Students and the Darn Grades

“What should I write in my blog this week?” I asked myself this morning on the way to work. I feel that it is time for me to write about SRNAs and their grades since it has been on my mind for a while. I have been teaching a class to SRNAs this semester. It made me look from the other side of the perspectives aka teacher’s perspective of grades and what it really means.

First of all, please understand I have been in school for 26 years in my life. So I can totally relate how important grades are to us.  However, I realized grades are not everything in anesthesia school. It is a little different from your regular graduate school. I have seen students with average grades getting the great rotation clinical assignments whereas “A” students do not have that luck. In addition, some of the average students get jobs lined up before graduation whereas the A-students have no job offers at graduation. It makes you wonder what the grades really mean in anesthesia school.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that grades won’t help you get a job, nor will it get you the special rotation everyone wants. It is your personality and your clinical skills that will get you the ultimate prize. My hope is that students can step back and look at a bigger picture. Would it matter if you get A or B when you graduate? The answer is NO. It would not matter because you will graduate with either grade and you will have your diploma. What would matter is passing your NCE exam and ultimately getting a job.

So please don’t fixate on the grades and argue with the teacher for a couple of points on the exam (unless you need the grade to graduate). Step back and see what really is important to you. As a teacher, My goal is to help students succeed. I respect students who take their grades well even if their grades disappoint them. Why? It shows their maturity instead of trying to argue for a point or two. They understand that they need to do something about that themselves rather than blaming others for their failure.

Well enough for my ranting for this week. I hope you are doing well in school and happy studying!

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