Published Sep 27, 2003
Most of us can sight a horrible experience with an instructor at one time or another. And in most of those stories-the student felt singled out and picked on. We've had thread after thread after thread. So- know that your not alone.
I for one had a heck of a time with my med-surg instructor. She nit-picked EVERYTHING that I did, and zeroed in one the smallest, most insignificant thing to "beat" me with. I cried often. And dreaded returning each day. I thought-Good Lord, what did I ever do to this woman? What could I have possibly done to diserve this treatment? In the end-it boiled down to a conflict of personalities (She openly said so many times. Even refused to be a proffessional reference for me, saying she didn't think it was appropriate given how "we" felt about each other) She was very much a control freak-do what I say, how I say and when I say-no thought or questions-which I had a problem with. I had one particular patient with a difficult dressing change, with very specific instructions from the WC nurse. The instructor insisted I put the debrideing ointment on the gauze-when I asked her why the gauze and not the wound, she light into me with a vengence. Another time- I got into trouble for not following the turn schedule she had set (I did turn the pt. q2 hrs.-just side to side vrs. time on back due to reddening coccyx) As I had not checked with her first, I was wrong. (So much for critical thinking...)
Unlike you- I did not have the luxury of turing to another instructor. I had to stick it out-and cry ALOT. It was six weeks of the hardest time in my life. In the end- I questioned everything I did-had no confidence in the simplest of things-and felt unqualified to care for an animal, let alone a human being. But I took the abuse and lived to tell it. To stand up to her brought the roof down, literally! (Many, many students did not stick it out-this instructor caused more students to drop out than anyone else in the history of the school, funny thought-each of us who stayed passed.)I passed my clinicals and have since been a liscensed nurse for a year now.
My point-sometimes there is no reason for the problems. Sometimes-you just can't do anything about it.
Jenac, I see we are from different states, but my med-surg instructor sounds EXACTLY like the one you had!! She sure must get around on her broom - LOL! Your post is a mirror image of my experience, my confidence too was shattered. I was very traumatized by this woman and also came home in tears many nights. I was convinced she was a direct descendant of Hitler. But somehow I got through it and got a B, hardest B I ever earned. Like you said, we all go through it, and it lays down another thickness of skin on our hides. I don't know why these control freaks get hired to teach in the first place, and how they ever got to be nurses is often beyond me. Lieutenant or Colonel seems to have a more appropriate ring to it.
Originally posted by luv2quilt:) can you believe this woman? I am not going to school on grant money, I am paying for instruction and I want to learn!
can you believe this woman? I am not going to school on grant money, I am paying for instruction and I want to learn!
Even those of us, luv2quilt, who DO receive grant money want to learn. We're just as determined and want it just as much as those who were fortunate enough to pay for instruction out of their pocket.
That said, this brings to mind my sister-in-law. We (the family) were so happy when she went to nursing school. Her elder sister was already and LPN and it seemed fitting that she would follow. However, she didn't last. She was harassed from the get-go by this particular instructor. The instructor would single her out, called her stupid in front of her classmates, and stayed on her like that until she eventually quit. She just couldn't take the constant abuse. Was this a case of weeding out the weak? No, I don't think so. A few months after my sister-in-law dropped out, this instructor was found to be stealing from the drug cabinet and was subsequently fired. This was several years back and I can even recall the write up in the paper.
As for my instructor, I'm not sure what to think yet. In some ways she is a very ballistic character, quick to go off, complains that we make her chest hurt with stress, and cuts her eyes at you like she could carve you you. On the other hand, she seems to know exactly what we're going through and gives great advice when she sees us struggling. Six weeks into the program she's become very encouraging in a lot of ways....still harsh, still gritty.....but there. Sometimes I wonder if one of the worse things nursing students can do is listen to other nursing student's opinions of the instructors. Sometimes it seems....when we look a little deeper.....we see what's at the core........our learning.
Chaya, ASN, RN
Have had a couple on instructors from hell. At the time. I thought they must be justified in their low opinion of me. One of them repeatedly singled me out and corrected me in front of my patients in the teen clinic we were working at-always with the same specific piece of information that we had been given different info on by thre classroom instructor. Luckily, I was determined to survive, and I did. I may have been a terrible student in clinicals (jury still out on that one) but I've actually turned out to be a competent floor nurse in real practice and that's what counts. On some level I thought I would see things from their perspective after I got the license and began to practice. I have never been a clinical instructor but I have had many opportunities to train other new nurses on the floor, and I have concluded that there is NEVER any justification for treating a student in a way that makes him/her feel belittled. I have zero respect for those instructors who treated me that way in the past or who continue to treat students this way in the name of instruction, and I refuse to perpetrate this crap. For my own part, I have found that if someone is not "getting" a technique you need to analyse what they're missing and direct your efforts towards that. It does NOT take extra time to give them the common respect due from one human being to another. So just hang in there, all of you- but vow that you will break the cycle and never pass this type of crap along!
