What a nightmare. Bullying. (long)

  1. Today was the first day of clinical for Med/surg 2. My group is on the ICU step down. Needless to say the day was going to be interesting. My instructor gave me a patient, told me I would be giving meds and that was that. No problem for me, I love doing hands on with patients. Im quite quick at doing what needs to be done, doing it write, and charting it. This means I usually have time to brighten up my classmates days by helping them. Today I had finished my total patient care, and was walking around the floor to see if anyone was stressing out and needed another hand to help them out. I have experience as an EMT so things like showing the girls how to do acu-checks and the like are really helpful to move them along.

    I found this one girl in my class, I wont say her name but I will call her Student 1. She appeared to be having a horrible day so I asked her what they problem was. She told me she had a pocket of meds from this morning she still hasnt given, hadnt started her charting, and still needed to find our Instructor, who I will call Instructor 1. I consoled her, told her that If she needed help, I dont mind doing anything she needed. She seemed happy about that. Then I told her, she might want to learn to be more assertive with her time management so this doesnt happen again. She snapped at me, which I can understand, she was so stressed. I just smiled and backed off a bit. I went to find Instructor 1 because I needed her to view my days work via report. I found her in one of the patients rooms on the floor. She seemed kinda stressed, which made sense since she had 8 of us running around the floor on her license ( not everyone has prior trainning like I do)

    Instructor one told me to go please find Student 1 so she could do a straight cath. "NEAT!" I thought. I went around the floor, found her, and told her what she was going to get to do. She wanted nothing to do with it. I accompanied her back to the room to see her patient and the Instructor. Once again she denied wanting to do the straight cath, so the teacher asked me too. "Wow!" I thought. What a neat thing to get to do my first day this floor. I did it quite well with help from the instructor. It was a great learning opportunity. Student 1 and Instructor one then went about taking care of this patients meds since he hadnt gotten a single one all day. It was 10 past one so i was late for lunch.

    I get down to the cafeteria, eat my lunch and notice that I dont know where post conference is. Here is where things got way out of control. The instructors sit across the large cafeteria together. I approached them to ask the question and Instructor 1 asks me if I can find student 1 because she forgot to give her the MAR to sign off on the medication they gave. I said, no problem. Searched for a while and finally found her. She was just sitting down to eat. I told her that the instructor wanted to see her, it was important and she needed to go. Student 1 told me flatly that she just sat down and was going to eat and be there soon. I said, no problem, after all, I understood. So I went to let the instructor know that Student 1 would only be a few minutes but that she was heading over. Instructor 1 then started YELLING at me! "YOU TELL HER TO GET OVER HERE NOW!!!!" The other three instructors immediatly reminded her that I wasnt the one she was mad at and understanding she was very stressed I told her it was OK and went to get the girl. I get back to Student 1 and tell her that it was urgent. She told me she didnt care. Kick her outta the program for all she cared, shes finishing her sandwhich and shed get over there when she was ready. I tried to stress the instructor was angry but she didnt care.

    Well two minutes later I am going across the hospital to find an vending machine so I could finish my quest to obtain the fabled peanut M&M bag when I pass by a hall and see the instructor reaming the girl out. I felt bad but we all know an unsigned med is an ungiven med, and as it turned out, if the med was given twice to this patient it would have killed them. No wonder she was so angry.

    Well about 10 minutes later we all go to get on the elevators to go to post conference. I go in to an elevator with the girl and her 3 gang group. I distinctly heard, "Oh hell no hes not comming on here!" So I just turned right back around, and that being the final straw of degration I could handle today went around the corner and tried not to cry. Everyone was yelling at me, and all I was doing was trying to help! So my previous instructor from last term came to find out why I looked so upset. I told her what I thought I heard, but didnt tell her who it was because even I didnt know. That set her off. The instructors are kinda defensive about me. She grabbed me, took me up on the elevator with the other three instructors to go talk to the girls. I of course just kept thinking, "This cant be happening, this cant be happening." The instructors kept saying things like, "We wont allow this kinda bullying to go on!" ect ect. I felt nauseas.

