Advice on Dealing With Condescending Nurses Need - page 4

So, I'm a new grad, working my first job. I've been solo about two weeks now. I am working with another new grad in her mid-twenties who has been at the facility for about four months now. This is... Read More

  1. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
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    As for the source of my information? Coworker herself in our one casual conversation on our first and only day of actually working the same shift. The attitude started when I ran my first solo shift and I had to receive report from her at shift change. I know her behaviors on the job because she is literally IN my space during my shift (after her shift has ended and she should be gone). My being 'out of there' has become my solution to the problem in lieu of direct confrontation. Better if I see her as little as possible after shift report. Suffice it to say that Coworker and I probably aren't in the same nursing environment as yourselves, and that maybe contributing to your lack of understanding of the logistics of the situation.

    The only outside factor that I can offer for her behavior is that she openly confessed on that first day how much she hates this job and that it is only a setting stone for her. Perhaps that attitude contributes to her lack of patience for dealing with the newbie- her attitude about not wanting to deal with any of it at all. Whatever her reason, personal against me or the job, I don't appreciate being the dumping zone for it.
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  3. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
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    Quote from triquee
    Well, if there were any shadow of a doubt about that chip on your shoulder, it has been irrevocably quelled with your response...

    Just proves my point, if you complain about the treatment you receive, then fingers are pointed and it is said, "See! See! I told you SHE was the problem!!!"

    Thanks for making my point!
  4. Visit  metal_m0nk} profile page
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    Quote from MotherRN
    Just proves my point, if you complain about the treatment you receive, then fingers are pointed and it is said, "See! See! I told you SHE was the problem!!!"

    Thanks for making my point!
    I have the feeling this will not be as effective as I intend it to be, but it's worth a try...

    It doesn't seem as though you have confronted the situation appropriately. I understand wanting to seek advice on how to approach this, but to be able to offer advice that will benefit you most means that considering both sides is essential. The reason being, that if for whatever reason you are unable to change her behavior, you at least have control over your own and that can be the difference between success and failure in resolving this issue. You showed your cards here and I would be remiss if I did not address that as a piece of the puzzle you are presenting. While it is nice to have blind agreement with your perspective without consideration for the delivery, it is not worth having if your true goal is to diffuse the situation. If your goal was not to diffuse the situation, but instead to publicly bad-mouth your co-worker, then mission accomplished. But in the spirit of giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that your intent is to diffuse the situation and will advise you according to that assumption.

    My best advice to you would be to strongly consider the way you approach this coworker. You have said here that the trouble started after you found out that she didn't do as well as you did in school. Consider that your impressions and prejudices about her success are at least part of what is creating tension between the two of you. Take steps to correct that before moving forward with a confrontation, because after letting your judgement go you may find the issue diffused. If after you have made an effort to not let your own sense of entitlement interfere with your interactions with her, you find that the issue is still acute, then consider a respectful confrontation moving toward a resolution. I must caution you though, it would probably not be best to carry the same defensiveness you've displayed here into that confrontation.

    Good luck.
  5. Visit  jadelpn} profile page
    1
    Quote from MotherRN
    SweetPEI, jadelpn, triquee-this is an anonymous post under an anonymous username-no individuals were harmed in the posting of this information-no 'rumors' were spread..."Did you hear about 'coworker' who is so condescending to MotherRN??? Did you hear that 'coworker' had to write a letter to pass nursing school and MotherRN got a B+?" Really?

    The posting of the grades was meant to show that there is no basis for this person to talk down to me with an attitude on the job. Sorry you are TOO THICK to get that. BTW one does not have to give attitude to receive it in return. There are plenty of people just waiting to dump on you for no reason (like yourselves, for example). What your posts have really done is fault me for wanting to stand up for myself on the job. Your posts basically have decided out of whole cloth that if I am getting attitude it must be because I deserve it. The answer is nope, didn't do anything but try to be friendly. But, I won't take it anymore. I won't deal with anything with her but the facts now. Straight report. Then off to do whatever part of my job I can while she lingers in my work space and charts. People with attitudes like yours are the reason why those in my situation aren't safe to openly confront the situation- you want to turn it against the one who makes the complaint. Not going down that road.

    Whichever one of you referenced junior high....I have to believe you did that because you aren't too far removed form it yourself. I think the real problem here is that you identify with my coworker because you are just like her, in age and attitude, and treat 'old bats' like myself with the same contempt as my coworker does while on the job (and the forum).

    So glad I wrote in to " _ i t c h e s are us" for advice- what a waste of time!

