how do I stick up for myself?

  1. So I am coming to the end of my 3 month orientation which has been pretty good......my last week is next week. I have had a lot of preceptors which I hated at first but now I appreciate the different learning styles I was exposed too. My manager says I have really come along way......and I get good feedback from my coworkers. I am learning how to deal with stress and cope better. Here is the problem, there is one nurse i will call her Adrienne. And she is a LPN and in school to get her AD. Ever since day one she has been rude and nasty to me. She makes nasty remarks.......and hurts my feelings purposely. Anytime I feel I am making progress and acknowledge it to myself or with my preceptor, she lets me know that I still need more practice and how "insert any other orientees name here" is doing so much better. I end up second guessing myself and feeling incompetent......I am so sick of her! No matter what I do, it isnt good enough for her........even though I am doing fine. I feel foolish for letting this girl have so much power over my feelings. I went to school 4 years to get my BSN I passed boards. I worked hard.......I know I am capable. My coworkers tell me she is doing this to me because I let her and that I need to tell her off because she does this with some newbies. I have had problems sticking up for myself in the past. At first I tried to be nice to her and make jokes and be helpful but she was still nasty and harsh......I need help. i am starting to dread my job. My job is ok but ........I am tired of dealing with her.
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    About smileysenior

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 87; Likes: 10

    20 Comments

  3. by   bigmona
    Some people get off on spreading negativity... like you stated, you know you have come a long way and are doing fine. And it seems like everyone else except her seems to think so, too. She is the one with the skewed perception of your progress and abilities. The fact that she compares you to other orientees is awful and pointless- whenever she makes a remark to that effect just remember how we all come from different backgrounds, and it doesn't make sense to compare yourself to them. You're already doing the right thing by comparing yourself against your abilities when you first began and seeing how far you've come. As far as sticking up for yourself when she makes a negative comment, I would just turn around and reply with something positive and STAY positive (that you're new but still eager to learn, that you feel you've come a long way, etc). And if anything else- you only have to deal with her as your preceptor for one more week, right?
  4. by   indigo girl
    I really hate this kind of behavior. Get thru your last week of orientation.
    If you haven't already, let your nurse manager or director know the type of things she has been saying. Preceptors are there to teach and offer constructive criticism. Her remarks are inappropriate, and should not be tolerated by management.

    You will still have to work with this nurse. Sometimes just physically standing face to face with a bully will make them back down, if you tell her that what she is saying is inappropriate. She really knows this, of course.
    If you feel better doing this after orientation, then wait. But, I think you will have to confront her, and I suspect that other nurses will back you up if it is done when there are witnesses. Then, never, never let her get away with it again.

    You don't have to know everything. You are brand new. It's not a sin.
  5. by   Beary-nice
    I swear, people like "Adrienne" are everywhere. Don't let her get in your way. Sounds to me like you are doing well and you have had positive responses from several people, and from what I can see...the responses were from the people who matter. I have found that I have had to just directly confront people like this in the past. It took some time to get assertive enough to do it...but, it worked out for the best in the end. Killing her with kindness apparently doesn't work. I like to use words like..."When you said...blah blah...it sounded to me like....dah dah....and it makes me feel...(insert feeling here). Make 'em aware you are on to them...most times, they back down. Stick up for yourself...you are worth it...and move on. Good luck!
  6. by   rehab nurse
    Sounds like a "coworker" I work with. Maybe they're long lost relatives? An LPN (and I'm one too, so no bashing please!) who HATES and DESPISES anyone who has an RN behind their name. Thinks the RN's are stupid, too young, whatever. But they're not as good as HER. It's really old. She loves to write those RN's up, too, for something petty or not even an error.

    You are young, but I was 19 when I started out as an LPN. Green as could be. Took me a good year to learn some things that you don't learn in school. You learn everyday. Things always change in healthcare, and what you learned a month ago may be obsolete today. Always gotta learn, get journals and keep abreast of new and better ways of doing things. Network with other RN's you know and trust and get THEIR feedback on your progress. Don't let anyone belittle you. And people will, just cause you're young and a fresh face. You worked hard, got your BSN already (congrats!) and if you can make it through that and boards then you're smart. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Sounds like plain jealousy to me. Keep your head up, learn from others, listen to advice. Learn from mistakes. It will make you a great nurse. You have to learn to ignore anyone who is negative and tries to bring you down. Don't let them get to you.

    You will go far if you just keep learning and growing. Enjoy your first year
    and just ignore this nurse who is so intent on bashing you.
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Good preceptors (and managers) know that the best way to deliver a criticism is to precede it with praise. For example, "Your charting has really improved since you started. You're able to capture the important things and leave out the fluff. But you're still not quite keeping up with it. Charting should be kept current. So now you need to work on getting the timeliness factor down." Maybe someone needs to sit this Adrienne down and tell her that. But not you... someone with some authority... maybe a charge nurse, or one of your other preceptors. Maybe she's been told all that before and doesn't care. Fortunately she won't be your problem anymore after the end of the week, but then she'll go on to hector someone else.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Aug 28, '06 : Reason: oops... typo!
  8. by   Altra
    Quote from smileysenior
    So I am coming to the end of my 3 month orientation which has been pretty good......my last week is next week. I have had a lot of preceptors which I hated at first but now I appreciate the different learning styles I was exposed too. My manager says I have really come along way......and I get good feedback from my coworkers. I am learning how to deal with stress and cope better. Here is the problem, there is one nurse i will call her Adrienne. And she is a LPN and in school to get her AD. Ever since day one she has been rude and nasty to me. She makes nasty remarks.......and hurts my feelings purposely.

