Quote from 905RN
Nurses are their own worst enemies and like someone mentioned before, some units develop a personality of their own and attract like minded people. I have worked in far too many TOXIC units that were too difficult to go back to day after day and ended up changing jobs frequently.
IMO a huge problem on toxic units is the manager. Many years ago, I was asked to manage an existing toxic unit. The first two weeks I was there I made no changes, I got to know the staff and observed their relationships with each other and the patients. One of the first things I noticed was the staff would come into my office and complain about the other nurses. My first strategy was to stop the back biting so I called the staff together and let them know that if they wanted to complain about another nurse I would listen to each of their stories individually and then I would call them in together, I would remain neutral and together the three of us would all work out a mutually agreeable solution. In only a few weeks there were lots of tears shed in my office but the bickering and back stabbing stopped, the staffs attitudes improved and patient and family complaints dropped off to almost zero. We had an internationally diverse staff and there were also obvious cultural differences and personality clashes. We started having potluck lunches once a month and each nurse was encouraged to bring in food from their home country or culture. I would hop into a pair of scrubs and watched patients so the staff could take a break. Soon the staff started to appreciate each others differences through food. Rather than mocking their differences the staff began to appreciate that not only the food was different but attitudes, perceptions and nursing styles were also different.
Every hospital employee was working on a one year contract and for the first time in the history of the hospital, which was ten years old at the time, every single nurse, in our unit renewed their contracts. Mind you, there were a few of the most senior nurses that I didn't even offer a contract renewal as I felt they were part of the problem and they had no desire to be part of the solution. Prior to my arrival the toxic nurses were the only ones that had renewed their contracts.
It was all additional work for me and documentation of the toxic nurses had to be extensive to justify not renewing their contracts but in the end, every extra effort was worth it for me and the remaining staff.
Too bad a good number of managers are also part of the problem and they don't want to make the effort to fix the problems on their units. Another huge group of managers are in their positions to make the people above them happy not people working 'below' them.
I wish you luck in finding a career path that is suitable for you and your working style. Chin up, somewhere there is a place for you.
Good for you! You are willing to take on a huge challenge and it sounds like it was a great outcome!!!! Kudos to you! Can you please do rounds in all the hospitals and create that exact affect! I'm not talking for everyone but you sound like a God send to all nurses in your management! Applause to you in the highest. It also sounds like you enjoy your job! Keep up the GREAT WORK!!
Maybe you can shed some light on a problem I have to keep dealing with.
I don't want to come off as bragging or being in the lime spot, I'm the type that likes to do a good job and thats that. I don't need recognition or applause for my job. I do it for the patient & their families and as long as I can make their visit at the hospital tolerable and as comfy as we can I feel the job was complete. That is my satisfaction and I really hope I made a difference for them. I try when time permits to do extras for my pt's because if I was a pt I would enjoy anything to help my stay be a success for the pt,families, and hospital. That being said;
Why does this happen? The managers will ask for your input always on any subject. For one thing there is never no time they are always busy. In their defense so are us nurses. Then it's a freefrawl to through everything out there in a two minute conversation that ONLY bits and pieces are told. It's very unfair! Do we live in a fair world; No! I understand that but what's up with this? Or put it in an e-mail...well I don't have time at work to even check my e-mails for work more or less sit down and write in detail situations that go on. The other bad thing is putting things on paper can be misinterpreted pretty easily and then it snowballs.....Face to face and time to communicate I think is vital in any workplace. If I make a statement I want them to know exactly what I meant by it! Have you had this happen?? I won't do e-mailing no more for this very reason.. The worse is then they look at it, analyse it and try to use it for evaluations. I had this happen in the past so I never put stuff on paper anymore unless it is absolutely necessary.
I use to work in a facility that I left on my own terms and I'm very happy about. I wish I would have done it sooner! Even though it was a long time ago to this day I shutter to even think about it! My e-mails even though they were positive with possible solutions were thrown in my face numerous time. They would take little exerps out and run with it instead of looking at the whole e-mail. Taking things out of context!
I learned that nurses really do eat their own the hard way! About the time you climb out it would start all over. Everyone says it's because your so nice. Isn't that a slap in the face. I learned to stand up for my self (No problem there). The problem is why do we continully have to deal with this. Eventually you earn respect from some but others are watching your every move. Isn't that sad! I have praise and great evals so I do feel supported from managers but constantly running into all these situations. They listen to an extend but things continue to happen! Why?
When you leave after trying to have a two minute discussion with the management it never feels good. No matter how positive the meeting went. I know I have big trust issues but that's because I've been through the wringer so many times. Even though I receive praise I do constantly question my confidence because of these political matters..I don't question my nursing ability but my personal is always getting zapped. Some challenges I can manage on my own, others where the three way discussion has to take place. Either way as long as an agreeable outcome takes place I'm satisfied but why does it always happen. I would love to go in and be very open; I don't have a problem with communication but my worry constantly is will it be taken into consideration, be looked at as an instigator, not be considered a team player, written up for telling it the way it is, ect... I'm a very personable person who only wants the best for everyone including the ones that have issues with me. I would like to just stop and say can we fix this problem (which I have done to some) but others just are not open to solving anything. Then they say work around them, don't waist your time. Well when you work with these people everyday that makes it quite challenging! My reward at the end of every shift is the smiles, thanks, and aprreciation the pt & their families share. That's everything to me! I can't make everyone happy but my pt do appreciate me so thats my success.
I love being personable with everyone I meet; not just the pt's but managers, & co-workers. Everyone has their great qualities sometime it just take time to figure out what they are even if they are awful to you there usually is good somewhere in them. You just have to search deeper in some.
Another huge group of managers are in their positions to make the people above them happy not people working 'below' them. Why?? This is very true on our floor but to give credit to the management little things do get accomplished on our floor but bigger items like support for ratio management for RN/CNA verses pt are always undermined. We are constantly working on but never get anywhere..I know economy, money, money, money but what about the quality of care that they keep asking us to give to our pt's. The pt remember when they leave how long they had to wait to go to BR or never made it there all together. How long they wait to be covered up because they were so cold and their blankets fell off and they couln't reach, pain meds delayed, lying in their own vomitus, urine, BM, blood cuz an IV was pulled out accidently ect... you all seen it and deal with it every day. I always want the best for the pt's and it breaks my heart when things like this happen because we are all so busy and understaffed.. Oh I could go on but this is ongoing and I really hope and pray
that for our loved ones out there the government will see how important health care is and that we are all drowning (hospitals, assisstive living, community nursing, hospice, nursing homes, clinics) I don't even blame management their hands are tied too! Thanks for being one that trully cares and makes a difference for your employees and patients! You are trully one of the few out there!twinklebelle