Love and work – the dish about dating coworkers

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Stuff happens, right? Even though your head tells you not to get involved with someone at work, sometimes it’s unavoidable…and, yes, sometimes there is a happily ever after.

Having said that, an “office romance” in nursing can present a serious set of challenges in an already challenging environment: It can be distracting, especially if you encounter the other person frequently, and it can make coworkers uncomfortable and sometimes even hostile.

Here are some tips to take to heart, should you decide to dive in:

Know your hospital or company policy—both written and unwritten.

Maintain friendships with coworkers, and make it clear that you would never divulge department (or personal) secrets to your lover. At the same time, you should be wary of coworkers who pump you for confidential information they think you might be privy to because of your “special relationship.”

Keep details about your affair to yourself. Should the relationship dissolve, do your job and stay silent about your ex.

Always remain professional. Public displays of affection are off limits! One colleague told me that a few of the couples who did marry went so far as to call each other by their titles and surnames while on duty.

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6 Responses to Love and work – the dish about dating coworkers

  1. I’m lucky in that I was married before I became a nurse. There are a lot of very nice, intelligent women in this career field, but that said, I think dating somebody at your workplace is just a prescription for disaster. The odds of it working out are remote, and the potential negative ramifications to you on the job (Paritcularly if you are a guy) are going go be negative. You are either going to be seen as a player, or if you break up with a relationship with a cooworker, most of your other co-workers are also women, and like it, or not, you as the guy are going to be considered in the wrong.

  2. Saadiya

    I am a foreign educated nurse and I am fortunate to be working for a US hospital. In my country if a nurse is involved with a coworker esp. a doctor and the relationship does not work out the nurse is fired because apparently doctors are more important than nurses. Thank god that didnt happen to me I was fortunate to leave the country after I graduated. So when I started working here in US hospitals I made a rule never to date a coworker its risky business and keep saying to myself “they working the same hours or maybe more as you, they are tired…..” If I marry I may probably marry an accountant a simple 9-5 job, free on weekends sort of a guy….

  3. Roxanne

    It is a disaster! Coworkers’ speculations, rumors, and gossips can drain you emotionally! Im currently linked w/ a couple of male nurses at work and I hate it! I hate being the new/single/bubbly/friendly/nice/sweet nurse at work! I was on my probational period and i had gossips and rumors left and right already! It really irritates me! I am sick of ex gfs and wives calling me names!

  4. Diana

    I must say all the advice on this subject is well grounded. I however do have a unique story. I was going through a pretty ugly divorce. I was 11 weeks pregnant with my fourth child at the time. I started as a CNA. The man who was assigned to orient me to the new unit. His name was Adam. He was single and nice. I was so against men. I hated working with any man. I went to nursing school and changed units. As I was getting ready to graduate with my R.N. I was floated to my old unit. Adam was just finishing his night shift and I was starting my day shift. We started talking. Catching up with family stories. I didn’t know what was happening. He left and I just had a warm feeling come over me that something was different. I had been divorced 4 years and hadn’t dated. We started dating and now have been married for almost four amazing years. He did start back to school. He will be graduating with his R.N. in April 2010. I never imagined when we met. tThat five years later we would be married. I love my husband and am so grateful for working together.

  5. Chelyse LVN

    I’m a bit torn on the issue. Even before I became a nurse I had dated men who were coworkers. I never went anywhere and it seemed like those were the only men I met and got along with, coworkers. Although it is extremely awkward if the relationship dissolves I’ve always managed to stay professional about it as has my ex. However, when I started in Dialysis I developed a crush on my preceptor, although I was never open or pushy about it he eventually asked me on a date and we married within the year. I’ve never been so happy nor do I regret the decision. I think every situation and every workplace is unique and should be approached with both objectivity and caution.

  6. RNsomewhere RN

    I think it depends on the situation. My fiancee and I dated through nursing school, did all of our clinicals together, and then obtained employment at the same hospital, but in different departments. I did often have to report to him, as I worked in the ED and he on an ICU stepdown. Once people found out we were together, there was a bit of talk, but never bad. Then again, he and I are ‘drama free’ and make it a point to dodge the ‘wagging tongues’ that can often be found in a hospital (or any) work environment.

    So much of it has to do with how the employees conduct themselves, especially at work. Professionalism should never be compromised, especially in front of patients. But, I also think a ‘no gossip’ policy is important between the two people involved in a romantic relationship, because workplace gossip can really wreck a good thing.