    We got to the floor, and they round the girls up into a corner and start talking to them to find out what happened. I was waiting down the hall because I was so embarassed. I hate conflict. And these girls didnt like me before from a similar situation I posted on about in the bullying thread. Well know it was 4 against one. They told the instructors that I was lying, and an amazing actor and blah blah. The instructors believed me over these four. And that made the girls even MORE angrier. Finally the issue was left at "respect each other" and to go to post conference. I was so upset I just stayed behind and cried for 10 minutes. This was so unfair, I had had such a good day and now this? I had HELPED this person not even an hour prior cause she looked upset, and now her and her gang of girls were making me out to be a liar who was out to get them.

    Finally I went into post conference and when i sat down one of the girls was giving me the "I better not see you in the parking lot after school" look. So childish, so high school. The other girls were completely pretending I didnt exist. I waited after conference till everyone had left because I was physically scared that they might do something once they were out of sight of anyone official. I just cant tell you how upsetting today was. It seems that I need to care less about others and just do my own thing. I try so hard to keep myself up, and keep all my classmates above water too. But now I feel like I am done being the nice guy that always goes out of his way to help everyone. Look what that got me today.

    I know that was a long read. Im sorry I just had to get this all off my chest.
  2. Visit Thedreamer profile page

    About Thedreamer

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 395; Likes: 184
    PCU
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in PCU/Hospice/Oncology

    58 Comments

  3. by   csadam
    Hi,
    I'm sorry for the situation you got in. I hope you'll feel better soon! :heartbeat
    I think there are a few things to learn, 1:
    Please, no matter how much previous experience you have, no matter how fast you get your own work done, don't just go and offer your help to anyone who seems in distress. Instead go to your clinical instructor and politely ask: Can you give me another task? Do you know of anybody who needs a helping hand?
    And 2:
    For god's sake don't, play messenger between the instructors and other studnets. If you absolutely have relay a message, please do it shortly, promptly, don't go back to the instructor to say what their reaction was, after all, once you gave sombody a message it is their responsibility to act on it.

    As for the immature four:
    Just stay away from them from now on. If you have to interact with them, be as short and professional as possible. If not, you may as well pretend that they don't exist, aside from a polite hello each time you see them. If they don't say hello back, that is THEIR problem, and not yours.
    I hope this helped.
    Csilla
  4. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Lord, you are taking way too much responsibilty for your classmates actions and affairs.
    Helping out is one thing, but don't stress over trying to "keep your classmates above water".

    You are in nursing school for you, not them.

    I also agree with the above poster. I would have told my clinical instructor that I didn't know where so and so was and would have went on about my business.

    Good Luck.
  5. by   november17
    I pretty much have kept to myself for quite some time. I used to try and give students a hand until I realized I was over stepping my boundaries (I was a CNA for a while before I started nursing school - so I never really had a problem with time management/basic care).

    One day I was helping one of my classmates clean up their patient because she was getting behind in her work, and she got a bit snippy with me about it. I looked at it from her point of view and realized I was probably making her feel bad. She was trying her hardest to keep up and feeling stressed, and then I waltzed in acting like clinicals was a piece of cake.

    If anyone asks for help, I'm more than happy to give a hand, but otherwise I generally leave my fellow nursing students be. It would probably be wise to be courteous and professional towards them, but to more or less keep to yourself in the future.
  6. by   moongirl
    you are a nice boy.

