Miserable nurses

  1. This is more a vent, because i had a horrible day at the hospital today. As a nursing student I was assigned to one of the nurses at DEU facility. At 7am I introduced myself and let her know I will be working with her. She looked at me, didn't say anything and left. I literally ran after her. She was getting a report when the patient started complaining how everyone gives her different diagnosis and she can't trust anyone. As soon as we stepped outside of the room (night shift nurse, my nurse and I), PCT informed the nurse that patient wants to talk to the head of the hospital. Charged nurse told my nurse to just talk to the patient again and try to calm her. At the same time, the night nurse told me to stay outside of the room while they are talking inside (so that patient doesn't get even more agitated).

    I was standing outside of the room when my nurse open the door and screamed at the top of her lungs "why are you just standing there, my patient tripped and almost fell, what's wrong with you. You should help me."

    I made sure patient was ok (she didn't fall, she tripped as she was walking and talking to the nurse) and told my clinical instructor to assign me to another nurse. She said "yeah, we had the problem with this nurse before" and she reassigned me.

    Towards the end of my shift, I overheard charge nurse talking to the mean nurse. She informed her that medical director complained that she never smile or talk. I was thinking "ok, but screaming on top of her lungs in front of the patient and patient's family at 7am is ok?" I was just buffled that no one cared, it seems like some nurses can act any way they want and professionalism is something some nurses forgot and they still can get away with it.
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    About FutureNurse0201

    Joined: Mar '16; Posts: 44; Likes: 41

    88 Comments

  3. by   pixierose
    It sounds like the nurse you were assigned to had a really rough day. It's never easy to start the shift with a challenging patient, especially one that wants to talk to the head of the hospital? I'd doubt that you'd smile much getting that report either.

    And then getting a student on top of that ... and then getting reprimanded for not smiling enough? And reprimanded loudly enough that others could hear? The charge nurse doesn't sound especially professional in this case,.

    No, it sounds like "mean nurse" had a tough day. You get days like that, when the second your Danskos hit the floor everything that could go wrong ... does. Compassion goes a long way, especially for your fellow (future) coworkers.
  4. by   llg
    Ok ... so you were assigned to a nurse who wasn't very "student friendly" ... and so you asked for a different assignment ... and your assignment got switched. Lucky you! You got what you asked for. Not every student would be so lucky. You should be happy about that.

    Then ... later ... the nurse you thought needed to be reprimanded, got reprimanded. And you are complaining about that -- that the reprimand was not significant enough in your eyes. Again, you got what you wished for and are complaining because it still wasn't good enough for you.

    I don't see why you are saying you had a tough day. It seems like you got everything you wanted.

    Perhaps instead of complaining, you should be analyzing the situation. Why is this nurse so unpleasant. She is probably in some emotional pain. Maybe some help and support. She came to work and was given a patient already angry enough to want to speak to the head of the hospital -- for reasons that had nothing to do with her -- and was given a student on top of it. Then she got reprimanded in PUBLIC for not smiling enough. She's the one who really had a bad day. My heart goes out to her.
  5. by   Emergent
    All true, llg. But, it sounds like that nurse is a piece of work. As an uninitiated student, the whole experience was probably an unnerving eyeopener!

    To the OP, welcome to nursing! You got a lesson in crazy coworker drama! Good for you in advocating for yourself!
  6. by   fibroblast
    I am so baffled by the terrible responses by experienced nurses to student who is not even a nurse yet. There is no excuse for unprofessional behavior on the part of the nurse. To tell the student to just 'suck it up' is just not reasonable. It wasn't a good enough reprimand by the charge nurse. I've had my load and no charge, DON has never told me I don't smile enough. There is something wrong with the nurse, not the OP.

    She did what she was told, to stand outside. She doesn't know how I would assume at this point to deal with an angry patient. So what the nurse had a 'load' at 7am, all the excuses in the world to defend the nurse, but she could have been courteous to the student. If she had husband problems, tired, pt complain, move on and get another job.
    Last edit by fibroblast on Jun 5
  7. by   FutureNurse0201
    While she might have had a bad day and a busy day, you missed the info you wanted to miss. I introduced myself before she got the report (she ignored me and walked away). Then, she found out about this challenging patient. however, when I went to talk to the professor, she already knew who the nurse was (obviously this is not the first time she screamed like crazy). And on top of everything.. it is DEU (dedicated educational unit) if you dont like it... there are other hospitals who don't have students or simply tell a charge nurse you are not comfortable with students.

