouldn't report the situation and make herself a target, that she should just focus on finishing up her 3 months. I don't know what the best way to handle this situation is, but she's gotten plenty of great feedback to make a good judgement. I also don't think that we should normalize the instructor's behavior because objectively, it was absolutely inappropriate and could've potentially harmed someone.
    I don't think it was ok. It was uncivil, rude, nasty, imprudent. It was embarrassing, I'm sure. None of that is ok.

    But just because it was not ok, does not mean it was an assault.

    I don't believe there was an intent to injure. And I think an injury would be very unlikely. OP was sitting in the front row.

    OP caught the phone. So the argument that the phone was thrown at OP is weak.

    To clarify, yes, I would feel the same way if this happened at work.

    An assault is something to be resolved by a judge. I think this doesn't really reach that level of severity and could be resolved by the parties, especially since there was some good feeling before the incident.
  5. by   SobreRN
    That is assault and if she did it to me I would have her angry, unstable *ss hauled of to jail. Seriously, she thinks she an throw phones??? I'd be more shocked if she did not remind me of a couple of nurse managers I have had.
    I work in corrections and it is actually a felony to destroy property over $400 (which most phones are) even if only charged with a misdemeanor that would get her thrown out of teaching. She sounds as if she needs anger management and to be brought down a few notches.
    Dad was a cop and he always advised me to utilize legal channels in matters such as this.
  6. by   SobreRN
    I think her best bet is discussing it to the police. The instructor can go on to discuss with the court how she thinks assault is acceptable.
    Too many instructors and management believe this sort of thing acceptable. Nursing students have enough stress without angry, abusive instructors believing assault is acceptable.
  7. by   CardiacDork
    Should be escalated. Looking back, idk why I put up with so much nonesense in nursing school.

    I CANNOT stand nursing instructor bullies.

    Nursing education needs to worry less about trying to seem all tough, and failing students for stupid crap.

    Nursing education need to stop treating their students like slaves or pre-k students, surprise ... nursing students are paying YOU for a service.

    Nursing education should focus amping up the curriculum itself and making nursing more about the science of the human body and diseased states, instead of all this nonsense sending students home for having white shoes with a discrete line of blu or black ... oh sorry they're not all white (no this didn't happen to ME, but I saw it happen and it's ridiculous!!!)
  8. by   Axgrinder
    I find it an odd trait in myself that I always try to justify bad behavior in others, perhaps it is my own short comings surfacing. Putting myself in your place I can see myself trying to give this instructor the benefit of the doubt, but also looking at this objectively from the outside my brain screams this was wrong. Had you been hurt then what?

    Mistakes happen, and we don't always get to pick when or where they occur by the virtue that they are outside of our control. Sometimes as humans we have to acknowledge that and move on. Having a fit of unbridled anger and physically lashing out is not a mistake, it is a decisive action of choice.

    Where to go from here is something I find I am at a loss to advise you on, because some really good advice has already been put forth - but I do want to say that no matter how bad of a day we have, or what is going on in our lives at any given moment there is a certain level of professionalism expected of us as nurses on the job, which your instructor was. Perhaps doubly so in regard to what is acceptable behavior for adults to adhere to in civilized society. Striking another person is outside of orthodox conduct no matter the circumstances, or who you are.
  9. by   Ambersmom
    This has to be resolved or else your clinicals are going to be super awkward... I'd suggest going to your academic advisor as you may need to go up the chain of command for the complaint, at least thats what my college required you went to professor first, then chair of dept, then dean, they you could go to the chancellor. I would definitely bring this to the attention of someone soon, it will also provide a little protection against retaliation in clinicals. Good luck.
  10. by   vintagemother
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Have you spoken 1:1 with the instructor? I think that should be your first step. You both have some blame to bear - and it sounds like the relationship could be mended.
    With a staff college witness
  11. by   doodlebuttRN
    Quote from Mavrick
    I cannot improve on this advice. Just gave everyone a chance to read it again.

    You are right, she was wrong to throw your property at you. But don't be "dead right".

    There used to be this traffic safety PSA about being right that it was your turn at a four way stop. The other person was in the wrong at 30mph and the person in the right ended up dead anyway. Sometimes it is in your best interest to let them be wrong.
    My mother used to say... the cemetery is full of people who had the right of way.
  12. by   wannabeny
    I would open your mouth and say something. You have rights as a student to be in a safe environment free from hostile action.

    Get in writing from several students what occurred. Goto your academic advisor and look up the chain of command in filing a report. Especially if you have clinical with her.

    If she seems to think this behavior is ok, she has more than likely exhibited this behavior before.
  13. by   sarahky79
    For those of you who said they were interested to hear how this situation played out....
    I'm sitting here, 45 days before graduation, failed out of the program with decent grades - current grades no lower than a 86% in all three classes - Med/Surg III, Pharm II, and Peds. As I feared, the instructor who threw my cell phone at me, was also my clinical instructor. I was given one Unsatisfactory on the FIRST day of clinical and my second and final Unsatisfactory on the SECOND day of clinical! What a coincidence, huh?! Both unsatisfactories were because she said I did an IV unsafely. (A little information about me: Prior to starting nursing classes, I was a full time night shift Phlebotomist at a major local hospital for 7 years, which required me to be the only Phlebotomist in the entire hospital for 10 hours a night. I realize it wasn't in my scope of practice to administer IV's, but sometimes the nurses had tried and failed to successfully place the IV and I was their last resort. I probably did a few hundred SUCCESSFUL IV attempts while working there.)
    The instructor accused me of retracting the IV needle back in the IV catheter and then pushing it forward again while attempting to thread the IV catheter in the patient's vein. The first time I could've done what she accused me of, but I most definitely did not the second time. I made a point of watching that IV needle very carefully. The instructor said I was being unsafe, but both times she attempted the IV after giving me a "U," she manually backed the IV needle out of the patient's vein (instead of pressing the white safety button that retracts the needle into the clear chamber) and tossed the bloody protruding needle onto the patient! The first time the needle landed on the blanketed leg of the patient. I immediately grabbed it and pressed the safety button, retracting the IV needle, and put it in the sharps container. The second time, she tossed it onto the abdomen of a 74 year old with severe mental retardation. The needle landed on the side of the patient's abdomen where his colostomy bag and midline surgical incision with 29 staples were located. Another student was at the patient's bedside with us (thank God) and was able to grab it and secure the needle before anything bad happened.
    I wish I was exaggerating all this, but unfortunately I am not. I wish I had reported the cell phone being thrown at me. I should've known this instructor would target me after the cell phone incident, whether I told someone or not. I just want to graduate! Regardless of what happens, I feel like I need to advocate for the patients this instructor could possibly injure.
    Last edit by sarahky79 on Mar 22

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