Campus Free Speech

Nursing Student with Crippling Anxiety Sues University for Failing Her Twice

'On several occasions during the exam... breaking down and crying'

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Nurse
Dreamstime

Brace yourselves for what might be the frivolous higher education lawsuit of the century: Misericordia University nursing student Jennifer Burbella is suing the school, the nursing department, and professor Christina Tomkins for failing to accommodate her disabilities in violation of federal law.

What's wrong with Burbella? It's not exactly clear, but she suffers from crippling depression and anxiety, according to thetimes-tribune.com. Her mental health issues were so debilitating that she struggled throughout her four years at the Dallas, Pennsylvania-based private university and twice failed a required class for her nursing degree. Her lawsuit claims that she received no special accommodations the first time she took the class, but things were quite different the second time: She was given permission to take the exam in a separate "distraction-free" environment; she also received extra time.

Burbella's suit claims that the professor, Tomkins, offered to answer questions during the exam, but when Burbella called her on her cell phone, she didn't answer. This created even greater panic for Burbella, and she again failed.

She is demanding unspecified damages in excess of $75,000.

According to wnep.com:

At one point, according to the lawsuit, Burbella tried to call her professor during the examination. When that professor did not answer, a witness saw Burbella "…on several occasions during the exam…breaking down and crying."

I have no doubt that Burbella's anxiety is very serious, and I hope she gets the help she needs. It's good that she was using the university's counselling services, and I can understand making some accommodations for her.

But… she's going to school to be a nurse. Being a nurse is a very stressful job. Nurses have to deal with people who are in incredible pain, who are making unreasonable demands, who are completely helpless, and whose very lives are dependent upon quick and efficient care. My sister-in-law is a nurse; she's great at her job, probably because she has the most serene demeanor of anyone I've ever met. Literally nothing fazes her.

It seems like everything fazes Burbella. That's a real problem for her—and again, I hope she gets the help she needs to address it—but it seems like maybe (just maybe) she isn't cut out to be a nurse, if she can't pass the final exam without the professor walking her through it. That seems like a rather different accommodation than, say, letting a blind student take an oral exam instead of a written one. Certainly, Misericordia shouldn't be obligated to give Burbella the university's stamp of approval.

Burbella's lawsuit is an extreme case, but it seems like more and more students these days want university administrators to hold their hands throughout their four years on campus. Students demand protection from ideas that offend them—rather than overcoming disagreement, they expect to avoid it in the first place. They think they should be warned ahead of time when a classroom topic is bound to upset them, and excused from engaging it.

This kind of accommodation is bad enough when it happens during literature discussions. But what happens when universities start graduating lawyers who missed tough lectures on sexual assault law, or nurses whose severe anxiety granted them special exemption from the kinds of stressful situations nurses are expected to deal with on a daily basis?

One more thing: Misericordia? I've never heard of it before, but the name alone is triggering to me. It's "misery" and "discord" all rolled into one. Who founded this place? Franz Kafka?

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  1. Spot on, Rob.

    1. If depression and anxiety was a “real” disability then at least half of the population would be “disabled. Sorry this don’t pass the smell test.
      Also I hope the 75,000 dollars is worth the fact that she has just made herself permanently unemployable because she just proved that she cannot handle stress, and just joined the blacklist of idiots not to hire. If she cannot handle stress than she cannot handle even a job at McDonald’s ( talk about stress – go to one during a lunch rush).

      1. No. Anxiety reduces people to housebound aliens. Severe anxiety is a more disabling disorder than quadriplegia for someone seeking employment, as the sufferer is literally unable to do anything regardless of her ability or intellect. It’s difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t endured it, but it isn’t a sensation of being nervous or sad. Imagine living your whole life with a sociopath holding a gun to your head and you’d have an approximation of what it feels like to endure severe anxiety. Einstein wouldn’t be able to count to 100 if he had severe anxiety.

        That said, people who are dealing with serious anxiety should not be in school. Take a hiatus, meditate, endure therapy, whatever, just get your house in order and develop coping skills before trying to tackle the banal nonsense of education or employment.

        1. Barney, it’s not that I’m not sympathetic to her disability; I’m just flabbergasted that anyone in that situation would have the ‘genital fortitude’ to SUE the school or anyone ELSE in order to GET a passing grade that might even help her become eligible FOR a job in ANY high-stress workplace environment! Even including lunch hour at McDonalds!

          It strikes me as equivalently stupid as a quadriplegic suing a major automaker because their designs and engineering make the quad’s choice of drivable vehicles ‘too small.’

          I don’t like the sensation of ‘falling’… never did. Should I sue amusement ride operators for not providing roller-coasters that would NOT subject ME to that ‘stress-inducing sensation’?

          Again, Critical Thinking Has Died, and that’s just another line in its tombstone.

    2. More importantly, if she had a phone on her why not just Google answers? Fuck the phoning a friend option.

      “Ok, Google…Which is the primary consideration when preparing to administer thrombolytic therapy to a patient who is experiencing an acute myocardial infarction (MI)?”

      1. …. and please answer in such a way that I won’t get stressed out…

      2. Answer: Four grains of morphine.

        P.S. Isnt “infarction” a silly word?

  2. As someone who dealt with crippling social anxiety and depression in college, ended up in the looney bin for a week after a suicide attempt, and managed to graduate, get into law school, and go on to a halfway decent career…

    …yeah. Not sure how this holds any water. Seriously, calling the prof during the exam?

