Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Roughest Nursing School West of the Mississippi

The beat goes on. Or maybe I should say the beating goes on. Semester 4. Holy Moly! Glad to be here. Glad to be almost done.
This semester instructors did their usual show-of-force routine as previous instructors before them: not acknowledging the presence of any individual students, no smiles, no jokes. Eyeballing us secretly from the back of the room where they quietly congregated,looking at us, turning away and chatting, then looking back at us as if to say, "Look at that one there. What a chump. I'm gonna break him!" It had a real WWF wrestling vibe to it. I envisioned my 5'10,rather husky Nigerian born instructor, picking me up and spinning me above her head like apiece of pizza dough and then throwing me against a pile of chairs. After I hit the ground she bellows at me, "What labs should you check to see if you're okay after this traumatic injury? RBC's? No! Who cares how many red blood cells you have? BUN/Creatinine? I don't care about your kidneys. No! Check your CKMM, YAARGGH!"

The 4th semester chair had this to say, "I guarantee you by the end of this semester you will be burned out, so use your sick days wisely."

WTF!? Is that what nursing is about? A fucking marathon of busy work and a battle of wills? Maybe it is. What I can never separate, what I continually struggle to understand, is my instructors desire for us to be very competent novice nurses or are we reveling in their dark sticky bully side where they get off on fucking with us. I guess all this ball-breaking is for a good cause, and I, no doubt, will look back when after graduation and be thankful for the lessons I learned while still in school as a student as opposed to being on the floor with a license to defend...but at what cost? I can not BELIEVE how tired I was a month ago. It was scary. I was so tired, I didn't EVEN KNOW how tired I was.

I finally decompressed on the last week, the 4th week, of break. The first two weeks of vacation I was an anxious, irritable ball of nerves. The third week I slept, the fourth week I rejoiced.

Now I'm back in it with more soon to be fulfilled promises of extreme exhaustion and cramming. These fuckers even want us to come in on Saturdays to go to healthfairs and recruitment sessions (and I know like you know you can't recruit to a captive audience). Including clinical which is 17 hrs a week, I'm in class another 8 hrs over two days. Plus fucking 6 more for Saturdays. Isn't there some like nursing student sweatshop law? With all the massive write ups, projects, and arbitrarily graded care plans (fucking 3 our last semester- grand total of 9 throughout the program) and hellish exams I'm already in a straight jacket.

Whine, whine, whine. Fuck it, just get through it, I'm almost done. Keep on'. I'll do whatever it takes to have a job I feel truly passionate about and be able to adequately support my family. I should be so lucky.

Thanks for everyone's support with the previous post. It really helped.


Anonymous said...

I know it's cliche, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you've made t this far, you'll make it the rest of the way. The essence is you've gone too far to lose it now. Keep your head down and grind away. Soon it will all be a disturbing memory...luckily that fades every time you sign,RN after your name!
Good luck!

AtYourCervix said...

Just keep up with everything...keep going. You'll get there. Keep your eyes on the prize: nursing career with an RN after your name. I felt the same things you feel, when I was in the final stretch of nursing school. Before you realize it, graduation will be here. I promise!!

angry male nurse said...

Thanks future colleagues. Your support is much appreciated and helps me keep goin'!

Nursing school is arduous isn't it? But there is no way I'll quit because these crazy instructors have put me in survival mode.

I'm like a nursing school commando behind enemy lines. But sadly in this war, we do leave men (and women) behind.

miss-elaine-ious said...

I'm in my 5th semester of nursing school, I can commiserate!

Congrats on getting this far! I love your ability to speak your mind. Make sure they don't beat that out of you, especially when you are advocating for your patients.

Angry Nurse said...

It is the truly smart nurse that always remembers that the reality is they didn't graduate from nursing school, they survived it!

For me at that time being recently out of the military and having been abused by real experts from where I stood nursing instructors where at best amateurs. I spent most of time trying to hide the fact that I found them as funny as I did pathetic. It became a simple battle of wills with them trying to wear me our or intimidate me while I spent my time finding shortcuts around their ridiculous exercises not to mention tripping them up and exposing their own considerable lack of knowledge for all to see.

In fact I did it so well that I spent most of my second year on one form of probation or another for my “poor attitude” and my third year while slightly less dramatic was not with out its colorful confrontations with the instructor overlords.

In the end like all bullies they have as much power as you give them!

angry male nurse said...

Fucking cheers to that Angry Nurse!

Its a big game for pitifully insecure instructors.

Ride this baby out...

Anonymous said...