    I am just sick of everyone defending this unprofessionalism. Being busy is not an excuse, handle it as an adult. Tell me to step aside for few hours, follow pct, etc. AND... how the heck ambulatory patient fell while she was in the room and how, in hell, was i supposed to know she needed help when i was outside the room.
    And she was reprimanded for a ****** attitude in general. not for unprofessional behavior 5 minutes after she showed up at the hospital.

    Oh, and to ad that she ruined my day. I was shook for the rest of the day, and even though i have administered insulin 100 times by now, i couldn't get the dosage right throughout the shift. Wonder what my evaluation will look like (student can't differentiate between 6 and 8 units of insulin).
    Talking about the bad day. My grants just got denied, have no idea how to pay for this semseter. This past Sunday, I broke up with my bf of 3 years... Midterm exams this week... yeah, lets acknowledge that only nurses can have a bad day.

    No human being should be treated with disrespect. PERIOD.
    Last edit by FutureNurse0201 on Jun 5
  8. by   Tenebrae
    Quote from FutureNurse0201
    While she might have had a bad day and a busy day, you missed the info you wanted to miss. I introduced myself before she got the report (she ignored me and walked away). Then, she found out about this challenging patient. however, when I went to talk to the professor, she already knew who the nurse was (obviously this is not the first time she screamed like crazy). And on top of everything.. it is DEU (dedicated educational unit) if you dont like it... there are other hospitals who don't have students or simply tell a charge nurse you are not comfortable with students.
    I dont get a choice if i have students. Usually what happens is I rock up to work and about an hour later the educator comes around with a bunch of students and says "tenebrae, you will be having these students on your ward"

    Dont get me wrong, I actually enjoy having students, I love nursing and want my students to be as passionate about it as I am. Does not change the fact that having two students adds to my work load. Thats not said as a whinge and a moan, thats said as a statement of fact

    I am just sick of everyone defending this unprofessionalism. Being busy is not an excuse, handle it as an adult. Tell me to step aside for few hours, follow pct, etc. AND... how the heck ambulatory patient fell while she was in the room and how, in hell, was i supposed to know she needed help when i was outside the room.
    I'm really over students who come to placement with a sense of entitlement and expect me to spoon feed them every little bit of their placement. Fortunately those types of students have been my expecting, rather than the rule, they can be very draining.

    I had a tough day yesterday. One of my patients dramatically deteriorated, I'd suspected she was going into end of life stage and she required alot of input. It was my first end of life patient since my mum died three months ago and it was pushing every single one of my buttons. I did alot of snarling in my head and probably wasnt particularly loquacious with my colleagues because I was concerned if I opened my mouth too far that snarling in my head would come out

    We do what we have to

    And she was reprimanded for a ****** attitude in general. not for unprofessional behavior 5 minutes after she showed up at the hospital.

    Oh, and to ad that she ruined my day. I was shook for the rest of the day, and even though i administered insulin 100 times by now, i couldn't get the dosage right throughout the shift.
    Oh cut the crap. When you are a nurse if you make a mistake with your patients medications, you have to take responsibility for it and face the consequences. And you need to start that process as a student

    After mum died, I made the mistake of coming back to work too early and I made a hell of a drug error, gave digoxin and metoprolol to a patient who had no need of cardiac rate control. I was incredibly lucky that the patient suffered no adverse effects from the med error. The fact that I was mourning not only mum but a brother in law who died about 6 weeks before mum didn't count for squat, I still had to face consequences of my actions, be investigated and write a reflection on the incident.

    There are grumpy people everywhere. You have the choice to decide whether you allow them to adversly affect you, or to shrug it off and go "this person may be a complete cow, but darn it I'm not going to allow them to effect my placement experience"
  9. by   FutureNurse0201
    I am not saying that I am not taking responsibility, i drew 8 instead of 6 units of insulin (thanks god, my new nurse, checked the dosage and asked "where are you looking, this is 8" I am just saying that I have never made a mistake before with the insulin, but obviously her behavior is affecting others around her.And while we have to learn to not let such things affect us, it would be more important if she learned how to control her ****** attitude and not use busy as an excuse (just as I shouldn't use her behavior for my mistake).
  10. by   pixierose
    Quote from FutureNurse0201
    While she might have had a bad day and a busy day, you missed the info you wanted to miss. I introduced myself before she got the report (she ignored me and walked away). Then, she found out about this challenging patient. however, when I went to talk to the professor, she already knew who the nurse was (obviously this is not the first time she screamed like crazy). And on top of everything.. it is DEU (dedicated educational unit) if you dont like it... there are other hospitals who don't have students or simply tell a charge nurse you are not comfortable with students.

