this, unfortunately, is one of the problems of being young. it's very sad that your clinical instructor would be so discriminatory toward you. all i can offer is that some nurses just don't remember every thing they were taught about how to interact with people when they were in nursing school.
what i can tell you is that either consciously or subconsciously your clinical instructor is intimidating you--deliberately making you feel afraid and unworthy. she may or may not be totally aware that she is doing this. you have to understand, and i think you already do, that nursing is a profession where you interact with all kinds of people. so, you have to learn how to put up with all kinds of characters and their behavior. here's your first test. just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing your very best to make your way through your clinicals. until someone from the nursing program says you are out, you just keep on working away at your assignments.
time and experience, unfortunately, are something that you cannot fast forward. it's kind of like waiting for the easter bunny or santa claus to arrive. you just can't rush it. as time goes on you will learn to interact and feel more comfortable doing so with many different kinds of patients. one of the things about nursing is that seeing people who are very ill with diseases like cancer forces us to examine our own feelings about what it is like. so, our emotions play a big part in how we react to our patients. if you don't know what to say to a patient, it's ok not to say anything. as you learn how to do assessments, you will learn what information you need to be asking patients and then you will have something to say to them!
i went into nursing having no experience working with patients either. believe me, it is not something that is a hindrance in any way. so, please don't let that eat away at you. if you did an informal poll you would probably find that at least half the nurses went into nursing school having no previous healthcare experience either.
when i went back for my bsn, i was required to take a class in basic communication skills which was taught by the communications department. we learned assertiveness and all kinds of helpful things about interacting with other people. the class had a weekly lab we had to attend where we pretty much play-acted situations where we confronted people who were yelling at us, treating us badly, or we had to confront people who were doing something we wanted them to stop doing. it was a very informative class. just so you know, people like barbara walters and others you see on the tv and hear on the radio don't come by their interviewing skills naturally. they learn from formal classes that they took and study. for the future, you might look for something like that as a help to you in your own personal growth. most nursing programs also touch on therapeutic communication with patients as well. this is the theoretical foundation of what clinical psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists learn in order to converse with patients in a meaningful way. these techniques will also help you learn what to say back in response to statements that patients will make to you.
something i learned when i attended some meditation classes years ago might help you release some of your frustration with this clinical instructor. after sitting comfortably and doing a head to toe muscle relaxation, our meditation leader directed us to visualize, in our minds, a boxing ring. standing in the ring was a person who had wronged us in some way, someone who we were really mad at for something(s) they had done to us. we were to get in that ring and proceed to beat the crap out of that person any way we wanted. yelling and screaming (in our mind only) was allowed. well, some people in the group just had tears rolling down their faces. but, a lot of them reported that they felt a lot better. it's also a safer way to get your aggression out against another person beside actually assaulting them or putting your fist through the wall.
just to prove, however, that i am a realist and my head isn't always in the clouds, here is a link to a website where you can access a virtual blood pressure cuff and practice taking blood pressures. remember that it took time and practice for you to learn to ride a bike, blow bubbles with bubble gum, and tie your shoes. it also takes many attempts at taking b/ps, talking to patients, and other nursing procedures before you master them. but, don't give up. nurses have strong, stout hearts. we don't give up that easily! let me point out that by the time you reach the age of 40
, you'll have 21 years of nursing experience under your belt, a very enviable record! and, you'll still be considered young! :uhoh21: at 60, you will be unique and the mountains of knowledge and experience in nursing that you will have will be something to be really proud of. by then, your clinical instructor will probably have gone to the big hospital in the sky and be but a faint memory. just remember to be kind to those newbies coming up behind you in the way that you should have been treated. anyway, there's always the next school term and, hopefully, a different clinical instructor. remember to keep one foot in front of the other and just keep moving toward the finish line.
- from ohio state university college of medicine, an interactive guide to physical examination for 8 body systems and includes sounds. has an interactive blood pressure cuff (the link is toward the bottom of the page, "take a blood pressure") where you click on a blood pressure bulb to start the inflation of the cuff. you will then hear and watch the manometer and tell the program what the final blood pressure is by typing in the systolic and diastolic numbers. it re-cycles to give you lots of practice!