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(Marietta, Ga. USA)
I work in a maternity ward, taking care of mothers and newborns. The staff consists of Registered nurses and some licenced practical nurses and nursing assistants. I work in the role of a nursing assistant, but I have an associates degree as a Registered nurse. I am back in school to do a bachelors in health science, not to work in nursing.
I have consistently experienced overt sarcasm and have been talked at. I have even been insulted publicly while at the nurse's station and in the break-room. I often prefer to keep to myself, because it has been consistent for more than 5 years, with this very same group of co-workers. I have worked with the company since 1996 until now.
There are times when I am telling the nurses about a patient's condition and they walk-away and often ignore me. I had a nurse who asked me to walk a patient to the restroom, and after I took the patient to the restroom, I went to the nurse to report the patient's condition (how well the patient tolerated the walk) and I was pretty much ignored.
Another nurse asked me to go to a room to weigh a baby and after I entered the room she heard the baby crying and said "is she coming in to bother you"? I believe her comment may cause the patients to feel as if my job is invaluable, but I just ignored her. I also had another nurse who jokingly refered to me as Willy Wonka, but I just ignored her. I am a physically attractive lighter-skinned woman, and I am 40 years old, but I am often told that I look like a 16 y.o. or a 20 y.o.
I can honestly say that I love my job, but the maternal-newborn unit often attracts nurses and nursing assistants who don't want to work very hard, which gives them a lot of time on their hands to gossip and back-stab even their so-called friends. Our nurse manager has talked to the entire nursing staff about refraining from hostility and to treat each other with respect (not because of any complaints of mine) but by the complaints of other staff members, who felt empowered enough to complain. Unfortunately, their complaints have not changed a whole lot, because I often hear them complaining about their experiences but the management doesn't get involved enough to rectify the problems!
These consistent problems have affected the morale of the unit, and has affected the care we give to the patients, because even when a nurse needs my help I don't go out of my way to help them, because I am busy with other patients and I know that when I speak to them about their patients' conditions that I will be ignored. As a result, I just prefer not to get involved.
We have also been working shorthanded consistently for at least 2-3 years. When we go to work, we are severely short-staffed and there are some days when they call us to stay home, so it's either feast or famine! Not many of the nurses are happy being there, however, the bullying that I've experienced is coming from the same persons consistently.