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How do I 'toughen up?'

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1 Hi there!

I am fairly new to the nursing game; I graduated LPN school in July 2010 and am currently in an RN program. I have worked as an LPN since last summer on a Med-Surg floor that is a mixture of isolation, post ops and peds. (I know, right? Who made that plan?) I am a perfectionist, and I think it's a great thing to be in nursing. I'm meticulous with meds, charting and nursing skills. I obsess over whether the patients 'like' me or not as a nurse and go above and beyond to keep them happy. I've not had a patient who didn't like me or who gave me negative feedback.

Until now.

Last weekend I was put into our 6 bed specialty unit that consists of confused patients (high fall risks). There is to be a nurse (usually LPN) and CNA or tech in there at all times. Well, we were short staffed last week, census was down, and there were only 3 patients in there, so I was put in there alone. The night was really slow. The only patient that even showed signs of confusion had a family member staying with them. (this isn't usually allowed because space is so limited) From the time of bedside report, I noticed that the wife of this patient acted strange toward me. The patient did not, he was very pleasant actually. She wouldn't allow me to empty his urinal and acted offended when I assisted him to use it while she had stepped out. I 'assessed' him, administered medications, and helped him settle in. I just assumed she was different. Later that night I was changing another patient. I had the curtain pulled. The wife leaves the room and goes to the hall and pulls another nurse into the unit to look at her husband's IV. (She had said nothing to me about it!) Naturally the nurse came to me and I said I'd look at it. There was a small amount of dried blood under the op-site (from when the IV was started) so I removed the dressing and replaced it. I was really confused as to what had happened. I even told my husband about the situation when I got home. I just had a bad vibe from her.

Fast forward to this am. My manager asked me to stay after my shift change to talk. During call back surveys, the wife of this patient had reported me. She told my manager that I hadn't done anything all night. (When in fact I had been pretty busy considering I had 3 pts, providing incontinence care, vitals, turning on top of my normal duties) I immediately teared up. (embarrassing!) I'm very frustrated. I honestly can say that I did everything I normally do for my patients. Funny though, the patient seemed very pleased with me, but the wife gave the bad report. I'm sick over this. No disciplinary action is taking place, I'm not in any trouble, but this is killing me.

Part of me (maybe all of me) wants to brush this off and write her off as a crazy person, but the other part of me cant let it to the point of wanting to quit. I love nursing and take pride in being GOOD. Careful, considerate and compassionate. Every positive comment I have ever received has just been smashed because of this one person.

I guess I'm asking if this will ever change for me. I don't want to NOT care, but I want to toughen up to this kind of criticism. I'm not really sure what I need to do. I want to balance being able to brush things off and taking them to heart so I can improve.

She sounds like a real ******. I'm kinda the same way though, i let things like that get to me. You know the truth, you know the care you provided to that patient and that is all that matters.

don't quit. Many people think they are the only patient you have and want your undivided attention. Some of that is projection from their own guilt about not being able to help the patient themself or guilt from not wanting to be there. If a pattern develops your manager will be concerned about your attitude. But everyone realizes you cannot please everyone all the time

Don't quit over 1 family member!!! This happens everywhere all the time. There is a predominate sense of entitlement among patients and their families lately, like they are the only people on the floor. Blow it off and keep going. I know how hard it is to blow it off, but if you really want to continue in nursing you are going to HAVE to get used to the crappy treatment we receive from patients and families. Your manager and co-workers know what kind of nurse you are so listen to them. Your manager obviously didn't believe it or she would have taken some kind of action other than just having a conversation with you.

She is a crazy nut case. Who knows what the history is between them. Her attitude could be driven by guilt.You will bust your butt for people and someone along the way will find fault with it, no matter what. Ask yourself if you took care of this person to the best of your ability. If the answer is yes, then let it go. If not, then learn from it. Hugs!

this happens all the time in nursing. the public does not seem to understand that nurses are educated, and that our role isn't just to fluff pillows and bend straws. i have even had a patient's wife say "we are all nurses!" not understanding the difference between a real, educated nurse and a nurse-maid. the only thing that will matter to your employer is the patient satisfaction scores. keep your chin up.

