How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! - pg.12 | allnurses

How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! - page 16

Hello! I m a new RN on A med-surge floor and most of my co-workers are old nurses that have been on that floor for years! They don't seem to like me and i have NO idea why! I am a quiet person. I... Read More

  1. Visit  OCNRN63 profile page
    0
    Quote from ColoradoRocky
    EXACTLY!

    This is serious business - peoples lives are at stake and so is their quality of life (and family life). I've had to lead when lives are on the line (my own and my troops and innocent civilians) so I know the pressures and urgency of activities sometimes prevent proper training and integration of the FNG (Flipping New Guy/Gal). I expect there will be times like that, and that I will have to stand aside, or go do easy stuff like vitals, or messy stuff like cleaning c-diff poop, while the more experienced RNs take care of the urgent and difficult things. But also, I expect that since they saw me as worthy of hiring, they should also see me as worthy of spending the time to teach me and grow my skills and knowledge and increase my ability to make good judgments - - all so I can be a better nurse for my patients.

    This is my hope - that I can go in and learn the realities of nursing from experienced RNs. I want learn to do things the proper way (which isn't necessarily the "book" way or the textbook NCLEX answer), so we have better outcomes for my patients from the start. If that means pitching in and cleaning bedpans, or going around brushing teeth, in order to free up the more experienced RNs, no problem - that's why they call it a team. My take is we all should help when we can with what we can (and this should include teaching/mentoring the newbies).

    The main worry I have is that I will get stuck with the scut work, because there are things I do not know how to do and should not do until someone teaches/checks me and oks it. Patient comes first, so I understand the more experienced nurses time is needed by the patients more than me (I've had to prioritize as a combat leader so I know how this works), but I am worried that I will get lost in the shuffle and not learn nearly as much as I could as quickly as I can, and will take too long to become a useful and productive member of the unit. I dont want to be a drag on the unit - I want to be able to help and expect to be mentored if for no other reason than the experienced nurses have so much they could teach - and make for better patient care by taking some time to help me become a better nurse, not a bitter nurse.
    You can take charge of your orientation. If there's a new/interesting procedure needed for a patient, ask if you can observe, or, if you want, ask if someone will talk you through it. If there's a code, go observe it (make sure someone covers for your patients). If a physician is doing something at the bedside that you've never seen before, ask to go see it. Pick the brains of people around you: bedside staff, your preceptors/educators. If it's a teaching hospital, talk to the med students/interns & residents/attendings. Most people like to feel that their knowledge is valued; just make sure you ask your questions at the right time and keep in mind that not everyone is a "teacher." Find something positive to say to your co-workers, even the ones you don't like or think are competent. Sometimes a small compliment is all it takes to turn around a tense relationship on a unit, and you may find that person warming up to you and showing you all kinds of time-saving or clinical skills. I have done these things and can attest to their benefit. It takes work, but it's harder to slog through day after day working in an unhappy environment where you don't feel like you're thriving personally or professionally.

    No one is going to stick you in a room full of dentures or bedpans to brush. There's a certain amount of scut work involved in almost every nurse's job, no matter if you're a new nurse or an experienced nurse. If staff are dumping their scut on you, you need to go to your preceptor or whoever is in charge of your orientation, because that is unacceptable. You'll never learn to be a useful member of the unit if you don't get a complete orientation.
  2. Visit  redhead_NURSE98! profile page
    0
    Quote from OCNRN63
    I wasn't responding to the OP.
    I didn't say you were.
  3. Visit  Ruby Vee profile page
    0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Well Ms Ruby when you're right, your right.

    But I think there is a bit of miscommunication between us.

    The serious attitude problem stems from your assumptions that the more experienced nurses you'll be working with have a mission to make you miserable "just because they can." Granted, I haven't worked everywhere in the world, but I've seen very few (count on the fingers of one hand) experienced nurses with a mission to make anyone miserable. I have seen experienced nurses who are poor teachers, but that doesn't make them mean, nasty or on a mission to use anyone for a punching bag.
    Whether you like it or not, when you start a position as a brand new nurse, the experienced nurses on the unit WILL have authority over you. Not all of of them, but not just your preceptor, either. ALL of the preceptors you encounter, the charge nurses, assistant managers and heads of various committees will have input into your orientation and will be asked for their evaluations of your progress and how you fit into the unit. This is not "ridiculous perceived authority" over you; it's all the seasoned nurses keeping an eye out for the newbie so he doesn't kill his patient. If an experienced nurse tells you you're doing something wrong -- especially in an ICU where small mistakes snowball into big ones very rapidly -- not listening can have serious consequences. First for your patient, and then for your continued tenure in your job.

