Anyone else the QUIET nurse? - page 2

New nurse here... started my orientation on a medical floor. (I'm part of a float team so I will be floating to all different floors areas). The first day went alright- my preceptor wasn't bad... I... Read More

  1. by   imintrouble
    I'm quiet around crowds and people I don't know. I've had trouble with some jobs, because my fellow nurses felt my silence was a sign of snobbery. My silence was a sign I felt superior.
    Nothing could be farther from the truth, but that's the conclusion some loud people come to when working around us quiet ones.
    Either that or we're weak. I'm not sure which assumption I prefer.

    I'm comfortable in my own skin. That's what matters most.
  2. by   FutureRN_NP
    I can be quite at times depends on how comfortable I am with the other persons. I think the misconception people have on quite nurse vs loud nurse is the assertiveness portray in loud nurses. Pts tend to listen and become more passive toward nurses who direct and straight to the point or and know how to manipulate the situation. I am actually learning to be more assertive, talk less about my personal life and think before I speak. I tend to let people know who I am as a person which most would have care less. From what I have learned regarding talk less and think more is that you never know what you say might come back to haunt you.
  3. by   m.con
    im this way also, i am very quiet at work and shy. Its hard to talk when you know half the nurses around you are gossping about other nurses.
  4. by   joanna73
    You've just started on the floor, so naturally, it will take time for you to feel comfortable. There's nothing wrong with being quiet. You actually observe more, and learn about the politics this way. Give it time, and avoid the gossip.
  5. by   Creamsoda
    Im quiet when I first start until I know who to trust, ect. I don't generally gossip though. But I hated where I worked for a while, but eventually I started to like it and open up. Well one day this nurse is like, you know I kinda thought you were a bi#@% when you first started here, but your all right! Hahahaha. Doesn't surprise me he thought that, now they all know I hardly have a serious bone in my body, but at first I'm quiet and play it cool.
  6. by   GitanoRN
    unquestionably, i'm in total silence when i'm in a new crowd. however, once i get to know the people around me i loosen up, and the more out going personality sneaks out of me... as a matter of fact i strongly believe there are listeners and those that are considered the life of the party, but in my book is good to have both for balance
  7. by   denimar86
    Quote from littlekaneRN

    I did, however, have one instructor in my last semester of nursing school who basically told me I would never make it as a nurse if I did not change. I was SO hurt by that because I had nothing but positive comments or at least positive criticism. I ended up having an instructor for LTC, my very last rotation, who told me she wasn't sure about me when we first met. She said as she was around me more often that just because you don't see the fire, doesn't mean you can't still smell the smoke. I told her what had been previously said about my personality and she urged me to never change. She said that patients and families would appreciate me for who I am. I believe that people did then and still do.

    Be you.
    I also had an instructor tell me that he thought I wouldn't be a good nurse because I was too quiet. He said something like " I just don't know about you, there something off .... you need to be more talkative to be a good nurse "... this crushed my confidence at the time... Now im happy about the way I am. I feel like I am able to do my job more effectively by being good listener and being able to quickly pick up on subtle signs. i spend my time thinking instead gossiping or talking nonsense. I see nurses miss things all the time because they are too busy mingling around the floor.
  8. by   bill4745
    yup, me to...i'm quiet until i need to be otherwise, then i have no problem speaking up lol
    exactly what i would have said. but in the er when i'm loud the doctors and nurses know that a patient is crashing and they need to come help. being quiet has its advantages.
  9. by   Marshall1
    I too am "quiet" - I don't go for gossip and when I worked in the float pool (which I liked), I was left out of the politics of each unit - which was great. I interacted w/the other workers of course, offered to help or asked them questions, was polite and professional but didn't just hang out, slacking off or talking all day about whatever was the latest upset for the unit. I prefer to eat lunch alone though is someone asked to sit w/me I would say yes and keep the conversation focused on them or if they asked me personal questions I would answer but not go into depth on anything. I do not confuse coworkers with friends - though I know coworkers CAN be a friend. I just think giving too much personal info. at work can come back & bite you in the butt. And if it's a gossipy unit, you can bet they will also talk about you. You are you. People can like it or lump it but as long as you are ethical, honest and professional - you are good to go.
  10. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Quote from gitanorn
    unquestionably, i'm in total silence when i'm in a new crowd. however, once i get to know the people around me i loosen up, and the more out going personality sneaks out of me... as a matter of fact i strongly believe there are listeners and those that are considered the life of the party, but in my book is good to have both for balance
    wow, that's scary how close that is to what i wanted to say.

