I hate this "squeaky wheel gets the oil" actions in healthcare!! - page 2

Warning: This is a rant So I had a lot (LOTS) of growing pains as a new nurse. I made mistakes and I haven't been the best employee 100% of the time. But with self-reflection and self help, it's... Read More

  1. by   Emergent
    I do a little self promotion. One of my strong points is bedside manner. I have an uncanny ability to feel out the sweet spot of my patients 99% of the time. Therefore, a lot of patients really appreciate me and my niceness. It helps that some of my colleagues openly show their annoyance and I don't.

    So, when I get the compliments and thank yous about my excellent care, I'll often suggest that they call my boss and let him know. I make sure they know his name and mine. Nothing wrong with a little self promotion!
  2. by   thoughtful21
    I really appreciate this topic. I've been feeling so unappreciated at work lately, in a lot of little ways.

    There's a little 'patient survey' list of people who were recognized by a patient during charge nurse rounds. There's a lot of people that've never made the list. Well, if the survey is only done at certain times, and only certain patients are surveyed, it doesn't give everyone an equal chance. Sometimes, I don't even think the patient understands the questions, because they are worded awkwardly and are gone through quickly. So some of us are left in the cold, regardless of the fact that we provide great care and our patients love us.

    And self-promotion gets so old after a while. I've definitely done it at times, because it seems like that's the only way to survive. But suggesting that the patient "let the charge nurse know about the great care" seems so shallow. I know, it's gotta be done, but...

    And telling the manager about a great thing I did last week...I've just gotten to the point where I'm like hey, if they can't appreciate me for what I'm worth without me speaking up, why am I bothering?

    To compound it, when we're all singing our own praises, trying to prove ourselves, and fighting for recognition from the managers, it creates a bad culture on the floor. Teamwork deteriorates, and conversations at the nurses station turn into mini-contests. Honestly, it often leave me feeling insecure.

    I'm just tired of the nonsense! There needs to be more genuine recognition and appreciation for people who are just doing their jobs. Managers should be more personally involved. The culture should be changed by good leadership. The "doing my job" contests need to stop. The passive-aggressive heroics need to give way to good teamwork.
  3. by   harvestmoon
    I'm not an RN but I work in clinical healthcare (and am going to start nursing school next Spring). We have the same issue in our department and what I have been doing is to get at least one positive patient comment card each month. Once i get that comment card in I can let the "hero" worship go and just keep plugging along (doing a better job than the "hero") and it doesn't phase me. I make sure the comment card goes directly to my manager/supervisor and I keep a copy. This way I can be proactive regularly without worrying about recognition.

    I usually get the positive card when someone goes out of their way to complement me - once they do that verbally, I simply tell them that they can fill out a comment card that I can give to my boss if they would like and leave it at that.
  4. by   NightNerd
    This is a sore spot at my job too. For us, it's not so much other people putting themselves on a pedestal; rather, we have a recognition system that is set up to recognize the person who's had the hardest shift. (Our unit is mostly mental health/substance abuse patients who don't always love the limits we set, so while I'd be amused to read the comment cards they'd fill out, I don't think they'd be very complimentary, lol.) Whoever runs charge is responsible for recognizing someone every shift, which, for those of us who run charge regularly, means we don't get called out very often.

    One of the things we started doing was a giant post-it note in the nurse's station where anyone can write a little love note about a coworker. It's helped a little, in the sense that we all do naturally recognize each other's efforts more. But there are some people who are just more inclined to support their coworkers than others. YMMV, but maybe you can suggest this to everyone and see if it improves the culture somewhat? It might at least get people to stop cutting each other down as much.

    As for actually being recognized yourself, that's another matter. If you don't love drawing attention to yourself, that's cool (and relatable). Just keep a list of ways you've contributed, any accomplishments and great saves you've had, etc., and bring that to your evals. That's also a great thing to have on hand for any future job interviews.

    Good luck!
  5. by   anewsns
    I so relate to this!!! I'm the same exact way. Also, I get sort of looked down on for running around at work. Because I'd rather be busy, and you can ALWAYS find something to do, no matter how slow of a day it is. It's not like i'm getting totally bullied over it or anything, but it seems like people suspect my time management is bad, when, I'm just finding things to do and if I run out I'll start pitching in to help others! I don't have many braggers at my work, but the people who get recognized are more confident in themselves and happen to be sitting around more (more "on top of things" on the surface.)

