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Topics About 'Faculty Interaction'.

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  1. There is a reason why nursing students avoid meeting with a nursing instructor. If fact, there are several reasons. It’s not just the intimidation factor or the words “you're really inconveniencing me” written all over the instructor’s face. It’s talking with the instructor, walking away and thinking, “what did I just say?”. Most likely, your faculty appreciates your initiative in asking a question or voicing concern. You can reduce your stress and get the most out of your faculty interactions with a little pre-meeting prep work. Let’s look at a few guidelines to point you in the right direction. Take Action Nursing school can be very confusing. Everything is a new experience from lectures and skills, to clinical assignments. Students often make the mistake of “getting stuck” in coursework because they don’t understand what the instructor expects. The semester marches on, due dates arrive and the student just “wings it” instead of asking for help. But, faculty are not mind-readers and it is up to you to initiate a meeting. STEP 1 Tips for Requesting Faculty Time Avoid confronting your instructor in front of the class and putting them “on the spot”. Read the syllabus and course information to determine if the instructor has preferred methods of communication (email, phone, office stop-by, etc). If you stop by the instructor’s office, make sure it is during office hours. Be specific on why you need to schedule a meeting. Offer several time alternatives and be open to other forms of “meetings” (phone, on-line chat) STEP 2 Do The Prep Work Be sure to review the course policies, syllabus and any applicable instructions before your visit. The answer to your question may be hiding “in plain sight”. Ask yourself, “why do I need to meet and what do I expect to get out of the meeting?”. STEP 3 Tips for the Meeting Show respect Arrive on time Use the person’s name Make eye contact Speak clearly, using positive language Stay within the allotted time-frame STEP 4 Show What You Know Briefly express some interest in the course content Express enthusiasm for what you have learned STEP 5 Avoid Dumping You want to be specific about your question or concern. You don’t want to spend the meeting time with your instructor on everything but what you need. Here are a few examples: Don’t: “I don’t understand assignment 2. What are you wanting us to do.” Do: “I am confused about the care planning process, specifically, how to assign a measurable outcome." Don’t: “I missed lab and did the class do anything that will be on the test?” Do: “Is there a convenient time I can practice in the skills lab? I want to catch up with the class since I missed class.” Don’t: “I made a D on our test. What am I doing wrong?” Do: "I did not perform well on the last exam and want to do better. I would like to tell you my main study strategy and would appreciate any feedback or suggestions." STEP 6 Own Your Part Take responsibility for any mistakes or oversight on your part. Be honest and express what you will do differently moving forward. “I now realize the importance of spending time reviewing lecture notes after every class”. “I apologize for being late to clinical. Moving forward, these are the steps I will take to ensure punctuality.” Before You Leave Be sure you and your instructor are on the same page and what are the next steps. Stop and ask for clarification (if needed) before you leave Express gratitude for the meeting. Remember You have the right to ask questions and seek clarification. You also have a responsibility to do so tactfully, and decisions made by the instructor should be respected. What tips can you share to help other students make the most out of faculty interactions? Interested in more information? Check out these resources: Tips on Communicating with a Professor Meeting With Your Professor
  2. Last night, my first class of nursing students graduated. It was a momentous and beautiful moment that really got me pondering the challenges and triumphs of being a nursing instructor. I decided to sit down and write out all of the things I wish my students could know, so without further fanfare… 1. Our greatest wish is for you to succeed. It is a common misnomer that nursing instructors have it out for students. We really try to give you all of the tools you will need to become successful. It pains us greatly when you fail. 2. No, we cannot be friends. Right now, I cannot be your friend. I am here to help shape you into a conscientious, critically thinking nurse. I would be doing a grave disservice to you (and possibly, your future patients), if I am easy on you. My job is to teach you and evaluate you on the concepts and skills that you have learned. One day we may be peers and that relationship will be different but right now, I have a job to do. I promise it does not mean that I do not like you. 3. Everyone has a unique and often difficult story. I know that you work full time during the day, your car can barely make it here, and there is no one to watch your child. My heart really does go out to you, and I will help you in any way that I can for you to be successful. If you put 100% in in my class, and I know it may be hard, I will always be in your corner. 4. Respect is earned and reciprocated. You are going into a noble, yet physically and psychologically difficult profession. Take it seriously. Take nursing school seriously. Respect your peers, respect your patients, respect your nursing instructors. It is a two way street with me, and I will hold you to your side. Insubordination is absolutely, unequivocally never okay, ever. 5. I see you texting. Listen, if it is a special circumstance and you absolutely need to text or call, that’s fine- outside my classroom. You may use your phones for research purposes not involving texting, Snap Chat, Instagram, Kik, Facebook, etc.. I know sitting still for often three and a half hours is difficult and tiring, but please save the texting and phone surfing for your break. 6. Do not bother to cheat. I am a mother of boys, I have eyes in the back of my head. Aside from that, you can’t cheat the NCLEX or for that matter, life. Just don’t do it. If I catch you, and there is a good chance I will, you will be expelled. It’s not worth it, besides, you do have it in you to pass the right way. 7. Please ask me questions. I am here to tell you what you need to know, and if I do not immediately have an answer, write it on the board and I will find out for you. It’s my pleasure to answer your questions and explain the rationale as to why we do things the way we do in nursing. Thinking like a nurse isn’t easy, it is often a process and I am here to help you discover that process and help guide you to the other side, so to speak. 8. I will ask you questions. I will absolutely ask you questions at random, often in the middle of lecture. Why? I want to know if you understand the information, and if not, I want to facilitate your discovery of that knowledge. It’s not because I want to embarrass you, or make you look foolish. I want to see and hear that you are learning. 9. I will hold you to the outlined academic program standards. Please don’t ask me to not mark you late, or give you extra points when you haven’t worked towards them. It is not fair to the students who are on time and who turn in their work on time. Also, when you are in uniform, I expect you to abide by the program’s rules that you signed: no jewelry, no nail polish, hair up off the collar, white shoes. Yes, I check. Do not leave the unit floor unless I give you permission, and do not disappear behind the nurse’s station. You need to be with your patients unless otherwise specified. I notice when you are not back on time and where you need to be. Turn in your assignments on time and without a story. Do what is outlined in your program contract and you will be all right with me. 10. I was once you. Yes, it may seem like 1000 years ago (actually, twenty), but I went through the very same program and had the same concerns, complaints, and stressors that many of you do. I get it. Because of this I am secretly cheering and rooting for you. I am really in your corner. When you do well on your test, I am happy for you, when you pass my class, I am ecstatic, and when you graduate, I am overjoyed for you. Words cannot express how wonderful it is to see my students on their very first day, scared and hopeful and to see them all the way through their journey. It is the best form of compensation, ever. When I see my students graduate, I see shades of what is to come- glimmers of the next wonderful generation of nurses in a sea of white caps, all smiles as they venture out into the amazing, yet intimidating world of nursing. My students, I only wish for you to succeed and accomplish all of the goals you set out to. I believe in you, I know you can do it! Sincerely, Your nursing instructor.
  3. HelpingIsMyGame

