Bullying by Nurses and CNa

  1. Have any new grads feel like they are bullied by other nurses on the floor they work on.? First off I am a new grad with 10mths experience on a chf floor. I precepted on mornings and opted for night shifts to work. I am naturally quiet . I must say I do observe a lot.
    When I came of precepting one night I got a new admission front the ED . When she came up to the floor I did everything for this patient and eventually found out that her bed was broken and I got her bed change without any help from my caregiver.
    I asked the patient if she needed anything else she said I need something to eat. I went to care giver and ask her if she could get the patient something to eat while i call the doc. Her response 'You can do it too' then she proceeded to nutrition room grab the other care giver and started discussing me. I was on the phone with the doc and observe all of this at the nursing station.
    My nightmare began there. I made one comment not to any one in general and asked what is the issue. One particular nurse told me that they said because I don't talk to them I should not ask them to do anything.
    Now these care givers never even much as say hi to me it never even bothered me. I have never asked them for anything except once. When I was precepting on morning I heard so many complaints about them. I seriously that they were making it up. I had no preconceived notions. I was here open and ready to learn. After that incident I really never asked for their assistant I found that caregivers from other floors were more willing to assist .
    I try to make my schedule so that I would not be on the same night they work. On several occasions they gather in groups and discuss me. They are loud at nights when patients are sleeping . I don't want to be apart of that.
    I had told a patient that he could not have ice cream one night. The care giver was not assign to my patient and gave the patient ice cream. I went to the caregiver that was assigned and asked what was going on. He explained to me that he had asked her to assist while he took a break. Fair enough. Yet when I pass the patient room there was the caregiver berated me in front of the patient.
    On several occasions both nurse and caregiver instigated patients to complain about me.Need less to say i was in shocked. There was even a rumor going around that no patients wanted to deal with me.
    On another occasion one particular nurse instigated an nurse to say she had a problem with me. Everything I do is under scrutiny. If I make the slightest slip up. They are ready and waiting to report me. I feel that this is not an environment conducive to learning . I feel like I should be a nurse with 20 years experience and absolutely know every thing.
    Some of the incidents that happen I can't really get in because I feel so disillusioned. Nurses are suppose to be caregivers, nuturer's instead we fight to tear down our very own. We seek every opportunity to write up someone instead of helping someone to grow in the field that we claim to love.
    A lot of my classmates that started with me have left. They have gone to other fields because it's not worth it. I hoping that someone can encourage me right now. Know matter what I do I can never measure up all because one particular cna started a rumor that I leave my patients room without giving them water.
    Last edit by dianah on Jul 15 : Reason: formatting
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  2. 55 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from nadomel
    Have any new grads feel like they are bullied by other nurses on the floor they work on.? First off I am a new grad with 10mths experience on a chf floor. I precept ed on mornings and opted for night shifts to work. I am naturally quiet . I must say I do observe a lot. When I came of precepting one night I got a new admission front the ED . When she came up to the floor I did everything for this patient and eventually found out that her bed was broken and I got her bed change without any help from my caregiver. I asked the patient if she needed anything else she said I need something to eat. I went to care giver and ask her if she could get the patient something to eat while i call the doc. Her response 'You can do it too' then she proceeded to nutrition room grab the other care giver and started discussing me. I was on the phone with the doc and observe all of this at the nursing station. My nightmare began there. I made one comment not to any one in general and asked what is the issue. One particular nurse told me that they said because I don't talk to them I should not ask them to do anything. Now these care givers never even much as say hi to me it never even bothered me. I have never asked them for anything except once. When I was precepting on morning I heard so many complaints about them. I seriously that they were making it up. I had no preconceived notions. I was here open and ready to learn. After that incident I really never asked for their assistant I found that caregivers from other floors were more willing to assist . I try to make my schedule so that I would not be on the same night they work. On several occasions they gather in groups and discuss me. They are loud at nights when patients are sleeping . I don't want to be apart of that. I had told a patient that he could not have ice cream one night. The care giver was not assign to my patient and gave the patient ice cream. I went to the caregiver that was assigned and asked what was going on. He explained to me that he had asked her to assist while he took a break. Fair enough. Yet when I pass the patient room there was the caregiver berated me in front of the patient. On several occasions both nurse and caregiver instigated patients to complain about me.Need less to say i was in shocked. There was even a rumor going around that no patients wanted to deal with me. On another occasion one particular nurse instigated an nurse to say she had a problem with me. Everything I do is under scrutiny. If I make the slightest slip up. They are ready and waiting to report me. I feel that this is not an environment conducive to learning . I feel like I should be a nurse with 20 years experience and absolutely know every thing. Some of the incidents that happen I can't really get in because I feel so disillusioned. Nurses are suppose to be caregivers, nuturer's instead we fight to tear down our very own. We seek every opportunity to write up someone instead of helping someone to grow in the field that we claim to love. A lot of my classmates that started with me have left. They have gone to other fields because it's not worth it. I hoping that someone can encourage me right now. Know matter what I do I can never measure up all because one particular cna started a rumor that I leave my patients room without giving them water.
    Poor workplace relationships do not constitute bullying, and what you're experiencing is poor workplace relationships. By your own admission, you don't talk to your colleagues except if you want them to do something for you. No wonder they don't like you. Your one comment "not to anyone in general and asked 'what is the issue'" sounds passive-aggressive. If you're having a problem with a co-worker, it is up to you to talk to them about it. Not confront them, but talk to them. Ask them what's going on, have you inadvertently offended them somehow and to please let you know so you can fix it.

