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Subject: I want to punch my instructors in the liver! [RANT] rss

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Stephen Dunne
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A little rant about nursing school.

So I am just about at my breaking point. I am 3 semesters in on my RN, will be graduating in December. Nursing school has been a challenge so far. The book work, plus the patient care in a clinical setting is very different from your average college course.

There have been some disconnects that we as students have had to deal with. The first semester was all sweetness and light - which was fine, but left us woefully unprepared for informational hammer that was dropped on us in the second semester. We lost about 25% of our class last semester - the only way I made it was by pretty much giving up on work, taking out loans and borrowing what I could to study.

So be it. It's what I needed to do.

I had problems then with how the classes were taught. An instructor would stand in front of the class for hours and read off of a powerpoint. You were then responsible for reading several hundred pages of material and then trying to make sense of it all. Didn't thin kit was the best way to teach.

This semester is pretty much a repeat of the last as far as teaching methods go, with the added frustration of some of the sloppiest organizational skills I have ever seen. Which is the focus of my little bitchfest.

We are told to show up on time and be ready to go. 1 minute late and you are written up. No problem - I can get places on time. But then the instructors are late.

We are told to have all of the correct paperwork with us at the hospital. Not normally an issue, except when the change or update the paperwork, and don't bother to tell anyone. Or they give you information that is incomplete, and then tell us that we should have found the revised work that they just posted to the online blackboard yesterday at 11pm.

Or they tell us that we need to be better at scheduling our time for clinicals and labs, even thought they give us a date, but no exact times.

And Jeebus Rice! The passive aggressive bullshit - it is mind blowing.

I realize that nursing school is different than "regular" college. But holy shit, these people make me want to puke! 3 different instructors in the same room at the same time give you 3 slightly different answers to the same question. And if you call them on it, they reverse themselves and say they never said it.

Sorry Chit Chat - had to blow off some pent up crap here - but I am just 7 different kinds of fed up right now.



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Through The Ages
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This is to get you ready for the realities of your new workplace. Your ability to cope with this kind of stuff is almost as important as the professional knowledge.
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Rishi A.
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Sorry to hear about your frustration. It actually sounds a lot like law school. What got me through law school was interacting with people who weren't in school. Hopefully your rant helped you vent.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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I'm sorry to hear about the poor teaching methods, but I do believe that learning and reading on your own is not such a horrible idea for a medical profession. I've worked with lots of nurses and I know it is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs out there and not everybody can do it or do it successfully.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you really want it, you'll put up with the bs and get through the next 10 months.

Good luck to you!!!!!!!
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fightcitymayor
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Echo2112 wrote:
I had problems then with how the classes were taught. An instructor would stand in front of the class for hours and read off of a powerpoint. You were then responsible for reading several hundred pages of material and then trying to make sense of it all. Didn't think it was the best way to teach.

Ugh, sounds exactly like 1 particular professor I had during my undergrad years. Loved to blow hot air about all of his "connections" and the people he knew in the industry. Never taught any actual useful info, just name-dropped and acted important. I actually called him out on it in front of the entire class during a group presentation (that subsequently earned me immense scorn from said group.)



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Echo2112 wrote:
I had problems then with how the classes were taught. An instructor would stand in front of the class for hours and read off of a powerpoint. You were then responsible for reading several hundred pages of material and then trying to make sense of it all. Didn't think it was the best way to teach.



Sounds like grad school. My first semester class notes. Three inch binders, filled to the brim with printouts. Three of them. one per test. Was much fun. Don't miss that at all.
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Stephen Dunne
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EgorjLileli wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about the poor teaching methods, but I do believe that learning and reading on your own is not such a horrible idea for a medical profession. I've worked with lots of nurses and I know it is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs out there and not everybody can do it or do it successfully.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you really want it, you'll put up with the bs and get through the next 10 months.

Good luck to you!!!!!!!


I agree with you. I have no problem reading material to be sure that I understand a concept. But I need more than just reading - or having someone read to me.

If all you do is read, then all you are doing is memorizing information for a test. If you don't do something with the data, then you will not remember it.

I am not going to quite or give up. But I am never going to be a fan of this method of instruction.
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David Debien
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My Sister In Law just finished her schooling at the UT School of Nursing and had many of the same complaints. Still, she has her RN now and couldnt be happier. Keep at it, you will get there.
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Jeff
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I guess that's the cool thing about studying nursing. While I often WANTED to punch my engineering professors in the liver, I had no idea where I should actually aim to accomplish this.

(of course, I could rig small explosive charges from capacitors, so I had that going for me...)
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Echo2112 wrote:
EgorjLileli wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about the poor teaching methods, but I do believe that learning and reading on your own is not such a horrible idea for a medical profession. I've worked with lots of nurses and I know it is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs out there and not everybody can do it or do it successfully.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you really want it, you'll put up with the bs and get through the next 10 months.

Good luck to you!!!!!!!


I agree with you. I have no problem reading material to be sure that I understand a concept. But I need more than just reading - or having someone read to me.

If all you do is read, then all you are doing is memorizing information for a test. If you don't do something with the data, then you will not remember it.

I am not going to quite or give up. But I am never going to be a fan of this method of instruction.


Study groups can work wonders. If you are struggling, chances are your classmates are as well. Group-think can figure stuff out and help you remember.
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June King
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All that crap is good prep for the frustrating amount of paperwork, office politics and regs you'll need to know about as a working RN.

Make things fun. Before you punch one of them in the liver, raise your hand in class and ask the teacher where the liver is located. Sort of an impromptu practical. If they give you three different answers, you get a choice of where to sucker-punch them. Cathartic AND educational. devil
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Anne Freitas
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Echo2112 wrote:
A little rant about nursing school.




I wish you strength through the semester!

I'm sorry to hear that your teachers do not sound inspirational. Especially since you have to pay for this education.

I hope that something starts to make sense through it all.

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Gregory Amstutz
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I can't relate, as I haven't been to college, but I do understand frustration. My only question is, why the liver???

I can only guess it's along these lines.....
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dogzard wrote:
I can't relate, as I haven't been to college, but I do understand frustration. My only question is, why the liver???

I can only guess it's along these lines.....

Or maybe he's Hugo Snyder.

Anybody? Anybody?
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Stephen Dunne
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Thanks for the kind words everybody.

We have grouped together to study - it is just a matter of time until I am done and can move past this whole mess.
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Pieter
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Thing is, YOU want a diploma, and YOU will therefore have to make sure that you provide what they want to give you that diploma.

If they offer information late then you can try to use it as an excuse for not having received it, but it is still YOUR problem, not theirs.

Welcome to the real world.

Incidentally, I have been through this crap too, and now I always try to give my students their information on time. And you know what: then some of them still did not read it and complain. My final defense against that is "it is your own responsibility to acquire the information you need to finish your studies." Because some of them only get more and more lazy if you do too much for them.
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fightcitymayor
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Because some of them only get more and more lazy if you do too much for them.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I expect teachers to actually teach.
I mean, if it's a serve-yourself buffet, then why am I paying a waiter?

It's brutally apparent that in too many post-secondary-education circles the "professors" (a term I shall use loosely) are simply there to network, schmooze, get published, build a resume, and collect their fat tenured paychecks. The "teaching" part is an afterthought.


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Amy Wiles
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Echo2112 wrote:
Thanks for the kind words everybody.

We have grouped together to study - it is just a matter of time until I am done and can move past this whole mess.

Group study is the best thing you can do. I'm glad you've started! Really, the only way to learn material is to deal with it. You can deal with it probably better in a group than by yourself and even while sitting in a lecture. The professor is there to guide and assist you (it doesn't seem like they're doing too much assisting), but the only way to learn is for YOU to confront the material.

Sorry your experiences suck.

fightcitymayor wrote:
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I expect teachers to actually teach.
I mean, if it's a serve-yourself buffet, then why am I paying a waiter?

It's brutally apparent that in too many post-secondary-education circles the "professors" (a term I shall use loosely) are simply there to network, schmooze, get published, build a resume, and collect their fat tenured paychecks. The "teaching" part is an afterthought.

