Jump to content

Bullied and Struggling in ICU

Nurse Beth   (1,130 Views 9 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

14 Followers; 88 Articles; 227,514 Visitors; 1,808 Posts

advertisement

image.png.e082c35e751bd7236552ed1c6266816d.png 

Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm 9 months into my career as a new grad RN in a level 1 trauma ICU. I feel that I am exactly where I should be in terms of skills and knowledge for having less than 1 year of experience, but am still having severe anxiety, depression and symptoms of burnout.

Since coming to night shift, I've noticed a culture on our unit where some nurses don't take students (forcing me to take on nursing students when I am still learning myself), don't help out when I am clearly struggling, and become annoyed when I ask questions. They also "favor" the other new grads on the floor by giving them easier assignments, fewer admissions, etc. In particular, one charge nurse tells me incorrect information regularly when I ask for help and has reprimanded me several times for things I haven't done.

I value my patients, unit, organization and manager and want to stay so they didn't waste their money training me, but work is truly affecting my life negatively when I go home. I don't even know who/how to approach this topic with at work and I want to begin looking for other jobs once I complete my year but I want to know how I address leaving with new employers in interviews and what jobs I can go into with only 1 year of experience?


Dear Severe Anxiety,

I'm sorry you're having this experience.

1. Make an appointment with your provider to see if your anxiety and depression should be treated.

2. See if your facility offers an employee assistance counseling (EAP) and go. Talking about this is going to help tremendously.

3. Consider standing up to the charge nurse when you feel strong enough. It will empower you and get her off your back. Bullies sense weakness.

"Is there some reason you told me (x,y,z) when in fact it should be (a,b,c)?"

"I notice you seem annoyed when I just asked for help. Is there someone else I should ask?"

Since you are being targeted and not all the new grads, it could be that you are progressing slower than is expected. I don't know. If so, consider a less acute unit.

Complete your 1 year and start applying elsewhere at 11-12 months. In your interviews, just say it wasn't a good fit. 

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 95,904 Visitors; 36,540 Posts

It seems as if you have an accurate appraisal of the situation. It just might be better to find a new home as advised instead of beating yourself to a pulp trying to make it work when it will never work. Whether or not you want to take the bull by the horns with the ‘fibbing’ supervisor, start a planned and systematic job search. Best of luck in finding a place where you do fit in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 Followers; 22,854 Visitors; 3,023 Posts

I agree with all of the above, especially the suggestions to attend to your personal health needs and to evaluate your practice so that you can know if some of this is related to falling short (which it may or may not be). But this one thing I would like to address specifically:

 

Quote

I've noticed a culture on our unit where some nurses don't take students (forcing me to take on nursing students when I am still learning myself), don't help out when I am clearly struggling, and become annoyed when I ask questions. They also "favor" the other new grads on the floor by giving them easier assignments, fewer admissions, etc. In particular, one charge nurse tells me incorrect information regularly when I ask for help and has reprimanded me several times for things I haven't done.

Quote

and want to stay so they didn't waste their money training me

When a place has a culture that tolerates this type of treatment, and when someone is not inclined to stay around long in direct relation to that,

then that person has absolutely zero obligation to help the company mitigate its own losses which are based on its own problems.

Training you was not a waste of their money.

Letting employees treat other employees poorly is a waste of their money.

They are in complete control of what they do about that, and their culture!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zoidberg has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Medical-Surgical, Float nurse.

6,557 Visitors; 255 Posts

I bet even another ICU in your hospital has a better culture and would appreciate to have you join them. Do you have a float pool? Ask one of them which one to work in, we know where the good units are 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

1 Follower; 13,376 Visitors; 1,503 Posts

20 hours ago, Nurse Beth said:

image.png.e082c35e751bd7236552ed1c6266816d.png 

Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm 9 months into my career as a new grad RN in a level 1 trauma ICU. I feel that I am exactly where I should be in terms of skills and knowledge for having less than 1 year of experience, but am still having severe anxiety, depression and symptoms of burnout.

Since coming to night shift, I've noticed a culture on our unit where some nurses don't take students (forcing me to take on nursing students when I am still learning myself), don't help out when I am clearly struggling, and become annoyed when I ask questions. They also "favor" the other new grads on the floor by giving them easier assignments, fewer admissions, etc. In particular, one charge nurse tells me incorrect information regularly when I ask for help and has reprimanded me several times for things I haven't done.

I value my patients, unit, organization and manager and want to stay so they didn't waste their money training me, but work is truly affecting my life negatively when I go home. I don't even know who/how to approach this topic with at work and I want to begin looking for other jobs once I complete my year but I want to know how I address leaving with new employers in interviews and what jobs I can go into with only 1 year of experience?

Dear Severe Anxiety,

I'm sorry you're having this experience.

1. Make an appointment with your provider to see if your anxiety and depression should be treated.

2. See if your facility offers an employee assistance counseling (EAP) and go. Talking about this is going to help tremendously.

3. Consider standing up to the charge nurse when you feel strong enough. It will empower  you and  get her off your back. Bullies sense weakness.

"Is there some reason you told me (x,y,z) when in fact it should be (a,b,c)?"

"I notice you seem annoyed when I just asked for help. Is there someone else I should ask?"

Since you are being targeted and not all the new grads, it could be that you are progressing slower than is expected. I don't know. If so, consider a less acute unit.

Complete your 1 year and start applying elsewhere at 11-12 months. In your interviews, just say it wasn't a good fit. 

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

 

Start applying elsewhere, but don't quit until you have something good. Applying and getting interviews will help to build your self esteem.

Employers that don't want someone with less than a year just won't call. 

I left a toxic work environment where I was bullied as a new grad after 11 months. I found that employers didn't ask me why I left. But if they do, you just say it wasn't a good fit.

Getting a new job did wonders for my well being. 

I wish you the best. One day you will be the influencer of culture on the unit and you will be able to mentor the new grads with kindness.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in back to med sure.

8,621 Visitors; 1,661 Posts

When I was in a unit that was such a bad fit that others would secretly meet me to tell me their own 'horror' stories of similar experiences over the years, I realized I wasn't alone.

You aren't alone.

It really sucks to be the target among a group in a hostile work environment but, truly the only good tactic is to leave. It also helps to study up on what a hostile work environment it so you can mitigate the level of stress and confusion you are going though.

Sorry you are going through a rotten, rotten experience.

Jen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in back to med sure.

8,621 Visitors; 1,661 Posts

19 hours ago, JKL33 said:

When a place has a culture that tolerates this type of treatment, and when someone is not inclined to stay around long in direct relation to that,

then that person has absolutely zero obligation to help the company mitigate its own losses which are based on its own problems.

 

I agree. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Follower; 5,828 Visitors; 808 Posts

I don't like that you are doing decently yet have to find another job. Try to address the issues first, then consider quitting. A lot of places are the same, if not worse. I say this as I have worked in a lot of places. I am at a place now that I am fine with but from the get go, I let them know I am a no nonsense person.. I had someone tell me they didn't want to help me but we're assigned so I said I don't want to fight, just doing what I am told. I also didn't let them dictate who I would work with. The point is don't let yourself be disrespected. Address the issues in a non combative way. What if the next place is like this? Speak up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

31 Visitors; 1 Post

I was bullied. It only gets worse. Management knows already. Leave ASAP! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×