About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Friday, August 29, 2008

A thicker skin.

The other day, Tuesday, I walked in to work loving my life. Everything seemed to be coming up roses. I loved my office, its proximity to school and my home, the pay, and the fact that my part-time request had been granted without hassle.

I left work that day in a crumpled ball of tears and tissues (um, Kleenex, not 'bodily tissues').

All because a frustrated person chose to vent at me! At the start, I was professional and empathetic, and all the other usual crap that they teach you in Customer Service class. Murmurs of assent, giving the audible equivalent of nodding my head in sympathy. What a horrible day this person must have had, and I am sorry it had to be him, etc etc. But then he started manipulating me, telling me that the call was being recorded for the media and thank you for giving us this sound byte on behalf of your organization, and the like. I KNEW he was manipulating me and bullying me, but I felt powerless to stop it.

The weird part was not that he was bullying me, but in how I responded. I was just looking around for help when one of my coworkers locked eyes with me and I fell into complete meltdown. Blubbering, tears, snotty nose, the works!

The scary part was, this is over the phone. If someone starts giving me shit face to face, I figure I'd last maybe half that before needing to 'exit the situation'. I read nurse blogs where the folks in charge rehash tales of giving it right back to the complainant. I just can't see myself being able to not only handle that kind of treatment, but let it roll right off me and get down to business.

Maybe my problem is that I'm just a big ole softie, who wants to do what's in the interest of my client (or what they feel is in their own best interest, which is probably a little dangerous). And when I feel like my hands are tied because of policy or hierarchy or whatever, I feel like I'm getting screwed from both ends... so to speak. Meltdowns may be quick to follow.

I hope they teach "Cojones 101" at school. I hate feeling so powerless over my emotional response to these types of interactions. Someone please tell me that it will somehow be different once I am a nurse... please??

In other news, this weekend my wonderful boyfriend is leaving to a college 5 hours away from me. We are moving him into residence on Sunday/Monday. For me, it will be 4 more lonely sleeps until orientation, and 5 more lonely sleeps until classes start! Mixed feelings abound.


MKS said...

I can tell you from the perspective of a medic... you will develop thick skin, and after a year will probably even be somewhat cynical!

Hang in there... try to empathize and still keep your distance. Have you read "the making of a nurse"???? It's a fabulous story and I think it'll ring especially true with you.

MKS said...


Check it out.

undergrad RN said...

Hey, sweet! Thanks for the encouragement. I saw that book in the library earlier this year, I'll check it out :)

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