I desperately need some advice - page 3

by Sensibility

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I started a job 3 months ago at a local hospital. I thought that everything was going really well until yesterday when I was brought into the office by our supervisors. I was basically told that I was in major trouble and that... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from ruby vee
    here's an opportunity for you to comport yourself as a professional. every professional gets negative feedback at one time or another -- learn how to accept it an learn from it and you'll find that your co-workers will go to you rather than straight to your manager. if you get angry, upset, defensive or teary with negative feedback, they'll avoid giving it to you. if they're not giving it to you, they're giving it to your manager because no one -- absolutely no one -- is perfect.

    that's why i was upset. i would like to think that i flex and change constantly as a professional in attempt to meet the expectations of everyone around me. i am not a new grad. i am someone who has a great deal of experience. i've been out of the workforce for a while. i have been back for a year and now landed this very lucrative job that i want to keep.

    i know i gave very vague details. but i'm afraid of someone discovering who i am and getting in more trouble. but i sincerely want to get help from fellow nurses who are not involved so that i don't offend anyone else.

    when i met with my supervisors, i had no idea that they were displeased. the first words out of their mouths were that i was not meeting their expectations and that they were going to have me go back on orientation for 5 more weeks. the implication was that this was my last chance.

    i do have some problems with some of the older nurses. i know you don't know me or know whether what i'm getting ready to tell you is the truth, but it is. i never knew this one person and she distanced me from day #1. she never gave me a chance, doesn't want to work with me, has no desire to be a team player and never says two words to me at all ever. as they say, for a profession that is supposed to be one of caring for people, it attracts some of the most heartless ugly-on-the-inside people.

    i get conflicting messages from every direction, which is making it so hard for me to do what's expected because i'm not sure what's expected. i took one of the als classes because in their documentation it stated that this was something they expected for employment. i thought they would be so pleased with that. instead, i found out today that it was assumed that i had an ulterior motive to get more pay. how absurd! i didn't even know i could get more pay because of that. i was just trying to do what i thought would make them happy. because of the experience i received through that course, i am now able to do a better job at understanding ekgs. obviously, i'm not a cardiologist or doctor. one of my fellow nurses who is highly respected says she has no idea how to read an ekg. but yet, in all the computerized documentation for employment, it was stressed over and over that the hospital wanted this. how can i succeed? i can't.
  2. 0
    Quote from ruby vee
    my mother, who has alzheimer's, recently stated deteriorating quickly. i have had to fly halfway across the country every few weeks to move her into a dementia ward when the alf could no longer keep her, and now to settle some of her affairs. dh has his own mother with alzheimer's so one of us frequently travels without the other to deal with mother issues. it isn't a vacation, but i am burning through my vacation time.
    my mom has alzheimer's too. i know what you're going through.
  3. 3
    How can I succeed? I can't.
    You certainly won't with that kind of thinking.

    I don't say that to be harsh, but to point out to you that you have to jettison this kind of defeatist attitude or you will never get beyond where you are now.

    I never knew this one person and she distanced me from day #1. She never gave me a chance, doesn't want to work with me, has no desire to be a team player and never says two words to me at all ever. As they say, for a profession that is supposed to be one of caring for people, it attracts some of the most heartless ugly-on-the-inside people.
    She distanced herself from you? How? Your complaints about her sound mainly emotional. She wasn't there for you. She didn't give you a chance? A chance to what? Prove yourself to her? That isn't where your focus should be.

    If you go to work looking for caring people, your mind will not be on your job as much as it should be.

    I get conflicting messages from every direction, which is making it so hard for me to do what's expected because I'm not sure what's expected. I took one of the ALS classes because in their documentation it stated that this was something they expected for employment. I thought they would be so pleased with that. Instead, I found out today that it was assumed that I had an ulterior motive to get more pay. How absurd! I didn't even know I could get more pay because of that. I was just trying to do what I thought would make them happy.
    You sound like a very nice person who is caught in the trap of being a people pleaser. You thought your employer would be so pleased and happy that you took this ALS course. It's good to look for ways to improve yourself and keep your training fresh and up to date. But this may be a case of trying to run before you can crawl.

    Here are a few suggestions for getting yourself back on track:

    1. Stop trying to make other people happy. Stop trying to please them and have them care about you. Stop worrying about their opinions and whether or not they like you. Does that mean you give up and stop trying to learn how to do your job better? No. It means that you keep learning and orienting and improving because it's the right thing to do and because it will please you to become better at what you do. Does it mean that you become cold and disdainful toward your peers? No, it means you be pleasant and kind, but you don't spend a lot of time trying to make friends or get close to others. There will be time for some of that later when your job is more secure and you are feeling safer.

