A Plea to Nurses Everywhere - page 5

by SarahLeeRN

I donít seem to process everything that I see, hear and do at work until I am home. My lack of reflection until later might have something to do with running around like a Looney Tunes character for eight or more hours caring for... Read More


  1. 2
    I REALLY loved this!!! I'm a CNA but I see it alot!!!!! Even towards myself at times because this is my first job ever and the program I was in was suckish lbs but they're patient with me. But I see it almost everyday between the evening and night shift. But seeing how some nurses act I sometimes wonder if they did nursing for the money or if it was something that they really love to do?
    my_purpose and chevyv like this.
  2. 5
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** Find them alone in the parking lot and "explain" to them why it's inappropiate to ever scream at me. Don't know what ThatGuy does but works for me.
    I'm much more childish than that. I call every oh 2-3 minutes asking if now is a good time. After a few of those, I'll call the charge nurse to try and give report, then when they ask why I'm calling them directly I will explain to the charge why this is happening. Gets them in trouble by their charge and I can have my fun out of it. Oh and I usually will send them the second I hang up so there is no down time between report and when the pt gets there.

    It only ever has to happen once before the next time they are much more polite
  3. 0
    Our day shift charge and our night shift charge frequently scream at each other, loudly, during shift change. I dread the days I know that I will be dealing with both of them...it's embarassing to witness and I can't believe neither of them have ever been reprimanded about it.
  4. 6
    Quote from Amnesty
    I don't think we should be "nice". Being nice implies that we're choking back how we really feel and putting an unrealistic blanket of sugarcoating over our actions just so that we can be a bit more societally acceptable. Instead, I feel like people, ALL people, should strive to be legitimately more kind. The difference is that if you're kind, you realize other people deserve your consideration and respect, and you don't want to yell at them or slam phones down or be a giant brat in general. You can be a very kind person and also be quite firm in not letting others disrespect you. Everybody, regardless of profession, could use a dose of self-introspection and some work on kindness. You just see more of it being necessary in situations where there are high amounts of stress and people snap more easily, like nursing.

    That said, I REALLY hope I never have to work in a setting like what you've described, OP. I wouldn't be there for any longer than it took me to find another job, I can promise you that.
    Nice is nice. Nice and kind are awesome. I am both simutaneously. And I am quite far out of the box, and not necessarily socially acceptable. But social acceptability is not something one needs for work. Professional conduct is something one needs for work. I am an odd girl, who is passionate about a number of things that most in my neck of the woods find quite a bit out of the norm. But that is on my off time. Part of being a successful nurse is the ability to conduct ones self appropriately. And sometimes the quirky needs to be reigned in to keep a job. People can be rude, sarcastic, and overbearing on their own time. Ain't nobody got time for that, and here's hoping one day the managers of the world will realize it.
    Altra, SarahLeeRN, gonzo1, and 3 others like this.
  5. 7
    SarahLeeRN,

    You are a gifted writer and it impresses me that you would use that gift to express this particular point of view. I have engaged in many discussions here on AN reflecting this topic and I see what you see.

    As I have been integrating into the workplace after graduating from nursing school last year, I have had a few key musings of my own. Most notably, I have found that attitude really is everything. I can't control the attitudes and actions of the gruff, the disillusioned, the back-biting, self-absorbed and I don't ever hope to. But then, their behavior is not what I'm concerned with anyway. It's mine that I am concerned with. Because it is my behavior that I will ultimately be held accountable for.

    I don't kill with kindness. No way. I kill with calm. I have learned from my experiences dealing with patients that most nurses dread - the irritating, the needy, the rough around the edges, gruff, accusatory, distrusting, belligerent, etc. - that when I dig my heels in and remain committed to calm, rock solid, self controlled responses, the anger, fear, and/or agitation that these patients project melts right off. Sometimes it's immediate. Sometimes, it takes most of a shift. But always, the end result is the same. They soften. They open up and become less tense. And that is the moment when a bond develops and suddenly, everyone around me is shocked that the most unruly, angry, agitated patient from their memory is polite and humble or laughing and joking. They're not on their call light every 20 minutes with some inane request. They express gratitude for the care they are receiving instead. I don't make apologies. I don't have to be a doormat. I don't hope that they like me. I don't try to be their buddy. I just maintain composure and basic human respect for them in all things said and done. I carry this same methodology over to my interactions with co-workers.

    "Just be nice," might work for some who are far nicer naturally than I am. For me, "Just be calm," works well enough.