But honestly, that's what they're hired to do. Most professors at big schools are NOT hired to teach. They're hired to do research or write or whatever is dictated by their field. In science, they're hired because the department is hoping they'll do cool new research and bring big grant money in. Then they're also told they have to teach every once in a while.

Teaching well is hard. It's more difficult to teach well than a college student can imagine. And if that's not why you're at the university, you're sure not going to try to do it well by any stretch. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying this is how it is. This is why big, research school have TAs teach most of the classes and/or labs. This is why I personally think that if you want a good undergraduate education, you'd be better off taking out a bigger loan and going to a smaller school where the focus is on teaching. But that's just my philosophy.

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fightcitymayor
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amwiles wrote:
But honestly, that's what they're hired to do. Most professors at big schools are NOT hired to teach.

I don't disagree, it's just that when universities prospect for students they don't exactly hit them with these unpleasant facts, especially not until they already have their cash.

"Hey, prospective college student! Come to University X! Where we'll take your tens-of-thousands of dollars and plop you in a musty 60's era classroom in front of some noob TA that just fell off of the boat (literally) who may or may not speak enough English to even begin to communicate with you. Looking for the actual prof whose name is on the course outline? Well, silly, he's in California right now attempting to drum up connections and donors to continue lining the pockets of our humble school administrators, and in doing do, a few bucks for himself. We can't keep these 1960's era classrooms up and humming without mad cash after all!"

Between the federal grant money, the endless publishing prostitution, and the gaudy sports programs, modern Western post-secondary education as it is peddled to the masses is really just a shitty, shitty place to be (thus the far better concentration on boozing, smoking, and getting laid regularly.) But like good capitalists we never talk about it. Just keep taking their $$$ and keep cranking out mindless drones with pieces of paper that say "Business Degree" on them so they can lay claim to their piece of the middle-class Western lifestyle. Rinse and repeat.





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Just Jeff
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I can empathize with you. When I went to nursing school, we had 2 of the greatest instructors one could ever want, Joan Melvin (God rest her soul) and Jeanine Tufty. They had a way of identifying with their students, and taught in a very memorable fashion. We also had our share of teach by rote, read the material, I am always right so shut up, instructors. If it weren't for the support of the two I mentioned by name, I wouldn't have made it through.

I wish you the best. It is a satisfying career field if you can get past the bureaucratic bullshit and favoritism. Also, around these parts, there is rampant reverse-discrimination against male nurses. Very unpleasant to work in my local hospital.
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Stephen Dunne
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Thing is, YOU want a diploma, and YOU will therefore have to make sure that you provide what they want to give you that diploma.

If they offer information late then you can try to use it as an excuse for not having received it, but it is still YOUR problem, not theirs.

Welcome to the real world.

Incidentally, I have been through this crap too, and now I always try to give my students their information on time. And you know what: then some of them still did not read it and complain. My final defense against that is "it is your own responsibility to acquire the information you need to finish your studies." Because some of them only get more and more lazy if you do too much for them.


The real world?

I am not making excuses - I am holding a 3.0 GPA while working full time and going to school full time.

My problem is with shitty teachers that have a double standard, and get offended when students confront them over how poor they are at disseminating information we NEED to be successful students - successful to their standards.

If an instructors withholds information from us, and still expects us to find and learn without that information, said professor needs to have his or her head checked.
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Echo2112 wrote:
3 different instructors in the same room at the same time give you 3 slightly different answers to the same question. And if you call them on it, they reverse themselves and say they never said it.


Use a recorder.
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Thing is, YOU want a diploma, and YOU will therefore have to make sure that you provide what they want to give you that diploma.


When I was still in college the Vice Dean (or Vice Chancellor, not sure what title is used in US) of the Undergrad Studies, the body responsible for the teaching quality of the University said in a conference that "It was the student's job to learn and not the teacher's job to teach.". He was made to retract that statement the next day. Amy is right on that most of the "teachers" are hired as researchers first and they only teach because it is mandatory (here every researcher must get at least 6 credits of classes every Semester, usually 8). But the point is that one does not excuse the other.

One of the best teachers I had during my undergrad was also the Head of his department, and one of the best researchers we had.

