Unequal treatment by manager?


Hi all,

I work at a trauma hospital on a med-surg unit. Here are key issues I've noticed here:

1) Nurse X, Y, and me. Nurse X has 9 months of med-surg experience. Nurse Y has 7 months of med-surg experience, and me- I have 6 months of med-surg experience. We are all new grads.

1.1) My manager has never officially put me or Nurse X as charge nurse. Nurse Y, has been put as charge. I truly think it's unfair- I feel like my manager is not giving equal opportunity to Nurse Y.

2) We have a nurse on the unit, who has 5 years med-surg experience and is always used as the preceptor for new orientees. She has been written up by doctors for her hostile attitude. 2 of our new orientees reported her because they did not like the way they were being treated (1 of them quit). Although all of this has occurred in the past, my manager still uses her as the preceptor for new orientees.

For those of you with insightful opinions, please enlighten me. I want to know, is this normal on a unit? Or am I just taking things too personally?

Appreciate comments. Thanks!

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

You're taking things WAY too personally and making mountains out of molehills. This is a world of people, not machines, and there will always be decisions made by people you disagree with. You need to be more tolerant and flexible if you are going to survive.

1. About being put in Charge. Nurse Y is ahead of you in line. It is only natural that she would get to learn the Charge role first. Maybe in a couple of months, you'll be learning that role too. Maybe the Manager only needed 1 more person to be in Charge right now and Nurse Y was ready, so she got the nod. Maybe she doesn't need all 3 of your to be in Charge -- so she gave it to the one who seemed best suited for it -- nothing weird about that. Don't think of it as some big conspiracy against you.

Maybe Nurse Y has some qualities or background that make her particularly well-suited for the Charge role. That is the Manager's call to make, based on her assessment of the situation. If Charge Nurse is a role you aspire to, then talk (pleasantly and professionally) to your Manager and ask her how you can become a Charge Nurse.

2. As for the preceptor situation ... well ... that's unfortunate. But you apparently don't know why the Manager continues to use this nurse as a preceptor. Until you know why, you cannot sit in judgment over it. Maybe there are good reasons you don't know about. There are usually 2 or 3 sides (at least) to every story and until you have the whole story, refrain from judgment. That nurse may be the only nurse willing to do it ... or be the only nurse capable of teaching ... or ...????

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 37 years experience.

Some people just aren't suited to be in charge.I work with someone with 30 years experience. Good nurse, crappy charge. She just does not have the skills of a good charge nurse. In fact, one of the docs actually told our full time charge to not put this nurse in charge.

Perhaps one of the reasons Nurse Y gets charge duties is because she went the manager and asked.

As lig suggested, if you want to be in charge have a conversation with your manager. Just be careful what you wish for!