    2. With your manager's help, pick one or two wise nurses who have some emotional maturity and seek them out for any feedback that you need. This should help cut down on your confusion. Do not look for affirmation of your feelings but rather of your knowledge and skills. Keep your emotions in check and deal with them off the clock. We read other people, so if you go around with your heart on your sleeve, you're going to be way too vulnerable and you will telegraph your neediness to those who can be unkind.

    3. Carry a small notebook in your pocket. Write down any questions you may have so you can look them up when you have a chance. Try to do this before you ask someone else. It will stay with you longer if you have to seek the information out. And you will not come off as someone who relies on others rather than doing the legwork yourself. Yes, there will be times when you have no choice but to ask, but if you have kept your inquiries to the minimum, this shouldn't be a problem.

    4. In this same notebook, write down your successes. If you tackled something new and it went well, write it down. If someone says something nice (even though you're no longer seeking that), write it down. If you caught a problem and fixed it or at least alerted others to it, write it down. We are far too good at remembering our failures and beating ourselves up with every replay. We need to keep better track of our victories and run through them from time to time. This helps on one of those days when you don't think you can do anything right.

    5. Do not allow anyone a vote on whether you're an okay human being. You decide that you are, and that's that.

    6. You do accept input on your nursing skills, but even that should be tempered with caution. Consider the source. Examine the content of any negative input. Take in what is valid and toss the rest.

    7. Get your emotional affirmation away from the job. If you don't, you will be putting your equilibrium in the hands of others who may or may not have your best interests at heart.

    8. Tell yourself the truth--that it would be nice, wonderful even, to get some positive feedback and personal attagirls on the job--but it may never happen, and you can do this job even without them.

    How do I know this is the truth? I started my first acute care job eleven years after becoming a nurse (I did psych before that). Although the people I worked with were nice, for the most part, there were a few who were kind of snarky or distant. During my first year I made a couple of mistakes and was spoken to about them. I felt terrible. I felt even worse because nothing was ever said when you did things right or well. It felt very unbalanced, especially to someone who had not previously worked in acute care.

    This was a battle that I waged in my spirit for several years. To this day, I still say it would have helped me tremendously to have someone soften the correction with something good, so that I would not feel like a trapdoor could open beneath me at any moment. But I learned to keep going and have now been on this unit for more than six years.

    You do not need your co-workers' approval. You can get through this and accomplish your goals.

    I wish you the best.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 10, '11
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  4. 0
    Quote from rn/writer
    I don't say that to be harsh, but to point out to you that you have to jettison this kind of defeatist attitude or you will never get beyond where you are now.
    Probably true. It is hard to act beyond your own feelings sometimes.

    She distanced herself from you? How? Your complaints about her sound mainly emotional. She wasn't there for you. She didn't give you a chance? A chance to what? Prove yourself to her? That isn't where your focus should be.
    In this unit, people are allowed to complain about other people anonymously. That has been happening to me, which is part of the reason that I was written up. Some of these accusations are totally false. Others like the charting are things that our unit managers want to see. Everything was going fine until this one lady got the charge nurse on her side. Now they are both cold toward me and I don't know why.

    You sound like a very nice person who is caught in the trap of being a people pleaser.
    I have thought of that and am well aware of the fact that I'm doing it. OTOH, how do you not be this way? This hospital has several places of communicating expectations to their employees. They have their education department, the human resources department, the unit supervisors and our peers. Each of these areas has a perspective and none of them match apparently. All I'm trying to do is meet the expectations of those I'm working for, nothing else. I have no intention of being best buds with anyone outside of work. I just want to work together with them inside of work in a cordial manner. Our unit requires teamwork. So we have to be able to look to each other for help occasionally. I don't walk around with my emotions on my sleeve crying or happy. I smile at people but that is mostly just to be kind and nothing else.

    In our hospital, they are trying to have a system where our preceptor is our friend and confidant. That has only worked slightly. One of them is an angel to me. I wish everyone was as kind and nice as she is.

    Carry a small notebook in your pocket.
    I like this idea. You might be right. Asking too many questions might be problematic. Maybe I should look for the answers by myself and only ask when I'm desperate. Thanks for the input!!!
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    When I met with my supervisors, I had no idea that they were displeased. The first words out of their mouths were that I was not meeting their expectations and that they were going to have me go back on orientation for 5 more weeks. The implication was that this was my last chance.
    I forgot to comment on this last night. If they are willing to give you more orientation, they must see something worthwhile in you. Be encouraged by that and go in there and dive it your best shot.
  6. 0
    Talk to your manager and try turning it into a learning experience to figure out what you can do better. Instead of getting defensive, take it as "Ok, what would you like me to say? Are their guidelines i can follow when giving report?"
    ask what you can do better next time so you can learn from this.
  7. 1
    This is all just further proof that where you get hired on for your first job is the biggest thing in the absolute world.

