Students Were Reprimanded For Being Late To An Optional Early Start, So They Got the Dean Of The School Involved.
by Matthew Gilligan
Why do people in charge not just tell folks the specific time they want them there?
What’s with run-around about optional this and optional that?
This veterinary student decided to maliciously comply in school after they got a little peeved at what they were being told from instructors.
Entire class skips optional early start to lab, we were given an hour for lunch and we’re going to take all of our time.
“I’m a second year veterinary student.
This is the time when we start our live surgery labs. We work in teams of three students (a surgeon, an assistant, an anesthetist), and are obviously overseen by certified specialists (anesthesiologists and surgeons) and many experienced vet nurses as well.
And here comes the “optional” part of the story…
We have lectures 7am to 11am. Lunch is 11-12. Our lab begins at 12pm sharp. However, we were told we have the “option” to come to lab early and begin. It became VERY clear after the first week this is an expectation (not an “option”) that we will skip lunch, or eat during lecture, and come straight to the OR.
During one lab, at 11:50am the anesthesiologist yelled at a student for a few minutes in the pharmacy area, while getting drugs for lab, for not having his patient ready and waiting in the induction room…10 minutes before lab even begins.
But what’s the point in showing up early?
And this group was set to induce during the last wave (normally 1 to 1.5+ hours into lab). There’s no reason to be an hour early when your group is final wave, being on time is sufficient, and they were actually still early.
Our class has been getting berated by this anesthesiologist as well as some of the surgeons in this lab. Just as one example, a student surgeon asked for help. A surgical resident came over from another patient to help, and she was now not sterile.
It sounds like these instructors are pretty strict…and the students were getting tired of their shenanigans.
The resident told the student she was holding her forceps wrong, proceeded to grab them from her hands, and then made the student leave her patient on the table to re-scrub, re-gown, and re-glove, and open a new instrument pack. All because she wanted to ask a question. This is a common technique they will use on us when we’ve done something incorrect to “get us to remember it next time.”
A meeting was called.
Well, the entire class is fed up with this. Our class called a meeting about it, and we all decided we are all going to start showing up to lab at 11:50 to 11:55am. Only 5 to 10 minutes early.
Not for petty reasons either, but it’s a matter of patient safety as well. Several students have fainted from skipping lunch to go and operate instead. We were given 11-12 for lunch and we’re going to take all of our time.
So, that’s what we did. At 11:40am one of the surgeons came to our lecture hall, where the majority of us stay and eat lunch, and asked us why we’re not in lab yet. A student at the front of the room said simply, “lab begins at 12 noon.”
The group was united in this effort.
The surgeon gave us a long spell about professionalism and how we are being inappropriate and putting our patients at risk, and she left. The OR is a 2 minute walk from the lecture hall, so we finished lunch and all showed up around 11:55.
The clinicians were very mad about it, and reported our class to the dean, and so the dean called a school wide meeting about it. Some of our classmates spoke eloquently about our reasons and our actual patient safety concern, turning it right back on the clinicians citing patient safety.
And, the school claims to care immensely about student mental health, since this profession has one of the highest suicide rates and our own class even suffered a loss, and cutting our break/lunch is no way to support us. Beyond that, the schedule says we begin at 12, and we are still showing up a few minutes early to ensure we can begin right at 12.
And their tactic worked!
Ultimately, the dean just released a statement saying they cannot force us to begin lab an hour early, and we will start at 12 when the deans office scheduled lab to begin. It’s a small win for us, certainly we will face backlash, but we have a break to eat at least.
Our class is known for not putting up with ******** from the school, we got a dinosaur of a professor fired for inappropriate comments she made to a student in the middle of lecture, after she had terrorized students at this school for decades, she forgot out lectures were automatically recorded on zoom during COVID.
The clinicians don’t like us, but at least the classes behind us are having a slightly better time.”
Let’s see how people reacted.
One person talked about how difficult this job can be.
Another Reddit user said the people in charge handled this all wrong.
One Reddit user made an interesting point.
This reader made an excellent observation.
And this Reddit user said this was a job well done.
I think it’s pretty obvious who won this power struggle.