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  1. I have been a nurse for several years and have spent the last few years travel nursing. Needless to say, I have worked at many hospitals and they all have their good and bad but I have enjoyed every hospital. Recently, I took a permanent position at a top-rated medical facility in a Cardiac ICU. I took this job because of the learning opportunities available. I love learning new things, new procedures or new medications. Overall, I really like my new job, the unit, and I have made some amazing friends. But I continue to have a recurring interaction with a variety of staff and it is starting to feel like the unit norm/culture. It usually starts when I identify an issue (runs of SVT, critical lab value, neuro status changes). I address the issue and the staff member becomes visibly tense and addresses my concern in a harsh and condescending tone - usually in a form of questions. It started with random preceptors and now has progressed to nurses at change of shift, advance providers and physicians. For example, I had a patient who had a central line that we were not using and he had other IV access. I asked the PA if we could remove the line as I was concerned for infection risk and we hadn't used it in 3+ days. The PA said “He has a name. What’s his name?” I then asked the question using the patient’s name even though he knew who I was talking about as we were in the patient’s doorway. He then said “Can we remove the line? You tell me. Why would we remove it?” in what I perceived as a hard tone and tense body language. I was so confused so I repeated my concern for infection. He said “No we might need it to drop pacer wires and let that be a lesson. I am trying to teach you”. Ten minutes later, my patient started to have a bizarre intermittent tachy-brady rhythm, was competing with his temporary pacemaker and having inappropriate V pacing. I tried to troubleshoot by over pacing and under pacing but it continued. I got my charge nurse (who use to work in a pacemaker clinic and knows a ton about pacemakers) and we made some more adjustments that appeared to solve the issue and he was V pacing 1:1. I printed off strips and the charge nurse went to tell the provider as the PA was on the phone. The provider storms into the room and looks at the pacemaker. The charge nurse tells him the changes we made and he says “Why would you do that? Now it won’t pace.” again in a harsh tone and tense body language. He leaves and then comes in less than a minute later. He points his finger at me and said “You. Tell me what happened”. The nurse two rooms down can hear him at this point. I proceeded to tell him what happened and he keeps stopping me mid-sentence and repeating what I said in the form of a question. I just look at the charge nurse helplessly. He said “This strip tells me more than the words coming out of your mouth. This is a cardiac ICU. You need to know this stuff”. He then pulls me out to the nurses' station and I realize he is possibly trying to teach me something. At this point, I start tearing up and feel humiliated. I truly appreciate him trying to teach me something but by this point, I feel defeated and am retaining nothing. Things like this don’t happen every shift but there are episodes like this multiple times every week over the last 5 months. I would like to think part of it is learning style. I learn best by conversations, working through problems and being given examples. I know I don't learn best by being quizzed in front of everyone (peers and patients alike). Initially, I would tell my preceptors/peers that I didn’t learn well like this but now I feel so defeated and exhausted. I think the other part is the harsh/condescending tone and body language. Half the time, I don’t know until several minutes into the conversation that they are “teaching me”. It never feels like they are trying teaching me. I feel like it’s an ego thing. I try very hard to stay positive and think of it as helpful to know and be grateful for the opportunity to learn. But I feel like I have reached my limit. I know that others in my orientation group are going through very similar situations and that helps. Am I being oversensitive and overreacting? Is my aversion to being quizzed in front of everyone preventing my learning? Or is this a form of microaggression? And what do I do about it?
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