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Is it normal to quit a job because the culture isn't welcoming?

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Naturally Brilliant has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

4,927 Profile Views; 167 Posts

I'm a tech (nursing assistant), not a nurse, but I'm certain that this topic is equally applicable to LVNs and registered nurses alike, so I wanted to bring it up.

I currently work two jobs (one full-time, the other PRN) at two separate hospitals, each a part of a different healthcare network. I've been at my full-time job for about two years, and I love it. I get paid well, I love the hospital culture, and I feel that my co-workers and are not only respectful and warm, but very collegial. About seven months ago, I was hired at my PRN job, but have mixed feelings about it. Most people at this PRN position are respectful enough, and I feel like that I my job competently and have no issues whatsoever with management. The only thing is, at my PRN job I feel like there's a lack of support and positivity between the staff members, and sometimes it's a bit depressing.

For instance, at my full-time job when a nurse asks me to do something, they phrase it as a question. "Can you get vitals on patient suchandsuch?" or "He needs an EKG. Are you cool with getting it?" Obviously, I never say 'no' and am quite compliant. Moreover, the nurses will say 'Thanks for doing that' if I help them out. So I do feel like I'm contributing to a team effort.

But at my PRN job, the nurses are more like, "Grab Room 214's blood sugar" or "He needs an EKG at 4 o'clock." I still cheerfully say "Sure!" and comply, but is it strange that the communication feels more hierarchical and less collaborative? Also, I don't feel like I'm ever recognized if I'm particularly busy and do a whole lot of things. I don't expect accolades, but many of the nurses could at least say, "Hey, thanks for doing that!" Is that too much to ask?

Also, at the PRN job it just feels like there's so much negativity among the nurses and other techs, as if they're burnt-out. I've never witnessed it myself, but I've overheard staff (nurses and techs alike) talk about how the doctors yelled at the nurses, or a nurse chewed out a tech. To me, that seems really unprofessional in a workplace environment, and it resembles what 'nursing culture' was years before. I've verbally conflicted with a particular nurse twice, over various issues, since I value my self-respect more than any pretensions to "hospital hierarchy". I'll stick up for myself if need be. Still, I hate conflicts and the perceived aggression, and afterward I always feel like my chest is beating fast and my eyes do get a bit moist.

On the one hand, I consider quitting my PRN job since I feel that I don't particularly need it (I make good money with my other job), already have a solid resume with work experience, and really don't like the atmosphere of negativity. I aspire to be a BSN-prepared nurse someday, and I really don't want to feel like what I do is "just a job". I want to be inspired. For the record, the patients at my PRN job love me (one guy told me he loved having me as his tech because I "treated him as a human", and another patient said I was really positive and they needed more people like me! Aw).

But on the other hand, I haven't hit the one-year mark that's traditionally used to quit a job. Moreover, I may do clinicals at the same hospital system (though probably not the same hospital) as a nursing student in the future, and I don't know if being a former employee over there would make any difference in me being able to do clinicals there. Also, I have doubts as to whether I just need a 'thicker skin' and be more detached from what I do.

Sorry if it's a long post. Just wanted to get all my thoughts out there!

Thank you so much for your replies, folks!

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Altra is a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

6,255 Posts; 40,939 Profile Views

1. Thicker skin

2. Less focus on *feelings*

3. Realization that the purpose of going to work every day is to provide care for patients - in other words, complete the mission of the organization

4. The motivation for #3 above needs to come from within you: it is intellectually and emotionally draining to constantly seek validation from external sources (such as coworkers), and quite frankly wastes energy resources that could otherwise be devoted to #3.

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Naturally Brilliant has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

167 Posts; 4,927 Profile Views

Well, I partially agree with you. And I understand that nursing is obviously a stressful job. But when you have a welcoming workplace culture, and feel like you have support given to you, I think it definitely alleviates the job's stresses and helps you 'get through the shift' when the going gets tough. I feel like I give 110% on a consistent basis, but if there are some people who aren't going to be receptive to that, why should I bother to smile and say hi and stay positive?

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

4 Followers; 7,632 Posts; 66,623 Profile Views

1. Thicker skin

2. Less focus on *feelings*

3. Realization that the purpose of going to work every day is to provide care for patients - in other words, complete the mission of the organization

4. The motivation for #3 above needs to come from within you: it is intellectually and emotionally draining to constantly seek validation from external sources (such as coworkers), and quite frankly wastes energy resources that could otherwise be devoted to #3.