    1. It would be great if you yelled at her.

      1. +1 Sergeant Hartman

        1. “Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!”

    2. While I’m as skeptical as the author about her ability to function as a nurse, that’s a matter for the profession to consider, whether she becomes a nurse. For purposes of a degree alone whether it’s nursing or basket weaving shouldn’t matter, either accommodate or not. Trading anecdotes, I knew people in law school who suffered severe exam stress and (for other reasons) had accommodations, and made successful lawyers in high-stress legal fields, they weren’t stressed-out by anything in their practice, just the exams in law school.

      Also, whether or not one agrees with the accommodation, it sounds like the university agreed to give extra time, in a separate room, and that the prof would be available. The last was not the case, so didn’t the university failed to do what was agreed?

      1. “Also, whether or not one agrees with the accommodation, it sounds like the university agreed to give extra time, in a separate room, and that the prof would be available. The last was not the case, so didn’t the university failed to do what was agreed?”

        Oh piss off. If she wanted to be by herself in a separate room to take an exam (I’m assuming with no proctor either since that would be too stressful) then you can’t expect the professor to be available any moment for a call, the prof is not a doctor who needs to be on call constantly.

        Universities need to stop pandering to this nonsense. I will always be something else. First people like her are special and need more time, then she needs her own space, then she needs others to bend over backwards and be on call, what next? I can promise you that if you that after doing all of that, she will be right back with more demands.

        These special flowers will never learn to survive in the real world with this type of constant special accommodations.

        1. Depending on the university, I’ve had courses where the profs attended the exams, so that if there were any problems they could address them (e.g. I’ve had exams with mathematical errors that made it impossible to get an answer, the prof had to correct and inform the class writing the exam during the exam after a student called him over to ask). Being available during the exam made it easier to avoid all sorts of (justified) petitions from students for consideration. I’ve seen and experienced other situations with profs disappearing despite their commitment to be available, etc.

          So the prof being available to answer questions is actually the most normal, treating her like other students, part of this whole situation.

          Besides, shouldn’t parties have freedom of contract to agree to what they want? That’s my point, if this was pandering to nonsense, then the university shouldn’t have agreed. Not agreed and failed to abide buy its agreement with a paying customer (i.e. the student, paying tuition).

          1. The university never agreed in a contractual sense to “make the professor on call during her exam”. She complained that she needed special treatment (without providing clear medical evidence it seems), and the professor said “fine you can have x, y & z for the test”.

            That in no way is a contractual obligation. The only contractual obligation was for her to take the class the same as everyone else.

            If you go down this path where every time someone makes a request and a professor says sure, that that magically becomes a contractual obligation that can result in massive lawsuits, then you are very quickly going to find that universities will instruct professors to never offer anything without formal legal review.

            And that might actually be a good thing because it would stop all of this, but that seems to be the opposite of what you want.

            1. You may as well let her take the test at home-maybe that is a safe enough place for her! God forbid she was passing scalpels and stuff during heart surgery being done on me and she started feeling an anxiety attack coming on! Good night, V!

              1. See, this guy, Vinnie, he should be a lawyer. Watch them yutes try to game the system then!

        2. If life is this difficult maybe she should consider suicde?

      2. So from reading the linked article, it appears that they agreed to meet several of her demands, but not all at the same time. Specifically it agreed to let her have extra time and take it in a separate room, but not in a room in the same building as the professor (my guess is there wasn’t such a room available). The professor was open to answering questions to students in the room, but apparently not via cellphone (which would be a reasonable limitation; if the professor was in the same room as all the sane, I mean non-disabled, students, her cellphone would be off to avoid distracting them).

      3. “For purposes of a degree alone whether it’s nursing or basket weaving shouldn’t matter, either accommodate or not.”

        My take too. They should live up to whatever they agreed to.

        But if the problem was that he wasn’t available for the exam, let the delicate daisy take it again with the Prof available. Not being available for a phone call does not merit a $75k judgment.

      4. “I knew people in law school who suffered severe exam stress and (for other reasons) had accommodations”

        “Accommodations”. Oh boy. This is why I would not hire *anyone* straight out of a US university to do anything much beyond mow my lawn. Unless they have verifiable work experience, forget it. Otherwise for all I know their ‘qualifications’ were ‘accommodated’ through the system. Someone educated in India or Poland or Ukraine or Japan probably had to actually study to get their piece of paper. In the US? Maybe yes, or maybe they were ‘accommodated’ because reality kept triggering them.

        Sorry for your problem but not on my dime.

      5. For purposes of a degree alone whether it’s nursing or basket weaving shouldn’t matter, either accommodate or not

        For the purposes of a degree alone, it should be up to the university to grant it; if they only want to grant it to people whose first name starts with the letter “P”, that’s their business.

    3. I’ve suffered with anxiety since college. I failed freshman composition because of it. I’m not anxious about everything, just certain things trigger me, so I try to avoid them.

      But guess what? My boss doesn’t give a shit – he expects me to complete my tasks, and even if I suffer, I have to suck it up and get the job done or I don’t get paid.

  3. I worked with a woman like3 this. 2 grad degrees acquired through special accommodations of whatever her disability was; Assburger’s, anxiety, developmental disability or some such shit.

