Disgusted with my behavior, need help - page 2

I am a new graduate, and I worked as an aide prior to finishing my BSN. I have been at my new job for 2 months now, and I am nowhere near capable of working alone. Several individuals (who happen... Read More

  1. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from MalloCups
    I am a new graduate, and I worked as an aide prior to finishing my BSN. I have been at my new job for 2 months now, and I am nowhere near capable of working alone. Several individuals (who happen to be techs/aides) have complained to my superiors that I am condescending. This breaks my heart.... I have the utmost respect for everyone I work with, ESPECIALLY techs... I feel like I am the scum of the earth, and I don't deserve this job.

    I have no right to make other people feel badly... I have no right to convey anything but respect and kindness. I did not realize that my facial expressions, tone, and body language were conveying otherwise.

    I intend on apologizing in person to those who voiced unhappiness with me...

    but if you were that person, how would you respond?

    I feel as if these individuals will always remember that I hurt them.. and all I want to do is convey that I respect them, value them, and am deeply sorry for the way I made them feel.
    Um, I guess I don't see anything that you did or said to "make" anyone feel any particular way.

    Is it possible that, good hearted soul that you sound like you are, you didn't do anything but it is THEY who are perhaps a little resentful because now you are their superior?

    This would be their problem, not yours.

    Your responsibility is to be clear, direct, appreciative and respectful. Not to be their friend. Is your relationship different now? You bet. And it is unfortunately that your former colleagues are now your subordinates.

    Part of working as an RN where you used to be an aide is that both the RN's and the aides still see you as who you were rather than who you are.

    Smile, say thank you a lot, offer to help, if they have their hands full AND you have the time, and move on.

    You are not responsible for how someone "takes" you or what you say or do. You are responsible for your own behavior and your own reactions to others' behavior, period.

    You're always going to have someone who is happy to criticize you. That doesn't make them right. In fact, you may allow them to have a bit too much influence over you, and that could affect your ability to sueprvise them, and to have the mental attitude you need for the job.
  2. by   rn undisclosed name
    Like a previous poster said I think the aide may be having a problem with your change in status. It is unfortunate but I think a lot of aides don't realize all that a nurse does and is responsible for. They are NEVER there late to finish their charting. It does burn me up when they make comments to me. I have found it best to nip it in the bud and to not let it go. I do have an issue with one particular aide. She likes to make comments to me that I won't do any aide work, etc. I have no problem with it but they have their work and I have mine. I have had to tell her if she ever needs help all she has to do is ask and I will help her. I have NEVER refused to help her. She didn't appreciate my comment. When I can't get my work done I can't have them help me with it.

    What specifically did you say or do you not know? Sometimes I think certain people just aren't happy unless they are complaining. Before you are disgusted with you're behavior find out if you really have a reason to be disgusted. I know I can't make everyone happy all the time. People shouldn't be making general statements. How will that help. You need to have specific examples of what specifically occurred. Any time I have ever had to complain I have had specific examples. Kind of hard to do anything with a general statement.

    Kelly
  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from MalloCups
    One feels that I disregarded her assessment, the other feels that my tone and response to her (when she informed me of an error I made) was rude, etc.
    MalloCups, I have run into this before, too, in places where they frankly hate anyone new.

    I thought it was my fault at the last one until a seasoned local resident and LPN in the facility of 20 years said to me, "It's not you. You're new, and they do this to everyone."

    If you thanked them and went on with your business you behaved appropriately. Do they need you to report to them what you did with their assessments? Please. Thank you, blank you, and they need to move on. They are annoyed that they're not nurses and that you have authority. They have to get over it.
  4. by   leslymill
    Like a previous poster said I think the aide may be having a problem with your change in status. It is unfortunate but I think a lot of aides don't realize all that a nurse does and is responsible for


    If the schools can't teach them authority and the responsibilities of the person they are representing, the schools need to be decertified. If they do teach it and it is not displayed in their competencies, they should not be certified. If they do teach it and they show competencies to do the job and they refuse to perform their duties, they should be fired.
  5. by   RNcDreams
    I just want to clarify a few details- I did not work here as an aide prior to becoming an RN; I did my preceptorship at the end of my BSN here.
    Also, the chain of events was as follows: Techs complained to CNS, CNS told my preceptor, preceptor passed it on to me... and gave me a brief talking to about how I'm not too good to "clean up poop!" in her words, and how she'd like me to apologize.... I have never, EVER refused to do my job, whether it be a dirty task or not. I go out of my way to get bedpan-type tasks done so the busy techs don't have to.


