What I get from your post is that you say, "I don't care," for two reasons. One is that you don't want conflict, so you take the path of least resistance and back away. The other is that you really do
care, but you don't know how to step up and take charge, so rather than feel frustrated and possibly say things in anger, you turn off the caring function and detach yourself from the situation.
Neither of these thought patterns are going to serve you well in a fast-paced, critical care environment like ICU. But, fortunately for you and your patients, both are fixable.
Changing your outlook will not be easy, but it is doable.
The first thing you need to do is stop viewing yourself as a novice. You are now an experienced ICU RN with three years under your belt. Look at yourself as someone who is always willing to learn but not someone who is wet behind the ears anymore.
Second, decide that you
are your patient's nurse and, as such, you are the gatekeeper for anything or anyone who wants access. Of course, others will be assisting you, especially during an admission, but you
are the one in charge.
This might sound odd, but on your days off watch TV shows that show people being assertive. Law & Order SVU is a good one. Cops don't ask; they tell. Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson is a good one to observe. She's sensitive but definitely not afraid to take control of a situation. I also like House. The medical stuff is whacked (I've never in my nursing career seen a doc draw labs or hang an IV) but watching House's team members fumble and stumble around before standing up to him is a good lesson in developing your own confidence. I'm sure there are other good examples out there.
Remember that people read each other for good or ill. If you don't start taking yourself seriously and feeling like you're in charge of your patient, you will telegraph the message that you're not to be taken seriously.
have times when we feel uncertain and off kilter. That's just part of being human. But you can still
be certain that you deserve respect for yourself and your boundaries.
You don't have to change your personality and become a "force to be reckoned with." You just have to decide that it's more important to get the job done and take care of yourself and your patient than it is to be "nice."
Here are some handy phrases to use when someone's trying to walk over you (whether they're being rude or just being inconsiderate):
What are you doing?
What did you just say?
Thanks, but I'm going to do it this way.
These phrases buy time, but they also say to the other person that they need to stop and take you seriously. You don't have to be nasty. Just firm.
Practice role playing with a trusted friend. Or just get used to saying these phrases (and others like them) so they etch a pathway in your brain. Then, when the time comes, you'll be ready.
How wonderful that you get to make a fresh start where people won't see you as the new grad. Make the most of this opportunity and walk in there with your brand new backbone.