nurses eat their young!!

  1. Just got off duty and wondered if any other nurses could possibly feel the way I do.
    I returned to nursing after taking a hiatus of quite some years. I've worked hard to build my skills and doing lots of extra studying in the evening no matter how tired I am. I ask lots of questions at work and am very eager to learn from the more seasoned nurses. I catch on fairly quickly( I've been told) so I don't think that Im wasting anybody's time, and show much appriciation to all staff. I am well liked and have had an excellent review/eval.

    Trouble is..I seem to get many more of the share of difficult/challenging situations and patients. You all know, like the MURPHY'S LAW type :stone.
    Now, we are extremly busy, and it is nearly impossible to depend on just one constant contact/resource person for me to "bounce" things off of and so many (nurses) have a very omnipitant(sp?) attitude and their way is BEST. I end up feeling like I don't want to even mention things anymore because this has created a situation of confusion for me . I start thinking that I may be getting the blame for many things that may not have been result of my actions or anything I have control over, just because I'm the
    NEW GIRL :angryfire Many times I end up getting interruped during a procedure/intervention when it's not called for. It is now past the point of them being helpful. It's now pissing me off. OOps there goes my ladylike manner.
    Any ideas out there how I can turn this around?? I'm really a very diplomatic person and would never jepardize workplace good relations. Thanx.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    Stop being ladylike!!!!

    There does that make you feel better??

    What you are getting is a mixture response some "new girl/boy/person (oops better keep it PC) treatment, some bullying and some just plain workplace frustration.

    So best to separate it out.

    It is common in our shiftwork world that someone who is new and learning will be ahead of where you think they should be simply because you have not worked with them for a time. So you are constantly being underestimated or sometimes overestimated in your capabilities until everyone catches up with where you truly are and things even out - does this make sense???

    Some of it is endemic to nursing and the root cause is lack of scientific foundation for much of our practice. It then becomes "my opinion" and after listening to 5 different "my opinions" and trying to conform to them all - then it is natural for frustration to occur.

    Some of it is how we develop expertise. Patricia Benner in her book "Novice to Expert" describes 5 phases of expertise - Novice, advanced beginner competant, proficient and expert ( I might have this slightly wrong - I am operating from memory). She describes the beginning nurse as being "rule governed" and seeing mostly black and white while the expert is more principle guided and sees issues as grey. The novice is intolerant of practice outside rules - the expert accepts that situations dictate change.

    unfrotunately not every hit "expert" in thinking or practice and many end up stuck in the rule goverened world of novice with the intolerance to practice outside a very narrow and prescribed set of rules.

    If you need to vent further please do. The only way we will ever break the cycle of workplace bullying in nursing is to see it for what it is.
  4. by   orrnlori
    Wow! That is an excellent response and I believe the best description I've ever seen of the progression in the world of nursing. I have nothing to add. Great answer, quenith.
  5. by   jnette
    Good job, Gwenyth ! You beat me to it ! I learned this in school as well, although I don't believe it was by this author. It WAS, however, part of my curriculum, and I found it to be most enlightening and encouraging.
  6. by   gwenith
    You may not have heard of Benner she is an Australian theorist. She modelled her theory on the one by Dreyfus so it is proabable that you heard of that.
  7. by   jnette
    Quote from gwenith
    You may not have heard of Benner she is an Australian theorist. She modelled her theory on the one by Dreyfus so it is proabable that you heard of that.
    May well be... now you've got me curious.. I'll have to dig out my books and see if I can find it !
  8. by   jayna
    I read benner's theory and one hospital in NZ is operating on her theory but never knew she was australian. All along I thought she was american.
    Should have read the credentials.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Way to Gwenith! EXCELLENT INFORMATION!

    Also, I might add: I think in every nurses' training and refresher course, a unit on ASSERTIVENESS needs to be MANDATORY......

    there is so much lacking.

    learning how to be assertive versus timid, or at the other end of the spectrum, AGRESSIVE, is ESSENTIAL. It ought to be mandatory curriculum material for all nurses training, along with all the other subjects they make us study. It's at least as important, if not more so.

    good book:
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...=9780809224944
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 4, '04
  10. by   Marty1
    I know exactly what you mean ,
    I too was out for a bit , what I thought was a short three years from
    patient care due to injury , only to return , to a new hospital
    and treated as if I was the idiot, simply due to changes in location
    and terms ,
    it took me quite a while to catch on to the fact that these "kids"
    were simply using term I hadn't used before coming for a different location
    Southern from Northern
    I agree what I needed was more ability to be asseretive when I wasn't but change for some comes harder, I had moved from my home of 30 years,
    returned to patient care after being gone for 3 years and experienced a death
    the first 6 months I was in my new home, so to say the least I was shaky on many ground.
    Hang in there there and keep your chin up , know what you know and have the confidence in yourself you know is there

    Quote from sparkie
    Just got off duty and wondered if any other nurses could possibly feel the way I do.
    I returned to nursing after taking a hiatus of quite some years. I've worked hard to build my skills and doing lots of extra studying in the evening no matter how tired I am. I ask lots of questions at work and am very eager to learn from the more seasoned nurses. I catch on fairly quickly( I've been told) so I don't think that Im wasting anybody's time, and show much appriciation to all staff. I am well liked and have had an excellent review/eval.

