"The Victim" and the "Big Ole Meanie who Made Her Cry" - page 2

i've always wondered why when there's a "communication difficulty," the person who says what they mean and means what they say is usually the one blamed for it. when someone bursts into tears at... Read More

  1. by   llg
    I agree completely that sometimes, the problem lies with the person crying (or saying that someone has been mean to her) and that it is wrong to assume that the "accused" is always wrong. That's why it's important not to jump to conclusions when we hear these stories. It's important to get both sides of the story (or 3 or 4 sides) before making a decision.

    We all need to keep this thread in mind every time we read a new thread about mean nurses and/or mean nursing faculty members.
  2. by   NurseShelly
    Quote from NurseyPoo
    I see this occuring all of the time with new nurses. These nurses are not always completely new either...I have seen nurses come from another aspect of nursing and are just not up to speed with trauma and ICU. They know what to do, but do it slowly. Traditionally there are a lot of people who have a hard time separating professional from personnal....So, their feelings get hurt. Our charge nurses are fountains of information and not one of them is a bad person...Unfortunately some of the new nurses get very flustered when they are told "I need 2 of morphine and 2 of versed now"...I have seen them just stand there and stare at us...I have also heard them say.."You want that Now?"...YES!!!! Next thing you know there are tears and complaints. There was not intention of being mean...Just thinking of the patient...

    ICU = I-N-T-E-N-S-I-V-E Care Unit

    All bets are off and personalities need to be left at the door. Learn from what you see don't get upset about the intensity of the actions.

    A former coworker of mine has 30+ years of experience and is also prone to crying and complaining to the NM whenever things don't go the way she would've liked. Or, after she's verbally attacked someone and they stand up to her, she runs off crying to the NM. So, I think lack of experience doesn't equal tears. As for moving slow, could it just be that someone lacks the experience and confidence that only comes in tme?
  3. by   Freedom42
    I'm not a nurse yet, only a student. But I was a manager for more than 15 years. First rule of management: Praise in public, criticize in private.

    Was Myrtle upset by what Hortense said, or was Myrtle more upset that she was humiliated within earshot of her co-workers? Do you think her perception and reaction would have been the same had Hortense addressed her calmly and directly in private? It seems to me that Hortense could have saved herself the inevitable personnel headache by pulling Myrtle aside. And perhaps if Myrtle had been talked to privately, she might have thought about it and then apologized for costing you your lunch hour.

    Don't get me wrong: I don't like working with crybabies, either. But a manager's communication skills can go a long way in preempting crocodile tears. Never mind saving her job. Is Myrtle just turning on the drama to save face?
  4. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Freedom42
    I'm not a nurse yet, only a student. But I was a manager for more than 15 years. First rule of management: Praise in public, criticize in private.

    Was Myrtle upset by what Hortense said, or was Myrtle more upset that she was humiliated within earshot of her co-workers? Do you think her perception and reaction would have been the same had Hortense addressed her calmly and directly in private? It seems to me that Hortense could have saved herself the inevitable personnel headache by pulling Myrtle aside. And perhaps if Myrtle had been talked to privately, she might have thought about it and then apologized for costing you your lunch hour.

    Don't get me wrong: I don't like working with crybabies, either. But a manager's communication skills can go a long way in preempting crocodile tears. Never mind saving her job. Is Myrtle just turning on the drama to save face?
    When I am in Hortense's position, I never criticize in public. I try not to criticize at all... I just bring up whatever the issue may be and ''strategize'' ways to deal with said issues ''in the future''. I supervise 4 women in their 50s with plenty of work experience and in a lot of ways they are far worse than brand new employees.
  5. by   MedSurgeNewbie
    I'm a newbie, and but I love when I get direct communication. When my charge says do X and gives me tips to run my day, I listen why re-invent the wheel, and if I need help I ask, then if I get a head I try to help that person back even if its just a coffee run or grabbing a chart so someone can sit.. catching a light whatever.. Seems to me people will teach you tons if you are willing to learn. I am so blessed to have seasoned nurses who will give and take with me.
  6. by   CHATSDALE
    too often this is learned behavior...myrtle now knows what works and she will continue to behave in this manner until she finds its doesn't work anymore
    however i agree that talking to her in private may have been able to save face...
    sometime even with nurses who are 'with it' and have been running all day are faced with inconvenient admits...crying doesn't help the situation any
  7. by   anne74
    Quote from Sophie123
    As for moving slow, could it just be that someone lacks the experience and confidence that only comes in tme?
    Thank you! Why are people surprised or irritated that new nurses are slow? Don't you want them to be slow, rather than speedy but make serious mistakes? Try to think back when you first learned something - were you instantly efficient? Have some patience. Geez.

    As for "why aren't the crybabies blamed?" or whatever - why should ANYONE be blamed? Just get both sides of the story and then develop a solution. Done.