As an addendum to my post, I do think a lot of the instructors want to test you to see what you're made of. I hate to admit it, but when I made mistakes and was scolded blatently about it, I never made that mistake again. I actually did learn something from the experience. So hang in there, show 'em your stuff, and you'll do fine.
renerian, BSN, RN
Oh I feel for you. I flunked my first skills lab and it was handwashing! I scrubbed 5 seconds less than the 3 minutes.....I know they make it hard. I remember it well. Some of the lab instructors were not very nice. I was very glad I got a new one when she was hired and she took it more from a mentoring role. I had her for the last 3 semesters. I bought her a thank you gift when I graduated.
Originally posted by luv2quilt:) I am not going to school on grant money, I am paying for instruction and I want to learn!
I am not going to school on grant money, I am paying for instruction and I want to learn!
I just have to throw in that nursing school is not like the "normal" world. You DO pay alot for the right to be there- but I have NEVER meet an instructor who feels obligated to teach just because we paid for it! The theory seems to be: I'll give the info.-learn it or leave. Stay and be prepared to prove yourself. It is truely a survival of the fittest. And a measure of just how much BS you can take. Yes- you pay for your education-but so does every single person who gets tossed out or drops out. I gaurantee not one of them thought they would have to put up with so much abuse to "get what they paid for".
In no other aspect of life would you have to pay someone so much to be treated so badly.
That said- I stand by education each and every day. I learned how to be a good nurse-and that I can take alot more than I ever thought possible! :)
wonderbee, BSN, RN
My intro to skills instructor wouldn't allow a student out to pee during class time. She humiliated her in front of the entire class. If she took a liking to you, she treated you like a fellow human being. But if she didn't, you were done for. Only the most tenacious thick skinned of her "least favorites" stuck with what was really an easy course.
Cat: I meant no offense to anyone receiving grant money to go to school, I know it is expensive for all of us, and that we should get what we are paying for. So pleeeeze if I offended anyone, I am sorry, I have received grant money myself in the past. And thanks everyone for all your positive comments!
FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I
Yup, They're still eating their young.
I was bitten too. Mine was by an army nurse. Her method of teaching, especially charting and classroom instruction where she taught Med-Surg and Mother-Child-Mother-Infant, and Emergency nursing were exactly opposite of the other instructor. How confusing it can be!
I think we've all been there one time or another, but I wasn't about to let that woman ruin my education.
At my graduation, I was awarded a perfect attendance award that that same instructor attempted to cheat me out of because I forgot my books one morning.
I had arrived at school 30 minutes early that morning, and realizing I left them at home, I asked her for permission to go get them. I arrived back at school just as the first class was beginning.
The other instructor caught her remark, and erased it. I graduated with a 95 average for the year.
Ironically, that same instructor is now the director of the program, and was in the hospital one evening when I was in the ER as a patient going into respiratory failure.
She came to the ER, to check on one of her students. When she saw me laying on the stretcher, struggling to breathe and in pain at the same time from several attempts by several different people, trying to get an ABG.
What a time that was! After about 30 minutes of unsuccessful attempts, A physician finally went into the artery with a syringe and drew some arterial blood out. They would gain access to my radial arteries, but the arteries kept closing off.
Hang in there luv2quilt. You'll make it. I think some of those instructors put us through that because they know how the physicians are going to treat us when we get out into the work force and have to deal with them. Especially the ones who write illegible orders, tests, and prescriptions. And including some irate patients. But at least most of them have an excuse. They're not in the hospital or nursing home etc. because they love the esperience of being there.
Even though those traumatic experiences will be etched into your mind, keep on keeping on, and try to put them behind you. I know it's hard to do that, but once you get through your school year, you'll be glad you did.
We haven't gotten far enough into clinicals for me to really complain about my instructor. The funny thing is, the first time I met this woman there was just something about her I did not like. In lab, she seemed to act condescending and pushy, always saying "hurry up hurry up" and making you feel like if you couldn't do something *so simple* as make the bed with a patient in it, you must be a real idiot. She said something to me, like "BOY hun you're having a REAL problem with that aren't you" and she made someone come help me, when I was content in doing it myself. She doesn't even give us time to do things before she's on our backs harping about it. I said to myself then, I really hope I don't have her as my first clinical instructor... and sure enough I do. Just my luck. I think she picks on me more because I'm younger. She just has a real sarcastic attitude, I do not like her. I also heard she's like a drill sargeant on the floor... I'm quite a sensitive person so I have a feeling this woman will be making me cry a good deal.
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