Tough Clinical Instructor - page 2

I have been placed at a hospital with ANOTHER tough clinical instructor - I haven't met her yet, but apparently she does it military style. My previous instructor was quite hard too, and although i... Read More

  1. by   SnowRain7489
    Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Excape your anxiety. Trust me it is MUCH BETTER to have a tough clinical instructor than an easy one. This semester I had a horrible and easy clinical instructor-I didn't learn anything from her. She didn't have any expectations for her students & was not a good example for us. Last semester I had a tough clinical instructor & I loved it. She set the bar high & expected us to reach it & go beyond it. I learned alot & was that much more prepared for...uh...everything.
  2. by   Daytonite
    Quote from backhill360
    her motive was: "if you want to be taken seriously, you needed to be an ASS"
    What do you mean by ASS?

    Are you sure you're not harboring some envy? I've seen an awful lot of it among Asian women to the point that they can be awful vicious to each other when they are competitive.
  3. by   Kevin RN08
    I think many of us are too thin skinned and tend to take one person's "teachable moment" and turn it in to an attack for incompetence. In other words if you did not know something chances are that others in your group didn't know it either, so rather than review a skill 10 times individually an example is made and the whole group is educated.
    Personally, I enjoy these "tough" instructors (1) you always know where you stand, (2) whether you are trying to impress them, yourself, or group you are always prepared, (3) they are usually very detail oriented and don't let the little things slip by, (4) they are frequently very well prepared to lead a clinical group, and (5) when the semester is over you know you accomplished something.
  4. by   elkpark
    Be sure you are always well-prepared for clinical (always a good idea anyway!) and practice remaining calm in stressful situations -- a skill you will find necessary throughout your career!

    Many of us have found, in retrospect, that it was the tougher instructors from whom we learned the most.
  5. by   nerdtonurse?
    I echo elkpark...I learned more from the hard ones than I did the one who wanted to be your friend. I'm paying you to teach me, so TEACH ME. I already have friends...

    There was one instructor, ex-army nurse, scared the pants off me. She was chewing me out about a careplan, and suddenly I realized who she reminded me of -- my dad, ex army, ex drill Sargent. I guess I smiled, and she snapped, "What are you grinning at?" And my mouth fired before my brain engaged, and I said, "I'm just hoping you'll let me give it another shot instead of telling me to drop and give you 20." I thought, oh, God, my mouth just kicked my backside out of nursing school.

    Instead, she snorted on a laugh, coughed, told me, "Do it again, you all get one retry, one time, all semester." Now that I'm out and living as an LPN in RN school, she has been one of my best supporters, and occassional shoulder to cry on. You can always be friends, afterwards....
  6. by   Chixie
    I had an ex army nurse as one of my mentors and she taught me more in those 5 weeks then i learnt on any other placements. Yes she was tough and hard to please and was more than happy to call me out on my lack of knowledge.


    But wait until you meet your mentor before making any judgements on them
  7. by   tbell2
    i had a very tough instructor my last clinical rotation. maybe not enough time has passed, but i still don't see the benefit.

    i always try my hardest, so she did not push me to try harder.

    i find it difficult to remember class, action, side effects, nursing implications, and interactions with someone staring at me, unblinking, with no expression on her face.

    i can't improve my paperwork when she approves it the day before i turn it in, and then i get it back with no comments besides "unacceptable" and a refusal to elaborate.

