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Help. My clinical group dislikes me.

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Hi everyone, I just started nursing school and I need advice on how to get along with my clinical group. Ever since day 1, I have always been nice to them and treated everybody with respect, but for some reason they don't seem to acknowledge me, ignore me, or look at me in annoyance whenever I try to start a conversation with them. They all have gotten close with each other and laugh with each other, but whenever I try to get to know them, they leave me out and distance themselves.

I just don't know what I did wrong. Maybe it's because I don't stay that long with them in study groups, but it's because I can't concentrate on my studies when in crowds and they study in school from 8am to 9pm EVERYDAY. Other groups don't even stay with each other for that long. I usually just stay 2-3 hours after class to try to get to know them and participate in studying, but I feel like they get mad at me whenever I leave early and now they just treat me like they don't need me or as if I'm worthless. But I also have parents to go home to and a diabetic dog that needs timely insulin shots, so I can't really stay with them for that long.

The first few weeks, I've tried to be friendly and talk with them, but now I feel discouraged to speak with them because every attempt of befriending them has been met with rejection (ex: they ignore me whenever I speak to them, they don't reply to my text, but reply to other peoples text in group chat, whenever I ask a question, they answer with blunt one-worded replies or talk down to me as if I'm incompetent, and I tried sitting with them on the table they leave after just 5 minutes). I even tried getting snacks for them. I also tried offering any help if they needed it, but they just don't acknowledge it at all. They even said amongst themselves that this group should be a "safe space" and that treat each other like"family", but every time I'm with them, why do I feel like walking on eggshells with my every movement being judged?

They can also get pretty controlling saying things like "you need to do this now" like its an ultimatum, and gang up on me whenever I try to speak my opinion. I'm just really bummed out about being outcasted, because I didn't expect nursing school to be this isolating.

Our program is about 18 months, but I don't know if I can make it with this form of treatment. Plus, since they are my clinical group, I fear that I will have no one to rely on when I need help or have questions since we are supposed to be working together when we practice our rounds and labs.

Do you guys have any advice on what I can do to fix my situation? Should I ask my counselor or professor or advisor for help (though I can't help but feel ashamed for reaching out)? Your help is very much appreciated. 

Edited by dianah
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speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

In all honesty, be kind, be nice. However, past that you can’t worry about it. I worked a full-time job during nursing school while most of my classmates didn’t even work or worked PRN jobs. I was never close to my classmates because I just didn’t have time to hang around. My work place was paying for my school and I was on night shifts so I was barely sleeping, working and going to school full-time and exhausted. I have always had the concept that as long as you are kind and have the heart of a team player, there isn’t much more you can do.

Lynker, LPN

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 2 years experience.

Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it, unfortunately. I kind of felt the same way in my first RN clinical group. They were all close and had been together since first semester (I started in semester 2 because I'm an LPN). I felt like an outcast, and they would pretend there was nothing wrong. I just dealt with it for the semester. 

 

Now starting my current semester, I actually got a really great group of people who actually like being with me and I even study almost daily with one of them.

 

It's a sucky situation, but just know that it won't last forever. You can do this.

Chickenlady, ADN

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 7 years experience.

You're not in nursing school to make friends.  Trust me, in 5 years you won't even remember most of their names.  Just be polite and professional and do what you are there to do and leave it at that

27 minutes ago, speedynurse said:

In all honesty, be kind, be nice. However, past that you can’t worry about it. I worked a full-time job during nursing school while most of my classmates didn’t even work or worked PRN jobs. I was never close to my classmates because I just didn’t have time to hang around. My work place was paying for my school and I was on night shifts so I was barely sleeping, working and going to school full-time and exhausted. I have always had the concept that as long as you are kind and have the heart of a team player, there isn’t much more you can do.

Hi @speedynurse, thank you for replying. It's relieving that I can atleast get some support here at all-nurses since it's been a very isolating first few months at nursing school. You are truly inspirational on how you were able to get through nursing school while working both full-time. I guess that if you can handle it, I can too. 

24 minutes ago, JabuJabule said:

Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it, unfortunately. I kind of felt the same way in my first RN clinical group. They were all close and had been together since first semester (I started in semester 2 because I'm an LPN). I felt like an outcast, and they would pretend there was nothing wrong. I just dealt with it for the semester. 

