New job

Posted
by marokee (New) New

Hey folks.

I'm 21 yo guy and I started a new job on a surgical ward in a larger community hospital. I've previously worked for a year in surgery in a large, teaching hospital. Some of the feed back I've recieved from my new job is related to communication. My manager has stated that my "hard skills" like dressing changes or assessments are solid, but my "soft skills" like communication need some improvement. They have scheduled my two more orientation shifts to help facilitate my development of my soft skills. They also want me to form a learning plan on how to better my communication skills, but i'm at a loss for what I should include. Their concerns aren't my bedside manner but rather my inter-professional communications. I was wondering if anyone could provide some input to help me out.

Thanks everyone.

Sam

EricJRN, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 16 years experience. 1 Article; 6,672 Posts

Did they give you any more specifics than that? Without much more information or maybe an example, I'm left to wonder exactly what they were talking about. Are you saying some things that are being perceived as rude or abrupt to your coworkers? Is it that you aren't communicating when you need more help or when your patients' needs aren't being met? Or is it something else?

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU. 3 Articles; 2,129 Posts

If you are just acting like a guy, you could be coming off as cold, unfriendly, or indifferent. Do the women on your unit chat about cooking, boyfriends, kids, and other stuff? In an unprofessional atmosphere you could be judged for not "fitting in". I believe this is a subtle and widely spread form of discrimination similar to what women face in the business world. For example, male execs aren't comfortable with women execs because they aren't interested in talking about football, golf, and red meat. (This is an oversimplification and generalized just to make a point. I don't assert that this is true or not.) Your best bet is to go out of your way to make friends with the other nurses. This means saying hello, asking about their kids, or any other common activities. Keep it light so you don't show TOO much interest because then you will have other problems. Ask for a meeting with HR so your boss has to articulate what "soft skills" are. In a professional environment if an employee is judged to be deficient, a responsible employer will do everything they can to teach the employee what they need. Just doing some more orientation shifts is not focused on the problem. Ask for a definition of soft skills, a plan to implement teaching and training, and a valid method to measure a successful outcome. Do your best to always keep your demeanor professional at all costs. Your should not be creating your own training plan, is that a joke? Keep us updated, good luck.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,488 Posts

Hi Sam!

The first thoughts that come to mind regarding your Post have to do with Principles, Personalities, Objective and Subjective Perspectives.

Following the Principles of Good Nursing Practise, for example dressing changes, encompasses good Technique and Documentation.

Communication needs to be Principled and Objective. Outside of those areas, Personalities and Subjectivity often creep in.

In other words, some Supervising Officials may not "like" your Communicative Approach. Any Critism from those Supervising Entities need to be Objectively clear and concise with specific directions for improvement.

Otherwise those Supervising Officials may just be Namby-Pamby Naysaying Hatchetmen looking for Reinforcement that their Actions are a Necessary Evil.

Good Luck to you, Sam!

ceebeejay

389 Posts

That description sounds very vague. If they weren't given to you, you should ask them to provide specific examples of what they are talking about so that you can address it. If you are omitting important information in report, or neglecting to keep the team in the loop on matters, or vice versa, these are details you need to know.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,000 Posts

I'm not a guy, but I'll try to help. It could be that your communication is "mean what you say and say what you mean." For some reason, nursing likes communication to be somewhat sugar coated. Everyone SAYS they like direct communication, but if you're a direct communicator (like me) you'll soon find that most don't.

So rather than "Can you help me turn Mr. Biggy please," your co-workers may be expecting "Hi! How did your son do on his math exam? Wonderful! I'm glad he's doing better. I wonder if you could help me turn Mr. Biggy. Remember I'm right next door if you need help turning your patient."

A previous manager of mine told me that it's better to be nice than to be right. I'm not sure I agree with that (we were in a CCU, and our patients were fragile), but that's how the game was played in that unit. You absolutely want to play the game. So instead of "That lab should have been drawn an hour ago!", try "Hey, I know you're really busy down there, but Mr. Hepdrip's PTT isn't logged in yet, and I'm wondering if you've had a chance to get to it." I've also found that abject apologies for bothering them and self-blame achieve great results. "I foolishly forgot to order my Heparin drip, and I'm so sorry. But my current bag will be dry in an hour and I don't have another one to hang. Could you please help me out and make one for me stat?" I'm told that no one else gets as much speed from Pharmacy, so obviously I've learned something!

My examples may need to be tweaked considerably for a guy, but hopefully you get the idea.

Better relations with colleagues means better teamwork, and better teamwork is essential to sailing through your shift rather than trudging through it!

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,328 Posts

I'm not a guy, but I'll try to help. It could be that your communication is "mean what you say and say what you mean." For some reason, nursing likes communication to be somewhat sugar coated. Everyone SAYS they like direct communication, but if you're a direct communicator (like me) you'll soon find that most don't.

So rather than "Can you help me turn Mr. Biggy please," your co-workers may be expecting "Hi! How did your son do on his math exam? Wonderful! I'm glad he's doing better. I wonder if you could help me turn Mr. Biggy. Remember I'm right next door if you need help turning your patient."

LOL! so true.

marokee

2 Posts

Thanks for the replies everyone. I did make a learning plan including body language, active listening, and feedback mechanisms. My manager was very pleased. I really appreciate the detail everyone went into with their replies and I'm sorry if my initialesaage was vague.