Pretty sure my clinical instructor HATES me.

Posted

So yesterday was my last day at our clinical site. We've been there for an entire semester. I usually feel pretty good about my work - not 100%, because I am not in the medical field currently. We only get a clinical once weekly, which in my eyes is just not enough.

I am doing pretty well in lecture (B+) and lab I feel fine as well. When I get to the clinical site, of course my nerves can get the best of me. I push through them though and do my best and keep my patient safe.

I've had several instances where I felt that I was under the teacher's gun and that she was assigning me patients that were very complicated...where as other students in my class were getting easy patients. Whenever I was assigned a complicated patient my teacher would basically spend the entire clinical period breathing down my neck essentially and harassing me.

I was always taught that as long as you got things done in time, and done correctly it didn't matter how you did them - as long as your patient's safety was not jeaporized in any way. Sometimes I prefer to do things a little differently, I just do them the way I feel comfortable. Well, yesterday was awful. I felt like she was continuously drilling me, and singling me out for no reason. Even my other classmates noticed it and were approaching me on it. She did not make it private, in fact she pulled me off to the side - basically in front of my entire class and went up one side of me and down the other for everyone to hear. She told me that she could tell I was not experienced in the medical field and I had better get myself a PCT job over the summer so I can re-learn all of the basic skills that I don't know how to do. I must know how to do them if I passed last semester, right???

She also told me that I will probably never make it as a nurse ... and a lot of other hurtful things. I tried so hard to not cry, but it was just inevitible. I'm under so much stress with school and trying to get good grades and putting in so much effort that for someone to tell me that I'm never going to make it and never be a good nurse has got me down in the dumps. This has been my life long dream... and now I'm questioning it.

I'm starting to think maybe she's right. Sometimes I get too flustered and it's a weakness that is going to essentially make me a bad nurse. All I can do is stew over this now, because really I had no chance to prove anything to her when she was saying this to me. It was my last clinical rotation with her, and now she has to evaluate me and I'm afraid she's not going to pass me because of this. If she doesn't pass me, I don't know what I'll do.

Can anyone relate to something similar to this??? What the heck do I do??? Everyone tells me to just let this all go and stop worrying because I'm obviously doing something right and that she just doesn't like me ... but I'm really doubting myself and my self esteem is just down in the dumps. :(

Edited by Joe V
spacing

classicdame

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator. 2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

report her to the dean. This is unprofessional behavior. Remember, you PAID for the privilege of being taught.

lesalu

lesalu

2 Posts

Okay I have definitely been through this. My preceptor told me I wasn't competent enough to take care of a "Floor patient" and I am currently in my last quarter precepting in the ICU. This is a problem since I have always done really good and received glowing evaluations from my other clinical instructors.

And when I heard this, I wanted to cry, I wanted to walk out and demand a new clinical instructor. But in this situation you have 2 options. You can run home and cry and complain and tell your instructors or you can decide right than and there that you are stronger than that.

You are an excellent student nurse and will one day be an amazing nurse and you will look back on this and thank that woman for giving you the kick in the rear you needed to go out there and prove it to yourself.

Never let someone else decide your life and who you are.

You've got this and who cares what she thinks.

You just go out there and do what you love and do it the best you can.

I have found that I have been repeatedly stuck with hard pts by instructors and one of them finally told me that the reason they drill me so much is because they know I can handle it.

So it may not be that she doesn't like you, but that she knows you will make a good nurse you just have to develop the confidence and see what she sees. So if she pushes you so hard maybe she just wants you to stand up for yourself and say "Hey, wait a minute. I am a good nurse."

Crazed

Crazed

153 Posts

I always fire back. Perhaps it's just me, but I look at it this way - I am paying for this.

For instance, I had an instructor criticize me because they rushed to judgement to which I responded, "I can see how your perception might have played into your judgement. Would you like to talk about it further? Tell me how that felt?"

What? Are they going to ding me for therapeutic communication? It's a hoop to jump through, do the best you can, and move on.

Everyone has an opinion about something, but only wise people understand the opinion means nothing.