 

Now starting my current semester, I actually got a really great group of people who actually like being with me and I even study almost daily with one of them.

 

It's a sucky situation, but just know that it won't last forever. You can do this.

Hi @JabuJabule, I can totally relate on feeling out-casted. I'm glad that you found a group that accepts you for who you are. Your response really gave me hope. Hopefully I can find people in future who accepts me for me too. Thanks for sharing. 

 

Edited by Koemmyjemmy

Please think about my advice/comments, which may get a little blunt rather quickly. 😬

This is 8th grade BS.

I don't know for whom I should feel more sorry--you or them. As I was reading your post I actually said in my mind (about your classmates), "Awww, the poor babies."

I'm sorry but I can't stand situations like this, I get as far away from them as I can, as fast as possible, always. Who the h*ll needs friends like this?? NO one.

I've never understood acting this way (it should be embarrassing because it truly is pitiful) and I've also never understood those who pine away to be included in something like this! I just don't get it.

Look, these people are weaklings. Practically the weakest of the weak, emotionally. I know this because stronger people would not have an emotional need to shut you out in this way and would not feel bolstered by doing so.  It makes them feel stronger to do this, and helps shore up their pitiful self-esteem and confidence. None of this should make you feel less-than. Their actions are solely about them and IMHO it would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

I strongly suggest, for your own growth and well-being, that you ditch them. You don't need this. You DON'T need this.

Gazillions of very excellent nurses have made it through school just fine without "studying" (aka hanging out) within exclusive groups of family-they-just-met, for 13 hours a day.

How are you going to make it through? Studying. Reading your material, using study apps, completing your assignments with excellence in mind, actually studying hard for your tests, practicing your skills, asking for clarifications from your professors--or even here on AN--as needed. Being kind to all.

Lastly: You need to move on for an even bigger reason: You are conscripting yourself to a very unhappy life if you always (subconsciously) agree to beg for the acceptance of petty people.

Please think this over.

💮

Edited by JKL33

8 hours ago, Chickenlady said:

You're not in nursing school to make friends.  Trust me, in 5 years you won't even remember most of their names.  Just be polite and professional and do what you are there to do and leave it at that

Hi @Chickenlady

You're profile picture has really made my day. And you're right, I did not got to nursing school to make friends. I'm going there to secure my future and work in a field that I've always dreamed of and worked hard to reach. Thank you so much for putting me back on track on differentiating what's really important (getting licensed) from something so trivial that I will forget in a few years to come (their validation which I now realize is quite insignificant). Thanks for the advice.

Hi @JKL33

Thank you so much for the advice. I really needed that reality check. After reading your post, I actually felt more empowered. In fact, it set a fire in me to not tolerate their behavior anymore. I also like the part when you said "None of this should make you feel less than", because previously I've been questioning my own self-worth wondering if I was ever good enough or was lacking something or did something to make them treat me this way. Now, I realize that they really are just weak people who needed a target to bent their frustrations on to make them feel superior. The problem was with them this whole time, because I have been nothing but kind to them. You are absolutely right, I don't need them to get through nursing school. Instead of wasting my energy trying to pine for their approval, I need to focus on what's really important and that is my education, career, happiness, and overall well-being. I now recognized that trying to gain acceptance into their "clique" was just jeopardizing my health. . Thank you ever so much for opening my eyes, and for motivating to move on for bigger and brighter things. I really appreciate it. 

Edited by Koemmyjemmy

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

It sounds like you are trying way too hard, and they don't deserve that energy. At the same time, that could also be what is pushing them away. They may like you, they may not - who cares, it should NOT have any impact on you and especially on your studies. As a nurse you will encounter coworkers who definitely do not like you and vice versa - the only thing that matters is that you can work with them professionally. Move on from this.

Willitpass88

Specializes in Family nurse practitioner. Has 7 years experience.

This too shall pass. I just wanted to give you some encouragement. Too be honest, I found nursing school really isolating. There were a lot of cliques. But I just kept my head down and kept going. In a few years, you won’t even be in touch with most of them. So I would encourage you to just grin and bear it and don’t stress out too much if people seem like they don’t like you. Nursing school is a very competitive environment and sometimes to accomplish your goals, there Will be many barriers in your way. But don’t let that keep you from doing what you love. God bless you.