Difficulty with coworkers - page 2

by MiriamRn 6,038 Views | 27 Comments

I have been an RN for just 3 years- this past year has been very difficult. For the past 2 years I have worked in the ER. I knew the staff was known for being " cut throat" but this is just terrible. I work my butt off go above... Read More


  1. 9
    Quote from RJmanuone
    ER is pure adrenaline, i just love being around, but it will also get you burned out quick - remember to get your adequate time off... bullying is one problem, but from my personal experience, having more number of men can reduce the sort of itching and stabbing behind the back...
    Oh puhleeeeze. Why is there such a continuing level of misogyny on this board? Attributing all that is bad to the fact that nursing is dominated by women. C'mon folks. Let's demonstrate some of that critical thinking.

    Being a jerk has nothing to do with your chromosomes. But the exact same behavior (aggression for instance) is considered negative for women (b***t) & positive (decisive) for men. Let's react to the behavior, not the demographic... stop stereotyping.
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    It's not uncommon. That's nursing. It's a predominantly female field and it can get catty. Do your job, brush it off and don't let them get you down.

    I know it's easier said than done, believe me when I say it can be done. Nurses are aggressive. We have to be, especially in the ER. It only takes one order to risk your license.

    You cannot change the attitude of the unit, that's just impossible. But what you can do is adjust yours. It's a place where you work and you shouldn't be taking heat if you haven't done anything wrong. You need to develop your own version of aggression, have some teeth.

    I've worked with tough, aggressive nurses but when it counts, when a nurse is sinking, I can trust them to be there for me. I have yet to see a nurse let another nurse go down no matter how much cr*p they have between them.
    beccarner likes this.
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    All of the above are great insights. I am amazed that you have stayed in the unit for 3 years with all this going on. I was bullied bad in my first ER job too. What I did was as new hires came in I befriended them. Nurses and doctors alike. Get to them first. Make them feel welcomed and be helpful to them. ERs usually change staff so much that before I knew it all the nasties were gone and I had become quite popular because I made the new people feel at home.
    You might try transferring to another area. I made the switch from ER (after about 6 years) to ICU and am learning so much. Had no idea what I didn't know. It has been a great learning exp for me.
    Another thing to consider is signing up with a local agency and getting some daily work at another facility on your days off. I did that and it was great. I learned so much. Ended up doing some travel nursing around the country. Now staff ICU. Agency isn't always easy and you often get the worst patients, but the learning is phenomenal. And the fact that you have put up with all this for so long shows that you have the guts and fortitude to do it. And 3 years ER exp will make you very desirable to agencies. Good luck with your endeavors. Don't quit nursing over 1 bad unit. I have worked at over 30 places now. Some were just okay, some were awful, and some I cried when I left cause I loved them.
    beccarner, LakeEmerald, elprup, and 2 others like this.
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    Why leave nursing?
    It would make more sense to change nursing departments or specialty.
    nrsang97 and CHAVNY like this.
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    I sometimes wonder if it's because of the stress of a crappy job no one else in their right mind would do, that that's the reason why nurses are so nasty to each other.

    Really, if we weren't so miserable, maybe we'd treat each other better.

    But it's a crapshoot to find a nursing job that would be not stressful.

    So it's a problem that will never go away.
    nursej22 and anotherone like this.
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    Just as a clarification, these nurses you asked to cover you for breaks-- had they had their breaks? Do you ever offer first, like, "Would you like me to watch these bays for you so you can take a break?" Try doing that now and then, maybe once every other day, to different people, and see if over time things change.
    karlenepatrick and anotherone like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from RJmanuone
    ER is pure adrenaline, i just love being around.
    *** I want to work where you work. Even when i worked in the ER of a large level I trauma hospital in a huge city it was mostly boring, while at the same time being busy and hard work. COPD and CHF exacerbations, chest pain, abdominal pain, kids with ear infections, minor lacerations, drug seekers, broken bones, stroke etc made up most of our patients. Sure several times a shift some cool trauma would roll in but the majority of my hours in the ER were mundane same-o same-o. Bordom was the main reason I left ER nursing.

    To the OP: Either there is something wrong with you, or there is something wrong with the culture in that unit. While I have (briefly) experienced similar dysfunctional unit cultures they were the exception. I have worked in far more great units. I suggest you keep searching.
    Last edit by PMFB-RN on Feb 13, '13
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    Not all ERs have a cut-throat mentality. The pressure can be an impetus for causing nurses to seek ways to work "better together" and team up instead of what seems to be happening where you work. Keep doing your best and put in enough ER time to make yourself attractive to other ER employers and move on if things don't improve. Also, don't let anyone make you lose your cool and jeopardize your reputation.
  9. 1
    I know the feeling.
    My hospital nursing coworkers were some of the most unprofessional and nasty people I ever met.
    I've only been a nurse a year and a half and I don't think I will do it forever and I don't recommend it to a dog.
    jrwest likes this.
  10. 0
    MiriamRN,

    I'm not sure how this feels as far as the way people are being towards you but I know this much. Don't quit your job...If its that bad then start looking to go elsewhere where you will hopefully be appreciated. I have been out of work partly due to a NM and then because of the birth of my last daughter. I have left a position becasue I didn't care for a NM and her demeanor but when I look back perhaps I could have stuck it out just a little longer... just for the experience. Do some soul searching before you make your final decision. Take care~


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