I had an experience recently that I'd like to share. (I also hope this post goes better than the last thread I started in another forum.
With almost a year under my belt, and I'm working independently 90% of the time. That other 10%, I ask for help. (This is important to the rest of the story...)
Recently, I felt absolutely blind-sided by what was said to me by one of my co-workers. Let's call her Sue. I thought I got along especially well with her, but she said something, then I thought, "I didn't hear that right!" and I asked her to repeat it. She wouldn't. At that point, I knew I had heard what she said correctly, and I was floored by the sarcasm, passive-aggressiveness, and meanness of what she said.
What Sue said was related to requesting help. I made an error on a room assignment that got called in, I recognized my error, then I immediately corrected it. I mentioned it to her, and that's when she got mean.
At that moment, I became very, very busy because my admission had arrived. She was busy too. It wasn't the right time, obviously, to approach her. We got our work done, and the shift ended. It was the right time. I asked if I could talk to her, and she said yes. We went to a private area. It was clear that we both knew what my request to speak to her was about.
Sue's been a nurse since I was a fetus. I've always valued her assistance, but I felt that she was bothered by my requests for assistance, so I didn't often go to her for help. It was deliberate on my part to avoid annoying her. There were a lot of other nurses who were more open to assisting me when I needed it, so I would go to them instead.
I told her that I did hear what she said, that I felt blind-sided by her comment, and that I wanted to know what was wrong. Apparently, Sue felt I didn't trust her because I never went to her with questions! She cited one specific example that happened a month or so ago, and I remember that situation well: I was having issues trouble-shooting something for my patient. It was one of the times that I didn't want to bother Sue, so I went first to another nurse. When neither of us could figure out what was wrong, the other nurse left the room to get Sue, and when Sue came in to take a look, the problem got solved. I also remember that after the problem got fixed, Sue left the room very quickly, and I felt that she was upset for some reason. I figured I was making things up in my head, so i went about my business and didn't think any more of it.
In a nutshell, I thought Sue was bothered by my asking her for help, so I didn't ask her often...or only in last-ditch efforts to figure something out. Sue thought my actions meant that I didn't trust her, and it's been building up in her until recently when she made the mean comment.
Our conversation went very well, and we both were happy that we had cleared the air. No more misperceptions about each other.
Moral of the story: New grads don't want to be a burden, and experienced nurses want to help. Sometimes, the actions behind those wishes can be misunderstood by both parties. It's best to work it out at the time things happen so that it doesn't fester into an irreparably harmed working relationship.