Beaten down newer nurse please help!

  1. Had a very rough first year as a nurse had dream job left dream job and am now looking for new job.

    was bullied a ton passive agressively and talked bad about all over my unit and made to feel incompetent, hazed/isolated and very uneasy last year and it left me feeling unsafe and insecure and drove my low confidence even further down...i Never really fit in on my unit. This Left me feeling like a bad nurse especially because im so new And i dont have a ton of experience!

    1: Has anyone recovered from peer bullying and if so how?
    2: how did you choose next job like how did you know it was a good fit for you?
    Last edit by Serenity0688 on Aug 12 : Reason: Changed
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    About Serenity0688

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 4; Likes: 2

    8 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Serenity0688
    Had a very rough first year as a nurse had dream job left dream job and am now looking for new job.

    was bullied a ton passive agressively and talked bad about all over my unit and made to feel incompetent, hazed/isolated and very uneasy last year and it left me feeling unsafe and insecure and drove my low confidence even further down...i Never really fit in on my unit. This Left me feeling like a bad nurse especially because im so new And i dont have a ton of experience!

    1: Has anyone recovered from peer bullying and if so how?
    2: how did you choose next job like how did you know it was a good fit for you?
    There may have been a number of reasons why your dream job was a poor fit for you. While there are bullies in nursing -- I've encountered two over the past four decades -- it is likely that rather than being bullied, you just didn't fit in on your unit.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt). It looks as though you're blaming your colleagues for making you feel incompetent, isolated, uneasy, unsafe, insecure and "like a bad nurse." No one made you feel that way -- no one has that power.

    You get over being bullied (if indeed you were bullied) by examining what you brought to the table. Think about those interactions with your former colleagues calmly and without the emotion and identify how you could have handled your part of it a bit better. When you choose your next job, start with the understanding that it is up to you to fit into the workplace, not up to the workplace to accommodate you.

    I had a very rough first year of nursing, too. I was sure everyone hated me (they did) and were talking bad about me behind my back (they were). I was incompetent, and I was too scared, introverted and up tight to make an effort to get to know my colleagues. I rebuffed friendly overtures without recognizing them, and I didn't make any friendly overtures of my own. I made mistakes and fixated on them. Sometime after that first year, I began to relax a little bit and take the time to reach out to my colleagues, and get to know them a bit. When I stopped focusing on myself, my learning, my discomfort in my job and with my colleagues, I became more likable and people liked me more.

    As far as choosing a new job -- choose one where the orientation is planned out with black and white goals, objectives and evaluations. Make sure the manager is someone you are comfortable with and who is willing to work with you. The patient population really doesn't matter -- your goal is to learn to be a good nurse. Once you learn that, your skills will transfer to the patient population of your choice.
  4. by   Serenity0688
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my comment. I really appreciate it and will think very hard about what you posted and how I can be a better fit/team mate in my next unit.
  5. by   12sonrisa
    I hear you. I'm coming up to my one year anniversary of starting work as a nurse. I am luck though because I started out being hired into a regional renal program and then assigned to one of their units. My orientation was on the Unit I work at currently which is an AMAZING unit. I plan to look for a new position in the next year as dialysis is not my passion and I don't want to be pigeonholed into such a specialized area, but I can only hope I will find somewhere with such great staff and patient dynamics.
    Back to my point! after orientation, they assigned me to a different unit that has a reputation for being particularly mean to new staff, especially new grads. I deliberately kept an open mind going to the Unit and made the effort to be friendly with the staff which did help me have a better experience than some, but all it meant was that they picked on other new staff more than me. They were still mostly unsupportive and kept interactions with me to a minimum and we're not receptive at all to my questions. And I have since been told that I'm a really good nurse by patients and staff so I know that even though I probably asked dumb questions sometimes, it wasn't because of me, it's just not a good unit. There are many more reasons why but that is a post for a different day! Thankfully, I was able to get a position 5 months later on the Unit I orientated on and my life is so much better now. I learn more, enjoy most of my shifts and feel supported when things go south. I don't dread work and am honestly less stressed even though it's a much busier Unit.