    Ma'am the OP wasn't talking about the Charge nurse or any of the others you mention. She was talking about the other floor nurses. It is them that I'm saying have the "Perceived Authority." I mean I'm sorry but why should the OP just put up with them being snotty to her by virtue of time in hospital and nothing else? That's just not right. Doesn't the new grad nurse have enough to stress? I mean no disrespect to you established nurses, but according to a lot of you guys the environment is even more stressful and difficult than anything a student could imagine. Why should her/his peers (not charge or other mentioned, but peers, because regardless of their time in hospital if they hold the same title they are peers. More experienced peers, but peers at that). add to that? Shouldn't the new grad nurses be nurtured along by their more experienced peers and not treated as an inconvenience. Granted this happens in other professions, but from reading these posts on AN the overwhelming majority of nurses claim they became nurses "Not for the money but because they care, and want to be there for the unhealthy." You would think that this "Caring attitude" would also be directed at a peer who wants to do what they are doing. But in practice-going by these forums, and not to mention word of mouth by my RN buddies-it seems like you guys just look for opportunities to pick each other apart.

    There's also serious attitude problems in your assumptions that your future co-workers wish to feed their egos by using you as a whipping boy, that most of your future colleagues are "bitter because they've been doing the same thing for X amount of years", that "they are not competent enough to be promoted" or "they don't have the drive to make the necessary sacrifices to educate themselves into a bitter position." I'm not where all of these negative assumptions come from, but carrying them into the workplace is not going to endear you to your future colleagues.

    Ms Ruby, I made no assumptions like this in regards to my future co workers. I was referring to the co workers the OP described. It does seem, going by the available information, that the OPs co-workers look down on her and treat her as she shouldn't be there. I mean come on Ma'am, instead of answering a question the OP says they just ignore her completely or give her dirty looks. Maybe the Op is exaggerating, maybe she isn't. But I'm sure there is some truth to it. I also get that it may be the case that the OP is asking the same questions over and over and the more experienced peers are tired of it. But then again maybe that is not the case. The point is we don't know.

    Maybe I was a little short in one of my responses to you. But nothing I've posted towards you compares to how you almost as if by instinct jumped down this girls throat. You just immediately, and I mean immediately assumed AND accused her of being at fault. I believe you were wrong for that.


    It has been my considerable experience that most newbies who come into the workplace with so many and so serious negative assumptions about the people they expect to teach them and mentor them are very difficult to teach. They don't respect the preceptor or her experience, and it shows. The preceptor/orientee relationship then becomes an untenable situation. Often, other preceptors are brought into the mix to attempt to teach the newbie, but because the difficulty arises in the newbie's attitude, they are unsuccessful as well. Orientations become extended and the newbie usually quits or is fired. This doesn't happen because the experienced nurse sets out to vilify the newbie or jeopardize his income. It comes about because of the newbie's own attitude and issues. Enter the workplace with this attitudes intact, and I have no doubt you'll be miserable. But it won't be your experienced colleagues' faults. It will be your own.

    Fair enough. I will be sure to not come into the profession with such negative attitudes. But to clarify I don't have them now. I was simply advocating for the OP after you let loose on her
    Have I misquoted you? Are you not the poster who said "that your future co-workers wish to feed their egos by using you as a whipping boy, that most of your future colleagues are "bitter because they've been doing the same thing for X amount of years", that "they are not competent enough to be promoted" or "they don't have the drive to make the necessary sacrifices to educate themselves into a bitter position."

    These assumptions are indicative of a negative attitude toward the nurses you will be working with in the future. That goes far and beyond "advocating for the OP." The OP asked for advice, and I took considerable time and thought to giving to her, under the assumption that it might help. I've given you some advice as well. Unless I've misquoted you and those weren't your statements, you're headed down the same road as the OP.
  4. Visit  OCNRN63 profile page
    0
    OK then.
  5. Visit  RNfaster profile page
    2
    Quote from Anna-s
    Hello!

