Do you have friends at work?

  1. 0
    I don't mean "work friends" that you talk to and spend time with only while on the clock; I mean friends who you would gladly meet for lunch or go shopping with on your day off. I'm talking about the kind of friend who knows your husband's nasty little habit that drives you up the wall and your hidden vices. Did you make any of those types of friends at work?

    I never have. I made one of those kinds of friends in nursing school but once I entered the actual field I never felt comfortable with any of my co-workers to actively pursue a friendship outside of the place of employment.

    I wonder if this is a unique phenomenon exclusive to facility nursing. My friends that work in traditional office settings find it easy to make friends at work. I have expanded my associate circle immensely through my friends and their coworker friendships. How come it's so difficult to cultivate those same types of relationships in health care?

    Do you find yourself in a similar situation?
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  3. 31 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    My experience has been the opposite of yours. When I worked in corporate settings in my life-before-nursing it was rare for people to socialize outside of work other than quasi-company functions such as the VP's annual picnic at his home or club.

    In healthcare I've become part of a culture where people socialize frequently and personal lives are discussed much more openly.
    kiyasmom likes this.
  5. 0
    Most of my friends are my co-workers. And most of my social life is at work. When you work in a stressful job, people seem to be closer to each other.
  6. 4
    Wow. I guess it is just me. :imbar I've worked with people who I enjoy talking to and socialize with at work but none of them have I trusted enough to let them into my personal life out of work. I hear how much they talk about one another... I've seen nurses become friends and then something happens outside the job and the nurses come back telling it all...like it's high school with the gossip. OMG, I just don't trust it. I think I need to work on my trust issues. Or maybe LTC is a different animal.
    Nursebarebari, sammy75, shelly304, and 1 other like this.
  7. 3
    It is not just you, at all. I have co-workers and colleagues at work with whom I have a nice cordial rapport. I choose to socialize elsewhere. Part of my professional boundaries involve issues of alcohol use and my preference to be home with family or at church with faith based activities.

    I was told initially at my current job (I'm the only nurse) that they found me standoffish but it has gotten much better with time. I treat everyone the same so I'm not going to one person's party and not another's.

    Many a time I've seen personal indiscretions and oversharing come back to bite people in the butt at work. I don't think holding yourself in reserve on the job is so awful.
    kiyasmom, MaryAnn_RN, and Mulan like this.
  8. 1
    I only socialize with one coworker whom I don't work with anymore, and that's relatively rare. I let nature take it's course, I'm not going to restrict myself with a policy of not socializing with coworkers, but it rarely happens for me for whatever reason.
    kiyasmom likes this.
  9. 2
    I don't think it is nursing. As you leave your school years and go through your 20's and 30's, close friends become harder to find. Even old friends start to drift as they move away, get married, get jobs and have kids.
    I have had "work buddies" from work, but not real close friends. Your office worker friends might have different definitions of friendship.
    kiyasmom and sammy75 like this.
  10. 5
    I've been an RN for about 2 and a half months now. The people I work with, most of them, would rather I not speak to them. Why? Because I'm the newbie, I let things get too late, I ask too many questions, etc. Those people I do talk to, I only talk to them while at work. I don't trust anyone enough to let them have my phone number, let alone know anything personal about me. The other day, one of the night nurses called my house just so she could lecture me. I very ticked off that, not only did she waste her time in calling me, but that she called my personal house number! The only people who should have that should be my nurse manager and the nurse educator. How she got it, I have no idea. I don't trust anyone in my floor at all, and I doubt I'll come out leaving there with anything but acquantainces.
    kiyasmom, NsgChica, sammy75, and 2 others like this.
  11. 2
    I'm with the OP....no outside stuff. I only "socialize" at work. I might go out to lunch with a few people if they ask me every once in awhile, but I don't like to mix business with personal. Maybe it's a trust issue. I believe it's impossible to work with people and not remember how they are in their personal life. I don't want to know that much about people. Boy I sound bad dont' I?
    kiyasmom and Mulan like this.
  12. 1
    The nurses and CNAs that work my shift, the majority of us get together every now and again for a "Girls Night Out." We all know each others' families (or at least their names), we know when someone is celebrating a birthday or a special occasion, a heartache or a bad experience. We've laughed together, cried together, vented together...yah, I'd say we're "friends." It's not like that with any of the other shifts, or so I've heard. Maybe it's the fact that we are all close to the same age? I dunno.
    kiyasmom likes this.


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