Did I Miss Something??

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've remarked about this phnenomena before.......but I find it's blowing me out of the water again.

    The 1st time I went thru an LPN program was nearly 30 yrs ago. (gee that makes me feel old) The instructors were *itchy and tough as nails, the program was hard, the testing harder still, mistakes weren't something to make light of as a mistake could cost a patient their lives. In that program, they'd start with like 50 students......maybe 15 would graduate.

    Ok. I had no real issue with the program except that the instructors were on a major power trip and were always (and at every opportunity-even one's they made up) abused that power to make their students lives a living hades.

    Fast forward 30 yrs. Our instructors are nice, helpful, encouraging, and very much want us to learn. All good in my opinion. Even the instructor with the horrid reputation of being the meanest *itch to walk the earth. I nearly laugh everytime one of the students mention it. Please! The woman gives us her cell number, home phone number, plus we have access to her online 24/7.......and her tests are NOT tough. Honestly, I'm finding them rather easy.....And she's fair. If she thinks a question wasn't clear enough....she'll change how she grades it.

    Ok. That's great. A good learning envioronment with no pressure except to learn the material. Wonderful.

    BUT....... (there is always a But to these things. lol)

    I'll grant you that I've always had a natural knack for this sort of thing. I take to it like a duck to water. Doesn't mean I don't have to study or work at it......Just means I comprehend it easily and it usually sticks with me. I dunno, maybe I "catch on" faster than most people....

    Most of our students are serious about being nurses. I say most cuz we've got one preacher dude who personally I'm never letting near me.:tongue: The man does NOT study....and has already failed 2 Patho tests. I realize trying to balance a family and nursing school is tough. I watched it with easy child......So I do get that.

    Still, and I know we're only in the first quarter, I listen to the other students carrying on about how utterly hard it all is......and I'm like...You're kidding, right?

    The first time around our questions on exams could give you a nervous breakdown. (and often reduced students to tears) You not only had to know the material, you'd better know how to apply what you knew. But even more importantly, you'd darn well better know how to think.

    I look at the questions on our exams and I think.....you're kidding, right? They don't require much thinking or application skills. If you've studied any of the material, or hades, just know how to answer a question just based on the info they give you in the question/answer....you'll be fine. I've had tougher questions in Biology!

    Of course, I do study. I don't take this lightly. At some point my patients will be relying on the fact that I know this stuff and that I have the ability to apply it well.

    Still, I find myself already ready to slap the heck out of a few of the students. First of all, stop whining you failed a test you didn't study for. What? Do you expect them to just hand you your nursing license just because you showed up?? Stop carrying on because you failed a test you crammed for at the last minute only to find the instructor put something from a previous test (you also crammed for) on the test you no longer remember. (because you crammed for that test too):mad: I'm sure if you manage to pass the inclux exam......you're patients are going to appreciate you crammed for your test and haven't a clue what you're doing.

    Why would you get into a program like this if you're not willing to study or smart enough to realize you're learning this information because you will need it during your entire career? I guess I just don't get it.

    Didn't have to deal with it much in the 1st program I was in because those students never made it past the 2nd week.

    And (I'm knocking on wood) I find myself hoping at some point the questions are going to get at least somewhat tougher because if they're this easy.........and all test questions are supposed to be what we'll see on the inclux......I'm not going to be sure I really know this stuff. And I really don't believe the questions on the inclux are going to be this easy. easy child told me what that was like to take.

    Then there is the classes themselves. Ok. So I understand I experienced a uber tough program my first time around. I do try to keep that in mind. But the instructors seem to put important things in the wrong order. Bed making was an instructor check off for this program. I was surprised. It was important to know in the 1st program....but not enough for an instructor to do a check off on. Yet knowing how to properly restrain a patient.......was a student check off where 3 other students watch that you do it correctly. What? Personally, I'd rather know my nurse correctly knew how to restrain someone than she could make a uber tight bed in under 10 mins. They're doing the same thing with bed baths and knowing how to dress for isolation! Bed baths (please, it's not hard) is a instructor check off, while we're not even being check off on how to dress for isolation at all!!

    easy child just about flipped out. Bedmaking and bed baths were not check off procedures even in the RN program. While restraints and dressing for isolation most certainly were.