Hey Angry Male Nurse! good to see you back Congrats on making it all the way 2 Fourth Sem!!!! Home stretch!!!!!!!!! I commented on this blog a few months while I was in the middle of my own little nightmare( 2nd semester) sad to say I had a breaking point and broke 8 weeks in and withdrew from the program. I don't want to bombard you with negativity,it sounds like you get plenty of that in NS.Deflect, Deflect, Deflect.I can just soooo relate to everything you describe about NS and the fucking toll it takes on you.The stress was wrecking my health!!! mind ,body and soul.I just don't know if it is all worth it in the end.I wanted to be a nurse because I knew I'd be good at it. I think fast, totally organized, always moving and most always see the good in my fellow man i.e. compassion. I wanted to be a floor nurse and help people heal, mind, body and soul.Anyway the reality of nursing and nursing school shocked and saddened me. You be sursprised(maybe you wouldn't) how many of my fellow classmates would say shit like " Oh I'd never be a floor nurse" or instructors rolling their eyes at helpless ( i mean HELPLESS) elderly patients, no heart, no compassion whatsoever.So of my classmates are in nursing school purely for the money. And yes granted nursing is hard work and deserves decent pay(i think nurses should make more for the job they do) but that's whats totally missing from alot of nurses today COMPASSION.I don't know, does nursing school require you to keep it under wraps only to have it sucked out once you hit the REAL WORLD of nursing? Anyway I can think of many other jobs where you can earn decent money without all the stress and mental abuse.Anyway I could go on and on,this profession lacks professionalism and this pettiness and cattiness starts in nursing school and sadly it is a mentality pervasive in nursing.Funnily enough I still want to be a nurse, I may even go back to the same program.I know now that it is a GAME and a WAR at the same time.Now that I know the rules Do I have the heart to play the GAME.Soooooooooooo Unecessary!!!!!!!! all I want is to be a competantly trained nurse! Can you actually believe we pay for this "training"? Anyway congrats on making it this far!!!!!! 4 more months and your on your way !!! keep your chin up and don't let those fuckers get you down.

Nurse on Wheels said...

You'll get through it, you know what they say, "Those who can't do, teach."

Anonymous said...

I went to a femi-nazi training camp for dike biaaaaatchs. Need I say more?

angry male nurse said...

I'm lucky, haven't had to tankgle with the So-Cal nursing dykes yet. They're all too busy trying to get hired on with county fire (the dykes don't seem to understand that homosexuals aren't much wanted in a good ol boys club) but they try, so I gotta give 'em that.

I'm stuck with the- unmarried- or -divorced -middleaged -catholic- still- live -with -their- goddamn -parents- nursing- instructor. God help me!

Anonymous said...

I was the only person with a dick in my nursing graduation class.....that I know of anyway. I was told that I had to participate or they would not let me graduate. It was the walk of complete humiliation. Several thousand family members all sitting there watching their little labia sandwich eating horrors get a fucking pin and a red rose. I might as well have worn a dress and wig. I would have preferred being deployed back to get the point.

I can remember this one nursing instructor talking to me about my feelings about some crack smoking flat back..........I can't continue my blood pressure is getting out of control!!


angry male nurse said...


I got the same problem. They want to have a fucking pinning ceremony and give out roses at the end of the walk of shame.

I told the fauculty advisor, that as class president I think it's sexist and emasculating and would like to come up with an alternative to roses. She said, "well you are entering a profession for women."

Nurses are their own worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

You don't want to know who I am. As far as being a pussy....I am what I eat.

As far as your graduation....I foresee the stress and anxiety being so overwhelming that you have to go to the emergency room and complain of chest pain 30 minutes prior to the walk of shame. Pre-dose yourself with Tylenol and just do it dude. You never know you might find yourself in the tele unit watching the price is right with some 80 year old chick that shits on herself all night not giving a flying fuck because your high as a kite from all the morphine your on.

If all else fails and you have to continue.....just know that there are other dudes out there that have walked the walk. As you face the audience as they introduce you to the crowd that might be a good time to re-adjust the boys just so those fucking hump doosh bag fucking femi-nazi labia-sandwich eating nim-rod man hating fucking biaaaaaaaaaatchs know you gotta sack!!!!!!!!!!!

Most of the dudes I know that went into nursing went into nursing gave up a lot to do it. I have worked with former special forces, pilots, navigators, plumbers, law enforcement, electricians, engineers, intel officers, the list goes on. the point is there is a long list of folks that went into nursing to make a difference in peoples lives. NOT because they have some psychosocial issue that gives them a twisted sense of reality. Do you know how many female crazy nurses I know that are nurses because they have the need to be needed? Or they have the need to control some poor human being in an ICU bed? TOOOOO many!

Did you know Walt Whitman was a nurse in the civil war? Do you know why mother of nursing good old Florence went to Crimean war???????? Because that was the first war pictures of war were available! If that does not give you insight to the power of the press. I can't believe the DOD let reporters be in-bedded with military units. If they shut the press out this war would have been over already. AHHHHH but the real question is do you think they wanted it over. Back to's all about dollar hegemony!


Jess said...

This is my first semester in the Nursing Program...I already have a degree in something else but realized that major was not for me...Studying for my first major was easy for me and school was never a challenge but this Nursing program is a whole new ball game. I study for hours on end and my grades do not reflect that! I have no idea what I'm doing wrong... maybe I'm not looking at key words when I answer questions, I don't know...Can anyone tell be what I'm missing and why is it that I try so hard but seems as though I'm doing nothing. I really want to make it though this program and I'm trying to stay positive but this is weighting on me. PLEASE HELP with some advice on how to pass this program!

Anonymous said...

new kid on this block
Wow.. and I thought it was me.. the lone ranger who experienced only TWO instructors that are a bit bullyish!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!