So I just started on a Med/Surg unit and I'm about two months in BUT so frustrated. I don't mind the 7 patient load or the endless charting but my Charge Nurses are so RUDE. They talk down to me, follow me (literally) and let me know of all the mistakes I'm making, threatening to write me up for having a flush on me etc. I know that this is all a learning process but it's hard to stay positive with all of the negative feedback I'm getting. My preceptor doesn't have anything negative to say about my skills so why is management so disapproving? Any advice? Thanks.
Oct 30, '13
Charge nurses are exactly "management" in most organizations. This is the very first step on the career ladder. These folks are staff nurses who have been selected to fulfill supervisory tasks for a specified shift. They don't have other administrative responsibilities as a rule (e.g., budgeting, staffing, quality improvement, change management, etc.) I'm not saying this is what is happening at your place, but based on my experience it is a likely explanation. . .
Very few organizations provide any sort of significant training for charge nurses - they just give them the title and expect a miracle to occur. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to act in the same way when they are granted "authority" for the first time. They think that supervision means 'bossing people around' and criticizing everything. So - this is what they do. It's like the pointy-haired boss in the comic strip Dilbert. Smart organizations provide training to charge nurses so that they know how to "lead", not "boss". This means focusing on communication, acknowledging performance, facilitating teamwork, ensuring equity. . .
Sometimes it helps to realize that there are underlying factors at work so that you can depersonalize the situation. Although you may be a target, their poor supervisory skills are to blame. They will probably shift their 'attention' to someone else if you maintain your cool.