    Open Letter to Prospective Nursing Students

    Because you haven't entered the program yet, it may feel like some or all of this doesn't apply to you, but my hope is that you'll read all that I have shared and that as you go through your chosen program at least some of what I've shared will be helpful. On Instructors: It is not a requirement that you like them, only that you treat them with respect and do your best to learn from them. They are not out to get you; their objective is to provide you with the information and tools you need to become a good nurse. Sometimes an instructor may seem difficult to work with, but even that situation should be handled in a respectful and professional manner. They cannot possibly teach everything to each different learning style. If you do not agree with an instructor's teaching style, speak with them about ways you can adapt in order to succeed. It is also not their job to spoon-feed you the information. They spend hours creating a lecture, maybe with a PowerPoint presentation, and the syllabus. If they took the time to go over every detail in the reading, this would be a MUCH longer program. Do the reading. Study. That's your job as a nursing student. On Administrative Support Staff: We are here to help, but please also treat us with respect. Last-minute requests for help - for example, if you need a copy made - are ok once in a while, but frequent requests show a lack of consideration for our time and shows that you are not prepared, which is unprofessional. Use correct grammar and spelling when composing an email to the staff or faculty. Using text-speak (ex. "r u" for "are you") or all caps is unprofessional and shows a lack of respect. Request assistance, do not demand. I am happy to help, but stating flatly what you need and expecting compliance is unprofessional and shows a lack of respect. (Are you seeing a theme here?) Ex: demand - "I need another copy of the reference letter from Professor Smith. I'll pick it up in an hour." Ex: request - "I have an interview coming up and wanted to know if you have time to make another copy of the reference letter from Dr. Smith. If so, would it be possible for me to pick it up in a couple of days?" The request shows an understanding that the staff member has other responsibilities and a respect for their time and effort. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Please check your email and, if applicable, your class' Facebook page before calling or stopping by to ask a question. If we have already taken the time to answer your question in email or on Facebook, it's frustrating to have to repeat ourselves because you didn't take the time to read. On Some Common And Not-So-Common Sense: All of your life the importance of getting the best grades you can has been pounded into you and you may even be a straight A student. I'm going to ask you to loosen up your attitude toward grades a little. While grades are important, the ultimate objective is understanding and retaining nursing concepts. When you transition into practice in two years your patient won't care if you earned an 89.4 or a 91 in your class, only that you can provide safe, competent, compassionate care to help them through a difficult time in their life. Nursing school is not like anything you've done before. Be FLEXIBLE. Your previous methods may need tweaking or even a complete overhaul. If you are struggling in a class, seek help A.S.A.P. If you wait until mid-terms, it may be too late and you may end up having to retake a class. Take advantage of the services offered to students at your school, whether it's help with studying skills, guided study sessions, tutoring or paper-writing assistance. Even though you've clearly written papers and been studying for years, you may learn some new methods that work better for you. You are responsible for how successful you are. No one else. You can view that as burdensome or empowering. It's your choice. (I'd pick empowering.) When you start the program you are likely to feel frustrated and overwhelmed and you may want to blame faculty or the program for your difficulties. If you are attending a program with a high NCLEX pass rate, think before you blame. After every class graduates, the students who started off complaining the loudest are usually the ones expressing the most gratitude and saying how well we prepared them for nursing. FINALLY! Or In Closing: We, staff, faculty and administrators, are all here to help you succeed and are, even if it may not always seem like it, cheering for your success.
  4. Brenda F. Johnson

