nothing bad, per se, happens, and i was proactive, i attempted to tell the faculty the situation, i attempted to do this before school even began with them telling me it's not a problem
i hope you kept some kind of diary with names and dates of these discussions. that could give you an edge if this gets any uglier.
... i attempted to tell them i would let my doctor contact them to ally any fears they had that i could not function in such an environment, i tried to explain that i don't just lose it somehow, it's not like that, that my first er of business was patient safety and if i personally had any doubts about my ability to ensure that i wouldn't be there.
i suggest getting letters from your various practitioners now. have them address the letters, "to whom it may concern." keep the originals for future use, then make copies and send them registered mail to anyone who is involved in deciding your future. create a paper trail that documents your efforts to work this out. make sure the letters focus on your ability to manage your condition, your committment to ongoing treatment, and the progress you've made during your time with each provider.
they also have a specific problem with the medication i take and my ability to function properly on it and to meet patient safety while on it. i offered, as i mentioned earlier, to let my doctor call them and this guy is an expert and discuss it with them, they were having none of that. i offered to discuss potential alternatives, on and on.
i doubt you're going to get very far with offering to have your doctor call them. and maybe that's just as well. it would be far better to have him write an explanation. that way, there will be no dispute about what was said. and you will have a copy of it for your own records. offering to have him call might sound pro-active and it is to a small extent. getting the letters on your own is more so.
my original emphasis today that started this cascade of events was to let the clinical instructor know i have a panic attack disorder, sometimes i get really scared (probably like alot of newbie sns get when they go into clinical, in fact i'm probably better equipped to handle it as i have alot of coping skills) but that if i'm feeling really uncomfortable and can't shake it might do me good to be able to leave the unit with the patient safely under someone elses watch for 20 minutes and take a break.
i can see why your instructor might object to this. now, in addition to keeping a watchful eye on his students (how many in your group?), he also has to worry about you. even though you are confident that you can recover and return, he may not see it that way. what if you have a bad spell and you can't pull yourself together in a timely manner? he is responsible for you as well as his other obligations.
when i have a panic attack and i'm driving i don't crash the car, if i'm stuck on a subway train and 'freaking' i'm not running up and down the car screaming for help i'm grounding myself and using cbt techniques to help downshift it and none of this changes my perception of reality, my ability to act rationally or puts myself at risk, i haven't jumped off a bridge yet because of reefer panic madness or something, i don't drink, i don't smoke, i don't do drugs, i work out 4-5 hours a week to help out with stress. i am not 'insane'.
well, of course not, but you have listed many of the images that are going to flash through people's minds. don't reinforce these stereotypes by repeating them. rather, describe what they would see. "i sit quietly and concentrate on my breathing patterns. i might look like i am meditating for a few minutes. when i feel restored, i return to whatever i was doing without any fuss."" something to replace the bad images and focus on the positive.
i don't think i ever signed any manner of nda with these guys either so i wish now i hadn't disclosed it and the health policies in the student handbook i completely adhered to when entering into this program.
you didn't have to sign a specific agreement. in just about every nursing program, it's just sort of implied that any lack of disclosure will be look on as a problem and possibly grounds for dismissal.
the clinical instructor i had who thought a panic attack involved falling on the floor and curling up into a fetal position has an emt-p, rn, msn and fnp.
that's sad but not too surprising. even in our enlightened age, we still carry around many misconceptions about things we don't understand. when people are ignorant, don't take that as an insult or an attack. look at it as an opportunity to (kindly) set the record straight. meet them where they are and then take them someplace better. no, you shouldn't have to, but your life wil be better if you do.
i'm not going to "meltdown" i hear stories from instructors of ppl passing out dead away walking down the hall or during procedures, i really don't think that's going to happen to me but for someone reason i'm immediately at higher risk.
does this surprise you? of course you're at a higher risk. that's what this is all about. anyone with any kind of condition that is out of the ordinary is going to be viewed as a higher risk. what you need to do is convince them that the risk can be managed and that it's worth the benefit.
this subject makes for a nice segue to another of your posts.
what if i were an insulin depedent diabetic? am i suddenly a danger to everyone because my blood sugar could get wacky and i might make mistakes or i might have to go take insulin and get a snack and sit down for a few minutes during clinicals? to me, my problem is no different than that but i'm being treated alot differently.
i am an insulin dependent diabetic and, yes, i am a potential risk for the reasons you mentioned. i have had to manage my illness in various ways and to explain and demonstrate that i have taken measures to reduce that risk as much as possible. it is not at all unreasonable for instructors or employers to be concerned about this. if i "get wacky" and i make a mistake that harms someone, i am still liable and so is the institution i'm involved with. this is reality. as far as ducking out for twenty minutes during a clinical, who will cover your patient? have you discussed this with your classmates?
and if they had concerns *why are they just bringing them up now* a month in, when i've spent 1000 on books and uniforms, taking out 10 thousand dollar loans when they knew this all along? this is certainly not fair to me, this was all, again, disclosed in my medical release i had to get, immunizations, physical, etc, that my doctor signed off on that included *every* major medical conditions i had, including mental, and listed *every* medication i was on, including the klonopin and they had it in their hands before school started and i had discussed my anxiety disorder with the staff the day before school started and was assured this was in no way a problem... now it's suddenly a problem.
this is all in your favor if, indeed, you do decide to go after a refund. an attorney would be able to advise you about the school's failure to address all of this before the fact.
no doubt, you're in a tough situation. but regardless of the outcome this time, you will most certainly be faced with similar circumstances in the future. i would encourage you to go beyond simply "dealing" with reactions and making offers for your doctor to call. anticipate reactions and have letters of explanation ready. gather references from past jobs. keep a diary of your condition and be ready to say, "in the past year, i had only two episodes where i had to leave my post for a brief time. in both cases, i was able to return in ten minutes." to borrow from a billy joel song, "give them every reason to accept that you're for real."
is it fair that you should have to deal with all of this? maybe not, but then don't many of us have some kind of ongoing struggle?
i hesitate to tell you this, but it's important. if, in this conflict, the main thing the authority figures see is your anger and frustration, they may allow themselves to judge you as a trouble maker and boot you for that alone. for your own sake, take your anger and frustration somewhere else and vent until you can't anymore. then go back with an attitude of confident humility and do your best to work things out. get the letters. get the references. do anything you can think of to demonstrate maturity and a workable nature.
does this mean you cave in on yourself. not at all. it only means that you are going to make it darn difficult for them to categorize you as a problem child.
if you should decide to chart another course, maintain your dignity, get legal advice, and withdraw with a clear conscience.
i'm sorry you have to work so hard in this area. it says much about you that you are seeking after health with such determination. if nursing is where you belong, you will find a way to make it happen and give better care for all you've been through. if nursing isn't your niche, you will find something better. either way, you sound like someone who is determined and strong.