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Advice From Season Nurses

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by friendly_Nurse friendly_Nurse (New Member) New Member Nurse

122 Visitors; 1 Post

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Hello - New Grad Nurse here. I've been BSN, RN for 6 months in a cardiac ICU unit at a very large hospital. I dreamed of becoming an ICU nurse my entire life and prepared vigorously through externships during nursing school. I've been off orientation for some time but due to unfortunate circumstances I'm debating leaving my position 6 months in...

I'm a new nurse, I don't pretend to know everything, I ask appropriate  questions (especially if it's about patient care) I'm never behind on my assessments, meds, I call the Dr. appropriately and will try to help answer call lights or help another nurse if I can. The environment of my ICU has caused me a lot of grief. I work 12 hour night shifts and the nurses have all been friends for a very long time and are not welcoming. These nurses are down right mean. I have had my (locked) locker raided and my stuff thrown all of the locker room. I've been called "new b****.  A nurse who's been a nurse for 10 years has given me nothing but belittling comments, standing outside my patients room watching my every move - at one my point making me appear incompetent infront of other nurses during our huddle. This is not constructive criticism, this is down right rude belittling comments and even went as far as telling my patients family that I was a STUDENT nurse. My nurse manager has no safety concerns with me and even deemed me a very safe nurse. One night we had a horrible, violent code blue. I was the first to call the code and start CPR, yet the group wouldn't me in the debriefing instead telling me "go work on your charting" or when I went to the debriefing asking me " can I help you?" "why are you standing back here?" An older nurse reported this to Management where they told me, "the night nurses are bullies, but you need to work through it". 
 My confidence is being destroyed every day. My love for ICU has faded. I've actually started to look for jobs outside of nursing. I've gotten violently ill thinking about going into work  and even went the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack from stress. The minute I punch in, the belittling starts. And when I'm not at work, one particular co worker found me on Facebook and started the belittling there. I'm truly alone at work, these people will not help me if my patient goes south. Am I being a baby? How do I work through this? I didn't see myself leaving my job in 6 months. Please help. 

 

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DextersDisciple has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

3,541 Visitors; 229 Posts

Report them for harassment. Calling you the new [female dog] Is grounds for that. Did you file a report with security over your locker? Report the one following you on Facebook. Block her there as well.

If your manager knows all this and doesn’t care you might want to start looking elsewhere or try to switch to days. From what I’ve just read it seems like this is truly an issue of harassment/hostile work environment and not just you having thin skin. 

Good luck, I’m sorry your being treated this way 😞

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 42,215 Visitors; 4,883 Posts

Oh my GOSH... I started reading your post thinking “cardiac ICU is a tough gig for a new grad... no shame in transferring for a while.”

Then I read the rest.  I am not even one to scream NETY... but if your descriptions are accurate this environment is downright hostile.  I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.

If nothing else, how the **** are you supposed to ask appropriate questions— and as a new grad in CVICU, you WILL NEED TO ask questions.... if you’re constantly getting mocked.  Their behavior is dangerous to patient care!  

I can see keeping an eye on your patients because you have simply not been there long enough to be proficient... but to shame you for wanting to debrief?  Call you new *****?  BREAKING INTO YOUR LOCKER AND TOUCHING YOUR PROPERTY????

Not every ICU is like this... I truly hope that this experience doesn’t destroy your love of critical care.  I seriously wish I could give you a hug right now.  

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 42,215 Visitors; 4,883 Posts

And I second DextersDisciple’s advice to report the locker incident to security.  

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Swellz has 6 years experience and specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

9,431 Visitors; 627 Posts

I'm so sorry for what you're going through!

I'd take screenshots of the fb harassment and take them with me to HR. You have to report what's happening to you. That being said, even if someone gets punished, this is not a unit you can stay on. Please start looking for another position. Best of luck.

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA.

1 Follower; 17,885 Visitors; 1,743 Posts

Have security put a camera on your locker.  They've monitored many a pyxis with results.  Also, shame on the employer for putting a new grad on your unit.  You have enough problems being a new grad already and I'm sorry this happened to you.  I have never heard of such a vicious group.  Are you possibly able to record any of this language?  

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2,206 Visitors; 102 Posts

5 hours ago, friendly_Nurse said:

Hello - New Grad Nurse here. I've been BSN, RN for 6 months in a cardiac ICU unit at a very large hospital. I dreamed of becoming an ICU nurse my entire life and prepared vigorously through externships during nursing school. I've been off orientation for some time but due to unfortunate circumstances I'm debating leaving my position 6 months in...

