It seems asif this year my life has been flushed down the toilet. - page 2

I have lived in a small town of 4,000 or so people for 17 years of my life. This town is where my memories are, where my family is, and where I have my future set. From the time that I was like 4 I... Read More

  1. by   nursemike
    It has taken me decades to learn how to be assertive, and especially how to be assertive before I'm pushed to aggressive. Some are born with it, but it's a struggle for many. For a short-term solution, your management really should help you with this, but that doesn't always happen. Ultimately, you need to learn to stand up for yourself, and in health care it's doubly important, since you have to stand up for your patients, as well.
    I took an anger management course, once, that was somewhat helpful. I thought it wasn't for me, since I never--well, almost never--got angry, but the psychologist said if you never get angry, you need anger management. It wasn't a long course and it wasn't a complete fix, but it gave me some ideas to work on, so my advice to you is to find some professional help. If you're in school, there is probably a counsellor available. Sounds like your hospital might be too small to have an official employee councillor, but HR might be able to help you get assistance, or you might just approach a staff psychologist on your own. A lot of chaplains and ministers are pretty good advisors, too.
    Venting to friends is an okay way to take some pressure off, but it won't teach you how to solve the problem. (Of course, I ought to add that I'm taking Psych Nsg this summer, so I'm pretty well convinced EVERYBODY needs professional help!)
    If you can't go that route, my best advice would be to work on it in easy steps--pick small battles you can win, and practice confronting them in a mature, constructive manner. As long as you're clear on the difference between assertive and aggressive, there's nothing at all wrong with being a little assertive with the people who love you--they'll probably be pleased--and it's good training for dealing with those who don't love you. Once you start getting a handle on it, you'll be amazed how quickly bullies fold.
    Last edit by nursemike? on Jun 13, '04
  2. by   loerith
    I honestly detest people like you describe. {the bullies} But let me share some thoughts with you.

    1) there are some evil people in this world

    Yup...I mean evil. They enjoy causing other people pain just for kicks.

    2) ignoring these people sometimes does not work

    Some of these morons actually see this as a sign of weakness or a green light and will come at you that much harder.

    3) what does work is making it more uncomfortable for them than you when they do attack you

    Now this is not an easy thing to learn or do, but in my experience it works. This is all a head game. They get inside your head and YOU make yourself feel a certain way. Nobody has power over me unless I give it to them.

    The trick is for you to walk out of the situation smiling and THEM leave angry, pouting, scared, embarassed, etc. I know this is hard-core, but so are these low lifes. Use your head. Be smart and creative. Protect yourself at all times. You have a right to protect yourself when attacked.

    I have news for anyone. You try to intimidate or embarass me, and I will bring your little playhouse down around your ears! :chuckle


    Love and Peace,
    loerith
  3. by   wonderbee
    Sometimes, when the social waters are rough, I find it best to keep to myself insofar as I am able. Advice?? Of course there will be those times when an extra hand (or two or three!!) is needed to take care of a patient, but when that's over, find a peaceful spot on the floor away from the main traffic. It's not being antisocial. It's just a way to remain calm. You can take charge of this situation by not giving them bait... by saying please, thank you, hi, bye and have a good day.

    Sorry to hear you're having this difficulty. It seems to be inherent in health care to one degree or another. Don't let a few nay sayers take away your dream of becoming an RN. There are truly deserving patients out there who need us.
    Last edit by wonderbee on Jun 13, '04
  4. by   night owl
    Go with your dreams Mandi. Be tough. Be strong and you will succeed.
  5. by   Altra
    You've gotten some great support here ... I can't really add anything further.

    Just <Hugs>
  6. by   AcosmicRN
    Mandi, I mean this with the greatest of respect: you need to leave that town. You can't just live out your life in a town of 4000 people. It's deletrious to the soul. It's socially incestuous. It's what you do when you're collecting social security.

    Do yourself a favor, become a nurse, but for God's sake move away.

    Just my opinion.

    Acosmic
  7. by   tattooednursie
    Thank you all for your advice. It sure does help to know that there are decent people in this field.

