"Issue" with professor

Posted
by EDRN-2010 EDRN-2010 (Member)

Lets say you are about to begin the last term of your nursing program. You and and another student want to swap class sections. In all the previous terms, if the section you wanted was full, the only way to get into it was to find someone to swap with you and put it in writing, they would not overfill a section. This is my situation. I personally have never swapped with anyone before but some of my friends have and it was an easy process. I assumed it would be for me too. No. I have no idea what went wrong. I was told no, which was fine. I had no idea why, but I did not question it. Well I get a note to see the professor after class Monday to sign a counseling record regarding the "issue". I do not feel comfortable having a write up in my student file. Our policy handbook states that these records are for violations of school policies or procedures, I have no idea what policy I violated (I do not think any). It states right in our manual the protocol for switching and I followed it. When she pulled me aside and said the answer was no, she was a bit condesending and said something about how I signed a form when I started the program saying I had to be flexible and it seems like I am asking the school to cater to my schedule. I was not asking the school to cater to anything, it was an equal swap. I am not one to ruffle feathers but am I crazy for fighting this write up? I asked, she said no, I said ok!! I am pretty sure if I refuse to sign it that it still goes in my file. It seems like such a minor thing to make a big deal about I have no idea how it got to this level. I heard a couple of students went to the dean over the summer and complained loudly and got him to switch their schedules without having someone to switch with, so maybe I am just getting the back-lash from that?? I told the situation to a friend of mine that graduated last year and she warned me to be careful and said I don't want to cross this person. She is right, I don't!

In nursing school they always tell us to question orders we dont understand etc, and to stand up for ourselves, why should this be any different? I am actually nervous to go to school tomorrow because I know this person is going to want to talk to me. I feel like I am going to stumble with my words and break down crying. I have a perfect academic record, and have never had ANY issues before. I attend a smaller private school and I dont want this situation be what people remember me for or prevent me from getting letters of recommendation.

I dont want to make things harder on myself this coming term. It's too late to take back my request for an explaination. Sorry this is so long....I ramble when I am nervous.

Any words of encouragement or advice on how to word/handle this will be much appreciated. :heartbeat

AOx1

AOx1

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

I hope it is a simple misunderstanding. As an instructor, my advice would be to go to the meeting as asked, and request clarification of why you are being asked to sign. I would mention the policy and the page on which it is found. For example "I'm sure this was a misunderstanding. I was following the policy on page xx in the student manual. Could you please clarify for me if this policy has changed?" I would also clarify why this is being documented as an issue if none exists.

This will remind them that you followed policy. If you are asked to sign anything. I would not do so without stating my side of things in writing.

Likely nothing will come of it, but you have a right according to most systems to state your view of the situation. If anything more is made of this, follow the chain of command as outlined in your handbook.

wife&mommyRN

wife&mommyRN

238 Posts

I am suprised that your university even allows swaping clinical rotations, that is an absolute "No" for anyone even thinking of asking in your program. I am thinking because this is such a common thing @ your school, your professor could be trying to protect themselves because they told you no, without a somewhat valid reason. Try to be clear what u r signing before hand, they brought this issue to u, not vice versa. I don't think u will be persecuted for asking questions, but I agree to be very careful bc many of these professors do hold personal grudges that can change a student's life for the worst. Best of Luck, & keep us posted.

EDRN-2010

EDRN-2010

288 Posts

Oh I am sorry it is the lecture, not clinical rotation. There are different times you can sign up for the inclass portion of the program... We are not allowed to swap clinical

I sure hope I don't get nervous and say the wrong thing. I know I didn't do anything wrong, so I need to keep telling myself not to be nervous!

I am suprised that your university even allows swaping clinical rotations, that is an absolute "No" for anyone even thinking of asking in your program. I am thinking because this is such a common thing @ your school, your professor could be trying to protect themselves because they told you no, without a somewhat valid reason. Try to be clear what u r signing before hand, they brought this issue to u, not vice versa. I don't think u will be persecuted for asking questions, but I agree to be very careful bc many of these professors do hold personal grudges that can change a student's life for the worst. Best of Luck, & keep us posted.
EDRN-2010

EDRN-2010

288 Posts

I hope it is a misunderstanding too. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. There is a rumor circulating that she was demoted to this coordinator position from clinical/lecture instructor, so maybe she is trying to be thorough. I appreciate your advice and I hope it goes well and that I remember to be so eloquant. I really do just want to know, I do not even care about the switch, even if it is within my rights to do so. I just dont want a write up in my file.

I hope it is a simple misunderstanding. As an instructor, my advice would be to go to the meeting as asked, and request clarification of why you are being asked to sign. I would mention the policy and the page on which it is found. For example "I'm sure this was a misunderstanding. I was following the policy on page xx in the student manual. Could you please clarify for me if this policy has changed?" I would also clarify why this is being documented as an issue if none exists.

This will remind them that you followed policy. If you are asked to sign anything. I would not do so without stating my side of things in writing.

