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Advice from Nurse Mo

Most times we are way harder on ourselves than we need to be. We often don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve. I recently received an email from a new nurse who was having some hard times adjusting to her new work environment and dealing with bullying in the work place. Check out the conversation between Sarah and I.

Dear Mo,
First off I want to say that when I was in nursing school I would constantly come to your page to motivate myself. I was wondering if I could get some advice for a situation I’m currently in. Shorty after graduation, I got hired in a NICU. A couple of days after I had completed orientation, a fellow nurse approached me and told me that I had left her with a messy assignment. Of course this was not intentional. It was a crazy shift and I became so task oriented that I forgot to pay attention to my surroundings. I apologized and told her I would do my best to pay more keen attention. A few weeks later, another nurse had expressed how livid she was with me for something similar. She told me that my behavior was something that many other nurses had a problem with. I was told that my actions were “the worst she had seen in many years of working.” She wrote a list of every single thing I did wrong. I felt so sad and down. I had did my absolute best. I wasn’t aware that several nurses felt that I left behind messy assignments. I am currently working on improving myself in that area. I feel like crap knowing that people are walking around talking about me in a way that I had never intended to be perceived as. Do you think I can still redeem myself? What do you suggest?
-Sarah

Hi Sarah!
Thank you for your kind words! I can actually really relate to what you are going through. I experienced  similar responses before, I think many new nurses do. First of all acknowledge how far you’ve already come. You started an amazing job so early in your career, so please give yourself a bit more credit for being so successful. The most important thing in our field is keeping your patient SAFE AND ALIVE. If you are doing that, you are already a great Nurse. As far as the little details, learn to clean as you go just as you would when cooking. Also I find that it is helpful to not put off small details. Putting small details off until the end of your shift leaves you overwhelmed and rushing around at the at the last minute. When it comes to the negative people, you have to toughen up and not allow people to affect how you view yourself. I am sorry that they have been so hard on you at work. I promise the more confident you become in yourself and your skill set, their gossip will bother you less or not at all. Remind yourself of how amazing you are daily. You are a brand new nurse working in the highest acuity! You are amazing! Sadly, bullying and gossip takes place in many workplaces. We can’t control outside sources, all we can control is our reaction. Be kind to yourself. Take your time. Clean as you go and keep saving lives. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.
-Nurse Mo

Sometimes we all need a reminder of our faults and to accept the fact that we are human. We make mistakes, but we also give ourselves the opportunity to improve on whatever areas we can work on. We continue to know that we can’t control the negative energy others come with, but we can remember to never let that affect us.

P.S. you can also watch my video on youtube on how to deal with difficult people at work.

2 Comments
  • Akyra Allen
    Posted at 23:03h, 02 July Reply

    Hi Nurse Mo! My name is Akyra Allen and I need your advice. I am a 23 year old graduate with a B.A. in Communication studies, and now I am thinking of going back to school to earn my BSN, because I think that having a BSN would be more valuable along with my first degree. I would like your insight on people entering the nursing field from a non-medical field.

    Thank You,
    Akyra Allen

    • Nurse Mo
      Posted at 01:54h, 18 July Reply

      I actually meet lots of nurses who have done this !! Nursing as a second career is very common . I think you will be more mature and appreciate the stability in the career change.

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