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metal_m0nk BSN, RN

ICU
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  1. metal_m0nk

    A Plea to Nurses Everywhere

    SarahLeeRN, You are a gifted writer and it impresses me that you would use that gift to express this particular point of view. I have engaged in many discussions here on AN reflecting this topic and I see what you see. As I have been integrating into the workplace after graduating from nursing school last year, I have had a few key musings of my own. Most notably, I have found that attitude really is everything. I can't control the attitudes and actions of the gruff, the disillusioned, the back-biting, self-absorbed and I don't ever hope to. But then, their behavior is not what I'm concerned with anyway. It's mine that I am concerned with. Because it is my behavior that I will ultimately be held accountable for. I don't kill with kindness. No way. I kill with calm. I have learned from my experiences dealing with patients that most nurses dread - the irritating, the needy, the rough around the edges, gruff, accusatory, distrusting, belligerent, etc. - that when I dig my heels in and remain committed to calm, rock solid, self controlled responses, the anger, fear, and/or agitation that these patients project melts right off. Sometimes it's immediate. Sometimes, it takes most of a shift. But always, the end result is the same. They soften. They open up and become less tense. And that is the moment when a bond develops and suddenly, everyone around me is shocked that the most unruly, angry, agitated patient from their memory is polite and humble or laughing and joking. They're not on their call light every 20 minutes with some inane request. They express gratitude for the care they are receiving instead. I don't make apologies. I don't have to be a doormat. I don't hope that they like me. I don't try to be their buddy. I just maintain composure and basic human respect for them in all things said and done. I carry this same methodology over to my interactions with co-workers. "Just be nice," might work for some who are far nicer naturally than I am. For me, "Just be calm," works well enough. Great read. Keep fighting the good fight.
  2. metal_m0nk

    Why Do People Bully Me?

