Maybe Clinicals instructor doesn't like men

by Hardhands Hardhands (New) New

So here is it the problem .....

up until now all my clinicals has gone great, instructors like me ,I learned a lot, it was fine .

recently I started clinicals in Pediatrics and the instructors seems to just not like men. she won't let me or the other guy in the group answer questions and she keeps telling me to stop running my mouth when i try to present the info i have collected on my patient. I have recently realized that she won't let me go near any of the children ,always saying there's not enough time.... when I prepare an IV drug she gave it instead of me.

she asked me to send her an email of all the things I did wrong today and i was the only one she asked....

I don't know who to turn to I don't think that anyone in my school will believe me and I'm afraid to make it even worse.

To be clear I have not done anything to make her doubt my abilities....i answer the small amount of questions that she asks me correctly and have not made any mistakes in skills or safety.

I can probably get thru this rotation but i am starting worry that she is going to fail me and feel the need to record our interactions to prove what she is doing.

Apart from the fact that she makes me feel like *** i am afraid of retaliation if i go down this road (recording)



Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,083 Posts

I would make an appointment to talk to her. The first thing that came to my mind is there may be child abuse in her past and is in the mind set that she can't allow a male near the pediatric patients. It may have nothing to do with you personally.


6 Posts

Thanks..... I didnt think it was somthing i did i guessed that it was somthing like that ...... I don't know if I should talk to her and risk pissing her off even more or keep my head down and hope that I pass.....

There are still assumptions of males though. It's just assumed that we're not going to have enough interest in peds, OB, NICU, nursery, or anything like that to want to experience it. Plus we still live in the US where everything is assumed to be some kind of sexual experience.

tshigeru, CNA

Has 3 years experience. 61 Posts

I say try to talk to her and see if things can work out. Bring in someone else so there is an witness for eyes/ear of evidence in case SHE goes back on her word or whatsoever.

If that does not work, speak to your other program instructors/faculty personnel and see what they say and how they can fix this situation.


organichombre, ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in critical care, med/surg. Has 36 years experience. 210 Posts

Document each and every incident. And if you don't feel comfortable confronting her then you need to let someone else know at school. Let another student know what you feel is happening and see what she/he says after observing the two of you interacting. But eventually you need to call her out for inappropriate behavior. Of course I'm speaking from 26 years at the bedside and now a clinical instructor so I may be a little opinionated. Sometimes we as instructors are intimidated by students and don't know how to deal with it. I know that I have had to learn that lesson a number of times!


BrentRN, PhD

Specializes in Pediatric Nursing and Educational Technology. Has 39 years experience. 57 Posts

As a nursing student in the 1970s I had an instructor flat out tell me she did not think men belonged in nursing. We were "taking jobs away from women". That was at a time when it was harder for women to break into professions outside nursing or teaching.

Sadly, I have continued to meet nurses who hint they believe women are more suited to be nurses as they are more likely to have the correct "worldview", have greater empathy, or still think men are taking all the top jobs.


6 Posts

Thanks everyone for the comments, just to give you an update,

I made peace with the instructor and finished the rotation in one piece .

I have to say that her mood and behavior was erratic and it was pure luck that any of my groups finished the rotation in one piece I'm now in the ER doing fine?


Specializes in ER OR LTC Code Blue Trauma Dog. Has 11 years experience. 446 Posts

Look there's always going be a certain bias with men working around kids, OB or NICU and sometimes certain procedures involving female patients.

Yes, it can get akward at times, but most clinical instructors are acutely aware of this situation and they do cut us a little slack when it comes to doing our clinicals in certain situations.

Stop pushing around and challenging the clinical instructor so much in these sensitive areas and just ride the wave and you should do fine.

Edited by Patient_Care_Asst



15 Posts

I had this issue with my community college in Rancho Cucamonga. Just keep your head down. Do whats asked, and refrain from answering/asking questions, lest you be scolded. Thats my experience at least.


BrentRN, PhD

Specializes in Pediatric Nursing and Educational Technology. Has 39 years experience. 57 Posts

To all nursing students: If you think a faculty member has a bias due to your race, gender, or sexuality you should document in a diary format what you consider biased behavior. There may not much that can be done unless it is blatant. Ask other clinical group member to corroborate what happened and record their names in the diary.

You may have to make a call whether to complain during or after a semester. Personally, I would first discuss the concern with the faculty member. If you have documented what you feel is her bias then bringing it up to her may make her aware of an unperceived bias. You also have protection from retaliation this way. If she tries to lower the boom then you have evidence in your diary, and the fact you tried to address with her first.

If direct communication fails then take your concerns to the next person up the ladder, which is usually the Department Chairperson. Do not jump to Deans or Presidents without first going through your local chain of leadership.

Josh Runkle

Josh Runkle, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency, Disaster Medicine, Search and Rescue. Has 3 years experience. 34 Posts

I am in my last semester of RN. So far I have probably worked with 20-30 classroom professors/instructors and about 8-10 clinical instructors. I have really enjoyed almost every instructor, but I have had 2 clinical instructors along the way that tried to abnormally put me under a microscope and put me down in front of my clinical peers. One made me stay late on the first day and gave me a clinical failure for documenting something which was appropriate according to my textbook, but not within the hospitals policy. I was able to show the info according to my textbook, but rather than giving me an "update" on the hospital policy, I got a clinical failure for the day. I went home pissed off, almost ready to quit because nothing like that EVER happens to my female peers. I decided instead that I would return and just straight up be perfect. I spent about 40 hours reading ALL of the hospital's nursing policies and returned to clinical and told the instructor that I had now read ALL of the policies and was determined to be her very best student.

The worst part of it all is that this ends up harming women in the end. It holds men to a higher standard, but when men succeed and excel at what they are doing, it leaves little room for the rest of the women in the group to blend in. It left me large room to be viewed as a standout leader in the class. This sexist BS hurts men quite a bit, but I think it unfortunately eventually hurts women more.

If someone unfairly kicks you in the teeth, give them a bloody smile and rise above it. You'll gain the respect of everyone else and it will help you in the long run.