    I m a new RN on A med-surge floor and most of my co-workers are old nurses that have been on that floor for years! They don't seem to like me and i have NO idea why! I am a quiet person. I mean i like to socialize but I am not that loud person ( because I still feel a stranger to the floor). Anyways some of them ignore me if I ask a question, others yell at me for the smallest mistakes ( one yelled at me cause I didn't change the NS bag that was good for another 3hours and even tho I put a new bag in the room, she wanted it change) i am nice to them! I try to talk and use humour but most of them just give me the look and roll their eye!
    How should I treat them or deal with them?
    To the OP:

    It's not right that your coworkers ignore your questions or yell at you for not replacing a bag of IV fluid that had three hours left in it (that's plenty of time at shift change --and even if it wasn't, it does not deserve someone fussing about it).

    By the way, where I work, if an interviewee notes that they push back on the prior shift to finish undone work, they usually get dropped from consideration for hire. My management notes that we are a 24-hour workplace. (I think that is an example of the organization working to change culture.) Sometimes the IV fluid is at the last dregs because someone was busy with a new admission or new orders on someone else. It's not difficult to address and does not deserve fussing.

    You might also talk to your manager about the issues you are having.

    I agree with other posters that you should review your actions and make adjustments. You might identify some folks that are good with answering questions and speak to them first. You might try answering your questions on your own first (take a moment and think things out --but if still unsure --probe). Are your policies and procedures easily accessible? Learn how to access them. Print copies and read them at work as needed and take home for review/study. Offer your teammates help when you have a free moment. They may be trying to avoid you as they are overwhelmed/busy with their work (while it's not right, that may be why).

    Some posters have written about frustrations with new nurses that aren't focused on their work (taking too long of a break, being unwilling to do certain care, etc.) Make sure you're not shirking your work. Look for ways to be more efficient (e.g., can you combine trips ---pull dressing change supplies along with your medications).

    I know some folks say this is a generational issue. I suppose that has some influence (but for generations, now, people have been talking of young being eaten). I still think it's a cultural issue, too. I think when nurses are under excessive pressure (usually related to understaffing) and permeated by a hierarchical/negative-style patriarchical structure that poor behavior will emerge (along with rationalizations for it).

    As a profession, we must demand adequate staffing. We must also foster two-way communication (where physicians communicate well to one another, nurses, etc., and nurses and other disciplines do the same) in support of patient care and safety. We must also support one another in this work.

    Now, if folks are shirking their work, we must address that directly (but still, with civility). It didn't sound to me like the OP was doing that.
  6. Visit  ColoradoRocky profile page
    1
    Quote from SCSTxRN
    It's doing my job... to train my orientee how to do theirs... and at some point, having 'reminded you' six times and shown you the policy three, you're going to go home and tell your spouse what a mean preceptor you have. Not because I'm old, or you're pretty, but because we all need you to do your job.
    I definitely ain't pretty to anyone except my mom and at times, my incredibly patient wife.

    And I do not understand that attitude either: show up late, refuse to learn, gripe when you get called on (instead of learning), and don't help the team. That was a sure way to shorten my fuse when I had a soldier that behaved like that, and I would sooner (rather than later) have them with their heels locked and eyes front at the position of attention, giving them the evil eye and some rather loud and foul language concerning the location of their cranium, and the contents thereof, and possibly their parentage . Up close and personal. If that didn't work, along with assigning one of my better subordinates to "closely supervise" them for a couple days (combination of instruction, correction, and providing "personal motivation" when needed), then I would have to move to formal means. I'd rather yell and have them check themselves than have a marks on their record - but I'm not going to let a sh--bird get passed along to someone else either. Let em get angry, that didn't bother me - I needed good soldiers on my team to get us all out alive. And I would remind them they volunteered for this service to the constitution, country and its citizens. I know there is a huge difference between military and civilian discipline methods; verbally assaulting people is inappropriate in any circumstance outside of the military, plus I cannot give lawful orders unlike in the military. But the reasons and needs behind it are the same. Nursing is serious life-and-death stuff, and its a team effort that works best. Funny that a lot of the same things (less the harshness) work well in the tech industry where I was for a few years prior to "getting the call" to be a nurse.

