Hit Right smack in the face with the "Nursing is a CALLING not a job" crap today

  1. Fella's

    I'm now vice president of the local chapter honor society ( I know, whatever) I'm retired military and 42 yo. I'm less than 2 months from graduating and I get smacked in the face with the "nursing is a calling" BS by my instructor, because I made the mistake of sharing my recent work experience of talking to a lady who was having neck pain while laying in bed and then coding a few minutes later. What my instructor was mad about was that I a) did not instantly recognize a MI, run over and check her vitals as she was having a MI and b) that it was while I was doing my CNA job (trash, etc) right at shift change.

    I'm really down in the dumps today, she spent 10 minutes berating me in front of the class for missing this sign, even though the class we were having that day was recognizing s/s of MI as a LPN student, but when I "missed" the MI happening was while I was I was working as a CNA taking the trash out just before shift change. The woman was lucid, her ONLY complaint was a stiff neck, then the code. I totally did not connect a neck pain with MI, even if I was a "nursing student" at the time, I still would not have noticed it, as we are just now doing CV in class. And at the most I would have called for the nurse if I had noticed it, the monitor tech saw it on telemetry and called the code.

    What I'm worried about, besides missing the MI, is being flunked out of school, for something that happened at work as a CNA. The instructor said in front of the class, "I don't want you as my nurse" and you will never make it as a nurse. I'm kinda bummed out, I totally wish I had kept my head out of my arse and went into another field besides this woman dominated one that I'm currently in.

    Bummed in TN

    p.s. I HATE that saying, "Nursing is a calling, not a job". NO, the Clergy is a calling, Nursing is a job, just like janitor, electrician, cop, military, etc. It really, really helps any job if you enjoy it, but to say it's a calling for everyone that's in it is a bit of a stretch.

    This calling phenomena is also a part of the wage issue with women, a calling doesn't have to pay as much as a job, does it??
    Last edit by Tony1790 on Jun 24, '09
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    About Tony1790, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 206; Likes: 118
    FNP-BC; from US
    Specialty: Arthritis/Rheumatology

    33 Comments

  3. by   country_boy
    Ok so here is my opinion. If we shared every pain complaint with the RN or supervisor on staff they would tell us to come to them with only the serious problems. As a student you could have took her BP, checked pulse, ect. Which you probably did anyways im assuming. If you didn't ask her any other questions about her pain then it is most likely not your calling, but like I said im assuming you did talk to her about her pain. Your nursing instructor is a ....well can't type that here. You can A) Complain that she singled you out. B) Bite the bullet. If you do complain on her she will have it out for you none the less. For her to question your leadership is total crap! Let her serve our country and then she can discuss your abilities. Keep your head up, your grades up, and don't let her cut you down. One thing I have to say though is that the reason she probably singled you out was because of HIPAA. Instructors will boot you from the program for a mistake like that at most schools. So take it as a chip on the shoulder as this is most likely why she was so mad.
  4. by   groovy jeff
    What she did to you in front of the class was totally unacceptable and unprofessional. :angryfire It is easy to see why she is in education and not management; she can bully and beat up on students. She wouldn't have gotten away with that type of behavior out in the real world. What she did to you in class is called 'horizontal violence' if it would have happened in the workplace.

    This is an LPN class right??? Neck pain is an indication of 100 different things including laying around in a hospital bed. If you were doing an assessment at the time it may have been different; but taking out the trash????? Perhaps your instructor doesn't understand the scenario or was thinking that you had your hands on the pt when this happened???? You might want to talk to her about it just to clarify.

    I think I would take this up with the Dean to make sure someone got your side of the story if there is a possibility that she might fail you.

    I think nursing can be a calling and there is nothing wrong with doing it because its a job either.


  5. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from Tony1790
    Fella's

    I'm now vice president of the local chapter honor society ( I know, whatever) I'm retired military and 42 yo. I'm less than 2 months from graduating and I get smacked in the face with the "nursing is a calling" BS by my instructor, because I made the mistake of sharing my recent work experience of talking to a lady who was having neck pain while laying in bed and then coding a few minutes later. What my instructor was mad about was that I a) did not instantly recognize a MI, run over and check her vitals as she was having a MI and b) that it was while I was doing my CNA job (trash, etc) right at shift change.

    I'm really down in the dumps today, she spent 10 minutes berating me in front of the class for missing this sign, even though the class we were having that day was recognizing s/s of MI as a LPN student, but when I "missed" the MI happening was while I was I was working as a CNA taking the trash out just before shift change. The woman was lucid, her ONLY complaint was a stiff neck, then the code. I totally did not connect a neck pain with MI, even if I was a "nursing student" at the time, I still would not have noticed it, as we are just now doing CV in class. And at the most I would have called for the nurse if I had noticed it, the monitor tech saw it on telemetry and called the code.

    What I'm worried about, besides missing the MI, is being flunked out of school, for something that happened at work as a CNA. The instructor said in front of the class, "I don't want you as my nurse" and you will never make it as a nurse. I'm kinda bummed out, I totally wish I had kept my head out of my arse and went into another field besides this woman dominated one that I'm currently in.
    Sounds like your instructor is both an idiot and a lousy instructor. What a great way to get students to participate in class!

    Even if you had checked the woman's vitals, they might very well have been perfectly normal.

    Undoubtedly, she'd also expect you to do a full assessment had your woman felt momentarily dizzy, light headed, or complained of a stomach ache. Gosh - you should probably go ahead & start CPR even before she codes. RIGHT?