    She was barely literate

    1. Ah, the ADA: the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, G.H.W.B., you fucking asshole!

    2. Wait wait wait.

      You’re telling me there’s actually a disease called Assburger’s?!

      1. I think an Assburger is a super-sized dingleberry.

        1. Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s on the Autism Spectrum.

            1. Probably because of the Assburgers.

              1. Well-played, Sparky.

              2. Damn! Now I’m getting hungry. Can I have the Pussy shake with that?

                1. Furburger, thighs and a cherry bendover for me please. Oh yeah, and with a nipple thick shake.

        2. I thought it was Burger King.

    3. Being into ass burgers is a disability? I would call it a fetish.

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more Mr. Soave.

    My late wife suffered from depression and anxiety. I’ve seen the consequences. It sucks. Ms. Burbella genuinely has my sympathy and best wishes.

    Having said that,

    I. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Under. Her. Care.

    The reality is that nurses really do have to deal with life or death situation on a somewhat regular basis. I really wouldn’t want my life or death dependent on whether someone froze up because they were having a panic attack. And more to the point, why on earth would she possibly want to do that to herself? She’s pretty much suing to ensure herself a life of abject misery.

    1. Come on!

      I hope you aren’t implying that your life is more important than her feelings?

    2. She’s suing to get $75,000. I doubt she ever intends to actually be a nurse.

      1. That should cover about 25% of the costs of nursing school.

        1. I bet she is just looking to take the money and run.

          1. Or, since she failed the course twice, to pay down some of her extra student loans that she will never be able to pay off without having a well-paying nursing job.

      2. “She is demanding unspecified damages in excess of $75,000″

      3. $75k is the magical number that takes it out of state court and puts it into federal court. That’s why that number’s in there. What she really wants is probably more than that.

        1. Doesn’t the ADA claim alone make it federal? I didn’t think you needed the 75000 for a federal question.

          1. Yes, but it never hurts to double down.

          2. I’d have to double check the Federal Rule but I think $75k is the threshold to make it a civil action rather than a “small claim.” Usually Complaints say something like “general and special damages in excess of $75k specific amounts to be proven at trial…”

    3. The student will never pass the NCLEX, so she will probably never see the inside of a hospital. As an employee.

    4. Well, many nurses, anyway. Sure, she might be able to handle a job as a nurse/receptionist in a small specialty practice where most of the conditions treated are minor (pediatrics, dermatology, allergy, etc). But you never know when that allergy patient is going to have a heart attack (unrelated to the allergy) and need CPR. It is a grave disservice to society to license people like that.

      1. Even in a small restricted practice, I doubt she could cope.

        Imagine her confronting a screaming mother who insists that her daughter’s pimple be treated before the senior with shingles, despite the fact that the senior had an appointment and the daughter didn’t.

        1. confronting a screaming mother

          This reminds me of every minimum-wage “service” job I ever had in my life. I got so stressed out at those jobs I vowed to never, ever work in contact with the public again.

          1. I was attacked once with a kitchen knife by an irate customer for being five minutes late. The irony? She worked as a service tech for the monopoly electric company.

      2. Depends on the type of asshole the physician might be. If it happens to be like one of the ones that we have at the clinic who likes to pitch profane, screaming fits of rage and throw shit at people then she won’t last very long.

    5. Also, inside the legal liability she creates for potential employers, especially after the publicity of this lawsuit. There’s no chance a hospital could claim they didn’t know about her issues before bringing her on. And getting backed into that corner by the ADA, no less.

    6. “The reality is that nurses really do have to deal with life or death situation on a somewhat regular basis.”

      This. The successful nurses that I know can stay cool under pressure. If you can’t, why would you even pursue that job?

      1. But what profession could she possibly handle? Maybe making crafts for sale on Etsy? Every job carries with it some level of stress.

        1. But what if her Etsy sales slump? She could collapse into a quivering puddle of emotions. Who in the private sector is going to accommodate her lack of marketing and sales skills? Best if she just stay in college until retirement age.

          1. What if her Etsy sales slump? Well, how deep are Etsy’s pockets?

        2. Hey! Selling stuff on Etsy is very stressful. Stuff has to be put into boxes. Boxes I tell you. Then I have to leave my house. I leave my house and go to the post office. At the post office I have to deal with some chick who is only marginally more sane then I am. We just look at each other, both of us pretending we’re not armed and about to snap.

          But the making the crafts part is soothing.

          1. Sure, but just how large a market is there for pre-noosed kewpie dolls?

      2. Because, as Tony will probably tell you below, everyone has a right to get whatever job they want, and whatever shortcomings that render them unqualified for that job, well, it’s on the rest of us to bend our lives to make it happen.

        Next up: mentally retarded guy sues NASA for not letting him supervise the building of the next space shuttle; team of expert sociologists testify that mental retardation is in fact socially constructed and the result of cultural oppression, and the courts rule that henceforth discriminating against people on the basis of intelligence will be illegal.

        1. My eyesight is 20/80 with contact lenses, and LASIK won’t help, but I still deserve to be an F-16 pilot like I wanted, so I’ma sue the Air Force!

          1. I’m both pasty white and not too far from being a midget, but if I’m not starting center for the Chicago Bulls by this time next week, they will be hearing from the ACLU!

    7. Watching my wife die from diabetes, I agree. Her nurses were the steadiest people in the world. Before she got sick, she did home health care, mostly for people about to die. I consider myself fairly stable, can butcher a deer, etc. But told her several times that there is no way that I could do that kind of work.
      This poor girl in the article has no business in the healthcare field, both for her patient’s and get own sake.

