Published May 20, 2005
I have recently changed jobs. The OB job I was working was very demanding physically, but aside from the low pay, the BON violations, and the fact that I could barely walk out to my car at the end of my shift, I liked it. I liked all of the people that I worked with and was very respected by my co-workers and the docs. So I am offered this new position making much, much more money, the unit is so nice and more technologically advanced and for the most part, it will be an easier job once I learn their way of doing things. What is it about starting a new job? I feel so out of place there. I don't remember feeling that way at the old place, ever. When I walked into report the first couple of days it was as if I didn't even exist. No one looked up, spoke, nothing. I thought that was strange. Some of the nurses (not all of them) still won't even acknowledge me. I asked about one of them and the girl that I was orienting with said it took a long time to "get to know her" I just find tactics like this rude. Is it just me? Maybe I'm too friendly but I couldn't ever be rude to someone like that. I don't want to come across like I know everything to these people and I don't want to appear like I don't know L&D either. But I'm feeling sort of green these days, their way is an entirely new way of doing things. I have a lot to learn before I can work independently there without asking 100 questions. I'm not a young chick, I have many years of experience as a nurse but I want this to be my final nursing job and want to start things out right. I guess my question is, how do I get what I need during my orientation so that I don't offend someone or come accross too over-confident? Also, one of the nurses told me that one of the OB docs had trust issues with new nurses and that it would take him at least a year before he would trust me enough to even talk to me about one of my patients. I really want to work at this place. Any advice from those of you on the other side of this?
I know how you feel !!! my first job was like that ( not L&D, but med/surg ) and unfortunately lasted 7 months...I hated everything about that job ...lousy pay, lousy understaffing, lousy equipment, and the atmosphere, what a hellhole !!! A disgusting event made me clear out my locker...I thought nursing wasn't for me...then I found OB...The difference in your case is that there are many positives for you, including your years of experience ( so your confidence can't be shaken in a flash, I hope ), the physical unit. So, how are the staff among themselves ? Are they having fun ? Good rapport ? I mean if everybody is ****** among everybody, doesn't look too promising, but if it's just you and them ( and I'm sure there's nothing wrong with you ) then they will warm up. Just do your job and don't try to wedge yourself between your co-workers to fit in too fast...now that could be irritating ( we have such a person at my place ). Let them thaw out and THEY will start including YOU in their conversations/group. Unfortunately, human nature is quarky !!
In my case, I'm very friendly, but there are times when I'm not up for meeting new people at 07:00, know what I mean ? I'm never nasty to anyone but I tend to ignore them a bit ( first day or so ). I guess it's shyness on my part...Maybe it's the same with your co-workers ?
Hope you have a breakthrough soon,
Nesher, BSN, RN
Years ago I took a position with a research center - their physical unit was in another hospital and they contracted with this other hospital to take care of some of their patients. The research center had formed an alliance with two ther local institutions and were to move to one of the other partner hospitals opening a new unit there. This meant that the 2 units that took the research centers patients would shut down. Big deal as you can imagine - lots of hostility. My new manager decided that she wanted to maintain consistency of care for our patients so she set up a contract with the hospital that was to lose the research patients to take myslef and two other nurses - we were sort of like travelers, but not. ( alot of the nurses were leaving and finding new jobs - so they were using travelers to fill the gap) Because we were employees of the other institution we didn't have to float - only to our floor - the research centers unit.
At any rate when the three of us first arrived there - same reaction - noone looked at us - noone spoke to us. It was icy cold. I felt it was huge mistake to be putting us through this and we would meet with our manager and tell her that - but she left us there. My reaction - and I was not a new nurse - just new to this type of nursing and of course the p&P - was to focus on my patients - if they didn't want to talk to me - fine - my patients and theri families did. I was always nice and open but didn't force the issue.
One day someone had left in the report room in full sight of anyone a grievnace they had filed with their union concerning us. It was a low day. But the lowest day came when they had full staff meetings - not for us of course in which they voted on whether they would keep us or not or break the contract. Geez. Talk about feeling like you are growing an extra head or something.
While there were the very bitter folks - overall they all weren't but they ahd been screwed and saw the three of us as the perfect image to vent out their hostility. It wasn't personal.