    I am just sick of everyone defending this unprofessionalism. Being busy is not an excuse, handle it as an adult. Tell me to step aside for few hours, follow pct, etc. AND... how the heck ambulatory patient fell while she was in the room and how, in hell, was i supposed to know she needed help when i was outside the room.
    And she was reprimanded for a ****** attitude in general. not for unprofessional behavior 5 minutes after she showed up at the hospital.

    Oh, and to ad that she ruined my day. I was shook for the rest of the day, and even though i have administered insulin 100 times by now, i couldn't get the dosage right throughout the shift. Wonder what my evaluation will look like (student can't differentiate between 6 and 8 units of insulin).
    Talking about the bad day. My grants just got denied, have no idea how to pay for this semseter. This past Sunday, I broke up with my bf of 3 years... Midterm exams this week... yeah, lets acknowledge that only nurses can have a bad day.

    No human being should be treated with disrespect. PERIOD.
    You're going to encounter coworkers that you're not going to hit it off with. Some will be grouchy. Some gruff. Some very much "to the point." What these traits have in common is that they are viewed as "disrespectful," "NETY," or "unprofessional" to the untrained eye.

    I tend to give posts like this another viewpoint. I'm more the Pollyanna on my floor, but I know that some of my coworkers, especially at 6:55a, are NOT. Add to that a challenging caseload and a NM who is c/o her not *smiling* enough? Yeah, I might cast a little doubt. The nurse in question still sounds like she had a horrid day.

    Compassion goes both ways. And as for blaming others on our own bad days ... um, no. Nursing is a high stress job. Don't add to it by giving others more power than they have over us.
  11. by   FutureNurse0201
    I don't know as I said this is me venting. While i understand different "difficult" personalities... I can't justify screaming (not raising her voice, she was screaming with her head in the hallway while her body is still in the patient's room). And screaming at me because the patient almost fell while SHE was in the room. Patient's son was in the room as well and in disbelief... If I understood properly, the patient tripped and almost fell.. but nothing serious really happened. so, this nurse made sure the patient was ok, and instead of continuing to talk to the patient about her dissatisfaction with the care received, the nurse opened the door, saw me in a hallway and for the first time "talked" to me. I am not even sure what she expected me to do. Pt is ambulatory, doesn't need assistance with ambulation. So, it was an accident but pt didn't fall, just tripped and i guess the nurse prevented the fall by catching her or something.
  12. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from FutureNurse0201
    Oh, and to ad that she ruined my day. I was shook for the rest of the day, and even though i have administered insulin 100 times by now, i couldn't get the dosage right throughout the shift. Wonder what my evaluation will look like (student can't differentiate between 6 and 8 units of insulin).
    Well, I was with you until you said this.

    Your error is totally on you and no one else.
  13. by   mtmkjr
    I'm sorry Futurenurse0201...
    I give no excuses for rude behavior. While some nurses are able to maintain civility and professionalism no matter the demands around them, others don't seem to be able to do that. For whatever reason stress brings out the worst in them. This is not ok, but it is reality.

    Having graduated 30 years ago, spending time raising my kids and now back into the workforce, I am grateful to be working with a wonderful group of nurses who love their jobs and truly care about both co-workers and patients. But my observation is that the world of Nursing is still filled with an array of personalities, just like anywhere else. When I come across nurses such as the one you encountered, it doesn't bother me personally because I know it doesn't have anything to do with me, but it is still upsetting when I see them treat other people with such disrespect.

    Human nature at it's worst is not pretty.

    I am glad that you were able to get a switch to a different nurse. Good for you for taking the initiative. Don't ever just accept bad behavior from others. I'm glad that she was called out as well maybe not for what you thought it should have been, but it's hard to know from one day's observation what all is going on with her.
    Last edit by mtmkjr on Jun 5
  14. by   FutureNurse0201
    I don't know as I said this is me venting. While i understand different "difficult" personalities... I can't justify screaming (not raising her voice, screaming with her head in the hallway while her body is still in the patient's room). And screaming at me because the patient almost fell while SHE was in the room. Patient's son was in disbelief... If I understood properly, the patient tripped and almost fell.. but nothing serious really happened. so, this nurse made sure the patient was ok, and instead of continuing to talk to the patient about her dissatisfaction with the care received, the nurse opened the door, saw me in a hallway and for the first time "talked" to me.

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