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Is this worth filing an appeal for? PLEASE HELP.

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by Squidney Squidney (Member) Member

958 Profile Views; 30 Posts

Hello everyone! Before I start, I would like to say that I would appreciate any comment or thought that will be posted. I am sincerely asking for an honest advice- whether it is something I would or wouldn't want to hear.

I'll give you a little bit of background. I am a first year student in a 4 yr BSN program. I am currently just in my first semester and clinical starts in the 2nd term. Here's why I am here:

For us to be able to go to clinical, we must achieve a total of 70% in our program AND must pass our skills check-off which includes taking accurate vital signs (which is worth 25% of our final mark). I had been doing well in all of my classes this term, mostly As and a few Bs for my lowest marks. Unfortunately, for one of our class, we have to pass our skills check-off for us to pass the class and I didn't pass that.

What happened was, we were given 2 chances to try- I failed the first one because I had trouble counting the pulse rate of my partner and was not able to properly perform BP due to a very stupid error on my part- I used the diaphragm to listen, while having the bell turned on the whole time. I kept doing it until I was out of time and was not able to figure out what was happening until then. I knew when I went out of that room that I had failed my first time and it was confirmed by my instructor when she discussed it with me how I missed BP and pulse rate.

What I did after that was I practiced taking BP and pulse rate A LOT until I felt like I got it and still continued to practice even after that since I knew that those areas were my weak points.

So, time for the 2nd try. Part of me was scared when I went into the testing room, but part of me was also confident that I'll get my vital signs right this time. I was lucky to have a partner that had a clear radial pulse for taking her pulse rate and I heard the thuds clearly when I took her BP. Again, being naturally pessimistic, part of me was very scared that I might've made an error again, but I was mostly, confidently feeling like I got it right. That was until I was contacted by my instructor, telling me I did not pass, meaning that I automatically will fail the class.

They wouldn't discuss any feedback regarding the testing on the same day which was on Friday. I was told to meet with them to discuss the feedback on Friday next week. Our final exam for that course would happen before that Friday, and again, I am ineligible to write this exam due to failing my check-off.

I mentioned earlier that I felt confident that I passed my 2nd try when I got out of that room. I am thinking of filing an appeal to maybe get the outcome reviewed again. We were videotaped for all of our skills check-off, btw. I am very worried though that if it is in fact the vital signs on which I screwed up, it would be very hard to prove them where I am coming from since they can't review how fast my partner's pulse was during that time. They can't review BP either, since a steth is used to check that and the video can't show when exactly the systolic and diastolic thuds were heard. In short, it would be really hard for me to get them to see why I was confident with my findings.

In my school, students should be allowed to continue on (including taking an exam) the class while the appeal is being reviewed. I am thinking of filing an academic appeal before the final exam happens and seeing if it's possible for me to take the final exam. My dilemma is that, I have yet to discuss with my instructors why I have failed my 2nd check-off and so if I file an appeal, I wouldn't know exactly what I want to be specifically reviewed. But if I wait until friday next week to see them before I file for an appeal, I would miss the final exam and I am not sure if I'll be allowed to still take it if I were to win my appeal. So, should I file an appeal before meeting with my instructors?Or should I wait, even if it means missing my final exam?

I know that this post is too long, but I really wanted to give as much info as I can. Please, any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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1,035 Posts; 6,846 Profile Views

File the appeal, ask for an accelerated decision or a retake, and say that if that isn't granted until after the exam you want assurance in writing that you will be able to take the exam then.

Doesn't the testing faculty use a two-armed stethoscope to hear what you're hearing, and take the pulse on the other hand of your "patient" at the same time you do? If not, how do they know? O

Good luck.

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30 Posts; 958 Profile Views

File the appeal, ask for an accelerated decision or a retake, and say that if that isn't granted until after the exam you want assurance in writing that you will be able to take the exam then.

Doesn't the testing faculty use a two-armed stethoscope to hear what you're hearing, and take the pulse on the other hand of your "patient" at the same time you do? If not, how do they know? O

Good luck.

Hello! Thank you for replying! Yes, they take the pulse on the other hand and we use dual-headed stethoscope for BP.

What do you think of filing the appeal before meeting with my instructors, though? Would my instructors think I'm a know-it-all or something like that?

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1,035 Posts; 6,846 Profile Views

Tell them you're going to file it and ask for their feedback before you do. They may see it as an extension of your better prep and attitude towards learning and be more helpful than you anticipate, and if they aren't you've lost nothing. Don't whine. Be professional but not snotty-- the tone of your original post is pretty good. You recognize exactly how and why you screwed up, you have made a detailed and specific plan to remediate, and you want a chance to prove yourself. You could also ask for some extra assignments for extra credit, or for no credit just to show them you're serious.

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30 Posts; 958 Profile Views

Tell them you're going to file it and ask for their feedback before you do. They may see it as an extension of your better prep and attitude towards learning and be more helpful than you anticipate, and if they aren't you've lost nothing. Don't whine. Be professional but not snotty-- the tone of your original post is pretty good. You recognize exactly how and why you screwed up, you have made a detailed and specific plan to remediate, and you want a chance to prove yourself. You could also ask for some extra assignments for extra credit, or for no credit just to show them you're serious.

Since there's no way to re-check the vital signs part of the check-off, I was thinking of asking them for a chance to perform another vital signs check-off on the spot just to show that I am confident with my skill. If I still fail on that, then I would gladly accept my failure. I understand that I am still a student and my instructors are honestly very good at what they do so I really don't want to offend them.

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1,035 Posts; 6,846 Profile Views

I think that's a reasonable request; politely proffered, it might just be accepted. Good luck.

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30 Posts; 958 Profile Views

@Whoever's reading this- current nurses/students, please leave a comment! Anything would be helpful! Thank you!

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 317,934 Profile Views

I have provided a link to an article about handling the appeals process. In other words, you need to provide clear reasons on why you are appealing, what preemptive steps you had taken to prevent this situation, and a plan of action to ensure this does not happen if you were to be re-admitted.

How to Appeal an Academic Dismissal from College

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,341 Posts; 78,747 Profile Views

@Whoever's reading this- current nurses/students, please leave a comment! Anything would be helpful! Thank you!

I can add nothing that hasn't already been said, except I like your documentation style admire your gumption!

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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I agree with a PP who said you should email your instructors letting them know you intend to appeal the decision, and ask them to expedite their explanation of why you failed.

I will also let you know, that failing students on skills check off is an old-fashioned way of teaching. My school doesn't do this.

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

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IMO, why not because you have nothing to lose.

You've been given solid advice. Tears, temper tantrums and legal threats are not going to help and may in fact do you much more harm than good. And no "special snowflake" mentality either--nursing school instructors love to crush that on sight.

When you meet with them, be professional, present the facts, state your case calmly and rationally, and see what they have to say. From the way you are writing about this, I'm pretty confident that you will do just that :)

Then worst case scenario is that they reject the appeal and you have to retake the entire course, which is pretty much what you are looking at right now if you don't do anything. So go and give it your best shot.

Best of luck.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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Moved to general student forum.

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