Ward Class

An Online Resource Site For Student Nurses


Ward Class is an online resource for student nurses. Created with the aim of helping student nurses cope with the demands of nursing school and clinicals, it offers free downloads, notes, sample NCPs, sample drug studies, study aids, news and updates, and practical tips to its users.

Site Announcement

The December 2012 PRC Nursing Board Exam Result is already available here at Ward Class and at Pinoy R.N.

Dealing with Difficult Instructors

I was a student not too long ago so I know what every nursing student goes through as he or she struggles to survive nursing school. Long school hours, nerve-wracking exams, backbreaking clinical rotations, time-consuming projects-- I went through all that.

Did I miss something out? Well, like any other Jane or John in nursing school, I also had to deal with a number of difficult instructors.

Your esteemed college instructors come in different shapes, sizes, and temperament. Students are not so concerned with the physical attributes of their instructors (or am I mistaken?) so for the purpose of this entry, let us focus on instructor behavior.

The well-loved instructors are those who are understanding, good-natured, and nurturing. Sweet as saccharine, so to speak. They come to class prepared; providing new learnings without being fault-finding. Really, you never ever have problems with these instructors. Heck, they even receive the most number of cards/bouquets during Teachers' Day.

However, at the other end of the spectrum lies another breed of instructors. Toxic, Difficult, Irresponsible, Inconsiderate, Rude, Insensitive, and Corrupt are but few of the adjectives you attach to these instructors' names. And since I know there is no escaping these difficult instructors, here are some tips to help you deal with them:

  1. Be rational. Think of the reasons why you say your instructor is difficult and analyze if your reasons are valid. Do not fall into the trap of disliking your instructors for the wrong reasons. Always be objective.
  2. Be respectful. While your instructor may be utterly despicable, never lose your cool in class. Never bad-mouth or give your instructor dagger-looks. It is okay to voice out your concerns but it is always wise to do so in a respectful manner.
  3. Be positive. Even if you are stuck with an instructor who have the penchant for giving loads of requirements, ditch the whining and the eyeball-exercise. Nobody said that nursing school is a no-brainer so you might as well do what is expected of you and accomplish any assigned tasks. Furthermore, no matter how difficult your instructor may be, keep in mind that you won't have to deal with the person forever and bidding him or her adieu is something to look forward to.
  4. Be prepared. Earn your instructors' respect by coming to class prepared. Review your notes and as much as possible, read your books in advance. Difficult instructors pick on unsuspecting (unprepared) students so don't give them that advantage.
  5. Make use of consultation hours. If you have a problem or questions regarding some topics previously discussed, the computation of your grades, or with course requirements, approach your instructor during consultation hours and ask for assistance. Going the extra mile to clarify things will communicate to your instructors that you take your studies seriously and will definitely leave a lasting good impression.
  6. Use appropriate channels. Sometimes, you are the stuck in the worst scenario ever. If you are being singled out, harassed, and you feel that you have exhausted all logical means to deal with a difficult instructor, it is time to tell your parents or a school counselor. Also, schedule for a conference with the instructor concerned in the presence of a parent and/or counselor and express your concerns politely. This will help open communication lines between you and your instructor and hopefully resolve existing differences.
Difficult instructors may really be unyielding at times but remember that in order to survive nursing school, you will have to face bigger challenges. Your goal is to make the most out of your nursing education and finish nursing school with flying colors. You are almost there so do not allow the least bit of distraction, not even the most difficult of instructors, dampen your spirit.


  1. Katie said...

    This is great advice for students!


  2. rosefel said...

    This is very helpful in dealing with our clinical instructors. I think all of the things we need to know are here to be effective in each hour of clinical rotation.


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