    I can almost be certain that you HAVE offended your colleagues by not talking to them (unless you want something.) Workplace relationships can be difficult for us introverts, but you HAVE to invest the time in cultivating good relationships. You can see now what happens when you don't. Perhaps those caregivers never said hello to you and it never bothered you, but did you ever make the effort to say hello to them? Ask them how they are, how was their weekend, and did their kid's project do well at the science fair? Perhaps they were in the wrong by not saying hello to you, but you were equally in the wrong for not saying hello to them. And they already knew their colleagues; you didn't. So it was more important for YOU to try to fit in than it was for THEM to get to know you. Their workplace relationships were already established. You've even gone so far as to try to schedule yourself so you don't work with them. No wonder they're convinced you don't like them. And as long as they're convinced you don't like them, they aren't going to like you.

    You're new, so of course everyone is watching you closely to see if you slip up. Those vulnerable patients are everyone's patients, not just yours. We want to make sure we can trust you before we take our attention off of you and let you loose with our patients. Orientation is just the start. If you've already made several mistakes -- or the same mistake several times -- people will watch you more closely. If they don't know you or like you, they'll watch you more closely. Another good reason to develop good workplace relationships.

    If you're expecting your busy, overwhelmed colleagues to take the time to nurture your tender feelings, you've got the wrong idea about nurses and about workplace relationships. It's not about your feelings; it's about the patients, the work to be done. So toughen up already about your hurt feelings and get on with the job at hand. A big part of the job is teamwork, and so far you haven't indicated that you're willing to be part of the team. No one is "fighting to tear you down" -- they're all too busy holding their heads above water.

    By the way -- it's entirely possible that you DID leave your patient without water. You're new, you can't possibly be expected to know everything or to remember everything. I left lots of patients without water, without call bells or without an extra blanket when I was new. The CNA is telling everyone about that because she doesn't like you. She won't like you unless or until you become likable. So be friendly. Say hello to everyone. Spend a moment or two chatting with everyone you work with -- seriously. It helps, and the time it takes is well worth it.
  4. by   drkshadez
    Is it a recurrent theme from this CNa? If it is, follow protocol.

    1) Contact charge nurse - not satisfied?
    2) Contact manager - not satisfied?
    3) Contact Nursing supervisor

    Is it something that affects patient safety?
    Immediately contact Nurse Manager. Don't even bother with the Charge Nurse because in a "code" type situation often the charge nurse is there focusing on the task that needs to be done.

    If nurse manager is not available (usually nights) escalate to nurse supervisor if you are certain the patient was at risk for harm.

    If you get nowhere, then start writing that resume.

    Edit: For Patient care issues and CNAs: "I understand how you feel but right now I need you to do this for the patient" - Always offer to help with ADLs if the CNa has a heavy workload. If it is a continuous pattern, write-up.

    PS> if you hear a CNa berate you - that is a write up to the manager. That is one way to communicate that you are "not to be trifled with."

    The ice cream issue - pull the CNa aside and ask why - then you also have the power to educate. Example:
    why did you give the patient ice cream?
    CNa - pt was hungry and he asked for it

    (example response if it APPLIES):
    The patient is a new diabetic and needs to be on glycemic control. Ice Cream spikes blood sugars and takes the patient off his/her treatment regimen the doctor ordered. You could put the patient's safety at risk when you do this. Check with me next time.