    You must have had some good reasons to go into nursing. Please don't let one idiot ruin your plans.
  6. by   AragornSkywalker
    Besides a ****** instructor, I dont see where the "nursing is a calling" bologna fits in.
  7. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from groovy jeff
    It is easy to see why she is in education and not management; she can bully and beat up on students. She wouldn't have gotten away with that type of behavior out in the real world.

    Ummm...yes she could have.

    Before ending my engineering career, I had been employed at the same facility for over 20 years, under a series of company owners & CEOs. Some of the CEOs were decent, but one was an arrogant psychotic little gumby with a Napoleon complex.

    It never happened to me, but he would regularly berate some managers in front of their employees. He forced some management employees to move from OH to MI, upon threat of being laid off. Then, of course, he axed them anyway. This was going on while our parent corporation kept pumping smoke about our high company ethical policies & fair employee treatment.

    This continued for a couple years, until the next set of owners rolled into town. At that point, the idiot CEO "declared victory" and moved on.

    I am still amazed that none of the employees (whose lives were ruined by him) kneecapped the guy. This was in the automotive supplier industry.
  8. by   8jimi8ICURN
    bro your post smacks a bit of mysogyny. What does the fact that nursing is women dominated have anything to do with the issues at hand?

    Maybe the lesson to be learned is that, if you are not truly called into nursing, why would you do it as a job? The education to get there and the conditions and people you have to deal with once you start professionally are going to take a huge toll on you if you are just in it for the money. Heck, its not even that much money!

    Maybe i read into your post incorrectly, i did not intend to make your day worse. Why do you want to go into nursing? This is a question more for you than me~

    As for missing an MI, well, i wouldnt hold that against you. A) you hadn't learned about it yet and B) MIs in women often present with little or no signs and symptoms. Do a google search on silent heart attacks.

    It seems like there is one teacher in every nursing school who wants nothing more than to belittle people, act superior and try and wash people out of school.

    Take a look at your reasons for wanting to be a nurse. After you examine that, you will feel better about your decision to continue school, or do something else. There is no dishonor in changing your mind, nor staying the course. It is long and arduous.
  9. by   Tony1790
    Thanks for the replies,

    Sorry for the post being negative, etc.

    Yes, Nursing can be a calling for some, no offense meant there, but I've never seen any job as a calling. To me a calling is something that you would do even if you were not paid for it, I'm not sure what I'd do for free. And no I'm not sure I'll make it as a nurse, but I'll give it a try and if I can't perform, I'll do something else. I'm less than 2 months shy of graduating, so it's too soon to quit just yet.

    Yes, as a CNA I do report pain to my nurses, and I'll try to pick up on the subtle things better, but I'm still the CNA, not the nurse at work.

    The comment about the women's field is frustration with some of the mindsets I've encountered, my last 22 years in the military and with the railroad, has been 98% male, different values and thought processes. I'm adjusting, but not always as well as I should, sorry for any offense. There's just many a day I think I should have stayed where I was at vice going into nursing. Ya got to admit being around 95-98% females is a little strange.

    Thanks again,

    Tony
  10. by   medic2brn
    Gee what if the neck pain was due to viral menigitis?, It was not within the scope of your training to diagnose this patient. If the patient had complained of abdominal pain would you have palpated the abdomen in order to rule out a triple A? you may have a duty to report and/or chart the pts complaint, but you certainly havent missed your "calling".
  11. by   cardiacRN2006
    I think everyone might have overlooked the part where the OP said he was working as a CNA at the time, doing things like trashing out. He was NOT in school, nor acting as a nursing student.


    One of the last people who coded at my work said to me, "man, I don't feel well" and died.

    If I ran the slew of labs, ekgs, phone calls, called a code, etc... on everyone who said that they didnt feel well then I'd never get to do anything else.




    To the OP, the only thing you did wrong was share the story with your A-Hole instrustor. From now on, I'd just stay mum, and do what you gotta do to get out of school.


    And I'm sure you'll make a fine nurse.
  12. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from jra1007
    Gee what if the neck pain was due to viral menigitis?, It was not within the scope of your training to diagnose this patient. If the patient had complained of abdominal pain would you have palpated the abdomen in order to rule out a triple A? you may have a duty to report and/or chart the pts complaint, but you certainly havent missed your "calling".
    If the neck pain might have been viral meningitis, you treat it the same way as if it was an unstable sublux c-spine injury (post-fall in the elderly): grab the head, rotate it up-down, left-right. Right??? OK, maybe not!

    If there was ABD pain, with the possible of a dissecting AAA, don't forget to vigorously check for rebound tenderness. Multiple times. OK, maybe not!

    Remember - if in doubt, start prophylactic CPR on your conscious talking/walking patient "just in case." OK, maybe not!

    Your instructor is an abusive idiot.
  13. by   GCTMT
    Personally, I think Nursing is a calling, but not a calling for everyone and hell, if you are good at it and enjoy helping folks, I don't care what you call it.
    But, I disagree with the way she treated you. It's one of those deals where you just have to turn the other cheek. Eventually you will be the Nurse and you will no longer have to take her crap.
  14. by   heron
    First, I agree that your instructor was over the top.

    What she should have done was use the anecdote as an opportunity to discuss how so many MIs in women are missed ... more often than not, they do not exhibit the classic crushing chest pain, nausea and diaphoresis that we associate with a heart attack.

    My late partner's best friend laid down on the couch after dinner one day because her back was bothering her and died of an MI.

    It happens. That instructor has some serious issues, not the least of which is the awareness that the retrospectroscope is the only infallible instrument in medicine.

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