Horrid Grad Year

  1. Hi all

    I'm a new grad and I'm having a terrible year. I was bullied during my first rotation and they managed to paint me as incompetent and difficult to silence me, now on my second rotation and my reputation has come with me. I thought I was doing really well, but there is one nurse who rings the coordinator everytime I blink the wrong way. She has also made complaints to cover her stuffing around with her mates and not supporting me during a horrid shift. I was bailed up and yelled at by the coordinator for at least 10 minutes the other day, I knew there was no point trying to stand up for myself, they are all a bunch of bullies. I don't mind being criticised, they just seem to think that being abusive is an acceptable way to orientate first year nurses. So it looks like my career is down the drain. I am in a small country area so I have very few other employment options and I have lost all faith in the profession. I have lost all my self esteem and if it wasn't for the money (and letting my family down) I would walk away now. Has anyone had a problems in the grad year? Can someone tell me what I should do?

    Many thanks
  2. Visit older_grad_nurse profile page

    About older_grad_nurse

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 8

    13 Comments

  3. by   gonzo1
    I had to quit my first job due to bullying. Have run into a couple of the nurses who worked there years later and they told me they were sorry the other nurses were like that to me. I have encountered hostile working environment two out of the three places I have worked. Work in a great place now where everyone gets along.
    Hang in there and learn all you can. It's all about learning as much as you can. You never know what opportunities may open up for you later. Remember, at least you don't have to take these rotten people home with you.
    I am sorry that you have to deal with this. I am praying for you.
  4. by   Grace Oz
    Sorry you are experiencing this. If you are absolutely sure you are being bullied, please go to your DON and file a complaint. Bullying in the workplace is wrong!
    A word of caution regards being too outspoken when a new grad......
    Certainly have your say, especially if it's relevant to the situation. However, show caution in HOW you say things. Carefully select the things you are outspoken about. It's not worth getting into battles over each and every thing. If as you say, you were "bailed up and yelled at", you have good reason to complain about being treated that way. That kind of behaviour is abuse. Abuse is not acceptable in the workforce. PERIOD!
    Not that I'm doubting you for a minute, but sometimes we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and ask some pertinent questions of ourselves. Maybe we're projecting an image which we ourselves do not see and therefore are unable to change, if change is needed. Self critique is useful at times.
    I hope things soon resolve for you and that you will begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Good luck!
    Cheers..........
  5. by   purplemeech
    I am a grad too and one of my friends has had a similar experience to yours - bullied in her first rotation, and copping it again in the second.
    Our DON was quite supportive when she was made aware of the situation, and the bully was basically told to resign or she would be sacked, however we have found that she has still managed to get a job across the road in one of the other hospitals that is run by the same organisation which runs ours.
    The ward my friend is on now is not much better, and she is basically biding her time until the end of the year when she will be able to move to another hospital (as it seems you cannot get a job in Queensland unless you have completed a grad program).

    I think one of the major things about being a grad is that the uni's tell you how good you are because you have all this scientific evidence/knowledge, and they tell you how you can change nursing and the world etc etc, and then you find out that it's not so. I think also older staff (especially the ones without uni qualifications) sometimes feel threatened by us, and that's when the bullying happens - so they can continue to feel superior. The only easy way out of this situation is to leave, and I feel for you being in a country area and not having the employment options that we do in the city. It must be incredibly difficult. But don't give up just yet - do your time, get the grad program under your belt and then reconsider your options (at least, that's what I'm doing....).

    Stay brave and best of luck - you're not alone.
  6. by   older_grad_nurse
    Thanks guys your support and advice is so wonderful!
  7. by   augigi
    Have you asked the nurse why she feels the need to call the coordinator to "dob" on you? Of course she may just be a cow, but people usually have some reason for what they do. I'd just say "Can I ask you in which ways you feel I am not meeting your expectations? I would really like to do well here, and I can see that you are not happy with me, and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to improve that?"

