Ever wish you could read a coworker’s mind and figure out why they seem to dislike you? While mind-reading technology isn’t on the horizon yet, it’s helpful to be aware of some behaviors that might be bothering someone else — especially when you arrive at a brand-new place as a travel nurse. Here are five things to stop doing right now.
1. Gossiping about other people
It can be tempting to vent about a frustrating doctor or nurse or even complain about how a patient treated you, but this is one of the worst things you can do at any job. Your new coworkers will quickly lose respect for you and certainly won’t trust you to keep anything private. Channel your outbursts into a punching bag at the gym instead. If you absolutely need to discuss a coworker’s behavior, try to talk to him or her privately first to resolve any issues. Then go to a manager or to human resources for help if you need to.
2. Talking loudly on the phone
Even if you’re not taking personal calls at the nurse station (go somewhere private for that), you can quickly annoy other staff by using a loud voice on the phone. You may not even realize you’re doing it! Be aware of the people around you. Does it seem like your coworker is struggling to carry on a conversation with someone while you’re talking? Are people walking by giving you annoyed glances? Make a conscious effort to keep your voice at a lower volume when you’re talking on the phone, and remember that calls in a hospital or clinic are rarely as private as you’d like.
3. Showing up late for work or meetings
Emergencies happen, and you’re probably going to be late to work occasionally. If you’re late all the time, though, your coworkers (and supervisor) will quickly become angry, especially if you prolong another nurse’s shift or delay patient care. Start leaving your apartment earlier or taking a different route if you’re running into traffic, or pack meals ahead of time so you don’t have to stop for food before work. If you’re always late to an important meeting, look at your schedule and add in travel time if you need it. Talk to your supervisor about meetings you should attend as well, and let him or her know if you have a conflict that’s making you late.
4. Being a know-it-all
You may be a traveler who’s worked in 46 states and has experience with multiple electronic health record systems. This makes you marketable and an asset to many different hospitals and clinics. It can also make you insufferable if you act like you know more than the rest of the staff. There’s a fine line between insinuating you can do the job better and being afraid to share helpful information at all. Make sure the staff knows you’re willing to help and share ideas that have worked at previous facilities, but be humble enough to learn new things from your coworkers as well.
5. Using inappropriate language
If you have a tendency to drop a string of curse words when you’re stressed or make a mistake at work, you may want to break the habit. Coworkers, supervisors, and patients may be offended by your language, and it may convey a lack of professionalism and restraint. The same rules can apply for offensive jokes, insensitive comments, and vulgar phrases. If you do let something slip and offend someone, apologize immediately and try not to let it happen again. The words and phrases you use matter and can give others a bad impression of you.
While you’re never going to please everyone, making an effort to be accommodating and respectful at every facility will make you more successful as a travel nurse. Coworkers will be more understanding and helpful, and your supervisor will be impressed and grateful to have you on board.
Do you have tips for getting along well with your coworkers? Share them in the comments below.