My manager now laughs about it - and recognizes what an stupid idea it was. I too can laugh.
cabbage patch rn
Thank you both for responding. I was beginning to think it was just me, since I have social anxiety...especially with new people and situations. Minou, your tips give me somthing to think about. I appreciate having your perspective. Nesher, thank you for reminding me that my patients and their families will appreciate me when no one else will, and they are my first priority. The other stuff will hopefully fall into place in time. I guess I just haven't been in this situation in awhile and had forgotten how it can be.
Dixielee, BSN, RN
For what it is worth....I am a travel nurse, have had many jobs, many different specialties, and I feel like a new grad every time I walk into a place. I have been very well received as a traveler and most folks are friendly right off the bat, but we all have that little bit of insecurity when we step into something new.
There was a book written years ago called the "Fraud Syndrome" or something to that effect. My dad told me about it when I was about to enter a brand new position when I was feeling a little "unworthy". (I was going to teach nursing school anatomy and physiology labs at the University.) It was written by a famous Hollywood comedian. He said as he kept getting job after job making more and more money, he became more and more in demand, but every day he woke up and said to himself...."what if all these people every find out I am just a regular person, I might not really even be funny".
Most of us really do care about how we do our jobs, how we present ourselves, what the outcomes will be, etc. We want to do a good job and we want to be liked. So, relax, give yourself some time. You are in a larger more intimidating situation so just go with it. You probably did have these same feelings of self doubt and insecurity with your other job. Just think of it like labor pains. Yes, they are bad, but once you hold that newborn in your arms, all the pain is quickly forgotten! Good luck, you will do just fine.
Well to a point I am going throught the same in my new L*D unit. The day shift folks are not that friendly. What's more the MAIN or people are orienting me and not even the people I will be working with. So I will have to get to know so many folks all over again.....I will be working Eves and nights. Getting up this am at five oclock and wondering: did I make a mistake?
You know, I went through that as a new grad in a labor and delivery unit that was NOT at ALL receptive to my presence (they did not normally hire new grads). Some nurses even "set me up" for trouble, by throwing me into deliveries unprepared and it was horrible. I used to get terrible and painful stomach cramps and even diarrhea (ew I know)--- at the thought of going to work, so bad I almost quit. My husband even encouraged me to quit, it was taking such a toll on me. I finally decided they were being allowed to ruin what was a DREAM for me.....(and my red headed temperament took over)..... :rotfl:
I finally had a few 'words" with the people tormenting me. I decided they were NOT chasing ME off and told them so. I said I needed their cooperation and training so when a crisis arose, I would be HELPFUL and NOT IN THE WAY. I told them, they are only as strong as their weakest link, which was ME, so I needed to be "on board" and helpful, not a hindrance.
At first, it did not seem to make a difference. Then, slowly, they changed toward me. I never changed a thing about myself, just how I responded to passive-aggressive treatment of me. I was quick on my feet and learned my job in a fairly rapid progress. I was always willing to help others if they were behind and never left til everyone was done for the shift----that helped a lot. There were one or two who continued to be quite nasty, but I decided it was their personal problem, not mine, and I only interracted with them in a professional way. But the torment and hateful behavior DID stop. I even made a few friends and eventually, when I was pregnant, they threw me a big surprise baby shower!
Now this is just me: And, I know this sounds cheesy, but I love to bake cookies---a lot ----and my waistline shows it. :rotfl: I used to bring in my homemade confections and just set them out in the break room. People ate them---never saying much at first, but eventually, it broke the ice. They would ask me where I got my recipes. It opened up dialogue. They began to know how much I loved to cook. They came to know me a bit--and it's hard to be hateful and mean to people who become "human" to you, you know? But, there is a flipside:
I also asked them about their families, interests and lives. Remember, people USUALLY like to have an opportunity to talk about themselves. During downtime, ask them about themselves a bit. What are their hobbies, kids' names, what books do they read, etc. Really show interest , actively engage yourself in listening----and always address each person by name. After a little while, some may warm up to you; others never will. Those who don't, you can't change anyhow and you don't want to----just tolerate them. The others, you will form at least a decent working relationship with and things WILL get much better. You may never make "friends" at work, but you can make the situation where you work tolerable just by changing a few things in your control.
Good luck. I have worked in new places and situations in 5 different states. I KNOW what being the "new kid on the block" is ALLLLL about. I feel for you. But dont' lose hope; you can "break the ice"!
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