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Kicked out of Nursing program

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by Naseberry Naseberry (New) New

So I am an RN. I am writing on behalf of a nursing student I spoke to. She had to repeat her mother baby semester because she recapped a needle during lab. She explained it was muscle memory , she knew better but because that is how they practiced it because they only reused on needle sheessed up during the actual thing. She retook the class and this time around in lab she calculated and administered an IV med to a child she got it all right but the instructor asked her at what rate would she flush the med and she replied " at the same rate as the medication" . She was failed for that even though she had proof that was on the handout given to her by her class instructor. She got an 88 in the class but was kicked out because of failing the lab and because it was her second time not passing the class due to lab.

To me this seems unfair and without discretion.   What actions could she take ? If any?

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg ED, LNC, COB. Has 51 years experience.

I’m sure it’s a typo but I’m not sure what you mean by this: sheessed up

Other than that, my speculation is that this program may attract students who have previous care experience, e.g. as CNAs or LPNs, and it’s often very hard to get them out of the “muscle memory“ thing. This isn’t limited to suboptimal psychomotor skill habits. In part this is because many of them will say (and I have personally heard this many times), “I know how to do everything a nurse does, I’m just here to get the credential.” I am NOT saying your friend carries this attitude, but your faculty is all too familiar c it and so they are very vigilant about efforts to eliminate it both in the performing student and everybody else who happens to be watching. So much for the recapping.

As for the flush, if her lab instructor has documented that in the way you describe, and the handout does say what you say it does as to the specific application in the lab scenario, then your friend has a recourse to appeal.
However as in baseball, many times a loss isn’t attributable to just one play or bad call from the umpire. I can’t possibly say what has led to this outcome for your friend beyond what you may know.

Finally, please go to your profile and change your name immediately. We hear often about students getting identified by their posts here. If I were faculty cruising this site to see what student issues were coming up and saw your name I would know instantly who your friend is, and this could have negative consequences for you both. Think of this as an unplanned example of lack of attention to confidentiality... another muscle that you will develop as you progress in school. 

Good luck in your career. 
 

Edited by Hannahbanana
Removed identifiable name

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

HB - TY for the cautionary warning re real profile names needing changes. I freq bring it up for newbies but not too often is the recommendation taken seriously.

I, too, have heard the stories here where members WERE IDENTIFIED in their posts.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

3 hours ago, Hannahbanana said:

However as in baseball, many times a loss isn’t attributable to just one play or bad call from the umpire.

The best saying I have heard for 'skills testing'.

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quote: NaseBerry

She explained it was muscle memory , she knew better but because that is how they practiced it because they only reused on needle sheessed up during the actual thing.

 

The specifics of the test are usually well delineated to the student, orally and in writing.. Usually students get new equipment for the test, to reinforce this is a 'patient' needed skill and to prevent faulty or overused supplies from interfering with the test.

I would encourage your friend to look at her total time for practice in the lab. TOTAL time, remediation time from the previous failure and whatever she did to prepare herself for a successful test. 

 Practice time is tallied and there are usually LAB instructors available. The mannequins of today are so much realistic than those decades ago. I hope she desires to reapply for readmission next semester. Frequently failed students get a 'wake up call' about the skills, safety points, nuances and what practice is required to make that skill her own.

She will neet to learn how to do something safely under all conditions. She will need to preclude any 'muscle memory' memorization that is not in her best interest. Ahead she will practice and tested on IV starts. Yes, we reuse a lot of equipment when practicing. It's tough but I am glad she has you to talk about this. I wish her the best. I have known many students who come back stronger from a skills lab failure.

I meant she messed up during the actual thing*

" They only used one needle during her lab practice that they recapped, so during the actual test she mistakenly recapped the needle due to muscle memory"

I am new to this forum so THANK YOU ALL for the cautionary warning about the identifier. Thanks for the comments.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Unless you were there for the described events, I would be very careful taking anyone's word for why they didn't complete nursing school.  I've personally heard numerous stories about the one trivial thing that got in the way of graduating and becoming a nurse.

It's understandable that you want to help your friend.  Her best bet now is to speak to someone in her school who can clarify for her exactly where she failed to meet requirements, and what, if any, remediation would get her reinstated.

Otherwise, just keep on being a supportive friend.  If she is to become a nurse, she's going to have to be a big girl and forge ahead.

OK, who was saying I was taking her side?

I was being supportive and shared this comment for suggestions to give to her that is it. To be honest cannot say I didn't expect comments of this nature.

Unfortunately for her indeed this is a foreshadowing of the profession she is trying so hard to get into ( I didn't tell her this she is already tasting it), no fraternity, no support, eating their young and put on big girl panties. Thank God I did not allow years in the profession to change my core as a person and offer empathy when I am seen as a confidant.

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg ED, LNC, COB. Has 51 years experience.

On 4/28/2021 at 10:16 AM, Hannahbanana said:

However as in baseball, many times a loss isn’t attributable to just one play or bad call from the umpire. I can’t possibly say what has led to this outcome for your friend beyond what you may know.

Yep, that’s what I said. A fellow student may not have shared all the unflattering details, may have been oblivious to repeated corrections, or may have just hit the faculty’s or facility’s last-straw limit. It’s nice that you want to support your friend to seek a solution for her, but it is for her to do herself at this point. 

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

3 hours ago, Hannahbanana said:

Yep, that’s what I said. A fellow student may not have shared all the unflattering details, may have been oblivious to repeated corrections, or may have just hit the faculty’s or facility’s last-straw limit. It’s nice that you want to support your friend to seek a solution for her, but it is for her to do herself at this point. 