  5. If the school did allow her to graduate after this they would be doing the girl and the nursing profession a great disservice. Just tell her she isn’t nurse material until and unless she gets her psychological problems under control. She’d have a better case to sue them if they did certify her to be a nurse.

    1. I wonder if they would be opening themselves to lawsuits from her future employer and the families of patients she kills.

      1. I guess her future employer would also be required to provide her with accommodations for her disability. So, she could get paid for being a nurse without ever having to deal with any of the stressful situations nurses normally deal with.

        1. Reasonable (drink!) accommodations: They could hire her an assistant!

          1. Yeah, basically that’s what would happen.

          2. Emotional support pig.

    2. No one will ever hire her. Ever.

  6. Fucking snowflakes.

    She should self-identify as a ‘nurse’ – it’s almost as good (for fetishists of that stripe).

  7. Nurses have to deal with people who are in incredible pain, who are making unreasonable demands

    My mom is a surgical nurse. People are so much more reasonable when they’ve been drugged unconcious by the time you meet them.

    1. Yeah, but I don’t think you can do that to the surgeon, who is often the biggest asshole of the lot.

  8. One more thing: Misericordia? I’ve never heard of it before, but the name alone is triggering to me. It’s “misery” and “discord” all rolled into one.

    Apparently a misericorde is a type of weapon, and misericordia means “act of mercy” in Latin.

    But I, too, would have broken down in tears if my 16-year-old self had encountered such a triggering word on the SAT.

    1. Sounds like a funeral home. I’d be depressed too if I went to a school with a name like that.

    2. Lol, my ex went there. It’s a shithole.

    3. As I remember it a misericord is a small dagger used to kill wounded soldiers – designed to slip in between platemail and that sort of thing. Its very fked up to use that as a name.

  9. For the record, Kafka had a great sense of humor, and things people think of as his most extreme and depressing stories (*like the Hunger Artist, or The Castle) are actually *hilarious*

    unfortunately, one of the people who explains this best? uh, hung himself.

    And actually, that’s kind of funny too. What? he was a jerk.

    I actually think the “nurse who demands that the world nurses *her* constantly” would make a great K dating-partner.

  10. From the infallible wikipedia:

    Misericordia is the Latin for “mercy”, derived from misericors, “merciful”, which is in turn derived from misereri, “to pity”, and cor, “heart”.

    It is a fairly common name for Catholic Hospitals.

    Robby, your lack of a classical education is showing.

    1. So a “false friend” word.

    2. One more thing: Misericordia? I’ve never heard of it before, but the name alone is triggering to me. It’s “misery” and “discord” all rolled into one. Who founded this place? Franz Kafka?

      Robby….Sigh…. http://www.misericordia.com/

    3. He’d know that if he went to Colombia journalism school.

      1. Only if he bothered to get a masters degree.

      2. Only because a Colombia university would be in Spanish, and thus require him to learn a Romance language similar to Latin.

    4. “It is a fairly common name for Catholic Hospitals.”

      Yep, such as the Misericordia in west Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (just a few minutes’ walk from West Edmonton Mall!). Or as everyone local used to call it, “the Miz.” Great hospital in an otherwise really mediocre health system.

    5. it was also a dagger used to kill wounded soldiers; mainly for the purpose of stealing from battlefields.

      Whether popular or not its an incredibly ghoulish name for a hospital and ironically a very accurate one, since misericords were the tools of those who seek to profit from the sick and dying.

      Lets not accuse people of lacking in education. pot and kettle and all that.

  11. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
    http://www.work-cash.com

    1. Is the job stressful or triggering? Perhaps a certain, unemployable nurse would find this to be a fantastic opportunity!

    2. so, Raquel, why are you sharing it with US?
      we don’t tend to trust altruists around here…

  12. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
    http://www.work-cash.com

  13. She has no business being a nurse if she has crippling anxiety.

    She should be in law school.

    1. Forward Air Controller – she would handle combat no prob.

      1. OH SHIT WHAT’S THAT COMING FOR…oh..

      2. “LINES 1 THROUGH 9: N/A – CLEARED HOT!”

        1. I had a sad once in Afghanistan……my Smoke kicked me in the teeth. Something tells me this chick would respond well to such stimulus.

      3. Suicide hotline.

        “You can do it, end the pain”

  14. I had a student once who told me “I get delusional under stress.” Said student wanted to be a high school teacher.

    1. I used to teach High School biology. It’s really not that stressful.

      1. This one wanted to teach high school math, despite being unable to pass any math courses beyond calculus (and that only barely). We parted ways when s/he called a textbook publisher one time and used my name to order a “review copy” so s/he could get a free textbook. I was not pleased. Ultimately the deal was that I would not go to the student judicial board and s/he would remain out of my sight forever.

        1. So, s/he wanted to be a math teacher, when s/he was not very good at math. You really have to wonder what people are thinking sometimes.

          1. She figured she’d fit right in with the rest of the PS teachers.

      2. Really depends on where or to whom you are teaching. I get stressed by the bio class next door to my room ( I teach chemistry). Could be because someone decided it was a good idea to concentrate all the sub-literate miscreants into one period.