    And then there is easy child's hs friend who is in the class. She has 3 kids and just finished nurses' aide training. This girl really wants to be a nurse. And while she's already had the quarter from hades with Murphy's Law hanging over her like a bad curse..........She's one of the crammers. Both myself and another student yesterday sat her down and had a long talk with her. She'd be an excellent nurse. But she's got to apply herself. Not enough to just want it, you've got to put in the work to get it. Not enough that you have the right personality, so to speak. I *think* we finally convinced her that she has to crack those books every single night even if it's just for a couple hours after the kids are in bed. The girl has it tougher because in all the pre-rec courses (such as anatomy) she crammed and had a lousy professor, and didn't learn a darn thing. So now she's trying to learn with no background at all.:faint:

    I understand some people are determine to shoot themselves in the foot whether consciously or not. I realize that some people just don't realize the volume of information they have to know to do their jobs right. And of course there are just those that aren't cut out for medicine.

    It's the "I've just gotta pass this test" attitude that really gets me. It's not about the tests. It's not about the grades. It's about doing your job right and doing it well, you've got people's lives in your hands, for God's sake!!

    Oh, and while I'm at it..............The math class.....if you can call it that......is a joke. The instructor is the senior instructor in the program. She's a very funny lady, cool, and I honestly like her as a person. Alot. But.......most of our classtime she's cracking jokes. We have class 1 time a week. She showed us how to do the calculations.....ONCE. If you don't get it.......well, honestly.....she's not teaching anything. And since her way of doing it is different from the book.....and granted, easier.......you can't use your book to help you out if you're not getting it.:faint: I think it would just confuse you more.

    I'm doing ok with it. But I'm not perfect at it by a long shot. I took this math last spring on my own. Thank God I did or I wouldn't have a clue. That's the truth. No homework, no tests. There is 1 test for this course. Ten whole questions. Sounds easy. It's not, let me assure you. 1 test and we get 3 tries to pass it....with 100 percent. Has to be 100 percent or you're out of the program.

    Makes sense. These calculations are for medications. One wrong answer can kill a patient. But this course our instructor is useless, although hillarious and likeable. Half of the students are getting it. Have don't have a clue what's going on.

    Once you pass this test with 100 percent, you don't come back to the math class. Okkkkkkkk......we don't have pharm until next quarter. How many students are going to remember the formula by then??

    We have a practice exam on it next thursday. If we pass it with 100 percent we're done, she'll let it count. So, guess where my studying I'll be concetrated this weekend? Yup. Math. I know the formula. I understand it. But I'm nowhere near perfect at it. Their story problems, my biggest weakness. And nothing short of 100 percent passes. No pressure there. :ashamed::faint:

    While I understand getting the math right is a must.......this math will be reinforced in pharm (2 quarters worth).....seems unusual for it to be the make or break grade at this point. Or is that just me?

    If you made it this far........wow. lol Turned into quite a vent. But I feel a bit better. Normally I'd vent to easy child cuz she totally understands. And she vents her work stuff to me cuz I'm the only one who gets it too. But she's had a rough couple of weeks at work.....and yeah. I don't think she needs me unloading on her at the moment.

    Thanks for letting me get it out.......Now to grab that math book!
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Wow. Don't take this the wrong way but your post has made me even more concerned about the future of health care in this country. :wildone:
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Daisy, many of the nurses at the hospital where I work complain about similiar things with the nursing students. One student gave a pt narcotics without ever taking their vital signs. Big no no. Another was supposed to do teaching with a pt about how to change a bedside foley bag to a leg bag. Student did not know how and the nurse told them to ask me (CNA) to show them how. Don't know if it was ego or laziness, but student just never did the teaching.

    Yeah. Kinda funny huh?
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sadly this trend does not just apply to nursing school. My parents each taught for decades. My dad for almost 4 in high school and jr high, mom for almost 3 in college.

    Each of them saw a scary trend towards spoonfeeding the info to students and dumbing down the tests so more students passed. Students are never taught to THINK. They are taught to pass tests.

    As a child we took standardized tests every 2-3 years. As a parent my kids are taking standardized tests every year. They pass the year if they pass the test. It really doesn't matter what else they do. The tests are the "big deal". The other assignments are there but they require little real thinking. If you don't pass them all you can still pass. If you flunk them all and get 90 or above on the tests you can still pass.

    The focus of many schools has passed from wanting students to learn to reason things out to wanting students to get the right answers. There is a fundamental difference. There is also a LOT more focus on retention than there used to be.

    I cannot tell you the number of hours my mother spent on a retention study and committee. WAY WAY WAY more than on the standards committee. This was for the university, not just her department or college. they focused on how to make things nicer so the students would stay and keep spending $$.

