In a perfect world, sure, a unit is humming with happiness and friendship within the nursing staff. We all know that “perfect,” though, is pretty much a fantasy when it comes to a typically busy shift, and of course, a nurse’s true colors tend to come out in a crisis!
So, do you ever wonder: When the big one hits the fan, how do my coworkers view me? Are you a “Charles in Charge” nurse—leading the way when things go wrong? Or are you a “Nervous Nelly” whom everyone avoids in a jam because you’re easily overwhelmed? You may have many friends on the unit because you’re likeable, but to figure out what your coworkers really think about you, take this 10-question quiz.
1. When a conflict arises on the job:
a. I do NOT know how to act. It’s the one instance in which I actually make time to go to the bathroom (to HIDE and regroup).
b. I nod my head a lot (I don’t want to lead the conversation!), but eventually I’m able to contribute to a solution.
c. I think on my feet—that’s why I’m a nurse! I feel comfortable leading and/or contributing to the discussion to find a viable solution (plus, I’m no dummy—the alternative is that things get WORSE).
2. When I feel like I’m losing, I tend to:
a. Implode into a sense of utter humiliation. Then, I plot revenge.
b. Skulk off and lick my wounds. After that, I’m ready to get back to my patients and give it my all.
c. Try to see the big picture and focus on understanding the other side of the argument.
3. When I’m at odds with a difficult coworker, I tend to:
a. Immediately feel anxious and think about fleeing.
b. Find myself sighing loudly as I’d rather be helping a patient, perhaps even muttering this thought out loud as I get ready to “deal.”
c. Make a small joke to defuse the tension, then work with my coworker to resolve things quickly and move on.
4. When an agreed-upon solution goes south, I tend to:
a. Tap dance on the nearest grave. I was right! I was right!
b. I wait for someone else to point it out.
c. Live and learn! I immediately look for another solution to share with the team.
5. When I don’t get my way, I tend to:
a. Drag my feet in hopes of proving everyone wrong.
b. Go along with the solution, but make sure to elaborate on all kinds of strategies to show that my point is also correct.
c. Swallow my pride (and try not to choke!) and remind myself it’s about the patients. All’s well that ends well, right?
Next: Questions 6-10 →
6. I like how I react when:
a. Things are going well. A conflict, on the other hand, totally derails my day and leaves me uncentered.
b. Things are going well or when there’s a disagreement to solve with my coworkers—as long as they’re my FAVORITE coworkers
c. Things are going well or when there’s a disagreement to be solved. My game face lasts a whole 12-hour shift and then some!
7. True or false? I’m good at quickly finding a solution to settle a conflict.
a. True (at least that’s what I’m writing in my cover letter for my next job).
b. True…I think. To be honest, it totally depends how much coffee I’ve had and what my horoscope said that morning.
c. True. And the very reason I was recently promoted.
8. When I’m wrong, I tend to:
a. Throw a tantrum. Every unit needs a drama queen (or king) to keep things interesting.
b. Chalk it up to “live and learn,” but keep quiet. There’s no way I’m showing any weakness—not in this jungle!
c. Willingly admit that I was wrong. Life’s too short.
9. When the team is engaged in figuring out a solution:
a. My boss and coworkers don’t seem to be willing to listen to my point of view.
b. I try to keep things from getting too heated. If they do, I try to change the subject. Maybe everyone will forget about the issue.
c. I try to carefully listen to the other points of view in a conflict situation, then add my two cents.
10. During a crazy busy shift, how confident are you in coming up with a way to get your team “out of the weeds”?
a. Not at all. Usually I panic and (shhh, don’t tell anyone) I discreetly “lifeline” my boyfriend via text for sympathy and advice.
b. I’m a problem solver by nature, but I’d rather the charge nurse come up with all the solutions. I’m buried in my own patient load, after all!
c. I’m “the man.” Give me a problem and I’ll spit out a bunch of possible solutions like a fully loaded machine gun—because my patients need me!
If you answered:
Mostly A’s: Oh boy, are you a Nervous Nelly! Let us guess. You’re a new nurse. Conflict resolution on a nursing unit is not your strong point…yet. If you get easily overwhelmed and intimidated, this may cause you to lose your coworkers’ respect. But no worries! Many new nurses start out this way and these feelings tend to dissipate once you gain experience. Conflict resolution is also a skill you can always work on to get better at. Use these tips to be a more confident nurse when your shift gets bonkers. It won’t take long to successfully graduate out of this “newbie” phase.
Mostly B’s: Congratulations! You’re a Real Nurse! Coworkers regularly seek you out when there’s a conflict because, well, they like you, you know what you’re doing and you’re REAL. Sometimes, however, you tend to confuse people-pleasing skills with problem solving (We all do it!). Just make sure that in dealing with coworker conflicts you don’t inadvertently veer off into gossip zone!
Mostly C’s: Congratulations! You’re totally a Charles in Charge. “O bright one! Anoint us with your ancient insights and lightning-quick wit that calms our nerves like a sacred salve!” Your coworkers may not have uttered that exact phrase out loud, but boy, you sure have seen this thought flashing behind their eyes every time they come to you to untangle a hairy shift. Conflict doesn’t scare you one bit and you’re ready to charge through anything to get to your real job—caring for your patients. In fact, you could even try letting others step up to the plate once in a while and do the heavy lifting in conflict situations for a change. Taking charge is great, as long as it’s not causing you to burn out or offend your coworkers.
We hope you enjoyed this quiz that was obviously—let’s face it— all in good fun! Here are some more personality quizzes you might enjoy: