This is a very toxic Environment!

  1. 0
    I've been working on this floor for about two months (I am a new grad). There is so much back stabbing and back biting I feel like I am working in a common cesspool. The nurses take turns talking about other nurses that are not around. They certainly talk about me. I've been told this by another nurse, I'll call her Nurse Debbie (not her real name). I pulled Nurse Debbie aside one night and told her I am not paranoid, but I just feel like the other nurses are talking about me. Nurse Debbie told me in so many words that they are talking about me, and she said I quote "they are going to tear her apart", this is what some other nurses said about me. I am already nervous about my job and I am depressed and stressed the days before I have to go to work. I like taking care of the patients for the most part, but feel so nervous and stressed because I know that the other nurses want to see me fail, excluding a couple of the nurses I work with. There have been a couple of other nurses that have come on since I have, and they have taken them right in. I guess I don't fit a certain description, the right looks, or whatever, I am not sure why they chose to exclude me. They give the other nurses compliments on their work, etc. BTW this unit has a hard time keeping nurses, because of how mean they are. There has been at least one nurse to have quit after I started. There aren't many jobs besides med-surg and I don't want to do that either. What should I do, how do I deal with this?

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    How awful!

    From personal experience I think that this happens in almost every work environment. Especially those in which there are mostly women. At my work there is a lot of talking behind others backs. I think it is because they are too afraid to say how they feel to the person's face. It is very cowardly and unprofessional. And if someone doesn't "fit in" then they get the brunt of the verbal abuse.

    I feel pretty well liked on my unit and I have received positive feedback from most everyone. No one has ever acted hateful to me. So naturally I was shocked when one night my charge nurse took me aside and told me that I needed to be careful about what I say around others. I asked her to clarify but she wouldn't tell me what I said or who made the complaint. Apparently someone was complaining about me being negative or something. It was very hard to hear that people who act nice to your face are probably talking about you behind your back. It bothered me at first ,and then I decided if the person can't tell me what problem they have with me to my face then it isn't even worth worrying about. You can't go around worrying about every little thing you say or do that someone may have a problem with. People will find fault in anything, but deep down they know they are the one's with the problem.

    Don't sink to thier level! It is very easy to fall into the conversation and find yourself doing the exact same thing.

    As tough as it might be, try not to let what other people think bother you or define who you are/ what type of nurse you are. It is hard to enjoy your job when you feel unwanted on your unit. It is unfair of them to be talking behind your back when they probably don't even know you that well.

    If you catch someone doing it you can confront them about it. This happened to someone on my unit. Another nurse was mimicking her voice to me when she walked in the door and heard everything. The nurse who was making fun was really embarassed. The other nurse said, "I know you are talking about me and I don't appreciate it." It made the nurse look about 2 inches high.

    Anyway, I hope your situation gets better. You can always come here to vent.
    :spin:
  4. 0
    Thanks for the reply. It is sad that this kind of behavior is so common. What I am wanting to know is how do I deal with it. I leave work most nights feeling so down. I know I shouldn't care about what people say, but being a new-grad I don't feel grounded yet as a nurse. If I had lots of experience behind me I don't think it would get to me as much. I think new nurses shouldn't have to prove themselves with this kind of ill behavior from other nurses. What is the motive, they really need the help. They should be trying to keep all the help they can possibly get.

    It really does hurt the morale of the unit. I know gossip has been around as long as people have been around. However, it is really bad where I work, and being the new person, I am getting the brunt of it. I want to know how to keep my head up while I am trying to learn my job. I don't know how much longer I want to endure this much pressure from these horrible people. Doesn't anyone believe that God is watching us and how can someone be so down right mean and evil for no apparent reason. I can't understand this behavior, probably because I try to treat others as I want to be treated. Maybe I am just wanting to hear someone say you should stay and you can deal with it. I find it hard to believe that every unit is this bad.
    Last edit by MoriahRoseRN on Aug 14, '07
  5. 0
    I doubt all units are this way. Even though there is gossip on mine, I would never describe my coworkers as evil. I think some units are probably more hateful than others. Maybe those nurses are burnt out and hate thier jobs so the try to make everyone else feel miserable as well.

    If I were you I'd probably try to stick it out and see if things got any better. If you know you can't stand it and it is making you depressed then you need to do what is best for your mental health.

    Good luck with whatever happens. Pray about it
  6. 0
    Welcome to the club. You are simply going to need to learn to let these things roll off your back (like a duck). Never ask if people are talking badly about you, because you'll likely become disappointed at the affirmative answer that confirms your fears. Some of my coworkers talk crap about me, but I am not concerned with anything that they have to say. I am not seeking their approval.

    Nursing has always tended to attract women with low self-esteems. We all know that persons who suffer from low self esteem need a colossal plenitude of validation and ego-boosting in order to feel better about themselves.

    Some nurses who possess low self esteems receive momentary thrills by speaking in ways that belittle their coworkers. For some bizarre reason, their egos are temporarily boosted when they insult other people. You must always remember that a person does not feel the need to insult another human being unless their own self esteem is lacking. Gossip can incite a potentially toxic work ambiance, but only if you focus too much of your time and energy on it.

