How do you distance yourself from negetivity?

  1. I work on a med surg floor at a university hospital, I was told when I graduated to be carefull about being pulled into negative conversations. I work nights and this leaves some time to sit around while doing chart checks, paperwork changeover ect, and talk with the other nurses working. The problem is: The conversations almost always turn into gosip, and complaint sessions, usualy about the nurse supervisor or hospital policies and sometimes about other nurses habits. I try hard to keep my mouth shut and do my work but, it is getting very nerve racking and frustrating not hearing anything positive except for their home lifes.

    How do some of you older nurses keep from getting pulled into this? I have tried getting up and doing extra rounds but you can only pester your pts so many times a night before they complain you keep waking them up.
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    About jo272wv

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 127; Likes: 19


  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I walk away from it, if i can. If i can't i don't say a word, won't contribute to the gossip, etc. I remind myself in my head that i'm being the change that i want to see.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I used to solve it by charting right at the patient's room or picking a confused patient as my excuse to chart sitting right outside the room.

    You're doing the right thing by not getting sucked into these conversations; things like that can transform a good unit into a very toxic one.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your progress, jo.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Staying quiet has helped me tremendously in the workplace. If a few nurses are engaging in negative gossip at the station, I'll usually have no comment.

    The only possible way you can feed the gossip fire is by participating in the gossip. If you remain quiet and refrain from gossiping, it will greatly help to reduce the negativity at the nurses station.
  6. by   Beary-nice
    I don't get hooked up in the smack talk mostly by not contributing...or I change the subject. Otherwise, my OCD works for me...I go clean something. Marie's third sentence speaks volumes.
  7. by   NurseCard
    You get sick of just hearing it though, don't you? I was fortunate enough at my last job that we actually had medicine carts with computers on them, and most of the computers had those big "arms" on them so that we could adjust them well. I could sit down in a chair and bring the laptop down to my level, and chart. So, I'd take my med cart down to the end of my hallway and be close to my patients, and chart, if I was sick and tired of listening to the bull session going on.
  8. by   hptogram
    Its better just to keep quiet. I go find something else to do or say my beeper went off, gotta go. I do have complaints about the job and other people, but I keep it to myself.
  9. by   anne74
    I just keep quiet - but I listen intently. You can learn a lot from those conversations. Sure, you have to consider the source - most of the conversations are from bitter, miserable people who probably should have left their position a while ago - but there is also some truth to those stories.

    I've gotten to the point where I can weed out fact from fiction. Sometimes it's helpful to know others' M.O.'s - that way you can protect yourself from the offense of some nasty person.

    There's nothing wrong with listening - it's gathering intelligence - just don't participate and especially start untrue rumors, or try to get someone else in trouble. That's unprofessional.

    If it really bothers you even to hear it, then walk away or find another job. It won't stop on it's own. Although, some units are better than others.
  10. by   Thedreamer
    I had this happen to me on an ER clinical. Here I am, an innocent EMT student working on an unconcious PT waiting for the nurse to get back. She gets back and just gives me this look like shes about to lay something hard on me. I didnt know this nurse, in fact, I had JUST met her 5 minutes prior.

    Shes like OMG do you believe him! He took the key to my house and let himself and took his stuff! He is such an idiot, dont you agree? We should go slash his tires!."

    *flash to my face looking like a deer in head lights*

    I Just kinda stared at her blankey wishing that I had the power to turn invisible.

    I kindly told her that it was none of my business, but that I hope she can resolve it in a peaceful manner.

    Apparently that didnt go over to well. She kicked me outta the room, and within 10 minutes every other nurse in the ER was leering at me. Apparently if you dont agree with the pack of wolves, you become the prey.

    Oh and the kicker. The guy she was talking about, ended up being the docter on that floor.

    I do believe I am going prepared next time. If that kinda situation happens again, Ill just use my flash bang and run as if shots are being fired and hope that the negative nurse in question will be disoriented enough to shut the heck up and get back to her job.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Dec 29, '06 : Reason: profanity
  11. by   miface
    Tuff question; at times I feel that this negativity discourse acts as a barrier for the profession's growth. Have you ever looked into 'appreciative inquiry'? It's using creativity, imagination and positivity as language to shape change. I find it quite useful when heavy negative talks arise. For instance, "what inspires nurses to use positivity", "what structures do we need in place to sustain positivity" or "how do nurses share a common value for positive work environments". I find that when focusing on negative situations or problems, concurrent problems then surface and morale is challeneged. have a good day, miface