Confessions Of A Nurse With Poor Interpersonal Skills - page 6

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

19,121 Views | 56 Comments

Iíve heard that the initial step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one in the first place. Well, my name is TheCommuter and I have a problem with interpersonal skills. Gulp. For starters, interpersonal skills are... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from roro13sf
    The nurse manager on the unit I precepted on during nursing school told me that just about anyone she hires can learn the skills necessary to nursing...but what she looks for in a nurse, and what she can't teach someone, is how to play well with others, create a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie, and basically just be a great person to work with and someone that patients and co-workers will like. So true. I'll never forget her words.
    Yes. In the nursing profession and in other occupations, there are two types of skill sets: hard skills and soft skills.

    The hard skills are the technical hands-on procedural skills that are needed to perform our jobs effectively such as peripheral IV starts, dressing changes, urinary catheter insertion, NG tube insertion, and injections.

    Soft skills are the intangible people skills that are needed to successfully navigate the workplace. Soft skills consist of the personality traits, congeniality, work ethic, etiquette, behavioral competence, reliability, communication style, personal habits, optimistic attitude, interaction, and unspoken social graces that come together to render someone a desirable employee.

    It has been said that employees can be trained to perform the hard skills, but the soft skills come from within. For instance, an organization can easily train a nurse to properly apply a wound vac, but they cannot train the same nurse to have empathy for others or do much to change the rude personality that she has displayed since childhood.
    llg likes this.
  2. 1
    This was a most interesting thread. As i read it, i mulled over multiple coworkers i've had, who were quiet and seemed to be somewhat socially withdrawn, and how i envied and admired THEM.
    I am very outgoing, can end up talking TOO much at times, and i must make efforts to not talk TOO much. It's embarrassing, and i feel it is just as much of a curse as not enjoying talking. I am working on it, always. Sometimes it does work well, sure does, sometimes ppl DO like me and i am funny,
    othertimes, it increases my chances of saying wrong thing,
    or of getting on last nerve of a coworker like Commuter.

    i am working on it, and it has gotten better as i have aged. I am quieter now, whew.

    I did agree with an excellent comment by TheCommuter earlier in the thread, that i can't relocate to quote, about how "likability" IS sometimes a factor in how long a nurse stays employed somewhere.

    Who among us, can't point at a coworker, that we would not rate as a very great nurse at all, yet, is the unit manager's favorite, cuz that nurse IS likable? Who among us can't drum up stories of nurses we thought were great nurses, yet, not that likable, and we felt that non-likability was a factor in their being let go?
    Who among us can't list some nurses who seem to "get away with" any number of issues, that a less likable nurse might get canned for?

    it matters.

    Whether that nurse has reduced "likability" factor cuz she talks too much, or doesn't enjoy interacting with others that much,
    either way,
    whatever the root of the problem on why any given person is not "likable"
    there is no denying that
    "likability" IS a factor in holding one's job.

    especially, like Commuter pointed out, as patient feedback becomes more and more part of our assessment. Patients might not always (if ever) credit the nurse who caught this or that medical problem and averted it through adept action,
    but, they will fawn all over the nurse (however capable or incapable) who they "clicked" with, who made them feel cared for.

    it does matter, imo, how "likable" a nurse is. (whatever is the cause of it)
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 27, '12
    TheCommuter likes this.
  3. 0
    Hi Commuter.

    I've been thinking about this thread. Maybe your interpersonal skills aren't as bad as you think they are. I've read and participates several of your threads and you come across fine over the computer. And a lot of the "Flaws" that you have, I think most of us have them to some degree. I know I do. And people seem to like me in my personal life.
  4. 0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Hi Commuter.

    I've been thinking about this thread. Maybe your interpersonal skills aren't as bad as you think they are. I've read and participates several of your threads and you come across fine over the computer. And a lot of the "Flaws" that you have, I think most of us have them to some degree. I know I do. And people seem to like me in my personal life.
    It's true that I might be describing myself harshly.

    However, others have given me an idea of how I come across. My best friend, former classmates, and some acquaintances have said that I often have a flat affect and speak with a monotone tone of voice. Over the years, coworkers have described me as 'quiet.'

    I also have an invisible wall that prevents me from connecting with people on an emotional level. I simply do not want to open my heart and soul and get too close to anyone. Moreover, I struggle with empathy and have difficulty feeling sorry for people, even if they're in pain, desperate, grieving, or in dire straits.
  5. 0
    Quote from
    I also have an invisible wall that prevents me from connecting with people on an emotional level. I simply do not want to open my heart and soul and get too close to anyone. [B
    Moreover, I struggle with empathy and have difficulty feeling sorry for people, even if they're in pain, desperate, grieving, or in dire straits.[/B]
    Not sure what to do about the first part of this, except to say that this is fairly common. I myself am like this, but it hasn't really been a problem. I find that yes, it does take a while for me to consider someone new as being close to me, and vice versa. But I also find that after I actually do take the time to get to know someone new and decide that I like them (For lack of better term), these relationships tend to really last. Think quality over quantity But as for the bold face, I don't believe that empathy is absolutely necessary. It may help, but it's not the end all be all. What is necessary, I believe is the understanding that these ppl are in pain,desperate, grieving, or in dire straits. As long as the understanding is there, you can respond accordingly.

    Try not to beat yourself up over a perceived lack of empathy.
  6. 0
    This is exactly my problem and why I was fired.....It really bothers me and I feel like such a failure. But I just cant seem to make my fake smiles, interest etc appear genuine....I dont know what am I going to do but reading this makes me think my career is already over before it began....I dont now what to do :/
    At least I know I am not alone
  7. 0
    Quote from Real Nurse Jackie
    This is exactly my problem and why I was fired.....It really bothers me and I feel like such a failure. But I just cant seem to make my fake smiles, interest etc appear genuine....I dont know what am I going to do but reading this makes me think my career is already over before it began....I dont now what to do :/
    At least I know I am not alone
    Perhaps some social skills training is in order? If a lack of interpersonal skills is contributing to your employment being terminated, something must be done on your end.

    In ultra-competitive job markets where many nurses are competing for a limited number of job openings, interviewers gravitate toward hiring candidates who can display evidence of likeability and a solid foundation of basic social skills.


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