I will go ahead and state that this may be a sensitive topic, so please forgive me ahead of time if I offend anyone, it is not my intention. I just need some advice from people who may have experienced the same thing I am. This may get a little long-winded.
I am a new grad nurse who just took a position as a charge nurse on a post-acute unit. I absolutely LOVE my job from a clinical standpoint. I love my patients, and the environment is ever changing so it keeps me on my toes. I learned more the first day on the floor than any clinical rotation during school...which is awesome! That being said, my work environment is hostile.
I’m the new kid on the block, and I get that there will be people who don’t like me no matter where I work, but this feels like more than that. I am Caucasian, one of only two Caucasians who work on this unit. There is one particular tech who has been here since Jesus was a baby, and she makes my life hell. No matter how politely I ask her to do something, she refuses if it’s not something she wants to do right then. Ugh. I’ve offered to help her in completing certain tasks in an effort to establish that I am not “that nurse” who feels that I am above the work that techs do...still didn’t matter. She gives me an attitude, raises her voice above mine every time I speak and just flat out disrespects me any opportunity she gets.
She and I had a disagreement about the way she spoke to a patients family. The family came for a compassionate care visit to see their loved one who was dying from covid complications. This tech was rude, disrespectful and basically made a heartbreaking situation more difficult for this family. I pulled the tech aside and asked her to let me handle the family from that point forward. After the family left she proceeded to attack me and claimed that I think I’m better than her because I am white. Wait, what?!! How did this become a race issue?
Since then there is tension with everyone I work with. I’ve had several other nurses and techs approach me and ask me if I really did call her the “N” word (which is a term that I have never and will never use or be OK with). The nurse who is on the same rotation as me for night shift is close with this tech. Since the disagreement, the night nurse has gone above and beyond to make it known she does not like me. She leaves nasty notes instructing me to do things, she will chart pertinent information about patients and claim she gave report to day nurse, but actually doesn’t tell me about it. She throws me under the bus any chance she can.
There’s much more, but that’s the gist of it, and it is making the stress of being a new nurse so much worse. I’ve attempted to speak to both the tech and the night nurse, and that made things so much worse. I went to management and nothing changed. I actually had one manager tell me it’s best if I just keep my head down and mouth shut to avoid conflict. Seriously?!!
I’m to the point where I would almost rather play in traffic blindfolded than to come to work. Here in lies the issue... I signed a 2 year contract with a sign-on bonus (which I cannot afford to pay back right now). What else can I do? Has anyone else been in a similar situation where you feel like your voice isn’t being heard because of your race, religion, gender etc.?