    I've got a better question... Why do organizations, co-workers, managers, and other spectators and members of a team working toward a common goal continue to let bullying go unchallenged and unresolved - or worse, leave the burden of the bully's anti-social behavior to be shouldered solely by the target alone? [video=youtube_share;wAgg32weT80]
  3. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    Yes, there was a pervasive "everybody wins" indoctrination of children at one time. Some of this still exists in varying degrees. However, so seldom do the people who rally cry against the "Everbody Wins" generation ever acknowledge which generation(s) were actually handing out the trophies. That's the problem I see here.
  4. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    Hmmm.... Perhaps it truly is a very rare nurse indeed (or person in general) who is skilled at not only prioritizing their patient's needs, but also managing the rigors of mentorship with grace and respect. This discussion has made me appreciate my preceptor even more (if that is even possible).
  5. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    I don't remember ever saying that anyone had to be overly friendly or hand-holding. I do remember saying that I can see how having to contend with that expectation could be frustrating. When more than one person is involved in the success or failure of a particular undertaking, then it is flippant to state that the responsibility for success or failure lies squarely on the shoulders of one. If that were true, why bother tasking experienced nurses with precepting new nurses at all? How useless that would be if their input was (as you say) ultimately ineffectual. In reality, they share the responsibility. Why? Because those experienced nurses were given a job to do, and part of that job includes mentorship. I agree that the newbie has ultimate control over his/her actions. Absolutely. Point blank. He or she must demonstrate willingness and initiative to learn and to fit into the culture of the unit. Without question. But it doesn't end there. Some people think of themselves as victims even in the face of as much support as can be reasonably expected, but for the most part, that isn't the case. It is indeed a matter of perception.
  6. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    Let's not try to cast too many generational stones... I'm old enough and learned enough to know that the Boomers were termed the "Me Generation," characterized by self-involvement and a "me first" attitude. Also, the notion that "everybody wins" was taught to the generation you describe by generations before. The notion was not independently imagined by the children of that era, but orchestrated by teachers, administrators, psychologists, and scholars of human development from previous eras. Why then is it such a big freakin' surprise now that those teachings were adopted and integrated into their world views as adults??? That's like indoctrinating a child in the Catholic religion and then criticizing them for not espousing the tenets of atheism as adults...We reap what we sow...In terms of abdicating all responsibility for something for which the responsibility is obviously shared, I can think of no better example than the rallying cry against the "Everybody Wins" generation that you have so succinctly presented here.
  7. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    That can't possibly be true. I'm fairly certain that what each is describing is the exact same behavior. The difference is not the behavior, or the definition of it, but the perspective. When hearing the perspective on either side of the debate, I try to take into account the natural human inclination to ego defend. The first instinct of a person accused of behaving badly is to deny. If denial proves ineffective because the exact behavior is described and it is generally agreed upon that it can be considered bad behavior from an outside perspective then the second instinct is to blame someone else - abdicate responsibility. I know well enough that in MOST ALL phenomena, responsibility is shared between parties and that no issue is ever truly resolved without both parties recognizing their participation in the origins and/or perpetuation of the issue. Experienced nurses are not all somehow evolved beyond basic human instincts of ego defense simply by benefit of their nursing experience. They too have the responsibility to recognize their own contribution to the problem. And when I see a handful of people abdicating any and all responsibility for a commonly identified, well defined and well researched phenomenon of which they play an integral part, MY first inclination is to call bull ****.
  8. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    I couldn't agree more.
  9. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    It's all a matter of perspective. There are plenty who would say that this line of thinking is just a cop out that experienced nurses fall back on to excuse their bad behavior. Which, logically speaking, does more to perpetuate the issue than does supposed perpetual victim-hood - since perpetual victim-hood is ultimately self-limiting.
  10. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    That may be true. But that's no excuse for bad behavior. The only thing a person can control is their own reaction. If someone chooses to react poorly when other options exist, they can and should be held responsible for that. Experienced nurses may or may not have much control over administrative decisions and process, but that's not what some of us are talking about here. We're talking about individual behavior, which the experienced nurses have ultimate control over (if they honestly don't have ultimate control over their own behavior, then they probably should not be entrusted with the lives of others - so I will assume that they do). Much as he/she might like to try, not even the experienced nurse can legitimately blame administration for his/her behavior, so why should I?
  11. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    While I happen to quite like crusty old bats, I do agree with you about this really being about basic principles of respect and that it needs to flow both ways. When a person decides to chuck rocks at a bird struggling to take flight (as some of these experienced nurses choose to do), you may swear up and down that you're doing it out of the kindness of your heart for the sake of instilling motivation, but you and I both know that you're just being a belligerent jerk.
  12. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    I agree. I think this also goes for those who paint themselves as victimized by the preceptor role.
  13. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    Very well said, PatMac. I agree that it is tiring to have to feel impeded or inconvenienced by the preceptor role. But it is equally tiring for an orientee to have to continually bear the projection of your discontent.
  14. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    I see your point and I don't have problems with trainwrecks even while being an orientee. I thrive under pressure and genuinely enjoy being busy. I prefer to work independently and don't require hand-holding so much as occasional clarification.......And although I really have no specific aspirations, my nurse manager recently told me that she would expect to see me in critical care in the not so distant future. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me as a new nurse, but I did find it interesting when I heard it. I also know that I am the exception and not the rule - so in that, I can definitely see where you're coming from. I do also see a few other newbies around me legitimately struggling and from an outside perspective it is clear (with one at least for certain) that much of that struggle is exacerbated by her having a preceptor who isn't very involved, though I'm sure her own hesitation and low level of confidence in herself plays a significant part as well. I wouldn't go so far as to describe her as possessing a "paranoid victim mentality" though, because for her, the scenario I described is very much a reality.
  15. metal_m0nk

    New nurses wanted.

    I'm sure there are some new grads working with experienced nurses who would just as easily expect to dump every unfavorable or challenging assignment onto the new nurse in the name of "gaining experience," regardless of whether or not it is appropriate and then when the new nurse's trial by fire proves more for him/her to handle getting in the boss's ear about the new nurse not being a "team player." How can anyone be surprised when a new nurse who is set up for failure.....fails?
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