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ER nurse dealing with bullying...

Guest1156666 Guest1156666 (Member)

Hi guys! So background... I have been nursing for almost 10 years but new to ER nursing. It was a big learning curve but I’ve felt like I’ve found my groove and everyone has been giving me great feedback (I had no concerns on how I was reforming). Well until now I guess.. 

OK so I just need to vent.. I saw my manager today to ask about vacation time and we were talking and she’s like ‘how are you doing, are you liking it here’ so I tell her for the most part yes, obviously there’s days that are harder than others. She then says ‘oh I’ve heard from some Charge nurses that you like to go in the separate break room to chart or look up your patients and they were worried’ so I explained I like to go there sometimes on my break only for the peace and quiet especially on some crazy days and she’s like oh OK yep that makes sense.

So then I approached one of the charge nurses  who I knew was the one who told my manager this and she was so rude to me. I was completely taken back from her cold response. I explained to her that I hope she wasn’t worried that I wasn’t staying on top of things and she goes ‘ ugh yes quite frankly I am concerned because you’re the only one who does it and I don’t think you’re charting in real time’ and scoffs and walks away. I literally felt like crying. Just needed to vent and shake it off. It completely killed my morale and I am so upset. To the point that I just want to look for another job. I am usually one to shake things off but this is killing my morale. Any advice or similar experiences??

Edited by ERNurse81

Chickenlady, ADN

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 6 years experience.

I'm sorry that happened to you.  ER is pretty notorious for nurses being judgmental of each other.  Especially of new people. 

If you are otherwise enjoying ER, I'd let that roll off my back and just prove them wrong.  I've found that even as a seasoned ER nurse, it takes 5-6 months for the team to entirely feel comfortable with me and my skills.  

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

5 minutes ago, Chickenlady said:

I'm sorry that happened to you.  ER is pretty notorious for nurses being judgmental of each other.  Especially of new people. 

If you are otherwise enjoying ER, I'd let that roll off my back and just prove them wrong.  I've found that even as a seasoned ER nurse, it takes 5-6 months for the team to entirely feel comfortable with me and my skills.  

Not all ERs. I have worked in a few different ones - the first one was great, super supportive team. The second one was terrible....bullying and constant judgment and generally just a terrible experience. Exhausting is the only way I can summarize it.

Chickenlady, ADN

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 6 years experience.

I'm in a terrific ER now, super team oriented.  But it did take them a few months to get confident that I was competent and that I was going to stick around.  

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 25 years experience.

After reading your post about one negative interaction, I have to ask- do you really consider that bullying?

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

3 hours ago, ERNurse81 said:

Hi guys! So background... I have been nursing for almost 10 years but new to ER nursing. It was a big learning curve but I’ve felt like I’ve found my groove and everyone has been giving me great feedback (I had no concerns on how I was reforming). Well until now I guess.. 

OK so I just need to vent.. I saw my manager today to ask about vacation time and we were talking and she’s like ‘how are you doing, are you liking it here’ so I tell her for the most part yes, obviously there’s days that are harder than others. She then says ‘oh I’ve heard from some Charge nurses that you like to go in the separate break room to chart or look up your patients and they were worried’ so I explained I like to go there sometimes on my break only for the peace and quiet especially on some crazy days and she’s like oh OK yep that makes sense.

So then I approached one of the charge nurses  who I knew was the one who told my manager this and she was so rude to me. I was completely taken back from her cold response. I explained to her that I hope she wasn’t worried that I wasn’t staying on top of things and she goes ‘ ugh yes quite frankly I am concerned because you’re the only one who does it and I don’t think you’re charting in real time’ and scoffs and walks away. I literally felt like crying. Just needed to vent and shake it off. It completely killed my morale and I am so upset. To the point that I just want to look for another job. I am usually one to shake things off but this is killing my morale. Any advice or similar experiences??

That doesn't sound anything like "bullying".

I know it sucks to be blindsided with "So and so said ...", but you explained yourself to your boss, and your explanation was accepted. If you didn't want to hear the opinion of the "confronted" nurse, then you should probably not have asked for it.

I would not quit a job over this type of thing. I'd give it time and remain professionally pleasant to everyone. Things will either get better, or they'll get worse. That's when you can easily make a final decision.

 

That definitely was not bullying.  The charge nurse did the right thing by taking her concern to her boss.  Her job is not to confront you but rather to run the unit on her shift. 