    i don't think it is fair to reprimand the whole group because one student is consistently late to post conference.
  8. by   nerdtonurse?
    It's awful to say, but the things you're talking about, like her staring at you about a med -- that happens on the floor all the time with new nurses. We're not being hateful. We're trying to make sure you don't kill somebody by confusing digitalis with dilantin -- I will never, ever forget when I accidently said PRBCs instead of FFPs when telling my charge what I was going to hang...she handed me my backside. Didn't matter that I was on my 5th day of 12 hour shifts and was tired out of my mind......and if I had a nickel for every time a charge nurse had a nursing station tirade about tardiness (when it's the same RN who is the NM's pet, so that's never going to change...)I'd be able to retire. Unfortunately, I think she was probably giving you a good idea of what it's going to be like on the floor in terms of personalities, anyway....
  9. by   Kevin RN08
    Worse than a NM or Charge ... how about when the patient asks you? and (gulp) you don't know.
  10. by   elkpark
    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    It's awful to say, but the things you're talking about, like her staring at you about a med -- that happens on the floor all the time with new nurses. We're not being hateful. We're trying to make sure you don't kill somebody by confusing digitalis with dilantin -- I will never, ever forget when I accidently said PRBCs instead of FFPs when telling my charge what I was going to hang...she handed me my backside. Didn't matter that I was on my 5th day of 12 hour shifts and was tired out of my mind......and if I had a nickel for every time a charge nurse had a nursing station tirade about tardiness (when it's the same RN who is the NM's pet, so that's never going to change...)I'd be able to retire. Unfortunately, I think she was probably giving you a good idea of what it's going to be like on the floor in terms of personalities, anyway....
    Quote from axshusz
    Worse than a NM or Charge ... how about when the patient asks you? and (gulp) you don't know.
    Yes -- I don't mean to sound flippant, but I'm always kind of amused when students complain about how hard their instructors are on them, because it only gets worse once you're out of school and on your own! I encourage students to think of this as "practice" for the real world of nursing.
  11. by   MegButler
    It has been over 30 years since my own "tough clinical instructor" experience. She also taught the class. I would leave class and head to the student health office with spastic colon. Rough semester.
    Did I learn a lot from her?
    I think it was the first time I had encountered such a personality, someone who needs to feel in control to the point of wanting everyone around them to walk on eggshells. But, now that I've been a nursing instructor, I know her behavior is more about fear. She is ultimately responsible for everything all the students do, for all their patients!
    Keep her in the loop. Tell her when you are not sure how to do something, but also tell her you've reviewed the procedure first. If you can't find an anwser, tell her what you've done to try to find the answer.

    You will surely meet other people like this in your nursing career. Know that much of it, is their issues.....not your performance. But you both have a goal of safe patient care! Good luck!
  12. by   BoomerRN
    I had a nursing instructor (for lecture class only) who was, I think, mentally ill. Fortunately, for me, I was luck enough to have another instructor for hospital rotation and only had to deal with this nut in class. She would make fun of people in class and make all kinds of wierd statements. She also would put questions on the tests that she had not discussed and when approached about it, stated that she definitely had presented this material in class. I listened to her and was polite and did pretty good on her tests and she seemed to leave me alone. But, my dear friend and several others in this class were threatened with failing, called names, and often made to look foolish in class--and a couple of them did better than I did on the tests. We had heard from previous classmates that they had complained about her for years and no one would do anything about her.
    I think my advice would be to learn your material well, be prompt to class, particpate in class, and be nice. Good Luck to you.
  13. by   RN_MishMish
    :angryfire so sorry to hear. While I am truly not trying to discourage you usually a reputation of a nursing instructor has a good basis, coming from other students who have been thru the experience of "serving" under this instructor. Yet again, so many people are in the instructor's psotion for the power and control trips they get of it. what a shame what a shame.... yes you can read between the lines I am still bitter about what I have been through, and is sounds similar to what has happened to you.
    Please don't show fear, that is the worst you can do... poeple like that prey on your fear rather than teach, instruct, support and guide. Get whatever support from your classmates, friends anybody else and show you are in control, don't get intimidated. Yes you can do it, no it is not fair nurses with serious personallity issues are hired as nursing instructors and are given the daily opportunities to terorrize students. If it was a job you have a choice of quitting, as a student you don't. You are greater than this, you have done this before and faced a bad, controlling instructor - you will do it again Best of luck, think positively and you will make it!

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