Sick and tired! What next?

  1. I've been working in the same hospital for 2 years. I know that's not awfully long, but I'm getting crispy. I'm way over it. The place is large, full of politics and it seems like a nurse mill. New grads come and go. Experienced nurses rarely come and many of the long-time nurses are either on a power trip or tired and lazy. There also seems to be a large contigency of nurses who seem to come to work to socialize, rest their butts on the chair and collect a check q 2 weeks. The place is very negative and those that are not yet totally burnt out are on their way or getting out.

    I recently left the ICU and transferred to the PACU so that I could get a fresh start, but the game is the same; only the players have changed. They are "deperate" for nurses, but when a new one shows up they couldn't be bothered helping them (i'm not the only person who notices this). They sit on their butts, do the bare minimum and won't even speak to anyone who isn't one of theirs.

    I came back from break the other day and the nurse who covered me condescendingly told me that I should have done x,y and z. Granted, I should have done z (minor oversight), but x and y were not policy, but opinion and a way to belittle me. I had done what needed to be done and well. I am a nurse with over 5 years of experience; the last 2 years I have worked in ICU.

    It's just so childish, clique, abusive and demeaning. The whole darn place. I want out. I'm getting depressed and I get sick every time I have to go to work because I know that a already difficult job is going to be made 10x harder because of the abuse by the system and my coworkers. I'm trapped because I know it's pretty much the same everywhere.

    Today was a good day. The only pitfall was when I walked in and about half of my coworkers ignored me. I made sure that I looked each of them in the face and said good morning and that I was right there every time they needed help. The most pleasant people to work with are the travelers as they are always glad to see a friendly face instead of a bunch of scowling ingrates.

    I need a vacation, but I don't think anything less than a month would help. I do a good job and am kind to my patients. Some days I don't know how, but I manage a smile and a kind tone.
    Last edit by ANnot4me on Jul 28, '03
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Brownms46
    chigap Maybe you should become a traveler, all the while looking for a better place to be...
  4. by   meownsmile
    Unfortunately, i think its the nature of the beast so to speak. Some places have reputations for this stuff and it usually starts at the top because they allow it to go on. I hope you find a place that is more receptive to you and you will be comfortable in. We dont need to lose more good nurses because of a few sour lemons. This reminds me of something though, our unit clerk used to keep this little fairy wand next to her computer,, she used it for trying to making things appear out of thin air that werent there, changing peoples attitudes, and making those irritable doctors(and nurses sometimes) dissapear. The thing never worked for some reason, but we all knew what she ment when the wand came out.
  5. by   Rapheal
    I work at a place much like yours. IMHO you have a choice to make when working with bullies who put attention on other nurses supposed faults to draw attention away from their own. You may chose to be either liked or respected. I have chosen to be respected and not put up with being treated like dirt.

    I have recently drawn a line in the sand and will not tolerate being mistreated. This means that I have spoken to management and staff and told them I will no longer tolerate new admits being put in rooms without my knowledge or without report being given to me prior to their transfer to the room. I also will not let the unit clerks dictate my assignment. The charge nurse must be notified that I am to recieve a new admit and must approve for me to receive them. I will not accept the charge nurse saying "I didn't know they gave you three new admits".

    I have learned to complain to management. I do not nitpick at report and if a nurse receiving report choses to nitpick I will reply "It's charted, you will have to look it up."

    As a result of these changes the bullies are now spending more time picking on the agency nurses and the float nurses. Since management will not demand change from the bullies it is every nurse for his or herself. I also will not pick up the slack for lazy nurses any more. This just enables them to be lazy and get away with it longer. If management choses to keep lazy nurses employed then that is their choice.