    /sarcasm
    Well, first off, bless your heart for thinking me young--I AM an old bat and quite proud of it, thank you. I have a boatload of kids older than my co-workers. And my point was that in fact, you are the adult, therefore to get into a pi*****g contest with someone who is young, aparently not that bright, (which BTW, makes it seem as though you are pointing out over and over again) with statements such as "she stays 4 hours over her time" to chat with co-workers--but you know this because.......People speaking "down" to one is subjective, but it seems to me that you think nothing of speaking down about this person--but behind her back while you are friendly to her face. In any event, enough with the name calling, I am about as thick as you must be to think that anyone can letter write their way to graduate nursing school, however, I am done getting into a pi****g contest with you as well.
    metal_m0nk likes this.
  6. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
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    [QUOTE=triquee;6929315]You have said here that the trouble started after you found out that she didn't do as well as you did in school.

    Wow! You have just run wild with reading into this detail! I never said this. And I am tired of trying to explain to you that when someone feels belittled they present evidence as to why the belittling behavior is uncalled for. It is as simple as that. My evidence to the forum that there is no basis for her behavior. There were no conversations about this at work, no discussions, it's a non-issue to her and our co-workers because I doubt anyone even knows this. Get over it!!!!! No rumors, no drama, no intrigue here. Just a newbie like myself who refuses to be questioned about whether or not I actually performed a documented procedure (did you miss the whole point of the original post?)

    Save the advice...the words of someone with so little reading comprehension are not very useful. I doubt their sincerity on every level.

    Happy Trails! I am done with this thread! I have more pressing matters, like a history essay.
  7. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
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    [QUOTE=jadelpn;6929425] therefore to get into a pi*****g contest with someone who is young, aparently not that bright, (which BTW, makes it seem as though you are pointing out over and over again) with statements such as "she stays 4 hours over her time" to chat with co-workers--but you know this because.......People speaking "down" to one is subjective, but it seems to me that you think nothing of speaking down about this person--but behind her back while you are friendly to her face.


    You live in a bubble of your own imagination!!! I never said she stayed after for 4 hours to chat- I said she stayed over for 4 hours in the nurses station and in my paperwork so I didn't have access to it. Her shift keeps running into mine. When did I ever say I was friendly to her face? I am professionally polite. I don't have the option of being rude to her face and keeping my job, do you? Who does? When they three of you decided to play me and my details like a ping pong ball is when you got my defense. The question you should be asking is why you can't understand a simple post and why you turn it into a personal attack against the one who makes it? And if you are an old bat, then you should know better! Not to mention, it's not a ******* contest if the school stuff is never mentioned at the work place to others or mentioned to the coworker what my performance was. She only knows hers. I didn't one up her. I didn't say anything. And, I have explained and defended the detail repeatedly to you and the other two why I brought it up at all.

    There is sincerely something wrong with you! Sorry you don't like being called on your %#@!
  8. Visit  metal_m0nk} profile page
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    Quote from MotherRN
    Wow! You have just run wild with reading into this detail! I never said this.
    Quote from MotherRN
    As for the source of my information? Coworker herself in our one casual conversation on our first and only day of actually working the same shift. The attitude started when I ran my first solo shift and I had to receive report from her at shift change.
    Reads pretty self-explanatory to me.
  9. Visit  metal_m0nk} profile page
    0
    Quote from MotherRN

    You live in a bubble of your own imagination!!! I never said she stayed after for 4 hours to chat- I said she stayed over for 4 hours in the nurses station and in my paperwork so I didn't have access to it. Her shift keeps running into mine. When did I ever say I was friendly to her face? I am professionally polite. I don't have the option of being rude to her face and keeping my job, do you? Who does? When they three of you decided to play me and my details like a ping pong ball is when you got my defense. The question you should be asking is why you can't understand a simple post and why you turn it into a personal attack against the one who makes it? And if you are an old bat, then you should know better! Not to mention, it's not a ******* contest if the school stuff is never mentioned at the work place to others or mentioned to the coworker what my performance was. She only knows hers. I didn't one up her. I didn't say anything. And, I have explained and defended the detail repeatedly to you and the other two why I brought it up at all.

    There is sincerely something wrong with you! Sorry you don't like being called on your %#@!
    We did ask you questions. Much like your co-worker asked you a question. Guess we should never have dared. After all, you got a B+ in nursing school.
  10. Visit  Susie2310} profile page
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    Quote from samadams8
    Yes but even in some units, you will get attitude from "influential others" if you do this respectfully. I have seen people get weeded out of units for simple, but respectful disagreeing or taking the approach you speak of. I happen to agree with you, Been There. Thing is, especially if you are new to a place, you often have to suck it up and take it. If the other nurse is somehow liked more, it can work against you. Being honest and respectfully forthright is NOT confrontational, but influential people will use that to spin it against you with NM and others. I have seen this in so many intensive care units. Seriously.