    I gave in my 1st month a med a wrong route (nothing serious, just gave IV something ordered IM, thank god it wasn't a big and bad drug and was just a muscle relaxer and an NSAID), and what happened to me was a sit down and basically a 'hey buddy, lets actually pay attention next time and not get complacent'.

    If they sat you down and talked to you, I personally would have been nervous beforehand and less nervous now. You have some set things that you need to work on now, so make sure that there is a system in place to evaluate you in the future on those certain tasks. Make sure that you make improvements.

    Ask questions or you get left behind. Don't ever sit around and do nothing. Always be asking if there is something you can do for someone else (someone always needs vitals, someone always needs their pain reassessed, etc). Unfortunately one of the hardest tasks sometimes is getting your coworkers to have your back. Find a way to become part of the group (not by gossiping..) and see how things turn out.
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
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    You stated something about the preceptor being your friend and confidant. Be careful there. Don't be so quick to trust and to spill your guts or overtalk. You would be surprised how many people are totally caught off guard when they find out that the person they thought they could confide in, their preceptor (or other coworker), turned around and put it to them. Remember that the preceptor will be asked to evaluate you and it is business, not a gloss over among "friends".
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
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    I wanted to thank all of you who responded to me. I did finally pass the probationary period. I was exonerated and all is well. I hope some of you see this, but I could use some more advice and it does involve this initial problem.

    I eventually decided that the bottom line problem that this hospital had with me involved charting. I think they were willing to overlook everything were it not for that. I was under the impression that precise charting in detail was important. Turns out that less is better. Apparently, the hospitals only want us checking the blanks and very little progress note type charting. So that seemed to make them happy and all is well....

    Well that is with the exception of one thing. You know how when people retell a story from their perspective, they want to believe it's true even if it isn't true. Thus, they are going to keep you under the microscope until they are proven right. Well, in the mix of things a fallacious story was told about me that wasn't wholly true.

    To begin with, there is one nurse that is a bully. She is from another country and this behavior is excused because people from her country are just that way. This hospital has gone to great lengths to stop this kind of behavior from happening, but it doesn't work. If this woman were American, there would be zero tolerance for her behavior. Because this nurse was so horrible to me one evening over nothing and totally rude, I mentioned it to one of the superiors. I don't know if this was taken seriously. I was told that I wasn't the only person that had mentioned this and that she would be spoken to. After that, my head nurse became rather cool toward me.

    So in light of that, this "story" involved holding a child for an IV start. I am fully capable of doing this. The story that was told was that I let go of the child before the IV nurse could get the IV. That isn't true. She had blown the vein and was pulling out. She had tried several times to thread the vein unsuccessfully. My head nurse was standing there waiting with a scale to weigh the child...and waiting....and waiting. After it was evident that this IV nurse didn't get the IV, I stood up and said I was getting conflicting signals. Did she want me to continue to help to start the IV or weigh the baby? My head nurse immediately started acting out in front of the parent. I did not get angry or lose my cool (thank God). The IV nurse wrote me up. It was really weird.

    A few weeks ago, I talked to the IV nurse the other day that made the accusation and she said that she was still trying to get the IV when I let go and would have gotten it if I hadn't. What a little liar! That isn't true. I told her to her face that I thought she had missed. She said she just wanted me to listen to her instructions in the future and I assured her that I would. She had me follow her to a room to see how to hold properly. I didn't see anything remarkable about the way this nurse was holding this baby.

    I know in time my abilities will be evident and I will be exonerated on these ridiculous accusations as well. But what bothers me is the way this bullying continues to happen within the hospital. Now, every time there is an IV to be started, one of my fellow nurses rushes in to hold or I'll go into one of my patient's rooms and find another nurse holding. It is hurting my feelings and to be honest, my husband doesn't understand at all. It is an insidious way of bullying someone. Now everyone has me labeled and it REALLY bothers me!! I didn't do what they said I did. I have started hundreds of IVs in the past on babies and children. I know how to hold.

    I don't know what to do. Any thoughts on this? You guys were so helpful last time. So thank you in advance!!
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
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    I haven't ever worked w/children so I don't know about proper holding procedures.. BUT I do know about the type of "bullying" you're experiencing and all I can do is offer you my support through A.N. Hang in there, hold your head high, keep doing your best, document what you feel in your gut that you should re: issues like this (but truly don't expect anyone in management to give them credence), and don't take any crud from anyone.
    SuesquatchRN likes this.


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