    I agree with Ruby Vee that patient population doesn't really matter for your first few jobs. Do shadow shifts to get a feel for different units (before you apply or accept a position if you can but that's not always possible) and ask nurses you know about their work environment, then ask for introductions to their managers/apply for jobs if it sounds good.
    Good luck, keep us updated!!
  6. by   Cabrett2017
    I had a really hard time at my first job. I feel like once you become more confident and experienced, rudeness or pettiness from other staff doesn't matter as much. I focused on becoming a competent nurse instead of problems with other staff and changed jobs three times before I found a place I liked. I did try to stay each place I didn't like long enough for a reference though. Good luck!
  7. by   FolksBtrippin
    I was also bullied at my first nursing job. A lot of nurses who haven't been through it don't believe in it, but I know what happened to me and you know what happened to you.

    My recovery began as soon as I left the abusive environment. At my new job there are only 2 people that are difficult. I'm not bullied. I have great support.

    It is very hard as an interviewee to weed out the toxic places, and toxic places tend to have more job openings, because the turnover is higher.

    Home health has a lower potentiality for bullying, as does public health. You may want to try one of those, if they line up with your other career goals.
  8. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    I was also bullied at my first nursing job. A lot of nurses who haven't been through it don't believe in it, but I know what happened to me and you know what happened to you.
    Some nurses who HAVE been through it don't agree that it is as prevalent as it is made to be. I seriously doubt anybody here doesn't believe it happens at all. They'd have to have blinders on. But every little act of incivility isn't bullying and to call it such cheapens the term.

    To the OP there are three things you can do. 1. Find a strong ally who will stand up for you. This should be a senior nurse who is respected. 2. Learn to stand up for yourself by calling them on their behavior and do it on the spot when it occurs even if there is an audience. 3. Lastly if you can't do either of the first two then your only choice is to find a new job.

    Although incivility and bullying is not part of our unit culture we have instituted a mentoring program for all new nurses where they are assigned a peer who does not participate in their orientation but serves as a sounding board for concerns should they arise as well as offering "attaboys" as they progress. This is not a formal program in my facility but something our unit does to continue the team atmosphere we already have.
  9. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from Serenity0688
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my comment. I really appreciate it and will think very hard about what you posted and how I can be a better fit/team mate in my next unit.
    That's a nice start, Honey. (Grandma here.) You'll get there...
  10. by   brockclan3
    I can absolutely understand where you are coming from. I, too, am a new nurse (LVN/Tech) and have felt the very same way as you are feeling now. I have felt as though I don't fit in, that the other nurses isolated me, 'made' me feel inferior, disrespected, talked down to, and they spoke bad about me. I felt as though I had a rock in the pit of my stomach going into work when I was on shift with certain co-workers. I honestly felt that I couldn't do anything right. But then God tapped on my shoulder one day saying, "Let's take a look at the bigger picture here". Being a new nurse, you want to prove yourself; you want to prove to your co-workers that you are competent and knowledgeable. You are eager to 'get in there' and get things done. But my pride and ego got in the way of that. Was I teachable? Hmmm...some of the time. Sometimes I have not been and became defensive instead (being defensive is a big deal for me here). And along the line I made med errors because I was so busy trying to prove myself I didn't double check what I was doing. I had gone to the doctor (in house) directly in regards to patient care instead of going to the patient's RN because I felt as though I knew better what the patient needed (DO NOT EVER DO THIS). Very egotistical and prideful behavior on my part. I isolated MYSELF from my co-workers because I didn't want to participate in general drama instead of reaching out to them in a personal way. I complained about another nurse for being lazy while I was doing her work. In short, I created the problems I was having with my co-workers due to pride and ego. I have taken all of this in, realized the errors I have made, and am putting a shift on the way I do my job as well as how I interact with the other nurses. All I have control over is the way I react to any situation...I can not control anyone else. I have learned a very difficult lesson. I am not saying by any means this is YOUR situation. All I am saying is what happened to me and what I have learned.

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