Think you got an A on your UPenn nursing final? Think again. You forgot to ask your imaginary patient their preferred pronouns and announce yours as well, so now you're getting a B.
· Mar 12, 2021 ·

Welcome back to Keeping Up With The Clown World. I'm your host Clowny McClownerson. In this episode, we examine the University of Pennsylvania's nursing program, which, just so all of us clowns are aware, is maybe the best nursing school in the world.

So here's what we're working with today:

Yes, the class is NURS 164: Integrated Human Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment II—a class required for graduation.

And you're reading that headline correctly.

If nursing students at UPenn do not conform to the clown world idea of preferred pronouns, they're docked points ON THE FINAL EXAM.

Keep in mind that this is a NURSING PROGRAM.

It's not Gender Studies, it's not Feminist Theory, and no, it's not even JoUrNaLiSm.


Here's part of the rubric for that final exam in which students are asked to record themselves giving a physical examination to an imaginary patient:

For context, the test is worth 60 points.

So, again, you're reading that correctly: if a student forgets to introduce themselves by their preferred pronouns, or, if they do not ask their imaginary patient for their preferred pronouns the student is docked 5 POINTS on the final.


And am I getting this right, using correct pronouns is now just as important in nursing as washing your hands and wearing gloves?!?!


And if that's not enough clowning for you, check this out…

You can get the entire "Neck & Thyroid" portion of the exam DEAD WRONG and you'll still not lose as many points as you would for botching the pronouns.


So I'm glad we've got our priorities all figured out then.

I can't believe how stupid this is, and boy how I wish I had time this morning to record my own examination. Because that would be loads of fun.

I'll leave you with one student's take:

"You go into clinical settings and absolutely no one asks about or introduces themselves with their pronouns. I'm especially uncomfortable with having to state my preferred pronouns," [the student] said. "In other classes, I just don't state any pronouns when professors ask everyone to introduce themselves and say their pronouns, but when it's a matter of points I feel like I'm being forced to go against my beliefs."

And that concludes this episode of Keeping Up With The Clown World. Please turn over the tape or just click on one of these other stories.

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