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Posted: 1/25/2006 6:35:01 PM EDT
Hello All

Mrs. FFSparky26 is in her third year in her BSN program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is currently taking a Community Health in Nursing Course. She will be going on home visits with an outreach program for women and children at risk for abuse. She has an assignment that is worth 15% of her overall grade. The assignment was given by the course coordinator (Professor) and will be graded by a clinical instructor (like a Graduate Assistant). Mrs. Sparky tells me that the clinical instructor is really being an ass. She is treating the male students badly, making sexist comments, and is overtly racist. The clinical instructor is black.

The assignment is where the real dilemma is, the assignment given was to write a 10 page paper and make nursing diagnosis based on her observations during her participation in the outreach program. She is to supported the diagnosis and relate it to statistical data from all of Knox County. The outreach program specifically serves low income families in mostly minority neighborhoods. Now Knox County is not a majority low income county nor does it have a large minority population. If she is making diagnosis based on this small subset of Knox County how can she take data from the entire county to support it? The average incomes, marriage and divorce rates, etc of the folks from the outreach program are a small subset of the data.

She asked the clinical instructor and discussed the issue. She gave no solid answer and my wife told her she wanted to right the paper to make a good grade and the clinical instructor said "She does not believe in that.” I am like what the fuck is that the clinical instructor does not believe in academic excellence, what a shitty educator (This is my opinion).

What should my wife do?

Should she take all of the Knox County data, even though it would not support her observations on the program and just write about it in the paper?

Should she look at only data from that area of Knox County that the outreach is in, not follow the instructions, and have the statistical data support the paper?

Should she just write a bunch of touchy feely bullshit to get the grade?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:51:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 7:06:06 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
If she has the time, I would consider the following:

(1) I would use all of the Knox county data in the paper, but mention how it does not match her observations. Then I would add an appendix to the paper that would discuss this very issue, and perhaps also provide the more relevant statistical data. That way, she is still following the directions, but is not only formally voicing her concerns, but also illustrating that she wants to do a correct job, and went to the trouble of doing so.

It might also be worthwhile to request that the course coordinator herself grade the paper (or at least look it over). From what you are describing, it sound like the clinial instructor doesn't really care about a more sophisticated analysis.

If she asks the coordinator to look it over, that might also be the time to confidentially voice concerns about the unprofessional attitude and demeanor of the clinical instructor



(2) In any event, regardless of how your wife decides to proceed, I think it is important to lodge some sort of formal complaint. Overt sexism and racist should not be tolerated in an educational setting. While it should be brought to the attention of the instructor, it might also be a good idea to take it a little higher (at the conclusion of the course, obviously).


(Of course, keep in mind that I know NOTHING about the medical field, so definitely take any advice from me with a grain of salt)
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:53:54 PM EDT
very easy, Dr's make diagnosis's not nurses
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:05:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wump:
very easy, Dr's make diagnosis's not nurses



Doctors make "Medical Diagnosis", i.e Scoliosis, Pneumonia. They treat disease specifically.

Nurses make "Nursing Diagnosis" i.e ineffective airway clearance related to diminshed cough reflex, risk for infection related to surgical incesion, imparied physical mobility related to parapalegia. They treat the person as a whole.


This is per Mrs. FFSPARKY26, currently enrolled at UTK School of Nursing. She's got a 4.0 GPA, I beleive her.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:12:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:

Originally Posted By wump:
very easy, Dr's make diagnosis's not nurses



Doctors make "Medical Diagnosis", i.e Scoliosis, Pneumonia. They treat disease specifically.

Nurses make "Nursing Diagnosis" i.e ineffective airway clearance related to diminshed cough reflex, risk for infection related to surgical incesion, imparied physical mobility related to parapalegia. They treat the person as a whole.


This is per Mrs. FFSPARKY26, currently enrolled at UTK School of Nursing. She's got a 4.0 GPA, I beleive her.



