The hospital can be a political minefield. While you may work as a team, you’re all most concerned with your own job, right? How your supervisor sees you can determine a raise, a promotion — or even if you keep your job. Navigating hospital politics is not an easy task, but avoiding potentially negative situations should be your first priority.
If you find yourself trapped in one of these situations, you need to know how to best defuse it with minimal damage to your professional nursing reputation. Here are some tips on how to get out of five of the most common hospital minefields.
1. In the Middle of an Hospital Argument
Whether a coworker is ranting at you about her boss or you get caught right in the middle of a shouting match, the best thing to do is keep your mouth shut. Taking sides in a situation like this can only lead to trouble. If another nurse is just venting to you (especially about a problematic patient), be empathetic but don’t agree. You never know who is going to be promoted, and you don’t want to be on the bad side of your new manager. Similarly, if an argument is raging around you, resist the temptation to join. In inter-personal battles, nobody wins.
2. Assigned a Patient You Can’t Handle
You never want to tell your boss that you can’t take care of a patient, but if she assigns you something outside of your working knowledge, what are your options? Ask for help! Nursing is a team effort, and that means relying on your coworkers in times like these. Suck it up and ask for an extra hand in dealing with your problem patient. And remember to return the favor! Don’t be afraid to ask to switch patients if the situation is getting out of hand. It happens to the best of us! You have the resources to complete any task inside you, you just need to not panic and keep a calm head.
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!