"The Victim" and the "Big Ole Meanie who Made Her Cry" - page 4

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   Freedom42
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And I think that a lot of nurses are a tad too "sensitive", after been treated with kid gloves for too long.

    I am seeing alot of examples of people being given a pass all of their lives and not been taught that actions have consequences.
    Caroladybelle, you and I are about the same age. I know when I first started working 25 years ago, my supervisors and many of my co-workers were older men, many of whom had served in World War II. No one burst into tears on the job. They'd sure be looked at as an oddity if they did.

    That brings me to my point: I've recently read about Gen Xers and how they have to be "managed differently" than older workers because of their sensitivities. Many of them were raised by Baby Boomer parents who constantly told them they were perfect. I've read articles about college administrators who are sick of dealing with "helicopter parents" constantly hovering over their kids. The idea behind these articles is that the current generation of newbies is thin-skinned and doesn't believe in the idea of paying your dues.

    I don't know if Myrtle is a Gen Xer, and I don't believe that all Gen Xers are crybaby ego maniacs. But my own experience with managing younger folks has been that they can be hypersensitive. None of this is to excuse Hortense, though -- it's just something I've thought a lot about while reading this very interesting thread.
  2. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from ruby vee
    we have a wonderful charge nurse -- always helpful, knowlegeable, well-organized. she's a great resource and i really enjoy working with her. her only flaw, if it can be called a flaw, is that she has a very direct style of communication. i overheard a series of exchanges where she was trying to convince a relatively new nurse that she needed to get up to speed with her assessments and nursing care and keep her documentation up to date. i was working next to this nurse, and picking up a lot of her slack. she wasn't keeping up -- and we weren't busy. hortense (not her name, but one you'll likely remember!) kept asking her if she needed help and what we could do to help her get her patient ready to transfer at 1100. myrtle (also not her name) kept saying she was doing fine, everything was ok, etc. yet 1100 came, and her patient still needed a bath, lines pulled, dressings changed and her charting done. myrtle had spent her morning rushing about doing stuff, but not really getting anything done. hortense and i stepped up and got the patient ready and transferred by 1200, the room cleaned and set up by 1245 because we had a new patient coming out of the or at 1300. myrtle continued to ineffectually flit around, but didn't get anything done.

    finally, when myrtle complained about taking the new admission because she hadn't had lunch yet, hortense calmly but clearly explained to her that had she been able to transfer her patient by the allotted time, she'd have had an hour for lunch plus another half hour to relieve me for lunch and as it was none of the three of us had had lunch. she wasn't mean about it, just clear and factual. myrtle burst into tears and ran to the manager, complaining that hortense was being "mean to her." hortense and i both explained the situation to the manager, but the upshot is that hortense is being counseled about her "communication skills". i think myrtle ought to be going to the communications class with her. if hortense was too direct, myrtle obviously wasn't direct enough because she clearly wasn't "getting" what hortense and i had been trying to tell her all morning.
    is myrtle a new grad that started in the icu? she sounds as if she could be..........did she get a proper orientation? i was a new grad in the icu and spent the first few months flitting around and not getting anything done because i had problems with priortizing.

    unlike myrtle, i preferred a direct style of communication and constructive criticism. i not only liked it; i appreciated it. it helped me become a better nurse.

    if myrtle can't stand the heat of the icu; she should get out of the fire. it is intensive care. she honestly needs to know when she can spend time lollygagging and when she can't. maybe myrtle isn't cut out to be in icu. you have to have a somewhat aggressive personality to work in the icu, imho.

    the only time you should spend crying in the icu is with a pt's family.

    my 2 cents worth
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from Freedom42
    The idea behind these articles is that the current generation of newbies is thin-skinned and doesn't believe in the idea of paying your dues.

    I'm 47 and I have seen some situations that do not bother me in the slightest, and makes my 20 something year old charge nurse to cry and I'm left scracthing my head "what's her problem, she's totally over reacting". She just quit this past week and I'm taking over her job, so I'll have some first hand knowledge of her frustrationsw.

    But I'm not sure what you mean by "paying your dues". The idea that new grads have dues to pay is not one I'm familiar with. Enlighten me. Thanks.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Freedom42
    I've read articles about college administrators who are sick of dealing with "helicopter parents" constantly hovering over their kids. The idea behind these articles is that the current generation of newbies is thin-skinned and doesn't believe in the idea of paying your dues.