    If the charge nurse said this comment in front of other coworkers, then yes - she needs to work on communication skills and professionalism. Then the new nurse needs to be helped with developing prioritization and organizational skills - and this often comes in time.

    I imagine the new nurse said she could get everything done by 1100 because she was too afraid to admit that she was struggling. Why was she afraid? Because she can sense that the other more experienced nurses see her as a burden - and then complain about her behind her back. Working in this type of environment - where you're viewed as a "problem" will make anyone emotional.
  8. by   Indy
    Hmm. Okay I have some slower nurses to supervise; some are speeding up, some aren't. If the critique I have is something that will make them look bad in front of a patient or some family members, I will not say it in front of the patient or family. But honestly, I don't have time to monkey around with whether or not I say something in front of other nurses. We've all been there and we need to be adults.

    One of my problems as charge is that I tend to boogie and will do things for the slower nurse rather than tell her to hurry up. (I have one nurse in particular in mind right now.) It's because her patient who needs a drip needs it now, not an hour or two later. That patient may have been here 4 hours already, and I'm sorry that she's got a new admit now, but if there was plenty of time to lay her head down on the desk and sleep for 15 minutes then there was time to hang heparin!

    The reason I wind up doing these things for her is that I think I'd come off sounding either hysterical or angry if I said it the way I typed it, or the way I think it. It isn't really helpful for the new nurse if 6 months after she started the job her charge is still doing her job for her. So, Ruby, I wish I could be like your charge nurse and just tell people directly "you need to hurry up and do your work." But for the life of me I can't seem to do that too well. Fortunately my other two slower nurses, one of them paid attention to my example and does very well now, and the other is trying as hard as she can, and asking for tips, and not taking naps during the shift when she should be working.

    /rant off.
  9. by   DeLana_RN
    Has anyone thought of helping Myrtle come up to speed? Such as being her mentor?

    I'm sorry, this sounds too much like nurses eating their young (or their own)...

    JMO,

    DeLana
  10. by   Indy
    I'd have to disagree. It sounded to me like two nurses doing one nurse's work, and then the charge explaining to her that she should have done her work so she'd have had time to eat before the new admit.

    If doing someone else's work falls under the category of "eating the young" then perhaps I'd better stop being helpful at all. Whew. What a relief!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Myrtle sounds a lot like me when I'm learning something new. I might be struggling, but I honestly don't know what to ask for help with, as I haven't gotten my prioritizing act together yet. So on behalf of you and all the other coworkers I ticked off trying to get my stuff together, I apologize.

    I do know that missing lunch and having others miss their lunch would probably reduce me to tears too, because it's akin to pointing out that I'm a huge failure - something that no one wants to be labelled. Plus, missing lunch (or even five minutes alone in the bathroom) tends to make my thought processes even more scattered and ineffective.

    Please understand, Ruby, I am not critisizing you or your Charge and how you handled the situation, but what I am touching on is the possibility that your Charge might've been a little too blunt with someone who was taking it all a little too personally, given your particular positions.

    I have to ask sincerely - is there any way for Myrtle to remedy the situation? Does she need more orientation? More mentoring? You said she was busy, yet didn't seem to accomplish anything. I don't see that as being lazy or sloughing her work off onto anyone else purposely, but rather as a product of her inefficiency. New nurses are typically pretty inefficient, and run around all day putting out fires rather than taking control of their workload.

    Just a thought.

    I don't view this scenario as nurses eating their young, but neither was it an opportunity for Myrtle to feel a welcome part of the unit structure. So I predict that she'll probably transfer before long.
  12. by   Multicollinearity
    I'm getting off topic, but DeLana RN, you have the most adorable avatar I have ever seen!
  13. by   PANurseRN1
    Myrtle was offered suggestions she refused to follow. She was offered help she refused to accept. Finally, her co-workers had to take over her pts when the situation became unmanageable. Then she had the gall to complain about taking an admit and not getting lunch.

    Sorry, but if I were charge, that might have taxed my patience at that point, and I might have said the same thing right then and there. It wasn't just that Myrtle was slow. She also refused to accept direction and help, then when things didn't go her way she ran crying to the NM. That is just infantile behavior.

    Part of being a professional means being able to accept direction from others. Sometimes it seems like new nurses feel like the only feedback they should get is positive feedback, and if anyone dares say anything remotely negative, then they are being "eaten." Sorry, Myrtle owns a lot of this situation. Yes, it would have been better for Hortense to talk to her privately, but honestly, none of us is perfect. How ironic that we are to forgive Myrtle of all of her transgressions but jump all over Hortense with all four feet for having the unmitigated temerity to give Myrtle a reality check in public.

    Someday, you newer nurses will be in the position of being the experienced ones asking for patience and understanding from newbies. Try to stop throwing stones for a change and think about what it must be like for us...we've already been in your shoes, you have yet to be in ours.

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