Don't want to be part of GNSWC club

  1. Well I am doing it--I am returning to my old unit after seven years of being away from most bedside nursing. The staff has changed quite a bit--but some of the old gang is still there.

    Wherein lies my dilemma. Several of these nurses are chronic complainers (bit**ers is more appropriate). There were times when I became sucked into the depths of their unhappiness with everything. I was able to find ways out of the cycle of complaining. I have been in several different areas since I left this unit, and the conditions on this floor are better than most other units I worked in. I never realized how horrible this one nurse c/o until I saw her after 5 years and she had the same gripes she had when I worked with her.

    I have found life is too short to spend complaining all the time. What have others found that works to keep from being sucked into the 'grumpy- never satisfied whiners club'??(GNSWC)

    It takes more time to complain about what needs to be done than just doing it...........
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    About zumalong

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 395; Likes: 56
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in surgical, neuro, education


  3. by   135ctv
    I try to listen without responding or responding as little as possible. When complaining gets too bad, I look for something to do that will take me out of earshot of the whiners. Sometimes, people just need to vent but when it happens a lot it does tend to drag everyone down. If they've been there that long it sounds like some of them may be experiencing burnout. It might be better if they tried another unit, at least for a while, but I think sometimes that change is a lot more frightening than staying in an unhappy situation.
  4. by   Teshiee
    I simply say! You have the power to make the changes. If you spend more effort of complaining, gearing that negative energy to make something happen you wouldn't be complaining in the first place. People do what you allow them to do! Or I start reading off somewhere. My nursing career is just that but it is not my life when I leave to go to my home that where it stops. I have other interests. When I return I give my babies the best care possible. Burn out is their fault if you don't get the same satisfaction where you work change it up make it interesting I say. You are right whining is easier than change. You do what makes you happy. :-)
  5. by   live4today
    You know something, I worked with a lot of complainers in my time, but I never gave them an opportunity to become chronic complainers around me. I always made it a point to be strictly professional in a professionally friendly manner the entire time I was on duty. I ate my lunch in the cafeteria, or outside the hospital -- often alone by choice as I used this time as my "down time/quite time". I rarely spent time in the nurses lounge where many of the chronic complainers hung out. If I had a minute or two to sit down, I would spend those few blessed minutes in the bathroom on the commode. :chuckle From the time I clocked in, to the time I clocked out, I was far too into my patients and their family members, checking orders, passing meds, doing wound care, pre/post op teaching, ambulating patients, offering my nursing services to those who were extremely busy in between caring for my own patients, keeping my charting up to date so I could go home "on time" every day.... WHEN does someone have time to even listen to the chronic complainers go yakkity-yak?

    I didn't believe in getting too friendly with the people I worked with because on the days I had to be Charge, I didn't have time to play favorites. Business was business that way! I kept my personal business to myself, and when I got on the elevator to go home after work, my mind automatically clicked into "home, here I come" mode...leaving all the work issues behind me until I stepped off the elevator on the unit the next time I was on duty.

    Easy on/easy off...that was my motto!
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 19, '02
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Serenity prayer time again...LOL!

    Chronic negative folks sometimes need to be reminded of how they effect others..many just need to hear it and they get better.
    I think venting is healthy but it CAN be taken too far...LOL!

    The super complainers who always dwell on the negs: I first try to recognize THEIR positives and give a compliment because they may need a little ego boost, I figure, and feel unappreciated. This works best 1:1, I find. Then I ask them their opinion on ideas to rectify what they think is the problem. If we can't come up with a way, then maybe we need to accept we can't change it and keep on keepin' on....doesn't always work but I give it a shot!

    I remember one place where I worked in a small ICU with 2 extremely negative nurses....I had to just give up relating much to them because they just overpowered me with negative energy. Nothing I did helped and I began to feel they were turning on me sometimes too. I felt bad for them, but I had to stay detached to function and not get 'sucked in' as you say...

    They ended up quitting soon and moving on. Funny thing--I ran into both of them individually later and they were both glad to be away from the other because of the 'negativity'. That tickled me!