    Get Your Foot Off My Self Esteem!

    She slapped my right hand just as I was about to inject the medicine. Startled, I looked back at her to see angry green eyes and thin lips pursed in disapproval. Knowing that the patient could see us, I kept my face unemotional."Aspirate," she hissed, giving me sharp hand signals that looked somewhat epileptic. After I aspirated and injected the shot we went out of the room into the hallway. In a high pitched thin voice she said, "You are an unsafe nurse, you forgot to aspirate! You are being put on probation." Stunned, I walked away frustrated, scared and angry. I was ready to give up. For the entire semester she had found one thing or another to yell at me or put me down about. It had been my first injection. My first ever. I was frightened to begin with, now I felt like a failure. I had looked up the medication my patient was to receive, wrote down all the information on the medication and the reason my patient needed it, and finally had drawn it up in the syringe with painstaking care. Then I had talked myself into getting the nerve up to give the injection, only to be traumatized to paralysis. After clinical that day, I sat in post conference trying not to cry. Short blonde hair that stood up in most places framed her petite face. Behind her silver framed glasses eyes clouded with prejudice, hate, and some other things I couldn't put my finger on. Trying not to make eye contact I pretended to read my paper. Afterwards I ran to my car, tears chasing me the entire way. I could hardly open the car door because my vision was blurred, once inside I let myself cry. I felt some relief but the nagging sense of self doubt hovered low over my head. I began to question myself, just like my instructor had. Is this the path God really wants me on? Had I gotten it wrong? Was I not smart enough? The questions rolled around my head until a migraine began creeping up my neck, cradling my head. On my way home I passed my church. Pulling into the parking lot, I parked facing the steeple that held a cross. Praying and crying out to God, I asked Him all the questions I had asked myself. When the questions finally ceased, I was still. Wiping the tears from my face I took a deep breath in and slowly let it out. I felt at peace. I knew in my heart that God had directed me onto this path. That night I told my husband about what had happened, I cried and reverted back to feeling sorry for myself. I even voiced that I was going to quit nursing school. He only said one sentence, but that is all I needed. "You are better than that, stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are not a quitter, show her how wrong she is." I was shocked at his bluntness, but it was exactly what I needed. I had run out of excuses. I gleaned strength from my faith and family support that coupled with my inner resolve to finish what I had started. I became even more determined to be the best nurse I could be, in spite of an instructor who didn't like me. A few clinicals passed and I worked hard and kept to myself. Then one day in the middle of a clinical, I was at a desk doing my careplan for my patient and the instructor came up to me. "I've noticed something different about you." "Thank you. I decided I wasn't going to let anything you said or did discourage me." Her face got that familiar cloudy look and she stomped off and out of my self esteem. As I watched her walk away I felt a thrill start at my toes and make it's way to my head. I smiled to myself and knew in my heart I had done the right thing. My experience with this instructor forced me to evaluate and question myself. Self reflection is a great tool in evaluating life choices and deciding the right path. In life we can grow from difficult experiences and I did in this one. I became stronger. Nursing school is extremely hard all by itself, excluding life challenges that come along trying to knock us out of the game. With the exception of this one instructor, I respected my nursing instructors. They often worked two jobs, and they always pushed us to learn and be better. Allow me to encourage nursing students who may be having a conflict with an instructor to prove them wrong. Be quietly strong, be fantastic and finish strong.
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