This is a power balance. It's no different from any other situation where someone feels as if they have the upper hand. All you need to do in situations like this is ask for specifics under the guise of how you can improve. Keep asking questions and you'll wear them out.

shortnorthstudent

shortnorthstudent

357 Posts

If you are doing things your own way rather than the way your school instructed you, that may be the problem. As a nurse working on a floor, you can get into your own rhythm and do things your way (within limits). However, as a student, you have to fall within your school's guidelines. It isn't just about getting it done in a way you perceive to be safe, it is at least in part about doing it there way while you are a student.

As far as giving you tough patients, I always try to look on it as my instructor trusting me enough to give me the difficult patients. You learn more from the challenge. Try to look at it as a compliment, not a punishment.

I disagree with the other posters who believe that they are paying therefore the instructor has to be nice or should be reported to the dean. Just because you are paying does not mean that you deserve to have your hand held. You are paying for the opportunity to learn, not the opportunity to be handed an education. Entitlement attitudes will not get you far in your nursing career.

Pneumothorax, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight. 1,179 Posts

Wow what a ******. Seriously. Honestly, OP I think we've all been there w/ CI's from h***. & if your grades are there showing ur doing a good job then u must be right? With all the experience I've had I still get flustered sometimes with basic skills & it makes me feel stupid , but it's just learning.

I once had an instructor tell me that I was too "laid back"...and said it as it was a negative quality and I should "watch it" Mind you I had my meds & assessments given and charted on time... So I'm not quite sure how I was supposed to take that----I'm still not sure if it was constructive or I should be offended lol

Hopefully this woman gets the boot!

Crazed

Crazed

153 Posts

I disagree with the other posters who believe that they are paying therefore the instructor has to be nice or should be reported to the dean. Just because you are paying does not mean that you deserve to have your hand held. You are paying for the opportunity to learn, not the opportunity to be handed an education. Entitlement attitudes will not get you far in your nursing career.

It has nothing to do with entitlement but everything to do with, "I pay to learn, not to be abused."

You can learn, and become a great nurse without having someone berate you at every turn. The instructors are people who have more experience who are taking my money teach me, not try to break me out of nursing. An ounce of kindness, etc, etc, etc.

Hygiene Queen

2,232 Posts

she was assigning me patients that were very complicated...where as other students in my class were getting easy patients.

you want the hard ones. really, you do. don't question the motive... embrace it. you will learn so much more with a complicated pt because you will be all the more driven to understand (or hopefully be driven to understand so as you do not kill your pt ;)).

whenever i was assigned a complicated patient my teacher would basically spend the entire clinical period breathing down my neck essentially and harassing me.

you are working with a complicated pt. i would expect the instructor to be more involved in this case.

i was always taught that as long as you got things done in time, and done correctly it didn't matter how you did them - as long as your patient's safety was not jeaporized in any way.

sometimes i prefer to do things a little differently, i just do them the way i feel comfortable.

in the real world, you can do things the way you want (pt safety still being maintained). you are not in the real world yet. you are still a student and still expected to follow the book to a tee. it's not about your comfort. it's about doing what you have to do to survive. it's about survival.

well, yesterday was awful. i felt like she was continuously drilling me, and singling me out for no reason. even my other classmates noticed it and were approaching me on it. she did not make it private, in fact she pulled me off to the side - basically in front of my entire class and went up one side of me and down the other for everyone to hear.

there is no defense for this. this is completely unprofessional. it is humiliating for you and humiliating for anyone else around.

she told me that she could tell i was not experienced in the medical field and i had better get myself a pct job over the summer so i can re-learn all of the basic skills that i don't know how to do. i must know how to do them if i passed last semester, right??? she also told me that i will probably never make it as a nurse ... and a lot of other hurtful things.

do it by the book. always.

i tried so heard to not cry, but it was just inevitible.

never cry in front of your instructor... especially one like this. don't feed the beast. keep your cool. be humble, nod your head and tell her what you will do to improve... but don't you dare cry. she wants "tough"? show her.

i'm under so much stress with school and trying to get good grades and putting in so much effort that for someone to tell me that i'm never going to make it and never be a good nurse has got my down in the dumps.

take this negative energy and turn it positive: prove her wrong. don't get depressed... get mad. get mad and direct that energy to proving her wrong.

