Friday, August 17, 2007

On a hospitable workplace

Reading the latest posting over at Mother Jones', and pondering the phenomenon of nurses eating their young, I would like now to discuss those ornery coworkers who strive to find issue with everyone else on the team.
You know the ones. The people who complain about others to the point you just roll your eyes and walk away from the conversation.
I've long since decided that getting caught up in the gossip wheel is too much like junior high. To quote F0rrest Gum.p (sort of), "My mamma always said... if they is talking about her, they is gonna talk about you, too."
In the distant past, I worked in the corporate world. Women outnumbered the men in my office 5:1. I learned back then that women rarely get along with each other. I noted that I had very few female friends from the get-go. Just too much cattiness and insincerity. Maybe I had trust issues; maybe I still do. I was burned several times during my formative years, and I have the char marks to prove it.
The antagonist in my present tale is a young nurse with superb talent and skills, someone who I actually enjoy working with. She is unhappy. With what, in life, I am mostly unclear, but I do know she has anxiety issues and unchecked OCD in a mild yet workable format. She has tried medication in the past, but being newly married and desiring a pregnancy in the near future, she decided to let her brain chemistry go au natural. I mention this because, if I were allowed to do a little psychoanalysis, this gal has some baggage.
She came to psych directly from nursing school, and has not yet lost her touch with the med-surg side of things. If she were to transfer to a medical unit, she would shine, I am sure of it. She doesn't wish to do so, because 1) they won't take her anyway because she's wasted four years on a non-medical unit* and 2) she feels as though the pace on a medical floor would push her over the edge. Thing is, I'm not sure she belongs on psych. She quickly becomes frustrated due to lack of control of patients' behaviors, and her therapeutic communication often resorts to hugs and "Awww"s. But mostly, her attitude toward other nurses and ancillary staff is surprising, due to her sympathetic nature.
*(her words, not mine)
Her expectations of others are rather lofty, and she lets that be known. Not to your face, of course; she'd rather complain about you to anyone who will listen. Not a shift goes by that one doesn't hear "I don't know WHY so-and-so can't keep up/didn't do more/isn't swinging from the light fixtures while charting and transcribing orders and wiping poo with her free hand!"
When we used to listen to taped report, there was eye rolling and heavy sighs that signaled her growing frustration, and the occasional comment about whomever/whatever she felt could have been said or done to her exacting standards. Now that we're doing face-to-face report, the reaction has been muted to a neat little silent treatment and an "I'm too overwhelmed to discuss your mistakes with you" demeanor.
Can everyone say PERFECTIONIST?
I'm not sure if her childhood was wrought with never living up to daddy's expectations, or if her new husband is the culprit. Perhaps the spouse is what keeps her on the level and offers support and encouragement out the wazoo. Any way you slice it, my take on the chick is that she has some self esteem issues. By striving to be perfect, and taking down anyone who stands in her way, she is feeding her need to be lauded as A-number-one and attain recognition.
I must admit, I have not noticed any mistakes made by this little princess. I'm sure they're out there, but I don't play that game. In my opinion, she does her job (and then some), and does it well. But, so does everyone else on our crew, no matter the shift. We have some seasoned staff who are able to do a little more, and we have some that just do the bare minimum - and that is acceptable, too. We all have "our days" when things go in slow-mo and you just can't find the gumption to do one.more.thing.extra; these days are often interspersed with full throttle doitallness, and things just balance out.
I hope with some experience and maturity she is able to find her happy medium and some satisfaction in herself.


Blogger Richard said...


Given the popularity and prevalence of twitter, I put together a list of 50 different nurses on Twitter that you can follow to potentially get some insight on their medical lives. If you wouldn’t mind, could you share my list with your readers?

Here's the post:

Many thanks!

24 October, 2009 14:09  
Anonymous Medical Scrubs said...

It's such a shame that there seems to be a trend for this among nurses. You would think there would be more solidarity amongst the profession!

14 June, 2012 15:06  

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