    I don't know if Myrtle is a Gen Xer, and I don't believe that all Gen Xers are crybaby ego maniacs. But my own experience with managing younger folks has been that they can be hypersensitive. None of this is to excuse Hortense, though -- it's just something I've thought a lot about while reading this very interesting thread.
    While I would not classify GenXers as hypersensitive, I do note alot of people my age as well as older and younger that cannot take even tactful constructive discussion of their performance.

    But in response to something else that you said, I was at a job fair for healthcare professionals the other day. The number of "helicopter" parents there just blew my mind. It would have been one thing if they just stood back and observed, but for goodness sakes, these people were almost interviewing the recruiters.

    All I can think, is what kind of employees will these individuals be?
  5. by   kittagirl
    [font="comic sans ms"][color="darkslategray"]slightly off topic here, but spooky that i was just talking to someone about this, before i read it on here.

    that brings me to my point: i've recently read about gen xers and how they have to be "managed differently" than older workers because of their sensitivities. many of them were raised by baby boomer parents who constantly told them they were perfect. i've read articles about college administrators who are sick of dealing with "helicopter parents" constantly hovering over their kids. the idea behind these articles is that the current generation of newbies is thin-skinned and doesn't believe in the idea of paying your dues
    .

    i‘ve come across this so often recently, including in my own family.
    my grown up niece has just finished uni and is looking for a job in a very completive area, has never worked, not even part time her parents supported her fully. she keeps whinging about how ‘it’s not fair’ that her class mates who worked through all their summer breaks are finding it easier to get jobs. as i said it’s a very competitive area she wants to go in to, some of her peers worked for these firms for free in the summer, got their faces known, made it known that they were prepared to do the hours, do the hard work and now they’re been rewarded. she can’t see it; all we hear is how unfair it all is.
    and i’m mean ‘cause i suggested that as her parents are happy to continue supporting her, why not do some volunteer work now and get out there, and then when an opening does come up she’ll be there.
    her come back was why should she have to work for nothing that’s not fairrrrr
    thing is she not going to get any job at this rate.

    helping at my nephews 7th birthday party, nice day so we get them out to play in the garden. my nephew has this big outdoor snakes and ladders game which they decide they want to play, all great until one boy hits a snake and refuses to go back however many squares it was.

    i go over and start to explain the rules of the game to him, he interrupts me saying ‘i know what the rules are but my mummy says i don’t have to follow them, it’s not fair to make me go back.’
    in other words another person who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him, just what we need.

    i think parents like this are guilty of a form of abuse, kids brought up to think that the world revolves around them are going to end up very dissatisfied if they’re lucky, if they’re unlucky they’ll whine to the wrong person and get hurt.

    you see it all the time on the talent type shows, you know pop idol, people who audition, are awful, but are truly shocked when they are not instantly signed up, because mummy and daddy have always said how perfect they are, and wonderful and what do you silly experts know…………………

    anyway back to the topic………
    Last edit by kittagirl on Apr 4, '07 : Reason: I forgot a word..............duh
  6. by   Freedom42
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm not sure what you mean by "paying your dues". The idea that new grads have dues to pay is not one I'm familiar with. Enlighten me. Thanks.
    A lot has been written about the current crop of twentysomethings being unwilling to put their time in at entry-level jobs in general. They don't believe they should have to earn the privilege of a weekday shift, for example, or have so many years of experience before being promoted to a supervisory experience. They want meaningful work right off the bat; and to their credit, a lot of them are willing to negotiate their way around work they don't want to do. When they can't, they often leave. Unemployment has no stigma. (For what it's worth, Wikipedia has an interesting entry on Gen Xers.)

    None of that applies to Myrtle, nor necessarily to new professionals in any aspect of health care. And we've all worked with twentysomethings who are fantastic and can teach the rest of us a thing or two.