    If the above hasn't worked I find myself
  7. by   st4304
    I worked in a unit where it seemed everyone came TO ME to do all of their bit**ing and I would listen and remain non-comittal ("I see. . .", or "I hear what you're saying," or "Hmmmm.") HOWEVER, by remaining what I thought was neutral, it ended up making everyone think I was agreeing with them.

    I would get into staff meetings and when the s**t would hit the fan, all of a sudden it was "Well, Sherri thinks so, too!" Or "Sherri and I have talked about it and we think. . ." Aaaaaaah! So I started speaking up. If anyone came to me to complain about anything or anyone, I would say to go to the source or to our manager and leave me out of it. Now, no one comes to me to bit** because they know I will not stand around and listen to it. I also practice what I preach. Of course, now my poor manager is going crazy. . .but that's why she is making the "big bucks", right?

    Good luck and hang in there!! Peace and love to all!
  8. by   mattcastens
    You know, the constant complaining is the reason I realized that I must get out of bedside nursing if I am to keep my sanity. Therefore, once I complete my BSN, it's on to grad school.

    Seriously, it is the primary reason.

    I don't know if it's because nursing is primarily a female profession (sorry, ladies) or what, but the complaining -- even from nurses that are "happy" with their jobs -- has gotten unbearable for me.

    The other thing that has gotten under my skin is the almost ironclad resistance to change. God forbid we alter a flowsheet or a policy! I was recently on a committee to update our flowsheets to the community standard (one I prefer for its detail) and heard nothing but complaining about the change. Here's an idea -- try it first!

    Or the constant complaining about workload! Honestly! Quit clucking and lay the egg! You might find out that it's not as bad as you thought.

    Anyway ... I realize this post makes me just as bad. :imbar I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to my future plans.
  9. by   Furball
    I hear ya Matt. I don't think it's a female thing though. With approx 90% of nurses are female it may seem so. The biggest whiner on my floor is a 20 something male. (I thought they were suppose to be tough? ) I get irritated when the whiners are at it all evening long, whining, wasting precious time, while I'm running around getting my work done...then they have the nerve to ask for assist when I'm running out the door with my work done. I will usually help out but PLEASE don't whine at me. Who likes to hear "waa-waa!"?
  10. by   el
    I always tell people that they have to change the tape in their head. If you complain all the time, it's like this tape in your head playing over and over again, and really if you pressed pause you might see that the situation is different, only you can't see it. Complaining helps to make things the way they are, it doesn't change anything, positive ideas change things.
  11. by   night owl
    After awhile, I just turn them off because it gets real old and fast. It's a pleasure when they're off and you don't have to listen to them! Renee, I also hide in the BR just to get away...they can't bother you in there, so when the whinning becomes too great, I'll say, "Excuse me, I have to hit the John." When I come out, they're gone. Works everytime.
  12. by   live4today
    Originally posted by night owl
    After awhile, I just turn them off because it gets real old and fast. It's a pleasure when they're off and you don't have to listen to them! Renee, I also hide in the BR just to get away...they can't bother you in there, so when the whinning becomes too great, I'll say, "Excuse me, I have to hit the John." When I come out, they're gone. Works everytime.
    Don't you just love the bathrooms along the many corridors in the hospitals, nightowl? All we have to do is just "slide on inside of one" to get away from it all! :chuckle :roll :chuckle

    Some staff can be sooooooo annoying that I will say to them: My goodness, we're just having such a piss-poor day, now aren't we? What can Renee do to make your day run more smoothly?

    I usually just get blank stares from them, and then I grab them and give them a big squeeze and say: You are one special person, you know that! Just keep telling yourself that everytime something bugs you here on the job, and all the old negative stuff will be meaningless to you. Try it! You'll see that I'm right! They usually will 'improve' or carry their negative attitudes elsewhere! Which is dandy with me! :chuckle
  13. by   shay
    I usually just say something like 'hmmm,' and leave it at that. Funny how these women (sorry, I may be a chick but I agree with's a woman thing) seem to always dig up SOME tragedy. S***, they could win the lottery but would probably complain about it being paid out in the wrong denomination of bill. Whatever!! I find it interesting that 99.9% of the time whatever it is they're complaining about is a)trivial and b)totally within their control to change.