I know, but it always gets a raze out of nurses to say that.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:15:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 7:17:41 PM EDT by Master_Blaster]
My wife's been a RN for severaol years. As well, since I've worked in med community for a few years, I've heard my share of bitch's-R-us mentality that typifies many a nursing instructor. About 2 years after my wife graduated, one of her former (tenured) instructors actually got booted from the department when a group of students taking her class approached the department about the way she was treating the class. It is more fact than fiction that many nursing instructors have an attitude & play the uber-bitch role w/ cruel tenacity, overloading the assignment workload or flunking students out of the program for reasons of personal bias, or just to piss on someone because they can.

My point is, even a smug, self-asorbed, tenured instructor can be taken. It would be interesting to see what others in her class think, & if mutual record-keeping among the student on the person in question would yield some common observations. I'm sure the university must have policies concerning her behavior, & unless it is another flaming-lib U, it might be a worthwhile pursuit if she tries to use her position to harass or even ruin a student in some way.

This BS won't bury itself.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:18:59 PM EDT
remember this: those who can not practice, teach.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:21:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
Hello All

Mrs. FFSparky26 is in her third year in her BSN program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is currently taking a Community Health in Nursing Course. She will be going on home visits with an outreach program for women and children at risk for abuse. She has an assignment that is worth 15% of her overall grade. The assignment was given by the course coordinator (Professor) and will be graded by a clinical instructor (like a Graduate Assistant). Mrs. Sparky tells me that the clinical instructor is really being an ass. She is treating the male students badly, making sexist comments, and is overtly racist. The clinical instructor is black.

The assignment is where the real dilemma is, the assignment given was to write a 10 page paper and make nursing diagnosis based on her observations during her participation in the outreach program. She is to supported the diagnosis and relate it to statistical data from all of Knox County. The outreach program specifically serves low income families in mostly minority neighborhoods. Now Knox County is not a majority low income county nor does it have a large minority population. If she is making diagnosis based on this small subset of Knox County how can she take data from the entire county to support it? The average incomes, marriage and divorce rates, etc of the folks from the outreach program are a small subset of the data.

She asked the clinical instructor and discussed the issue. She gave no solid answer and my wife told her she wanted to right the paper to make a good grade and the clinical instructor said "She does not believe in that.” I am like what the fuck is that the clinical instructor does not believe in academic excellence, what a shitty educator (This is my opinion).

What should my wife do?

Should she take all of the Knox County data, even though it would not support her observations on the program and just write about it in the paper?

Should she look at only data from that area of Knox County that the outreach is in, not follow the instructions, and have the statistical data support the paper?

Should she just write a bunch of touchy feely bullshit to get the grade?



If the county does not have the information I highlighted in blue it is available by city, county, and down to census tract numbers at [l]www.census.gov/[/l] hope that links. On the left side of the screen you will see American Fact Finder, click that, then you will see a button that says, Data Sets, click that. After that there will be a number of different files you can use to get the information you/she needs.

They have 2000 numbers but if the county does not have more recent figures, I think that may be the most recent information.

Then I would use this and do what DK-Prof suggested.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:22:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
My wife's been a RN for severaol years. As well, since I've worked in med community for a few years, I've heard my share of bitch's-R-us mentality that typifies many a nursing instructor. About 2 years after my wife graduated, one of her former (tenured) instructors actually got booted from the department when a group of students taking her class approached the department about the way she was treating the class. It is more fact than fiction that many nursing instructors have an attitude & play the uber-bitch role w/ cruel tenacity, overloading the assignment workload or flunking students out of the program for reasons of personal bias, or just to piss on someone because they can.

My point is, even a smug, self-asorbed, tenured instructor can be taken. It would be interesting to see what others in her class think, & if mutual record-keeping among the student on the person in question would yield some common observations. I'm sure the university must have policies concerning her behavior, & unless it is another flaming-lib U, it might be a worthwhile pursuit if she tries to use her position to harass or even ruin a student in some way.

This BS won't bury itself.



MrsFFSPARKY26 will probably talk to some folks higher up the food chain about the clinical instructor. She is afraid she will have her in some of her clinicals in her final year and the clinical instructor may try to get back at her.