    the next time part could alert the CNa that this will go to the manager next time it happens.
    Last edit by drkshadez on Jul 13
  5. by   nadomel
    First of its said that they say that I don't talk to them which is not true. I clearly stated that. They not even say hello and I don't report them for not saying hello. One because I am not petty. The type of relationship that they want is from me is to sit and gossip and that's not me. I tried reaching out to other nurses on the floor and the feedback I got is. They are offended if I asked them to do something because other nurses dont ask. I have observed them going off the floor right after shift starts and no one says anything.
  6. by   nadomel
    I have never left my patients room without asking if there is anything I can do for them before I leave. I am not perfect but I know I don't. I make sure I have a note sheet and jot what they ask for. I don't expect to be waited on haND and foot by any nurses either. I don't make excuses I own up to what I do. I clearly stated what they have said. One fact that I have not mention is how those cna wanted me to falsely document intake and out put. Yes I do not schedule myself on their shift and I have no problem saying that. For one, patients low blood pressure and low glucose are not be reported to me when these two cnas work. I reported it and I it makes no difference. I just wanted to know if new grads had the same experience.
    Last edit by nadomel on Jul 13
  7. by   drkshadez
    Then if you reported stuff and things have not changed, did you report to the nursing supervisor? Sometimes units can be toxic in an unsupportive environment. If still no response, pump out that resume.
  8. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from nadomel
    First of its said that they say that I don't talk to them which is not true. I clearly stated that. They not even say hello and I don't report them for not saying hello. One because I am not petty. The type of relationship that they want is from me is to sit and gossip and that's not me. I tried reaching out to other nurses on the floor and the feedback I got is. They are offended if I asked them to do something because other nurses dont ask. I have observed them going off the floor right after shift starts and no one says anything.
    You said you don't talk to them & even changed your schedule to avoid them. If you are changing your story, have this attitude & there is a whole shift saying the same thing it's you - not them. So maybe some self reflection is in order.
  9. by   Atl-Murse
    The truth can be hard sometimes. If everyone seems to not like you, you might be the problem. Don't be mad at me I have been in your shoes. I am also an introvert and fake shooting the sheetz just to blend in . Check yourself, change what you can or find other job.
  10. by   nadomel
    One thing I learn from this experience is that I will always advocate for my patients. No one should be ever subjected to what I went through. There was an awesome nurse who observed what was going on and talk to them. They insisted that they will continue. She told me to be careful around them. Drkshadez thank you I will be taking your advice.
  11. by   Marisette
    It's important to build bridges as a new employee. Being social, reaching out to help and learn are all part of this. However, it is a two way street. Experienced staff should also be enviting and guide the newer people to learn the culture and expectations of the unit. If you find that others are quietly whispering and protesting, while a clique has taken over the unit, you may have walked into a toxic work environment. I suggest you work to build some friendships and good working relationships among the few you trust in the unit. However, these relationships have to be built on work experience, NOT gossip. Getting involved in gossip with anyone at this point will only make your situation worse. Having some frienships or connections may help you remain with your employer a little longer so you can get the work experience you need and move on to a healthier work environment in the future. It really amazes me when a few bad apples can take over a workplace , and managment and fearful bystanders just let it happen. This can happen to anyone, not just a new graduate.
  12. by   nadomel
    Thanks Marietta for your advice. I have been doing this i have had good relationships with with other cnas and nurses on the floor. It's just sad that those two choose to do what they are doing. I will survive. I am strong. This too shall pass.
  13. by   crazin01
    There are always 2 sides (sometimes 3!) to every story. While you may not think you are coming across a certain way (demanding, your work takes precedence over others' duties, etc) you very well could be. And that just adds fuel to the fire. Years ago, I had an issue with a CNA who took offense at my request to help certain patient to the restroom, while I was doing an admission. When I made this request, the nursing supervisor was just around the next bend and overheard our interaction. She later told me, that from her hearing the conversation she felt I was being rude towards a particular CNA. Quite an eye-opening experience. Actions & words are always open to interpretation and others' perceptions ARE their reality...

    It seems these 2 staff members have made it known to you, that they aren't the happiest while working with you. Cliques are often extremely difficult to deal with, especially when they are all working the same shift. While it's no fun for either you or other nurses/ care-givers to have a poor work relationship, I would be concerned that these staff members are lying about you, telling patients to complain etc. If you have really heard these comments on a consistent basis, I suspect they want to 'help' HR build a nice, full personnel file to use against you down the road or want to make you miserable enough to leave, like the majority of your newer colleagues have done.

    Side note: I was coined the 'noise police' early in my nursing career. I was proud of that, funny, but true. The day shift team does not like it loud/bright at midnight when they are sleeping, neither do the patients. And they (patients) are in a stressful time, making rest even more imperative. The CNA saying that you could get the food for a patient, "Yes, I can, But I also need to speak with the doctor ASAP about patient X and low BP. Unfortunately, that task is something you cannot do for me, but the sandwich is." (maybe stated a little nicer & less snide)

    You have received a fair share of advice, even if not what/how you wanted to hear it. Hopefully you can use that constructive criticism & learn from it...
  14. by   Maddy's Minion
    Been there many times. Reason #1 I got my masters degree so I wouldn't have to work in RN positions where I have to depend on others to provide proper patient care. In my experience, it doesn't matter how nice you are or how much you go out of your way to help (which many times I was taken advantage of for doing and got smart really quick), they will always give some dumb reason for not doing a delegated task.

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