Psst....Let's Talk About Gossip in the Nurses' Station - page 2

It is flu season. Turn on any news station and you will hear statistics about how this year's flu has spread faster than anything. But, there is one thing I can think of that spreads faster than flu... Read More

  1. by   Cynthia Chukwude
    Gossip is found everywhere...just grab the useful ones and trash the useless, then get back to work!
  2. by   NursesRmofun
    My workplace is full of gossip. A couple of culprits are experts at it....and leave almost no one untouched by it. That said, I am usually one of the ones talked about behind my back the most due to being a nobody with no friends in high places. I am not a kisser upper. I live with not being "popular" and rarely call anyone out on the talk. I think it makes my life a little more stressful, but it's not as bad as it use to be.....I realize now that I really don't care what 98% of these people think anyway. They are not my friends.
  3. by   Wlaurie
    I don't like gossip. My way to judge what comes out of my mouth is to not say anything about someone that I wouldn't say to their face.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    I don't think gossip is inherently bad; but like most things, it depends upon the context. All too often, though, we condemn gossip completely without stopping to consider that gossip MIGHT be a positive thing if we use it in a positive way.

    Yes, to run someone down behind their back is a bad thing. I get that. But gossip can also be a good thing. And we can change the dynamic on our unit -- if we're plugged in to the gossip.

    If everyone in the break room is running down Sally, YOU can speak up and say something about Sally that you know to be true and NICE. "Sally's been in a bad mood for the past month" can turn into "Sally's father is in hospice and has very little time left. She's trying to help out her mother and I know she's not getting enough sleep." Most people can understand something like that -- most decent people with a modicum of compassion, any way. The conversation can turn from how Sally was mean to them yesterday to what we can do to show Sally our support at this terribly stressful time.

    If you're someone who refuses to ever engage in "gossip", you won't be able to turn it around because you won't hear any of the grousing.

    Gossip is a great way to build bonds, to become a member of your team. Again, I'm not talking about mindless, empty, negative gossip. But surely you must know something NICE about the coworker who is being discussed, even if it's just "she's always been so friendly to me," or "she has the most beautiful curly red hair" or "she taught me a neat trick that helped me a lot with starting IVs. You can turn a conversation from negative to positive, and that's a lot more effective than letting the negatives go unchallenged while you turn the conversation to the weather or something equally innocuous.

    NEVER talk about someone behind their back? How about never say anything negative about someone behind their back that you wouldn't want to post on the front page of your local rag? I've been involved in conversations about how Susan's son was the star of his high school football team, how Chrissy's muffins took first place at the state fair (and if we have a breakfast potluck, she might make them for us), about how Sam's wife is graduating from medical school and they hope she'll match in St. Louis or Chicago so they can be closer to their families. All things that I didn't know about Susan, Chrissy or Sam but things that could form the basis of a pleasant conversation with Susan, Chrissy or Sam when we find ourselves alone on the night shift together.

    Gossip has an unecessarily bad rap. I don't think any of us would object to finding ourselves the topic of conversation if it were about how we've aced our oral exams for our Master's program or our dog was a top scorer in obedience trials.
  5. by   db2xs
    For me, a foolproof way to let everyone on the unit know something about me is to simply mention it to one person (specific people come to mind more than others). I understand that gossiping happens. I don't like it but I accept it and just don't tell anyone anything. It's up to me to control what I talk about, not anyone else.
  6. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    db that is very true. I never tell anybody anything about my personal life where I work. Of course this doesn't stop other nurses from just making stuff up for purely entertainment or drama purposes. The best way to deal with gossip mongers is to stop feeding the pig
  7. by   lindahartford
    To the Nurse who thinks gossip is great fun as it makes the day go faster.

    Sounds like you are part of the problem. You are trying to give a destructive behavior a happy face.

    Perhaps you could find something possitive to be a leader in. Try tackling Ending Hunger, or the Wish Foundation and start conversations around those. This will keep you so busy you won't have time for gossip.
  8. by   wondern
    Gossip is the Devil's radio. George Harrison
    Read more at: Gossip is the Devil's radio. - George Harrison - BrainyQuote
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from lindahartford
    To the Nurse who thinks gossip is great fun as it makes the day go faster.

    Sounds like you are part of the problem. You are trying to give a destructive behavior a happy face.

    Perhaps you could find something possitive to be a leader in. Try tackling Ending Hunger, or the Wish Foundation and start conversations around those. This will keep you so busy you won't have time for gossip.
    Why do you assume that there's a problem or that anything destructive is happening? There's not and it isn't. And it doesn't matter how busy I stay ...I'm still going to find the time.
  10. by   wondern
    Here's an interesting article that can break it down for you.

    8 Types of gossip and what the Bible says about gossiping
  11. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from wondern
    Here's an interesting article that can break it down for you.

    8 Types of gossip and what the Bible says about gossiping
    That's all negative stuff. I don't know what sort of people you work with, but that does not apply to me or my co-workers....at all.
  12. by   wondern
    Certainly not!!!

    Love you Sour Lemon.
    Last edit by wondern on Feb 1
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from wondern
    Here's an interesting article that can break it down for you.

    8 Types of gossip and what the Bible says about gossiping
    I really don't care what the Bible says about gossiping. If you want to argue about what the Bible says, take it to the Nursing and Religion forum.

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