    As for whether people have to pay dues, it's been my experience that people who've got years of experience -- some, not all -- believe that newbies earn their privileges.
  7. by   cardsRN
    wow ruby, this topic hits close to home for me. as a new member of an ICU FULL of "direct communicators" , i have seen the other side of the fence. i think that the offer of help and reassurance to myrtle that accepting help will not doom her to evil looks and gossip the rest of the shift/week/month makes the difference. i work with many nurses who have zero problem publicly and despairingly critiquing another nurse's performance with NO offer of help. and yeah, in that situation it feels like being dumped on. being told that you're slow and you're dragging your co-workers down with you is disheartening. not in defence of running to mom- i mean manager-lol or bursting into tears. i am just saying that sometimes an offer of help makes the difference.
    i agree that it takes two to communicate. perhaps on hortence's end she could make sure myrtle knows that accepting help is not the same as failure and won't bring a rain of "you can't get your work done on your own" attitude down on her. sometimes as the new guy you get to feeling that you can't do anything right and your coworkers will never be happy with you.
    i don't think that the tears are the problem here, it just sounds like miscommunication on both sides. we're all human with human emotions. don't be manipulated by tears, but try not to judge the person crying too harshly either. you don't have all the info about what is going on in her life.
  8. by   squeakykitty
    I personally prefer to deal with people who are direct. It makes things a lot easier.
    I don't like dealing with passive-aggresive people who expect others to be able to read minds, and get mad that people don't know what they want, when they don't say it directly, and they "expect a person to know without being told". :trout:
    I also don't like dealing with someone who can't take any constructive criticism, who act like a 5 year old ("what about what he/she did!") to draw attention away from their behavior, or "have their feelings hurt" when someone tries to call them on their behavior.

    Sorry guys, I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I had a family member like this, and it drove me up the walls.
  9. by   DusktilDawn
    Originally posted by Pumpkin1692
    When I am a new employee, I like to show that I am able to handle my own. When people offer help it is very nice, and I often don't take it. I don't take it unless someone tells me I need it. Do you need help is kind of a general question. It doesn't inform the person that they are behind. It isn't straight foward. This is when the clear communication was needed.
    Recognizing when you need help is part of becoming a professional, as knowing when to take help when it is offered. You're the one that should know that you need help not your coworkers, nor should it be their responsibility to tell you. Your coworkers are not mind readers nor will they necessarily be fully aware what is actually needed when they offer assistance. I think sometimes people confuse needing help as a weakness, when the truth is knowing when to seek help/assistance/advice is a strength. When help is offered and you need it, take it, someone may not be able to help you later.
    Now it is lunch time and she hasn't eaten. She wants to know when lunch is, and she is basically told well b/c of you being slow none of us can eat. Which is true and straight foward, like you said, but she might have been unaware of just how far behind she was and didn't understand what the consequences of her actions were. Not only did the charge nurse punish her by not letting her eat lunch, but she blamed her for her coworkers missing lunch also. No one wants that, especially if you are new.
    She had been told repeated that she needed to get up to speed with her assessments, nursing care, and documentation. She had also been told that the patient needed to be ready to be transferred by 11:00. She was asked what did she need help with to get this patient ready by that time, she insisted she was fine and everything was OK. She should have known at some point before 11:00 that she was behind. At 11:00 her coworkers got the patient ready for transfer because she hadn't. She was complaining about receiving a new admission BECAUSE SHE hadn't had lunch yet, she didn't express concern over anyone else having lunch, I'm sure she would know she would have relieve another in order for them to have lunch. What Hortense was pointing out to her was the fact that had the patient been ready for transfer when he/she was supposed to be, she could have had lunch AND relieved another so that they could have had their lunch. Actually it was a great opportunity to point out how her time management impacts not only herself. Yes it was said in front of a coworker, I don't think it was entirely inappropriate, it can sometimes be in one's best interest to have a witness present. I don't think this was a situation of the charge nurse "punishing" her by denying her lunch, if that was the case then she would have been the only one not to have lunch.
  10. by   Multicollinearity
    Actually, this topic of sensitivity to criticism and tendency towards tears came up in a psych class I'm taking. The professor said that studies have been done that show the self-esteem movement in the 80's and 90's with small children has created a generation with distorted self-esteem. You know - the children who all received trophies on their soccer teams...every single one...no matter how good or bad they were...or if they showed up much. The Dr. gave specific examples of these studies.