I will also lay odds that there are other things you do that concern her.  You might want to take this as an opportunity to evaluate yourself and see what might appear to be off to the other staff.

OP, you do not normally shake things off. This was one interaction, with one charge nurse.  That’s not bullying.  She was being honest with you that she had concerns.  

I think you need to reframe your thinking. So, maybe this charge nurse was rude, at that point maybe you have a more in-depth private conversation.  

Im not a huge fan of confrontation myself which why I probably would have left the conversation end with my manager.  

Closed Account 12345

Has 12 years experience.

ARE you charting in real time? Things in the ER move so fast, and the team needs to be able to trust that the EHR is  always current and has any updated pertinent information without double checking with the nurse.  

Either way, I think the professional response is to first address concerns with the involved party.  I can see why you felt blindsided when your manager, not the charge nurse, brought the issue to the table.  Then again, the manager could've asked her how you're doing, and she might have just answered honestly.

Just remember, you're there to do a job.  As long as you're doing it well, try not to worry about if everyone likes you. In an ER with strong personalities, there will likely be a couple of people who just don't care for your personality, nursing approach, etc. That's OK! 

I do understand wanting to be accepted and have work friends. It sure helps 12 hours go by more quickly, and it's nice to feel like an accepted member of the team.  Give it time; you'll find your place and your people!

On 9/10/2020 at 12:16 PM, ERNurse81 said:

I literally felt like crying. Just needed to vent and shake it off. It completely killed my morale and I am so upset. To the point that I just want to look for another job.

Nah...come on, now.

First of all these people's communication leaves a lot to be desired, both the manager and the CN.

It doesn't sound like your manager was too concerned about this even before you stopped by. Otherwise she would have made more of a point to speak to you rather than leaving the conversation to happenstance. Well, one would hope, anyway.

On 9/10/2020 at 12:16 PM, ERNurse81 said:

I explained to her that I hope she wasn’t worried that I wasn’t staying on top of things and she goes ‘ ugh yes quite frankly I am concerned because you’re the only one who does it and I don’t think you’re charting in real time’ and scoffs and walks away.

Honestly, just carry on. There is nothing about this series of interactions that indicates anyone is actually concerned about a patient care matter. Even the CN's own words are off-kilter. I mean, is the concern that "you're the only one" or "I don't think you're charting in real time..."? [Which, by the way, need not be solely a suspicion since it's something one can fairly easily confirm if it is actually a problem. And if she had already been able to confirm this (because of it being a frequent problem), she surely would have stated it as such]. I suspect the first part of the statement speaks to her problem. Which is childish.

Just feel sorry for people who are miserable and carry on. Provide the best care that you can and ask for help if you need help. Listen when actual constructive feedback is given. Continue to be professional and personable.

I prefer not to have to confront people and would rather take the high road, but occasionally it's worth not letting something stand. IMO this is one of those cases because she is the CN. If her accusation is not true, I'm pretty sure I would tell her that an apology is owed the very next time she attempts to speak to me. And I'd probably say it just that way. "Before we move on like nothing happened, you owe me an apology." 🤨 I would not argue with her about why or give any explanation whatsoever.

Take it easy & good luck

RN-to- BSN, ADN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 6 years experience.

That charge nurse should have addressed her concerns with YOU first. Instead, she went talking behind your back. That's not bullying, it's backstabbing. Watch yourself around her.

Charting in real time is an expectation and we do our best, sometimes it does not work out. 

Brush it off, obviously she judges you, that response was expected.

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

Your CN takes an issue with you going in the separate break room. I'm not sure why. She wanted the NM to tell you not to do that. 

Instead the NM was all... "Are you happy here?" Which made you worry that the CN is gunning for you.

I don't think that's actually happening though. Because you are basically happy there, and you didn't point out a pattern of nitpicking behaviors on the part of the CN.

I think the CN was all "ugh" because she went to the NM so as not to be confronted. And now here you are. 

Some bad communication definitely happened. There may have been pettiness as well.

The important thing to do in these situations is to take the note if possible, and then move on quickly and not analyze it too much. If you could be charting more in real time, do it. Also, realize that the CN doesn't like you going in that break room to chart for whatever reason. It might be a good reason. Break rooms are for breaks. 

 If you can stop charting in there without causing yourself more stress, just do it.

