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Uncooperative Lab Partner

I am a first year student. We've just begun our semester a couple of weeks ago and we have our first assessment on Thursday (Aug. 31) on the Skin, Hair and Nails. I didn't know anyone in the class so I got partnered with a stranger that is not being very cooperative. She and I sit beside each other as well and all day long she goes on and on about how she doesn't need practice, she doesn't need study skills and she doesn't need test taking skills. She thinks she is a know-it-all and finds issue with everything; even the fact that I type my notes on the computer after class instead of keeping them handwritten. She is loud, rude, obnoxious and constantly complaining all the time. Just being around her is an energy suck and I am worried that her attitude is going to affect my ability to do well on my assessments because I do need to practice. I guess, what I would like to know is if I should approach my instructor and ask to have my lab partner switched or should I just suck it up. I don't want the instructor to think that I am whiny or hard to get along with but I also don't want to endanger my ability to do well because of who I am paired with.

you are just going to have to let her know the deal straight up, in the nicest yet most serious way possible.

Thoc_123

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma.

My opinion only of course, but nursing school requires alot of energy. POSITIVE ENERGY. if someone is sucking that energy out of you, then get out of the situation. Either by asking him/her what their problem is ( in a nice way of course) or trying to make friends with others in your lab class and slowly gravitating towards them. I wouldnt say suck it up at all because I think she'll bring you down. I am not the most eloquent speaker, so I wont give you advice on what to say, because I'd just tell her to get lost:uhoh21: . Talk to your instructor in private and see what advice they have for you. Good luck!

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I agree being proactive - this after all impacts your grade as well as hers. I would try to get her to buy-in to doing well: "Well, I agree to an extent but we just need to get on with it and do a good job."

If this doesn't work: "Look this isn't going to be a marriage made in heaven. Let's do what needs to be done and leave our opinions out of it."

Finally: "I can see that we are not resolving this between us. Let's involve the instructor." And then do so.

Good luck.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I would tread lightly on this one. In our class we had many group projects and there were certain people that never lifted a finger. It was well known to the faculty and their take on it was that we needed to work it out as a group, delegate, problem solve etc. Basically in each group two or three people carried the whole boat time and again. The faculty acted as if this was good training for when we get in the real world and the students that requested a switch were treated like the problem.

The good news might be is that if your partner is as good as she is cocky you might have a strong partner who can pull their weight and help you learn also. Good luck, Jules

I would tread lightly on this one. In our class we had many group projects and there were certain people that never lifted a finger. It was well known to the faculty and their take on it was that we needed to work it out as a group, delegate, problem solve etc. Basically in each group two or three people carried the whole boat time and again. The faculty acted as if this was good training for when we get in the real world and the students that requested a switch were treated like the problem.

The good news might be is that if your partner is as good as she is cocky you might have a strong partner who can pull their weight and help you learn also. Good luck, Jules

I hope that will be true but I have a feeling that the situation is only going to become worst. This person seems to alienate everyone and most of our classmates avoid her. I did manage to convince her to stay after class to practice this afternoon (10 whole minutes) and when she ran through her assessment she barely knew the steps and had hardly any of the questions memorized. Then when I practiced mine, she kept making discouraging comments and tried feel to make me feel stupid. I feel like a child for complaining but I just don't want her bad attitude to prevent me from prospering.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I think you have to realize too that you are paying the school for a service: to provide your education. If that isn't happening due to a poorly prepared lab partner - take it up with the instructor

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I think you have to realize too that you are paying the school for a service: to provide your education. If that isn't happening due to a poorly prepared lab partner - take it up with the instructor

I agree with you 100% but just wanted to share my experience which sadly was opposite of what should have been. It sure shouldn't hurt to ask. Keep us posted and much luck.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Oh I agree Jules - truly I do. I'm a crochety old lady now though and when I went back to school - I truly decided that I was the consumer of this service and I needed to have a good experience in order to learn.

you don't deserve to be working with this loser at all. you'll only be wasting your precious time. talk to your instructor. the first time you feel something is not right, speak it out. i do it all the time and i like it that way.

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Has 16 years experience. Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

Please communicate your concerns ASAP with your instructor and tactfully ask for another lab partner.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

shining_star28463. . .i would absolutely tell your instructor what this student is doing. try to do it as factually as possible. i would also tell the instructor what your plan of action is. your plan, unfortunately, is that you are most likely going to have to do most of the work yourself in order to get the grade you want, but it doesn't mean that you have to like it. you can demand another partner for the next phase of your class assignment or just volunteer to work alone. in the working world, i can guarantee that you are going to be paired with many professional nurses who you are not going to like or who are not going to work up to the same level that you see yourself working. what do you do? you do for your patients first--always. in this case, you do for yourself and your grade first. ignore this boob. she's negative and will drag your spirits down if you let her, so don't let her. mostly ignore her comments or outright confront her and tell her to stop it--your choice. either way, you are going to most likely end up doing most of the work alone. again, in the end, make sure your instructor knows just who did the majority of the work.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Oh I agree Jules - truly I do. I'm a crochety old lady now though and when I went back to school - I truly decided that I was the consumer of this service and I needed to have a good experience in order to learn.

