In a bad place right now ....

  1. I dont want to bring anyone down
    and perhaps this belongs on the general nursing discussion cuz its all about nursing, but I chose off topic because I'm just leaning on all of your fantastic shoulders because I'm feeling so down ....

    I just got home from the meeting that was held by the union, my u/a and the director of nursing. Since I am on the union comittee I was in attendance for that reason and that reason alone, not to bring up any of my own personal problems like being taken off nights and feeling lack of support for my continuing education...

    well let me just tell you , The (blank) hit the fan, my u/a implied that I am a trouble maker and that I started filling out incident reports and workload forms to get back at her for taking me off nightshift (not true, would have been brilliant to be all schemey like that and for that to be true, but it just isnt, acuity went up and staffing went down which resulted in unsafe working environments over the xmas holiday, simple as that)

    anyhow , after the meeting I mentioned to my U/A that I appreciated her time , she invited me in her office and I would like to say that we cleared the air, but we didnt. Instead I left there questioning everything, questioning things that I never ever in a million years thought I would question - things like "why am I even bothering to stick it out ? " "why should I keep on fighting for whats right" and even the big one, "why am I in nursing if this is what its all about?"
    call me naive, or silly , or idealistic, but i LOVE this profession, I love the positive impact I have on patients and families, but I hate being made a scapecoat.......
    basically she figured that I orchastrated my co workers into signing complaint letters and workload forms for my own reasons.
    you can say a lot of things about me, you dont have to like me ,but one thing I am is direct...and honest . I would *NEVER* do that, and yes it hurt my feelings that she suggested it.
    The other thing she said was that I was "soliciting support from coworkers about staffing issues and unit issues that people dont agree with" so she means that ppl are signing their names to letters we are circulating and then going back to her and saying that I pressured them to sign the papers!
    uhhhhh yeah I'm so intimidating , ppl fear me (not)
    I tried , In vain, to explain to her that ppl find her intimidating, and although I certainly am not one of those ppl , ppl will tell her what they THINK she wants to hear , instead of the truth..
    she aknowledged all of my points , but still kept coming back to the fact that she thinks I have some kind of hidden agenda
    yeah here is my big hidden agenda
    I want support for continuing my education, I want innovative scheduling, I want the nurses I work with to be happy and I want our patients, who seem to be forgotten in all this mess, to have the care they NEED and DESERVE
    whats so scheming and terrible about all that, I will never know.
    people tell me that she doesnt like the fact that I'm intelligent and assertive and she would rather have passive ppl who just go along with what she says mindlessly
    and although thats nice of them to say, I'm starting to wonder if maybe , just maybe,I'm not cut out for any of this....
    this weekend was my first weekend back on days and let me tell you, it felt so REWARDING... I had so many positive comments from patients and families - which is what matters right? wrong! she will probably never understand , and I know I cant make a leopard change their spots, but I'm just feeling hopeless about the whole situation and need someone to give me a good kick in the butt and to tell me to keep on fighthing the good fight and not to let this devestate me the way I'm feeling it will

    thanks for listenin , errr reading ,as always
    and if you kick my butt, kick it hard, yeahhhhhhhh baybee yeah
  2. 71 Comments

  3. by   KaraLea
    I'm sorry you are going through all of this right now. First and foremost, you have to take care of yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
  4. by   whipping girl in 07
    Sounds like she needs to be bytch-slapped (sounds much funnier coming from the mouth of our nearly 60-year-old-little-old-man-who-wouldn't-harm -a-fly charge nurse).

    Seriously, you are definitely being scapegoated, and I wish I knew what to tell you other than you have to hang in there and do what you KNOW is right. There are always other jobs and the court system if you are unjustly fired or demoted because of your outspokenness. Remember Norma Rae?

    OK, I've never seen it (too young) but I've heard of it. You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror every day and know you are doing what is right (which isn't always what is popular).

    The people who are kissing her ass and saying that they feel coerced are the same people who will complain and complain to their coworkers, but keep their opinions to themselves when it comes to speaking up at a unit meeting, employee forum, etc.

    Good luck and keep up the good fight. You are an inspiration to me!
  5. by   Stargazer
    Wendy, I'm glad that you're getting something positive out of the dreaded dayshift.

    You're in a difficult position. As you've stated, you are an intelligent, assertive person who cares. While ordinarily those attributes are assets, you are attempting to use them in an environment where your manager is threatened by you and your coworkers would just love to be supportive of you, if only someone would loan them a spine for a minute.