Some of these replies are assuming the OP is actually charting in the separate break room. Which s/he did not say. S/he said it has come to his/her attention that the CN thinks or assumes that's why s/he's going in there.

Also, let's point out that one could do a fairly decent job of charting in real time and still have a thing or two that (if they wanted to use their break that way) could be charted. The difference is most people worry about it after break. And...what would the CN care if someone is keeping up with labs or even reading charts on break? There are many who don't use their break this way, because it's a break from all of that....but keeping up or reviewing charts/previous charting, etc., is not some kind of moral failure.

And....are we 10, here? If the CN really is concerned about these suspicions (which I highly doubt. Very highly), adults solve this easily: Pop your head in the "special break room" when the "offender" is in there, and (in the spirit of friendliness) say, "You doing okay--or is there anything you need help with? You should be able to relax on your break...🙂"

This is so dumb I want one of those "Easy" buttons to press.

This is why I declare that this CN is up to no good.

Edited by JKL33

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

On 9/10/2020 at 9:16 AM, Guest1156666 said:

So then I approached one of the charge nurses  who I knew was the one who told my manager this and she was so rude to me. I was completely taken back from her cold response. I explained to her that I hope she wasn’t worried that I wasn’t staying on top of things and she goes ‘ ugh yes quite frankly I am concerned because you’re the only one who does it and I don’t think you’re charting in real time’ and scoffs and walks away. I literally felt like crying. Just needed to vent and shake it off. It completely killed my morale and I am so upset. To the point that I just want to look for another job. I am usually one to shake things off but this is killing my morale. Any advice or similar experiences??

I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm sure it would have been best for her to handle the issue directly instead of blindsiding you by leaving you out of the loop on an issue she seems very concerned about.

My only bit of advice would be this. Sometimes the only avenue to resolve an issue is to "confront", or raise the issue face-to-face. I personally dislike that route, but I learned if you want to get the best results take a deep breath and plan what you are going to say. Make sure to pick a time when your charge nurse isn't dealing with multiple issues and you aren't visibly upset. 

Maybe you can ask for some time to talk when she isn't busy, which will give her a chance to think rationally about the issues, as it seems pretty obvious there is underlying tension in that relationship.

I certainly wouldn't quit over this if you otherwise love your job! 

Sadly, it appears ERnurse81 has left the building as her username has been modified to the generic "guest user" that usually happens when a person deactivates their account. This turn of events might give us a better idea of how things went down. I 

13 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

This turn of events might give us a better idea of how things went down.

Maybe, maybe not.

I have worked with very few CNs who wouldn't just naturally go with the extremely easy communication I posted above as a first response to a suspicion or concern about this. As a CN I certainly wouldn't be running to the manager ??? because some newbie was sitting in the "speshul break room 🤯😭 😱"

25 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

Maybe, maybe not.

I have worked with very few CNs who wouldn't just naturally go with the extremely easy communication I posted above as a first response to a suspicion or concern about this. As a CN I certainly wouldn't be running to the manager ??? because some newbie was sitting in the "speshul break room 🤯😭 😱"

Oh, I don’t disagree with you but generally the reason people deactivate accounts in this manner is that they didn’t get the responses they wanted. Frankly I thought most of the ones here were pretty supportive and the OP’s follow up action was just short of an internet flounce. Her prerogative of course but it does make one wonder. 🤔

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

On 9/10/2020 at 5:42 PM, Kyrshamarks said:

That definitely was not bullying.  The charge nurse did the right thing by taking her concern to her boss.  Her job is not to confront you but rather to run the unit on her shift. 

I will also lay odds that there are other things you do that concern her.  You might want to take this as an opportunity to evaluate yourself and see what might appear to be off to the other staff.

I completely agree that wasn't bullying, but disagree that the charge nurse shouldn't have talked to the nurse first before going to the manager.  That's pretty basic nursing professionalism and just being a decent human being.  

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

28 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

I completely agree that wasn't bullying, but disagree that the charge nurse shouldn't have talked to the nurse first before going to the manager.  That's pretty basic nursing professionalism and just being a decent human being.  

Yes - when a coworker takes something straight to a manager instead of at least trying to talk it out with a coworker, it leads to distrust, a sense of failure, and a breakdown in teamwork. Honestly, 9 times out of 10 it can be solved without escalating to the manager. That’s what a team is and working through problems is.