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I start clinicals on monday, my friend warned me about the instructor, advice please

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I start clinicals on monday, my friend warned me about the instructor I am going to have because she was with her last semester.

She is telling me about how bad she is, that she is very tough and I am gonna have a bad time and a bad experience.

She had very bad marks in clinicals, just 5 out of 10 and she is a very good student in general.

I am a little nervous cause is my first time in a hospital and this bad experience my friend had is putting me thinking too much about it.

Anyway I am a guy and I have very good marks in general if that changes anything.

Any advice is welcome, thank you very much and sorry for my english I am not from USA.

Wait until you meet your instructor and form your own opinion of them. I've had some instructors that other students have hated, but I have really enjoyed them and I was able to learn something from them. I really suggest you keep an open mind.

I would suck up to your instructor. AGREE with everything they say, even if its not true. DO everything they tell you. Always have a smile on your face. Buy your instructor a cup of coffee in the morning..

Agree with everything? If a detect something that is not right and I say it, it can turn against me I know it, but i dont know if i am going to be capable of shut my mouth...

Well then there can be a problem.. Sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles.

But I think you are right with what you said, i will follow your advice and if i see something wrong i will try just to keep it to myself while i am learning, thank you very much for the advice

Agree with everything? If a detect something that is not right and I say it, it can turn against me I know it, but i dont know if i am going to be capable of shut my mouth...

You better take a quick course in shutting your mouth. Oftentimes, a person can't even figure out what they said that was wrong. Your friend was trying to do you a favor. Don't say anything out of line. Don't repeat anything to your peers in the clinical group. Don't ask for trouble. Lay low and pray often.

NICUismylife, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

I had a friend tell me the same thing. She was one semester ahead of me, and swore up and down that this instructor had it out for her, was mean and unfair, etc.

That instructor turned out to be one of the best I had in the entire program. She was strict, she expected us to act like adults, and to take responsibility for our own learning. She didn't just hand out answers, but would expect you to do your best to figure it out on your own first, and then step in or explain if you still needed help. This made a lot of students feel like she was mean, but the fact was, it made the info stick so much better! She also never let us attempt a skill until she had us verbally walk her through it before going into the patient's room, including going over every single med in great detail. You had to stay on your toes in clinic and it wasn't easy. All of the students who later failed out of clinical had a different, more lenient instructor that semester, and that wasn't coincidence. She prepared us more thoroughly. She 100% made me a better nurse.

All that to say, give your instructor the benefit of the doubt. Form your own opinions. And do your best to get the most out of your semester.

I had a friend tell me the same thing. She was one semester ahead of me, and swore up and down that this instructor had it out for her, was mean and unfair, etc.

That instructor turned out to be one of the best I had in the entire program. She was strict, she expected us to act like adults, and to take responsibility for our own learning. She didn't just hand out answers, but would expect you to do your best to figure it out on your own first, and then step in or explain if you still needed help. This made a lot of students feel like she was mean, but the fact was, it made the info stick so much better! She also never let us attempt a skill until she had us verbally walk her through it before going into the patient's room, including going over every single med in great detail. You had to stay on your toes in clinic and it wasn't easy. All of the students who later failed out of clinical had a different, more lenient instructor that semester, and that wasn't coincidence. She prepared us more thoroughly. She 100% made me a better nurse.

All that to say, give your instructor the benefit of the doubt. Form your own opinions. And do your best to get the most out of your semester.

Thank you so much for writing your experience here, it was an open eye read, it help me, thanks.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

And be careful with the sucking up thing. That tactic is frequently way more obvious than we think ... it can easily backfire if tried on the wrong person.

I would suck up to your instructor. AGREE with everything they say, even if its not true. DO everything they tell you. Always have a smile on your face. Buy your instructor a cup of coffee in the morning..

Best advice you're going to get, but also be very very prepared.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

Best advice you're going to get, but also be very very prepared.