    BTW OP, if you work in the field a while, you will see this a lot more than you should--coming from all types of people, regardless of age or anything else. You will see people work with others to sabotage other nurses. In certain children's hospitals, I have seen nurses even get docs on board--turn them against other nurses, and the elimination process ensued. Granted, IMHO, most docs don't have a lot of time for this stupidity, nor do they care to be involved--but some actually do.

    Watch out how you handle this. Even if you are right, you can be made out to be wrong.

    What they don't teach in school is that in group dynamics, it's not the actual reality that often matters, it is the perception of the reality that is given and accepted by others about a person.

    Your age isn't or at least shouldn't be an issue. This person feels like she is on a even playing field with you or perhaps is somehow a step or so above you--thus she can be condescending and question you. If you get defensive, you give her power--especially if she has won favor with others there--especially the "influential others."

    As kindly and respectfully as possible, look back at the person and carefully use reflection and clarification.



    Even then, if you are unlucky or uncareful, it can still turn on you. ^See comments above.

    Try to convey support and understanding. It may not work. The person just may have issues, is insecure, jealous, whatever; but you can't control that.

    Unless she is out and out harassing you, you have to find the kindest possible way to deal with the other person, and yes, sometimes you have to mix firmness in with the kindness. But just be very careful. You have to get a feel for the dynamics of the particular area you are working in, from a social standpoint.

    In this field, your skin ends up getting tougher and tougher. I could share stories, as could many of us long-time nurses, that could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. But you have to focus on your practice right now. It's a very stressful time for you, and although that will improve with time and experience, certain other kinds of stress will not disappear. There are many times when you have to work around it.


    It's important not to cause too many waves, especially when you are new. Don't let this person get into your head. Seriously. If she moves away, you will find in this field there are any number of similar or worse (malicious) personalities with which you will have to deal.

    In my two decades of practice it has very rarely been a physician or stressed out surgeon with which I have had problems. Although some patients and families can be challenging, it has not been pts & families that have cause my colleagues or me much grief and needless stress at work. Sadly, so very sadly, it has been other nurses that have caused needless loads of stress. Thankfully it is not all nurses. There are great and caring and supportive nurses out there. You have to find them after working in the environment and sort of vetting them by way of experience. Also, sometimes it's just about trying to understand the "problematic other." Given: sometimes you can be as understanding as all heck, and these folks are still problem children. You have to do the best you can in order to work with them, and watch them carefully, b/c some of these folks are just, wow, like I said, malicious. When that is the case, you have to limit you interaction with them as much as possible. If you cannot, you have to find a way to rise above their nonsense--at the very least, for the sake of your patients, your own practice, and your own sanity. Even the really nice folks I don't get too buddy buddy with before I sort of vet their character and how they play the game at work. Many of nurses have learned from a lot of experience to be careful in this regard.

    It can be like a fiercer sort of high school mean girl (and sometimes mean guy) field.


    Don't let her get to you. Don't let her get into your head, unless you really feel that she is strangely reaching out--some people do this in strange or seemingly mean or harsh ways--and you should try to reach out to her in a positive way. If she continues with the negative behavior, be respectful, but limit your interaction with her to that which is necessary and stay professional when you must interact with her. When you are done your shift, don't think about the negativity this person is oozing again--unless there is some helpful principle to learn. I mean I can learn from anyone--even someone that works hard to try to be some sort of enemy to me. Other than that, you HAVE TO vent in smart places--not at work, and then let it go, and then go home and live your life.

    For too many years I would watch this kind of crap and take it home with me--added to the stressful and emotionally demanding experiences with the patients and families, I would lose sleep.
    I DO NOT lose sleep over such junk anymore.

    I do and learn and give the best I can to everyone, and then I go home.


    Nursing can easily consume you--and some of the malignant personalities with which one must interact can consume you too--if you give them permission to do so. Find ways to NOT let this happen. When nurses don't do this here is what often happens:

    1. They turn in on themselves, lose confidence, become a negative self-fulfilling prophesy. Not you? OK. I understand that. Go to number 2.
    2. They get the "Can't beat em, join em" types, and they become a part of the negative circle of dynamics in the area or nursing in general. OR

    3. They go home and withdraw from the spouse, SO, even kids at times, and they lose their joy in life.

    4. They experience serious depression, especially if they are biologically prone to this, or they start nipping at the ETOH too much, or some other substance, or become chain smokers.

    5. They over eat.

    6. Other aspects of their lives go to hell b/c the job has sucked up so much from them emotionally and otherwise.

    7. They stay too long at a place that was toxic, and they learn to hate all of nursing.

    I could go on and on.


    What I am trying to say is there will always be some problem children with whom you must work in this field. The demands of the patients, family, institution, and job are all stressful enough. No one needs to suck up all the negativity from these problem children at work.