    Trouble is..I seem to get many more of the share of difficult/challenging situations and patients. You all know, like the MURPHY'S LAW type :stone.
    Now, we are extremly busy, and it is nearly impossible to depend on just one constant contact/resource person for me to "bounce" things off of and so many (nurses) have a very omnipitant(sp?) attitude and their way is BEST. I end up feeling like I don't want to even mention things anymore because this has created a situation of confusion for me . I start thinking that I may be getting the blame for many things that may not have been result of my actions or anything I have control over, just because I'm the
    NEW GIRL :angryfire Many times I end up getting interruped during a procedure/intervention when it's not called for. It is now past the point of them being helpful. It's now pissing me off. OOps there goes my ladylike manner.
    Any ideas out there how I can turn this around?? I'm really a very diplomatic person and would never jepardize workplace good relations. Thanx.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    To the OP: hang in there and don't let the turkeys get you down! I was out with injuries for awhile and know what you are experiencing.

    Regarding Benner's point that a mark of an expert is recognizing the need for change to the situation....I wish she would add 'If it ain't broke don't fix it" some emphasis on IS there really a need? Too many managers feel they must make CONSTANT change ...so frequent we cannot get a handle...weekly paperwork and policy changes. Perhaps they fear being labeled a novice vs 'expert' if they cannot force constant numerous changes. Constant change causes turmoil....and this is my work environment, sadly. I know some bully managers who seem to use Benner's concept as a weapon..."staff nurses who resent change must not be high on Benners scale." Also I feel staff may not speak up because they feel it lowers them on the scale....they are 'inflexible' thus close to novice.

    I know some changes ARE good and necessary (and I support those 100%) but I am one nurse who wonders why we must work in such chaos...sometimes it seems we are just jumping through hoops so the latest manager can justify her salary and look like she is 'doing something'.

    I totally agree there are lots of ways to fry a fish and am comfortable in adapting my practice, which I know is Benner's main point regarding our evolution. These same managers who laud flexibility to change and expect it of their staff daily might be wise to examine their OWN inflexibility...as they sure do want things done THEIR way...LOL.
  12. by   orrnlori
    Now that I think of it, I do remember that theory being taught in school. Hmmmm, maybe I was too busy writing worthless care plans to remember something as important as this. Thanks for the reminder.!.!.!
  13. by   sparkie
    Quote from gwenith
    Stop being ladylike!!!!

    There does that make you feel better??

    What you are getting is a mixture response some "new girl/boy/person (oops better keep it PC) treatment, some bullying and some just plain workplace frustration.

    So best to separate it out.

    It is common in our shiftwork world that someone who is new and learning will be ahead of where you think they should be simply because you have not worked with them for a time. So you are constantly being underestimated or sometimes overestimated in your capabilities until everyone catches up with where you truly are and things even out - does this make sense???




    Some of it is endemic to nursing and the root cause is lack of scientific foundation for much of our practice. It then becomes "my opinion" and after listening to 5 different "my opinions" and trying to conform to them all - then it is natural for frustration to occur.

    Some of it is how we develop expertise. Patricia Benner in her book "Novice to Expert" describes 5 phases of expertise - Novice, advanced beginner competant, proficient and expert ( I might have this slightly wrong - I am operating from memory). She describes the beginning nurse as being "rule governed" and seeing mostly black and white while the expert is more principle guided and sees issues as grey. The novice is intolerant of practice outside rules - the expert accepts that situations dictate change.

    unfrotunately not every hit "expert" in thinking or practice and many end up stuck in the rule goverened world of novice with the intolerance to practice outside a very narrow and prescribed set of rules.

    If you need to vent further please do. The only way we will ever break the cycle of workplace bullying in nursing is to see it for what it is.

    Gwenith!!!
    I am sending you a great big THANK YOU :hatparty: for such a wonderful response to my plea for help. It just about brought me to tears to know that there are great nurses around the world, who would extend a few words of kindness and provide a great resource of information. That same evening, I printed out a copy of of the message (along with other reponses), took it to work with me the next day and was able to really view things from a different prospective. I immediately tracked down Benner's book ordered a copy and actually found a copy in our hospitals' library.

    I believe it is important to be able to vent in a "safe" place, cause we all know anger turned inward can lead to depression.

    Once again many thanks!!

    PS Sorry my own reponse was delayed, been working long hours, felt you deserved a well thought out message of substance.
  14. by   sparkie
    Quote from Marty1
    I know exactly what you mean ,
    I too was out for a bit , what I thought was a short three years from
    patient care due to injury , only to return , to a new hospital
    and treated as if I was the idiot, simply due to changes in location
    and terms ,
    it took me quite a while to catch on to the fact that these "kids"
    were simply using term I hadn't used before coming for a different location
    Southern from Northern
    I agree what I needed was more ability to be asseretive when I wasn't but change for some comes harder, I had moved from my home of 30 years,
    returned to patient care after being gone for 3 years and experienced a death
    the first 6 months I was in my new home, so to say the least I was shaky on many ground.
    Hang in there there and keep your chin up , know what you know and have the confidence in yourself you know is there
    Marty 1,

    Glad you reponded to my posting. I could relate so much of what your message reply indicated. I have also relocated across the nation to a whole new culture and have worked hard to build new friendships, work relations, and just generally tried to fit in. I have a feeling that this is part of what is making me feel less confident all the way around.
    I just wanted to thank you for your vote of confidence

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