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Advice From Season Nurses

Nurses   (1,762 Views | 20 Replies)
by friendly_Nurse friendly_Nurse (New) New Nurse

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

14 Followers; 3,685 Posts; 38,175 Profile Views

I'm appalled by the specific examples you have given.  While you're still there, start STANDING UP to these *****es.  When introduced as a student, speak up and say "I am actually a registered nurse."  Then approach this person alone and ask "How did you think I was a student?"  When asked "Can I help you?" or "Why are you standing back there?" look the person in the eye and say:  "I thought we were debriefing the code.  Why, am I crashing your Tupperware party?"

Stand your ground.  Look people in the eye.  Speak up like you mean it.  A little well-aimed sarcasm wouldn't go amiss.

If anyone tries to suggest you're less than competent:  "I guess that's why most places offer orientation to new employees.  And hazing isn't helpful which is why it's been outlawed."

Good luck.  Many of us here are rooting for you.

 

 

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organichombre has 34 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN and specializes in critical care, med/surg.

206 Posts; 4,101 Profile Views

One has to wonder, what motivates this behavior and how can it be tolerated? It still amazes me that bullied nurses have not become more aggressive in response to this sort of treatment.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

14 Followers; 3,685 Posts; 38,175 Profile Views

1 hour ago, organichombre said:

One has to wonder, what motivates this behavior and how can it be tolerated? It still amazes me that bullied nurses have not become more aggressive in response to this sort of treatment.

I think when you're new you're reluctant to speak up for yourself.  You're also one person taking on an established group.  That's 2 intimidation factors.  And then the charge nurse won't back you, but throws you back to the wolves.

Time to grow teeth.

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1 Follower; 963 Posts; 6,788 Profile Views

I just don't have the tolerance to deal with all of that. Either I remove myself or I handle it. Now is the time to stand up for yourself. You know what you are doing and have been there 6 months dealing with this stuff. Day 1 really would have been the time to speak up. It sounds like it is personal too, based on your things being thrown all over the place. 

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1 Follower; 963 Posts; 6,788 Profile Views

3 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

I think when you're new you're reluctant to speak up for yourself.  You're also one person taking on an established group.  That's 2 intimidation factors.  And then the charge nurse won't back you, but throws you back to the wolves.

Time to grow teeth.

Plus many people are in fear of losing their jobs. I have learned that it is easier to deal with the stuff early on. Nip it in the bud is what I was always told as a child by my father. Defending yourself without blowing your top is a real skill that many people don't have.

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3 Followers; 4,689 Posts; 36,249 Profile Views

On 6/15/2019 at 5:27 PM, pixierose said:

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 ....

They also sound like criminals.  Report the locker break-in not only to Security but also to the police.

I worked with some really rotten people more than 40 years ago as a new grad and I still remember how unfriendly they were.   I guess they were miserable in their personal lives.  However, they needed to leave their personal problems at home and be civil when they came to work.  Same with your crew.

These days, you can probably pretty easily surreptitiously record them.  As someone suggested, get a camera installed on or in your locker.  Check  with a couple of attorneys in your state to learn about the legality of recording them, especially if there is any chance of violating patients' privacy.

What do you think you will do?  I would not let them make me physically ill or ruin my passion for ICU or Nursing.   Pray for them and ask God to bless your enemies.  use some good common sense in this whole matter.

Have you considered asking them why they do this stuff?  Ask one at a time, privately.  Have you considered asking your boss for a meeting about this?  Just you and the boss at first, later maybe with one of them at a time.

Have you thought about getting an attorney to write to them individually to notify them that you are considering legal action if they keep this up?  

Can you get off of this shift?

Have you ever thought to take in some donuts or bagels or a bobka (LOL)?  At the very least, they will start to wonder why you would show them a kindness after their rotten treatment of you?  Make sure it's store-bought so they can't accuse you of poisoning them or something.