    I'm beginning to feel as if perhaps I don't mesh as well with these people as I thought I did.
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 14, '07
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from MalloCups
    I just want to clarify a few details- I did not work here as an aide prior to becoming an RN; I did my preceptorship at the end of my BSN here.
    Also, the chain of events was as follows: Techs complained to CNS, CNS told my preceptor, preceptor passed it on to me... and gave me a brief talking to about how I'm not too good to "clean up poop!" in her words, and how she'd like me to apologize.... I have never, EVER refused to do my job, whether it be a dirty task or not. I go out of my way to get bedpan-type tasks done so the busy techs don't have to.


    I'm beginning to feel as if perhaps I don't mesh as well with these people as I thought I did.
    aw mallo, i'm so sorry.
    do you know how anyone got the impression that certain tasks were beneath you?
    or maybe you are being bullied?

    i would suggest having a firm and assertive 1:1 with your preceptor.
    if you have not done anything wrong, then do not apologize!
    perhaps having a little pow-wow w/the techs and preceptor present?
    some things truly need clarification.
    and direct communication will be the only way to accomplish this.

    best of everything to you.

    leslie
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 14, '07 : Reason: edited quote
  7. by   Tweety
    I agree with Leslie. Before surrendering and being down on yourself and accepting that you don't mesh well with these people and wind up miserable and quitting, you should talk it out.
  8. by   sticknurse
    I congratulate you on furthering your education!! So someone got the wrong impression. I remember getting flack when I thought I was just doing my job, (my first job as a nurse, I was a cna too) and all I did was review some of the issues I found while making rounds...well you'd think I hollared and carried on like a drill sgt. That's not even my nature. I tried to let the ladies I worked with know that I meant no harm, I only wanted what was best. I apoligized. Well, it took some time, but they finally accepted me when they realized I would answer lights, and help out whenever I could. It just takes time. One of my favorite mentors at that job was a nurse I absolutely hated the first 6 months. I'd ask her a question and she wouldn't even respond...it turned out she was practically deaf. I felt like an idiot for being mad at her for so long when i finally found out...just never know. We're still friends today 12 years later.. P.s. Don't be so hard on yourself, k? It causes wrinkles and stuff.
  9. by   nursemike
    It's real hard to judge this situation at a distance, but you sure don't sound like someone "too good to clean..." from your posts. It's certainly possible that a more experienced, better organized nurse could do more to assist pts with ADL's--nowadays, I usually figure it's quicker to do it myself than track down an aide. Still, I'm pretty busy, and a lot of what I do has to be done by a nurse. Many of our aides work pretty hard for less than half what I make, but the simple truth is, some of them manage very well, while others are always saying, "I'm too busy, can you call the nurse?" I'm pretty sure my skill level and work ethic don't vary a lot from one night to the next, so while I do appreciate the efficient, independent aides who make me look good, I don't think I'm really a worse nurse when my aide is lazy and/or helpless.

    The other point I'd like to make is that many of the more experienced nurses I work with are as firm as they need to be with the new nurses they precept, but God help anyone else who tries to give them any crap. Part of a mentor's job is to protect you--while teaching you how to protect yourself. They might take a bite or two out of their own young, but no one else better try.

    There's a little mantra I developed, one night when dealing with a rather difficult patient. After begging, pleading, cajoling all I could, I took a deep breath and said to myself, "Be The Nurse." I went into her room, laid down the law, and told her just how things were going to be.
    Unfortunately for me, it turned out she was a retired nurse with 30+ years experience, so she handed me my hat. I did, however, manage to regain the upper hand after 0.5 of Ativan, and since then I've noticed that the more times I remind myself to "Be The Nurse" the better I'm getting at it.

