I feel like I'm being bullied.

Posted
by CeeCee4250 CeeCee4250 (New) New Student

Hi everyone,

I'm in my last semester of nursing school, and I'm having issues with one of the instructors. I understand that nursing school is tough and the instructors want you to be the best, but I don't feel like this is the case in my situation.

My program is set up to where you have one set of instructors for the first two semesters and then a different set for the last two, so this is only my second time with this particular person. I had absolutely no problems with her in the Spring, but something changed this time and I'm not sure what I did.

The way our clinical schedule is set up, we have each instructor for 2-4 weeks a piece so that we can go to each unit with them. The two weeks I had her made me want to quit. I was really questioning if I wanted to continue in the program, even this close to graduation.

During clinical she 'matter of factly' told me that I was never going to be a specialty nurse because I didn't have it in me because she didn't like my nurses note. She then turned to my classmate and encouraged her to follow her dreams of becoming a CRNA and to keep her "eyes on the prize". I went to the bathroom and cried after she left because I'd never been talked to like that. It was a total slap in the face because I had told her the day before that I wanted to work in the OR, so she was intentionally trying to hurt my feelings. She also wrote very rude and untrue things on my clinical evaluation form. It was very unprofessional and catty. I had written in the journal summary portion (where we're supposed to reflect on what we learned that week) that I had learned a lot about how the charting system worked and I knew that was going to benefit me in my career. At the bottom she wrote "I'm sure you DID learn how to navigate it because all you did was sit down all day". This was completely untrue. I know in the end it boils down to my word against hers, but I was taking care of a patient who was unconscious and on a vent with a PEG tube so all of his care took twice as long. My nurse was letting me do everything, and since I had never taken care of a patient in that condition it took me a little longer than someone who was experienced.

Also when I went in for my midterm evaluation with her, I told her I had to leave a little early because I had an interview. She asked me where and I told her, from there she acted as though she was talking to herself and chuckled and said "I'm not going to call them... I am not going to call them". As if she would call and tell them I wasn't capable of taking the job. 

I don't feel like this is normal behavior from an instructor to a student. And I'm severely stressed because during that meeting with her she told me that she was taking me out of my normal clinical group and bringing me back into her unit because she "knew I was capable of more". I feel like she's just doing it so she can be mean to me honestly. I

I've considered reaching out and speaking to someone about it but I'm afraid that if I do and it gets back to her that it'll get worse on me. I'm trying to keep my head down and just get through these last through weeks but it's playing on my mental health pretty bad. I feel like I've came this entire way and I'm not capable of doing it anymore.

Sorry it's so long.

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

K-RN-BC

Has 30 years experience.

I'm so sorry you are experiencing this.  I, also, experienced this type of treatment from an instructor, but it was over 40 years ago and I hoped things would have changed by now.  First, do not allow your goals and your self-esteem be dependent on what she says and on her behavior.  Your instructor  as a human being, obviously has her own personality and baggage that contribute to her behavior and poor treatment of you.   I would say her statements and behavior have more to do with her than it does with you.  Unfortunately, you are in a subservient role at this time and are obliged to do everything you can to meet the requirements of your class.  If you feel reporting her to her supervisor may backfire, perhaps you could take your own "personal" notes and wait until the completion of your program and then report the incidences.  For now, demonstrate that you are listening to her by paraphrasing or acknowledging back to her what she says, and let her know that she's important by asking her for her guidance in areas where she thinks you (not that you are) require more experience.  Some people try to bully and push your buttons in their efforts to control whether you are successful or not.  It's unfortunate, but remind yourself of your goals, why you are studying to become a nurse, don't let her have power over how you think of yourself, and just take the steps necessary to placate her and get through your rotation.  This is but a moment in time and one day you will look back at it as if waking up from a bad dream. 

I also am very sorry to hear of your experience and would echo a lot of the previous poster's comments.

Anyone who acts like this has a problem. Period. If there were a student who was really struggling and perhaps may not make it through the program, this behavior still wouldn't be appropriate. There is no situation in which this type of behavior from an instructor is appropriate. Someone in a position of authority who feels the need to act this way has a serious problem.

So: I know it's very hard. I know, I know. But you must not internalize this. It is about her, so leave it right there with her. It doesn't say anything about you. Do not devote any of your emotional energy to it. Rather, use a bit of your mental energy to stay focused and calm/un-frazzled.

You can do it. Just be pleasant and calm.

My only other advice which might be a little different than what you have described doing so far is to make sure, to any extent you can control, that you aren't leaving easy space for her to act up. For example, I would have avoided telling her that you need to leave early for another engagement, and I definitely would not have told her any personal plans. These people can sometimes wreak a little havoc, so every opportunity for them to do so needs to be shut down to the extent possible.

Will be rooting for you. Hang in there.

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 38 years experience.

On 10/18/2021 at 12:08 AM, CeeCee4250 said:

Also when I went in for my midterm evaluation with her, I told her I had to leave a little early because I had an interview. She asked me where and I told her, from there she acted

Every once in a while you meet one of these jackasses,we have all gone through similar situations,they will insult you ,humiliate.Take it all in stride,do not fall apart,deep breathe and complete your assignments with extra care.don't challenge or share your personal life as in your interview appointment  [you give the impression this is more important than her class.]

Hang tight ,rest,study focus on the future,next year it will be behind you.Believe me it is a good window of whats to come in real world nursing and you will be wiser by then. don't think she doesnt have her pet who brings her coffee ,treats etc, but your goal is to pass,her little friend is not.

I speak from experience,the teacher was thrilled with this one student,who brought the teacher coffee ,food.....and praised her to the heavens,gave her cards "to the future head nurse of the critical care unit". This nurse could never get past peds,psych exams,failed 3x, dropped out never made it.

 

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

We are obviously only hearing your side. Your perception of events and her actions may or may not be accurate.

   If I assume that your side is completely accurate then your instructor is behaving inappropriately. MY natural inclination would be to handle her the same way I handle rude and abusive surgical residents.   Catch them alone in the parking lot and have an up close and personal "talk" with them about what changes need to be made to their behavior.

    Not suggesting YOU do that, but it's been highly effective for me. 

7 hours ago, Leader25 said:

I speak from experience,the teacher was thrilled with this one student,who brought the teacher coffee ,food.....and praised her to the heavens,gave her cards "to the future head nurse of the critical care unit". This nurse could never get past peds,psych exams,failed 3x, dropped out never made it.

🤮

This is why I don't think it's great advice to tell new grads to try to short-cut the formation of workplace relationships and manipulate new coworkers by bringing things like donuts, baked goods, etc. It's often a tactic of people who themselves believe that they won't be accepted unless they manipulate people like this, or who know their knowledge/skills are subpar in some way so they do things like this to try to make up for it. It's like broadcasting, "I don't think you people will accept me unless maybe you will if I manipulate you with food!"

And those who are on the receiving end and are actually manipulated by this are even more of a puzzle!!