Is there anything you can think of that would tell you the origin of this evil behavior?  Are they jealous of your youth? Beauty?  Personal life situation? don't talk about your personal happiness because some people get so jealous that you have something they don't.  You can even do some disinformation about your dog died, your car broke down, or your granny's got the gout.

Before giving up, consider short-term counseling to help you figure out if these people are wacko or just wretched human beings who delight in  crimes and indecency against new nurses.

Best wishes.

 

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

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Well.  This post got me fired up.  I'm ready to show up to your unit and open up a can of whoop-@$$ -- what you are describing is despicable and I do not know how such a Lord of the Flies culture has been allowed to ferment in your institution.  That said,......

Everyone has given you great advice.  Make record/report this stuff.  You MUST talk to your management.

As for the mean girls,... Look people in the eye and force them to deal with you directly, right there, on the spot -- call them on their behavior on the spot, not a second later.  Your attitude should be one that it is clear you expect the utmost professionalism and teamwork from them.  When a patient goes south, you make it clear you expect them to do their jobs, as you do yours.  

This is going to sound strange and stupid, but learn how to strut.  I don't mean really 'strut', but pay attention to your posture.  Back straight, shoulders relaxed, head high, and don't forget the eye contact.  None of this should be necessary, but until you figure out how to go forward in this situation -- whether that means changing units or staying, or whatever, you need to put an end to this nonsense.  Like I tell my kids, "never, ever start a fight, but you'd better be ready to finish one".  

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

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Good gracious that is awful!  Of course I agree with the advice you've been given to start standing up for yourself with these bullies while also running this up the chain of command.  Since it sounds like your manager isn't helpful go a step higher to her boss, then the next boss, and the next if needed. If you are a union house take a union rep with you every step of the way.  

Sadly regardless of how this eventually works out I doubt it'll ever be a floor you'll feel comfortable on so start looking for another job right away or put in for a transfer to another unit.  Make sure you make it very clear why you are requesting a transfer so soon after starting.  If  you are not union have somebody you trust with you if at all possible as witness to your complaints and the response you receive.  Just a little insurance to hopefully prevent them from finding a reason to let you go before your complaints get to somebody that will listen and do something concrete about it. 

Of course if you really like the floor the option always exists to fight for your rights and defiantly and proudly stay right where you are. Whatever you decide to do as hard as it is hang tough.  Remember you are strong and you can do this!  

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JBMmom has 6 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care.

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I am in NO WAY condoning the treatment you are experiencing and I hope that you are either able to find a better position to thrive, or you can find someone to take on the toxic culture in your unit. What I would say is that somehow intensive care units seem to me to develop a harsher environment than other specialties. I have not been in my intensive care environment very long, but I have noticed that the nurses are definitely tougher than others I have worked with in different environments. Not long after I started I was talking with a few that had been less than welcoming and I said "I may need to earn respect here, but I deserve civility". Fortunately for me I have been able to earn some respect from the more seasoned nurses, but I've seen other newer nurses struggle. I had the benefit of coming to my unit as an older adult with years of professional work experience, so I think I'm less of a target than younger nurses. I know that the older nurses are tired of young nurses coming into the unit for their year or two of experience before they move on to CRNA school or APRN programs. They have seen a decline in their work environment due to higher acuity with less staffing, more often tripling assignments, and less support from management. Unfortunately, they think this justifies treating outsiders with disdain.

What you're describing is beyond anything I've experienced and no one in any work environment should have to put up with it. If you can't get support from your manager, I would go above them. Document everything you can and present your case to HR, direct of Nursing, anyone that has the ability to make changes. Until someone addresses the toxic environment this unit will destroy all new nurses. I know in my hospital we have the added issue of being unionized, so discipline is a harder challenge.

Good luck! I wish I had something to help you fix it, but don't let the behavior of some awful people ruin your passion for CVICU. You will find the right unit where you can rise and thrive.

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