    The professor said that this is manifesting primarily with the Millennial generation now. The Millennials are the generation more recent than the gen X'ers. If anything, gen X'ers have a need for autonomy and efficiency. The trend in parenting and eduction was starting a bit with the Gen X generation, but not nearly to the degree as with the Millennials.
  11. by   Cattitude
    Quote from Hoozdo
    If Myrtle can't stand the heat of the ICU; she should get out of the fire. It is INTENSIVE care.
    Agree. ICU is not for the faint of heart. Myrtle needs to figure out if she's going to be able to cut it there and quick. The PATIENTS need her to figure it out. You know I also blame the manager for not taking a better approach to resolving this whole issue.

    Quote from Freedom42
    A lot has been written about the current crop of twentysomethings being unwilling to put their time in at entry-level jobs in general. They don't believe they should have to earn the privilege of a weekday shift, for example, or have so many years of experience before being promoted to a supervisory experience. They want meaningful work right off the bat; and to their credit, a lot of them are willing to negotiate their way around work they don't want to do. When they can't, they often leave. Unemployment has no stigma. (For what it's worth, Wikipedia has an interesting entry on Gen Xers.)

    .
    I think there is some truth to this. I am shocked by the amount of twenty year olds that do not have jobs or that think it is no big deal to not have some sort of plan for the future! Or they think working at a low level job is beneath them. Sigh, we all started somewhere.

    Quote from DusktilDawn
    Recognizing when you need help is part of becoming a professional, as knowing when to take help when it is offered. You're the one that should know that you need help not your coworkers, nor should it be their responsibility to tell you. Your coworkers are not mind readers nor will they necessarily be fully aware what is actually needed when they offer assistance. I think sometimes people confuse needing help as a weakness, when the truth is knowing when to seek help/assistance/advice is a strength. When help is offered and you need it, take it, someone may not be able to help you later.

    She had been told repeated that she needed to get up to speed with her assessments, nursing care, and documentation. She had also been told that the patient needed to be ready to be transferred by 11:00. She was asked what did she need help with to get this patient ready by that time, she insisted she was fine and everything was OK. She should have known at some point before 11:00 that she was behind. At 11:00 her coworkers got the patient ready for transfer because she hadn't. She was complaining about receiving a new admission BECAUSE SHE hadn't had lunch yet, she didn't express concern over anyone else having lunch, I'm sure she would know she would have relieve another in order for them to have lunch. What Hortense was pointing out to her was the fact that had the patient been ready for transfer when he/she was supposed to be, she could have had lunch AND relieved another so that they could have had their lunch. Actually it was a great opportunity to point out how her time management impacts not only herself. Yes it was said in front of a coworker, I don't think it was entirely inappropriate, it can sometimes be in one's best interest to have a witness present. I don't think this was a situation of the charge nurse "punishing" her by denying her lunch, if that was the case then she would have been the only one not to have lunch.
    This was great and you made great points. Call me harsh, call me mean but I really think people have to realize that newbs are still dealing with patients LIVES. Sure we can mentor and guide but let us get them on the ball too!
    When I was precepted, I worked with a bunch of experienced nurses that had a little bit of a reputation for being "mean". Were they? No they really were not. They just didn't react well to newbs like Myrtle. There were a lot of direct communicators and I learned quickly to take the wise things they told me and use them to my full advantage.

    Myrtle should have done the same. Now she's alienated 2 nurses. Too bad for her.
  12. by   NurseShelly
    Newbie doesen't always equal a GenXer. My mother was 48 years old when she went back to school to become an RN and that was almost 10 years ago. My mother is still working on the same unit where she started out because she likes it so much. She told me that in the beginning it wasn't easy catching on, and some of her coworkers weren't so nice; but she chose not to put up with it and let them know "directly", and decided not to let it bother her. Granted, I think maturity and life experience has a lot to do with how sensitive a person is, and how they respond to what they may feel is adversity.
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    Correct, newbie doesn't always equal gen X or Y (Millennials). While it would be unfair to make any assumptions about a particular person based upon his or her generation - there are definitely group differences with generations. It's a large field of study by psychologists and sociologists. Gen X'ers tend to need more independence and autonomy. Gen Millennials tend to need more praise and constant feedback. Both display distorted self-esteem related to their actual actions and/or efforts. This distorted self-esteem causes hypersensitivy reactions (tears) to constructive criticism. Millennnials more so.

    Here's an article that discusses this:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0302/p01s01-ussc.html
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Apr 2, '07

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