I need help.
I am a registered nurse, with an Associate’s Degree, studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Because I plan to pursue becoming a nurse practitioner, I decided to take Pathophysiology as a refresher for my required health elective. My adviser raised her eyebrows, because it’s a hard class, but she understood.
The problem is the teacher. He comes off as anti-female. He’s made several statements that he believes not enough attention is given to men’s healthcare and his lectures are very focused on conditions that primarily affect men. He glossed over lupus. Didn’t talk about thyroid storm. When it came time to lecture about reproductive health, he told us we wouldn’t be having a lecture on female reproductive or breast health, and that we’d need to just read the book. We got a full lecture on men’s reproductive health, but he needed to be out the day the women’s reproductive health lecture should have happened, and his excuse was he didn’t want to mess up the test schedule.
This really bothers me. As a nurse, a lot of the questions I get from friends and family directly relate to breast and reproductive health. It’s great to know about testicular torsion and urethritis, but those things make themselves known, whereas breast and cervical cancer can quietly grow and spread while you still think you’re healthy.
He has either glossed over or entirely skipped things that I feel are vital to nursing students. The other students in the class are all taking it as a pre req for the nursing curriculum.
At the beginning of the semester, I really thought it was going to get better. I’m not saying I should teach the class, because I still can’t get acid/base balance straight, but I am saying that when I studied nursing, thyroid storm was taught as one of those very rare things that you better the hell not miss, and he didn’t even bring it up. I’m fairly certain a lot of the class isn’t even reading the book, so this really worries me.
I would have already gone to complain, but there are a couple of things that have stopped me. First, my professor is gay, and I don’t want this to be seen as homophobia. I feel like I have legitimate concerns for what is happening in class, but I don’t want someone to look at my complaint and say “here is a woman complaining about a gay male professor. She must be homophobic.”
I’m not homophobic. Not in the slightest. I’m bisexual. I don’t bring it up, but generally people assume I’m straight because I married a man, but I’m not. I’d rather not have to bring out my own sexuality in order to file a complaint against a professor.
What I am thinking of writing is a letter to the department head and the dean that states “As a registered nurse with years of floor experience, I found the lack of attention to female reproductive and breast health alarming. I feel that this professor focuses his lectures on conditions that primarily affect men, and very little time is given to conditions that primarily affect women.”
And go from there.
If anyone has encountered this situation, I’d really appreciate some advice. I do find this situation alarming. It’s really a patient safety issue. There are about 30 students in our class. That’s a lot of nurses getting inadequate information.
My college has a conflict resolution office, and I will probably file my complaint through them, and do it anonymously if possible.