THIS^^^^^^^^ a whole bunch.

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Raviepoo specializes in hospice.

318 Posts; 8,874 Profile Views

I want to know the name of hospital #1. I want to work there.

Seriously, the advice you have been given is good advice. The thing is, if you CAN work in a positive environment, why wouldn't you? Life is short and often brutal. If you can make it a little more pleasant, why wouldn't you?

You're learning what type of environment you want to work in at an early stage in your career. That's terrific. In nursing school you will go wherever the school sends you. When you go out looking for a professional home you can look for a place that is more like hospital #1 and less like hospital #2. If you ever move into management, remember this. You can have a huge impact on the way your unit functions and feels.

One last thing, the thing you might be dealing with might not be consistent across the entire hospital. It might just be the zeitgeist of your specific unit.

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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Thicker skin was MY first reaction.

Do you think nurses are "asked nicely" and receive a "Hey, thanks for doing that!" ?

"I don't feel like I'm ever recognized if I'm particularly busy and do a whole lot of things." That would be every nurse... every day .

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Naturally Brilliant has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

167 Posts; 4,927 Profile Views

I understand that in other industries, a personality mismatch with the workplace culture is a primary reason for why people quit their jobs. I don't know how it works in the nursing world, hence why I asked this question.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. It's not that I'm consistently getting into conflict every shift or anything like that. And the majority of nurses that I work with are easygoing enough. I just can't help feeling disturbed by all these stories about conflicts between staff, since I'm rather conflict-averse myself. I can be assertive if need be, but obviously when you have a collegial workplace culture there's far less venues for conflict to arise to begin with.

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Naturally Brilliant has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

167 Posts; 4,927 Profile Views

Thicker skin was MY first reaction.

Do you think nurses are "asked nicely" and receive a "Hey, thanks for doing that!" ?

"I don't feel like I'm ever recognized if I'm particularly busy and do a whole lot of things." That would be every nurse... every day .

I'm not a hypocrite. I practice what I preach. It's absolutely normal for me to thank a nurse for help or to say it was great working with them at the end of the shift.

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kiszi has 9 years experience as a RN.

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Whether you work or have worked there will have no bearing on future clinicals. If you have no interest in working there as a nurse in the future and don't need the income, why stay? If you didn't have a full-time job to fall back on, my response would be different. Just make sure the full-time one is listed first on your resume if you do leave.

Now, if you want to later work for that hospital-or another hospital in that system with possibly a different culture-I would encourage you to stay and work the minimum that is required for prn staff. And I agree fully with Altra's post above. Try not to take things personally.

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Momma1RN has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Agree with all of the above. Some people are nicer than others. Some people delegate more "politely" than others. This is not a nursing/hospital/healthcare phenomenon. This is a human phenomenon. You would have the same experience in the corporate world. If you don't need the job, leave it if you're feeling 'disrespected'.

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BuckyBadgerRN has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

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I'm not a hypocrite. I practice what I preach. It's absolutely normal for me to thank a nurse for help or to say it was great working with them at the end of the shift.

I don't think BTDT is saying YOU aren't respectful back to the nurses you work with at your ft job, but rather nurses every day aren't asked nicely and thanked profusely by doctors asking them to perform tasks and duties

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Naturally Brilliant has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

167 Posts; 4,927 Profile Views

I don't think BTDT is saying YOU aren't respectful back to the nurses you work with at your ft job, but rather nurses every day aren't asked nicely and thanked profusely by doctors asking them to perform tasks and duties

And in all fairness, I'm not asking everyone else to transform themselves from Negative Nancies into bursts of positivity. I've worked in health care long enough to know you've got your grouches and A-holes as well as people who are sweet as can be.

But the way one communicates really sets the tone for the environment. I treat everyone, whether it be a physician or a janitor, with equal respect and professional warmth. Even if I'm unaffected by it personally, I still find it disturbing when I hear one nurse tell another nurse when a certain doctor yelled at her for calling him in late at night, but when she felt validated by her concerns when that patient deteriorated later on.

Nobody likes it when things don't go the way they envisioned, and nobody likes added stress. But in 2014, when the culture is so hierarchical and 'old boys club' at a hospital, I find it discouraging if people can't maintain their professionalism. I certainly think people can express themselves differently. Plus, you can't deny that when you're surrounded by pizzy people all the time, you worry that you'll end up like them, too.

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