I'm a new nurse, I don't pretend to know everything, I ask appropriate  questions (especially if it's about patient care) I'm never behind on my assessments, meds, I call the Dr. appropriately and will try to help answer call lights or help another nurse if I can. The environment of my ICU has caused me a lot of grief. I work 12 hour night shifts and the nurses have all been friends for a very long time and are not welcoming. These nurses are down right mean. I have had my (locked) locker raided and my stuff thrown all of the locker room. I've been called "new b****.  A nurse who's been a nurse for 10 years has given me nothing but belittling comments, standing outside my patients room watching my every move - at one my point making me appear incompetent infront of other nurses during our huddle. This is not constructive criticism, this is down right rude belittling comments and even went as far as telling my patients family that I was a STUDENT nurse. My nurse manager has no safety concerns with me and even deemed me a very safe nurse. One night we had a horrible, violent code blue. I was the first to call the code and start CPR, yet the group wouldn't me in the debriefing instead telling me "go work on your charting" or when I went to the debriefing asking me " can I help you?" "why are you standing back here?" An older nurse reported this to Management where they told me, "the night nurses are bullies, but you need to work through it". 
 My confidence is being destroyed every day. My love for ICU has faded. I've actually started to look for jobs outside of nursing. I've gotten violently ill thinking about going into work  and even went the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack from stress. The minute I punch in, the belittling starts. And when I'm not at work, one particular co worker found me on Facebook and started the belittling there. I'm truly alone at work, these people will not help me if my patient goes south. Am I being a baby? How do I work through this? I didn't see myself leaving my job in 6 months. Please help. 

 

OMG, this is horrible. I am so sorry. I would like to give those nurses a piece of my mind. This is unconscionable. I would find a different job IN ICU. Is there a different unit you could transfer to? 

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rebeccastull196 has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

300 Visitors; 7 Posts

I've never worked in an ICU, but this does not seem like the place to feel alone. The more experienced nurses should have your back, if not for your sake, at least for your patients'. I agree with what others have said about reporting- you really must because this is not acceptable and you (and every other new grad) deserve better. Unfortunately, our system is far from perfect and you may feel retribution for this reporting. I definitely recommend finding a new unit ASAP because there is WAAAAY better out there for you. I wish you luck and encourage you to not let this destroy your love for critical care- we need more nurses with your passion and commitment.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,904 Visitors; 6,125 Posts

15 hours ago, friendly_Nurse said:

Am I being a baby? How do I work through this? I didn't see myself leaving my job in 6 months. Please help. 

No, friendly_Nnurse, you're not a baby, this is a clear case of harassment and a toxic work environment. I reinforce pretty much what the others have said, encouraging you to objectively document the circumstances and follow chain of command & protocol in your reporting. I would confront the culprits and basically let them know that they will deal with the ramifications of their actions.

It's interesting that your thread should come to my attention at this time. Instead of buying new journals, I am reusing past journals that were never filled. One such journal is from 1992 when  I worked in a small community hospital as an ER/med surge nurse. The nurses were cliquish and I was definitely an outsider. The other nurses weren't nearly as inappropriate as those with which you have to deal, friendly_Nurse, but I butted heads with a few. One such confrontation due to substandard communication ended up getting me terminated for "fighting with a coworker".

I challenged the termination with the state employment service and won the case and benefits. I use this example to you friendly_Nurse in hopes that you will gain some belief that there is justice in this world.

The choice is yours to either keep on keeping on and fight the good fight or shake the dust of this place off your sandals and travel on. I have done both and would support either decision you decide to make.

The very best to to, friendly_Nurse!

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8,092 Visitors; 740 Posts

Oh gosh. I’m not usually one to call “NETY” but yes, this is a clear case of it. This isn’t your regular ICU environment - this is a absolute hostile work environment. I work in a Neuro ICU, and we have each other’s back - you need to.

These people aren’t just bullies, they sound dangerous.

I’m so, so sorry. (((Hugs))) - echoing everyone else’s advice ....

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509 Visitors; 30 Posts

I agree with everything said above. First, please prioritize taking care of yourself. I would recommend that you start seeing a therapist as soon as possible. They will be able to guide you through this. Do you have Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at your hospital? Look into this and contact them.  Reach out to trusted family and friends who can support you. You don't have to go through this alone. Please put yourself first. You are being harassed. Report these coworkers and put together as much evidence as possible including pictures, texts, and specific stories from specific situations. Go to management, HR, and other leadership positions. Stay strong and please keep us updated! 

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193 Visitors; 11 Posts

I’m so sorry, that’s all I can say. Please do what is best for your health. You matter and NO ONE deserves to be treated like this. 

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