    Yes, if it persists, after you have tried to humanely and kindly do as much as you possibly could, make a record, and at the appropriate time, take the issue to the NM.

    Now, I warn you. This can become a double-edged sword, so exhaust other reasonable means and employ some real tolerance before going this route; b/c even if you are right and justified, sometimes it can still blow up in your face.

    Don't be afraid to do this, however, if it is true harassment. The NM and HR need to know. But depending on the leadership and the social construct it in the area, it may not make a difference, or it might make things worse. If, however, it's problematic enough, you will have to be able to stand up and address it. Just make sure you follow my number one rule in nursing---seriously after seeing a lot of wrong stuff happen to nurses over the years--and I mean good nurses. Here it is:

    Always make sure you have another back up job--that is, every nurse should have more than one job. OK, you can only do per diem! Alrighty then! But do it! Have a way to mitigate your loses in case something turns bad for you. Trust me, this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME to nurses. And b/c the nurse knows she is really on her game and is careful and is caring and is smart, etc, well, she thinks she will always get a job. Well we are seeing that is not necessarily the case. I have seen very good, even excellent nurses out of work too long because of unfairness and harassment in the nursing field. Thus it is imperative for nurses to make sure that they have a financial and clinical (to stay current) back up plan.

    I think they ought to teach this rule in nursing schoo--that nurses should get and keep per diem nursing positions--home care, hospice, whatever. You have to mitigate any financial loses with you may incur. OK, OP, so not necessarily in this situation. It doesn't seem like, at least for now, it would come to that--not enough information and time. But it's a good general rule to keep, so that you can maintain a sense of freedom and income and peace.

    20 years ago, we didn't even need to do this so much, but I usually took this approach. The reason why is b/c they were throwing jobs at us right and left. And while the economy may open up such that hospitals will begin to open up more positions, I don't believe it will be like it was before. It's just too expensive. So much, as you know, has moved to outside the hospital. Patient hospital stays are much shorter. So much more is done outside the hospitals to save money. I mean, this is how it is, and so, it will not be as it once was.

    At your first possible opportunity, look and obtain a per diem position through an agency, another hospital, home health, hospice, drug and alcohol rehab, whatever. Always make sure you have a way to make a living in the field, b/c I have seen nurses put their eggs all in one basket and get screwed. A very real kind of social Darwinism is does occur in nursing. They will not teach you this in nursing school, usually.

    I am sorry. I went the extra mile with this post, b/c I feel for you OP. And I feel for all nurses that have to endure needless kinds of harassment and such. Sometimes you can close it down with building trust and kindness, and other times you cannot. Do the best you can, but be wise about it.
    Once more, I can't stress this enough:
    Nurses need to know that they need back up jobs--even if they work in places with strong unions--as many unionized nurses know, nurses can still get royally screwed.

    This is your livelihood that you worked hard for--and you are smart and care about your patients. But you have think, as kindly as humanely as possible, without any resentment--b/c building that is totally toxic--of your own survival as well.

    If nurses would be open about how often they have gotten screwed over, I don't think allnurses' software systems would be able to support it. But that's part of the problem. Nurses won't address these kinds of things, much less unify over them; thus they continue.

    In the mean time, look out for yourself in terms of your practice and your livelihood.

    The best to you!
    Wow. I think you have given very wise, practical counsel. Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us.
  11. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
    0
    [QUOTE=samadams8;6916985]Always make sure you have another back up job--that is, every nurse should have more than one job. QUOTE]

    I know this is true. No one in my building has been there longer than a year! My nickname for the DON is the Queen of Hearts-"Off with their heads!"

    Yes, I work in 'Wonderland'. Adding in the coworker issue makes your advice quoted above imperative. Thanks for taking the time to post it. My husband has been urging me to do this. I've just been so tired lately.

    I keep hoping I will find a nursing job that feels like home. My current home is peopled with the above and CNA's who respond to "Hi how's it going?" "Good bye!" "Hello" "Thanks for all your help!" with SILENCE.

    Nice environment.
  12. Visit  MotherRN} profile page
    0
    Quote from triquee
    We did ask you questions. Much like your co-worker asked you a question. Guess we should never have dared. After all, you got a B+ in nursing school.

    I really want to arm wrestle you right now!

    You are simply the most annoying person I have met in some time. I'm sure you are very proud of yourself for getting a rise out of me. I must stop looking at this &$#@ post now and study, so stop calling me out to play! Stop posting such tantilizing tidbits for me to nibble at!

    Take the last word- take it! I must tear myself away for now!
  13. Visit  tnbutterfly} profile page
    1
    Closing this thread since it has turned into a barrage of personsal attacks and name-calling which is not permitted by the Terms of Service of the site.
    Meriwhen likes this.


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