How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! - pg.2 | allnurses

How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! - page 2

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  portcl profile page
    8
    I work on an oncology unit and we get very attached to our patients and doctors. It is hard when new nurses come in and think they know everything and show no humbleness or respect for the environment that we have built. It is also true that most nurses just starting out on our unit won't last past 90 days because of the emotional aspect of what we do. When new nurses show up, I am not rude or disrespectful to them, but I don't open my arms to them either. When they last past 90 days and they get in the trenches with us and care for the patients the way that they should, then we start to warm up. When you attend your first memorial service for a dear patient and you show up the next day to do it all over again, then you are no longer the new nurse.

    My point is, learn what these nurses respect and show them that you have it. Keep quiet and observe. Find the ones that are just negative versus those that are being cautious. You don't want them judging you without knowing you, so don't judge them without knowing them. They have seen many "new" nurses in their years of service and one day you too will have seen your share of "newbies" and will have much better insight. Till then, hold your chin up and hang in there...
    anotherone, shaggy77, tntrn, and 5 others like this.
  2. Visit  somenurse profile page
    12
    To the OP, really sorry you are having a hard time. I think the others who are urging you to "kill them with kindness" and/or go for more professional relationships for now, seem to have good ideas.

    but,
    i also wanted to be one voice on this thread, to stand up for us old broads.
    I'm probably what you'd call "old". I am friendliest, most outgoing, compassionate person you'll ever trip over.
    I've had some snotty rude, burnt out, grouchy coworkers who were super young,
    and
    some awesome, giving, hard working, helpful, kind coworkers with gray hair.

    I just personally rather dislike seeing any group of people all lumped together as "all just the same/homogenous".
    It's also hard to believe you are only person who is not old on your unit, but, whatever.

    I'd also like to suggest,
    that even though most humans tend to connect better socially with their own age group,
    that in nursing,
    it might not be so much the old adage "Nurses eat their own young"
    but instead,
    "Nurses eat their own NEW employees."

    I'm older, and have traveled extensively, which results in my often being a new employee............ and i sometimes encounter coworkers, of ALL age groups, who seem unfriendly initially,
    even though i am standing there with a gray stripe of hair and decades of experience. It's cuz i am NEW there, a stranger to them,
    not cuz i am a new RN,
    nor am i young. NOt everyone is friendly by nature like i am, not everyone warms up easily to strangers,
    of any age.
    I've stood witness to what you are describing happen to
    older
    but
    "new to that hospital" nurses,
    too. It's not always about the new nurse's age,
    it's sometimes just cuz this new person is a stranger to them.


    Still, i'd like to see more nurses watch out for those who are new in nursing, of any age,
    and needing support, and do what they can to lend some support, and help the newbies feel welcome.
    BEST OF LUCK!! hang in there, it usually gets better, once they get to know you and get used to you.
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 30, '12
    carolLeeAnn, anotherone, tntrn, and 9 others like this.
  3. Visit  PedsRNCara profile page
    0
    It would seem that your presence threatens them. There has to be a balance. There can never be all "old nurses" or all "new nurses". It will benefit patients more to have both ends of the spectrum there to help them.
  4. Visit  somenurse profile page
    8
    PS---to the OP,
    now, i might get slammed here,
    but, what i've found sometimes helps, when i am new to a facility, is watch out for times my 'new-but-still-unfriendly' coworker is twirling around the drain.
    yes, even us old broads can have moments we are jacked up busy and could use a hand.

    when i spot the time the "N.B.S.U" (new-but-still-unfriendly) coworker is in need, i step forward and offer some help. "I'll get that bell for you, okay?" or "Can i do that for you, you look like all your patients are mashing on their bells all at once." or whatever. Always kinda get some kind of 'ok' from the N.B.S.U coworker, too.

    this has helped me thaw out some N.B.S.U coworkers, IS, REACHING OUT WHEN THEY ARE JAMMED UP,
    might be worth a try. GOOD LUCK!!
    ER-RN12, carolLeeAnn, LTCangel, and 5 others like this.
  5. Visit  vivere profile page
    3
    Don't take it personally. If you ask a question and no one answers, it may be that they don't know the correct answer, and don't want to lead you wrong. It takes a good year to feel comfortable enough to think of yourself as a nurse, and it will be a lifetime of learning after that first year. You are right not to socialize much. Be polite, cordial, but I would caution you against becoming personal - I realize this may be an unpopular view, but in my experience, familiarity breeds contempt. Let them get to know you on the job and keep your personal life to yourself at this time. Old nurses .....I am one. I am frequently tired, have aches and pains in strange places and not much of a social life. Be happy. Continue to be nice, and use humour, it will serve you well in your career. And lastly, learn from these crones....LOL> As new people come on board, be the go-to girl. Be the one who they feel comfortable enough to go to for help, answers and assistance. I predict a great career for you.
  6. Visit  vivere profile page
    1
    Great post, Jean Marie. Some things I hadn't thought of.....sometimes we are more cautious of new folks until they prove themselves to be "sane".....we have had more than one new employee come on board and welcomed them heartily, only to be faced with terminating them when they proved to be dishonest, or just plain cuckoo. It is great advice, just to hang in there....
    anotherone likes this.
  7. Visit  canoehead profile page
    2
    I have it on good authority that you can soften RubyVee up with chocolate. I prefer pizza myself. Ask them about their grandkids, it usually helps. If you decide to stand up for yourself in some situation do it gently so you make allies, not enemies. You have every right to develop your own style, within what hospital policy allows. Try to catch them giving you good advice, and thank them- try to teach them how to treat you.