    Of course, you have to work there and know how that would be received, and it may be useless, but at least she'd know that you were onto her games, and who knows - maybe there is a reason you're not aware of. I know as a grad I often didn't know what I didn't know, if that makes sense!
  8. by   Grace Oz
    i think also older staff (especially the ones without uni qualifications) sometimes feel threatened by us, and that's when the bullying happens - so they can continue to feel superior.
    how wrong you are to generalise! with that attitude it's no wonder there's dysfunction amongst nurses!

    i think one of the major things about being a grad is that the uni's tell you how good you are because you have all this scientific evidence/knowledge, and they tell you how you can change nursing and the world etc etc, and then you find out that it's not so.
    interesting you say this given your statement above. new graduates do well to remember the pathways forged, and respect older nurses who went before them!
  9. by   joannep
    I have found myself in a situation where I felt that I was being given a hard time and I was miserable and thinking of leaving. I made the effort (and found the courage) to approach the person who was intimidating me and said to them that I really admired their work and knowledge and asked if I could work with them and could I come to them if I had a problem or a situation I didn't feel competent with. And could I rely on them to come to me and tell me if I hadn't done something, and to help me learn what I should be doing in that situation. I forced myself to work with this person, to continue to be friendly and found that very soon this person had adjusted and was behaving more friendly towards me. In fact, this person adjusted so much she became the resource person for the grads and new staff on this unit and she learnt that she loved to teach.
  10. by   augigi
    Quote from grace oz
    how wrong you are to generalise! with that attitude it's no wonder there's dysfunction amongst nurses!
    she did say "sometimes", so that hardly qualifies as generalising. it's definitely true that some resent uni-trained nurses, although i don't think they are threatened so much as they feel the uni-trained grads are not as useful when they get to the hospital as they don't have enough clinical experience.

    some people, you just can't make happy. i don't lose any sleep over them. i know that i worked throughout my uni degree in aged care, and i was plenty comfortable with patient care upon graduation. so long as they know i can contribute to the unit, rather than increase their workload, i've never had a problem.
  11. by   RavenRaving
    I was also bullied my first year. Because of my community college education, 2 university educated nurses decided I wasn't worth their time to orient. Talking to them didn't help the situation. Yeah, I looked stupid, especially since they didn't do their job teaching me that wards' ways. My revenge? I learned as much as I could when I could and was as helpful and nice as I could be to all the nurses and axilliary staff, especially going out of my way with the new grads and anyone floated to my floor. Naturally, within a short period of time, I was the 'Go To' gal, had a lot of friends, and since I was easy to approach, people felt comfortable talking to me, teaching me other ways of doing skills, and asking for help. The upshot was the 2 nasty nurses found themselves isolated and barely tolarated until they changed their evil ways. Then we all got along and even started socializing outside of work. It turned out to be a great floor, and a terrific life experience. So hang in there, and kill them with kindness. Try to talk to them, but don't let them get your goat. They were once new too.
  12. by   monstermunch
    Quote from RavenRaving
    I was also bullied my first year. Because of my community college education, 2 university educated nurses decided I wasn't worth their time to orient. Talking to them didn't help the situation. Yeah, I looked stupid, especially since they didn't do their job teaching me that wards' ways. My revenge? I learned as much as I could when I could and was as helpful and nice as I could be to all the nurses and axilliary staff, especially going out of my way with the new grads and anyone floated to my floor. Naturally, within a short period of time, I was the 'Go To' gal, had a lot of friends, and since I was easy to approach, people felt comfortable talking to me, teaching me other ways of doing skills, and asking for help. The upshot was the 2 nasty nurses found themselves isolated and barely tolarated until they changed their evil ways. Then we all got along and even started socializing outside of work. It turned out to be a great floor, and a terrific life experience. So hang in there, and kill them with kindness. Try to talk to them, but don't let them get your goat. They were once new too.
    Good on ya RavenRaving
  13. by   purplemeech
    Hi Grace,

    Sorry I didn't mean to offend with my earlier post, must have come off night duty or something that day

    What I meant to say is, there seems to be a big divide between hospital and university-trained nurses, with each side viewing the other with suspicion and not necessarily always recognising what the other has been through to get to where they are. I also think one of the issues that nursing (like a lot of occupations) is struggling to come to terms with is how to manage younger people in the workplace - while we younger nurses may appear not to "respect our elders" in the way older hospital-trained nurses did, I think this is the trend with younger people in general, not just in regard to nurses. This is not to say that I don't value the knowledge that older nurses have and recognise how far nursing has come as a profession due to their efforts, but I am also aware that often their practice is based on tradition, rather than evidence/research (another side-effect of going to uni I guess).