        Used to teach in both downtown and East Oakland. Regularly had students screaming obscenities at me, even threw things at me. Had good times to, it’s a mixed bag, but stressful nonetheless.

  15. My sister-in-law is a nurse

    You just broke a lot of hearts today Robby

  16. One more thing: Misericordia? I’ve never heard of it before

    I know a couple people that went there for OT. My brother considered it.

    You Michigan men…

    1. Only Michiganders would not know about Misericordia.

      1. No, we have a lot of Catholics here. Every Catholic worth his catechism has heard of Mater Misericordia. Or Gratia et Misericordia.

  17. My favorite part is starting at the exam and struggling to convince myself that I did in fact attend classes this term. I haven’t yet sprung a leak over it, though.

  18. Oh, and the lawsuit isn’t just stupid because nursing is a stressful profession. She could be a school nurse, or a nurse working in an industry that needs on-site medical professionals (my aunt does this). Neither of those come with the routine stress of, say, being an ER nurse (which my aunt also did).

    The lawsuit is stupid because there is no reasonable way to accommodate someone who’s disability is being subject to scrutiny.

    The proper accommodation, assuming she is actually in as bad a state as she says, is for the university to let her take a leave of absence for medical reasons until she gets things together. I have a very close friend who struggled with depression who did this and has gone on to have an outstanding career, despite continuing to struggle from time to time.

  19. The list of people trying to get society to bend over backwards to accommodate their handicaps and demanding that they be seen as normal seems to be increasing. There was an article in Vice recently talking about how multiple personality disorder shouldn’t be seen as a mental illness at all–“These people have so many perspectives to share!” The fucking comments had people referring to those who weren’t psychotic as “singlets.”

    Internet culture and modern decadence seems to exacerbate and enable this kind of broken emotional and psychological behavior more than anything else. It’s relatively easy to find hugboxes who will tell you that your particular brand of handicap, which would be marked out for the burdens it placed on society and your loved ones to accommodate, as something that should be encouraged and celebrated. In short, American culture needs a giant enema.

    1. I have depression. I also have Lyme disease. Neither one of the above has affected my ability to STFU and do a damn test. I don’t receive disability and I graduated from a high-ranked technical university.

      If I can shut up and buckle down, so can she.

      1. What we are seeing over time is people like you will be put at a disadvantage, and those to clamor for special accommodation are gaining advantages. This creates a very dangerous feedback cycle that will increase those clamoring for special accommodation until you’d be a fool to be honest and take your path.

        1. If employers can find out about applicants’ medical history they may well start avoiding hiring people with psychological illnesses precisely because of the extra potential costs imposed by the people who exploit their conditions in the court of law; in effect, people with depression or anxiety disorder who actually want to work get screwed over because of the costs imposed upon their potential employers against their will by the lazy ones who benefit.

    2. It’s increasing because it is being rewarded.

  20. One of the women in my Bible Study is a nurse. It is a stressful job with low pay and high expectations. Often they are short staffed and miss out on breaks and have shorter lunches. Wherever this woman works, remind me not to go to that hospital. She is gonna get her ass kicked.

    1. I disagree about the low pay, but it’s a stressful job with high expectations. The pay is unfortunately dependent on credentials rather than ability, but a nurse with a 4 year degree and specialization can make 6 figures pretty easily. My neighbor has 8 years experience and is an ER nurse with a pediatric specialty and makes over 100k.

      1. HORSE DOOKIE!! One!…pay depends on WHERE you practice. I am sure CA they can hit 6 figures, BUT I DOUBT IT with a BSN and not being in management. I have been an ER RN for 18 years and don’t clear $68K/yr in CO

        1. I could see that. But in fairness, 68k in CO isn’t all that bad, depending (as you say) on locale. Denver area or the Springs, yeah ok money but not great. In Grand Junction, you could live pretty damn good on 68k.
          The other thing is, that after 18 yrs in the same field, one should be at least lower management.

        2. Where I live, in Spokane WA, my niece has been an RN for about four years. She started at around $ 50k per year. And she isn’t in some special area, like surgery, or ER, etc.. Nor does that involve any overtime pay. And Spokane is not an especially high paying community.

  21. Tests are just micro-aggressions against dependent individuals and all test givers need to report for sensitivity retraining.

  22. “The world needs ditch diggers, too”
    Judge Smails

    1. “How’d you like to mow my lawn?”

    2. See, this kinda thing triggers me. It’s really microagressive. My buddy the plumber only graduated high school, but if your house is flooding because the sump pump went out, and we’re having massive rain, you pay that ditch digger as much as you’d pay a doctor.
      I know you just pasted a quote, and I’m not saying this is how you think, but lately I’ve encountered a large number of (mostly young, snowflake type) people who degenerate blue collar professionals, but can’t even turn the water of themselves while they wait for the plumber. But man, do they feel superior to the guy whom they are paying $200/hr.

  23. Really bad anxiety and depression can be quite crippling. That’s why God created drugs. Why is it anyone’s fault but her’s if she didn’t take any?

    1. Chain her to s steel chair bolted to the floor in a pitch black room. Give her a massive amount of LSD. Then whisper to her about her worst fears. Hilarity ensues.

  24. “letting a blind student take an oral exam instead of a written one”

    FWIW, I’m not terribly interested in having a blind nurse, either.

    1. heheh…oral exam….

