But before moving further with this article, let’s find out first, what is the meaning of seniority? Seniority means being older of another individual not necessarily by age. For instance, the concept is like this, if I work or stay longer in this establishment before you, then I am your senior. Hence, I have more privilege and power than you. This is all about seniority and this is also present all over. This is the harsh reality of life, but you must deal with it.
|Chest Diseases Hospital (formerly known as Kuwait Heart Center), Kuwait|
In some instances, a senior nurse wants to prove her superiority over a junior nurse even though it’s not the right thing to do. Sometimes, a newcomer needs to conform to her command to make her feel that she is the “queen” in the nursing station. But of course, you don’t need to play along all these orders if you know it’s wrong. Besides, this does not always apply to every junior nurse who will just sit down and do nothing. What is the point of studying for 4 years in nursing if you can’t construct your own decisions or stand? What is the point of being a nurse if you do not have a "Say" in your workplace?
|International Medical Center, Jeddah, KSA|
Well, here are 5 tips on how to defend yourself from an abusive senior nurse.
1. When a senior nurse tells you to check the vital signs of her patient because she is busy chatting with her friends.
The first thing to do is to determine the current vital signs of the patient. You must always call back the safety and priority needs of your patient first. Maybe, this is the reason why your senior nurse wants you to closely monitor the patient’s conditions because the patient is unstable.
However, if all the vital signs are stable, document the results in the patient’s chart and do not report or come back immediately to the nursing station. Have your senior nurse worry for you for a while, so that she will look the results for herself.
2. When a senior nurse asks for a short lunch break, but it takes excessively long.
If a senior nurse asks for a lunch recess, let her make the break. But before she entrusts her responsibilities to you, better be sure you are capable and know her important assignments, so you suffer no problems later on.And when it takes a long time for her to finish her break, don't be a hero. Live with the fact that you can’t handle alone all the patients in the ward.
Consequently, when your nursing supervisor comes around and looks for your senior nurse, tell your nursing supervisor that you are also looking and waiting for her to come back to the station. Certainly, your senior nurse will do a lot of explanations when she returns.
3. You should know all the nursing works at the station.
As a nurse, it is extremely important that you know your work, nursing job descriptions, and hospital policies. Just in case a senior nurse fails you in the evaluation, you could challenge her and tell your nursing supervisor or nursing director that you do not deserve the outcome of the evaluation. In this manner, the superiors will investigate and will somehow reevaluate you. If it turns out that you are a competent nurse, it is a big disgrace or a smack in the face of your senior nurse.
4. Always avoid unnecessary arguments with a senior nurse.
As you know that intense arguments can lead to irrational behaviors or negative feelings between you and your senior nurse, avoid that one if possible. It is more adept to stay humble and do only your work in the hospital. Do not gossips with your colleagues about your senior nurse and stay away from any problems.
5. Do not share all your secrets in life.
Sharing all your personal present and past experiences can be bad for you. A Senior nurse will only have some minds about you which may lead to misconceptions. Thus, it is better to share your secrets only to those people who know you best. For example, your parents, best friends and close relatives are the most trusted and reliable people that you can share your fears or secrets.
These are just a few points on how to protect yourself from your abusive senior nurse. Nevertheless, if it is possible, avoid any troubles and treat her with love and respect. In return, she will do the same for you.