    She was appalled by the whole thing. Most of the other members really wanted to make teachers go easier on kids so that flunking out would not happen. Some thought that if you could put your name on an assignment you should pass. They wanted easier rules on plagiarism!!!

    Sadly, the students that 10-20 years ago were facing the beginnings of the increased leniency are now instructors who don't know what priorities to set.

    Now I KNOW not all teachers/schools/universities/students are like this. It is just the TREND, the gradual change in education that is going this way.

    It explains why every single person who went to school a decade or more ago and goes back to take a class now ends up asking the same questions.

    Then people get worried about the future of healthcare, or of the business world (Makes you wonder how many of the execs at Enron and AIG were educated after the switch to the increased testing and decreased thinking trend, doesn't it?), or of education or of just about everything.

    I can remember grading papers for my parents at age 8 and 9. I also remember grading them at age 16 and 19 and at age 26 and 28. The decrease in spelling and the increase in e-spelling (thank you, lol, because, FWIW, etc...) is tragic, in my opinion. The use of grammar is non-existent in many students.

    Add that to students in a Marketing class who complain about math problems (profit maximization etc...) because "I already passed Math class. This is a BUSINESS class! How can you make math a part of my grade?" or complain to the department head or even DEAN of the college when they lose points for spelling and grammar errors, and what you end up with is pretty dang frightening.

    I have personally heard those arguments from at least 10-15 students each semester my mom taught. Many times people at parties would stop me and ask why my mom thought they needed math or english in a business class. Asking them how they would know if they made money or if their bill was too high made no dent. They swore that the computer would deal with the money, or their staff would. Cause each and every oen of them would graduate college and go into a job where they had a staff to take care of all the work.

    Heck, when I worked in a restaurant I had customers stop me to ask me those questions. It was nuts! I got cornered because I look just like my mom. There was no avoiding it.

    Anyway, I will get off my soapbox. I can assure you that MY kids get a LOT of the basics drilled at home, along with all kinds of things to teach them to think. I just do not trust the schools for even a basic education.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    "Next time I say Hey Ya'll watch this and end up in the ER"
    ((((Thinks back to Daisys post)))))

    -Gets up off of the gurney with on leg barely hanging on by a tendon, grabs a wheelchair,limps, hops & pushes herself outside the ER door, rips a branch off the nearest dogwood tree as she hails a cab, tears her jacket into surgical bandages, pops an aspiriin and says while limping faster towards the now 1/2 pulling out cab - back towards the now running towards her Nurse who is yelling "Are you okay?"..."No - it's just a flesh wound - I'll get some bandaids on the way home and neosporin and I'll be good as new."


  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I know when my daughter was in nursing school it was very tough. This was fourteen years ago. There was tons of material to learn and nobody spoonfeeded them. And you could miss only a certain number of days and then you were out ... didn't matter if you were making straight A's or what the reason was that caused you to miss classes ... you were still out. It was very compact and a lot to learn in a short time, but I don't think her instructors were particularly hard on them or purposely gave them a bad time of it. They were just very strict and expected a lot out of them.

    I was very surprised at the people in her class. I figured they would mostly be young, around her age. She was just nineteen when she started and was the youngest one in her class. But at least half of them were older women who had finally gotten their last kid launched and wanted to start a new career.

    And in her class over half of the ones that started never finished. Some dropped out when they saw how tough it was, some flunked out with bad grades, and some missed too many days and were booted out for that. And some of the ones that did graduate went on and did something else later and never worked the first day a a nurse! I will never figure that one out!
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Donna that drop rate is rather common. Course, I never could figure out why you'd get to graduation and then never work......except the next big hurdle is the inclux test........and I know that is very hard to pass.

    I was shocked when a young student in the class I've grown very friendly with was grumbling after one of our tests. She wasn't grumbling about how hard or unfair it was.......she had the same complaints as me on this stuff. lol First young person......outside of my own kids......I've ever seen that got what the problem is and how serious it is and were utterly disgusted by it..

    Which is some of why we hit it off so well. lol

    And that is another strange thing........we're into our 5th week in the quarter and no one has dropped. OMG That's almost unheard of! They had to create an extra clinical group for the first time ever.

    I've had more than a bellyfull of professors spoon feeding students.......OMG my anatomy professor kept letting them take the tests and quizzes over again until they passed.......knowing the majority of the students were going into the medical profession. I asked him one day he might want to think about who he was letting treat him when he's sick.:faint:

    LOL The look on his face was priceless.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's not just medical fields--it's all professional fields.