    So I know where you are coming from with the reports and such, and understand this. So I guess I will be one of those (perceived) grumpy old nurses too when my time comes. What irony - Hah!
    joanna73 likes this.
  7. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    0
    I have experienced this from both sides as well. To share an example with a newbie: this person works another unit during the week, and ours on off days. So he is over tired, which I have cautioned, since no matter what, your accountability is at stake. "Can I go in a room and sleep for an hour?" He asks at the start of the shift. "No." I said, "you're in charge and there is insulin and breakfast meds to give." To which he looked at me like I had two heads, like, "What's the matter?" Uh, it's your job buddy. Not to mention, he'd been working with us for a month. Some of the senior nurses may come off as "harsh", but then, some newbies need to get their priorities straight. Who cares if not everyone likes me? We just need to work together.
  8. Visit  RNfaster profile page
    1
    Quote from joanna73
    I have experienced this from both sides as well. To share an example with a newbie: this person works another unit during the week, and ours on off days. So he is over tired, which I have cautioned, since no matter what, your accountability is at stake. "Can I go in a room and sleep for an hour?" He asks at the start of the shift. "No." I said, "you're in charge and there is insulin and breakfast meds to give." To which he looked at me like I had two heads, like, "What's the matter?" Uh, it's your job buddy. Not to mention, he'd been working with us for a month. Some of the senior nurses may come off as "harsh", but then, some newbies need to get their priorities straight. Who cares if not everyone likes me? We just need to work together.
    Wow. Such behavior blows my mind. I don't find your response harsh at all.
    joanna73 likes this.
  9. Visit  PRICHARILLAisMISSED profile page
    0
    Well Ms Ruby when you're right, your right.

    But I think there is a bit of miscommunication between us.

    The serious attitude problem stems from your assumptions that the more experienced nurses you'll be working with have a mission to make you miserable "just because they can." Granted, I haven't worked everywhere in the world, but I've seen very few (count on the fingers of one hand) experienced nurses with a mission to make anyone miserable. I have seen experienced nurses who are poor teachers, but that doesn't make them mean, nasty or on a mission to use anyone for a punching bag.
    Whether you like it or not, when you start a position as a brand new nurse, the experienced nurses on the unit WILL have authority over you. Not all of of them, but not just your preceptor, either. ALL of the preceptors you encounter, the charge nurses, assistant managers and heads of various committees will have input into your orientation and will be asked for their evaluations of your progress and how you fit into the unit. This is not "ridiculous perceived authority" over you; it's all the seasoned nurses keeping an eye out for the newbie so he doesn't kill his patient. If an experienced nurse tells you you're doing something wrong -- especially in an ICU where small mistakes snowball into big ones very rapidly -- not listening can have serious consequences. First for your patient, and then for your continued tenure in your job.

    Ma'am the OP wasn't talking about the Charge nurse or any of the others you mention. She was talking about the other floor nurses. It is them that I'm saying have the "Perceived Authority." I mean I'm sorry but why should the OP just put up with them being snotty to her by virtue of time in hospital and nothing else? That's just not right. Doesn't the new grad nurse have enough to stress? I mean no disrespect to you established nurses, but according to a lot of you guys the environment is even more stressful and difficult than anything a student could imagine. Why should her/his peers (not charge or other mentioned, but peers, because regardless of their time in hospital if they hold the same title they are peers. More experienced peers, but peers at that). add to that? Shouldn't the new grad nurses be nurtured along by their more experienced peers and not treated as an inconvenience. Granted this happens in other professions, but from reading these posts on AN the overwhelming majority of nurses claim they became nurses "Not for the money but because they care, and want to be there for the unhealthy." You would think that this "Caring attitude" would also be directed at a peer who wants to do what they are doing. But in practice-going by these forums, and not to mention word of mouth by my RN buddies-it seems like you guys just look for opportunities to pick each other apart.

    There's also serious attitude problems in your assumptions that your future co-workers wish to feed their egos by using you as a whipping boy, that most of your future colleagues are "bitter because they've been doing the same thing for X amount of years", that "they are not competent enough to be promoted" or "they don't have the drive to make the necessary sacrifices to educate themselves into a bitter position." I'm not where all of these negative assumptions come from, but carrying them into the workplace is not going to endear you to your future colleagues.