And that's pretty much what I said, too.  You want to be supportive but there may be more to the story (there often is).  If that triggers the old "nurses eat their young" routine I think I get the picture.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

10 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

Unless you were there for the described events, I would be very careful taking anyone's word for why they didn't complete nursing school.  I've personally heard numerous stories about the one trivial thing that got in the way of graduating and becoming a nurse.

It's understandable that you want to help your friend.  Her best bet now is to speak to someone in her school who can clarify for her exactly where she failed to meet requirements, and what, if any, remediation would get her reinstated.

Otherwise, just keep on being a supportive friend.  If she is to become a nurse, she's going to have to be a big girl and forge ahead.

100%  Every time a person has said to me: "Can you believe I got fired for doing XYZ?!?" and the story just sounds insane... Well, that usually isn't why they got fired.

Yes they do eat their young darling , researched , studied and solidified facts, was that a debate here. LOL. Anyways, I can see this very post is a microcosm of the nature of the profession. Simple question and answer leads to judgement, lack of empathy ( empathy does not mean agreement with the person). OK she needs to appeal , remediation or contact her Dean if she feels wronged that's it. Note how the nature of the comments lead towards the negative end of blame. You all were conditioned to be that way and if you are still in the profession I can comprehend why certain feelings and concepts go right over your head. Unfortunately after years of fighting on the battlefield those who survive become the ones who repeat the cycle and forget where they were coming from. Anyways ✌

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Nope.  No one made any negative comment.  Just that there is more to the story.  Your friend is either skipping some details, or she doesn't know them herself so she needs to talk with someone in her school.  No one here judged her.

Here's what I've told many people:  don't work harder on someone's behalf than they're willing to work for themselves.  Your coming on here and asking for advice on your friend's behalf shows that you are a really good friend, but you may need better boundaries.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way.  I have spent many sleepless nights fretting over someone's situation that I was powerless to help with.  In practically every case it turned out the person made decisions I would not have in those circumstances.  In the end, everyone has to live their life and fix their own errors and omissions.

So my original advice stands:  be there to support your friend while she navigates her own way through this.  That's it.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

2 hours ago, Naseberry said:

Anyways, I can see this very post is a microcosm of the nature of the profession.

Actually this post  isabout you or your observation of  a microcosm with what faculty deal with. I have had students ask me to come to their defence and when I investigate....usually the story they gave me was NOT what the documented facts showed. A student on a cardiac unit failed to document any data on the heart/cardiac system after multiple weeks with direction to do so. I had a  second year student who came to me for giving meds and did not look them but in the book. I spent atleast an hour showing him how to read the drug handbook  (although this was taught previously) and suggested using two colors: one for the mechanism of action and another color for dose and side effects. Frankly I did not care if he used any method to learn the drugs  JUST LEARN THEM.......After a rocky week disregarding anything from my rotation he blundered into the next rotation, unprepared.He acted like he never knew why he was dismissed and I felt sorry for his lack of perception. He would of been a good nurse if he attended to what was important to learn.

vintagegal, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 2 years experience.

I have a feeling this has nothing to do with a recapped needle. Depending on the situation and where you work, a re capped (clean) needle would not result in this action. What’s the worse of two evils, walking around with a bare needle or re capping it? If you work LTC this sometimes happens, not that it’s right, it’s just one of those unspoken things.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

22 hours ago, Naseberry said:

Yes they do eat their young darling , researched , studied and solidified facts, was that a debate here

Naseberry, I do want to help with the individual's experience is with you or a student friend. Has the student tried to figure out ways to avoid capping the needle...put it far away from them, turn it upside down, put it on the alcholol wipe? There are lots of tips to try to better enhance one's practice....BTW. For YEARS before AIDS I capped needles and then found out I needed to protect myself..I am old enough when we had to break needles (usually back and forth with the cap) and walk the needle out to the station where there was a needle box. Yes you and the student can learn. You will need to learn many more skills and adaptation to skills before you retire. A new or old for that matter, nurse should not be relying on unconscious thought.

Quote

the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought, acquired as a result of frequent repetition of that movement.

 

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

londonflo - I remember the same disposal technique.  I remember one facility where nsg had to count the used syringes & needles before final disposal.

I guess the scourge of AIDS/HIV stopped all that.

Tacocat, ADN, RN

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 1 years experience.

On 5/1/2021 at 12:10 PM, Naseberry said:

Yes they do eat their young darling , researched , studied and solidified facts, was that a debate here. LOL. Anyways, I can see this very post is a microcosm of the nature of the profession. Simple question and answer leads to judgement, lack of empathy ( empathy does not mean agreement with the person). OK she needs to appeal , remediation or contact her Dean if she feels wronged that's it. Note how the nature of the comments lead towards the negative end of blame. You all were conditioned to be that way and if you are still in the profession I can comprehend why certain feelings and concepts go right over your head. Unfortunately after years of fighting on the battlefield those who survive become the ones who repeat the cycle and forget where they were coming from. Anyways ✌

What even. 

Why is the trend here to post something and then cop an unnecessary attitude when the majority doesn't agree with your perceived injustice? 

Nurses aren't "conditioned" to look towards the negative end of blame. Nurses are conditioned to think critically and consider what the variables may be that can affect outcomes. Your "friend's" story had a poor outcome, and that's unfortunate.