    Good luck. You may decide to demand better treatment or to work somewhere better. Either way I wish you a brighter future.
  6. by   Rnltc
    I hear your pain. I have worked Long Term Care for the last 15 years and it is even getting that way too. It is sad....
    I am sorry to say nursing is not like it use to be....We have created a nightmare.
    They want help but when you give them help they treat this new help with no respect. All they can do is chew them up.
    HAve you thought about changing to agency nursing?
    It might be a nice break.
    Long term care is hurting for nurses, but I am not sure that you would be treated much different.
    Good LUck...
  7. by   nightingale
    Sounds like a change is needed; I never felt truly appreciated until I became an Agency Nurse. The confidence and empowerment I have gained over the past two years is incredible.

    I can now concentrate on the Nursing Care and not the poltics. I only work in units that treat me decently.
  8. by   Tweety
    I know what you mean. Isn't it awful that a little respect and kindness to one another would make things so much better.

    I'm fortunate to have transferred to a newly opened unit where I can set a good example. Where as a team leader I can encourage one another to help someone else who is busy. Yesterday was a good example. A coworker who is a RN and I were done. We had about an hour to go. I said "our aide is working her butt off we are done. What are we going to do about that". Off we went, positive attitude in toe, aide was such a happy camper returned the positivity.

    When I've been in environments such as yours I tried very hard not to get sucked up in the politics and negativity. Sometimes though it does get overwhelming. I finally (through the help of my allnurses friends had the guts to move on).

    Yes a vacation is in order. A month would be nice. Take care.

    Edited: Also remember the Wise One sjoe's saying "We will get as much crap as we take".
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 29, '03
  9. by   renerian
    I liked your post 3rdshiftguy.chigap what about traveling nursing?

    renerian
  10. by   angelbear
    I can sympathise with you I sometimes feel like I am working in that exact environment. Though for the most part I am very pleased with the coworkers on my shift. I like Rapheal said had to learn to not take the crap. I just let it be known that I am there trying to be the best nurse I can be and that I realize not everyone is going to like me. That is fine but we are all adults and professionals and should be perfectly capable of showing respect and common curtisy. Please be assured not every place is like this. The NH I used to work at all the coworkers got along great and there was not the constant undertone of negativity unfortunately it was also not safely staffed. Good luck in however you decide to handle this. If you can afford to I vote for the month off to think things through I am sure an MD would put you on medical leave just because of the stress you are experienceing.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I'm so sorry about the way your hospital seems to be. Other posters are right - it comes from the top down. How about moving to Illinois??? I work in a great hospital with very supportive administration and management. I work in the ER and would love to have you! We treat our nurses like we want to be treated. (No, its not perfect, but we have been empowered to change what needs to be changed!!!!) Good luck.
  12. by   MandyInMS
    Guess it's the same no matter where you live/work :/
    I have to make a concious effort EVERY time I go to work NOT to let the sniveling little idiots get to me..I tell myself..You will go to work with a good attitude and try your best to leave with one..you will take care of your patients to the best of your abilty for your 12 hour shift and go home..you will not be intimidated by other staff members who seem to have a Napolean Complex..you will do your job and hold your head high knowing you have done your personal best... <<< pep talk to myself....lol...I know ...I'm nuts
  13. by   live4today
    MandyINMS....I do the same thing every day I have to work. I pep talk myself all day long until I clock out. Otherwise, I'd be screaming to high heaven like I did a couple of weeks ago. :chuckle
  14. by   CseMgr1
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by chigap
    [B]I've been working in the same hospital for 2 years. I know
    It's just so childish, clique, abusive and demeaning. The whole darn place. I want out. I'm getting depressed and I get sick every time I have to go to work because I know that a already difficult job is going to be made 10x harder because of the abuse by the system and my coworkers. I'm trapped because I know it's pretty much the same everywhere.

    You have hit the nail on the head, dear. I am in the same situation where I work. What irks the s--- out of me, too, are Management's pets, who have been given the power to walk
    on water...and all over everyone else who has to tow the line
    for them. I too, transfered from one department to another,
    trying to escape...but wound up out of the frying pan and
    into the fire instead, as they say. Same old s---, only different faces,
    and I'm ready, too, to take the first Agency Train....out of
    Dodge.


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