  25. Another triggering rant from able-ist Soave. Check your privilege, Robby! Everyone should be allowed to have whatever degree they want, without regard to whether or not they meet its qualifications. If their experiences allow them to identify with having earned the degree, you are microagressing them by claiming otherwise.

    1. ‘Microaggressing’. I just started giggling at that word. Is it even a word? Doesn’t matter. It’s hilarious because of just how ridiculous it is.

    2. Yes.

      I self identify as a tech billionaire.

      Why isn’t some bank forced to accomodated me with a bottomless checking account ?

      1. I self identify as a young Hugh Hefner. where the hell is my mansion and my free round the clock whores?

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  27. I wonder if she demanded trigger warnings when they covered subjects like how to put catheters in.

  28. Sometime I think it would be nice if people like this had the decency to do the world a favor and just kill themselves.

    But then I start to think that that’s a bit harsh and maybe they don’t all deserve it. I’m not trying to be a big meanie, after all.

    But then I start to think that the reason it’s becoming more common is because these people are being coddled way too much. I don’t imagine anyone ever told them “you can’t do it” or didn’t come running in with a big hug after every failure. Those enablers are probably really the ones who should kill themselves.

    1. “Somebody needs to off themselves!”

      *holds out ceremonial knife, rice paper and pen*

      1. It’s five syllables, then seven, and then five, right?

        I mean, it’s not like I’ll have a chance to fix it.

    2. Yes.

      Keeping score in sports is microaggressing.

      Not soing so leads to nursing students like this one.

      1. Yes keeping score in
        Sports is microagression
        Nurse students like this

        Does I win?

    3. This may sound strangely self serving, but I agree with you.

  29. She was given permission to take the exam in a separate “distraction-free” environment; she also received extra time.

    That’s OK. Thanks to ADA her nursing job will be in a separate “distraction-free” environment where she will also receive extra time.

  30. Great, so we’re 2 years from “nurse sues surgeon, patient for not being sensitive to need to curl up and cry during surgery.”

  31. Another mentally ill professional weighing in here. I made it through vet school with moderate depression (probably mild bipolar disorder) and ADD. I was pretty well medicated throughout, which helped. I definitely struggled more than some of my friends though. She needs to figure out how to manage her anxiety (with professional help/meds, if necessary), or consider another career. As a nurse, she may need to make important time-sensitive decisions. A dead patient’s family isn’t going to very accommodating of her disability.

    1. I think this is blow-back from the whole “you’re #1” and “you can be anything you want” movement. This woman wants to be a nurse, and she’s been told her whole life that she could do whatever she wanted because she’s “the best,” so now that life’s telling her differently she can’t handle it.

  32. this is as bad as when they would not let me, a vampire of 2000 years, take the lifeguard training exam at night.

    the sheer insensitivity of these institution to those with special needs is deplorable!

    1. Sounds like you need to sue under the ADA and get paid!

      Also, why would you want to be a lifeguard instead of, say, a blood bank guard?

  33. “misericordia” is Italian for “mercy”

  34. BTW, never get sick in July. That’s when the new interns show up.

    1. Never have surgery in a military hospital. They’re all fucking interns.

  35. While the nursing job you described is stressful, sitting in a medical insurance office making decisions on claims is not the same type of stress. And there are many RN”s who do this and never see the inside of a hospital.

    1. I was going to mention this in my earlier screed, and decided not to.
      But since you brought it up: Yes there may be nursing jobs without stress. However, in a healthcare environment, even people who aren’t caregivers need to be able to deal with shit. Every job on earth is stressful, but in the healthcare industry, it’s much worse; life and death is, by definition, the most stress filled job possible. Even the data entry people have to deal with sick and dying people. I remember many interviews with accountant type people, whose job was to ensure the hospital got paid. To pretend that those people didn’t need sympathy towards the patient’s is absurd. If you work in healthcare, you have to deal with stress.

  36. The lesson here is that if you’re in need of medical care, make sure that everyone involved in providing it is an immigrant who went to school in their home country.

    1. +1 Filipina nurses.

  37. The universe is trying to tell her something.

  38. I know with employment the employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation provided that with the accommodation the employee can perform the essential functions of the job. If she were telling a hospital that she needed them to provide a stress free environment, then arguably her accommodation wouldn’t be reasonable and she would not be capable of performing the job’s essential functions with the accommodations since the essential functions involve handling stressful situations.

    WIth educational institutions, are they required to accommodate a student to the extent that they are not adequately testing or training her? Because ultimately if she cannot take any tests or learn anything from them, then clearly the accommodation is not reasonable.

  39. I can’t speak to her experiences but I can speak for my wife’s experience (she graduates from a “top” nursing school this week), nursing school is a load of b.s. This story didn’t surprise me in the least, as it sounds so similar to my wife’s story and many of her fellow students.

    The problem with nursing school is so much of the judgments of whether you pass or fail are completely arbitrary and often based on how much you suck up to your professor. My wife failed one class. It was a medical-surgical class taught by a woman’s health/gynecology nurse who was clearly lacking in competency in the field of medical-surgical. Two of the primary reasons she failed were:
    1.) She failed to squeeze the air out of an IV bag before she was about to administer to a patient. The professor claimed this endangered the patient’s life. Later (when she retook the course) she learned that this medication did NOT need the air squeezed out as it was pre-packaged by the company to be ready to go. So the professor failed her in large part because the professor was wrong.
    2.) Because she “killed” a dummy during a practice lab that students were specifically told was not for a grade.
    Add in the fact that her and the professor flat didn’t like each other (she didn’t suck up like other girls), and basically she failed because the professor sucked, lied and didn’t like her.