    Self-evaluation is one of the hardest parts of being a new nurse, but also one of the most important. In the end, you have to be the one to decide whether you were right or wrong in the situations you've described. If, after honest reflection, you're pretty sure you were in the wrong, then certainly, within reason, do what you can to make it right, and especially don't do it again. But if you're sure you were right, or even if you just think you were probably right, or even just mostly right, then it's time to "Be The Nurse." Lay down the law and let people know how it's going to be. You may not be loved, but you will be respected, and that's what you need to do your job. (And don't be discouraged if you get handed your hat a time or two.) Sooner or later, you'll have to do it, so it might as well be sooner.
  10. by   deeDawntee
    It seems to me that you should be very proud of yourself for surviving your first 2 months on the job!! I would hope that your coworkers would 'cut you some slack' given how stressful that initial time period is. You have received some very good advice on this thread already. I don't think you should be "disgusted" with your behavior unless you were intentionally trying to be rude or condescending. It is certainly good for you to keep it in mind when you are dealing with the Aids or anyone, but if you are truly just so intensely concentrating on what you are doing that you were not as smooth or nice as you perhaps 'should' have been, well ok, you'll do better when you have time to deal with it. Have you harmed any patients? Are you doing your job there? I'll bet that you are and that is rightly where your focus should be right now. You can't be all things to all people all the time, especially when you are so new. Your coworkers need to ease up and let you find your way.
    Please give yourself the positive self-talk you deserve and don't let this situation add even more stress to a very stressful time.
  11. by   RNcDreams
    Thank you so much to all who responded.... judging from your insight, it seems I need to apologize for what I did wrong and remember what I did right, and set the stage for a good future.

    I know I can be a doormat and let others walk on me... so I never really know when I'm right or wrong, and have a very hard time standing up to others. I also have to learn to how to accept negative feedback and turn it into positive practice changes.

    I do, in fact, have a preceptor that is seasoned (over 30 years), who takes no crap from others, but will dish out a little bit to toughen you up. She said flat out that if anyone tried to hurt me or do wrong by me, she'd be right there to stand up for me... but she also had no hesitation pointing out my flaws. She will certainly teach me to protect myself, once I am able to absorb all that she is offering.

    My job now is to swallow my pride, make my apologies, and continue focusing on learning to practice safely. I have to learn how to handle the discomfort when I'm not friends with everyone.


    Oddly enough, the day that this happened, I was given a paper copy of an email sent by a patient's daughter to the Manager of my department (NOT the nurse manager... the head honcho)... singing my praises.

    I couldn't decide whether to smile or cry.....

    Nursing is a rollercoaster!!
  12. by   deeDawntee
    You should definitely be very proud! That is awesome that you are getting public recognition already!

    Please don't be overly apologetic when you speak to those aids. I would say something simple like, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, please be patient with me while I'm new around here. I'm a little stressed out sometimes. Or something simple and to the point, don't grovel and if you ask them to be patient with you, that will point out that some of the responsibility lies with them and for supporting you in this process.

    Wow, I am truly impressed that you are receiving acknowledgment already! Believe me, your superiors are noting that as well!!! Good job!
  13. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from MalloCups
    I just want to clarify a few details- I did not work here as an aide prior to becoming an RN; I did my preceptorship at the end of my BSN here.
    Also, the chain of events was as follows: Techs complained to CNS, CNS told my preceptor, preceptor passed it on to me... and gave me a brief talking to about how I'm not too good to "clean up poop!" in her words, and how she'd like me to apologize.... I have never, EVER refused to do my job, whether it be a dirty task or not. I go out of my way to get bedpan-type tasks done so the busy techs don't have to.


    I'm beginning to feel as if perhaps I don't mesh as well with these people as I thought I did.
    I guess I misunderstood "and I worked as an aide prior to finishing my BSN....."

    I had difficulties with preceptors as well.

    I'm with the others: don't let them run you off until you talk it out. I would add, stay calm, stay nice--you don't want to burn any bridges, no matter what the outcome.

    Lots of us have squirrelly experiences on our first jobs as RN's, so you are not alone! But there is a lot to be gained but toughing it out and sticking with it.

    Hang in there. Smile. Be helpful. Be agreeable. Be flexible.

    And if it really is too much, then quietly look for another position elsewhere.....

    But I hope you stay--you may be surprised at how you grow through this experience!

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