    dont offer your neck for sacrifice anymore. If someone needs help, they will ask, otherwise keep to yourself. you are getting way too involved. Lie low, fly low keep your nose clean, do your own work. Sooner or later you will end up in trouble by association when someone goes down.
  7. by   locolorenzo22
    Dreamer- as a fellow male, let me impart a few words of advice. This will be most of our careers. We are "hypervisible" folks in a society of women. Your post (the first half) sounds exactly like my clinical days. I have 3 years of managerial healthcare expierence and 4 months of hospital tech care. I've learned a lot about how to steer someone and how to help if it's asked.
    When it comes to clinicals, everyone has they're own pattern on how to do the day. Personally, I like to do my assessments pronto after report, go back and chart(if I have time) before meds, if not, then meds, and chart them all pronto before I forget. If I have a chance, or can take 2-3 mins to help someone, I'll help them if they've asked. I'll be first to admit if I don't know something. You can't go around asking people if they need help. If they are behind, and need something, they have to be assertive enough to feel that A) they can ask you and B) they're willing to consider what you suggest.
    You are in school for YOU! Do not put the thought of others struggling ahead of your own needs.
    All that being said, I would have handled things a little differently: My points here:
    - You say brightening their days. Maybe they don't want help, or have an issue with you personally. Find your friends and stick to them.
    - Suggesting time management skills probably made the girl feel 2 inches tall. She wants to be a compentent nurse(so I assume). You pointing out shortcomings only made your positive into a negative.
    - On the student 1: Refusing to do a skill your instructor is asking you to do on your patient? that's probably a good way to FAIL the clinical day.
    - Lunch: Would have probably said "well, I'll see if I can find her, WHEN I finish my lunch." Let student know once and then just relax, if student doesn't go find her, not my problem.
    - We all feel bad for our classmates when stuff happens to them, but you can't take it to heart. You do fine, then that's all that counts.
    - Should have got on the elevator anyway. If they were trying to be unprofessional, (and doing a good job BTW), the best advice is to be professional right back to them.
    - Shouldn't have told the instructor right out what you "thought" you heard. You ever hear the advice of a dad shouldn't call another dad, but teach his son to throw the punch? Same situation. Buck it up and deal.
    - I hate conflict, too. Sometimes it's a part of the deal. I'll go check someone's BP and apical pulse before giving a med if we're working in teams. Not because I don't trust them, it's because if this med ends up harming the pt, my numbers are going to be the ones they want.

    Overall: You sound like you're a caring student. You have to put yourself first, grow a thick skin, and just learn that students like those girls will weed themselves out. The ones who have no business being in programs will learn, or burn. Be one who learns. Feel free to PM me with any concerns you got, us fellas gotta stick together.
  8. by   bethin
    Quote from Thedreamer
    Then I told her, she might want to learn to be more assertive with her time management so this doesnt happen again. She snapped at me, which I can understand, she was so stressed.
    .
    You're bound to get snapped at if you tell someone (esp a student when you are also a student) they need to be more assertive with time management. You are students and are still learning on how to manage your time. You stated you had experience as an EMT. Advice is nice, but it's nicer when you are asked for your advice, not just tell them what you think.

    Don't play messenger. If the instructor told you to tell Student 1 something, tell that student. Don't be the go between. It's not your responsibility. The student rec'd the message and it's up to her on how to respond.

    Keep your head up and good luck!
  9. by   jonb1213
    it all made sense once i realized you are a guy... those types of situations sound so familiar to me. nice guys truly finish last. keep your head up, and focus on what you need to do for yourself to succeed.
  10. by   Megsd
    While I don't necessarily agree with never helping your fellow students, I think there are better ways to go around it. Most likely your classmates know you have EMT experience and most likely some of them kind of resent you for it because you are more confident and efficient in clinical than they are. And the suggestion for time management skills, as nice as you were trying to be, probably made you come off as an arrogant know-it-all. Honestly if I were that student and the Big Shot EMT told me that, I'd be pretty peeved too. Plus, sometimes time management skills included, things are just late. Maybe her pt spilled her breakfast cereal all over her clean bed and she had to remake the whole thing. Maybe the meds were never delivered from the pharmacy and she had to track them down. Or maybe she just needs better time management skills, but I wouldn't say that to her face.

    My class is usually good about helping each other and, in fact, we are encouraged to do so. Usually if I've got free time and notice a classmate scrambling, I will approach them and say "Hey, I'm all caught up on everything until my 12:00 assessment, so let me know if you need help with anything in the meantime." Then they can say "Oh great, can you help with X?" or "Thanks for letting me know." This way they have the choice to accept your offer now, later, or not at all. And they know I am available (nothing worse than finding someone to help you only to discover they are as busy as you are!)

    I agree not to play go-between. If the instructor wants to find a student, she can do it herself. Or I might say "Okay when I see her I'll let her know." But I don't see the reason to relay the message back to the instructor. Let the student do it.
  11. by   chococroissant
    Wow. oh my goodness! Thats terrible! These girls are so ridiculous... and it would be easy to laugh at them if only they didnt make your clinicals so tough on you! Just revel in the thought that your instructors side with you... If you can, wall them off,. emotionally. Dont even bother befriending them. Id be civil and professional with them. Its tough excelling when you have a bunch of underperfoming students who cant be happy for you or appreciate you or even be respectful of you... but instead try to put you down.