    ...

    I end up second guessing myself and feeling incompetent......I am so sick of her! No matter what I do, it isnt good enough for her........even though I am doing fine. I feel foolish for letting this girl have so much power over my feelings.

    .....

    I need help. i am starting to dread my job. My job is ok but ........I am tired of dealing with her.
    Ask yourself this question: WHY does she have this "power" over you? To put it more bluntly: why do you give a flip what she thinks?

    In a week you'll be through with orientation & more or less on your own. Her opportunities to give you a hard time will be greatly diminished. If your feedback from other sources is mostly positive, try to draw some confidence from that and ignore her.

    Good luck to you.
  9. by   Hebrews 13:5
    I have an LVN like that in my place of work. They are 4 of them and the other three are "good" so to say, but there is just this lady that is so very jealous. In fact she asked me to take her discharged patient down to the car park and I looked at her and said I didn't think i could do that and she left surprised that i could refuse. I don't know how i could leave my patients and take someone else's patient downstairs. She's not even the type that cares about what happens to your patient while you are helping her, so why would i take the risk. Next day she started behaving so hostile. I asked my then preceptor and she said that that LVN is so rude and that she intimidates new RNs on the unit like that. Well, I refused to let her intimidate me and since that day, she avoids me. I just greet her and continue with my job.

    Bottom line, be aware that you can't please everybody. Just do what you know to be right and hang in there. After your orientation is over, I believe there would be a change. BUT DO NOT LET HER INTIMIDATE YOU IN ANY WAY. Just don't take her remarks to heart and don't pay any attention to those remarks. I usually "tune off" when i hear those kind of remarks and give a smile as i'm walking away. Some of them wonder "what the hell is wrong with her" But it worked for me, they end up being my friend or they just get tired and stop because I don't seem to look offended by it.I remember when i newly came, I just noticed that she always hides her name badge, hmmm, I later realized that she didn't want me to know she is an LVN so she has time to toss me around like a coin!('cos we wear same uniform -RN and LVN). Goodluck!
  10. by   willdgate
    She probably is jealous, b/c your young and have more than she may ever get, don't argue with her, but ignore her, she probaby had more senority than you, so they only hurt you in the long run.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Age, degrees, and job titles aside (SIGH!!!), thiss person is supposed to be helping new people one the job. Next time she says something nasty, ask he if being a preceptor is getting to her.
  12. by   Tweety
    The people who are telling you that she does it because you are allowing it are correct. We will get as much crap as we are willing to take.

    Because of the deep feelings I read in your post, I disagree with the "just ignore her" approach. That's not working for you.

    One problem is that you allowed it to get this far. It's time for some one on one confrontration. I realize it's quite hard and may not go well, but you need to be heard by this person directly. Going to the manager or charge nurse isn't going to help you. But it might help after the fact to let the manager know "I've had a talk with Adrienne about her bullying and this is how it went.........".

    There's a good book called "Crucial Confrontations" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...46524?v=glance that can help with some of the skills.

    Talk to her, tell her how she makes you feel, ask her to stop and then each and every time, without exceptions because this gives her permission to continue call her on it. "Perhaps you didn't mean to belittle me, but you just did, why? We agreed during our conversation yesterday you were not going to do this. Plesae don't do that again". Keeping a written journal might help.

    When I needed to confront a CNA where I worked I kept a journal and mapped out what I needed to say, how I was going to say it, and even though I thought "it won't do any good", I still did it. Guess what? It worked. The issue was resolved and she knows what I expect.
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 3, '06
  13. by   Halinja
    If I'm reading right, she isn't one of your preceptors, she's just someone sniping at you. Or did I get it wrong?

    If she isn't your preceptor, just someone standing around or passing by, I would probably turn around until I'm looking her straight in the eye and say, "Adrianne, Cut It Out". Don't yell, don't even say it unpleasantly, but do say it firmly. If she blinks, then you can say, still very pleasantly, "I don't appreciate that kind of comment," or, "that kind of comment simply is NOT helpful." You don't have to justify yourself, or explain your progress to her. Just tell her "stop".

    People who snipe don't usually want an actual frontal confrontation. It might work...it might not. But you might feel better for having stood up for yourself in a dignified, but assured manner.

    Um, if she's your preceptor, then that makes it a little more intricate. I'd go with the advice above in that case.

    Good luck, you've worked hard to get where you are, and you deserve every bit of success you get. Don't let one bad apple get you down.
  14. by   joyflnoyz
    Next time she makes an ugly comment, you can very sweetly ask her
    " Now, darlin', Why would you say something like that? That was just plain ugly" You're calling her on the behavior without getting ugly yourself.

    I don't think that telling her "That hurts" will do any good. That's her whole point-- to make you feel bad. She is a bully. Bullys don't stop unless confronted. Maybe being sugary sweet won't get the point across; then you'll have to flat out tell her to "back off"

    Tweety's got it right -keep a journal. if the bullying doesn't stop after you
    take a stand, take the journal to your NM and use the words "Hostile Work Environment" NO manager wants to hear that LOL

    Oh, and if you notice her being ugly to others, write that in your journal too.

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