My Instructor Used To Be My Nurse

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juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

I think it's unprofessional behavior on the instructor's part to speak of a patient in a teaching environment that way. I think there is a line that is sometimes crossed when a faculty member tries to present a case for the purpose of student learning vs unnecessarily speaking of a case in a disrespectful way to sensationalize and spread gossip for laughs and giggles. The latter is not acceptable. If the classroom session bothered you, could you report it anonymously?

TheMoonisMyLantern

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 922 Posts

6 minutes ago, juan de la cruz said:

I think it's unprofessional behavior on the instructor's part to speak of a patient in a teaching environment that way. I think there is a line that is sometimes crossed when a faculty member tries to present a case for the purpose of student learning vs unnecessarily speaking of a case in a disrespectful way to sensationalize and spread gossip for laughs and giggles. The latter is not acceptable. If the classroom session bothered you, could you report it anonymously?

Playing devil's advocate. Sometimes discussing a scenario or details of a patient's behavior can sound derogatory but actually aren't. Sometimes abnormal behaviors, statements, etc sound harsh or unsightly for a general audience which is kind of why our society likes to push the mentally ill out of view in the first place.

For all of us we view our own behavior intrinsically in a different light than what those around us may observe, that difference in perspective can be difficult to reflect on or accept when we are presented with that. Be that as it may, I still think there's a strong possibility that the instructor could have been talking about someone else.

However, I am often wrong.

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

If you choose to say something, I would advise that you wait until after graduation, possibly even until after obtaining employment. And depending on what your hardship actually was, it may be better to forget about saying anything, entirely.

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Community, Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience. 2,067 Posts

I don't think you should confront her directly. No good can come of that. 

Letting it go is a good decision if you can do that with no  harm to your feeling of self worth and dignity and I'm not sure if you can or not.

Reporting it as a violation of your personal privacy would be good for the school, the mental health field in general and your fellow students but comes with a potentially big cost to you that may or may not be worth it.

Reporting it as a lack of professionalism and respect for "the patient" without identifying yourself protects you while still addressing the problem.

I think those are your choices. I would lean towards the last one. I'm very sorry that you're going through this.

 

 

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

2 hours ago, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

Playing devil's advocate. Sometimes discussing a scenario or details of a patient's behavior can sound derogatory but actually aren't. Sometimes abnormal behaviors, statements, etc sound harsh or unsightly for a general audience which is kind of why our society likes to push the mentally ill out of view in the first place.

For all of us we view our own behavior intrinsically in a different light than what those around us may observe, that difference in perspective can be difficult to reflect on or accept when we are presented with that. Be that as it may, I still think there's a strong possibility that the instructor could have been talking about someone else.

However, I am often wrong.

Derogatory and mental illness in my mind should always be mutually exclusive. There is a professional way to present a case of mental illness in a classroom without interjecting your own personal bias about it. What I got from what the OP was saying was the instructor did not follow that. Regardless of whether that person is the student or not doesn't make it right.

In my job, I take care of a lot of people who have made the wrong choices in their life by their unhealthy habits that brought upon their disease and medical conditions. There is a way to discuss those risks the patients took to harm their health as a teaching point without interjecting my own judgement of the person who did them. 

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

7 hours ago, Sour Lemon said:

If you choose to say something, I would advise that you wait until after graduation, possibly even until after obtaining employment. And depending on what your hardship actually was, it may be better to forget about saying anything, entirely.

This. You never know what you could bring down upon yourself by speaking at the wrong time or place.

TheMoonisMyLantern

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 922 Posts

9 hours ago, juan de la cruz said:

Derogatory and mental illness in my mind should always be mutually exclusive. There is a professional way to present a case of mental illness in a classroom without interjecting your own personal bias about it. What I got from what the OP was saying was the instructor did not follow that. Regardless of whether that person is the student or not doesn't make it right.

In my job, I take care of a lot of people who have made the wrong choices in their life by their unhealthy habits that brought upon their disease and medical conditions. There is a way to discuss those risks the patients took to harm their health as a teaching point without interjecting my own judgement of the person who did them. 

I don't disagree, but someone that doesn't have a full understanding of how clinical issues in psychiatry are described may believe there is judgement or mockery in the discussion when there really is not. A psych facility I worked with actually had to start limiting how much exposure nursing students had to team meetings, report, commitment hearings, etc because they were constantly reporting comments from staff that may have seemed disparaging, but only because the students lacked the insight into this setting. Now, in this case the school that was the problem child didn't have clinical instructors that had worked acute psych so that very well could have contributed to the issue.

This has just been my experience, like I said, I am often wrong.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 41 years experience. 4,292 Posts

OP, I would wait until further along in the semester before deciding what to do.  Give yourself a chance to get to know your instructor better before discerning motives.

Once you get a better idea of what she's about, you may decide to talk to her about it for her own educational purposes.  Or you may realize you misread her.  Or she demonstrates a tendency to speak derogatorily about patients, in which case you might consider reporting her, after you complete your semester.  Good luck.

CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 824 Posts

I really really wonder about the details of this (and I’m sure you don’t want to share more, which I understand). It seems unlikely— not impossible, but unlikely— that the one anecdote she decided to share, which was disparaging and rude, happens to concern one patient who is now sitting in her class. My guess is that she shared a story that has happened more than once (because there are often similar behaviors shared by MANY people with mental health diagnoses) and you believe that it is about you. She may have seemed exasperated or overwhelmed or, yes, even irritated by the patient when she told it. You’re sensitized because of how awkward and uncomfortable it is to have your BH nurse become your instructor. I wish I could see a video of what she said in class so I could understand more about the details— from an objective perspective rather than from your perspective, which is understandably not objective at all!

sleepwalker

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 18 years experience. 331 Posts

If she didn't use any identifying information that you can specifically note then you don't KNOW that the pt she is referring to is you...it's just you making an assumption

BSN-to-MSN, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 8 years experience. 398 Posts

On 4/8/2021 at 6:49 PM, hikeclimb44 said:

Yes, she was. She described the situation from a very stigmatized point of view, and even used a few derogatory terms when describing the patient (again, this patient was me, so it was not pleasant to hear) I don't think sharing the particular scenario was beneficial to anybody's learning.

That is not right, I would report even if the story had no personal ties.

On 4/9/2021 at 4:55 PM, TriciaJ said:

demonstrates a tendency to speak derogatorily about patients, in which case you might consider reporting her, after you complete your semester.

yes, good advice!

PinkFloyd

PinkFloyd

4 Posts

   Hold on to this, use it for a homework assignment later on in your course work after you are out from under that particular instructor. It perfectly illustrates how difficult  is is for nurses to separate their prejudices from their patients.