Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dealing with Grouchy Nurses

So several people have requested that I write about how to deal with grouchy nurses… and some of this is not going to be cheerful news.  First things first, you are going to deal with bitchy people in any profession… There are bitches in nursing, bitch doctors, bitch lawyers, bitch mechanics… hell even bitches in the Burger King.  The idea is to learn how to handle the situation appropriately so that you remain sane and don’t become the bitch yourself. 

If you are a nursing student and the nurses on the floor are being grouchy… sorry but it’s best to keep your mouth shut, keep your head down and survive the day.  If you butt heads with a nurse on the floor as a student… you will lose every time.  Every clinical day should be a job interview because you never know if you will be colleagues with these people and if you snap on the floor you will get blackballed in that department… hell maybe even the whole facility.
If you are a new nurse, you need to do a few things to deal with the grouches.
  • ·         Realize that nurses eat their young.. It’s not pleasant but it’s true.  Put yourself in their position. As they get older or grouchy, they figure their days are going to be numbered.. so to them they see you as the replacement (and they have to train you). In their clouded sense of judgment, if they run you off they won’t be replaced.
  • ·         Learn how to deal with that specific grouch. 
o   Some of them are dealing with problems at home or general unhappiness.  If that’s the case either it will get better eventually or they will stay a grouch and you either try to friend them.. or avoid them.
o   Some may be grouchy, but only at work.  These are those grouches that are horrible to work with, but when you go hang out away from work they are fun, relaxed, and a joy to be around.  These nurses typically have been “the bitch” for so long they feel obligated to live up to that role.  Nurse Ratched is a bitch… but Becky is fun to hang out with.  Once you figure out this type, the grouchiness at work won’t bother you near as much.
o   Last common type is those nurses that are trying to push your buttons.  They want to push you to see how far you’ll go and to test you.  My dealing with this type of grouch was about 3 months into my time of working there.  I worked the night shift and this nurse came in and without asking about my night she immediately started complaining about me not stocking.  Finally being pushed far enough, I stood up and yelled that if she’d like I’d stay after my fucking shift and stock the ER.  From the point that I stood up to her, we never had another problem.  She wanted to push me to see if I would stand up to it and once I did, we were fine.
  • ·         Don’t take it personal.  Do you think they woke up and said.. hmmm I’m gonna be a bitch to Debbie today?   If that’s happening or you’re thinking it’s happening, then those issues go deeper than this blog.  Don’t let their shitty attitude get you down.  There is enough stuff in nursing that can get you down, depressed, or become cynical… don’t let one shitty attitude be the downfall to your day. 
·         Find the positives in your day.  The patient smile, the thank you’s, the pimpin murse, the slurse that you can tell is wearing a thong, the free drink in the cafeteria cause the cashier sensed your bad day, getting an IV on the first stick, or realizing…..shit you’re getting paid for this now. 
Couldn’t end this on a negative note and didn’t want you think I hate nursing.  I love it….. there are times it sucks. But the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Lastly, shoutout and huge thanks to @weshelton for featuring our blog on his website,, check it out (We are listed on the partners page .  Dude is a multitasking fool… looking over his site, I think he’s doing a little bit of everything.
And as always gotta do a shameless plug.  Follow me @that1murse and my buddy @mursewisdom

1 comment:

  1. A bitchy nurse is the worst. The culture and morale of the unit could be great, but all it takes is one grouch to ruin it. Students - stay away and shut your mouth. Correcting these nurses or being a know-it-all will get you in huge trouble. You'll hate every shift on that unit after you open your mouth. For fellow staff nurses that need to work with them - either stay away from them so their attitude doesn't become toxic and you notice yourself getting bitchy too, or, shower them with kindness and try to turn them around. When in doubt - feed them. Cookies, candy, dip, quick savory food to eat when there's no time for breaks, etc. You have to work with these people and depend on them in emergencies. You spend more time with them than your own families sometime...might as well all try to get along, right?