Assertive or aggressive? - page 2

I had a dispute with a coworker and could not settle it so I utilized the chain of command and talked to my supervisor about it. When I went back to talk to the coworker, looking for resolve, she... Read More

  1. by   PediRN
    Oh for crying out loud. If you were unable to resolve the dispute with the person involved and went to your supervisor, you were being PROFESSIONAL. Don't beat yourself over the head. You did the right thing!
  2. by   susanmary
    You were assertive -- she was aggressive (that's the kindest thing I can say about her behavior.) In the future, just keep the conversation work related. Don't talk about her, continue to be professional -- let this go. You went up the chain of command & were appropriate doing so. Rise about this -- you will be an excellent nurse. Repeat after me ... mean rotten nursing students grow up to be mean rotten nurses ... nice, kind nursing students grow up to be nice, kind nurses. You are the latter. And continue to assert yourself, in a calm way, and advocate for your patients. You will be a great nurse.
    originally posted by gwenith
    you handled yourself well. this woman is using bullying tactics - recognise them for what they are and be wary she will try to retrieve control over you in another way. i would guess that some of her attitude comes form the fact that you are "moving up the ladder". be careful to document all interactions with this woman (as if you don't have enough to do in your life!) but it may be your saving grace one day - it was for me.
    here's how defines assertiveness and aggressiveness; here's how their thesaurus describes assertive and aggressive. now it would appear that to be assertive is being aggressive and vice versa...they're synonymous with each other. so should it matter whether one was used over the other? no! what should matter is the fact that this individual doesn't like the fact that you're *moving on up the ladder* as gwenith stated above. there are several reasons that this person acted-out the way that she did:
    • jealousy ~ you're going to receive an bachelors' in nursing right...what degree does this person have...if any?
    • personal dislike
    • bad night
    • demonstrate her power over you
    • put you in your place ~ specially in front of your classmates
    • etc

    still, there's no excuse for her to treat you in the fashion that she had. you did the right thing by not taking the patient anywhere until you got a proper report from her first. second, as a student, you are not allowed to touch any patient prior to your instructor arriving onto the unit for the first time each day...despite the fact that you work there as an fact...i wouldn't touch a patient before receiving a proper report working as an na expect this from you is completely absurd! third, trying to settle any differences/misunderstandings between the two of you was the mature way to handle the situation. she didn't want to work out your differences, so the next step is to tell your instructor and supervisor because you still have to work with this individual while you're not in your clinical rotation.

    gator, i think you'd handled the situation the best way and don't worry about this person's obvious dislike/disrespect for you! that's her problem ~ not yours.

    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Apr 26, '03
  4. by   Rapheal

    Your response to that nurse did in no way seem aggressive to me. You handled this in a professional manner and I think that you have a really good handle on what your responsibilities should be regarding the care of your patients. Keep up the good work.
  5. by   nurs4kids
    It's all those years of Steve Spurrier brainwashing, gator
    You're BOUND to be aggressive..
    lol, j/k
  6. by   nurse2002
    Originally posted by Gator,SN
    I work at a hospital and I also had 4 weeks of clinical there, on the same floor that I work on as a nursing assistant. I arrived at clinical and was waiting for report to start when my co-worker informed that my patient (assigned to her) was to be in endo by 0715 and that I needed to get her ready to go. I told her that I couldn't do it at that time because I had not received report yet and I didn't feel comfortable. I knew nothing about the patient except sex and age. My instructor had not arrived yet.
    She blasted me infront of my classmates and other staff- "you want to be a nurse, well this is how the real world is, you don't get to do everything your way and whenever you want to!"
    I told her that it was only because my instructors had informed me that taking report was "legally taking responsibility for the patient" and I had not done so, but she was too angry to listen. I did check the consent forms, hang the secondary line and transfer the patient and take her to the holding room, just so she would stop talking about me to everyone who would listen and missed report anyway. Next I went to her and I asked to speak to her in private and she refused, so I went to my supervisor
    (hers too) and I told her that while I am a student I want to be treated like one and she should not take the liberty to treat me that way because I work their as an NA and we are familiar with each other.
    I waited a few days, until we were working together again and I asked a second time to talk to her about what had happened and she told me that I'm aggressive and she is angry about it and will not speak to me unless it is work related.

    I would not say you were agressive, but I woud say she was a real..we are not allowed to cuss on this board are we? Well you get what I am saying. You handled yourself well. I would like to congradulate you . Do you know what kind of car she drives? Just kidding.
  7. by   MandyInMS
    I think you acted very professionally,,unlike the other nurse who sounded very aggressive...hats off to ya..take this as a valuable lesson that you will have to draw upon in the future...people will poo-poo(see i didn't on you if you let stood your ground and handled yourself like a champ...bravoooooo for u
  8. by   AHarri66
    oops, double posted
  9. by   AHarri66
    Gator, I feel for ya'. Sounds to me like you were being assertive, and she was being aggressive. A simple rule of thumb to distinguish between the two: Aggressive involves an attack, whether verbal or physical. Verbally it is characterised by "you" words, like "You so-and-so, you better do such-and-such." Assertiveness is confidently expressing your needs. Verbally it is characterised by "I" words: "I don't feel comfortable with this. I need to talk to my instructor. I feel like I'm being pressured." Etc. It may sound PC, but I learned my assertiveness techniques from a book from the '70's called "When I Say NO, I Feel Guilty." What an eye-opener! It deals with everything from telemarketers to aggressive people. Sounds like your coworker could use a copy.

    And for the record, in my hospital if a patient is due for a procedure before 0730, it is the responsibility of the night nurse to see they are ready. Yes, in "real life" you will sometimes walk in on situations before report is received, but as a student, it was pretty unfair of her to expect you to jump in unprepared.

  10. by   askater11
    I know I'm just getting your side of the story.

    From what I were being very assertive. That's what I would do...attempt to talk with the person. If she wasn't willing to talk with me...the next step would be the supervisor.

    Good job!!

    What did your instructor say about this?
  11. by   susanmary
    I get along very well with my coworkers. There was one nurse, however, that spoke down to other staff members and would always yell & say humiliating things to others. Many times I would call her on it, in private -- was respectfully ASSERTIVE -- but nothing changed. Management spoke to her as she had many complaints about her attitude. Excellent nurse -- absolutely. People skills -- nada.

    One day, she started in on me during report -- this time I was respectively AGGRESSIVE -- in front of everyone -- and told her never to speak to me in that manner again. Basically, who did she think she was talking to me in that mannner -- I was sick of it and she was never to speak to me again in an insulting manner. Everyone's jaw dropped -- I'm one of the kindest, most supportive nurses on that floor -- but I HAD HAD IT -- and I was AGGRESSIVE. It never happened again. She's since moved on. I believe in treating people the way I want to be treated, I believe in professionalism and respectful behavior -- but enough is enough -- I'm nobody's doormat.

  12. by   MandyInMS
    AMEN susanmary!!!!