    1. And that was just one of many completely unfair, arbitrary experiences that pushed her into various mental breakdowns. Many professors were mentally and emotionally abusive. And when you’re paying $45k a year in student loans, professors should not be intentionally trying to “wash you out.”

      Her final semester, she got an 865 on the final comprehensive HESI exam. HESI recommends students to break above 850, and the national average is 830. However, the school decided students have to make 900 to get full credit for their test, between 850-900 you get 50% and under 850 you get 0% for that portion of your grade. She made up for it with good regular test scores, but it was a scare that was too close for comfort, and the b.s. part about it was that some of her friends had been held back in previous semesters (some multiple times) because they used to weigh this score at 40% of their grade, making it virtually impossible to pass if you get a 50% or less. These friends had to back out of jobs, lose 6 months to a year’s worth of income and take on significantly more student loans to retake the course even though their comprehensive test results put them in the top 20% of nursing students nationwide. And this semester, the college (correctly) decided to change the weighting so they all would have passed 6 months to a year ago. WTF.

      1. Sorry for the long rant, but after her experience I wouldn’t wish nursing school on my worst enemy. And this is in a program that constantly ranks in the top programs of the nation. I don’t agree with this girl’s lawsuit, at least not from the facts as presented, as nobody promises nursing school won’t be stressful and difficult (in fact, it should be) and many are simply not equipped to handle it. But I can certainly understand where the anxiety/depression/mental breakdowns came from she’s claiming as a disability. Many of of her fellow student ended up on Desoxyn (medical meth) and anxiety/depression medications to cope with the stresses of the school. Just a bad experience all around.

  40. Heh. If a patient in her care dies she’ll probably sue the family of the deceased for the suffering inflicted on her. Microaggression!

  41. I’m reminded of an actual case here many years ago in which some guy claimed disability on the grounds that he was morbidly afraid of blacks (no doubt due to some childhood trauma, perhaps a consequence of school busing). He wanted either to have a job with no contact with blacks, or compensation to make up for his emotional disability. This one is even more extreme, since she seems to be incapable of dealing with any unpleasantness of any sort.

  42. I’ve never understood the extra stress people have when taking tests. If someone already has mental health problems, sure. But just “normal” people?? Either you know the course material and are prepared for the exam, or not. (If you are less prepared than you should be then you better be a good BS-er)

    I guess it’s just hard to empathize with people that have a “problem” (e.g. severe stress over an exam) that I cannot relate to at all.

    1. What if you have taken out $150k in student loans, are in your last semester, already have a job lined up and failing the test will lead to you getting kicked out of school? Then can you understand why a “normal” person might experience crippling anxiety?

      1. Still, either you are prepared or not. The only time I would feel stress over an exam is if I knew I wasn’t ready because I didn’t put in the time necessary to be ready which was entirely my fault. I don’t expect sympathy when it’s my fault. If people are prepared why are they stressed? If they are prepared and still stressed should I feel sympathy for them? IDK. I’m thinking out loud; not taking a particular position.

        I do work well under pressure, and I realize that not all people do. Maybe that is why I don’t get stressed when I am prepared? IDK, I’m not a psychologist.

        1. What if the test is comprehensive over everything you learned in nursing school? I mean you can say either “you know the material or not”, but it’s hard to feel confident that you can remember every detail you ever went over (and anything in textbooks you might not have) over the past three years? I get that I’m using theoreticals here, but my wife just went through this exact scenario last week.

          1. Hey, sorry man. I committed the fallacy of commenting immediately after reading the article and not the comments section. My thoughts were more directed toward the gal in the article and people that bitch about being stressed out over tests in general (which is fairly common nowadays). I then saw your posts about your wife’s experience. I was not intending to direct my comments at her or her experience.

            Please accept my apology.

            1. No worries, I wasn’t saying you were at all. I was just saying some tests and situations are truly anxiety inducing even for healthy, normal people who are good students. Especially in fields like medical/nursing or law where the comprehensive knowledge base required is vast and the monetary investment in your education is very high, the pressure can be overwhelming for many. I personally, like you, never had any problems with tests either, but then again I was never a nursing student with $150k in student loans hanging over my head either.

    2. Anxiety isn’t rational. Imagine trying to take a calculus test while someone is torturing you with a knife and that’s close to what a person with severe anxiety or dealing with a panic attack would feel during the same–it’s just impossible to concentrate when the unconscious fight or flight reaction takes over. The notion of there being some rational little homunculus pulling levers in the brain disappears quickly after your first panic attack.

      And anxiety exists on a spectrum, so anyone experiencing any degree of it is hobbled in some way while testing.

  43. “Look, I see that you’re bleeding out. But you’ll just have to wait because I’m having a panic attack and cannot help you. If you don’t like it and want care now, take it up with my attorney. I’ll be in the corner breathing into a paper bag.”

  44. I really hope this get thrown out with a verdict of “bitch, please.”

    There’s demanding that other people accommodate your incompetence, and then there’s demanding that they pay you for it. Fuck that noise.

