"stop isolating yourself"

  1. So I'm new at my job so I'm pretty timid cause I'm not used working with a bunch of people (used to work 1:30 in a SNF by myself on the floor)... I have conversations with people and I'm extremely helpful when someone needs it but like instead of sitting at the nurses station I sit in the hallway to finish my charting so I can focus( it's new to me and there's a lot of charting so I don't have time to chat like the rest of them do) plus if I have a needy patient I sit near their room so it's easier.

    Today, I was sitting in the hallway doing these education classes I have to take as part of my orientation ... Some were due today so I was doing them ... Bunch of quizzes and you have to pass them all so I wanted to focus.

    One of the nurses comes up to me and says "word of advice don't isolate yourself... Engage."

    And I said "why did someone say something about my being in the hallway charting?" and she goes "no... These people are different not like other nurses at other hospitals ..". And she left it at that.

    It really urked me cause I was just minding my business and charting not thinking it would be anyone's concern that I was doing my job. Being new to the unit and a hospital was stressful enough that I am trying to be perfect at my job because I love it! I help everyone ... Talk to other people when appropriate (everyone has worked there 2+ years and are really close) so I'm trying to fit in but not be overbearing. Now I have to worry about people thinking I'm isolating myself. It's exhausting.

    i took her "advice" as rude because I didn't ask for it. How would you respond to it? Thoughts?
  2. Visit strawberryfields profile page

    About strawberryfields, BSN

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 119; Likes: 27

    32 Comments

  3. by   Lev <3
    It sounds like you may have been the topic of conversation and she was letting you know in a slightly roundabout way. Make a point to engage - even something as simple as "I have to take care of some education modules. If you need anything I'll be at
    my computer."
  4. by   LOVEGREEN
    Even though it was unwanted advice, if it was presented pleasantly she probably thought she was helping you out. In a close knit unit you might be coming off as much more standoff ish than you intend.
    Last edit by LOVEGREEN on Aug 8, '16 : Reason: Autocorrect
  5. by   Been there,done that
    Far from being rude, she was kind enough to give you a head's up. I get that you need to focus, I have the same style when I am new to an environment. I also got fired once after 2 weeks of orientation for "not smiling enough".
    Your need to focus is being read as being unfriendly. The solution is simple... be friendly with your co-workers. "Good morning Nurse Nancy! How are ya today?" It's not exhausting... and you will learn something more important than those modules, you will learn about your colleagues.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I wrote about this issue a while back:
    Social Skills in Nursing (Part I): The Art of Validation

    Human nature is rather bizarre because workplace relations are never really about the work that is being done. For instance, do you know a nurse who is loved by coworkers, patients, families and management even though her work is sloppy?

    When we flip the coin, do you know a brilliant nurse with superb procedural and assessment skills who struggles at work due to an inability to connect on an interpersonal level with colleagues, patients, families and management?

    It all points back to the concept of acknowledgment. Many of our coworkers size us up based on how good we make them feel, not by our good work performance. This may not be fair, but numerous things in life are unfair. Thus, nurses who validate the existence of their coworkers will always be favored over those who self-isolate, focus solely on work, and fail to form cordial workplace relations.

    Some would say, "I am there to work, not to make friends." Do not get me wrong. You do not need to be personal friends with your coworkers. However, acknowledging them, validating their existence, and being the type of workmate that people like will go a long way. In other words, play the game.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Sounds like advice you would be wise to take.
  8. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from strawberryfields
    i took her "advice" as rude because I didn't ask for it. How would you respond to it? Thoughts?
    You're being talked about for sure. She was giving you a heads-up in a simple, non-confrontational way. You should be thankful that she cares enough to go out on that limb for you. Heed her advice. Or continue to get all butt-hurt and thinking she's being rude and you might just lose an ally. Your choice.
  9. by   TriciaJ
    You might want to confide to this nurse that you are focused on getting good at your new job because you don't want to let anyone down. Tell her you'll relax more when you feel more confident. If your coworkers know this about you, they might be willing to seek you out and help you learn the ropes. Or at least be less likely to write you off as unfriendly.

    To BeenThere: any place that fires you for not smiling enough just saved you the trouble of having to run away screaming. But you probably already figured that out.
  10. by   BSNbeDONE
    I agree that you do need present yourself as a team player. Your colleagues need to know that you are approachable and reliable before the excrement hits the fan.
    But for them to sit at the darn desk and make you the topic of conversation is not acceptable behavior, either. They should be welcoming you and presenting themselves as resources for you as you adapt to this new position/environment and learning the ropes. If they lose a nurse(s), nobody's going to sitting at the desk. They need the help just as you need the job. This puckering-up vessel is traveling a two-way street.
  11. by   BSNbeDONE
    Quote from Lev <3
    It sounds like you may have been the topic of conversation and she was letting you know in a slightly roundabout way. Make a point to engage - even something as simple as "I have to take care of some education modules. If you need anything I'll be at
    my computer."
    ^^^^^^Yes!!! You put yourself out there; now they can come get you when they need you. Give and take = TEAMWORK!!!
  12. by   amoLucia
    Quote from Wuzzie
    You're being talked about for sure. She was giving you a heads-up in a simple, non-confrontational way. You should be thankful that she cares enough to go out on that limb for you. Heed her advice. Or continue to get all butt-hurt and thinking she's being rude and you might just lose an ally. Your choice.
    I believe this says it all. That co-worker really was trying to do you a favor and was not being rude.

    Employee relations are just that - the relationship you have with your peers/coworkers. Sadly, little is paid to the professional work/job performance skills portion, but is so lopside-edly skewed to all the personal stuff. It is a game that must be played in order to succeed.

    Sad that the 'social butterflies' are the ones to come out ahead - they're the 'schmoozers'. I was never a 'schmoozer'. Unfortunately I didn't learn that bit of info until late in my career. I never really acquired that skill.

    We all need some 'schmoozability' to be in with the IN-group. I believe that was what that nurse was trying to tell you. Accept her 'gift' and use it wisely. You say you're a new employee - you're prob still on orientation (?). If you're NOT in with the 'schmoozers, your position may be on shaky grounds - you won't have anyone to back you.
  13. by   RNperdiem
    Make an effort to reach out a bit more then, but beware. Nurses who freely discuss other nurses are gossips. Don't reveal too much about your personal life and give gossipy coworkers ammunition they can use.
  14. by   TheCommuter
    Moved to the Nurse Colleague / Patient Relations forum for more replies.

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