So I'm in my fourth block of nursing school and am about to graduate in December which is so exciting! Even though it was stressful, I didn't really feel like a I struggled at all in the previous blocks. I got good grades and I felt that I was gaining more experience in clinical. However, my instructor for this block has been pushing me over the edge. I have cried several times because she makes me feel so inadequate. Previous students that graduated had told me that she was horrible and definitely not a nice person so beware. At first I thought she wasn't so bad but now I realize why everyone disliked her. The majority of the class has verbalized that they're absolutely terrified of her so I know it's not just me. Anyway, I have this instructor for class and clinicals so I can't get away from her. One day she'll act decent and then another day she'll have a death glare on the whole day. She chewed one student out because she submitted an assignment in the wrong format.
I'm an introvert so I'm quiet and reserved. However, I am extremely driven and take control of every aspect of my life. Even though the medical field is a completely new territory for me, I try to give clinical my all to progress in my knowledge. The instructor explained beforehand that she doesn't want students "holding the nurses hand" and she wants us to take the initiative. I'll admit that I get extremely nervous in clinical (because of the instructor) so this can be scary at times. But I've been making a huge effort to do just this. I go do my own assessments, do blood sugars, check on the patients, tell the nurse it's time to get the meds out (we can't log into the pyxis). Even though I feel like I'm pulling my hair out trying to do all the right things it's still not enough for her. Every week we have to write a little paragraph on our clinical experience and every single comment she writes the same thing. "I am very concerned about your lack of initiative and you need to be more assertive". I feel sooooo frustrated with these comments because I realize that I need more confidence but I'm doing everything in my power to appear confident and push myself in clinical. I feel like these comments are just blanket statements that provide no help at all. I mean tell me exactly what i'm doing wrong and offer some advice on how to improve. I have a huge amount more to learn just like everyone else and am trying to do that. I ask a million questions because nursing is a serious career and I'm trying to show the initiative. We're five weeks into the semester and not once has she EVER said anything positive to me about my performance. I feel at a complete loss because I have no idea where she is getting the idea that i'm not showing enough initiative. To make it worse she hovers and comes to "check" on us every few hours. It just happens that a couple times when she comes up that i'm standing there conversing with the nurse about our patient.. which isn't that what we're supposed to do?? It seem like if we're sitting at the computer when she comes up that she automatically assumes that we've been doing nothing for an hour and she acts accordingly with accusatory questions. Her attitude in person is extremely demeaning and she acts as if everyone is inferior to her. I'm having a really hard time not getting discouraged. She makes me feel so stupid, inadequate, and like i'm the weak link. I know i'm not any of these things but she literally makes me feel an inch tall whenever i'm in her presence which a horrible feeling! I've tried being honest with her about things I need to work on in clinical and what I need help on.. For example, I was having trouble with a few IV's and I told her that I think part of the issue is that on some pts i'm not going deep enough because I'm afraid to "stab" the patient and cause them extreme discomfort. She just replied "Well you need to get over that! nursing has no room for timidity!" I realized what my issue was and I was trying to show I know what I need to work on but obviously being honest with her doesn't work too well. I'm considering talking to her about what exactly she feels i'm doing wrong but I'm not sure if it'll just make things worse.
Any advice from people who have ever experienced an instructor like this? I feel like she's just a very miserable person inside who wants to demean others to make herself feel better. And that I'm a great target because I'm quiet. Help!! =[