Especially for her/him to see right through it.

AceOfHearts<3

Specializes in Critical care.

I had a friend tell me the same thing. She was one semester ahead of me, and swore up and down that this instructor had it out for her, was mean and unfair, etc.

That instructor turned out to be one of the best I had in the entire program. She was strict, she expected us to act like adults, and to take responsibility for our own learning. She didn't just hand out answers, but would expect you to do your best to figure it out on your own first, and then step in or explain if you still needed help. This made a lot of students feel like she was mean, but the fact was, it made the info stick so much better! She also never let us attempt a skill until she had us verbally walk her through it before going into the patient's room, including going over every single med in great detail. You had to stay on your toes in clinic and it wasn't easy. All of the students who later failed out of clinical had a different, more lenient instructor that semester, and that wasn't coincidence. She prepared us more thoroughly. She 100% made me a better nurse.

All that to say, give your instructor the benefit of the doubt. Form your own opinions. And do your best to get the most out of your semester.

Yes!! I wish I could like this 100 times! This was exactly what I was going to say! I had this same experience and at the end of clinical we all loved that instructor. I went into my next clinical so much better prepared. Have an open mind, be prepared, and expect to work your hiney off :)

I would suck up to your instructor. AGREE with everything they say, even if its not true. DO everything they tell you. Always have a smile on your face. Buy your instructor a cup of coffee in the morning..

As someone who has been a clinical instructor at various times over the years, I disagree 100% with this. Bringing coffee for the instructor is an obvious attempt at manipulation that will hurt you more than help you with any sensible instructor, as is "sucking up" generally. I agree with Edina and others here that you should take your friend's comments with a grain of salt, wait to have your own experience of the instructor, and form your own opinion. I also agree with others that the "hard," "tough" instructors I had in school were the instructors from whom I learned the most. Easy, friendly instructors are not really doing you any favors.

IMO, your best bet for establishing a good relationship with your clinical instructor is to come to clinical prepared and informed, work hard, and make an effort to seek out new learning opportunities and knowledge. Give 110% in clinical, and never be the student who is sitting around because "there's nothing to do" or "I did everything you told me to."

There is an instructor at my school that has the same reputation and it's true. But I am not going to take on someone else's experience and let it ruin my own before it begins. She was terrible but I flew under the radar and just kept busy enough I don't even think she knew my name till the end but I got good marks and learned a lot so it worked!

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 19 years experience.

I would suck up to your instructor. AGREE with everything they say, even if its not true. DO everything they tell you. Always have a smile on your face. Buy your instructor a cup of coffee in the morning..

Sorry but that is not good advice. While you do always need to be respectful, as a student you are expected to question what you don't understand. If you don't agree with what the instructor says or if you don't fully understand what you are told to do you should question it. Just remember the being respectful part. Don't say "that is wrong!" instead say something like "I don't understand the rationale behind that, can you please explain why that is correct?" Especially don't do any procedure you don't fully understand, the last thing you want to do is cause a patient harm because you did something wrong because you didn't know what you were doing and didn't ask any questions to make sure you did it right.

As for the always having a smile on your face and buying coffee for the instructor, also not a good idea. While you should be friendly not every situation calls for a continual smile on your face and buying coffee for the instructor will not only not help you make a good impression with her, it will also immediately label you as that suck-up. Being seen as the class suck-up is not a good way to foster good relationships with your class mates.

Please go into that first clinical with that instructor with an open mind. Just because your friend did not have a good experience doesn't mean you won't. Who knows, maybe she will end up being the best instructor you ever have.

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

Listen,

I heard bad things about a few of my instructors and you know what? None of them ended up being the way I felt.

You'll find some students just want to slack off, or don't want to be "told what to do". If that's not you, you'll probably be fine.

Don't go into it thinking the worst, forget what your friend said and be on your A game.

