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Unhappy in a hateful work place

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Specializes in Inpatient RN. Has 2 years experience.

I am a new RN. I worked as a tech for 3 years, but due to COVID had to move back home. I recently started a job back home as an RN and the culture is quite bad. Yes, many units have a culture of gossip but this is really to an extreme, like gossiping about anything and everything about fellow staff (sex life, family, appearance - nothing is off limits to them). I am gay and it is fairly obvious. I am confident in myself and my sexuality, but I have quickly learned my fellow RNs are quite homophobic and prejudice (race, religion, literally anything they can discriminate against they will). Yes everyone has their own opinions and beliefs, but openly speaking against it especially in healthcare shouldn't be a thing. Yes, you could report them but 1) it is pretty much unit-wide 2) retaliation 3) very obvious it would be me.

Understandably I am uncomfortable with this and I am not one to endorse or partake in gossip. The "benefits" and overall morale of the hospital is poor and they quite obviously do not care much for their employees. I know the golden rule is to stay at least a year, but I would like to move back to where I was and get a job there ASAP.

Would 6 months be feasible? How could or should I explain my short time period in my position?

6 months sounds good and I would tell the truth about why you left. 

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 12 years experience.

Try to stay at least 6 months. If you get a target on your back and they start making a case to get rid of you then get out of dodge. My first job was at a rural hospital the culture was toxic and many of my co-workers and superiors were openly homophobic. It took a while but eventually they started gunning for my job, so I took the experience I got there and ran out to bigger and brighter things. Good luck to you.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 18 years experience.

11 hours ago, queernursing said:

Would 6 months be feasible? How could or should I explain my short time period in my position?

I have learned many things about the employment world since I started working over 30 years ago but the two most important ones are 1. Always give appropriate notice (Minimum 2 weeks) and 2. never bad mouth  aprevious employer. 

I don't know how far away you are from the city where you want to work. Could you put out resume's then interview on your day off? When It comes to saying why you left/are leaving I have always found the prudent answer to be "It just wasn't a good fit. In interviews focus on what you learned and not on your bad experiences.

I do agree with the other posters hear no amount of experience is worth being miserable at your job. You will spend almost three quarters of your adulthood working, might as well enjoy it.

Hppy

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 18 years experience.

Mods could we merge this with @queernursing 's other post on the same topic. It would let the OP get a more co-hesive set of answers!

Hppy

On 11/20/2020 at 9:13 AM, hppygr8ful said:

I have learned many things about the employment world since I started working over 30 years ago but the two most important ones are 1. Always give appropriate notice (Minimum 2 weeks) and 2. never bad mouth a previous employer. 

I think this is very sound advice. I'm not a nurse yet but I had a similar situation. 

Prior to being accepted into my BSN program, I've been a law enforcement officer for the federal government, a state law enforcement agency, and back to the federal government. While working for the state, my immediate supervisor had an issue with anyone who didn't look like him, females, and veterans.  One day he said something very derogatory to a female agent in front of suspect that we arrested. He managed to sexually harass, discredit, and undermine her authority in one foul statement. I told the truth and gave her my full support. Of course I was retaliated against and things were miserable for me. I left before the "golden rule time frame". The reasoning that I gave was I missed my old agency and the new one wasn't a good fit. They completely understood and all was well. He was eventually held accountable for his actions and my statement helped.

If it were me, I would build off what was said in the beginning his statement as a way to leave after 6 months: "but due to COVID had to move back home." 

I hope all works out well. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 7 years experience.

1 hour ago, Famturn said:

I think this is very sound advice. I'm not a nurse yet but I had a similar situation. 

Prior to being accepted into my BSN program, I've been a law enforcement officer for the federal government, a state law enforcement agency, and back to the federal government. While working for the state, my immediate supervisor had an issue with anyone who didn't look like him, females, and veterans.  One day he said something very derogatory to a female agent in front of suspect that we arrested. He managed to sexually harass, discredit, and undermine her authority in one foul statement. I told the truth and gave her my full support. Of course I was retaliated against and things were miserable for me. I left before the "golden rule time frame". The resoning that I gave was I missed my old agency and the new one wasn't a good fit. They completely understood and all was well. He was eventually held accountable for his actions and my statement helped.

If it were me, I would build off what was said in the beginning his statement as a way to leave after 6 months: "but due to COVID had to move back home." 

I hope all works out well. 

That's really cool that you spoke up, it seems really hard to do in the culture of law enforcement. Agree with the advice that "using" covid is a good way to avoid talking about the negative work environment. Many people had to take jobs that may not have been their first choice during the pandemic, and now that things are opening up they are looking for more long term positions. I hope you can find a better, more supportive environment. No one deserves to be discriminated and mistreated at work, and it's sad that you feel reporting to management or HR would only make things worse, but I totally agree that in some situations that is the case = (

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I have nothing else to contribute advice-wise but this is absolutely, positively unacceptable. If you are able to do so, I would create some kind of documentation log that might be presented to HR should any need arise. I understand hesitancy to report this to management (and a lot of times, the new kid reporting harassment of any kind to management is not received well by management).

Best of luck!!

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

Agree with all the above. I was once in a job for less than a year because it was such a gossipy, toxic atmosphere. I was miserable and hated it and dreaded going to work. Life is too short to hate a job that much. I have never understood why people want to make others around them miserable. I knew I had bigger things going on in my life than that pettiness. I said I would never work in a workplace that toxic again....stay the minimum amount of time then run for it!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

9 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

Mods could we merge this with @queernursing 's other post on the same topic. It would let the OP get a more co-hesive set of answers!

Hppy

All replies are here 😊

queernursing

Specializes in Inpatient RN. Has 2 years experience.

Wow. Thank you all for your responses, and thank you to the mods for merging the post. You really made me feel less alone in this and your insight is invaluable. To address all the responses at once, I plan to make it to 6 months minimum and start applying and figure out moving situation for me to go back. I believe all interviews/hiring would be via zoom so that could make it easier. I plan to use the not a good fit + COVID response while focusing on what I learned and how the environment I will be coming from enhanced my skills.

I am keeping a log of all comments + staff if I ever needed it. It is insane to think people want to "care for people" but also have extreme levels of hate/pettiness/anger. 

@Famturn I really admire and respect you for speaking out for a coworker. That takes guts. 

LadyStark

Specializes in Critical Care, Cardiac Step-down. Has 4 years experience.

You've gotten great advice in this thread, so my advice will be short and sweet. As someone who recently changed jobs due to an unhappy workplace (not for exactly the same reasons as you, granted) do it. I moved to a new job and don't regret it at all. Life is too short to be miserable at a place you spend 36+ hours a week.

cynical-RN, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 10 years experience.

Reapply to another job of your preference. As soon as you are hired with 100% certainty. Cut your losses. There comes a time when blind loyalty to a company is not worth being miserable to satisfy "grace periods". Companies dispose nurses without regard to grace. Your loyalty starts with yourself. 

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

If the job is in another city then that is your reason, simply say you like the area you used to live in and always intended to move back when you got your RN.

Maybe there is a way during the exit process to let them know they have homophobia rampant just to let yourself be heard.