    i entered nursing school at 17, and was a shy "just out of high school" boy. nursing school really changed me, and being on the floors after nsg school really cracked the nut.

    i had to learn to be assertive (the hardest trait i ever adopted), especially to one specific supervisor who would run my unit over. she was very easy to frustrate, and quick to raise her voice at my unit's nurses (who did not deserve the treatment, as i did not have one lazy, weak, or reckless nurse on my shift. everyone was just totally snowed under! i had a sweet, but strong lpn (one of my nursing heros) who i told one night, "i really hate she talked to you that way, you didn't deserve that." she said something i never forgot, "the only thing that really bothers me is that you didn't stand up for me when she was here talking to me that way."

    i failed her (lpn), because i didn't know how to be assertive. if i had attempted to reason with that supervisor that the lpn was doing everything in her power to keep up with demand, she would have chewed me up and spit me out. i was terrified. but, i had to show my staff i had their backs, and that i knew they were doing their best. i had to learn you could be "humble," and be assertive at the same time.

    the next time she came raving on my unit, i swallowed, tensed up, and i felt my face burn. i opened the door of our glassed in nsg station, she paced in , door shuts,. . ."ms. xxxxxxxxx please do not come on my unit raising your voice like that. i have patients that are asleep, and we keep this unit going as best we can in a quiet and orderly manner. also, if you are having problems with one of my staff members, i wish you would talk to me about it in private. this unit is stressful enough without any added hostility, and my patients deserve a calm environment without yelling, drama, and slamming doors. i understand you are frustrated and angry with me, but if you can't handle your temper, please phone me-you can then be as loud as you want to!, and please don't upset my unit by storming in here like this!"

    she stormed off, i thought my career was over, and 10 minutes later she called me and "asked!" was the room ready yet? i remember trying to hang up the phone with a trembling hand, the way it clicked and clacked around before resting on the reciever.

    she did mellow about 50% more over the next few weeks she worked there, but she never ran over my unit again in person. she did at least hold her verbal assaults for me (contained to a phone call), and not the nurses on my team! and her demands turned into requests (huge victory!)

    most of all, i gained the respect of my staff, and my hostile supervisor.
    i had to learn how to not be a quiet nurse. it took blind courage, a severe stomach ache, and a few sweat breakouts.

    don't let your quiet nature avoid you from being assertive, that's all.
  11. by   nursemarion
    I get so sick of people insisting/demanding that we smile and be outgoing all the time. I am an introvert and I get extremely uncomfortable when people try to "bring me out of my shell". None of their business who I am or what I do. Be professional with me, maybe in time we will become friends but don't push me. I can't stand it. I am quiet, always have been. It helps me focus and stay out of trouble. The older I get the more I resent the people who push me so and do not just accept that I am who I am.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from newgrad_stat
    but i knew coming on the floor for the first day... i'd be pretty quiet.
    and i noticed many of the nurses are very obnoxiously loud... gossiping and everything.
    i don't mind chatting but i don't want to be apart of gossip.
    during break the charge nurse even said to me "you're not normally this quiet are you?" and then she said "oh boy" and i was thinking i'd rather be quiet than be like you.
    of course everyone is going to have a different personality but wow.
    some people are louder, others are quieter. the problem is when one or the other starts to believe that they're better than the other . . . .

    your "obnoxiously loud" might be someone else's "friendly and outgoing." and your "quiet" may be someone else's "stuck-up and snobby" or "weird and unfriendly."
  13. by   linguine
    I just finished a book, "Quiet: the Power of Introvert in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain, an ex wall street lawyer. She said "1/3 to 1/2 of people are introverts." She discusses the benefits of being "quiet" in your personal and professional life. One natural benefit is that introverts think more before they speak. Reading a lot of the posts above, it seems that a lot of the introverts in this thread say that they naturally do this, supporting her research. Introverts are also more comfortable following their intuition and are less risk averse. Warren Buffet is an introvert. Some argue that his nature helped him gather and KEEP so much wealth.

    She recently wrote an article, "The New Groupthink" noting how work spaces are now shifting towards more open office plans (first thing I thought of: busy, loud nursing stations). She does not support this shift necessarily. She does provide alternative plans. A lot of her suggestions can be implemented in health care.

    Her article in NYT can be found here:

    Her TED talk, if you do not want to read the book, is a good introduction: Susan Cain: The power of introverts - YouTube

    What some may interpret as your weakness may actually be your best strength (this goes for introverts and extroverts).
    Last edit by linguine on Mar 31, '12