I worked on an adult unit prior to working in pediatrics. I've been working in pediatrics for a little over a year. It's been great to work with children. However, it's been difficult a lot of times, because there have been some nurses who have had a hostile and belittling attitude towards me. When I ask questions, some of them will reply back with a "How do you not know that?" tone. Isn't it better to ask a question than to make a mistake? I try to look things up and/or figure things out myself and only ask if I absolutely cannot come up with the answer. I've learned in nursing school
that it's better to come up with a plan of action, and then
run it by someone, as opposed to just asking, "What do I do?" I don't ask the same question 5 times, because that's obviously annoying.
I give what I don't always get. When people (esp. staff even newer than me) ask me questions, I answer without being snarky or condescending. I don't want to make anyone feel belittled. I can't change anyone; the only thing I have control over is how I treat other people. And yes, there are times when it is downright busy and everyone's feeling swamped. It's normal to get short with one another during those times. The thing is, most of the staff are fairly helpful, but there is this sort of patronizing undertone present. I expressed my concerns to a very experienced nurse who is supportive. She told me that if I felt this way, I could find somewhere else to work because it's not worth the heartache. This nurse recently had a preceptor student. She mentioned that the staff who were always wonderful to her, were not so nice to her student. It can be hard being new. I dread coming to work most of the time, and feel very alone and without support, but I try my best to focus on getting my job done and going home. I try really hard to think positive. I try hard to put things in perspective - I'm not
saying my experience on the unit has been the worst experience of my life by any means, but
it could be a lot better.
I feel like I've been doing a lot of things right, with regards to asking questions, being eager to learn, helping out my coworkers, etc. I don't feel like I've come in there with a cocky attitude. I know that pediatric nursing is a COMPLETELY different world than that of adults! Maybe I'm being a little too hard on myself, who knows. Some of the nurses on the unit told me that it took them two years to feel comfortable in pediatrics. I do feel a lot more confident than I did when I first started.
How would you handle situations like these? How would you approach another staff member when you feel they are belittling you? When people appear frustrated when I ask questions, there have been times when I say things along the lines of, "I'm asking you because I haven't done this before/haven't come across this before, etc." Is there anything else I should be doing? Things like this happen all the time in nursing, and I just need to find strategies on dealing with it. I'd rather find out now, early in my career, than to be 10 years in and not know how to handle situations like this.
I would really appreciate any advice you may have!