1. Hello, I keep hearing about how cliques are in the hospital setting and it is making me nervous. I graduate w/BSN in Aug. 2012 and getting ready to join the work force. I never fit into cliques in high school or grade school or nursing school for that matter. Any advice on how to either be a graceful outcast or fit into a clique? Ugh. Dreading this. BTW, I'm in my 50's, older nurse if that makes a difference.

    Thank you,
  2. Visit snmzelle profile page

    About snmzelle

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 81; Likes: 31


  3. by   anotherone
    Quote from snmzelle
    Hello, I keep hearing about how cliques are in the hospital setting and it is making me nervous. I graduate w/BSN in Aug. 2012 and getting ready to join the work force. I never fit into cliques in high school or grade school or nursing school for that matter. Any advice on how to either be a graceful outcast or fit into a clique? Ugh. Dreading this. BTW, I'm in my 50's, older nurse if that makes a difference.

    Thank you,
    Oh dear. Have you been in the work force before? Where I work there are osme cliques but most people will help everyone if asked. Yes, they will help their friends or give them better assignments, but if you ask for help almost everyone will . Just go in do your job and that is it. I do not care if I am not part of the group that goes out together or anything like that. THe cliques only become a problem when managment/charge is part of it and the friends routinely get all the walkie talkies while you get all of the trainwrecks on the floor.
  4. by   snmzelle
    I don't care to hang out with work groups or even want to be in a clique. But I have found that the ones in school can be lethal. Rumors and gossip are a way to isolate people and I just want to focus on the patient, not damage control. I have been in the work force but mostly self employed, yikes, am I in for it or what. lol!

    thank you for your post,
  5. by   LynnLRN
    Do a good job. Be nice to everyone. Don't run your mouth.
  6. by   canesdukegirl

    In my experience, the culture of nursing school is far different than the culture of a nursing work environment. I also experienced an almost dichotomous feel of the classroom, so I know what you mean. I avoided the cliques and just did my own thing and talked to everyone, although purposefully didn't make close friends with anyone. Personally, I abhor being identified with a certain group of people (which is why I make it a point NOT to check the box "Caucasian" when filling out a survey. Does anyone know where Caucasia is anyway?!? ) and prefer to be casually friendly with everyone in the group.

    Yes, there are cliques in every nursing unit, no matter which one you pick. I was born without the chip that programmed me to care about being popular, accepted, etc., and therefore wasn't affected much by the cliques that were present in the unit. (I actually think this comes from being a total airhead about alliances/cliques/politics, but that's just between you and me...and all of AN!) Most people don't know this about me, but I am actually a VERY shy person. I overcompensate by being silly, cracking jokes and sharing appropriately self deprecating stories so my shyness does not come across as being aloof. It drains me mentally to do this, but during a feedback session in my very first nursing evaluation, my NM told me that my peers misinterpreted my shyness as being aloof, and that's when I made a concerted effort to engage, however uncomfortable it was for me. It paid off, and I am very thankful that I got that feedback early on in my nursing career. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers and REALLY enjoy debates regarding case studies and brainstorming about problem solving tactics.

    It is human nature to value camaraderie. We feel more relaxed when we are among our peers, can share experiences, swap stories, and collaborate with each other when faced with a challenge. On the whole, people WANT to be around other people. As annoying as people can be, they engage us, however subconscious it may be. That's why the harshest punishment (besides lethal injection) in the prison system is solitary confinement. We don't want to be isolated.

    If you are your own true self (forgive me if I sound like Oprah, et al) and you have a strong sense of self awareness (i.e., body language, non verbal cues) and you present yourself as willing to learn, being part of a team and engaging your co-workers while being assertive regarding your needs/learning, you will do well. Give it some time once you get to your unit...people tend to welcome newcomers in "phases". Do your homework when you are unsure of new things you learned about with your preceptor, be gentle with yourself when you are learning all the ins and outs of the unit, and thank those that go out of their way to help you. Ask questions and follow up on tasks, reporting back to your preceptor often. If you experience something (let's pretend that you are a new RN on a med/surg unit and you shadowed your preceptor while she did a sterile dressing change with Dakins solution. She goes over the technique, but you want to know more about the Dakins solution and why it's valuable. However, you sense that your preceptor is feeling rushed, so you don't ask about the solution at the time) that you want to know more about, do some research when you get home and then ask your preceptor if what you learned is correct. This effort on your part will show that you have not only initiative in learning, but also that you have a commitment to truly grasping the concepts behind implementations. This will garner you respect from your preceptor, and trust me when I say that your preceptor will share his/her experiences with others on the unit while teaching you.

    I hope this helps you to some degree. I understand your concerns, and they are valid. Please keep us posted!

  7. by   NoviceRN10
    I work night shift and there are only 2-3 nurses working at the same time, usually, with 2 nurse aides. If there was a clique to try and fit into I'd be in trouble. There are no cliques where I work, everyone is generally courteous and professional with everyone else. The people who have worked there for years together don't even prefer each other .
  8. by   RNperdiem
    If you nuture your social life and family life and get the majority of your needs for love and belonging fulfilled outside of work, then the clique situation at work won't matter much at all.
  9. by   Been there,done that
    You are not necessarily required to "fit in with the clique".. you will either be invited in or not.

    If not... just smile, smile, smile and pretend you like them.

    Or else you will have hell to pay.
  10. by   Vinniesguy
    There aren't cliques where I work as such. Sure the young ones might have more in common with each other than old farts like me and that's fine. Same as I'm happy to chat to an older co-worker about quiet places for a holiday etc rather than the newest loudest club! I find people are just naturally drawn to each other and if you're friendly as well as professional then you'll soon find people will want to talk to you and invite you to join in!
  11. by   snmzelle
    Right? You sound like my dad, he packs a powerful and practical message in a few short words. Although it sounds simple, being nice to cliques takes some practice. They annoy me. And I think they sense that. I've been practicing raising my eyebrows and puckering my lips to make this surprised face to hide my emotions. I looked at my new face in the mirror and I think I should stick to my "you annoy me" face. ha ha! Seriously though, I believe your advice is wise.
    Thank you,
  12. by   snmzelle
    Being friendly and professional is key. I don't want to join in, but do not want to be a someone who is gossiped about and treated not very nicely. I think I had a particularly tough class. I'm in the summer program right, it was competitive to get into and based on GPA. The people in my summer program seem more mature and not as arrogant and rude, I feel very relaxed. I am hoping that the hospital setting is better than it was in school. I guess it was a good learning experience on how to deal with different personalities.
  13. by   snmzelle
    OMG, this is so so so true! I am telling you, they made my life a living hell over the past couple of years. They didn't stop at gossip, the personal attacks were included and running to the teachers and telling them I'm a liar. I caught some of them making fun of old people and trashing a teacher I liked so I called them on it. Ever since then, they had a clique vendetta against me. I should have just kept my mouth shut.
  14. by   caliotter3
    I would wait to cross that bridge when I got to it. You will have your hands full just trying to get that first job. Good luck.