Offense ("you MEN")

We had our final day of agency-mediated NCLEX-RN preparation. There's a number of schemes like this, Kaplan, ERI, HESI and the like. I sat in on a couple of Drexel NCLEX-prep classes and had a general idea of what they were about.

The particular agency we used (ERI) ran a pretty terrible show. The first few days were alright, but the reviews mostly consisted of someone reading a book to us (which we all had) and going through a few questions on the content that was just reviewed. We all held up little cards indicating what we thought the answers are. I abandoned this after the second day, since only the instructor (provided by the agency) could see our cards (since we were all facing the same direction), and I didn't really care whether or not the instructor knew If I had the right answer or not.

Ive had some pretty big issues with the testing package we've been using so far. The questions and answers are light on rationales at the end, and the general consensus of the class was that many of the questions were poorly written, with numerous typos and questionable logic. The practice tests on the intra- and inter- nets were especially bad. Often, the rationales for the correct answer were absent or terse, with no explanation of why the other choices were incorrect.

My lippencott NCLEX review on my cellphone, by contrast, has verbose, complete rationales for each choice, as well as identification of content area and step of the nursing process involved. It also sports a larger bank of questions which are higher in quality.

That's right, I get better NCLEX review on my cellphone.

Insult was added to injury on the last day (today), however. The maternal-child health section was attended by a different instructor, a nurse-midwife. I walked in late, but by the time I got there the class was already up in arms. Not only was she disparaging towards students who didn't know the right answer to some of the questions, she was openly and egregiously sexist, saying things like:

"I know some of you need to review the maternal child health content, especially you MEN",
"MEN always seem to choose the answer that forbids breastfeeding, like it's the source of all evil or something",
"How many of you MEN would want a 4th degree episiotomy laceration, eh?"

I was shocked and offended, to say the least. I scored better on maternal and child health than most of the class. It was the lowest scoring content area for the class as a whole, and I did very well at it. Part of the reason for this was that I was planning on having a family at the time, so I took the content seriously and committed much of it to memory (pro-tip: knowing your presumptive and probable signs of pregnancy is helpful in determining if you're the father of your sweetie's child or not). For someone to suggest that my gender put me at a disadvantage in this content area itself was insulting to me, and the way she put it made it even worse.

I think the disadvantage the XXers in the class had to deal with was their personal experiences with reproductive health, which distracted them from learning the actual content (they figured "hey, I lived it, I don't need to study it further").

I digress. I only sat through two hours of her drivel, towards the end I tapped this message out on my cellphone and forwarded it to the faculty:


XXXX- (addressed to new program director, old program director and course coordinators)

Im sitting in ERI review right now, and I've been repeatedly shocked by the nurse midwife conducting the review's repeated offensive sexist "jokes" and generalizations. For example, she said that men always chose the answer that suggests cessation of breastfeeding because they think its the "root of all evil", and asked us "if you gentlemen would like a fourth degree laceration". Other students, not just some of the men, have felt she has been insulting when the class didn't know the content. I have found this an infuriating experience today, since this is content that is important to me (not just for the nclex but in general), and I don't appreciate being disparaged, not individually, but generally. I observed what I considered outlandish examples of sexism just in the two hours or so I've been here so far, another male student sitting next to me told me I missed some "doozies" before I arrived. I don't imagine we have any recourse to this behavior, I just wish to register my discontent and outrage, and that of the students sitting around me.



This person played into a very unfortunate stereotype of LDRP nurses in general, and Nurse Midwife's more specifically. I'd encountered the stereotype that they had a tendency toward being sexist man-haters, but nearly all of the ones I had actually MET have been down-to-earth professionals with open minds and a transcendent calling. I suppose this person is "teaching" rather than practicing for a reason. Wonder what that could be?

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