Dag, I'm a a crotchety old lady why didn't that help me when I complained? :wink2:

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Maybe because I'm a louder crochety old lady?? tee hee hee

puggymae

Specializes in OB, NP, Nurse Educator.

I agree - you are paying for an education - you deserve to be with a partner who is positive and can help you. I would talk it over with your teacher.

Can you be the third wheel while another team practices? At least you'd be able to observe and there's a possibility that the other team will let you practice on them. Maybe you could practice on a friend or boy/girlfriend? Don't let this person determine whether or not you will be learning the skills you need. Take the initiative to learn/practice without this person and outshine them when you have to check off with your instructors. If you're in the sort of situation where you have to practice with your assigned lab partner and there is no deviation from that policy, I'd try to have one more meeting of the minds with this person. If that fails, document your efforts and take them to the instructor you feel most comfortable with. The previous posters who pointed out that you are paying to learn have an excellent point.

I'm thankful that we get to pick our own lab partners in my program. I hope your situation gets better soon.

MMARN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac/Telemetry.

I am a first year student. We've just begun our semester a couple of weeks ago and we have our first assessment on Thursday (Aug. 31) on the Skin, Hair and Nails. I didn't know anyone in the class so I got partnered with a stranger that is not being very cooperative. She and I sit beside each other as well and all day long she goes on and on about how she doesn't need practice, she doesn't need study skills and she doesn't need test taking skills. She thinks she is a know-it-all and finds issue with everything; even the fact that I type my notes on the computer after class instead of keeping them handwritten. She is loud, rude, obnoxious and constantly complaining all the time. Just being around her is an energy suck and I am worried that her attitude is going to affect my ability to do well on my assessments because I do need to practice. I guess, what I would like to know is if I should approach my instructor and ask to have my lab partner switched or should I just suck it up. I don't want the instructor to think that I am whiny or hard to get along with but I also don't want to endanger my ability to do well because of who I am paired with.

Unfortunately, you will find this in every class. There will always be a person who "knows" more than the professor. My only advice to you is to try to distance yourself from her and ask your professor nicely to partner you up with someone else. A partner needs to be cooperative and understanding. You need to help each other. She's not helping. So, you need to take the best course of action and ask your prof for a change. It'll help you to be successful in the end.

natrgrrl

Specializes in LTC.

Most educators know that when bad and good are paired together, bad always prevails. If changing your lab partner's mind doesn't work (which it might not :uhoh3:), talk to your instructor or find a different way to learn because it is your responsibility to do well in class. Right now is a good time to practice being confident and assertive.

A know-it-all is not likely to graduate anyway, IMHO.

Good luck on your decision! Let us know how things work out.

Amanda

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

I'd speak to the instructor about it, pointing out how it's not helping you to learn, when this person is being deadweight.

I would agree with speaking up and talking to your instructor about your situation. In LPN school I was always very quiet infact in my first 2 semester evals the instructors commented that I needed to talk more to get a better school experiance. While I was quit and not talking much I had a lab partner who was quit also but was what I thought a very good student. We would practice all our labs together and even got assigned to our specialty clinical rotations together. Things were going well till the first day of the 3rd semester she did not show up and I did not know why. Once we were back in the class room another class mate said she had failed pharm and was put out of the program. Maybe if we had talked more I would have known this and could have helped her to study. Then I was assigned another lab partner who was new to the class she had completed part of a RN program and had to quit then tested out of the first half of our program. This woman was book smart but when it came to lab and clinicals she was terrible. She had only attended one day of clinicals for the RN program while we in the LPN program had already completed about 75 days of clinical and lab time. I pretty much fared for myself and practiced lab on my family members on the weekends. The only thing that I was missing out on was phlebotomy. There was no way I could get the supplys to practice on family and none of them would have let me anyways. (Not that I blammed them. I would have had to drawl the line there also.) Well I finally got the courage to go to my instructor and explain my situation. She was very nice and even volunteered to be my victim. She stayed after school one day and taught me the in and outs about phlebotomy and even let me stick for practice. Sorry this post is so long but I just dont want to see someone else make the same mistake that I did. Long story short when I finnaly got the guts to open up and let a instructor know what was going on she went out of her way to rectify the situation and make sure that when I graduated I would trained to the best of her ability.

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