Does age matter when it comes to delegation?

  1. I'm going to try to keep this short, but basically I look younger than what I actually am. I know...sad, right? JK. Honestly, I'm wondering if looking like I'm 21ish has anything to do with how I'm received by co-workers...specifically CNA's. I'm not flattering myself. I've had several co-workers, some who are younger than me, tell me they thought I was 20 or 21/22 when they've learned my actual age.

    I really, really try to avoid asking for help or asking them to do anything because of the amount of attitude I get whenever I do. Sometimes, it's not so much what they say, but just the body language or tone of voice when I ask them to do something. They don't do that when my RN co-workers who are older ask them to do something or even TELL them to do something. It seems to me that there's just this obvious respect for the older/more experienced nurses that they don't give to me.

    Do you think people in general have an issue with someone they believe is so young being "in charge"...?
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    About Ntheboat2

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 393; Likes: 674
    from UK


  3. by   jadelpn
    There are many threads on this site about coworkers having attitudes in general, no matter what ones age is perceived to be. You may just be more sensitive to people's body language until you get comfortable with a charge role. And who knows, your "older" RN's may have the same thoughts as you, and may feel that they too get attitude. But the job gets completed.

    The goal is to just get the task accomplished. Attitude is on them, not you. Unless coworkers are insubordinate and declining to follow through with the task you have assigned, I honestly would not sweat the small stuff. Direct, with a thank you at the end is all that you need to do to communicate. That they then roll their eyes or sigh or whatever it is but then go and do as you ask is meeting the goal. Disrespectful? Absolutely. But that is something best addressed in one's evaluations and not to get into on a floor full of patients.

    Unfortunetely, we all can't be "liked" at work. That is ok. We are there for patients. So don't avoid asking, and be consistent. If you have insubordination, that is another thing entirely.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    It is true that some people secretly resent following directives or orders from an authority figure whom they believe is significantly younger than them. It's sad, but true in many cases.

    However, I have seen 'younger-looking' supervisors and managers command respect and receive it from 'older' subordinate employees. You must give respect in order to receive it.

    In addition, some employees test the waters to figure out which supervisors they can run games over. The delegator who is viewed as a soft personality will always receive some lip and attitude. You will need to stand your ground, demand they drop the funky attitudes, and make sure they do not run over you.

    Good luck. Difficult people are. . .well, difficult.
  5. by   Racer15
    I think some have issues with younger/new nurses delegating to them. At first I tried my hardest to avoid delegating because I was new but now? Don't give a hoot what they think. I went to school for three years and I have far more responsibility than they do. If they don't like being required to do tasks for me, they are welcome to go to nursing school. I don't mind doing the less pleasant tasks when I'm not busy. I put patients on and off bedpans, I clean up incontinent patients, change patients out of gowns when they vomit on themselves, all the time. But when I'm swamped and have tasks to do that an unlicensed person cannot do? They get those other things delegated to them, and if they give me any kind of attitude, it's getting reported. Everyone that works long enough will have a boss that is younger/less experienced than them. It's part of life, you suck it up and deal with it, or you find a new job.
  6. by   Ntheboat2
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I just need to get over it and realize everybody isn't going to like me. It sucks to feel like nobody likes you though. Really, the nurses all seem to like me a lot, but the aides not so much. Particularly the older aides. It doesn't seem to matter how much I do to "help out" or how much I don't do either. I still get the same attitude/get ignored/etc.