Do you have friends at work?

  1. I don't mean "work friends" that you talk to and spend time with only while on the clock; I mean friends who you would gladly meet for lunch or go shopping with on your day off. I'm talking about the kind of friend who knows your husband's nasty little habit that drives you up the wall and your hidden vices. Did you make any of those types of friends at work?

    I never have. I made one of those kinds of friends in nursing school but once I entered the actual field I never felt comfortable with any of my co-workers to actively pursue a friendship outside of the place of employment.

    I wonder if this is a unique phenomenon exclusive to facility nursing. My friends that work in traditional office settings find it easy to make friends at work. I have expanded my associate circle immensely through my friends and their coworker friendships. How come it's so difficult to cultivate those same types of relationships in health care?

    Do you find yourself in a similar situation?
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    About HisTreasure, ADN, RN

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 821; Likes: 441
    BSN student; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics


  3. by   Altra
    My experience has been the opposite of yours. When I worked in corporate settings in my life-before-nursing it was rare for people to socialize outside of work other than quasi-company functions such as the VP's annual picnic at his home or club.

    In healthcare I've become part of a culture where people socialize frequently and personal lives are discussed much more openly.
  4. by   bill4745
    Most of my friends are my co-workers. And most of my social life is at work. When you work in a stressful job, people seem to be closer to each other.
  5. by   HisTreasure
    Wow. I guess it is just me. :imbar I've worked with people who I enjoy talking to and socialize with at work but none of them have I trusted enough to let them into my personal life out of work. I hear how much they talk about one another... I've seen nurses become friends and then something happens outside the job and the nurses come back telling it it's high school with the gossip. OMG, I just don't trust it. I think I need to work on my trust issues. Or maybe LTC is a different animal.
  6. by   Quickbeam
    It is not just you, at all. I have co-workers and colleagues at work with whom I have a nice cordial rapport. I choose to socialize elsewhere. Part of my professional boundaries involve issues of alcohol use and my preference to be home with family or at church with faith based activities.

    I was told initially at my current job (I'm the only nurse) that they found me standoffish but it has gotten much better with time. I treat everyone the same so I'm not going to one person's party and not another's.

    Many a time I've seen personal indiscretions and oversharing come back to bite people in the butt at work. I don't think holding yourself in reserve on the job is so awful.
  7. by   Tweety
    I only socialize with one coworker whom I don't work with anymore, and that's relatively rare. I let nature take it's course, I'm not going to restrict myself with a policy of not socializing with coworkers, but it rarely happens for me for whatever reason.
  8. by   RNperdiem
    I don't think it is nursing. As you leave your school years and go through your 20's and 30's, close friends become harder to find. Even old friends start to drift as they move away, get married, get jobs and have kids.
    I have had "work buddies" from work, but not real close friends. Your office worker friends might have different definitions of friendship.
  9. by   MMARN
    I've been an RN for about 2 and a half months now. The people I work with, most of them, would rather I not speak to them. Why? Because I'm the newbie, I let things get too late, I ask too many questions, etc. Those people I do talk to, I only talk to them while at work. I don't trust anyone enough to let them have my phone number, let alone know anything personal about me. The other day, one of the night nurses called my house just so she could lecture me. I very ticked off that, not only did she waste her time in calling me, but that she called my personal house number! The only people who should have that should be my nurse manager and the nurse educator. How she got it, I have no idea. I don't trust anyone in my floor at all, and I doubt I'll come out leaving there with anything but acquantainces.
  10. by   pattymac
    I'm with the outside stuff. I only "socialize" at work. I might go out to lunch with a few people if they ask me every once in awhile, but I don't like to mix business with personal. Maybe it's a trust issue. I believe it's impossible to work with people and not remember how they are in their personal life. I don't want to know that much about people. Boy I sound bad dont' I?
  11. by   maire
    The nurses and CNAs that work my shift, the majority of us get together every now and again for a "Girls Night Out." We all know each others' families (or at least their names), we know when someone is celebrating a birthday or a special occasion, a heartache or a bad experience. We've laughed together, cried together, vented together...yah, I'd say we're "friends." It's not like that with any of the other shifts, or so I've heard. Maybe it's the fact that we are all close to the same age? I dunno.
  12. by   caliotter3
    I've seen friendships at work, especially among a group with something in common, such as ethnicity. However, I've never been included in anything beyond superficial talk at work. Maybe this has to do with me being single with less home life to talk about. I do see a point in having someone at work that one socializes with. My supervisor pointed this out to me one time when there was a problem at work and she said I needed to talk to someone to find out what was going on. I realized that there was absolutely no one that I could contact. Generally, I think one should keep to themselves unless they meet trustworthy coworkers. Talk about self can be detrimental when it gets around to the wrong ears.
  13. by   eccentricRN
    I consider my co workers friends, but we do not go out & socialize outside of work for a very simple reason, or should I say several, we're all married with children & we work 3rd shift, so we have limited amount of staff which it's very rare to have time off together. We're close, we talk about our home life & we trust each other to have our backs when the doo doo hits the fan. So I consider them my friends. I agree with a previous poster as you get older your priorities & socialization methods change... however I have some very few & very close friends & we hardly ever see each other, but I can call anytime I need someone to be there & listen & just be there for me & vice versa. I have limited time with my dh & my son so rather than go socialize with my friends they either come & visit with my family or we just don't get together but once a blue moon. I do have 1 friend from nursing school that we get together once a month for breakfast, to let off steam as we're both newbies. I have to say I'm very happy and comfortable with this lifestyle, although to others it may seem weird.
  14. by   NURSEOK5
    I have friends at work that we do meet for drinks, lunch or shopping, and we do also keep up with what is going on with each other. When we work together we have a great team atomosphere. Its nice to know that you can count on someone outside of the work place, because in the work place you may need help and I know I can count on co-workers and I trust them. I have not had a bad experience with anyone of them, we all have each others cell # which comes in handy if an emergency comes up we always have a source to help find our shift replacements. I do have friends that are not in the medical field that I do things with also, but not as much as with my co-workers and not as often.:spin: