How to deal with the old/experienced nurses?! - page 5
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
Dec 31, '12 by mariebailey, MSN, RNQuote from Ruby VeeI am not using all caps, which would be indicative of shouting. I am not a new nurse, but I know how it feels to be the younger one in the group or the newer one in the organization. You do not know enough about me to lead you to determine that I am "more or less incompetent". That comment was imprudent and unnecessary. My colleagues, I believe, would strongly disagree with you. You said you haven't read many defensive posts; the defensive posts I mentioned in my previous post included your own posts.The poster is a new nurse by her own admission. That means, unless things have changed drastically since I was a new nurse, that she is more or less incompetent. New nurses make mistakes as they're learning to become competent nurses, and consequently they receive negative feedback. The OP's post indicated that she didn't receive negative feedback well. That's going to be a problem for her and hinder her in her career. She needs to work on that.
I haven't read many defensive posts by older or experienced nurses on this thread, but I have read a lot of posts from folks who are assuring the OP that she's a great nurse and shouldn't be treated "so poorly." I'm not convinced that she's being treated poorly, although I'm fairly certain she isn't showing respect for her colleagues' experience.
By the way . . . why all the shouting?
Dec 31, '12 by Ruby Vee, BSN, RNQuote from mariebaileyI didn't say you were "more or less incompetent." I said that the original poster, as a brand new nurse, was more or less incompetent. Newbies on any job are more or less incompetent. It's up to the experienced folks on the job to mentor them into competency.I am not using all caps, which would be indicative of shouting. I am not a new nurse, but I know how it feels to be the younger one in the group or the newer one in the organization. You do not know enough about me to lead you to determine that I am "more or less incompetent". That comment was imprudent and unnecessary. My colleagues, I believe, would strongly disagree with you. You said you haven't read many defensive posts; the defensive posts I mentioned in my previous post included your own posts.
I took all the underlined sentences as akin to shouting -- or rude, in any event.
Dec 31, '12 by mariebailey, MSN, RNQuote from Ruby VeeI only meant emphasis, not rudeness, but note taken on the underlining.I didn't say you were "more or less incompetent." I said that the original poster, as a brand new nurse, was more or less incompetent. Newbies on any job are more or less incompetent. It's up to the experienced folks on the job to mentor them into competency.
I took all the underlined sentences as akin to shouting -- or rude, in any event.
Dec 31, '12 by HoochAnd are you being a competent mentor if you ignore or shout at the new entrant for asking questions?
Dec 31, '12 by multi10When I was a new RN (one year out and brand-new to the ICU), I was also a newlywed. Sometimes I worked nights. There was an experienced nurse, my favorite, who liked to rave about how fantastic her husband was. One night she went home early, in the middle of the night, because the census was low and she had already worked overtime that week. Guess what she found upon her arrival home? A woman in her bed. After that she was different at work, but still a great and talented nurse. You never know why people behave the way they do at work.
Dec 31, '12 by amygarsideJust do the best you can so that they will see that you are a good worker and that you take your responsibilities seriously. It may take time also to some people to warm up so just hold on and always show positivism towards them.
Dec 31, '12 by OCNRN63, RNQuote from LadyFree28To me it's rude to repeatedly refer to ones co-workers as "old, old, old." When you start harping on that, there's a problem.Ruby, I never thought of her post as being rude...more like she was venting...I can understand, after my own double check (guess I should've done that nurse check :0) ) and I can see how she comes off as not handle negative feedback well. I actually welcome your posts, actually.
Either way, newbie nurses need the "old school" nurses to teach valuable education ; once they learn the ropes, newbies may have fresh ideas to help promote pt. safety, or improve nursing...the nurse preceptor relationship should be an opportunity to ensures the foundations of our profession are to be passed successfully.
Dec 31, '12 by LadyFree28, BSN, RNQuote from OCNRN63True...sounds like ageism. I'm 31, and consider "old" to some of the nursing newbies...lol...just call me "old school"...I always remind them "I know the ropes...you want to be competent, and your license to be free and clear, you will need to listen to me. I want you to be able to be beside me in any situation as comfortable as I am, in your own way, just like you expect me to be, since you are starting out." So, if the OP needs to be "whipped into shape" lol...the OP needs to realize that, she needs to go through the trenches to be a better nurse...time management, professionalism, etc. examine the negative feed back, appreciate the teachable moment and become the best nurse she can be.
To me it's rude to repeatedly refer to ones co-workers as "old, old, old." When you start harping on that, there's a problem.
Dec 31, '12 by LadyFree28, BSN, RNQuote from triqueeAgreed! Those "battle axes" are the BEST nurses. They have shaped me to be an intelligent, capable, competent nurse, and a empathetic nurse...they also have helped me be able to enjoy nursing on my own terms...not much burnout, flexible and active in my career and nursing cultures when I have work-really drama and stress free...I have truly enjoyed my nursing profession, due to them...they are priceless!
Who doesn't love chocolate?
In all honesty though, I tend to get on well with the battleaxe types. I was raised by a no-nonsense, rough around the edges, hard-working and intelligent woman. I understand them better than most my age. My skin is thick and I'm not easily intimidated. But I also know when to keep my mouth shut...most of the time anyway.
