Jump to content

HELP! How do you handle Workplace gossip?


Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

Hi everyone,

I've had a long 2weeks... pt load has been 5-7.. and quite sickly.

Two days ago, at about 530am-ish..when we were just trying to round up, give bed baths, etc etc etc...if you work nights, you know how it goes..

Then one of our pts pulled out her I.v. the pt was altered and was also a hard stick..even the lab techs have a hard time with her... So the primary nurse called for help, and in my usual manner, I chimmed in to help, even though I was slumped...

I was just sooo overtaken with trying to find a vein that I was positioned in a awkward way.. I was at her left side and facing her feet.. in other words I wasn't facing her heart anatomically...it was difficult to even get the pt to kinda cooperate and stay well positioned...

I didn't pay attention at first, to MY position...and I didn't poke her.. but the primary nurse then called my attention to that...which I corrected my position IMMEDIATELY...mind you I have been putting i.v. for 3+yrs

I tried to put the I.v in tge right position and I failed...we made the pt comfortable... and I left to.continue my "chores"..

Then last night, the house sup, whom I respect her wealth of knowledge and experience, called me aside and told me that so and so , said I started and iv facing the pts feet... I said Nooooo!! I didn't and I explained to her all that happened. . Now bear, in mind that that tattle tale nurse WASN'T even in the room when this happened.... the house sup then explained that whatever happened, she just wanted to giw me tips on how to remember my position. . Which I accepted. ..

But, I just feel sooooo bad.. I am not the very outspoken type so I find it hard to confront the said tattle nurse.

I am new on this floor and I know she will go about and tell others how I am not a good nurse and all what not....the primary nurse who had the pt is her friend and all they do is gossip about others...

:( I hate work place gossips.. I don't contribute or comment when they do it... I just stay quiet. .. and focus on my work..

I don't know if I should summon up courage and ask her about it...

What do you think?

I just feel baaaaad.... and stupid.... :( :(


Specializes in Nursing Education RN to BSN; OR nurse. Has 33 years experience.

I am sorry to say this is not unusual. Know your strengths, embrace your skills, and continue to offer assistance when needed. Kudos to you for trying to help!

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

If the supervisor believed you, and not them, then you are okay. Ask her to spend time with you on IV starts. It just takes practice.

Now these two seem to enjoy saying unkind things about others and that usually comes from their own immaturity and insecurities. If it were true, why didn't she intervene if you were about to make an error?

I would approach the gossip privately and in a professional and non confrontational manner, saying something like I really like my work here but please if you ever feel that I am doing something incorrectly, please tell me right away.

Hopefully this will lead to an honest and upfront discussion of this misunderstanding, which you can conclude by saying just come to me first okay and I will always do the same for you.

By doing this you have set the tone for how to handle problems, how to fix a mistake before it becomes an error, and how to have a mature conversation and let it be known that gossip is unacceptable.

Edited by icuRNmaggie


Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

Thanks nm0279 and icuRNmaggie, you both just made smile biiiggggg... 《《hugggs》》

I would just ignore them. If they are such hot shots, why couldn't they get the IV started? Sometimes it's hard to be willing to help out because of crap like this, but I tell myself I'm doing it for the pt. & the gossips/snitches can go blow.


Specializes in Critical Care, Cardiology, Hematology,. Has 5 years experience.

I never understood why nurses are so quick to run to the managers office but so slow to run into your room and help/educate if they are that concerned.


Specializes in Med/Surg, Gyn, Pospartum & Psych.

My personal experience is to just bite my tongue and be available to bail them out when they get in a pinch. It is misery for me in the beginning but in the end it pays off since I am considered a "team player". I don't get why nurses who entered in a profession to care for people are so damn mean to each other.

I am a brand new nurse just barely out of nursing school and yet I noticed for the first two weeks after orientation, I always had the most patients by the end of the shift. My "groups" were always broken up during the day because they were too much for one person to handle...(so you gave them to the newbie straight out of nursing school?). Dayshift was always quick to point out everything I did wrong and expect me to fix it before I left and look at me like I was stupid just to make sure I understood just how stupid I was (they obviously came out of nursing school knowing how to do everything ). And for some reason, it became everyone's quest to make sure I took my full hour's lunch break..."because I'd burnout if I didn't" (trust me, knowing I have all my documentation in front of me doesn't allow me to relax on break).

I didn't cry until I reached the car. They weren't going to know how bad they hurt me. But then I found the charge nurse having a breakdown in the med room because she found out her bestfriend had just died in a car accident. I just stayed with her until she was strong enough to gather herself...and I kept my mouth shut about the breakdown...and traded shifts with her so she could go to the funeral. And the incredible disappearing and disrespectful tech realized that I was genuinely asking for her help and advice (I knew she was a wealth of knowledge and experience that I didn't have yet) and making sure our patients knew that she was an LPN and not just a nurse's aid in spite of her job title. I answer all call lights and hang bags when IV pumps alarm. I assist other patients to the restroom if I have time. This week I had the patient from hell, and every time I turned around, a different nurse was jumping in there running interference so I could get my other patients cared for. They asked all night if I needed help with anything...I won. I am now part of "the family". Personally, I'd rather just win everyone else over so that they think the tattle is a jerk for picking on you. Confronting the tattle just gives her more reason to resent you.