this has been my life long dream... and now i'm questioning it. i'm starting to think maybe she's right. sometimes i get too flustered and it's a weakness that is going to essentially make me a bad nurse.

of course, you are going to be flustered. nursing is serious business. as time goes on, you should gain some control over it. you have to keep going back and taking the punches, but it's the only way to overcome any obstacle. it's a weakness now.

all i can do is stew over this now, because really i had no chance to prove anything to her when she was saying this to me. it was my last clinical rotation with her, and now she has to evaluate me and i'm afraid she's not going to pass me because of this. if she doesn't pass me, i don't know what i'll do.

if you passed, then obviously you were the victim of some nasty scare tactics. if you failed (that being a clinical fail, which usually means you're out of the program) well... you will cross that bridge when you get to it.

can anyone relate to something similar to this???

absolutely.

what the heck do i do???

this>>>> "everyone tells me to just let this all go and stop worrying."

i'm obviously doing something right and that she just doesn't like me

i disagree with this. it is usually nothing personal. we're not in grade school. this isn't about "liking" or "not liking". i think the issue is, you were not performing in a manner your instructor approved. unfortunately, your instructor does not seem to know how to correct and teach a student in a professional manner. i'm betting (dollars to doughnuts) she was subjected to the same sort of treatment herself, at one time. she may really think this is how it's done... that she has to be tough and intimidating to be effective.... that the lesson won't stick unless you are "shamed".... that you will never make the same mistake again, to avoid that shame.

... but i'm really doubting myself and my self esteem is just down in the dumps. :(

we have all done this. don't let others own your self-esteem.

been there, done that.

best wishes.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 7,349 Posts

So yesterday was my last day at our clinical site. We've been there for an entire semester. I usually feel pretty good about my work - not 100%, because I am not in the medical field currently. We only get a clinical once weekly, which in my eyes is just not enough. I am doing pretty well in lecture (B+) and lab I feel fine as well. When I get to the clinical site, of course my nerves can get the best of me. I push through them though and do my best and keep my patient safe. I've had several instances where I felt that I was under the teacher's gun and that she was assigning me patients that were very complicated...where as other students in my class were getting easy patients. Whenever I was assigned a complicated patient my teacher would basically spend the entire clinical period breathing down my neck essentially and harassing me. I was always taught that as long as you got things done in time, and done correctly it didn't matter how you did them - as long as your patient's safety was not jeaporized in any way. Sometimes I prefer to do things a little differently, I just do them the way I feel comfortable. Well, yesterday was awful. I felt like she was continuously drilling me, and singling me out for no reason. Even my other classmates noticed it and were approaching me on it. She did not make it private, in fact she pulled me off to the side - basically in front of my entire class and went up one side of me and down the other for everyone to hear. She told me that she could tell I was not experienced in the medical field and I had better get myself a PCT job over the summer so I can re-learn all of the basic skills that I don't know how to do. I must know how to do them if I passed last semester, right??? She also told me that I will probably never make it as a nurse ... and a lot of other hurtful things. I tried so heard to not cry, but it was just inevitible. I'm under so much stress with school and trying to get good grades and putting in so much effort that for someone to tell me that I'm never going to make it and never be a good nurse has got my down in the dumps. This has been my life long dream... and now I'm questioning it. I'm starting to think maybe she's right. Sometimes I get too flustered and it's a weakness that is going to essentially make me a bad nurse. All I can do is stew over this now, because really I had no chance to prove anything to her when she was saying this to me. It was my last clinical rotation with her, and now she has to evaluate me and I'm afraid she's not going to pass me because of this. If she doesn't pass me, I don't know what I'll do.

Can anyone relate to something similar to this??? What the heck do I do??? Everyone tells me to just let this all go and stop worrying because I'm obviously doing something right and that she just doesn't like me ... but I'm really doubting myself and my self esteem is just down in the dumps. :(

Uhhh... not exactly. There is very often more than one correct way to do things but to say as an overall blanket statement "it doesn't matter how you do things" is incorrect. Especially since you're in school. When you're in the real world, you'll get your own groove but will still have to abide by your facility's policies.

