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Stabbed in the Back in ICU

Nurse Beth   (231 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I work in ICU, and have been at my place of employment for going on 2 years. I'm a solid nurse, trying to further myself by learning and doing new things, and trying to really strengthen myself. I am laid-back, helpful, a hard worker, and care well for my patients.

Back at the beginning of the year, a few people banded together and complained to my manager that I am sometimes "lost in my own world" and not as helpful as I could be. I personally know this to be untrue. I am always available for help, jump in where I can, and always offer my assistance. This is believed to be directly related to one night where people were uninformed of the situation and assumed I was not doing my part.

Now, some months later, one person made hateful, completely untrue remarks in my anonymous evaluation. All the other responses were positive, as were remarks from management. Do I try to move on and continue allowing the behind the back drama or do I find a new place to call home? Overall, I enjoy my workplace but I just can't help but feel stabbed in the back with little support from management.

Dear Stabbed in the Back,

It's natural to feel misunderstood and betrayed when you are attacked anonymously.

You had a problem earlier in the year, but you moved past it. So I take it the only incident that makes you think of leaving is the one anonymous evaluation. It's an outlier among your other evaluations, and as such, maybe you can not take it personally.

You say it's hateful and completely untrue. Constructive feedback is neither hateful nor  untrue. This was not constructive feedback, it was purposefully mean, and you can't take it as credible feedback. It reflects more on the evaluator than it does on you. Personally, when managers conduct peer evaluations and get one hateful response, I feel it should not be shared. There's nothing helpful about it and it's definitely hurtful.

Give it some time and you will be able to let it go. See if you still feel like leaving in a few weeks but don't make any sudden decisions.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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9 Followers; 22,450 Visitors; 2,950 Posts

On 5/15/2019 at 9:51 PM, Nurse Beth said:

You say it's hateful and completely untrue. Constructive feedback is neither hateful nor  untrue. This was not constructive feedback, it was purposefully mean, and you can't take it as credible feedback. It reflects more on the evaluator than it does on you. Personally, when managers conduct peer evaluations and get one hateful response, I feel it should not be shared. There's nothing helpful about it and it's definitely hurtful.

 

You're right, they should not.

 

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Do I try to move on and continue allowing the behind the back drama or do I find a new place to call home? Overall, I enjoy my workplace but I just can't help but feel stabbed in the back with little support from management.

 

I would have asked the manager to answer for the choice to share what is clearly a hateful and malicious review, and would also have also asked for an explanation of the usefulness of a hateful and malicious review - - what are you to do with information that you know was only intended to harm you? 

There isn't a real right or wrong answer as far as whether you stay or look elsewhere. It depends upon your tolerance for this, your goals, etc. You could shrug and forget about it or you could reject this type of treatment in general. It kind of seems like either could be okay and in the end it's personal tolerance/preference.

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