I wanted to thank all experienced nurses out there (the ones who remember paper charting ) who truly support new grad RNs.
What has truly surprised me is the bad behavior I've experienced from nurses younger than me. I'm in my 30s (second career nurse), and the examples I give below have all happened to me from 20-something nurses with a few years on the unit, who ended up as charge RN by default, lack of staffing on weekends, etc.
This is how I've felt buoyed by the veteran nurses on my unit, and the opposite from a handful of younger "mean girl" nurses:
Calmly bringing me to the side (note: not in front of the staff or patient, and not shouting or in a condescending tone) and pointing out a mistake I made with a pt. This is succinct and not a cat and mouse "do you know what you just did wrong in there?" ( <- This is literally how some parents speak to toddlers, fyi, not how colleagues should speak to each other!)
It's also not a place of judgment, regardless of whether or not they are judging my mistake - i.e. "I'm not sure how you don't know this already," or "I thought this was pretty clear to you, but" It is something like: "Hey, Mary, Let's talk over here for a sec. In Mr Smith's room earlier, You didn't do the final MRN check against the patients chemo bag. I checked it, and it was fine, but we always do it three times - at delivery, outside the room, and inside the room before we initiate the med. It's super important because X."
Note that there is no hand-holding, no congratulating me on "You did great on this, but ___" I'm not asking for a hug. I'm only asking for respect.
Obviously an exception to this is if I'm about to do something immediately compromising to the patient's care, we're in a code, etc.
Learning, for me, does not come from a place of fear or shame or guilt-tripping. When a teaching opportunity comes along, and it begins with shaming (doing it in front of others), eye-rolling, or fear ("if you did that and I wasn't in there, the patient could be in the ICU right now") - I will likely not remember the clinical lesson later. All I will remember is the way you made me feel, and I'll start to dread working with you, avoid asking you questions -- which therefore becomes a potential barrier to patient care if you're the only one around. If you're so concerned about the mistake I made and you want to protect the patient, wouldn't you want the new nurse to learn from the mistake without feeling like she's just been verbally attacked?
I've had these girls yell at me in front of the patient, refuse to come into a room when I call to ask them for bedside help because "you won't learn anything if I hold your hand", gossip about me / other new grads within earshot, eyeroll when I ask a question and one would "quiz" me on what I just did wrong. If I didn't guess correctly, she said she would wait until I realized it so we could talk about it. How do I know what I don't know yet?!
Initially these moments felt like a tidal wave and I took it personally, now, I only approach the nurses who speak to me with respect - and so far, that has been the older nurses. So, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you that know who you are.
Does anyone else have "mean girls" on their unit, perhaps maybe born in the '90s....?! (not to generalize or anything) It took me so off-guard, feels very high school and they tend to stick together at work (much like high school) I finally told one of them I didn't appreciate her attitude (outside of the patient's room! calmly! what a concept!) and she told me "if I'm going to make it as a nurse I need to stop being so sensitive." LOL
To quote Ellen, be kind to one another folks.
(And yes, my use of "women" and "girls" here was an intentional wording choice)