Animosity between the shifts? - page 2

I work in a 200-bed rural hospital. It's the only hospital I've worked in since graduating nursing a couple years ago, so it's the only thing I know. :) As time goes on, it's becoming more apparent... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Daytonite
    This is one of the consequences of gossip. When nurses of one shift start trashing another shift for things that have been done wrong (in their estimation) it affects the whole group. Now, I happen to think that a good deal of animosity could be dealt with by you by trying to make some personal contact with some of the day shift nurses. I developed relationships with them by asking things like "did I leave everything in good shape for you yesterday?" and if they tell me I didn't I listened to what they had to say and tried to accomodate them in the future. Another way to ask (in case they can't honestly talk with you) is to say "what can I do to make your shift get started easier". Remember, a relationship is a two way street with 50/50 give and take. Everyone must be willing to compromise, but someone has to start the ball rolling, so why not let it be you? You may have to be a little persistent to finally get someone to tell you what their beef is with the night shift, but once the door is open good things can come of it. The other part of this is to follow up on things that are said. That builds trust. Once you get the communication lines open by clearing up any problems you have with the shift work, then it becomes much easier to start talking about other things.
    This is an excellent post.

    One of the things we've recently started is a large bulletin board with "It's All About You" across the top and for two weeks, there are two poster boards with photos and a short history of two of the people on staff. It has helped alot with getting to know one another. Some of us had no ideas others painted or raised horses or became a nurse during military service. Photos of marriage, kids, animals . . it made us more aware of each other as human beings with lives beyond our job. We rotate every two weeks and it has taken about a year to get everyone on the board but it has been great to get to know each other.

    Reaching out to the other shift, as quoted above, really helps too. Instead of the attitude that this is just the way it is, there really is a way to change things.

    One thing we have to be brave enough to do is stop the gossiping. If someone has a beef with another co-worker, do not allow it to be spoken about behind the other person's back. Send the complainer to the person themself. Gossip is the worst way that shift to shift wars start.

    steph
  2. by   yvonnemuse
    This could not be a more timely thread for my facility. I work in a rural yet state of the art ( we have major benefactors hence the oxymoron) establishment. The tension between the shifts is at a breaking point compounded by the fact that the managers automaticly side with dayshift and make comments along the lines of " I would fire the whole night shift and start over" and send out memos to the entire staff that seeing how busy days are on this unit because nights needs to ensure everything is pre-set for them when they walk on the floor.
    . Yes, the shifts have different personalities. What one shift lacks in "normal hours" is made up for by down time on occasion and perhaps a shift differential. I like the autonomy of working nights. So it really is an irritant to me that the day shift leaves me notes directing my management of MY shift.
    I could go on and on about this but I do have to say that I like the idea of having a recognition board up so we get to know people and not lump them together.
  3. by   Daytonite
    One of the things I did when I was a nurse manager was to post a grade school picture of someone on the staff and have them guess who it was. The prize for every correct answer was a bag of M&Ms (this was a running joke on our unit). One time one of the supervisors was being criticized for some things she'd done so I asked her for one of her grade school pictures. It was fun! Our contest got known about around the hospital and people from every unit and department would stop by to see who's picture was posted and talk about it.

    In today's world, nursing has gotten so very, very stressful that we don't have time for the niceties. Before we start trashing the nurses we work with we have to remember that most of us went into this profession because we wanted to help others. I used to go to my unit Christmas parties and be blown away at how nice some of those mean people really were when they were relaxed and having fun. It took me awhile to realize that it's the stress of the job that turns us into green-eyed monsters. I can sit here at my computer and sound like the nicest, most patient nurse in the world, but I can tell you that at work I can be as ruthless as anyone when I'm in my work/stress mode. I'm more aware of it now that I'm older, but it takes a lot to overcome it sometimes.
  4. by   boulergirl
    I worked night shift for a few years and always wondered why the staff on day shift were so hateful. They would bawl us out for not having everything done by the time they came in, yet refused to help out. Then everything changed a few months ago when I was transferred to evenings, then days. Now I totally understand why the girls on day shift were such witches to deal with. When my morning coffee fix hasn't kicked in yet, I can be a real prick. Total grumpy girl. I'm also more vocal than I used to be...I get mouthy and temperamental when under stress. (Could be the result of years of working around women who have strong personalities--I had to learn to toughen my hide).