    Ignore, and it will go away.
  7. 0
    Welcome to the world of nursing! Sometimes I think we spend so much of our compassion on our patients we don't have much left for our peers. The only thing I can tell you is that your opinion of yourself and your patient care is more important to you than anyone elses. It's nice if you find someone who's opinion you respect to bounce things off of but the general cattyness in nursing is as important as so much kitty litter. I've invited the meow crowd to talk about me as much as they like- but please wait until my back is turned so I don't have to reply.
  8. 0
    I am moving my focus from my co-workers to solely my work performance and the needs of my patients. Tough skin, a sound mind and lots of praying is the only thing that is going to get me through the rough spots. Thanks for the advice.
  9. 0
    I guess I have a bad attitude (heh heh) but I feel right now that I KNOW I will make a pretty good nurse and will be a valuable asset to the organization, so, if the oganization I'm at now chooses not to create an environment that is going to be welcoming and nurturing, well, to heck with it, I'll quit and go somewhere else. I KNOW that if I fail at this first job, it's because of them, not me. I'm professional, I'm smart, I'm careful and I'm easy to work with. I live in Los Angeles and the demand is high for nurses. If they want to make my life unpleasant, I'll leave and go somewhere that's nicer. If I can't find anything nicer, I'll get out of bedside nursing. Don't put up with it.
  10. 4
    wow,

    i work in an er.

    when i was hired as a tech, brought from a rehab unit of the hospital that had shut down, i was not a welcomed member,at the time...

    i was one of three that was brought in the ed, and was never formerly trained, but just learned on the job from day to day, by asking many questions, and trying to be as brave as possible.

    nobody would say hello to me,
    i was expected to know on the fly everything a tech should know of 10 years exp.

    i worked every holiday, did all the jobs nobody wanted and went home exausted!
    not to mention the abuse from the rn's as well as my fellow techs.

    i remember my 1st christmas,
    there were gift baskets with gifts for all the staff to take, but i noticed that my name and another staff member, who was an rn were scratched off the list that had been placed in the basket.

    i was so mad i took a gift for my friend john, and told him here was his gift, he was not to allowed have, and i also took mine.

    i started to learn my place in the dept.

    i learned to hold my head up high, because i was learning so much, while i was going to nursing school full time.

    after 1 year of being there, can you belive there was nobody who passed me in the hall without saying hello.

    yes, i was treated badly, but i did not dwell on it because i knew i always did an excellent job, and patients gave me the satisfaction to go on, because they would praise me.

    yes there was much negativity and back biting and favoritism, but i focused on the big picture.

    i kept thinking maybe my positive attitiude, and my desire to learn and practiced what i learned, would help others.

    tward the end of my schooling, we had a large turn-around, masses of rn's were leaving, even the old ones that were there forever were moving to toher departments.

    we started getting a higher rating in our ed, and negative talk was frowned upon.

    i am now an rn in that same ed, with some different faces, and many that are the same.

    i have made friends, but no enemies so far.

    i love where i work, and hope it will continue to evolve.

    i found to not talk about others.

    look at the best side of the person, and try to overlook the neg.

    make friends, not enemies.

    fight for what you think is right.

    do not let anyone put you down you are the only one that will allow that to happen.

    find safe friends to vent to in private.

    learn to be a leader, never ask anyone to do something you would not do yourself.

    be the good example

    that way we can better control your little corner of the world.



    i'm not saying that i changed my place of work, but i do feel my positive attitude helped me cope.

    i'm just happy that it started to become a better place, and now they are changing their way of thinking when hiring new employees into the dept. that are positive.


    thank you god


    Quote from moriahrosern
    i've been working on this floor for about two months (i am a new grad). there is so much back stabbing and back biting i feel like i am working in a common cesspool. the nurses take turns talking about other nurses that are not around. they certainly talk about me. i've been told this by another nurse, i'll call her nurse debbie (not her real name). i pulled nurse debbie aside one night and told her i am not paranoid, but i just feel like the other nurses are talking about me. nurse debbie told me in so many words that they are talking about me, and she said i quote "they are going to tear her apart", this is what some other nurses said about me. i am already nervous about my job and i am depressed and stressed the days before i have to go to work. i like taking care of the patients for the most part, but feel so nervous and stressed because i know that the other nurses want to see me fail, excluding a couple of the nurses i work with. there have been a couple of other nurses that have come on since i have, and they have taken them right in. i guess i don't fit a certain description, the right looks, or whatever, i am not sure why they chose to exclude me. they give the other nurses compliments on their work, etc. btw this unit has a hard time keeping nurses, because of how mean they are. there has been at least one nurse to have quit after i started. there aren't many jobs besides med-surg and i don't want to do that either. what should i do, how do i deal with this?
    catslave, VickyRN, sistasoul, and 1 other like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from MoriahRoseRN
    I am moving my focus from my co-workers to solely my work performance and the needs of my patients. Tough skin, a sound mind and lots of praying is the only thing that is going to get me through the rough spots. Thanks for the advice.
    Good girl! You'll never be able to change the behavior of these people. The best you can do is to not give them the satisfaction of seeing you upset and the ultimate best revenge is to be the best nurse you can be while still staying grounded, professional and nice. Nothing wrong with being nice, even though it gets a bad rap!


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