    -jcr

    1. And counter-sued as well.

  45. I was always told that you fail the course, the course didn’t fail you. Of course I grew up in a different time and attended much better colleges than this twit. I really don’t know what job field she can work in if she cannot handle the stress of an exam or pass a college class. No matter how hard a class was I could always find a way to pass (even with a D) if I worked hard enough at it.

  46. Presumably the nurse is not some wavering libertarian who stays awake nights wondering whether it’s moral to file a discrimination lawsuit against a private university.

    But if she were, why not screw over a hated teacher via any means possible? Why not use every possible moral outlet, particularly those that are legal or institutional, to get justice or to hurt wrongdoers? If you had a landlord who failed to live up to his contractual agreement and you were unable to get justice under what passes for law, why not use every stupid regulation imaginable to screw him and gain leverage, revenge, and/or indirect justice? The stupid laws are a given; why not use them to our advantage?

  47. I propose that we fire an IRS employee to free up the funds necessary so this woman can have a government job raking circles in the sand at a beach in the lake country of Minnesota. Then she will have opportunity to work without stress… aaand she can put those medical skills to work treating the mosquito bites she gets during work. No worker’s comp for you snowflake!

    1. You could save the hiring fee by just having the IRS employee rake circles, Ayn.

  48. I agree with the assessment of the story, but don’t make fun of the name of the school unless you know what it means. In Latin, it means “mercy” or “compassion” Pretty good name for a nursing school, IMO. But I too don’t see how to make nursing school easy enough for this student while at the same time turning out a nurse who won’t fall apart when she needs to make an emergency medication calculation during a code. I sure wouldn’t want her taking care of me in an emergency.

    1. I guess she can be the nurse who holds the bedpan for incontinent old men in the nursing home. Not a time sensitive task. But I bet she’ll find that stressful as well..

    1. Real life is socially constructed

  49. Maybe she should become a pilot for Germanwings.

  50. Dude. My professors would have destroyed this girl. If you can’t take a test, what do you do when the ambulances carrying dead kids roll into your ER?

    1. Trigger Warning|5.14.15 @ 8:12PM|#
      “Dude. My professors would have destroyed this girl”

      Properly so.
      She seems to presume it is the employer’s duty to make her happy, and I’m pretty sure I know where this misconception came from; can you say “union teachers”?
      Anyhow, she has it exactly backwards; it is her job to find a way to add value to what her employer is selling, regardless of whether that is popsicles or medical care. Her (prospective) employer has enough on her hands trying to balance costs and revenue; whiners not welcome.

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  52. “Would you like fries with that?” seems a better fit than anything related to nursing.

    1. Or telling her Backpage clients that there will be no kissing and she doesn’t do anal.

  53. if people knew how to prevent this crippling anxiety that appears to be more and more common, I know that they can make simple choices to prevent their healthy mind to becoming a mind you don’t even know.
    NEVER , I repeat NEVER take benzos ! This is includes Xanax, Adivan, Kolonopin or Valium. Thousands of once healthy people have committed suicide after being on these pills for even a short time.It starts out with a little anxiety. My dad died in 2011. Depression and insomnia caused me to seek help from my dr. WORST MISTAKE EVER I was put on 2 mg of Xanax a day. At first I loved it, I was also high as a kite from the pills. Quickly, within in a week even , you start needing more and more to achieve the same affect. After about a year for me I hit tolerance, the pills were now causing the exact symptoms I had sought help for, except this time it was so much worse. Constant fear, constant panic and adrenaline pump through your veins non stop.ache from head to toe. Then the insomnia… with no sleep for days, to the point you begin to hallucinate . you feel like you have completely lost your mind.When you finally do sleep, lucid nightmares about things I don’t even feel safe telling you about. I thought INSANE PARANOID THOUGHTS. From what I have read about meth addiction, it sounds very similar to what they go through. Suicidal idealation was constantly running through my mind. It took almost a year for me to start feeling like my old self agaiN

  54. This scamming and taking advantage of disability accommodations makes me sick. Due to an MS related issue, my right (primary) hand is somewhat weak, causing writing to be atrocious, slow and painful. I did register at the disabilities office, in order to have accommodations when needed, but only used it for the essay portion of the entrance test (to type the essay and not appear illiterate to unknown graders). They offered far more than needed and frankly would allow me to do every midterm and final written essay in a barely supervised room, on a computer with extra time if I asked.
    Simply explaining my condition to professors has sufficed instead and I have not had to avail myself of the separate testing (they decipher my scrawl and have offered extra time, though so far it has not been needed. The real stress is can they read it). Of course, I am an A student, not a failure looking for a prop.
    There are legitimate reasons to need accommodations and there are also people who will milk any advantage. Actual handicapped people should be offered Braille, transcribers, computer access, if the school is equipped for and can afford such.

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  57. ‘Misericordia’ is Latin for ‘Mercy’. We get the word ‘commiserate’ from its roots. It has nothing to do with discord or misery, which a simple Google search wkd have shown the author of this piece. This now make me wonder how much of the rest of the article was researched.

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  62. The big question here is whether she can handle the stresses of nursing or not. Run some simulations. Test her out in the most common stressful situations in nursing, and have her devote a week (or at least a day) to it. If she can handle the simulations, she may have a reason to cry out that the college didn’t accommodate her (maybe it’s just the tests she couldn’t handle, but she could handle real life just fine). If she can’t handle the simulation, she ought to grateful she only has a 75000$+ debt and find work as a janitor for BYU, which is about as non-stressful as one can get.

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