5 ways to lose your coworkers’ respect


Kirill Smirnov | Veer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of Those Nurses?

You’ve seen them: the ones who cause heads to turn and voices to drop to a whisper as they pass, and not in a good way.

Here are five surefire ways to lose your coworkers’ respect.

5 ways to lose your coworkers’ respect

1. Show up late and leave early. Be one of those folks who skids in just before—or just after—report starts, then leaves as soon as the clock ticks over to legal gettin’-out time, leaving things undone. By this I mean leaving patients dirty, not giving a decent report or leaving labs and such undone that were due at the end of your shift.

2. Sleep with other nurses, doctors, residents or students. I wish I could say I haven’t seen a lot of this, but there are some folks out there who seem determined to make life one big Grey’s Anatomy episode. Don’t do it. If you have to do it, make sure it never, ever gets out at work. Otherwise, we’ll be calling that one physician “The Silver Fox” and making jokes until the end of time.

3. Bully the people who rank lower than you, be they students, new nurses or the housekeeping staff. Do I really need to say this? I guess I do: DON’T BE A JERK. You were learning stuff once, too, and you might have even scrubbed a floor in your time. If you haven’t, acting like a twit will guarantee your chance to learn the finer points of mopping.

4. Always be disorganized. For some people, not opening a chart until halfway through the shift is a sign that they’ve had a bad day. For others, it’s an unwitting admission—when it’s done habitually—that their time-management skills stink. If you’re chronically disorganized and always forgetting stuff, make it a mission to imitate the most organized person on your unit. Not only is it bad for your blood pressure to feel constantly out of control, but it makes everybody else’s day harder, too.

5. Be an Eeyore. That’s the term for a person who’s never, ever able to see the brighter side of things and always has something depressing to contribute. If a coworker is pregnant, the Eeyore is the one who regales her with tales of her own nine-month bout with morning sickness. If somebody in the lab is getting married, the Eeyore will tell him about her messy divorce. If I bring something particularly scrumptious to a potluck, my own personal Eeyore will speculate on the calories/carcinogenic nature of the dish.

Do Not Be That Person. Please. We spend 13 hours a day together most days of the week—wouldn’t it be nice if we were all glad to see you?

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