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Openly criticizing a fellow nurse.

Posted

I like to think that I criticize constructively. I've been taught to keep such conversations privately. One time however I wasn't able to refrain from airing my negating opinion to my nurse colleague in front of many. My nurse colleague was on her usual micromanaging of auxiliary staff that day. That day she decided to enforce a practice that I found to be a waste of our staff's precious time resource. So, next thing I knew, I've asked her "Will she be willing to help the auxiliary staff when they get overwhelmed? Will she be willing to do overtime for her unfinished nursing task because she was hand on another?" and the like. The next thing I know, I'm a bully. My resting face does appear like a huge B and I don't have the nicest voice either. What could I have done better?

Everybody blows it on occasion. Don't continue to berate yourself over this or your obsessing may lead you to slip up again. Try to get some rest and proper nutrition to help with controlling yourself. Hope your criticism gave the person pause to reflect.

TheBeezy

Specializes in Critical Care, ER, L&D. Has 18 years experience.

I would apologize for the perceived gruffness of your questions (if appropriate) and as PP said, forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone looses their cool from time to time. I always ask myself a few questions before I make a “negative” comment or even a perceived criticism.

1.) Is this my business?
2.) By voicing this am I part of the solution or part of the problem?
3.) Is this person capable of personal growth and introspection?

4.) Is it my role to point out their weaknesses?

If after answering these questions I feel that I should voice my thoughts I always make sure I have one or more solutions ready to supply in addition to voicing the concern. Because without being prepared to solve the problem I find what I’m actually doing is just complaining.

I hope this helps!

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

On 5/5/2020 at 12:07 AM, TheBeezy said:

I would apologize for the perceived gruffness of your questions (if appropriate) and as PP said, forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone looses their cool from time to time. I always ask myself a few questions before I make a “negative” comment or even a perceived criticism.

1.) Is this my business?
2.) By voicing this am I part of the solution or part of the problem?
3.) Is this person capable of personal growth and introspection?

4.) Is it my role to point out their weaknesses?

If after answering these questions I feel that I should voice my thoughts I always make sure I have one or more solutions ready to supply in addition to voicing the concern. Because without being prepared to solve the problem I find what I’m actually doing is just complaining.

I hope this helps!

This thought process/algorithm is great to use in life in general.

When I am in a foul mood related to work, which truthfully doesn't happen often as it takes a lot to push me to that point, I wear my emotions on my face and am very short compared to how I normally am, so it is extremely obvious. I have humbly found myself at the end of the shift apologizing to other nurses, PCAs, and unit clerks if I came across a certain way. We all let our emotions get the best of us sometimes, and the key is recognizing it and acknowledging it.

InTheLongRun

Has 15 years experience.

On 5/5/2020 at 1:07 AM, TheBeezy said:

I would apologize for the perceived gruffness of your questions (if appropriate) and as PP said, forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone looses their cool from time to time. I always ask myself a few questions before I make a “negative” comment or even a perceived criticism.

1.) Is this my business?
2.) By voicing this am I part of the solution or part of the problem?
3.) Is this person capable of personal growth and introspection?

4.) Is it my role to point out their weaknesses?

If after answering these questions I feel that I should voice my thoughts I always make sure I have one or more solutions ready to supply in addition to voicing the concern. Because without being prepared to solve the problem I find what I’m actually doing is just complaining.

I hope this helps!

Solid Advice. These questions are a wonderful quick way of determining if you're looking at what the Europeans call " a good opportunity to shut up"

18 hours ago, JadedCPN said:

This thought process/algorithm is great to use in life in general.

When I am in a foul mood related to work, which truthfully doesn't happen often as it takes a lot to push me to that point, I wear my emotions on my face and am very short compared to how I normally am, so it is extremely obvious. I have humbly found myself at the end of the shift apologizing to other nurses, PCAs, and unit clerks if I came across a certain way. We all let our emotions get the best of us sometimes, and the key is recognizing it and acknowledging it.

This! I have found myself also apologizing to people after being stressed out and letting it get to me...as long as you are sincere about it, people understand. I have also found sometimes there are times it's better to just walk away, before saying anything....and I've noticed co-workers getting to that point just by looking at their faces and I would just say quietly to them, "take a walk" and they would and would come back calmer

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

I have the same problem. Some days it works in my favor, other days not. Just tell the recipient of the message that you're sorry for being harsh and public, but you still feel the message was valid

And keep it behind closed doors in the future

Edited by Hoosier_RN

Control your emotions at work. It will save you a whole lot of trouble if you learn to do this ASAP. Everyone feels things and wants to vent, but its best to just not. Unless it's an HR matter, best to keep your opinions to yourself until asked specifically for those opinions. There's a time and place to express concerns and frustrations, and in front of a bunch of other staff ain't it.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

On 5/7/2020 at 1:46 PM, BSNbound21 said:

Control your emotions at work. It will save you a whole lot of trouble if you learn to do this ASAP. Everyone feels things and wants to vent, but its best to just not. Unless it's an HR matter, best to keep your opinions to yourself until asked specifically for those opinions. There's a time and place to express concerns and frustrations, and in front of a bunch of other staff ain't it.

I think OP knows this.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

I'm sure if you would've had time to ponder your opinion before voicing it, you wouldn't have said it.

I'm guessing you said it because you were already stressed by your workload.

I would apologize, and explain what was going on at the time.

It's out of your hands at that point.