    I can go back to the eighties when I got my first Microsoft Certification in DOS (yep...it was along time ago--Windows was in the works but hadn't come out yet)

    The test lasted FOUR hours and only about 20 percent of testees passed on the first try. My first Windows certifications were the same, both for home users and server side users.

    Then...back years ago I took my first exam for the then new and blisteringly fast Windows NT system. It was more complex than it's predecessors and had a lot more network flexibilty and security.

    My testing for that consisted of a whole FIFTEEN questions chosen randomly from a list of available questions. If you missed a question, a different one was substituted until the max of fifteen questions had been reached.

    The new system of testing meant that I got those certifications without having to answer a single question on either printer sharing or security configuration. I think the test took about ten minutes.

    I got my new cert cards in the mail a couple of weeks later.
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I felt kind of bad for some of them that didn't finish in Allison's class. A few only lasted a month or two. They had to pay for all their books, supplies and uniforms up front, in advance, and it was a lot of money - not refundable. So if they left the program without graduating, they had spent all that money for nothing and were stuck with all that 'stuff'.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  10. judi

    judi Active Member

    I've been a nurse for 20 years and an advanced practice nurse for four years. It is a different world now and the outlook from students and society in general is "I am owed something and you'd better deliver." Lol

    Good luck in school!
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Star would go see Nurse Judy - :D
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    LOL Star. Daisy would also go see nurse Judi. :D

    Our program is a tad better for those who drop out/flunk out. Books are bought quarterly and program fees are paid the same way. Still expensive as all get out.......but if you leave before you've finished......at least you haven't paid for unused quarters and materials.

    That 1st program everything was paid upfront. I felt bad for those who flunked/dropped out early in. Cuz there was no 2nd try.

    That's another thing........our program does give you 3 tries to make it. Which to me is a good thing. We don't have many young kids right out of school, just a handful. So the students are dealing with jobs and families and all the stuff that goes with it while trying to be full time students. Nice in my opinion that they do that.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    You know my sister in law is a professor something something of Nursing at the University of Northern KY. She was teaching at the College of drat...(brain pluff) ...St. Marys?...in Bismark N. Dakota....

    Anyway we've had this same conversation about tests, and kids whining and she's a lovely woman, brilliant - near genius really. Her heart is enormous. She worked the nic-u in Philadelphia with the HIV/AIDS babies that were sure to die for years. I mean how much more compassion could you have than to rock newborns to sleep that you knew were going to die without their Mommys? UGH. But she has said the same thing about the nurses coming up and belive me - she's whitty, funny and a talented teacher, but she cuts no slack for the very reason you stated. Someones life and what she teaches will count under pressure some day. The stuff she knows is staggering about dang near everything. You have a boo boo? Call Seester. You have a wound? Call Seester. Your leg falls off? Call Seester - cause after reading your post? I'm not going to the ER here and I'm not sure where nurse Judy is. lol. :tongue:


    all who second? say aye?
    (then we forward) and the motion passes
    And we all never go to an emergency room again.
    (OH DEAR KTmom just went....she has the H1N1) :sick:
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    While we're on this subject...................

    Why are we pushing our kids so horribly hard in grade school/jr high when by high school (not all mind you) they're already starting the let's take the test so everyone can pass it next time junk??? So that by college they not only expect such behavior, they demand it?

    Obviously pushing them so hard they nearly don't have a childhood isn't working. Setting up tests they have to pass isn't working cuz now schools and far too many teachers are more worried about the kids passing those tests than actually teaching them to think or learn anything that sticks with them.

    Travis was extremely close to dropping his history class. The professor told them on the first day he didn't want to be there. Is a lousy teacher.....cuz he's not teachiing them a thing..........So Travis tells me he did an epic fail on the last exam. (he's not the only one, most of the class is also failing all the exams) Told him not to worry. Drop it before final week and get a professor that actually teaches it next quarter. Well, turned out he didn't have too. Professor curved the hades out of the grades and Travis' 65 got bounced right up to an 85!!!

    *shakes my head*

    OMG! :faint:

    I wonder if this is why after 5 yrs of college.......and far too many computer courses to count.....that Nichole's boyfriend still knows squat about computers?? He still goes to Travis for advice.....and help on fixing his own! And Travis had only 2 yrs at the tech school. (of course there they demanded the kids actually learn the stuff.)