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Interesting day today...bullying in clinicals

Posted

As I was exiting the clinical floor at the end of my day, I heard one of the nursing assistants loudly making fun of us and mocking us. She was accusing us of flirting with one of the male nurses and demonstrating our mannerisms to make it look as though we were. I don't think she knew I was standing there and I purposely walked past her to (hopefully) let her know that I heard everything she was saying to the two other staff members. I was really taken aback, because this particular CNA is usually very nice to us and expresses her gratitude to us for helping her out. I guess I'm not really looking for advice, because I know I can't really do anything in this situation. People will say what they will and it is what it is. I guess I just wanted to vent. It kinda scares me that I am already seeing this and it is only my 3rd weekend on site. Should I prepare myself for this type of behavior x100 when I actually get my first nursing job? Yikes.

TerpGal02, ASN

Specializes in Psych. Has 6 years experience.

WOW!!!!!!!!!! How unprofessional! Did your instructor see this? I would definitely let him/her know. I know for a fact that in my program, NO instructor would tolerate that kind of behavior from a staff member and management would definitely be made aware of the situation. Not acceptable at all IMO. Luckily I have not encountered anything like this at all so far.

suanna

Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

First thing- you are the "nurse" (even as a student, you are assuming the role or the RN.) This makes the NA your subordinate, not visa-versa, Behave as such. Friendly banter is common in health care- if that was all that was happening, growing a little thicker skin would be in your best intrest. If it was seriously upsetting to you- I would approach the indivigual privately, explain that the comments you overheard were inappropriate, catty and hurtful and you don't expect to have to put up with that kind of abusive bullying in a professional health care setting. I would certainly include that you were surprised that they were comming from her, a person you felt you had a good professional working relationship with. DON'T make a big deal about it or make a scene in front of other staff. That will just make the person more defensive. You are the outsider in the group. I wouldn't want you to escalate the problem into one where staff feel they have to "take sides" with thier co-worker, or the new students. If that happens- you will lose. Handle it with a friendly but professional approach. We teach people how we want to be treated both by how we treat them, and by how we respond to thier behavior toward us.

my interpretation of the word "bullying" is when someone, usually the stronger, picks on someone who is weaker with the intention of threatening/scareing, causing harm, etc. bullying can be physical or mental.

can mockery be considered a form of bullying? perhaps, and I'm sure there are some that may consider it so. I don't.

in your case, there was an obnoxious cna who was making fun of you/fellow classmates. that was not very smart on her part.

personally, I wouldn't make a big deal about it. as we've been told repeatedly by instructors, as students, we are guests in the hospitals where we're doing our clinicals. I don't want to make it difficult to finish my rotation or cause problems for future students to be able to do theirs at the same facilities. this may happen if you mention it to the hospital or school staff. if your instructor gets involved and has to meet w/hospital staff, it may result in a mark against you.

sometimes we just have to develop a teflon skin. just let it go.

hopefully this was an isolated incident. if it happens again, you may want to say something to the cna.

you asked if this type of behavior is what you can expect when you get your first nursing job. it's doubtful.

link51411

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

that is so funny. i bet she felt like an idiot when she relized that you saw her. tell her manager most managers know what people arnt helping the unit with their attitude and just dont have anything on them to take out the trash so let her know atliest it can go in her file.

Thanks guys!

Now that a few days have passed, it is kind of comical.

She thinks that just because he is a male and we happened to be speaking with him, we automatically "want" him. That is very telling. Projection maybe?

Or maybe the only way for her to make sure she isn't the one getting picked on is to make sure someone else is the target.

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

I've found that some CNA's believe that they know more than nursing students because of their experience working on the floor. This is a false assumption, especially if they are not a nursing student themselves. Being able to take a blood pressure and empty a foley bag doesn't make you a nurse. If I had to guess why she was doing this, I would place it as being that contradiction of jealousy and insecurity with inflated ego. In all reality she's probably well-aware that she lacks the fundamental nursing knowledge that you guys have, but fluffs herself up with the reminder that she works directly with patients on a regular basis.

I haven't personally ran into this situation, because most of the CNA's I've worked with have appreciated having less patients to worry about for the day! However, I would ignore her for now unless it escalates. Clinical situations are a little different than when you're working. If this was happening to me as a nurse working on the floor, I would definitely pull her aside to give her a piece of my mind, and then seek out my charge nurse if it continued. It's simply not worth it when you're a student.

Amber0515

Specializes in Med-Surg.

I've found that some CNA's believe that they know more than nursing students because of their experience working on the floor. This is a false assumption, especially if they are not a nursing student themselves. Being able to take a blood pressure and empty a foley bag doesn't make you a nurse. If I had to guess why she was doing this, I would place it as being that contradiction of jealousy and insecurity with inflated ego. In all reality she's probably well-aware that she lacks the fundamental nursing knowledge that you guys have, but fluffs herself up with the reminder that she works directly with patients on a regular basis.

I haven't personally ran into this situation, because most of the CNA's I've worked with have appreciated having less patients to worry about for the day! However, I would ignore her for now unless it escalates. Clinical situations are a little different than when you're working. If this was happening to me as a nurse working on the floor, I would definitely pull her aside to give her a piece of my mind, and then seek out my charge nurse if it continued. It's simply not worth it when you're a student.

well, I have worked as a CNA and now I am working as an LPN and finishing up school. Yes, some CNA's do think they know more than a nurse. I have had a few instances where a brand new CNA (she is 50 years old but has been one about as long as I was which is about 2 and a half years) has made comments such as "They dont need to be giving him Lasix! Im tired of taking him pee every 5 minutes". I commented back "Um, he has CHF that's why he has the Lasix" (I said this while I was still working as a CNA. You can run into a situation where a CNA may resent you because you are a nurse and can tell them what to do. This is even worse if you are 20 (like me). Especially if you were a CNA and now an RN (or LPN). They think you dont know as much because you are younger. If they refuse to do what you ask of them then explain to them why it needs to be done (such as turning an immobile person) and if they still refuse, go to your manager. If you help out the CNA's and let them know that you are still able to wipe butts and potty people if you are not busy, you will gain their respect. Some CNA's do get upset if a nurse walks all the way down the hall to tell them so and so needs a drink fo water, when they have passed 2 pantrys and are heading back into that pt's room. That is understandable. CNA's can make your job harder or easier. As long as you dont come in with an attitude of "I am so much better than you!" they wont be unprofessional towards you. Also, you will always run into a situation wherever you work where some nurses will try and cut you down if you are a new nurse or they will tell you shortcuts. Dont do it, you will only end up hurting yourself or the patient. Dont let nurses bully you either. As long as you show the staff you are willing to help out, they won't "bully" you persay.

If this happens anymore during clinicals, you will just have to ignore it. It may be hard. But, don't start something unless of course they are talking directly towards you disrespectfully. Something thats always bothers me is when a nurse who I am supposed to follow for the day complains about her job and tell me I made a mistake going into nursing. Im just like "Gee, thanks alot really builds my spirit up" but I havent ran into that too much, its mostly in joking manner.

Keep you head high and show them that you know your stuff! People will always have comments so just ignore them :)