How do you deal with difficult nurses?

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    I am a new grad that was blessed with the opportunity to work in the CICU in a world-renowned hospital. I have been working for 3 months. The orientation was extremely challenging, and often wondered if I was going to make it (many new nurses do not). I made mistakes naturally, but was told overall that I a very good job. I just started my first week off orientation. I had a very warm and knowledgable preceptor. Most of the nurses were very nice and willing to help or answer questions.Unfortunately, there are some that are not as nice. It has come to my attention that I have become the topic of many negative discussions. The people holding these discussions are the main ones telling me that I am doing okay. Now, I am a big girl and have had some previous experience working with negative people. I used to sales in my previous life. Nothing more cut throat than that. But I was hoping that I would get away from such behavior because we are all working for the same goal, to help the patient. I am being ripped to shreds for stuff that does not affect patient outcome. For instance, I didn't set up the IV the way that they liked. Or yesterday I didn't clamp the foley all the way( different foley set up form ours). Granted it made a mess, but it shouldn't have been a topic for 12 hours!!! I just don't know how to deal with these women. I have a very low tolerance for simple BS and I am afraid that if I really tell them about themselves that I might make my situation more difficult. I am trying to do my joband learn as much as I can, not make friends. However, I do want a pleasant working environment. Any ideas?
    Last edit by givingheart on Jan 31, '07
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Unfortunately, you are going to find people like that no matter what kind of career you're working in. In my opinion, it stems from their own insecurities and they make themselves feel better or superior by pointing out other people's faults. Unless they are writing you up or going to your NM or some other way that you could get in trouble at work, I would ignore them and let your work speak for itself. If there's any truth in what they're saying, I would take it as a form of constructive critisim (even though they aren't giving it to you that way) and learn from it in order to improve on your skills. After awhile, people will learn who's the bigger person and who's the gossiper.
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    Hi there and welcome. I too have a low-BS tolerance. I would just ignore it for now. However, if I was to overhear a comment, I would address it right then with a comment that perhaps they need to find something constructive to do.

    If however, ignoring it doesn't do the trick, I would take it up the chain of command to the unit manager. I doubt they want to lose newly oriented RNs.

    Good luck and don't give up.
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    you did a lot better than me - you got thru your orientation. I had a bad experience 23 years ago in my ICU rotation as a student in the UK. I worked with a bunch of backstabbers who gave me a bad report, I believe simply because they could - and I swore I'd never go back. These kind of people delight in making other people miserable so they can feel better about themselves. Perhaps they even feel challenged by you. Ignore them unless they start doing it right in front of you then be assertive and stand up to them. Meanwhile kill them with kindness -that'll really get to them.
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    Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of the saying "Nurses eat their young".

    I would just nicely say to them, "Dont you remember what it was like when you just started out?" Tell them, "Instead of putting me down, why dont you try to teach me how to be a seasoned nurse."
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    I am going thru the same thing as we speak. The same nurses that praise me, twist the knife when I am not there. Unfortunately, I keep hearing about it from other staff members. I think they are trying to be helpful, but sometimes I wish they kept it to themselves. I do think if you hear something directly, you should call them on. Don't blow your top, just let them know you aren't going to take it. Now, if I could only take my own advice. LOL
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    the best thing for you to do is to go directly to your manager and inquire about how you are doing. tell her/him even though you have received some positive feedback about your performance you would like to hear from her/him about how you are managing in such a challenging unit. if you are asked if you have any concerns, just be honest and say you aren't sure but you worry that maybe some other staff members may have concerns. try not to be too specific because you don't want to appear like you are gossiping or trying to stir things up. i don't believe in repeating things that i didn't hear from the horses mouth so try to be as diplomatic as possible. your manager will appreciate your concern and you also will be viewed as a mature person that takes your career seriously.
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    I haven't been a nurse long only five years but I think a lot of older nurses are afraid a new nurse may know something they don't and they very well might, things change so rapidly in healthcare new nurses and experienced ones can learn from each other
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    I am going through it too. Ive been at this hospital for approximately 2 years and it hasnt gotten any better. I just posted the other day on here about it. I think the title of my post was "backstabbers, 2-faced coworkers". Ive watched some employees be buddies one day, the next day talking trash about the other. Ive been told things that have been said about me. Most of the negativity though is from one PCA who is so malicious and lazy, its apparent that making others look bad makes her look good (or so she thinks). I finally confronted one person about something she supposedly said. I was nice about it. I just said "Its probably not true but I wanted to come to you about it. Someone said....". She of course denied it but it made her aware that her behavior was known. I hate listening to a bunch of women talk about their fellow co-workers when they arent around to defend themselves. I know Im the brunt of gossip when Im not there too. I just decided....trust no one, do my job and go home. Im currently looking for another job, but eveyone says its like that no matter where you go. I sure hope not.
  12. 0
    :yeahthat:
    Quote from UKRNinUSA
    you did a lot better than me - you got thru your orientation. I had a bad experience 23 years ago in my ICU rotation as a student in the UK. I worked with a bunch of backstabbers who gave me a bad report, I believe simply because they could - and I swore I'd never go back. These kind of people delight in making other people miserable so they can feel better about themselves. Perhaps they even feel challenged by you. Ignore them unless they start doing it right in front of you then be assertive and stand up to them. Meanwhile kill them with kindness -that'll really get to them.
    I could n't have said it better. I think it's very sad and very frsutrating and I really don't know what to say except that this will pass. Best wishes.


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