Do We Really Understand Each Other?
We all have those times when we feel like we are being singled out. But have you experienced a time when you had to eat your words or rather your mean thoughts about another person. Read about a time when I had to do a complete reversal of my thoughts about a person who I thought was against me.
As a young medic who joined the Army and entered the nursing world I was assigned to my first medical surgical floor at Madigan Army medical Center in Tacoma, Wa. Needless to say, I learned a lot, met a ton of different people from different cultures and races and learned a great deal from the RN's who worked this particular floor.
We had a nurse who was in her late fifty's to early sixties and she always worked the evening shift. My first impression of this nurse was she was not to be messed with, she took her job seriously, she was always immaculately dressed in her whites, her shoes were hightly polished and she always wore her nursing hat. She was strictly professional and I admired her.
This shift was my preferred shift because it allowed me time to hang out and sleep in the following mornings.
While working on the shift I started to develop spite for this above mentioned nurse. When making the assignment she would always choose the heaviest patients for herself and I would always be the medic she had working with her.
I did my job diligently, reported off like I was supposed to but this would just grate on my nerves. She would never acknowledge me or others for that matter; this is my interpretation at the time.
As time went by, I grew more and more resentful against her; I would catch myself just speaking when I came on shift and limiting my interaction with her. I finally went to the HN to tell her what I was going through and maybe get some insight. The HN told me she would look into this for me and get back to me.
A week went by and she called me into her office when I was coming on shift. She told me she spoke with this nurse and that she had nothing but good things to say about me. She wanted me to know she was not giving me the hard patients or signaling me out because she didn't like me, it was the reverse!
She did like me and she liked the work that I did. I was happy to hear this from the HN.
This gave me a different perspective of this nurse. After report, I approach said nurse and cleared the air with the two of us. I could honestly say I felt better working with and for her from that day forward. I noticed she opened up a little to me and we were able to establish a more cohesive working relatioship.
I always return to this story when I think of communication problems.
Yes there is a major difference between the way we all communicate. I write this because I feel it is important to establish as well as understand those coming into the nursing field and those who have been here for years and years. It is easy to misunderstand like I did above, but if we can learn from it, listen more to what others are saying and make changes in our own prejudices we can all be successful in our nursing careers.
S Rodgers, RNLast edit by Joe V on Jan 14, '15
Joined: Jul '09; Posts: 13; Likes: 15
Registered Nurse; from US
Specialty: med\surg, ERJul 23, '09What a great article, I am happy that it worked out for you, I have experienced the same when I was younger I didn't resolve the issue until too late a great friend and teacher lost because of poor communication.Jul 29, '09Communication is becoming more important in this field as time goes on. We are busier, patients are sicker and we have more ancillary staff helping to take care of them. This presents many more opportunities for communication to break down. Unfortunately there are very few avenues to learn better communication, short of taking college communications courses which can be very expensive. I have found a method to improve communication, confidence and have fun at the same time. It's called Toastmasters International. Lots of people enroll in TI to become better public speakers but it's much more than that. I have indeed become a better public speaker but I have also become a better communicator overall through my experiences. It is a very nonthreatening environment where members are supported and encouraged to learn. You get direct experience with public speaking, impromptu speaking, one on one communication and lots of fun besides. Try it, you might find some new friends and learn along the way.