Likely nothing will come of it, but you have a right according to most systems to state your view of the situation. If anything more is made of this, follow the chain of command as outlined in your handbook.

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience. 3,421 Posts

Whatever you do dont go in guns blazing trying to prove a point. Seek to understand where the violation is coming from. I really do hope it is a misunderstanding too because from what you say it sounds perfectly benign to me. I hope it goes ok and you get switched

EDRN-2010

EDRN-2010

288 Posts

Thanks! I keep thinking maybe I am missing something. It seems so cut and dry. I do not even care if I get switched at this point, I thought it was done and over with, but then when I got the message about needed to sign the write up, I was like what the heck? One of my big problems is I am a passifier, I just do not know how to shut up, especially when I am nervous, I like people to like me. When she told me I couldn't switch and spent 10 minutes explaining why, even though none of it was very logical. She asked why I wanted to switch,because my initial request did not specify(didn't think she would care/irrelevant to her). I told her it was for convenience, that I live 45 minutes away and pay for childcare by the day and the swap would allow me to have an extra day off because of when my other classes were and she said that I should feel lucky to have any days off, some people have to come to class 5 days a week and go to work. I was just like its ok, no problem, I understand, I will work it out. At one point I said that sometimes I take things too personally and I know this isn't personal, (I felt like I was going to cry and thought she could tell) I said I recognize I do this and I know it is something I need to work on...she said I am not going to last long in nursing taking things personal. Which just made me more nervous/down/confused...but really, isn't that kind of inconsiderate? I said I was working on it, so obviously I know it is something I need to change. I think I am going to be a great nurse.

I feel like I have lost my confidence though, being out of the workforce for the past 3 years. I used to be an office manager and was never this mousey. I certainly have no issues telling my husband what I think!

Whatever you do dont go in guns blazing trying to prove a point. Seek to understand where the violation is coming from. I really do hope it is a misunderstanding too because from what you say it sounds perfectly benign to me. I hope it goes ok and you get switched
SaraFL

SaraFL

181 Posts

How did it go today?

Fundamentals(1986)

Fundamentals(1986)

Specializes in none. 26 Posts

Our instructors want each and everyone of us to pass. And work with us for 1-2 hrs one on one during open lab if we fail a check-off to make sure we pass the 2nd or 3rd attempt. That one instructor sets a bad example for a nursing instructor. She should not talk down on any student no matter what the case.

EDRN-2010

EDRN-2010

288 Posts

Well, I went in there with a positive attitude....I brought with me my student handbook, copies of the email exchange between the other student and I both agreeing to trade class sections, and the copy of the syllabus which states, "Students are able to switch to another section only if thery find someone to switch with and notify the instructor in writing prior to the start of class. There will be no unplanned switching." I kept all this in my bag, because I didn't want to come off as aggressive but also wanted to be prepared. The professor asked our head professor to come to this meeting with her (which I understand is common). I smiled and greeted both of them and explained I just wanted clarification so I could better understand everything. She said it is the schools policy to not allow switching, and I politely said it was a misunderstanding on my part because although I had never switched it was common last in the previous terms and that I was only going by what the syllabus stated...and I showed her it. She said that they don't allow it (ok but thats not what it says in writing!!!) and that policy is for when it is far in advance and she posted the schedule in July (I asked in August a month before class started) I could see that this was not going anywhere and I also could see that the head professor really felt I had a valid point but most likely felt she should not contradict her coworker in front of a student. We discussed the implications of having this write-up in my file, our school doesnt kick you out for a certain number of them and honestly I would hope that any professor that might see I was written up for requesting to switch to a different class section would probably not think I was a bad student....so against my better judgement I just signed it. The head professor was really friendly and chatted with me for about 5 minutes and I really felt like she was trying to lighten the mood and minimize the situation.

Not the outcome I had hoped for, but you can't win them all and I am happy with the way I conducted myself so I guess better luck next time.

BTW, I am the President of a school organization and explained that not only would this switch allow me to condense my courseload but also enable me to be available for meetings at a time convienent to the other officers schedules. As it stands now I am the only person not available to meet at this time. This is not a nursing thing but a college thing. Nothing like promoting involvement in extra curricular activities!

ranka

ranka

Specializes in NICU PEDS. Has 4 years experience. 24 Posts

I think I would contact the Dean of the Nursing school and meet with her. You should not have a write-up in your academic file for something that is on the syllabus and student handbook.

I would mention in the meeting with the Dean that you met with the professor and why you think it is unfair to have the write-up in your file.

You would not be ruffling feathers, but trying to clarify what the policy actually is.

Hope you find a solution that works for you.

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience. 5,259 Posts

I can't believe you got a write up over something like that. I am seriously dumbfounded, how bizarre, well hopefully it ends here and doesn't come back later on like they stated.

We can swap clinicals at my school, we all have the same class times but math and labs are divided up into A group and B group. When we got our clinical locations on the first day of school we could swap with another willing classmate as long as it was in our same group of either A or B. Not sure if we can in future clinical sites but first semester we could.

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