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Black Sheep...time to leave?

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ThePrincessBride has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.

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You are reading page 2 of Black Sheep...time to leave?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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Oh, why I never was in your unit? We would have many lovely talks for sure.

Really, I was in exactly that place for years and never cared for it. I have very atypical set of interests for someone living in Midwestern nowhere, in addition to being European, wide traveled and absolutely not in any social network. But I am an introvert and went to work for working, not for socializing. You very well might be different.

If you feel that you start to overgrow your unit and team, go for it and look for greener pasture. Just do not try to make up your social life by going into grad school. Good quality NP school full time with even part time work means very little and very sporadic hours that can be spared for anything besides work, study and sleep. Part time school schedule allows marginally more freedom but still not that much to do anything serious. And when you finally got together as students, all talks rotate around JNC8 or something equally not exiting.

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As a quiet, reserved person myself, I've definitely experienced the same thing. And it's hurtful. What I found works better for me is figuring out who I can have a conversation with in a smaller group, as I tend to quiet up when the group gets larger. I'm sure there are probably a couple of people who you may enjoy chatting with outside the clique. If that fails, I would just remind myself I'm there to do a good job, not necessarily to become buddies with everyone. If you enjoy your job and you're good at it, it seems silly to leave because a few people are rude or fail to recognize you are a good person to chat with. However if they ignore you to the point that patient safety is affected, that is different.

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ThePrincessBride has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.

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If you aren't truly lonely in your life (and it sounds like you do have a life, with plenty to enjoy), then honestly I think you just need to care less and focus instead on providing excellent patient care while at work. My personality would prevent me from even considering the idea of wanting people for friends who don't appear to want me for a friend.

Groups where people make effort to exclude others who have done them no wrong go hand in hand with "meow" factor. You might just as well take their rejection as a compliment. Keep being kind and helpful towards them when opportunities arise. Try hard not to reply in kind.

If you are seeking more socialization there are numerous opportunities - focus your search outside of work. Book club, professional organization, something in the arts, or a group based around one of your other interests.

Don't leave because of this, especially if your management is supportive of staff and you are in a place where you're able to provide excellent care and gain knowledge.

I have no problem with management, and the assistant manager is very approachable.

I definitely won't be calling them out on their behavior as that will just cause tension. But being left out has made me want to retreat inward and just take care of patients.

I will try to make small talk with the older (and friendlier) nurses. It just sucks because I know some of them are talking about leaving or retiring soon.

Edited by ThePrincessBride

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ThePrincessBride has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.

1 Article; 2,325 Posts; 56,403 Profile Views

Oh, why I never was in your unit? We would have many lovely talks for sure.

Really, I was in exactly that place for years and never cared for it. I have very atypical set of interests for someone living in Midwestern nowhere, in addition to being European, wide traveled and absolutely not in any social network. But I am an introvert and went to work for working, not for socializing. You very well might be different.

If you feel that you start to overgrow your unit and team, go for it and look for greener pasture. Just do not try to make up your social life by going into grad school. Good quality NP school full time with even part time work means very little and very sporadic hours that can be spared for anything besides work, study and sleep. Part time school schedule allows marginally more freedom but still not that much to do anything serious. And when you finally got together as students, all talks rotate around JNC8 or something equally not exiting.

I am in the Midwest as well. Many of my coworkers don't share the same level of passion for travel as I. I LOVE international trips and have been to many places, some very poor. Whenever I think of the poverty I've seen, it puts things in perspective and makes me feel better about my situation, even if it hurts.

I agree with you on schooling. I have been wanting to go back for my MSN for awhile; it would have to be part-time up until clinical rotations. But I think I'll also meet more like-minded people in grad school as well.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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You have 2 choices. 1) Detach yourself emotionally and get your emotional/social gratification at work interacting with patient's families, doctors, friendly nurses, lab, respiratory, housekeeping etc...

Or, 2) leave for a healthier, friendlier pasture.

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ThePrincessBride has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.

1 Article; 2,325 Posts; 56,403 Profile Views

You have 2 choices. 1) Detach yourself emotionally and get your emotional/social gratification at work interacting with patient's families, doctors, friendly nurses, lab, respiratory, housekeeping etc...

Or, 2) leave for a healthier, friendlier pasture.

How can one gauge a better pasture from an interview? Knowing my luck, I would be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I definitely have good conversations with the parents (sometimes), RT, housekeeping and PSAs. That is something I need to focus on. And I feel that the work that I do is fulfilling.

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Find an ally. Go out of your way to befriend someone on your shift. Find out about who they are, people love to talk about themselves. Then slowly start doing coffee or social events together. You don't need to be friends with everyone, or even most people, just start with one person.

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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

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I used to travel nurse. Most of the time, I was treated pretty much like you are being treated: Civil not social.

Granted, it was different for me due to the fact that I was travel nursing at the time. I was a temporary *thing* going on is all. I didn't have a problem with it though. While I did make some friends, for the most part I was, as you put it, the black sheep.

