I don't know what to do.....

  1. I am a new nurse, just graduated in May of this year. I have known since I was 14 that I wanted to go to school to be a nurse midwife, and was sure about everything until I entered the working world.

    It's not the work that has me down, I love the job. It's the people around me. They are catty and sarcastic and rude to each other all day long. I feel like a target, they have their "groups" of friends already established and I'm on the outside looking in. If I have a problem or a question it seems like they do their best to answer it, but make me feel incompetent at the same time. I become disheartened with what I want to do when the doctors treat me like I'm stupid or say rude things to me just because I am a new face. It has gotten to the point now where I wish I would get the flu just so I can call in sick.

    I am still in school finishing my prerequisites for a bridge program through the Frontier School of Midwifery to obtain my masters in midwifery. My school in addition to the fact that I am learning the ropes of a new job and trying to find my feet in the nursing world is making my stress level worse than it was in school.

    I feel like I'm swimming in a big ocean and I am sinking. Is the first year of being an RN supposed to be this turbulent until you learn to roll with the punches? I don't know if this is an abnormal situation or not. I just need encouragement I guess.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    It certainly isn't supposed to be that way but it often is.

    Try to let the nastiness roll off your back. And just keep your mouth shut and your head down - don't try to make friends within the established clique because they'll eat you up alive.

    Hang in there and don't give up!
  4. by   al7139
    Hi BabyCatcher,
    I have to say that I don't agree with the last reply. I experienced some of the same issues when I first started on my unit. I got lots of "Watch out for ____, they are hard to work with, etc." Also because I was new, I was scared, and lacked confidence in myself.
    After a particularly bad report (to a nurse who has a rep for being hard on newbies), I finally had had enough. I am not a doormat, and if I overlooked something I am happy to stay to get it done, etc.
    Later on, i worked with this person overnight (16 hour shift for me). And we got along great.
    I have learned to stand up for myself, and don't care what others think. I am not rude nasty, or demeaning. If I have the answer, you will get it. If I don't know, then I will say so. Because I won't let others walk on me, I now have gained their respect, and they rarely give me a hard time anymore.
    If I had kept my head down, and my mouth shut, I would still be having problems today with these people because I would have shown them that I would let them do it.
    Like anywhere, nurses can be bullies. Like bullies anywhere, if you stand up to them they will eventually look elsewhere for an easy target.
    Amy
  5. by   starsINmyEYES
    yeah, i have also just graduated and i'm about to start my first job. while i was studying i experienced the bitchyness, the shunning, the doctors making me feel so small, the nurses cliques. it's ridiculous. i'm in the UK btw. i think it must get better, but there will ALWAYS be people who just try to make you feel SO bad, ALL the time. when i was an auxillary i got too zealous about discussing my future i.e the fact that one day i would be a nurse, and this one older nurse, who has since retired, took me into a small room and RIPPED a strip off me just for dreams and goals!!! she said i was too full of myslef and who did i think i was. now i'm sorry but i'm from south africa and i'm not accustomed to getting knocked down for being ambitious. between the patients telling me i was fat, and the nurses picking on me for trying to further myself... i dont know. i guess now that i'm actually a nurse my plan is to get experience and then just travel. a year here, a year there, so that if someone is 'riding' me day in and day out at least i know i wont be there forever! What i would say though, is that after about 6weeks to three months things DO seem to change. it's like after you've done that amount of time people start opening up to you and suddenly they become friendlier. (well, that's what it was usually like on my placements). so hang in there, cos i reckon it just has to get better! good luck!
    Last edit by starsINmyEYES on Dec 2, '07

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