Dec 31, '12 by mclennan, BSNOP, what you're experiencing is normal.
Toughen up, do a good job, stay as quiet as you can, and show respect.
When I was a new nurse working with battle axes I didn't try so hard to engage them, and didn't bug them with my greenhorn questions. I asked my boss my questions, I'd rather get iron-clad directions from her anyway, at least then I knew I'd be doing things the way she & the hospital wanted - not some backwards/shortcut way some old bat had been doing for years.
Be on time, leave them alone, help when they ask, ignore their pecking at you, and bring in treats. Let time pass and keep at it. It'll get better, I promise. This is called "earning your stripes."
Dec 31, '12 by portcl90 days is how long you need to be there before you can transfer to another area.
I have seen MANY newbies crying every shift because they can't handle the emotional aspect of what we do. We are also the unit to handle all fetal demises in the hospital. YOU try not to get emotionally involved when you have to go to the morgue and dress a 38 week stillborn and deliver that baby to the mom who was to be sectioned less than 24 hours before arrival at the hospital. You be there when a young mother of twin toddlers is given a cancer diagnosis and then stand by her side for months or years as she battles this disease only to be told that there is nothing more that can be done. I don't require every nurse to get emotionally involved, but I do expect that they respect the emotions of our patients and the nature of our unit. As I stated they need to respect the environment we have built. No I don't feel that every nurse has to attend the memorial service. That was just a way of saying that they gave everything they had to this patient, had closure, and came back to do it all over again with another patient instead of saying it was too hard and running away. When I was newer on the unit, I welcomed EVERY new nurse and tried to be the one they could come to and show them the ropes and then 98% ended up leaving. I was doing a hell of a lot of work taking them on and for what? So now, as I stated, I am open to helping them if they ask, but I am not going to kill myself for them until I know that they are sticking around. (And no, I don't mean kill literally - just clarifying as it seems you take everything that way)
Examples of things "newbies" do that I don't respect:
1. Walking away in the middle of report to get something and saying "I'm listening" - no your not!
2. Thinking your too good to empty drains, clean emesis basins, take patients to the bathroom, fetch drinks, etc. - we're a team.
3. Ignore me when I tell you what will set a doctor off and then cry when that doctor blows up at you.
4. Ask me a question and then ask 5 more nurses the same question - look it up yourself if you don't believe 6 of us!
5. Asking me to hold your pager while you go take your lunch break by the river when we are 2 nurses short and I haven't even peed since I got to work - by all means have lunch by the river!
6. I have to answer your call bells because you are no where to be found only to discover you were on the next unit over kissing the butts of doctors while ignoring your pager!
7. Passing the "buck" to the next shift leaving them behind from the start of their shift.
I am not a hard nurse to work with, but too many times I am left wondering why someone even got into nursing. Are they wanting to find a Dr. husband, were they misinformed that this is a glamorous profession, is it just for the money because you know we are all rolling in it, or do they just lack the common sense to be able to apply the knowledge they learned in school?
Dec 31, '12 by portclQuote from Susie2310They don't need to be emotionally attached and it's not my emotions they need to be mindful of, it's the environment that we are in. They don't need to come to work and try playing practical jokes in the hallway of a patient who just learned she has about 4 weeks left to live.I can understand wanting to see new nurses on your unit demonstrate they are committed to giving good patient care. But, what does your attachment to the patients and to the doctors who work on your unit have to do with the new nurses? Those are your emotions. Why does the new nurse have to tiptoe around your emotional territory? "Learn what these nurses respect and show them that you have it" - that is fine if you mean the new nurse needs to demonstrate that he/she can deliver good quality care to patients and family members as part of a team, while following standards of care, the Nurse Practice Act, and unit policies and procedures. New nurses don't need to slavishly attend to the values the older nurses hold high, but they do need to provide quality nursing care to patients and their families. New nurses may genuinely care for patients without feeling a need to attend their memorial services (attending a memorial service is a personal decision, not a professional one). Yes, new nurses are wise to be respectful of their co-workers in a new job, and to work hard to give good patient care. You don't need to open your arms to new nurses, just be helpful, considerate, and allow them to be individuals with their own values and personalities.
Yes, learn what the nurses respect...empty drains, take your patient to the bathroom, get them ice, be a team member and make your patient's needs a priority, etc.
No, new nurses don't need to attend memorial services. That was my way of saying that they stuck it out, found closure, and came back to do it all over again. They didn't run away saying it was too hard, they didn't crack under the pressure. I am not going to get burnt out doing my job and taking on all the new nurses when 98% of them won't stick around. Been there, done that. Now for my own sanity, I do look for some commitment from the new nurse before I extend myself for them.
I am just giving the OP my perspective. Only she can look at it and see if it applies at all to her situation.
Dec 31, '12 by alicia125I think it is unacceptable behavior to be rude and/or nasty to anyone, regardless of their competence! Whether they like you or not they should respect you....and you need to demand that...your obligation is to your patients and your patients only! You owe them nothing and you became a nurse with your own brain...I'm tried of these burnt out type of nurses who think its ok to treat new less experience nurses like crap...get over yourself and remember you were once a new nurse! It's not ok and to me it's down right abusive! And who wants to stick around for that!