I honestly don't look for socializing at work. Civil is enough for me. I'm not a loner or recluse but I've always kind of watched people at work who tend to turn everything into a popularity contest (not that I think you are) and wondered "Why?". It starts to get a bit unprofessional. Seriously, how many times have you seen people in threads on this site describe their work environment as "Too much like High School."?

I guess what I'm saying is: This all might be a blessing in disguise.

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djh123 has 5 years experience and specializes in LTC, Rehab.

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All I can say is, although there are thankfully plenty of exceptions (i.e. people who are not #*$$&'s), the older I get, the less I understand human behavior.

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ThePrincessBride has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.

1 Article; 2,325 Posts; 56,403 Profile Views

As a quiet, reserved person myself, I've definitely experienced the same thing. And it's hurtful. What I found works better for me is figuring out who I can have a conversation with in a smaller group, as I tend to quiet up when the group gets larger. I'm sure there are probably a couple of people who you may enjoy chatting with outside the clique. If that fails, I would just remind myself I'm there to do a good job, not necessarily to become buddies with everyone. If you enjoy your job and you're good at it, it seems silly to leave because a few people are rude or fail to recognize you are a good person to chat with. However if they ignore you to the point that patient safety is affected, that is different.

Yeah, I have had a couple of the nurses who refused to acknowledge the fact that we were assigned to be each other's secondary nurses. I wanted to go to management about it, but I kept my mouth shut and asked one of the other nurses to watch my patients instead.

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I think the real question here should be "why do I care about what this yippy pack of dogs think"? Nursing is many things to many nurses but what it is for all of us is a paycheck. If you have a direction to go in your life then get there. If this place will help pay for you to become an NP let them (I'm working on my DNP now and it gets expensive but as important as financial support can you work around your clinical hours). Anyway, this isn't high school and I see no reason to leave a good job because you don't fit into a cliché of rude hags.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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I know there have been a thousand or more threads on this subject, but hear me out:

I have been working on a neonatal ICU unit for almost two years now. Prior to that, I worked in adult med-surg and still work there casually.

I love working with the babies and their families but socially, I feel like an outcast. Some coworkers refuse to acknowledge my presence and ignore me even when they are assigned to be my patient's secondary nurse (for when I need to use the restroom or go on break). Just today, I was happening to go the cafeteria at the same time as a group of my coworkers. They all waited for everyone else to get their food...except for me. No "see you later" or anything. They just walked away.

They are constantly talking about stuff they do with each other outside of work and to events that I haven't been invited to. When I try to join a conversation, sometimes I am ignored or given a quick response and then they go back to talking among themselves.

There are some coworkers who are wonderful. They are older and more experienced, but they are slowly leaving the unit, leaving me with a clique of younger nurses. I am an island of a person.

Should I start looking elsewhere? I am planning on going back to school next year (FNP or NNP, not sure which yet). The place has good tuition reimbursement (though not astounding or anything).

What is the rational thing for me to do? I have been bottling this in and keeping my nose down and working, but I think it might be time to leave.

The rational thing to do is probably to stay where you are -- you enjoy the patient population and some of your coworkers are wonderful. You're going to be going back to school next year, and if there is tuition reimbursement involved, that may be a factor. (Where I work, you aren't eligible for tuition reimbursement until you've worked there for two years -- moving jobs may set you back a year in your plan to go back to school.)

I've been in your situation (only in my case, management was the issue and my colleagues were fine) and I made up my mind that I wasn't going to let a few people for whom I had very little respect drive me out of a job where I enjoyed the patient population and the physicians, ancillary services and colleagues.

You probably aren't going to make any inroads with the cliques as long as they're together. Your best bet is, when you find one of them alone, make a big effort to chat with them. Convince them that you like them or admire them. Be consistent with this. Make sure you're the first person to say hello, and act as if you're DELIGHTED to see them.

Workplace relationships are important, and I wish I'd realized that far earlier in my career and made the effort to develop them. I'm rather introverted and never had that much in common with my colleagues, but I made the effort to find ONE THING in common with everyone I met at work on a regular basis. Sometimes I even faked an interest (fly fishing springs to mind) to chat with someone. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, but I listened well and I was interested in some of the remote locations discussed. It only takes about 60 seconds to have a brief chat with someone, and I found myself looking forward to seeing some of those folks in spite of myself. There was one guy I worked with who was really into Game of Thrones, and he and I could discuss it for hours on the night shift . . . no one else seemed interested. With consistent pretending that they liked me and I liked them, I was able to turn things around.

If the older nurses are leaving, newer nurses are being hired, no? Make an effort to befriend the newer nurses as they join your unit. Having a few work friends will help make the situation more tolerable even as you're making inroads with the members of the clique.

Just my two cents, for what that is worth. I'm sure you'll figure out what will work for you. Good luck.

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