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A Plea to Nurses Everywhere

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by SarahLeeRN SarahLeeRN, BSN (Member) Member

12 Articles; 32,220 Profile Views; 115 Posts

A plea for nurses everywhere that arose after a drive home reflection. Conflict is as much a part of our work environment as medication administration. Does it really have to be? We can choose our attitudes and begin to treat our coworkers like we treat our patients. With respect. You are reading page 4 of A Plea to Nurses Everywhere. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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12 Articles; 115 Posts; 32,220 Profile Views

Wow. These were the things I was worried about when making a career shift into nursing...

I don't remember this type of stuff when working in long term care, but I wasn't nursing staff, so maybe I did not see it. I do remember being thrown under the bus by my DON and her telling me once, "Wow. You are smarter than you look." But I always thought of her as a bully who must have had a lot of insecurities to treat others with such passive aggression.

Please to do not think that this is indicative of all nursing environments. It CAN be if individuals do not allow themselves to think before they speak and act.

But I by no means wish this to scare anyone away from the profession or to have you start out with a negative impression. As has been brought up by several replies to this article, there are many wonderful working environments. This is just a snapshot of several incidents that I have seen over time and is not indicative of my working environment as a whole. It COULD be a work environment though-and if it was an everyday work environment I would seriously question the management.

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Well said, your story is so true and you can find this in almost every facility in the united states and sometimes you ask yourself why some health care workers are in this peofession, why? As a student few months ago I said to myself I will make sure I treat students nice whenever I come in contact with them because it was a struggle to find a willing nurse to work with a student and they let you know they are not interested in helping you because you are wasting their time, it is a shame but I guess that is just the way it is, I am going to make a difference with every student and I am not going to eat my young

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T-Bird78 has 6 years experience.

848 Posts; 14,236 Profile Views

I've seen a fellow nurse sit back in her chair, fold her arms, and say "that's not my job today" while the nurse who was working with the doc had to run and do 4 different things instead of the lazy one getting off her butt and taking a task. Another time, there were three of us working with the doc, and simultaneously three things were going on that needed a nurse: a chart was put up to come back, a procedure was done and needed evaluation, and the doc needed assistance in a room. When I suggested we each grab one task and be done quickly, I was met with the eyeroll and one person walked off and emailed our clinical director to complain that I was bossy. Not only did I get a personal visit from the clinical director, I wound up doing all 3 things by myself instead of them being delegated evenly. At my current job, I'm the only LPN with a group of MAs. One of the MAs is borderline bullying in her treatment of me. I was hired as an LPN to do jobs outside MA duties (our company has strict guidelines for what MAs can and can't do and their role is limited to rooming pts, vitals, and cleaning rooms. I was hired to be the allergy nurse and help the midlevels with phones and messages because that's outside the MA scope of practice). More than once, the MA has pulled me out of an allergy test or allergy shot and, in front of the patient, said I'm supposed to be helping her and the PA can do the test. When I reminded her that I wasn't hired to be a MA, she rolled her eyes and said title didn't matter, we all do the same job. When I reminded her that I was hired because I had responsibilities beyond MA work, she said I'm supposed to help her out, then do my "other stuff" when I wasn't busy. She complains about working by herself with two docs, yet leaves at 4:00 (even though her shift is supposed to be until 4:30) and leaves me by myself with two docs plus closing the clinic, and I get yelled at in the morning if I don't close to her specifications. The funny thing is she gets in an hour before I do and I still have to help her open up. She is older and has been at this place longer, so if I say anything I get a sigh/eye roll/stomp off response. Our manager has defined my role to her but she still insists I've got it backward and helping her is my top priority, not my job I was actually hired to do. Grrr.

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168 Posts; 7,985 Profile Views

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.

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FaithGurl93 has 1 years experience.

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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?

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That Guy has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

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*** 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 ;)

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MECO28 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry.

215 Posts; 7,826 Profile Views

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.

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 4,800 Posts; 93,356 Profile Views

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.

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metal_m0nk is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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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.

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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.

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8 Posts; 3,069 Profile Views

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!

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gonzo1 has 15 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CEN, ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP.

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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.

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