    Unfortunately there's always one or two battleaxes in every crowd. It's hard being new, and even harder when you don't have experience to boost your self confidence. I hope you have one or two good teachers in the mix too.
    carolLeeAnn and metal_m0nk like this.
  8. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    7
    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?
    I think you get back what you put out there. I think the first year after licensure is the hardest.

    You have been on you own for only a few weeks it's normal to feel overwhelmed, out of place, unliked, ignored........don't try to be their friend.....don't try so hard to engage them. Maybe they just aren't worth your time. Don't let it take over so you set yourself up for failure....are you using those sheets I gave you? Take a brief look at you as well.....are you driving them NUTS with TONS of questions? I know it is safety first and it is important to get it right...but at some point it may become annoying if your are very insecure and are having difficulty getting your feet under you.

    Focus on you....your growth, your patients....if they are worth having as "friends" later you can try that when you are more comfortable with your role. The first year to year and a half is brutal. You a re frightened, insecure, horrified you're going to make a mistake.....and that is all perfectly normal....but don't let it run your life.

    Take what they say with a grain of salt. If they want the IV changed....let her know, politely, you are a RN as well and will change the patient IV when it is due. If it is close to shift change....I'd change it for it can be a couple of hours from your last check to the next check by the next shift. I try to make sure all my patients have at least half of the IV hanging for the next shift.

    Maybe they are that burned out and if they are ...you really don't need them as friends. Focus on becoming a good nurse....the rest will follow. It really will be OK.....some day you will see a frightened new nurse and you think...I USED to be that girl....and you realize that time has flown by and you are becoming that nurse you always wanted to be.

    This may also show you the nurse you don't want to be...((HUGS))

    I wish you the best.
    nursel56, carolLeeAnn, joanna73, and 4 others like this.
  9. Visit  tamadrummer profile page
    2
    [QUOTE=Anna-s;7092090]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?[/QUOTE/]

    The best advice we were given in school was to know our roll when we got to the floor. By that I mean, just allow the old guard to yell and scream and let it roll off your back like a duck in water. You have to make it through orientation and move on. If the RN wants to waste 300ml of NS, ok so be it. Change the bag and if you forget, oh well let her/him yell at you and say thanks for teaching me. You need them more right now then they need you. It won't always be that way and then you can get your patient load and do your own thing when you get done with orientation.

    It gets better. Just learn the things you don't know and ignore the aggravation. This old guard is aging out and will retire soon enough. Until then, let them be the big kids on the block and remember how NOT to behave as an RN.
    anotherone and shaggy77 like this.
  10. Visit  M/B-RN profile page
    2
    When I work with people that don't seem to like me or I don't like them I just keep to myself. Usually you can find the answer to everything if you look hard enough. If it is something that requires immediate assistance like heavier bleeding or large blood clot (I work postpartum) and I get nervous and need advice I do make sure they come help me, but otherwise I find out the answer myself if it is non-emergent. Sometimes it is better to stay out of each others hair than to give them a reason to talk.
    anotherone and shaggy77 like this.
  11. Visit  CapeCodMermaid profile page
    12
    As one of the old experienced nurse, I could easily start a post entitled How To Deal With The Young Clueless Nurses. Seems there is a tendency to lump groups of people together. I can remember being new and insecure and can clearly remember the experienced nurses who helped me out and those who went out if their way to be snarky.
    nursel56, KelRN215, anotherone, and 9 others like this.
  12. Visit  GilConRN profile page
    2
    The saying goes "Nursing is one of the only professions that eat their young"
    I guess it still holds true. Stick it out they will come around eventually. Nursing is a very tight knit profession and you are the new kid on the block. I am not saying it is right but they'll want you to prove yourself...earn your stripes so to speak. But always remember how you feel right now...because one day you will be the old and experienced nurse and history has a way of repeating itself. Hang in there
  13. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    9
    In my first year of Nursing, there was 64 years of Nursing Experience on the floor(3 Nurses, including me).

    I cherished their skill, grace, communication ability, and mastery of the science and art of Nursing. I cleared the air shift after shift by thinking them for their time to teach "dead weight(even if I helped them a ton)," asked them where I needed to work on things, and always remained humble never letting on the assumption that I should be "equal" to them as an amateur new nurse.

    I eventually began to excel at IV initiation, NG tube insertion, trachs, and they liked that I didn't mind the coding, emergency situations, and worked well under pressure. I jumped at tasks they dreaded. I still, thanked them personally for each shift for sharing their skills, anecdotes, criticisms, and advice on appropriate times, pushing away MY ego.

    I, as a male, felt a need to overachieve anyway to prove myself to the patients, doctors, and co-workers. My actual struggle was with a CNA that had been there since the doors opened. She decided early on not to like me, but almost a year in, when I was leaving for a full time ER position in Texas, she told me she was sad to see me go, and that I was an "ok" nurse, and I would be fine.*

    *One of my most cherished compliments!
    nursel56, carolLeeAnn, Altra, and 6 others like this.

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