    I know that I have probably asked this before, but i have a problem with being too assertive when I get on a role, which is why I try to avoid assertiveness, but apparently I need to be more assertive. What are some one liners, comebacks, or something to get them off my back?

    I think one of the big problems is the age difference between me and my co workers. I'm 19 and alot of them are past their 40's.

    Thanks again.
    Mandi
  8. by   sleepless in norman
    Don't give up, that is what they want, read my story entitled " Down and Dirty in the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing " by me sleepless in norman, it could be worse, Take Care.
    Quote from FutureRN_Mandi
    I have lived in a small town of 4,000 or so people for 17 years of my life. This town is where my memories are, where my family is, and where I have my future set. From the time that I was like 4 I wanted to "grow up to be a nurse" and work at the local hospital. I have kept the same goal for 15 years, and I feel that means something. There is only one facility to nurse at in this town. I have been working there as an Aide for the past 2 years. Those two years have been hell for me. I have been stabbed in the back, treated like garbage, and my self esteem has vanished.
    With every goal I complete something else has to happen. I just got night shift, the shift I have aways wanted. I've worked nights before, and the crew has always been pleasant to me. Well ever since it got around that I was getting permanent nights, one person fron the night crew has been terible to me. So terrible that I feel like I'm going to break down and cry at the end of the shift. I wanted this shift because it was the only one where people didn't treat me like crap. I am seriously at my wits end with this job, but I cant quit. There is now way I can throw away the dream that I have had my heart set on for 15 years over people treating me like crap (constantly). If I quit I won't be able to come back, and I will have to leave everything and everyone I love behind, but If i stay I think I'm going to be driven over the edge.

    Sorry so lengthy, but I need to vent.
    Any advice would be appriciated at this point. I'm at the edge of a nervous breakdown here!
    thanks
    Mandi
  9. by   MandyInMS
    We may not be able to change the way people act..but we all have control over how we REACT...don't give anyone power over you hun (((hugzzzzz)))
  10. by   Agnus
    Quote from FutureRN_Mandi
    Thank you all for your advice. It sure does help to know that there are decent people in this field.

    I know that I have probably asked this before, but i have a problem with being too assertive when I get on a role, which is why I try to avoid assertiveness, but apparently I need to be more assertive. What are some one liners, comebacks, or something to get them off my back?

    I think one of the big problems is the age difference between me and my co workers. I'm 19 and alot of them are past their 40's.

    Thanks again.
    Mandi
    Mandi, many people misunderstand what assertion is. It is not hostile, it is not smart one liners, it is not "standing up and fighting for your self." Those are all forms of agression.

    Asertion is showing absolute respect for the other person while you also show absolute respect for your self.

    It is not "showing them" it is not one up manship.

    There are courses out there that address this. There is an excellent book we used in my assertion class. IT is The Assertive Option Your Rights and Responsibilites by Patricaia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange

    Notice the word "option" in the title and "rights and responsibilities" in the sub title; These are very significant. And a clue as to what assertion is.

    What most people call assertion or "standing up" for themselves is something that often generates an even bigger problem. You can stand up for yourself but it must be done without posturing and with kind respect. It is not asssertion but just another form of agression. even passive behavior can be agressive.

    Assertion is a skill and by that I mean reaquires a LOT of practice. This book can help start you in the right direction.
  11. by   kimburlynn
    You said your only 19 and alot of them are past their 40's.That made me think of something I used to do with older,hardcase,fellow employees that worked for me.First off im NOT telling you to roll over and play dead or to put up with alot of abuse, but have you tried making them think you value their opinion?Ive always been able to win over even the worse cases this way.Its not always easy to treat someone nice who has treated you poorly but most(not all) people respond to someone who is treating them fair by eventually doing the same.The first thing I get when I treat someone with respect who is slamming me is usually a shocked look.This is always a good sign to me because it means said person dont know what to make of the situation.This might not work for you but its worth a try IMHO.Hope things get better for you.
  12. by   asapstat
    Never let one person's attitude affect you like this, In every unit there is at lest one sour apple. If the rest of the crew is easy to get along with, then stay the course. Do not go down to his/her level. Be the adult, be civil, non-threatening. And never let her see you react.

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