    HOWEVER, I do try to be understanding towards the night shift despite my crankiness (I know good and well that they do NOT sit all night--they have plenty to do like everyone else) and it burns me up when the evening shift doesn't think to get supplies from the kitchen so the night shift can make coffee and set the dining room tables with everything they need in the morning. (Maybe because it makes my job harder in the morning, too--I have to play catch-up!) I also understand that night shift doesn't have time to shave the men in the morning, so I do it. I don't give them a hard time as long as they are getting things done and don't leave a lot of extra work for our shift.
    Last edit by boulergirl on Nov 14, '05
  5. by   fergus51
    I was actually in a better mood at 7 am when I was doing a day shift than when I do a night shift. I'm usually in a better mood starting my shift than after a full 12 hours That's probably why I won't stand for too much from day shifters at 7am
  6. by   boulergirl
    Okay fergus, I hear you. Something tells me I'm NOT an early-morning person. When the son comes up and the caffeine kicks in, then I'm okay. Like Mom, I'm probably a night owl. Hoo-HOOT!
  7. by   HuggyPuglet
    Quote from bth44
    I work in a 200-bed rural hospital. It's the only hospital I've worked in since graduating nursing a couple years ago, so it's the only thing I know. As time goes on, it's becoming more apparent to me that the staff on certain shifts are nastier than others. My shift (night) and the evening shift staff get along well and socialize a bit at shift change. But day shift on our unit aren't as chummy, they only talk amongst themselves when they arrive, despite attempts by my shift to make small talk with them. I've come to realize that this has always been the case, but recently, it's been getting worse. Some of them only say good morning to our shift after we tell them good morning first, but they rarely say anything to us. Actually 98% of the time, the only times that day shift says anything to us is to tell us what we did wrong the day before. When they say nothing to me except to tell me what I did wrong or what I should have done, it makes me feel like they think I'm incompetent. It's getting to the point that they don't even talk to us, and we just approach them if there's a change in a patient's condition while they were in hearing report. I know it shouldn't bother me, but they're so unfriendly that I can't help but to take it personally and feel bad. Everyone on night shift went to the manager in hopes that they can fix this problems between the shifts, so I hope the situation resolves or at least go back to the way it was when they'd at least say hi first. The question I have for all of you is this: I'm going to move to a larger city later next year and hope to work at one of the major hospitals. I worry if what's currently going on on my unit is the case at all hospitals. At my future new job, I really hope to work with friendly, helpful people who'll make me feel like I fit in, or at least give me positive feedback. Or should I just get used to other nurses (and shifts as a whole) being snobby to others like this?

    Is it a matter of "getting along" or not liking each other, or do you think it could be the fact that the off-going shift doesn't much feel like socializing but only wants to get their report done, put one foot in front of the other and get along home? After working an entire shift, could it be that we are all just plain tired?
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from bth44
    i work in a 200-bed rural hospital. it's the only hospital i've worked in since graduating nursing a couple years ago, so it's the only thing i know. as time goes on, it's becoming more apparent to me that the staff on certain shifts are nastier than others.

    (major snippage)

    i'm going to move to a larger city later next year and hope to work at one of the major hospitals. i worry if what's currently going on on my unit is the case at all hospitals. at my future new job, i really hope to work with friendly, helpful people who'll make me feel like i fit in, or at least give me positive feedback. or should i just get used to other nurses (and shifts as a whole) being snobby to others like this?
    sounds like you've found yourself a toxic unit. there are plenty of them out there, but they aren't all like that. best thing you can do is be friendly and helpful yourself, try to fit in, and act as if you like everyone.

    ruby (who admittedly needs lots of work on that last!)
  9. by   Tweety
    I arrive at 6:30AM, I climb five flights of steps, I've only had one cup of coffee. Forgive me if I don't have time or am in the mood to chit chat with night shift. I've a lot on my mind because I have a dreadful assignment and a lot of work to do.

    Night shift is a bit subdued when they arrive too. none of us are really snobby to each other. I'm sorry you're working in a place like that. Don't let it bother you unless it affects patient care and it shouldn't.

    There's a different vibe and stress level on different shifts.
  10. by   fergus51
    Quote from boulergirl
    Okay fergus, I hear you. Something tells me I'm NOT an early-morning person. When the son comes up and the caffeine kicks in, then I'm okay. Like Mom, I'm probably a night owl. Hoo-HOOT!
    :chuckle I'm not an early morning person either, and like I say, I dislike early mornings even more when I haven't gone to bed yet. Personally, I could care less if the oncoming nurse is friendly or chatty or whatever. I want her to be on time and professional. That's it. My biggest problem is when they show up 15 minutes late, Starbucks in hand and expect a really detailed report:angryfire Oh well, just one of the joys of nursing

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