Sunday, May 13, 2012

You stay on your side of the unit . . .

Today went well.  This doesn't mean that I am on someone's good side.  This means that I did not feel so powerless.  I am still trying to fit in at the new job, even though it has been a year.  I worked with another nurse today.  She is older than I am, from a different country, and has been a nurse longer than I have been alive, or so she tells me.  I had worked with her two times in the past.  The first time was horrible.  She criticized everything I did, even though I felt that I was doing nothing wrong.  If I asked for clarification in an attempt to be professional and work through our issues, she retorted that I was "disrespecting" her and calling her a "liar."  That experience was not unique at this facility.  Most of the other nurses are very critical of me.  I tend to be non-confrontational in all aspects of my life, so I kept to myself and hoped that they would stop.  They didn't.  The second time I worked with her, my strategy was to stay away from her, which worked most of the day.  When she did criticize me, I kept my response brief, yet challenging, I felt, by saying that I am required to do [insert action here] by the supervisor and that she should call her to see if we could do it differently.  For some reason, she did not call the supervisor on me.  Why don't I go to the supervisor?  Because she is not on my side.  Other nurses are quick to complain to her about me, and her response is usually along the lines of "why is it that you can't get along with anybody?" and never reaches the substance of the complaint.  It's why I float instead of having a permanent assignment.

Perhaps today went better because I stood up to this nurse previously.  For the record, I have been pushed too far by other nurses and have fired back- and it blew up in my face and their aggression has worsened.  Maybe she is one of those people that pick on others because she can.  If I fight her on every negative word and act, maybe she'll find it too much of a bother to continue going after me.  She won't like me, but I don't see us becoming friends anyway.

I have considered that I must be horrible if most of my coworkers think that I am.  But the care of the patients tells a different story.  Three patients were waiting for me to float to the floor all week so that I could help them with different issues.  All of the problems were created by errors from nurses on the day shift and missed by the nurses on the night shift on chart check.  I was taught that you cover for other nurses.  I have done so my entire career.  Said courtesy is never applied to me at this facility, as you may have guessed.  I have to dot my I's and cross my T's because if I get caught with an error, administration will go after me.  Always quick to jump to the conclusion that I am up to no good, the supervisor noticed my frequent absences from the floor as I secured missing medications from the pharmacy.  I responded, "You are right.  Be sure to let Nurse So-and-So know that when she mixes up orders, it creates a lot of work for me."  Not only am I expected to cover their mistakes, but I am expected to be speedy about it without any fuss.  I will assure you that the supervisor's limited understanding of English, combined with her desire to sabotage, ensures that the words I uttered will be twisted and conveyed to others interested in getting rid of me.

Yet today was one of the better days.

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