Quote:
If they offer information late then you can try to use it as an excuse for not having received it, but it is still YOUR problem, not theirs.


I didn't know that teaching dishonest and "how to get away with murder" were part of the normal curricula now.
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Pieter
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Well, you can complain about the quality of the teachers as much as you want, but it still comes down to you having to make good use of the material that is provided to you. And you have to take responsibility for that. Studying at a university is quite different from studying at a high school. At a university you are supposed to take an interest in the subject that you are studying, and do the work. Sure, teachers are there to supply material, explain the subject matter, and answer questions, but it is not their responsibility for you to take it all in. You have to do that yourself.

Of course there are lousy teachers at universities. There are good teachers too. But it is far too easy to assign student failure to a teacher being not all that good. If the teacher is not good, there are many things you can do: seeking out the material by yourself, or getting a different teacher, or picking different courses. Generally, the good teachers outnumber the bad ones. And if you are under the impression that you are failing because far too many teachers are bad, either there is something wrong with you, or you should attend a different university.

You know what I have noticed? Most students fail to turn up when I have set time aside for assisting them. And then they still send me emails about the material, even though all information is readily available on the blackboard system. But it is quicker to fire off an email in my direction then see if they can find the information themselves. I am pretty sure that by being available to the students all the time I am making a significant number of them lazy.

A teacher has to draw a line somewhere. And a student must take his own responsibility for his studies. Of course it is great to have good teachers, but you will also encounter bad ones. There is no way around that. If you cannot handle that, you are going to fail. And that failure is your own responsibility, because the bad teachers will be there regardless. Learn to deal with that.
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Stephen Dunne
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Well, you can complain about the quality of the teachers as much as you want, but it still comes down to you having to make good use of the material that is provided to you. And you have to take responsibility for that. Studying at a university is quite different from studying at a high school. At a university you are supposed to take an interest in the subject that you are studying, and do the work. Sure, teachers are there to supply material, explain the subject matter, and answer questions, but it is not their responsibility for you to take it all in. You have to do that yourself.

Of course there are lousy teachers at universities. There are good teachers too. But it is far too easy to assign student failure to a teacher being not all that good. If the teacher is not good, there are many things you can do: seeking out the material by yourself, or getting a different teacher, or picking different courses. Generally, the good teachers outnumber the bad ones. And if you are under the impression that you are failing because far too many teachers are bad, either there is something wrong with you, or you should attend a different university.

You know what I have noticed? Most students fail to turn up when I have set time aside for assisting them. And then they still send me emails about the material, even though all information is readily available on the blackboard system. But it is quicker to fire off an email in my direction then see if they can find the information themselves. I am pretty sure that by being available to the students all the time I am making a significant number of them lazy.

A teacher has to draw a line somewhere. And a student must take his own responsibility for his studies. Of course it is great to have good teachers, but you will also encounter bad ones. There is no way around that. If you cannot handle that, you are going to fail. And that failure is your own responsibility, because the bad teachers will be there regardless. Learn to deal with that.


Ok, let me try and explain something to you.

I am not new to college. This is my second time through. So I know how it works - been there, done that.

Let be give you some fine examples of why these people need to work on organizational skills.

We do classroom work. All of the info I need, I have. We also spend one to two days at a hospital on 12 hours shifts. This is where things fall apart. Right now there are two different word documents online that tell us what clinical rotation we are assigned to. Both are different, so we have to find out which is right.

They tell us we need to be at a certain place for a lab assignment - mandatory - a no show means you can possibly be kicked out of the program. But they kind of failed to mention when.

While in clinical, we were told that there was a type of IV site we could not work with. But then we were told we could. And then we were told right after that we couldn't.

They tell us 2 days before a clinical rotation when we need to be someplace. For a 12 hour shift. Realize that most everyone I am in school with have jobs and/or kids. 2 days is not much warning.

I can keep going on. This is what we are dealing with over and over and over and over and over. For 3 semesters now.

If I fail due to not passing a test, I didn't study enough. If I get kicked out of the program for being "unsafe", but was never given the information, or we were not told until the day before we needed it, is that my fault?
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