For the sake of argument ... Let's say you do quit. You seem to believe that would satisfy your perfectionistic tendencies. You could take another nursing job, or even pursue a completely different field. Fine. Sooner or later, a coworker, customer, vendor, visitor, etc. etc. will be annoyed with you for whatever reason. What will you do then?There are six billion+ people in the world. Do you like every one of them? Does every one of them meet your standards?No? If not, then why assume that all 6 billion + will find you satisfactory?You don't need the burden of believing that you are somehow "better" than 6 billion other people ...Please give some thought to this. It has nothing to do with nursing ... it has to do with your productivity and happiness for the rest of your life.

There is always going to be someone who doesn't like you no matter what lengths you go to in order to try and make them happy. Just accept it and move on because it will happen again and there is no way to prevent it.

There are people, who regardless of what you do for them, seem to be dissatisfied all the time and you can't change it. The fact of the matter is; eventhough you might become the target of their anger, they're unhappy, angry and dissatisfied with themselves and their life and deep down it doesn't have any thing to do with what you have done or have not done for them. It happens every where, but in our profession we face it more frequently and more intensively b/c we work with ill people and their families.You should not quit nursing. By what you say, I understand that you're a caring nurse. What you need to change about yourself is your "vulnerability". In other words, you want to keep your "sensitivity" alive (any good nurse needs to be sensitive) and at the same time lose your vulnerability. When you know, you have done every thing within your range of power and available time frame, nobody should be able to make you feel so upset and disappointed in yourself. Give yourself credits for all the good work you do and only listen to positive criticisim.

How about this novel idea. How about NMs stop hauling nurses into the office for a "talk" all the time over this kind of stuff. How about just a quick notification, FYI, and a "Anything you think I should know about?" followed by a hearty, "As always job well done" and a strong reassurance that the NM knows you know what you are doing, and that we are in this together...

I had a similar complaint about me when I was new. A stroke patient's wife saw a quarter sized amount of blood on his top sheet[he had torn a band aid off his arm] and started yelling and making a scene. She demanded to speak to the charge nurse. I was mortified. I knew I had changed his sheet one hour earlier[this was before team nursing and RNs did all patient care] The charge nurse listened and calmed her down. Then she took me to her office and said "Don't let this upset you. Just realize she is upset about her husband's condition and it has nothing to do with you" I have learned over the years to keep this in mind when dealing with difficult people.

There are always going to be those type of people that no matter how hard you try to please them, satisfy them, or make them smile- THEY WON'T. This is not a problem with you. Don't take it personal. They have there own personal problems. Most of the time these people are unhappy with their lives and want everyone else to feel the same.My advice to you is a few things: 1) make yourself a good reputation among your co-workers and management and patients. They will see your true character just as they did in this situation.2) Be confident in yourself and accept that not everyone will like you in the world. Be the best person you can be. Just think, it's their lost. I am a great nurse, friend, person3) Pay attention to your patient's and their families- if something feels off- think about what it could be. It seems as though for some reason- this patient's wife did not trust you as she went to another nurse. Find a positive way that you can gain trust and communicate with the wife about her concerns. She may have had a negative experience with another nurse in the past.Good luck! Don't change who you are! Just be confident and don't allow people to walk all over you because of your desire for their love and acceptance. Because they will sense it and not respect you.Best,Katejane

Ouch, I think we all had one of those. People dislike nurses (or other people, for that matter) for some of the most ridiculous reasons. It can be as simple as you look like or sound like someone else they dislike, or they are really frustrated and you are the nearest target. Think about what you don't know about the person behaving poorly-what is driving the behavior?Usually identifying the cause helps you manage the behavior and it humanizes them a bit making them more tolerable. It by no means excuses their horribleness, but only you can make yourself miserable over this. Blowing it off is hard though. I guess you can look at it this way, she'll either get over it or die unhappy. You'd be surprised how many choose the latter. Good luck!
Author: jone  3-06-2015, 17:32   Views: 317   
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