    Itd be good if theyd be more civil... but heck, I doubt theyll be friendly with you unless you intentionally screw up and make them look good! On second thought, they might like that. So dont bother. Im sure someday you'll meet people who are in your caliber. Or people who dont mind learning from someone like you!

    All the best for you!!!! and really, these girls are just so ridiculous!
  12. by   Thedreamer
    Thank you all for the responses! Yes, I have learned a valuable lesson today and from all of you. I will say I was a bit naive in thinking that there was no problem relaying messages. I saw it as the teacher trying to eat lunch and the student trying to eat hers, while I had finished mine. But retrospectively I do see that I ended up being the scapegoat.

    I have learned from this. Im not going to be cold to my fellow classmates, but I am sure not going to throw my neck out there to help anyone either unless they come to me and I am 100% done with what I need to do. Also, these girls segregate themselves. They sit alone and do thier own thing, now I can see why. Id rather they stick to themselves anyways. Most of the class is very kind to me and really appreciates the help I give them. From now on though I will try to be a little more keen on what I freely hand out.

    A friend told me tonight over wine that she just has 3 people she is 100% honest with at work. She can tell them everything and anything and trusts them completely. Other then that she keeps her nose to the books and acts professional to everyone else. I need to adopt this method. I would rather have 3-4 close friends then another mess like today.

    Funny how I was so upset about all of this going on. Now I feel like I have learned a very good life lesson. Thanks again everyone for the advice and kind words. Coming from a male world into a female world is definitely a transition. Who woulda thought simply relaying information from a TEACHER to a student would turn out so ugly? Lesson learned

    :smiley_ab
  13. by   Lucyinthesky
    Unfortunately for these girls they don't realize how much they can gain by having someone with your experience (EMT) in their group. We have a male EMT in our clinical group and he has been so valuable and is always willing to show us how to do a skill (so helpful with IV starts!). It is sometimes like having an additional instructor around. He does not, however, butt in and give his advice if it is not solicited which is where I think you might have messed up. These girls know the experience you have and obviously feel threatened by it and instead of using it to their advantage they will probably continue to reject it. My advice is lay low for now and MYOB and maybe they will realize they are only hurting themselves in the long run.
  14. by   anonymurse
    Hey, Thedreamer, you are at high risk for failure. You don't think so, and that is why you are dazed and confused. You figure you have all your ducks in a row, you're smart, you're experienced, you're helpful and you figure things should be easy, yet you got bushwhacked. I'm going to be real blunt.

    You got sucked into a rescuer-victim-persecutor triangle. You have to develop a sense of smell for this, and it'll be tougher for you because you have more of the rescuer in you than the average bear. The thing is, people who play this game need it like an addict needs his drug. They will suddenly switch roles to improve their emotional returns (heck, they'll do it just to stay in the game).

    The instructor tried to rescue the world of nursing from the original victim, whom she was casting as persecutor. She hoped the other instructors would pay her warm fuzzies. It didn't work. Then she saw it was much more emotionally lucrative and sure for her to rescue the original victim by recasting you as the persecutor and herself as the rescuer.

    If you can see this, go read a primer text. I have no idea why this incredibly useful study fell out of popular vogue, but go to a used bookstore and blow 95 cents on a copy of "Games People Play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis" by Eric Berne. Assimilate the lessons. Examine your life. Inventory your motivators.

    Reason will tell you even right now that when you take your heart off your sleeve and stash it back in the hidden protection of your chest where it belongs your vulnerability will be drastically reduced.

    Suspect your feelings. Does a certain scenario trigger outrage? Hold your reaction. You might be getting sucked into someone's play. You might be getting sucked into your own play. Hold to the center of calm for 1/10 of a second. Then a little longer. Then long enough to get home and think things over. The payoff is huge.

    After a while you'll start noticing things about your patients that no one else notices. Then you'll understand that your detachment from emotional payoff is making this possible. You can't truly hear them when all you hear is yourself. But when you have no internal play or dialogue going on, you are all eyes and ears for your patient.

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