I am a clinical instructor and I agree don't suck up. My advice is be prepared for any questions the instructor may ask. Have a good attitude, do as she asks or go beyond what is required of you. I like a student with enthusiasm and initiative. If your instructor is busy maybe you can observe a facility nurse do something. Help with vitals on patients. Don't ever sit and do nothing. I'd rather see a student sitting and talking with a patient than just talking to other students socially. Your instructor also needs feedback about what you are learning and doing. I can't watch everything each student does but if a student told me he/she watched a staff interact with an agitated person, a wound you observed, any assessment findings you find interesting or have questions about. I don't care for students who seem to want to do the minimal amount of work, make it obvious that they don't want to be at clinical, complain about their classroom instructors, ask for longer lunches or to leave early, use clinical as a study hall, stand around the unit doing nothings and socializing with other students loudly. And never argue with staff members. A tough instructor wants to help you learn but by doing your own critical thinking. Many students who have a clinical instructor that expects a lot end up appreciating it since they develop more confidence and do better with classroom work. I want to have students become the kind of nurse who I would want to take care of my family. Good luck. Nursing school doesn't last forever, just have to get through it.

There is nothing more useless than a friend telling you that a certain instructor is bad because she is tough. Was this instructor tough on your friend because your friend was poorly prepared for the clinical day, tended to forget what she should know, arrived late or asked to leave early, showed little understanding of what she was doing, had to be reminded to do things at all? My point is that the instructor could be an angel but a student who is problematic can have a skewed perspective.

Aside from that I can tell you when I started nursing school there was one professor who created a visceral fear in all the students, her reputation was that she ate the bottom 95% of students for lunch and if you weren't IN with her you were OUT with her. It was a terrible thing, that reputation, because I avoided her like the freaking plague until I could avoid her no longer and there I was, having to take a clinical rotation with her as the instructor. I was actually making myself physically sick over it, the anticipation gave me headaches and turned my guts. And then something amazing happened, I went to the first clinical, paid rapt attention as she laid down the rules, and I didn't hear anything that sounded so awful. Afterward some of my classmates were flipping out talking about how mean she was and how strict she was and all I could think about was how it wasn't any big deal, just do what she asks how and when she asks and that's it! I was not a Screw-Up Student anyway so I didn't have to change my habits but I can see how some others were not going to have such a simple time of it.

That instructor was strict, but not crazy unreasonable. Respect her rules, respect her time, respect her knowledge. Show you are there to learn by paying attention, holding your tongue if you're expected to listen and not speak, and loosen that tongue when she asks you to speak and not remain mute. I learned so much from her! I worked for those grades but so what, I expected to work in school and if some instructors had less challenging assignments that's great, but this one with more challenging assignments wasn't insane just demanding.

In the end I'm glad she was as demanding as she was, and when I have students tagging onto my assignment I too expect them to pay attention to what I'm saying and do what they are expected to do. If I'm considered tough, which I am, it's also true that I give praise where it's due and admonishment when that is due. Can't handle that, no point in going into nursing!

I had a friend tell me the same thing. She was one semester ahead of me, and swore up and down that this instructor had it out for her, was mean and unfair, etc.

That instructor turned out to be one of the best I had in the entire program. She was strict, she expected us to act like adults, and to take responsibility for our own learning. She didn't just hand out answers, but would expect you to do your best to figure it out on your own first, and then step in or explain if you still needed help. This made a lot of students feel like she was mean, but the fact was, it made the info stick so much better! She also never let us attempt a skill until she had us verbally walk her through it before going into the patient's room, including going over every single med in great detail. You had to stay on your toes in clinic and it wasn't easy. All of the students who later failed out of clinical had a different, more lenient instructor that semester, and that wasn't coincidence. She prepared us more thoroughly. She 100% made me a better nurse.

All that to say, give your instructor the benefit of the doubt. Form your own opinions. And do your best to get the most out of your semester.

Were you in my clinical group? I knew you guys were gonna turn out ok. :)