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Remaining professional with instructors


Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

This probably falls under the 'who would wear a red thong under their white scrub pants?' type situation but I much to my surprise I overheard a student tell an instructor a dirty joke while on the clinical floor. I'm by no means a prude but it was raunchy and this isn't an instructor that is particularily chummy with students or one that has ever indicated to me that the F-bomb would be acceptable in causual conversation. The instructor made a half-hearted chuckle and left so I don't think it went over too good. Note to self: save the dirty jokes for a friend after we sign off the floor. :)

ew how annoying! Ya some people just lack the common sense to know that that is just NOT appropriate. I have a girl like that in my clinical right now that just has total verbal diarrhea and sometimes i cringe at the things she says in front of patients/nurses/our instructor!

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Now if you can imagine the instructor has started "picking on" her. She continues to say things that are pretty inappropriate, imo. Its a shame because she is a bright girl just lacking impulse control but you are right it is embarrassing for all of us when a student acts unprofessionally.

santhony44, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

Jules: could someone take her aside and maybe attempt to give her a clue??

I can't help but think this is what happens when parents let their kids grow up believing that everything the kids say and do is just sooooo cute!!

Had I been the instructor, I'd have given her my "Mrs. Bass Stare." Mrs. Bass was my high-school English teacher. She had a stare that would freeze boiling water at 10 feet. She's the one who hated chewing gum and would not allow it in class. If you came to class chewing, she wouldn't say a word; she'd just sit there and you'd get The Stare. Eventually, the whole class would get quiet and you'd be sitting there, pinned to your chair by The Stare, with everybody in class looking at you. Somebody would finally get up the nerve to ask Mrs. Bass what was wrong. She'd say something about "Oh, I was just looking at Judy, there, chewing her gum. You know, it reminds me of this little poem..." Then she'd recite the poem. It compared a girl chewing gum to a cow chewing cud, ending with something about "the intelligent look on the face of the cow."

I quit chewing gum when I had her class, I was so scared I'd forget and go in there chewing, and in the 30-mumblemumble-years since I've never picked the habit back up.

Anyway, if someone in your class can't give Ms. Bigmouth a crash course in discretion, you'll all just have to stand back and watch the train wreck. As long as you all have appropriately horrified looks on your faces when she opens her mouth wide to insert her foot or both feet, it won't reflect badly on you.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Thank you for replying. You make an excellent point and I really thought about saying something to her but didn't want to embarrass her in case she later realized just how inappropriate it was. Like most people I can remember more than a few times I said something and then later wanted to die when I reflected back on the situation. Maybe I'll wait until she complains about the instructor again and say something in a kidding way like "well telling her dirty jokes on the floor probably didn't win you any brownie points". Does that sound like a decent middle ground?

santhony44, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

You could try that, but I really get the impression from what you say that she's pretty oblivious to what she's doing. I'd be surprised if she picked up on it.

She not only have may never been taught that some things are not appropriate- you don't say just anything to just anybody- but she may also have trouble picking up on cues. I have a couple of members of my family who have problems with that.The subtle "social cues" that most of us see and utilize just don't register.

You could try the little hint, but if she doesn't get it, then maybe something a bit blunter and more to the point would help.

The reason I suggested The Stare as a response from the instructor is that the response your instructor gave- a half-hearted chuckle- is a pretty weak social cue, particularly for someone like your classmate. Respond to the dirty joke with The Stare, and not the least hint of a glimmer of a smile, and the dimmest of bulbs catches on pretty quickly.

We had some classmates who were active suck ups, but none of them conducted themselves in such a socially inappropriate manner. I doubt that this person has a clue as to the acceptability of her behavior. Really wonder what was going through her head. Sounds as if she was out in left field. I hope that one of you takes the time to take her aside and give her a clue before she does something serious. Hard enough to stay out of the instructor's bad side without bringing attention to oneself like this. The instructor can only be wondering what else this student is doing that is inappropriate when she interacts with her patients.


Specializes in Telemetry. Has 10 years experience.

I never joked around with my instructors and that is why I had one at another nursing school who told blatant lies on me. I kept her at a distance. She did not like that because she likes to hear about students affairs. I was the one who had to leave the school as a result of this. I always respect my instructors and only speak things that are constructive to them. I am so afraid of their wrath, however, I try to remain my intellectual self at all times.

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

Really, the only time I've ever felt that I could be friendly with my instructors is now...knowing that I've only got 1 test left until graduation....and no more clincials....

We had some people that would tell patients things that were just like "huh?"....we had some students that would pipe up to a doctor that he was in the "wrong" because "well, if x is y, then we should do Z ALWAYS cause that's what we learned..."

Myself, I got a rep as a good guy and willing to learn...because if I asked a question it went "well, if x is y, shouldn't we do z? (wait for answer) oh, ok that makes sense when you explain it like that..."

Take her aside and tell her that she needs to remain professional while on the floor.....that's good job practice...and most of the younger members of my class are that way as well...

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