Nurses, have you ever been a victim of nurses’ gossip?
When you’re a new nurse, there are a lot of things you have to worry about.
You have to get used to the number of hours you’ll be working and the number of patients you need to handle per shift. You have to know how to respond quickly to emergency situations and how you can deal with difficult patients. On top of those things, you also have to be cautious when nurses gossip behind your back.
It’s a reality and if you aren’t careful, you can easily find yourself in the middle of an unnecessary drama that won’t only hurt your career but your life, too.
But what can you do when nurses gossip?
Here are a few tips you can use.
Tip #1: Don’t respond or react
When nurses want to gossip, they’ll look for someone who’ll show interest in their story. And once they find that person, they’ll keep on talking and talking until they get a reaction. That’s their cue to keep going on.
So, the moment a nurse approaches you to tell her story, don’t respond or show any reaction. Just continue with what you are doing. You can check your charts, clean up your station or do anything that will make you look busy.
It might feel awkward at first but that’s the only way you can show that you aren’t interested. Once that nurse figures out that she can’t talk to you, she’ll move on to find someone else.
Tip #2: Change the subject
If ignoring them doesn’t work or you feel bad or rude because of it, you can just change the subject right away. Try to point out something positive about the person they are talking about. Hopefully, that will be enough to change their minds.
Now, when talking positively about someone, try not to overdo it. Nurses who gossip might feel cornered that they’ll start defending themselves. They can end up attacking you instead.
Tip #3: Don’t repeat gossip
Admit it or not, it can be tempting to repeat and retell the stories you hear at work. Now, no matter how juicy the gossips are, try not to add fuel to the fire.
Instead of relaying opinions and observations, stick with the facts. Don’t give out answers when you’re not sure.
Whenever you feel intrigued, resist asking. If you really want to know the truth, it’s better if you ask the person involved. Remember, don’t speculate.
Tip #4: Keep a private life
As a new nurse, there’s a good chance that the nurses in your unit will talk behind your back. So, as much as possible, don’t give them too much detail about your life that they can use to gossip about you.
You can have close friends at work but try not to give them too much information that they can use against you. If you have co-workers in your list of friends in your social media accounts, try to work on your privacy settings so they can only see what you want them to see.
Once you are comfortable enough with them and you know that you can totally trust them, you can make the necessary changes in your privacy settings.
Tip #5: Deal with the issue and not with the people involved
If you confront the people who’ve been gossiping in your workplace, it will make you look unprofessional. So, instead of behaving harshly to your co-workers, try to focus on the issue.
Don’t tell your co-workers that you hate them for spreading gossips about you or your other co-workers. Instead, tell them that you are concerned and that you want the gossips to stop. Ask them to be clear about what’s bugging them and offer a way to help solve the issue. Be firm in your intention to stop the behavior.
Here are some of the things you can say to stop a gossiper:
- I feel uncomfortable talking about (name) while he’s not here. Let’s wait and ask him.
- Do you think you’ll be talking like that if (name) is here?
- I don’t like the way you are talking about (name).
- It’s inappropriate to make up stories about (name). He’s not here to tell his side.
See Also: 6 Signs Of A Nurse Bully In Your Team
Tip #6: Don’t take gossips personally
Gossips are just gossips.
Don’t take any of them personally as it will not help with the situation. If you feel offended by each gossip you hear, it can affect your focus and performance at work. It can even affect your ability to decide properly for your patients.
See Also: How to Prevent Nurse Burnout and Achieve Work-Life Balance
Taking gossips personally can make you angry, grumpy, and short-tempered that your patients will have a hard time approaching you.
Instead, while some people are wasting their time in idle and destructive chatter, use your time wisely instead. Focus on your career and improving yourself.