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Gosh being a nurse is hard when you have

Posted
chiuli chiuli (Member)

no people skills.

Im a new grad, with a new job, 21 yrs old and very young looking. Many of the nurses are irritated when I ask them questions and dont seem to want to help me.

I was giving an enema to a patient that this CNA told me had not had a bowel movement in 7 days. So she was due for an enema. Nothing is coming out. CNA looks at me and says, you dont have any experience, do you know what you're doing? She later tells me she read her CNA notes wrong that she accidently read someone else's notes.

I'm a passive person and I'm always scared of making myself seem like a mean nurse if I boss people around.

But it seems like a lot of people question my authority.

To make matters worse, I went in to apply for a job today. Filled out the application, and asked to speak to the DON. The 2 secretaries looked at me bizarrely like I was crazy. They said I should have made an appointment. Anyway, the DON comes out screaming at me in front of the kitchen staff, residents, a doctor, 2 secretaries, marketing and some other people because I showed up w/o an appointment. And all I wanted was to say hi to her for 2 minutes. I stormed out of the place crying. She said, "good get out of here!!!" I'm shaken up by all of this..

About 2 weeks ago, I flew across the US just for a job interview. They were supposed to give me a yes or a no today by email or phone. Nothing. I couldn't even reach them. I thought that I was polite, nice and answered the questions well (not perfectly but fairly well). However I was nervous, very nervous. I was sweating throughout this interview. And now I dont even get the respect of an email from them.

I start to think to myself that I struggle with people. I struggle reading people's faces and can't seem to get anywhere because no one likes me. Plus, I can't tell if people like me from their face. My old nursing prof. told me once, "you are very smart and you did your best, but I can tell you struggle with people." She was right.

Im so shaken up after being humiliated today like that.

Sorry for writing a book but I had to release it

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

I'm sure you have people skills. You wouldn't get all the way through school without them. They probably just need a little developing.

I don't think the DON was right to scream at you but on the other hand, you were wrong to expect her to see you without an appointment. Did you really expect her to stop what she was doing to just say "Hi" to a person applying for the job?

Could the reason why the hospital you interviewed at didn't get back to you today is because it is Vetern's Day (I think thats what the US calls it) and its a holiday for them? Try again tomorrow. Don't jump to conclusions quite so fast. Sometimes people will say "I'll call you tomorrow" and then things happen.

As for the CNA - well, got nothing there except learn from it and move on. Don't give treatments based on someone else's say so.

Believe in yourself! You can do this. Take a course in public speaking - it might help you out. Read a self help book if you don't want to do that. Find a nurse you admire and watch how she interacts with people. Ask her for suggesions/guidance. This stuff will come with experience. I was terrified of giving people orders when I first graduated. I let people walk all over me. I learned alot over the years and that doesn't happen any more. But it took a long time for me to grow that backbone!

Good luck. Feel free to pm me anytime you need a shoulder to lean on.

its funny because the DON is a friend of my friend. So my friend said, go in and fill out an application. Then just go upstairs and talk to her and say you know me. This was supposed to help me... This was advice from a nurse friend of mine.

Okay first of all where ever it was that you went in and asked for the DON and god mass chaos unleashed on you---ummm, would you really want to work in a place like that!?!? Man I would have run out of that place! I am gonna guess that maybe that was a LTC facility? Sounds like the DON of a place I worked a while back--the day she started was the day I quit-- the place was out of control. I would not let that frazzle you too much. Sounds like was the place and the DON and NOT you!

Second--it's hard to have CNA's that talk to you like that.....you so badly want to put them in there place but also don't want to make enemies either. I am not a young nurse--went back when I was like 28 for my BSN as a second career but I look young so I have gotten older patients who will question me because I look young--funny thing is I often am older then them! lol I was actually a health teacher in my first career and like you was young and looked young--had the same problem.The kids didn't always listen to me. It does get better though.

As far as not a people person--I am not sure what you mean exactly by that....that you don't like confrontation, you are shy......???? Maybe if you could explain we could help you a little more.

the more you do things the more comfortable you will feel. You have a license for a reason--you earned it! Every nurse was a new nurse at some point and sometimes the ones who have been doing it for a long time forget that and are not so patient--other more experienced nurses can be wonderful and take you under their wing, that is what you need to find. Really I think that will help.