Patient safety is precisely the reason why certain things have to be done a certain way/in a certain order/within a certain time frame. Say, for example, you have to give Digoxin to your patient. You have a CNA assigned to this patient. It is 0830, the medication was due at 0800 and your CNA has not taken VS yet. What do you do? Do you give the medication because it's due, the CNA will get VS when she gets to it? Do you hold the medication until the CNA arrives to get VS or do you take VS yourself and listen to the apical pulse and then administer the digoxin if the patient's pulse and BP are within acceptable parameters? In all scenarios, everything that needed to be done would be done in the end, but there is a right answer to this question.

I'd be curious to know how you're comfortable doing things, the issues your instructor had with your ways and your response to her when she pointed these things out to you.

If your instructor is assigning you difficult patients, I'd take that as a compliment. If you know you have the most difficult patient out of all students, I'd expect to see more of your instructor. You are working under HER license and she's ultimately responsible for you. If I was an instructor and had one student assigned to a patient with a CVL, a chest tube and a trach, you bet I'd pay more attention to that one than I would to the student assigned the stable patient who's about to be discharged. Just like how if that was your assignment, you'd pay more attention to the sicker/more complicated patient.

Her suggestion that you get a job as a PCT is a valid suggestion. You learn things working on the floor and managing a patient assignment that you can't learn in school. And I don't think that you should discredit her just because you passed last semester so you must be doing things right. You're supposed to progress every semester. If, at the end of your second semester of clinicals, you only have the same skills/knowledge that you had at the end of your first semester, I wouldn't expect to walk away with the same glowing evaluation.

AOx1

AOx1

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience. 3 Articles; 961 Posts

Assigning a complicated patient is a compliment. As an instructor, our role is to offer constructive criticism. This is the portion where your instructor's behavior went awry.There is no reason to discuss anyone else's performance in a public setting. It is unprofessional, rude, not helpful, and a FERPA violation.

First point: clinical feedback should be given immediately, not only on the last day of the rotation. Any concerns with your performance should have been evident and addressed throughout the semester along with a written plan for what you needed to do to remediate and pass.

Second point: unless you are about to do something unsafe and need to be quickly stopped, the instructor shouldn't discuss this with anyone but you and the course lead instructor. I would ask for specific feedback, and would check your handbook for policies about clinical performance and expectations for improvement. The fact that your instructor discussed your performance in public should be addressed in your evaluations, if you don't feel you can discuss them with your instructor.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

So OP,you want a sweet as pie instructor that lets you just do what you want,never mind that you are here to learn? It's not about being nicey nice.Nursing is serious business and it's her job to make sure you know your stuff and that you do things properly.You can't just do stuff whatever way you feel comfortable,you have to do it right.If she notices you insist on doing things "your way" yeah she's going to be breathing down your neck.You can't always just decide to disreguard how they want you to do stuff as a student.Once you are working as a nurse you will have to follow certain rules as well.Better get used to it.

Hygiene Queen

2,232 Posts

I absolutely agree that the instructor has no need to be a namby-pamby.

This is not like making a mistake while learning to run a cash register, or breaking all the china in the department because you set up the display your way (actually saw that one, lol. While no would actually die from such a mistake, I can assure you the culprit heartily wished she would have! No, it wasn't me :saint:).

Nursing is an area where the failure to do things correctly can kill somebody.

That is no exaggeration.

Even maneuvering someone onto a bed can be deadly if you don't think it through (I've seen this one, too).

I do not, however, believe in the need to humiliate someone in front of others. That is a shoddy method of teaching.

However, if your instructor should happen upon you doing something so incredibly dangerous that needed an intervention and a reality slap immediately, then that is no time or place to worry about niceties.

I don't know what you did wrong, but I assumed, from what you said, that while you were doing things your way, you were still maintaining safety. In that case, you would still need to be corrected (as you were not doing whatever in the proper way that you were taught) but a public dressing down was not necessary.

Loriangel14 is right on the money about getting used to following rules.

While there are some things (once you get a job) you may be able to do your way, there are some things you definitely will not. Ever.

School is not the time to try out this crazy thing called "Your Way".

Edited by Hygiene Queen