    I should also note that I am the daughter of a hospital-trained nurse who never went to uni or did further study, and I'm probably guilty of generalising too much about "older nurses" based our (really poor) relationship!

    I'm sure these sorts of discussions will be around for plenty of years to come... keeps life interesting
  14. by   Grace Oz
    Quote from purplemeech
    Hi Grace,

    Sorry I didn't mean to offend with my earlier post, must have come off night duty or something that day

    What I meant to say is, there seems to be a big divide between hospital and university-trained nurses, with each side viewing the other with suspicion and not necessarily always recognising what the other has been through to get to where they are. I also think one of the issues that nursing (like a lot of occupations) is struggling to come to terms with is how to manage younger people in the workplace - while we younger nurses may appear not to "respect our elders" in the way older hospital-trained nurses did, I think this is the trend with younger people in general, not just in regard to nurses. This is not to say that I don't value the knowledge that older nurses have and recognise how far nursing has come as a profession due to their efforts, but I am also aware that often their practice is based on tradition, rather than evidence/research (another side-effect of going to uni I guess).

    I should also note that I am the daughter of a hospital-trained nurse who never went to uni or did further study, and I'm probably guilty of generalising too much about "older nurses" based our (really poor) relationship!

    I'm sure these sorts of discussions will be around for plenty of years to come... keeps life interesting
    Thank you. Apology accepted.
    The argument about hospital trained nurses V Uni educated nurses has been doing the rounds for a long time. Perhaps if I share with you some of my experiences in this regard it might help you understand why some hospital trained nurses feel as they do.
    Back 'in the day', we not only worked full-time and hard, we also attended lectures, studied, did essays, assignments, exams etc etc, all in our own time, for the most part. We were a 'jack -of -all trades', including doing cleaning duties which nurses today don't do, and rightly so! It was a totally different nursing/working environment, 'back then'. We also were paid a pittance for wages. We fought hard for better conditions, better wages, professional recognition, you name it, as nurses together we rallied and fought the good fight. Not only for ourselves, but for the future generations of nurses who would follow us.
    To now have that 'future generation' of nurses criticise, ridicule, reject or condem those who helped pave the way for them, is not only insulting, but also hurtful. Hospital trained nurses might not have a university degree, but they have a wealth of experience and, knowledge gained through experience, which is invaluable. As with anything else, you can read about it in books, attend lectures on it, but until you actually physically EXPERIENCE it, you really have no tangible idea just WHAT it is REALLY like. Childbirth and the death of someone you love dearly are two things which come to mind as a way of giving you an analogy. We might think we understand or know all about such events because we've studied them, but until we actually experience it for ourselves, actually live it, feel it, taste it, our knowledge is purely that of a person who has read about or studied a particular subject, event etc etc. Competent nursing really needs a combination of both.
    When experienced people can share what they know, the learner has much to gain. However, if either is unwilling to be the teacher or the learner, then you have a problem. Sadly this is not uncommon in the nursing profession. I well remember thinking my old tutor sister's -( now THAT gives it away for me, doesn't it??!!!) :chuckle -were old fashioned, out of date, strict grumpy old bags. I came to realise as time went on how judgemental and wrong I was! They were in fact, wise, experienced, courageous women!
    In the latter part of my career I tried to be generous towards new nurses by sharing what I knew. The 'Elder' handing along the knowledge and wisdom if you like. Sadly, I more often than not, was met with arrogance, disinterest, ungratefulness. Interestingly, I hear and read about how older nurses refuse to share what they know! It would appear we're damned if we do, and damned if we don't!

    As for practice based on tradition as opposed to evidence/research .......
    You should be aware that not all evidence/research is totally conclusive. And even when it is, sometimes the best practice is that which has stood the test of time and obtained best outcomes. You may call it tradition. I call it tried and tested. Proof positive.

    I'm saddened and sorry to read that you have a poor relationship with your Mum. Mother/daughter relationships can be awkward and difficult at times. Try not to judge her too harshly, there's probably things about your Mum, her own life experiences, which you have no idea about. I hope you can heal the relationship so you both can enjoy and treasure each other. We only ever have one mother.

    I wish you all the very best in your career and my advice is to be cautious of generalising about older nurses and/or nurses who trained in hospitals. Not every nurse is the same. Whether hospital trained or university trained. Everyone is uniquely individual. Most people have gifts and talents we can all benefit from if we remain open.
    Cheers..............

close