Exit Interview. Honest or not?

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Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

I have always told companies exactly why I left. Nothing will ever get better if we keep our mouths shut.

Exactly.

sungrl01

sungrl01

119 Posts

Yeah it's def a dilemma. I like the hospital over all and some good co workers on my unit but the charge nurse is very toxic and negative. Not good working environment to say the least. I have had my coworkers walk up to me and say they know why I'm leaving and "I wonder who she's going to harass next now that you're leaving". Other coworkers complain but NOBODY will stand up to her in fear of their jobs. One nurse said "I'm two years from retirement and I can't say anything". Everyone knows what's going on but no one will stand up. I've tried going to Nurse Manager and she did nothing just defended her. I want to say something but not wanting to burn bridges because there are some good units there.

dishes

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

You won't be burning bridges if you give specific examples of times when the charge nurse treated you in harassing and demeaning manner.

Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

Sungr101, can you say something directly to the CN? I'm going to assume everything you say here is absolutely true. I advocate sticking up to the person. Not yelling, not calling him/her names. Just calmly and professionally stating how you feel. Even asking to speak privately to him/her in a room to say your piece. I mean doing this at the very last minute possible. I realize this is not easy. Of course the person isn't going to say, "Wow! You're right. I'm going to change." Doing this can empower you. Just another idea since you seem hesitant about being honest during the exit interview. If you are leaving because of a toxic person and a toxic environment, I feel that needs to be brought up to management. But then management defends the person. If you have experience there are other jobs out there. Sometimes things work out for the best with time.

sungrl01

sungrl01

119 Posts

Oh I have tried to work things out with her for a long time. No dice. I went to her first trying to work things out and the more I tried the more I got stepped on in front of my patients and coworkers which to me is unprofessional. I can't perform at my best when someone is micromanaging at extreme and yelling at me in front of patients. Everyone knows cause they've heard her but no one will speak. It's sad. Otherwise it's a good job. She was gone on vacation recently for two weeks and was definitely a stronger, happier team. I just didn't want to burn bridge but hate that she's going to continue doing this.

dishes

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

The purpose of the exit interview is to gain feedback so that the employer can reduce turnover and retain good employees. Give objective examples of her harassment, the employers know when they have high turnover on a specific unit that there is a problem, but dont always know what the problem is.

Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

Oh I have tried to work things out with her for a long time. No dice. I went to her first trying to work things out and the more I tried the more I got stepped on in front of my patients and coworkers which to me is unprofessional. I can't perform at my best when someone is micromanaging at extreme and yelling at me in front of patients. Everyone knows cause they've heard her but no one will speak. It's sad. Otherwise it's a good job. She was gone on vacation recently for two weeks and was definitely a stronger, happier team. I just didn't want to burn bridge but hate that she's going to continue doing this.

Oh geez..... I am so sorry. Are you sick of my suggestions? There are books written on how to deal with conflict. The old psych way.. Instead of, "You are blah blah blah". Say, "I feel blah blah blah". And keeping it narrowed to how you feel, not bring in everything and everyone else, even if you want to. I'm being a bit of a mom here and trying to help you feel empowered. If speaking to her directly is too uncomfortable or threatening to you, then skip it. I just despise that bullies get away with the toxic behavior. It is not easy to stand up to another person. I have done it though. We have no control how others behave. Only ourselves. For me, even if I knew the other person was going to continue the nasty/toxic behavior, saying something helped me. Luckily rarely needed in my career. One person completely changed her behavior toward me after I stood up to her. Back to exit interview original topic, you'll figure it out.

Edited by Boomer MS, RN
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sungrl01

sungrl01

119 Posts

Yep I've tried that too. Just pulled her aside in PRIVATE and spoke with her about problem just focused on our working relationship. Offered to make things right and again the more I tried the worse it got. I'm am leaving because I cannot get through and feel like there is no other choice. People at work have been begging me to tell HR the truth. The minute I came in all I heard from her was "look they hired my replacement. I'm tired of these BSN nurses coming here." I've expressed to management in the past my interest in leadership roles and duties and the charge nurse relationship def got worse over time. I have tried to explain that I'm not here to replace anyone just want to work hard and have positive team working environment. Instead she gives the leadership experience to the brand new ADN nurse. Any time I express a new idea to try to better the unit it gets shot down by the charge and worse she would treat me.

Edited by sungrl01

Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

Yep I've tried that too. Just pulled her aside in PRIVATE and spoke with her about problem just focused on our working relationship. Offered to make things right and again the more I tried the worse it got. I'm am leaving because I cannot get through and feel like there is no other choice. People at work have been begging me to tell HR the truth

You have given this thought and the ole college try. Sometimes it is best to resign. Back to original issue, it is completely up to you. At least you have the support of some valued colleagues.

sungrl01

sungrl01

119 Posts

Yeah I have my exit interview today but have heard things about being honest but I feel like I should be.

cynmrn

cynmrn

Specializes in School Nursing, Telemetry. Has 2 years experience. 124 Posts

In my opinion, it is fine to be honest, but it's important to be tactfully honest. I think it goes without saying that "being honest" doesn't mean beginning to rant or attacking people personally. Complaining about a specific person will really not get you anywhere. I would generalize that complaint (e.g. if a person was a terrible charge nurse, state that you were sometimes disappointed in the lack of leadership, guidance, etc. and state what you realistically would have liked to see). The purpose of an exit interview is generally to track why people are leaving and what a facility may need to improve upon. If there are some glaring holes that need to be filled, I think it's appropriate to mention them, as long as it's done respectfully.

I am leaving my first nursing job and I had an online exit interview survey to fill out. I mentioned poor staffing as my biggest issue, as well as sometimes having difficulty finding appropriate equipment and supplies. I don't think saying those honest issues will have made me not rehireable if I should ever return...

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Should I be honest in interview or not?
I would be brutally honest in the exit interview only if I knew with certainty that I'd never be securing employment with the company again.