I don't want to give out too many identifying details, but I'm a new grad LPN in my first nursing job and this was my first week of orientation on the floor. The unit manager made some comments to me, comparing me to another new orientee that I know quite well (we went to school together). We're polar opposite personalities - she is very loud/outgoing, and I am more quiet and reserved. The unit manager told me that I seemed very hesitant and my body language seemed like I was scared with patients - unlike the other orientee. She's barely been in the room with me at all when I've been dealing with patients. This week has been absolute hell for both of us - disorganized orientation, being paired with nurses who really don't want to train us and are very impatient with us, and just very overwhelmed with everything (subacute rehab unit in a nsg home). I've cried every day this week, I've been so stressed. The other new hire feels the same way, but she's better at poker-facing it than I am..
Even though I'm a little on the quiet side, I try to be friendly and speak with everyone, staff & pts alike, regardless of how stressed I'm feeling. Whenever I've gone into a pt's room to administer meds, I always greet them with a smile, ask them how they're doing, if they're in pain, if I can get them anything, etc. I dunno. I just felt that the comment was uncalled for, and quite unprofessional of someone in a management position. I guess she thought she was trying to help me out..? The more I think about it, the more it seems like passive-aggressive BS to me..
May 7, '11
Isn't it awful that our insecurities don't end with graduation?
It sounds to me like she was just inquiring how are you feeling, maybe even to offer some tips......it may not have been a good choice on her part to compare you to your peer, and perhaps put you on the defensive; but I doubt she spent time agonizing about how her question would be perceived.
Don't spend any more of your time agonizing over this. In the weeks that follow, you'll have more confidence and it will SHOW.
That confidence will help you to see feedback for what it is: FEEDBACK. Its not always meant to be a criticism. I suspect that she was just telling you that you seem a little shy and perhaps wanting to know if there was any way she could help you come out of your shell a little more quickly.
May 7, '11
Thanks for your reply. Yeah, all this stuff is new to me so of course I am going to be more cautious or hesitant than a seasoned nurse..
May 8, '11
op: i hate to say this but you are dead on, it is unprofessional!! it is
passive aggressive "bs" on the part of your manager. also, although he/she has not worked or observed you for very long, he/she is conveying the general feelings of the other nurses. in fact, you walked into a worst case scenario where you are being compared to another grad and unfortunately it sounds like you are the "bad" one. heaven forbid the nurses on your floor have enough sense to see the good and bad in you both rather then take the simplistic route of seeing only the bad in you and the good in the other grad.
the only advice i have is for you to do your best! the new grad with the poker face is doing the right thing by controlling his/her emotions. be sure to not let anyone including that grad know your true feelings any more. maybe in short time you will be seen in a good light? otherwise, plan your escape route to a new floor or facility. this will be handy if the time comes that your managers decide that you are not a good fit.
May 8, '11
I'm going to see how this week goes and then decide from there. I am not normally a quitter (if I was, I wouldn't have went back after the first day!). I just feel like it is a bad sign if my personality is already being openly critiqued by my unit manager. I'm friendly and I think I'm pretty easy to get along with - this past week has just been so stressful for me. I'm just going to do the best I can and learn as much as I can while I'm there and make the best out of the experience.
May 12, '11
Let me offer another POV...Your unit manager is there to help and guide you. You are brand new and I'm sure you are a bit hesitant, we all are at first!
If your body language is saying "scared and hesitant" then why not take this as an opportunity to improve? You'd better get used to being critiqued because it's happening every day. The first few months are very hard in nursing, you can't start out taking offense and calling someone passive aggressive because they offered you an observation.
I'd say just keep on being who you are and try not to take offense. This was a VERY mild thing the manager said! Nurses can be tough. Just do your job and don't get all emotional over things. You have to learn to take advice and let things roll off your back quickly.
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