Published Oct 28, 2014
You are reading page 2 of How can I be taken more seriously?
BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN
Wow them with your skills so they don't have time to give your size a second thought =)
Okay, so for the record, those of us with baby faces get tired of hearing "You'll appreciate it when you are older." I am older, and I'm still waiting to appreciate it. Now I have a baby face with the beginnings of wrinkles. Gee, thanks. (Okay, so I will admit it helps me actually like my wrinkles and the few gray hairs I have.)
OP, I don't have the answer for you. I don't have the answer for me, either, but I do have the start to an answer for me. First, for me the problem is less that other people don't take me seriously and more that there's a voice in my head that tells me I'm too young/incompetent/unprofessional/etc. That voice makes it harder for me to actually get respect from other people, because when the voice is loud, I'm not confident. So, the first thing for me is to remember that whatever I can do that helps me have self-respect will help me get respect from others. I agree with all the above posters who mentioned professionalism and neat, adult attire. While I'm not interested in dressing like a grandma (no offense, grandmas), I do pay attention to the ways older women dress and pick the attributes that work for me (e.g., shorter hair tends to look older). Also, professional, mature behavior is important. I've noticed an enormous amount of gossip in nursing. I do not engage in gossip, mainly because I think it's unethical and unhealthy, but it also helps me appear more mature. I've gained more confidence as I've gotten older and more educated, and that helps with quieting the voice in my head. It helps me a huge amount to remember that what other people think of me is not my business. Those are the most important things.
I have the same trouble, love. When I hit 30, for some reason I just let go of my frustration with it. I agree with being sure to look the part of the older person, and acting your age. But it's still not entirely fair, is it? Having to overcompensate because others won't take you seriously? I feel your pain!
Do your job, disregard of what others think of you. The gf is Asian, early 20s in a CCU but her patients love her. Be confident in your skill set as a RN when it's time. Your body language will say everything about you, be aware of it.
Or.. Consider going to a unit with minimal patient interaction like the ICU or pacu but that doesn't solve the issue.
Try being a male in the nursing world. Very few if any take us seriously. From ones I have talked too. With experience, comes respect and trust. I guess this is something all newbies must endure.
As a fellow male in the profession, I feel the opposite. It's really messed up, but I feel that male nurses are taken more seriously by default than female nurses are.
NurseGirl525, ASN, RN
I am also 5'1" but weigh a little more. I have always looked young. My grandmother was 76 when she died and had no wrinkles. Her sister was the same way. I have her body and round face so I hope I don't get any wrinkles besides the little crows feet I have now!! I honestly embrace my height. I love being short, I really do. But I am also a very assertive, take charge person. Always have been. You need to be a leader.
nurseprnRN, BSN, RN
Voices get higher when the speaker is anxious. Notice this and correct it. You can consciously lower your pitch and speak more quietly, but forcefully, and people will listen.
Never, never, never call yourself a "girl." Say, "I am a petite woman" if you must describe yourself in terms of your body habitus. Practice this in the car when nobody is listening until you feel it in your bones.
Agree with the dress thing. Nothing frosts my buns like the new grads who wail that nobody takes them seriously, when they're dressed for a middle-school sleepover. Lose the pinks, the pastels, the prints, the cute earrings; get a professional haircut; wear good-quality professional shoes (yep). Get your scrubs altered if you wear scrubs; wear tailored styles if you don't wear scrubs.
"Fake it 'til you make it" is still a viable strategy. The above are just tactics.
Voices get higher when the speaker is anxious. Notice this and correct it. You can consciously lower your pitch and speak more quietly, but forcefully, and people will listen. Never, never, never call yourself a "girl." Say, "I am a petite woman" if you must describe yourself in terms of your body habitus. Practice this in the car when nobody is listening until you feel it in your bones. Agree with the dress thing. Nothing frosts my buns like the new grads who wail that nobody takes them seriously, when they're dressed for a middle-school sleepover. Lose the pinks, the pastels, the prints, the cute earrings; get a professional haircut; wear good-quality professional shoes (yep). Get your scrubs altered if you wear scrubs; wear tailored styles if you don't wear scrubs. "Fake it 'til you make it" is still a viable strategy. The above are just tactics.
Agree with this, except.... Love my crazy long hair! I'll be that grandma with grey hair down to my waist looking like a free spirited tree hugger. ? That said, though, it's always tied back at work. No sense in getting cdiff in there.
vintagemother, BSN, CNA, LVN, RN
Find a nurse whose work ethic you admire and emulate her. I work as a nurse in psych and have observed many different "personas" of various nurses. I try to take the best traits of all of them when communicating and interacting with clients.
I also try to emulate and take the advice of my superiors.
Thus, my communication techniques involve sometimes being direct, sometimes firm, sometimes sweet and compassionate. I keep in mind the tasks I need to get done and use whichever technique helps me to achieve the goal.
Sometimes I really need a pt to take his meds, or take a shower, or accept a skin care tx, or allow me to physically examine him/her. My motto is, "gotta get er done". Your boss is probably ultimately concerned with the fact that you have been unable to complete certain tasks due to being too passive.
I recall being shocked when my superior commended me for being firm and compassionate. I never tried to be either, but those traits are my natural personality.
Also remember the old adage, "fake it till you make it!" It works!
Thank you all for your input. I am still working on not letting my height and petite build define me. You were right about the high voice part. I get anxious a lot!! But all of your comments definitely help me build my confidence up. And yes I feel my boss did belittle me a bit with those comments. With graduation just around the corner I will continue to work on my self confidence. I think I need to make self confidence my new years resolution.
I used to be pretty small, recently put on some weight! But I know how you feel. I just wanted to add one suggestion to these replies I liked reading. I recently got a makeup lesson at the hair salon. I loved it and felt much more confident and more professional looking. Maybe they can give you makeup tips for looking mature and professional. I never used to wear makeup at all except maybe a little powder around my nose. Even though I don't overdo it I think it's helped my confidence which causes people to view me better.
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