    Ms Ruby, I made no assumptions like this in regards to my future co workers. I was referring to the co workers the OP described. It does seem, going by the available information, that the OPs co-workers look down on her and treat her as she shouldn't be there. I mean come on Ma'am, instead of answering a question the OP says they just ignore her completely or give her dirty looks. Maybe the Op is exaggerating, maybe she isn't. But I'm sure there is some truth to it. I also get that it may be the case that the OP is asking the same questions over and over and the more experienced peers are tired of it. But then again maybe that is not the case. The point is we don't know.

    Maybe I was a little short in one of my responses to you. But nothing I've posted towards you compares to how you almost as if by instinct jumped down this girls throat. You just immediately, and I mean immediately assumed AND accused her of being at fault. I believe you were wrong for that.

    It has been my considerable experience that most newbies who come into the workplace with so many and so serious negative assumptions about the people they expect to teach them and mentor them are very difficult to teach. They don't respect the preceptor or her experience, and it shows. The preceptor/orientee relationship then becomes an untenable situation. Often, other preceptors are brought into the mix to attempt to teach the newbie, but because the difficulty arises in the newbie's attitude, they are unsuccessful as well. Orientations become extended and the newbie usually quits or is fired. This doesn't happen because the experienced nurse sets out to vilify the newbie or jeopardize his income. It comes about because of the newbie's own attitude and issues. Enter the workplace with this attitudes intact, and I have no doubt you'll be miserable. But it won't be your experienced colleagues' faults. It will be your own.

    Fair enough. I will be sure to not come into the profession with such negative attitudes. But to clarify I don't have them now. I was simply advocating for the OP after you let loose on her


    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Have I misquoted you? Are you not the poster who said "that your future co-workers wish to feed their egos by using you as a whipping boy, that most of your future colleagues are "bitter because they've been doing the same thing for X amount of years", that "they are not competent enough to be promoted" or "they don't have the drive to make the necessary sacrifices to educate themselves into a bitter position."

    These assumptions are indicative of a negative attitude toward the nurses you will be working with in the future. That goes far and beyond "advocating for the OP." The OP asked for advice, and I took considerable time and thought to giving to her, under the assumption that it might help. I've given you some advice as well. Unless I've misquoted you and those weren't your statements, you're headed down the same road as the OP.
    LOL

    Exactly how I thought you'd respond. I'll address this when I get home
    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Jan 3, '13
  10. Visit  ColoradoRocky profile page
    1
    Anyway - thanks for the advice and insights here. I get the feeling that if I want to be a good nurse, I will always remain a student in some ways. I will go with what my mom says she learned in decades of nursing: My patients will teach me more about nursing that I will ever expect to learn. Also, after 40+ years, she still hates giving bed baths.
    SCSTxRN likes this.
  11. Visit  SCSTxRN profile page
    0
    Quote from RNfaster
    Wow. Such behavior blows my mind. I don't find your response harsh at all.
    Lol - me either. Honestly, in Joanna73's position, I would probably have laughed. If he asked again, I'd probably get in trouble for saying, "It's only funny the first time you joke like that. You were kidding, right?"
  12. Visit  nurmac profile page
    0
    they aren't nice people. And when one is like that it spreads. There is no exscuse for that behavior and most likey the are jealous of you and you intimidate them
  13. Visit  Ruby Vee profile page
    3
    Quote from nurmac
    they aren't nice people. And when one is like that it spreads. There is no exscuse for that behavior and most likey the are jealous of you and you intimidate them
    I'm not sure which post you're replying to of the 153 that preceded this one. So I'll take your word for it that "they" -- whoever "they" are -- aren't nice people. But I hope no one truly believes the "they're just jealous of you" business that your mother used to tell you when kids picked on you at school. Your mother probably didn't even believe it -- she just couldn't think of anything else to say. And if she DID believe it, well she was biased.

    If you're having difficulty getting along with your coworkers, chances are very minute that the problem is that they're just jealous of you. It could be that you remind them of their former daughter-in-law (the one that trashed their wedding china) or that your giggle rubs them the wrong way. It could also be that you're doing something really stupid that is incredibly annoying. It would be in your best interest to figure out what the real story is, rather than just resting on your theory that "they hate you because you're beautiful!"
    Altra, redhead_NURSE98!, and OCNRN63 like this.

close
close