Are Most Workplaces Like This to Newcomers?

  1. Maybe I'm too old for this 'new' nurse stuff, I don't know. I've been working for about five weeks in orientation (thank God I have the BEST preceptor ever, so that's not an issue). Everyone has been really nice and helpful to me when my preceptor is around. However, when she's not around many of them are downright RUDE to me. I know I'm the outsider and I have to prove myself. I also know that I am a new nurse and pretty much know squat about nursing. However, I fail to understand why when I say "good morning" to many of the nurses they just look at me like I'm a piece of crap under their shoes and don't even bother to acknowledge me (Unless my preceptor is around, then they're all smiles and polite). Or why I can laugh and joke with them when my preceptor is around, but be treated as though I'm invisible when she's not around. I don't know why grown people have to act like a bunch of snotty teenagers. Is it this way everywhere? I don't expect to be welcomed with open arms, but I do expect to be treated decently. Jeez, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at least a smile or acknowledgement from a coworker I greet in the hallway in the morning. I offered yesterday to help a fellow nurse with changing the bed of an incontinent patient, and the nurse just walked past me into the room and shut the door in my face while I was standing in the doorway. No "no, thanks, I've got it." or anything. Are all workplaces like this to the newbie?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    hang in there . sometimes you have to walk in it for a mile but there is always the other side
  4. by   csiln
    I know the feeling. After 6 weeks my manager didn't think I was handling the med/surg floor so suggested I transfer to a step down unit on nights.
    I was feeling really embarrassed, etc. b/c I overheard a nurse talking about me behind my back. I always felt like an outsider, they would actually talk like I wasn't even there even if I said something. I only had a preceptor for five days and she hated working that floor and hadn't done med/surg in seven years. She transferred to the ER.
    That first night when the CNA gave a patient a bath at 0130 and then when the day CNA came in at 0430 and the RN went off on her which started this chain of events that was extremely uncomfortable, I quit.
    And I haven't even looked for a job for 2 months.
    It was so stressful but when everyone was so hateful I just couldn't handle it. I'm thinking of trying somewhere else with a longer orientation.
    Anyway, I hope it works for you. A lot of time the advice everyone gives is stick in there. I couldn't, I hope you can.
  5. by   TazziRN
    No, not all facilities or units are like this to newbies. I'm sorry you're going through this.
  6. by   puggymae
    I don't know why some nurses are so territorial - I have worked with many nurses who treat newbies and students like crap. I was treated like the proverbial red headed step child when I first started nursing - my dad told me to toughen up or go work at Walmart. I toughened up; and I treat new nurses like I would have like to have been treated.
  7. by   StNeotser
    It's their problem but don't let it become yours. Some facilities can be like that, others no. People on my floor are not a problem but when I used to float I used to receive receptions such as yours. I never understand why someone can't even exchange a Good Morning with someone who has been polite enough to wish them one.
  8. by   Keepstanding
    Sounds like they feel threatened by you.....sounds like they lack their own self worth...You just be YOU and be good to your patients.
    That why you worked you buns off......Hugs to you ! Hang in there.
  9. by   banditrn
    Sounds like a crappy place!! Have you mentioned it to your preceptor to ask her what she thinks the problem is?

    I enjoy teaching, so I enjoy having 'newbie's' around and teaching them the little 'tricks of the trade'. Plus, I always feel like the new grads have the latest 'book info'.
  10. by   SillyLilly
    I dont get that. Nursing aside, when I have worked at other jobs, I have pretty much welcomed new hires. Not necessarily with open arms, but smile at them, treat them decently, talk to them, show them around, etc.

    Perhaps its like an initiation. Im sure all the nurses there didnt start at the same time. I dont agree with it, but perhaps its just what they do...
    Personally, my conscience would never let me treat (almost) anybody like that.

    Like other people have said, it is their problem, and continue to be yourself!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    I'm shocked at your treatment, tencat! Have you brought your concerns to your manager?

    Though there's always an adjustment period to any unit, rudeness and meanness are not qualities I want to see in ANY of my coworkers. You owe yourself that much, even as a new nurse, to be treated with dignity and respect.

    I hope that your chat with your manager will help those rude coworkers take a good hard look at their behavior.

    If that doesn't improve things, I would think about changing to a different unit because this type of behavior can really erode your self-confidence and degrade your self-esteem.

    Best of luck to you and all who are struggling with this problem. For the rest of us--let's remember to be courteous, professional, respectful, and polite with our coworkers. It'll just make the day go by so much faster.

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