Difficulty with coworkers Difficulty with coworkers | allnurses

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Difficulty with coworkers

  1. 2 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 and beyond for every patient and I have always been consistent. I have met alot of resistance from other staff members- asking for breaks and no one will cover me- other RNs questioning my judegment . I feel like I am in highschool and getting bullied. I have little to no friends in this department , I am considering leaving the field of nursing due to this. I have a very short temper but never displayed it at work- I do not know how to handle people at work- I am afraid I will lose my cool and blow a fit. I am guessing this is just expected in this line of work but I really do not know how to handle it !!
  2. 27 Comments

  3. Visit  iluvivt profile page
    #1 1
    I need more information. Why is it that they do not like you and try to create problems for you? What does your three year history with them include? Does this happen to anyone else in your department or just you? What have you done if anything to correct the problem as you see it?
  4. Visit  loriyarnell profile page
    #2 0
    Unfortunately this is not uncommon in nursing and it seems a little more intense in specialty areas. Remember this, the nice thing about nursing is that there are so many options and areas for you to explore not only what you like but what you are good at. I would say go to someone who maybe you see as a mentor and talk to them. I have actually agreed with some people that they are not cut out for nursing and to go back to school or get out the clinical areas. NO ONE is perfect for EVERY area that nursing encompasses. However the nice thing is that there are SO MANY areas a nurse can navigate within. You have invested so much time going to school and working the last 3 years it seems silly to give up on it now. Having thick skin doesn't hurt either! Don't give up-just regroup and reroute your course.
  5. Visit  Sassy5d profile page
    #3 0
    I think you're going to find no matter where you work you're going to meet same thing.
    There were many a times I've gotten into heated arguments at various places, especially at shift change. 'Everybody' thinks everybody is lazy. I actually had a nurse say to my face that my chair was too warm and she just 'knew' that's the only task I completed during my shift.
  6. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    #4 9
    Quote from Sassy5d
    I actually had a nurse say to my face that my chair was too warm and she just 'knew' that's the only task I completed during my shift.
    That would have thrown me over the edge and I do not know how you restrained yourself from punching her in the nose.
    That is just.... ooooooooh!
  7. Visit  Sassy5d profile page
    #5 4
    Quote from Hygiene Queen

    That would have thrown me over the edge and I do not know how you restrained yourself from punching her in the nose.
    That is just.... ooooooooh!
    I did not punch her but I lost it. Everyone saw me salivating. The f bombs flew out of my mouth. I threw my report paper at her.
    Ironically, she was soon later fired cuz they soon realized she actually did nothing all day. Did 1 med pass a day at 2 o'clock. Lmbo.
  8. Visit  RN_Healing_Hands profile page
    #6 2
    I work in emergency nursing and it seems there is a certain personality type that seems to take presidence among ER nursing staff. Fast paced, high demand, and really intense patients can make you become a little cut throat if your aren't already. But for me, I actually dealt with this when I first started too. It wasn't until I "went off" on a couple of people ( in the most professional way possible LOL) that I started getting some respect from those people that used to give me problems. Just keep doing a good job with your patients (they probably envy your ability to manage emergency patients and still be caring at the same time), and don't let people run over top of you!!
  9. Visit  ccrntrixy profile page
    #7 2
    In my years of nursing, I have found that a lot of it may be jealousy. Another thing maybe that because you are not taking breaks all the time and actually going beyond the call of duty for your patients. They probably are doing the bare minimum and that is it. They know it and feel guilty/inferior. So, therefore, all of them will criticize you for it. Two things will happen. They will finally run you off the unit. Or, you will stand up for yourself and report this bullcrap to your director, which is a violation of the labor laws, because you are entitled to a break. If they do not take care of your patients appropriately, then they are be neglectful. I have experienced so many things in this profession. I was 19 when I took my first RN job in the ICU. I tell you what else you need to do. Keep a notebook at work for this reason only. Chart all of this stuff just like you would chart on a patient. what time they take breaks, who all goes, what time they come back, the time you ask to go, who wont cover, who is in charge, ect. When someone questions your judgement, don't get defensive. Write that down, why you feel that it is a slam that they are questioning you. Know that may honestly be a safety guard. You have not been out of school that long. No nurse knows everything. I can tell you, I have been out of school for 15 years and nothing turns my gut quicker than a new nurse who thinks they know everything and wont take any advise. They may be keeping you from killing someone and you just don't know it yet. I suggest you do this for a month. Go back and look over it and think. Do you have a mentor? Regardless, if these nurses think you are being a know it all with minimum experience.....you are entitled to take a break and have your patients watched and them be safe. I bet these people you are referring to are smokers probably taking more breaks than they are supposed to and you are even getting what you are supposed to . Now, I have done a lot of speculation, so do not get upset. But, for sure you need to start keeping a log with times and notes and objective data. That is always so strong when you go in on someone. Don't leave your unit or your profession because someone it trying to run over you, because you are letting them. Many people will do this if they think they can get away with it. Good Luck to you! As you have noticed, ICU, ER nurses are a different breed. You need to toughen up and be no one's fool. IF it is something you cant deal with, try a different area in the hospital. Your certifications will get you anywhere you want to go!
  10. Visit  RJmanuone profile page
    #8 3
    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...
  11. Visit  uRNmyway profile page
    #9 1
    Honestly as far as not having many friends (or none) and not really getting along with your co-workers I can relate. I rarely have in any job I've had. I've just had to come to terms with how socially awkward I am and accept that I can be a 'lone wolf' at work. I will still help others, in fact often go out of my way to do so. But as far as the social/friend stuff, eh, don't stress myself.

    If it goes farther than that to the point where it's hostile against you, like sabotage and things like that, then you either need to address it, or move on. Protect yourself in the meantime by documenting everything you can.

    Unfortunately working in nursing, where there are a lot more women, and thus a lot more drama in general, well it tends to get like that. It's like high school all over again... *sigh*...
  12. Visit  HouTx profile page
    #10 8
    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.
  13. Visit  Nurse_ profile page
    #11 1
    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.
  14. Visit  gonzo1 profile page
    #12 5
    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.