As far as the position you interviewed for not contacting you back--unfortunatly I have found most places not to be so great at getting back to you......pretty normal so don't take it personally. Sometimes you just have to stay on top of them.

Also keep in the back of your mind that every nurse has his or her nitch and sometimes it takes a while to find out what that nitch is......once you find it you will likey feel more confident in that area, more comfortable and be happier. So if you are in a place that you just can't seem to settle in and feel good about--its okay. try something else. You will see that different types of people do better in different areas-- some thrive in critical care or ED, some would have a panic attack there! lol others love the kids or the OR, or psych or geriatrics or L&D.....and the types of people in each area are different too I have found so maybe a better fit with certain areas.......

Good luck to you and remember you won't be a new nurse forever!

SlightlyMental_RN

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

How did you ask to speak with the DON? (As in, what did you say specifically to the staff and then to the DON?) If the other staff looked at you like you were crazy, why didn't you just ask to make an appointment? I just have a hard time picturing a DON storming out of her office and screaming at a stranger and yelling, "good, get out" if you didn't say anything to provoke the situation. I'm honestly not trying to attack you or make you feel badly---just having a hard time understanding how a seemingly innocuous situation could have deteriorated that badly that quickly.

Be thankful you see how the DON behaves now, you dodged a bullet on that. Imagine if you were working there and made a mistake? If this is how she reacts to someone wanting to introduce themselves (which is pretty common in this new grad market) imagine how she reacts to real situations. good riddance to her! Not a good place for you to work.

As far as the rest, dont be too hard on yourself, we are all going to make msitakes our first year. I feel nervous all the time too.

If the other place was meant to be they will call you, if not the interview was good practice now you have some exprerience for the next one.

Hang in there, keep your head up! Dont let people get you down! You will find the right place just keep on trying.

How did you ask to speak with the DON? (As in, what did you say specifically to the staff and then to the DON?) If the other staff looked at you like you were crazy, why didn't you just ask to make an appointment? I just have a hard time picturing a DON storming out of her office and screaming at a stranger and yelling, "good, get out" if you didn't say anything to provoke the situation. I'm honestly not trying to attack you or make you feel badly---just having a hard time understanding how a seemingly innocuous situation could have deteriorated that badly that quickly.

Me too! Same exact thing I was thinking. I can understand with the interview...cuz who doesn't get nervous during an interview. But what exactly happened with the DON that led up to you being yelled at like that?

This is kind of personal but here goes. My parents were splitting up when I was 11 yrs old. I lived with my mother and my father was living separately from us. They had a long court battle because he didn't want to pay child support for me. But he was still ordered to pay: which he wasn't happy about. One day my mother drove me to his house to visit him as usual, and there was no signs of him. Gone. Nowhere to be found. I never heard from him again. Have no clue where he is till this day; if he's even dead or alive. He didn't even say good bye to me.

From this point on, I've always had trouble connecting with people. I think this is why I can't do well on an interview because I can't connect with the person. They must see something bad in me and I can't get through to anybody that I am a good person. Its really hard to get anywhere when you feel like nobody likes you and you are not needed.

coolpeach

Specializes in ER/Ortho.

First off NEVER do any intervention without first checking the order for yourself. Saying so and so told me will not stand up in court. You are responsible for what you do, and verifying that it is what needs to be done.

Second as far as orders go I had the same problem, but then I figured it out. When I am at work we are a team (My tech and I). Together we care for the patient. When he or she is in the patients room and the patient asks for something that falls under my care the tech will call and tell me. When I see something that needs to be done by the tech I will simply call and ask her to do it PLEASE and THANK YOU. I do not order anyone I just ask them to do it, and they do. I guess if they didn't I would have to be more stern, but its never come to that.

Third don't let anyone talk badly to you or treat you badly. Its sets up a standard and they will think its ok to continue to treat you this way. Others will see it and think its ok too. Very kindly, but firmly tell the person that what they did was inappropriate and to never do it again..End of story.

As far as the DON yelling at you...that was unprofessional and inappropriate and should not have happened. I am sorry you had to go through that. Some people are just stupid. That being said ...most jobs today are applied for online, and then they call you and set up an interview time. I would stick with that.