So what do you think or what does Mrs.Master_Blaster think about the paper? That is the main issue, she wants to keep up the GPA and do her best.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:25:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Yossarian:
If the county does not have the information I highlighted in blue it is available by city, county, and down to census tract numbers at [l]www.census.gov/[/l] hope that links.



So the census tract numbers would be more localized and specific to the area the outreach is in, correct?

How do these tract numbers correlate to street addresses?

Oh and thanks to everyone for your help.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:33:31 PM EDT
I'm in a RN program right now. The course work is very time consuming and difficult to figure out at times. I was in the military for six years and I just have to sit back and laugh to myself at how offended the girls get when people question them. An instructor is stern or calls someone out on something and you hear about it nonstop for weeks I am the only male sitting there with 25 other women under stress everyday, it can be entertaining .

In my program I don't see any sexism but I have a thick skin and probably wouldn't notice or care anyway. As far as her project goes, I would just do what she has to to get it done with a grade. That project will have no effect on her eventual nursing practice or the care she gives patients so just spit something out that will pass and move on to the next assignment, then the next assignment, then the next assignment, then the next assignment........etc
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:37:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 7:39:37 PM EDT by LANCEMAN]

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:

MrsFFSPARKY26 will probably talk to some folks higher up the food chain about the clinical instructor. She is afraid she will have her in some of her clinicals in her final year and the clinical instructor may try to get back at her.

So what do you think or what does Mrs.Master_Blaster think about the paper? That is the main issue, she wants to keep up the GPA and do her best.



I myself don't worry about GPA that much, I just want to pass, a 4.0 means nothing because everyone who has ever been through any type of school knows you can't remember it all. That's just me though. You have to be on your toes in programs such as this because if you make an enemy out of an instructor it can ruin you. I'm not sexist by any means but I have seen how grudges can be carried for a long time, especially by women.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:39:54 PM EDT
Sparky,

When you say she must support her diagnosis, does that mean she is being told to "make the data fit the observation"? Well then, I would have to concur w/ DK. Providing the required data & also demonstrating anamolous or divergent relationships between her observaions and the larger set of available data for the county's records would be a direct, rational approach. Do other students in the class feel the same about the assignment? Perhaps if the students request clarification relevant to the point of concern as a group - perhaps even get some clarification in writing - it might give them more room to manuever.

I'm afraid that, if she is dealing w/ an "agenda", then it will be tougher to pin them down on it.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 5:44:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 5:44:47 PM EDT by ffsparky26]

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:

MrsFFSPARKY26 will probably talk to some folks higher up the food chain about the clinical instructor. She is afraid she will have her in some of her clinicals in her final year and the clinical instructor may try to get back at her.

So what do you think or what does Mrs.Master_Blaster think about the paper? That is the main issue, she wants to keep up the GPA and do her best.



I myself don't worry about GPA that much, I just want to pass, a 4.0 means nothing because everyone who has ever been through any type of school knows you can't remember it all. That's just me though. You have to be on your toes in programs such as this because if you make an enemy out of an instructor it can ruin you. I'm not sexist by any means but I have seen how grudges can be carried for a long time, especially by women.



Mrs.FFSPARKY26 says she is gonna do what she has to do to pass and not piss off the instructor.

She is keeping her GPA up for the sake of Graduate School, she is thinking Nurse Practiconer or maybe Nurse Midwife. And she wants to learn the material to the fullest.

Oh and I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, I can't remember everything, I think she wants to keep up with me.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 5:54:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LANCEMAN:

Originally Posted By ffsparky26:

MrsFFSPARKY26 will probably talk to some folks higher up the food chain about the clinical instructor. She is afraid she will have her in some of her clinicals in her final year and the clinical instructor may try to get back at her.

So what do you think or what does Mrs.Master_Blaster think about the paper? That is the main issue, she wants to keep up the GPA and do her best.



I myself don't worry about GPA that much, I just want to pass, a 4.0 means nothing because everyone who has ever been through any type of school knows you can't remember it all. That's just me though. You have to be on your toes in programs such as this because if you make an enemy out of an instructor it can ruin you. I'm not sexist by any means but I have seen how grudges can be carried for a long time, especially by women.