    However, the patients love me, remember me, praise me behind my back. Students from the school give rave reviews, CNA's love to work with me. I even get a lot of compliments from the doctors. They are all the people who are seeing what's actually going on, I'm just not recognized as much by other nurses or management. I think other nurses dislike/ don't understand when I get that many compliments. I'm just super quiet about my own achievements and am slightly insecure (due to a bad start as well-) and like you said, if someone does a minor mistake, fix it. If you catch a change with a patient, take care of it, etc. Sometimes people will walk in on me working with a patient and see something wrong (which I am highly aware of and taking care of!!) and start acting on it. I want to whisper "hey, guess what? This is not your patient. Sorry I didn't loudly announce their issue and my interventions in the hallway." This is a super strange problem to have but I'm glad somebody else has it too! I also get "We think you're doing excellent!" In my reviews but am overlooked for promotions, precepting, etc.


    It was this way at my last job too! I just try to think of myself as this quiet underdog hero to keep my ego boosted!
  6. by   adventure_rn
    To be fair, I don't think this is a healthcare issue; I think it's an everywhere issue. 'Squeaky wheels' exist in every profession.

    Unfortunately, in many jobs, promotion and achievement are about learning how to 'play the game,' and part of playing that game may be knowing when to make a scene or when to keep your head down.

    It stinks that it works out that way, but that's the reality with a lot of managers; in some cases, good managers can see through those people's BS.
  7. by   Hematocrit13
    I work with someone (a nurse) who has, that I know of, saved two people's lives. I do not particularly gravitate to her one way or the other. She has never once mentioned that she's saved two people's lives. One of the patients has. No one else has mentioned it to me. As tense as things get at work, and whatever else happens, there is one thing I will never forget - this woman saved two people's lives. I suppose my point is, Good People Know in their depths who's doing what and who is really valuable.
  8. by   neonn965
    Meticulous attention to detail, thorough charting, adherence to policy and evidence based practice, and collaboration with the team will not go unnoticed if you simply do it quietly. I know it seems like the recognition does not come quickly, but nurses that follow you notice that they do not find errors in your charting. They notice that all meds are given, tasks are completed, and all outstanding issues were addressed. Doctors will notice these things and trust you as their ears and eyes. Managers will trust you and utilize you as a valuable resource on the unit for new nurses and even old nurses. And the best part is, people will not think you are annoying and boastful, they will simply respect your work.
  9. by   Sparki77
    Obviously we must work together so I'll see you on the unit haha. Seriously, I detest the kind of co-workers you describe. I'm all to familiar with 'em. I do my job, I do it real well & I don't need others to validate that for me. But the minute they take credit for something I did???? Well now we have a problem.....
  10. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from harvestmoon
    I'm not an RN but I work in clinical healthcare (and am going to start nursing school next Spring). We have the same issue in our department and what I have been doing is to get at least one positive patient comment card each month. Once i get that comment card in I can let the "hero" worship go and just keep plugging along (doing a better job than the "hero") and it doesn't phase me. I make sure the comment card goes directly to my manager/supervisor and I keep a copy. This way I can be proactive regularly without worrying about recognition.

    I usually get the positive card when someone goes out of their way to complement me - once they do that verbally, I simply tell them that they can fill out a comment card that I can give to my boss if they would like and leave it at that.
    complIment = say nice stuff about you

    complEment = complete you

    If I were your boss, I'd question the fact that YOU are handing me the card.
  11. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Hematocrit13
    I work with someone (a nurse) who has, that I know of, saved two people's lives. I do not particularly gravitate to her one way or the other. She has never once mentioned that she's saved two people's lives. One of the patients has. No one else has mentioned it to me. As tense as things get at work, and whatever else happens, there is one thing I will never forget - this woman saved two people's lives. I suppose my point is, Good People Know in their depths who's doing what and who is really valuable.
    True but naive, and being quietly good doesn't help in all situations. Some bosses never see good in a person like that. They don't see problems with that person perhaps, but they also don't see the good. They don't necessarily see the promotability, the value. If they do, they don't necessarily reward the person.

    I used to work with a nurse who spent lots of time talking and visiting with her patients. They seemed to love her. But did she generally call a doc for a pt with a cough or a rash or other non-critical issue, an issue that still needed to be addressed and would have required getting and processing and carrying out an order? Did she restock the med cart? The dressing cart? Etc.?

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