I am sure as most people have said you have skills, but just need more experience and practice. I have sons who are about your age, and I can see their people skills are a bit lacking, but it will only come as they get older,and are experienced to more. Take the advice of others above and join toast masters, or clubs where you need to be really involved with others, speak in public etc. You will get there ....don't let this one stupid person bring you down.

coolpeach

Specializes in ER/Ortho.

I just read your last reply. Its normal for this to still be bothering you as it was a giant thing in your life. I can't imagine how badly you must have felt when this happened, and how hurt you would have been. If it were me I would see a counselor just hash through my feelings and work through this wall that you have put up.

Well.....I asked the first secretary if I can speak to the DON, and she asked what its about, I said Im looking for a job. She hands me an application and says, there is no need for you to see her. all our applicants hand in an application."I said, I know and I will fill it out but is it ok if I see her. She said the state was there and she doesn't have time. I said I'll wait... ( I drove fifty some miles here, wasn't about to go home) That secretary went on break. I asked another one, the same thing went on and she asked me specifically what I want to talk to her about. I felt like it was kind of personal for her to ask me that so I didn't tell her. She then asked, well are you someone special? I said, well Im a friend of her friend. She asked, does she know you? I said no Im a friend of her friend. The next thing I know is the DON is coming downstairs with the secretary and yelling at me for not having an appointment, for interrupting her and for thinking that I am somebody special. She said to me, you certainly don't know me and you're not my friend.

I am still confused what I did wrong.....

She then asked, well are you someone special? I said, well Im a friend of her friend. She asked, does she know you? I said no Im a friend of her friend. The next thing I know is the DON is coming downstairs with the secretary and yelling at me for not having an appointment, for interrupting her and for thinking that I am somebody special. She said to me, you certainly don't know me and you're not my friend.

I am still confused what I did wrong.....

You lied..... and were really pushy with a lie, and the secretary knew it right away, that is what went wrong. The secretary told you it was an inconvienent time for the DON, and you should have accepted that. "Oh, I understand. Here is my application, thank you for your help today. If you get a chance, please tell the DON I look forward to meeting with her."

I think I lot of people with lousy people skills (and I worry about this for myself, also -- I get very shy around strangers, especially authoritative ones) just has to do with self-confidence. You will need to explore that avenue, and how to improve on it, before you can truly have great people skills.

I have to love me if I want everyone else to. :redbeathe

SlightlyMental_RN

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

She said the state was there and she doesn't have time...

I am still confused what I did wrong.....

That's what you did wrong. Don't interrupt a DON during an interview with the state. This is very rude and unprofessional, as this is a highly stressful time for a DON.

She was yelling at me because she thought that I thought I was someone very special. And I really am friends with one of her friends. That wasn't a lie. She didn't say anything about the state.; the secretary did so Im not sure if it was even about that.

But its over Im just going to forget about it.

Thank you all for your help.

SlightlyMental_RN

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

It was about you interrupting a DON during a state interview.

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

."I

said, I know and I will fill it out but is it ok if I see her. She said the state was there and she doesn't have time. I said I'll wait... ( I drove fifty some miles here, wasn't about to go home) That secretary went on break. I asked another one, the same thing went on and she asked me specifically what I want to talk to her about. I felt like it was kind of personal for her to ask me that so I didn't tell her

1. You were told it was not a good time.

2. You decided that you had driven 50 miles to see her so you were not going to leave - this gives the impression that YOUR time is more important than HERS>

3. When the first secretary left, you tried again. Even though you knew from the first secretary that this was NOT a good time.

4. You did not devulge your visit purpose to the secretary whose job is to screen visitors, etc so that the DON's time is not wasted because you felt it was not her position to know. That shows disregard for the secreatary's job.

You pretended that you knew that DON personally. You interuppted her during an important time/meeting. No wonder she was upset.

Basically your overstepped your bounds here. The next time you are told that a DON is too busy to see you, make an appointment.

You sound like a mixed up young lady. Do some research and learn some job interview skills. Good luck finding a job as the market is rough. I would not have hired you if you showed up without an appointment at the DON office...good luck.

sourapril

Specializes in public health. Has 5 years experience.

Be a research nurse so you don't have to deal with people much. ;) People skills develop with experience and time. Just be patient with yourself. other people will always try to make you doubt your ability. So just don't doubt yourself and stand up for yourself.

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