    Great read. Keep fighting the good fight.
    wannabecnl, roughmatch, oncnursemsn, and 4 others like this.
  6. 1
    Thank you for this post. I am a student nurse. I am supposed to graduate in May. I write supposed to because my instructor is a bully. She picks out certain ones each semester, I have learned, and this time it's me. She definitely displays horizontal violence and threatened to fail me, she is looking for ways to fail me. I am terrified of her and that she has the power to ruin my life and everything I have worked so damned hard for for over three years. And not just me, but my poor sick mother who has watched my daughter from newborn to almost three years of age, so I could make this happen. I hate my instructor. She is cruel and gobbles up her young. It's more than a shame, it's criminal because she is supposed to be our TEACHER! for literally crying out loud! We have a different instructor each semester and our final semester is governed by two bullies. The other one that has our other group of students is no better.

    I have been treated harshly and spoken to like I'm a complete idiot by various nurses at the different places we've done clinicals. I have asked myself many, many times if I really want this. I decided to try and become a nurse because I wanted to help people. I wanted a rewarding profession.....hmmm...and it isn't just the way the professionals treat one another, but I've seen other things I can't agree with. Like purposefully making a pateint wait for pain meds because the nurse doesn't like them. Or letting a patient lie in feces because the CNA is busy doing something else, although the nurse is standing right there gossiping and could clean the patient up, but chooses not to. Or the viscious things nurses say about each other...I had no idea it was like this.

    I feel so sad and wonder all the time if I made the right choice to go into nursing.
    glowbug likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from Amnesty
    I don't think we should be "nice". Being nice implies that we're choking back how we really feel and putting an unrealistic blanket of sugarcoating over our actions just so that we can be a bit more societally acceptable. Instead, I feel like people, ALL people, should strive to be legitimately more kind. The difference is that if you're kind, you realize other people deserve your consideration and respect, and you don't want to yell at them or slam phones down or be a giant brat in general. You can be a very kind person and also be quite firm in not letting others disrespect you. Everybody, regardless of profession, could use a dose of self-introspection and some work on kindness. You just see more of it being necessary in situations where there are high amounts of stress and people snap more easily, like nursing.
    ^ THIS!!!! Sooooo much this... it can be difficult to remember in the heat of a stressful situation, but the above is very well put - Kudos Amnesty!
    SarahLeeRN likes this.
  8. 2
    I have also seen all of the above behaviors and more. Fortunately the place I work at now not so much. Some places are just totally disfunctional. I love that you said you think about your job on the way home and how you might improve. I do that too.
    nrsang97 and SarahLeeRN like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from metal_m0nk
    SarahLeeRN,

    You are a gifted writer and it impresses me that you would use that gift to express this particular point of view. I have engaged in many discussions here on AN reflecting this topic and I see what you see.

    As I have been integrating into the workplace after graduating from nursing school last year, I have had a few key musings of my own. Most notably, I have found that attitude really is everything. I can't control the attitudes and actions of the gruff, the disillusioned, the back-biting, self-absorbed and I don't ever hope to. But then, their behavior is not what I'm concerned with anyway. It's mine that I am concerned with. Because it is my behavior that I will ultimately be held accountable for.

    I don't kill with kindness. No way. I kill with calm. I have learned from my experiences dealing with patients that most nurses dread - the irritating, the needy, the rough around the edges, gruff, accusatory, distrusting, belligerent, etc. - that when I dig my heels in and remain committed to calm, rock solid, self controlled responses, the anger, fear, and/or agitation that these patients project melts right off. Sometimes it's immediate. Sometimes, it takes most of a shift. But always, the end result is the same. They soften. They open up and become less tense. And that is the moment when a bond develops and suddenly, everyone around me is shocked that the most unruly, angry, agitated patient from their memory is polite and humble or laughing and joking. They're not on their call light every 20 minutes with some inane request. They express gratitude for the care they are receiving instead. I don't make apologies. I don't have to be a doormat. I don't hope that they like me. I don't try to be their buddy. I just maintain composure and basic human respect for them in all things said and done. I carry this same methodology over to my interactions with co-workers.

    "Just be nice," might work for some who are far nicer naturally than I am. For me, "Just be calm," works well enough.

    Great read. Keep fighting the good fight.
    Thank you! I agree totally that "Just be calm" is also a great strategy. In fact, I think I may use that more than kindness as well now that I think about it...thanks for the perspective. "Keep calm and carry on," right?
  10. 3
    I think our work environment and the demands placed upon us foster backbiting behavior. You have to ask, why does management let this go on? Probably to keep us busy fighting ourselves instead of banding together to change our workplace into a more sustainable, safe place. Patient first? ha... Profit first.


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