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The Prima Donna Student

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. John Wooden

2012 has got to go down as the year of the prima donna student. I have yet to meet a more nervy group. I have thrown books, knee jerked obscenities, and contemplated quitting to take up dog walking.  Yup, caring for canines would be peachy compared to working with some of these pseudo-nobles.

According to urban and dictionary.com  “prima donna” refers to someone (male or female) who is vain, arrogant, unreasonable, and difficult to work with. This person is temperamental and expects privileged treatment, and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience.  Sure, everyone has known someone like this. And nurses who have been in the field a long while (like me) have met a couple of docs/interns/professors/managers who are huge P-D’s.  But multiple students in consecutive semesters? And I’m not talking just a freaky few, this is more like the recommended daily amount of almonds. Tell me this is not the norm.

Possible explanations? He said-she said, high cost of graduate credits, Generation Y upbringing differences and learning styles? High stress multi-tasking lifestyles, mob mentality? Is this common place behavior in present day America, or is this simply an unprecedented coincidence luck of the draw group?

The majority of my students are phenomenal professionals: hard-working, endearing, highly skilled wonderful people who I am happy to pass the baton to. You know who you are, and you can count on me to give you a good reference, match you with amazing preceptors, and when job opportunities come across my desk I will think of you.  As for the prima donnas, I hope your ego deflates, you change your perspective and realize you are not monarchial. The world doesn’t owe you anything, and if you really are as great as you think, you would realize you know nothing.

By Kathy

I am a Nurse Practitioner from Rochester, NY presently working in both the inpatient and outpatient hospital psychiatric settings.

2 replies on “The Prima Donna Student”

Tony was so glad to come here where the teaching load was minimal. His run-ins with Prima Donnas were much like yours. Lack of respect for
all authority, most importantly lack of respect for God Almighty, results in lack of respect for fellow humans. It makes me scared to think, if I am to grow old and fall into the hands of this lot, I may be cared for by one of those who inspired this rant!

Absolutely true Cynthia. But it is doubtful you will run into one who has grown from this disrespectful seed. There is a saying in medicine: stay humble or stumble. Hubris will lead to a very quick downfall.

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