    As I see it, your choices are:

    1. Go all Norma Rae on their azzes and drag them into demanding better working conditions by the sheer force of your own will
    2. Stick pins in the voodoo doll you've made from hair you've plucked out your manager's head, and hope she needs to take an extended medical leave real soon
    3. Pipe down, do your job, and buy antacids in bulk
    4. Get out, as soon as is reasonably possible.

    I vote for number 4. You're young, you've got some experience under your belt, you've got tons of options.

    In the meantime, big hug to you. :kiss
  6. by   Lausana
    my shoulder...always available Wendy

    (I like #4 and #2 of Stargazer's list )
    Last edit by Lausana on Feb 24, '03
  7. by   LasVegasRN
    It almost seems like this happens to nurses at some point in their career when you are fully into your role, your patient's, and trying to be supportive of the staff. I hate this and I hate it is happening to you.

    I completely agree with Stargazer's advice. Please know that you are not alone in this and you WILL overcome.
  8. by   KaraLea
    Originally posted by konni
    Sounds like she needs to be bytch-slapped
    I am willing to do some purse holding if necessary...
  9. by   hoolahan
    I also like #2 and #4 on stargazers list!

    Since you are on days, and I also have to agree w stargazer about days shifts, in the hospital anyway, you will be stuck seeing this person more than if you were on nights. I say the heck w them, you can find your rewards in another hospital where you can be treated with respect. {{{{Wendy}}}}}
  10. by   susanmary
    You should be getting more support. You sound like a great, dedicated nurse -- and your manager should be supporting you in your endeaver to continue your education. It's not unrealistic to be able to accommodate your classes with some creative scheduling. You are not asking for a great deal. Don't try to overexplain your side to her -- she's not looking to understand your side. Just continue to make yourself your first priority -- easier said that done isn't it? But if you don't, you won't be happy. And don't feel guilty -- not ever. When I completed my BSN, I sat down with my manager and spoke to her about my committment to my unit as well as my committment to earning my BSN. I told her I would be flexible, but I needed specific days/times off. I used vacation/holiday time, worked some crazy stretches, etc. -- but I earned that BSN quickly. She asked what I would do if I weren't granted the time -- I told her the truth -- I'd be out the door doing agency. Anyway, you think YOU ramble ... you haven't met me ... I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle ....

    Best of luck to you. Your patients are very lucky to have you care for them. Your coworkers are lucky to have you on their health care team. And your u/a -- well, perhaps you will have HER position when you complete your degree -- you never know.
  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    Wens, you never woulda been pulled in for this "talk" unless your manager considered you a SERIOUS threat.

    Take it as a left-handed compliment. It means that you may not have a lot of authority but you have enough personal power to merit a personal face-to-face.

    Now, here's where your choice comes in:
    you may choose to stay where you are, and instead of feeling hurt and insulted, realize that your meeting alone was an acknowledgement that you have great influence over your coworkers...and allow it to build your confidence rather than its unstated object, which was to tear you down....
    you may leave, because your coworkers are a bunch of ninnies who are not taking responsibility for their own actions, letting you step out in front for them, letting you take the hit, and then not supporting you. (you need friends like that, like a hole in the head. )

    (also, as sjoe says, if they're taking a lotta crap, it's because they must want to--reason enough for you to step back and let them stew in their own juice.)

    But really.... is your root question about workplace issues or is it about Happeewendy's future? sounds soooooo like you're teetering on the brink of a decision and your manager just oh-so-helpfully pushed you over the edge. Whether its cause is jealousy or fear, you have what it takes to be a good leader.

    Don't let anyone fool you into thinking anything different, ok?

    because I believe that you'd make a terrific leader and I can really see you developing into a position of authority.
  12. by   Jay-Jay
    I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle ....

    Omigosh, that made me laugh, susanmary!! I haven't heard that one in a long time, then only from my mom, who turned 90 last month!

    Wendy, I think Susanmary is right: stand up for what is right, what you believe in, and if they give you too much grief, let them know, you'll be OTD (Out the Door!)

    As I've gotten older, I've gotten less frightened of authority. If I hadn't stood up to one of my teachers in nursing school, I never would have gotten my diploma. Several younger students (and myself) were all going to complain to admin. re. her treatment of us, and THEY all chickened out when the time rolled round. I went alone, and saved my career.

    So, stand up and be counted!
  13. by   adrienurse
    OMG Wendy dearest! I SOO know what you're taling about. PM me anytime.
  14. by   BadBird
    Wendy, when I read your post I immediately thought that management is setting you up to be fired for your union support, it is not uncommon for management to go after union organizers, they will nit pick until they either break you, fire you or you win. I think you are intelligent enough to win, good luck to you.