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Rookie Wit & Wisdom
Are New Nurses Too Friendly with Residents?

I work at a hospital where nurses more frequently deal with residents than with attendings.

On one level, it’s a lot of fun, because there’s great camaraderie. They’re learning just like we (new nurses) are. We ask them questions, and they ask us questions. Sometimes we even step in and offer advice when they’re doing a procedure wrong, or point out when they’ve forgotten something, like walking onto a transplant floor without precautions like a contact gown or gloves. (Though I know the patient is our primary concern and I should raise such an issue with an attending, it’s much more intimidating. And I often falter.)

The problem with working with residents is that some nurses cross a “professional” boundary by spending a lot of time flirting with the residents and responding to the residents’ innuendos. Some even develop romantic relationships, which can lead to awkward moments when the break-up happens . . . or the resident falls for more than one nurse. It turns nurse against nurse; they sabotage each other to make the other look foolish. It’s extremely grade school. I feel like I’m stuck in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

I’m wondering how some of you have dealt with this situation. In your opinion, are nurses too friendly with residents?

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One Response to “Are New Nurses Too Friendly with Residents?”

  1. Silver Says:

    Residents are professional colleagues like your fellow nurses. If you wouldnt do something with another nurse, dont do it with a resident!

    As for bringing up issues- as long as you are respectful you should be able to make observations to the residents directly. Following the chain of command is to first speak to the offending person, then your/their supervisor. You should only have to address the problem with the attending if behavior is not changing or the resident is hostile towards your appropriate and respectful comments.

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