GPA counts towards getting into the grad programs, but as long as you pass your state boards thats really all that matters.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 6:09:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ffsparky26:
Hello All
She has an assignment that is worth 15% of her overall grade.

Has she done well in the rest of the class would be my first question? If she has done well with homework and tests then she really need not worry too much, however if this professor is the ass that you discribe then she probally has already graded your wife on a skew from day one.

Sparky tells me that the clinical instructor is really being an ass. She is treating the male students badly, making sexist comments, and is overtly racist. The clinical instructor is black.

Common within minorities working in the inner city, Hospitals have less money to pay their employees a decent wage, questionable managment , they are overworked, the population they deal with is tough (everything from substance users to those not paying insurance co-pays) the hospital they work at is falling apart from poor maintanence. While on the other side of town you have the complete opposite at the middle/upper class neighborhood hospital spakling new and getting paid.

The outreach program specifically serves low income families in mostly minority neighborhoods. Now Knox County is not a majority low income county nor does it have a large minority population. If she is making diagnosis based on this small subset of Knox County how can she take data from the entire county to support it? The average incomes, marriage and divorce rates, etc of the folks from the outreach program are a small subset of the data.

Pretty much what this lady is doing is having her revenge assignment to boost her self ego to make your wife deal with the population that she deals with every day and see the shock when she presents to make herself feel superior for the kind of work that she does. whew...........deep breaths

She asked the clinical instructor and discussed the issue. She gave no solid answer and my wife told her she wanted to right the paper to make a good grade and the clinical instructor said "She does not believe in that.”

Translates to: "No matter what you present, as long as it not slapped together, I'm already going to give you the grade I have decided on, so piss off!"

[\quote]


Had some rough teachers in school, but ya get through them. This lady may very well be a pissed of heathen but your wife should stay cool and bite her tongue. She may run into her years later and in the health care industry, you never want to burn a bridge. Do the report well, get the grade and hope your wife doesn't run into her again.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 6:28:26 PM EDT
Personally, I'd go for a Nurse Anesthestist specialty if I were pursuing a BSRN. Yes, the liability insurance is high, but the net payout is still better, though the hours will obviously be unusual sometimes. I don't even know what a RN midwife makes. I do know that NP's don't really do much better than std RN's in most specialties. If she wants to have her own private practice (if legal in your state), then there's the business side of things to deal with. Med-surg RN's do a lot of grunt work but make good $$$ & there's no shortage of jobs. ICU/CCU is cush, but those depts are always struggling to survive on limited budgets, so the stability isn't there.

ER is good for learning the ropes & earning ones stripes, but the OTJ pressure seems to bring out the worst in everyone - including the ED/ER RN managers. The stress, politics, & bullsh!t typically rolls on the RN floor staff & burning them out. I've seen ED/ER RN staffing billets rotate personnel almost as fast as a carousel ride in an amusement park. Psych nursing? Don't even go there unless you love the specialty. Dangerous, & you have to associate w/ a fair number of substandard human beings...& then there's the patients. As well, there are also some incredible people working in those specialties. I wish the public had a better understanding about the nature of psychiatric conditions & treatment.

My wife was a psych charge RN for 14 years before she transferred over to the admissions/auth department, & she's never looked back. Her outlook probably improved ~200% because of it. OTOH, if your wife is willing to work (for less) in a small hospital, family practice, or clinic, it can be pretty nice.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 6:29:47 PM EDT
I think the issue that would concern me most is why a grade that accounts for a rather signifigant portion of the overall grade is given by antone other than the course instructor. Unless this other woman's name is on the class (in which case it would or should have been listed as a jointly taught class in the catalog), I'd say she shouldn't have any direct input on a grade at all. Granted, medicine's not my discipline, but that seems strange to me.

HOWEVER, I just remembered that in some LA "practicing" disciplines like sociology, political science and criminal justice an outside advidsor will review the student after an internship, and that review is taken into account in finalizing the student's grade. It doesn't necessarily decide the grade, though. Could this be your case?
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 6:41:54 PM EDT
Im an RN,Paramedic and currently in an CRNA program and I can tell you one thing that applies to nursing school! DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET OUT!!
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