Good trait you have counts against you!

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    I am a New Grad Nurse didn't get offered a job at the place that I have been working for about 4 years because I am not " confrontational".... Do I really need to change my good trait just to land a job? I am very sweet, nice, and easy to get along person to my co-worker, will go out of my way for the patient's benefit, best hard-working, with good work-ethics, but they label me as weak because I don't like confrontation and conflicts!
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 8 Comments...

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    Moved to our Nursing First Job Hunt Assistance forum.
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    I am the same way. I just had an interview and when asked to describe my personality, I said organized and professional, yet laid back, easy to get along with... and I was sure to say that I am assertive when I need to be (because I am)... but I don't know anyone who actually likes confrontation!
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    I am quiet and deferential to others, especially those with lots of experience. Quiet can often be misperceived as socially awkward, and yes, this was used against me recently during a practicum experience in the ED. Never mind that I am hard-working, conscientious, diligent (maybe a little slow, when performing tasks such as IV starts or catheter insertions), and smart, meaning I have a basic knowledge base. It's because I'm too damn quiet that I was trashed. My preceptor made it a point to make up lies about my practice just to cover up the fact that she didn't want to work with a quiet person. It was my first day in the ER FFS, and I am usually more on the quiet side on my first day anywhere.
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    That's funny. Only because during my residency in the ICU I was told by the unit manager that I was too "head strong," and too "assertive," for a new graduate. It was the reason I was not offered a job when the residency ended and am still looking. I never put myself in a confrontational situation, but I made sure to respectfully speak my mind and advocate for patients based on my own comfort level under the provisions of never jeopardizing patient safety. I always thought, in an ICU setting, it was important to be assertive and take initiative.

    I only learned about this through other nurses. The unit manager had been telling this to the other nurses; I respectfully confronted her about what I had heard and she agreed she had been saying that. I told her what I thought about assertiveness's place in both nursing and an intensive care setting. She agreed that assertiveness is good, it just isnt good for a new grad. She kept making remarks like.."well when I was a new grad..." She kept making it seem as though this behavior coming from a new grad could only be aggressive and unsafe.

    Whatever.

    I love how a change in economical climate makes qualifying criteria bleed out from a resume and into one's personal demeanor. And also, don't believe the hype that in order to work in the ED you need to be an outspoken cowboy. Its BS. Plenty of great mild-mannered and quiet nurses I know work in the ED and love it. Don't change who you are.
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    Awww, I feel for you timidgirl; I believe that you and I are cut from the same cloth. I too HATE confrotation and avoid it at almost any cost. Needless to say, I did NOT get the ER position I applied for as a desperate new grad three years ago...thank God!!! Can you imagine? It would have been horrible! Instead...I was drawn to the NICU - all those quiet, premature babies, carpeted floors, and that dim, shaded lighting with the welcoming blue glow of a room full of bili lights...

    A perfect fit...unfortunately, the unit where I landed my first job was anything but calm! Imagine screaming practitioners racing off to surprise deliveries, codes, self-extubations, bloody syringes dropping on hard, dirty, linolium...and me - ME calling pharmacy,lab, or the practitioners for the THIRD time about their most recent screw-ups! Compete craziness!

    My point is this: I was once told in my nursing school clinicals that I would end up in peds due to my quiet, shy, and understanding personality (true), BUT I was also told that nursing WILL change my personality (also true) because at times its fast-paced nature demands confrontation. Honestly, I was frightened at the thought of my nursing career forcing, if not even requiring, confrontation as well as it acutally changing my personality. However, it has made me a stronger, more confident, more independent individual, and I do not regret it. That being said, I would still LOVE to find a quieter NICU or find a nice clinic job better suited for "our" personality.


    Btw, if you're ok with giving up the whole "ICU/ER experience," check out step-down units (including Level II NICUs if you like infants). Don't worry, I know you will rise to the challenge. Feel free to pm me.
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    This is a downfall of applying at a place that already knows you. At new prospective employers, they will not have any preknowledge of your traits.
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    Quote from 240zRN
    That's funny. Only because during my residency in the ICU I was told by the unit manager that I was too "head strong," and too "assertive," for a new graduate. It was the reason I was not offered a job when the residency ended and am still looking. I never put myself in a confrontational situation, but I made sure to respectfully speak my mind and advocate for patients based on my own comfort level under the provisions of never jeopardizing patient safety. I always thought, in an ICU setting, it was important to be assertive and take initiative.

    I only learned about this through other nurses. The unit manager had been telling this to the other nurses; I respectfully confronted her about what I had heard and she agreed she had been saying that. I told her what I thought about assertiveness's place in both nursing and an intensive care setting. She agreed that assertiveness is good, it just isnt good for a new grad. She kept making remarks like.."well when I was a new grad..." She kept making it seem as though this behavior coming from a new grad could only be aggressive and unsafe.

    Whatever.

    I love how a change in economical climate makes qualifying criteria bleed out from a resume and into one's personal demeanor. And also, don't believe the hype that in order to work in the ED you need to be an outspoken cowboy. Its BS. Plenty of great mild-mannered and quiet nurses I know work in the ED and love it. Don't change who you are.
    Wow, I feel for you. I believe though, she only mentioned your personality because for some reason she did not want to hire you. Maybe it was a personality clash, or maybe she feared you knew too much about how the unit is run. I don't know what was going on in that pathetic little brain of hers. I suspect this was also the reason I was screwed over too. I have been working in the same ED I did my practicum in for 3 1/2 years. I still do, only to show my preceptor and her manager I am not going anywhere until I choose to go (when I get my first nursing position). I would be very sad if the manager of the floor I work on as a unit secretary does the same thing to me because I sure haven't done anything to prove to her that I am unhireable.
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    I have always been the sweet girl that never says a cross word to anyone.
    But as an RA, I was the most comfrontational ***** to anyone who jeapordized patient care.

    I don't think they are looking for someone who picks fights. Just someone with a backbone.


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