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I'm a mental health nurse (qualified a year) and I don't want to be anymore! 5 years of chaos and I'm so unhappy (my manager doesn't help). Anyone felt the same?

(13 Posts)
CakesRus3 Fri 29-May-20 07:32:11

It's mainly my manager and lack of support. She has had me in tears 3 times in 6 months. She can be so patronising at times, my confidence is shattered. I am too scared to ask a question. She throws her orders at me. Due to the current circumstances I'm more office based and I feel so anxious every day there. Last night I had a bit of a panic attack in bed and haven't slept knowing I'm going in today. The more I have been in this environment, the more I feel like I just don't want it. I dream of working in a little cafe serving lovely OAP's. I just can't afford it as a single parent sad

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Windmillwhirl Fri 29-May-20 07:35:04

That is not acceptable treatment. I also work in a hospital and bullying is rife.

I'd say you are not the first to be bullied so it is worth writing out all the incidents and going higher to her boss. Can you move to another ward (if in a hospital)?

I wouldn't let this go.

CakesRus3 Fri 29-May-20 07:47:37

35Windmillwhirl thankyou for your message smile it's not acceptable, I just don't know how to manage it. Every time she approaches me, I try to talk but she snarls at me, not giving me a chance to speak, she has to be right in whatever she says. I'm still learning but it feels so uncomfortable to have a conversation or ask a question. I'm worried going in today, wondering what I may have dome wrong in her eyes. I don't mind being told but it's how I'm told. Also, im not having any support. I asked another colleague how to do something the other day, she showed me the process. I did exactly that. Then in front of everyone my manager says yes, that's the process but 'look around you, I don't have the staff'. I tried to explain it's what I'd been told, she would not let me speak. Then she said, it's the process but I don't have the capacity of staff. How was I meant to know that?! That's just one example. The latest is wanting me to sit in an office with a colleague who clearly isn't abiding by the distancing rules and thought it was funny having VE day party. My anxiety is already heightened over this for many reasons. Sorry to go on Im probably not making sense, its so difficult to explain.

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CakesRus3 Fri 29-May-20 07:48:40

Ps - im a single parent so the hours suit me. I have looked, I don't stop looking. Its all shifts in which i can't do.

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ScrapThatThen Fri 29-May-20 07:58:05

Sounds shit. You have options in your job - you could speak to Occupational Health or the staff support or counselling service (there often is one but it is not well advertised). You could whistleblow on her bullying, trusts should now have a 'freedom to speak up guardian' who you can contact confidentiality in the first instance. Ask for a buddy/mentor within your team and speak to them about how you feel.

But probably another job is needed. Look for community teams, CAMHS for non shift work, although some weekend or out of hours work is the norm now. You obviously can leave mental health, it's not a career for everyone, but you trained so hard, you could try one more post (ps we mostly all dream of working in a nice coffee shop, it's just in reality the money isn't that great and the job isn't that rewarding - my hairdresser dreams of working in mental health, I dream of having a practical skill like hairdressing - the grass is greener. )

Windmillwhirl Fri 29-May-20 08:29:20

I can tell you what worked for me and that was standing up to her. One time she was particularly rude and O started walking away. I then stopped, turned around and spoke back to her. She was shocked and told me to go to her office, which I did. My heart was pounding in my chest but I knew it was mow or never. Once the door was shut she said "how dare you speak to me like that". I replied with "how dare you speak to ME like that". In that moment the power balance visibly shifted.

I stood my ground. I know my worth and recognise she is an incompetent bully. She kept away from me for a while after that.....till I caught her out in a lie. She expected me to back down but I wouldn't.
It was incredibly empowering.

It is not that easy to fire someone,which subconsciously was my fear.

She still bullies other people but she stays away from me. I'm sure she bitches about me behind my back but I'm fine with that. I couldn't give a hoot what she says.grin

Today I have no anxiety around her. I see her for what she is and I know I have rights. If she does anything to me again I have said I will report it to myself but in all honesty it has been a long time since she has said anything.

She bullies the ones she knows will take it. Dont be one of those. flowers

Coconut80 Fri 29-May-20 12:18:06

So sorry to hear that I am a cpn and have experienced similar. I think it is a reflection on them, clearly they are not happy if they feel the need to act in such a way. We had hideous team events to address it which were useless I finally confronted them at a meeting felt so good to get it said after years of suppressing it. You can't win as such with these people and they rarely change I'd plan to move on when you can. I had cbt via occ health to be more assertive it really helped. It's shit it really is but don't let her wreck the career you've worked so hard for x

Clogsaregreat Fri 29-May-20 13:55:06

I've worked as a nurse for 30 years and if it wasnt for the patient contact I would have left years ago.
I have yet to witness a situation whereby the senior managers have taken the side of the nurse. Minimising bullying is rife, the systems dont work to report it. A colleague of mine was so badly bullied by coworkers and when she put in her complaints, she was removed for the best of her mental health and the bullies remained and are still there. Same jobs. She has ended up having to take the first job they offered her.
The quickest way out is to get another job. If you want to peruse this you have to log every single incident, time date and place. Be mindful it may be seen as she 'wasnt bullying' but was stressed/had a bad day etc. I was asked if I was stressed when a reported some awful bullying that happened in a meeting.
I know this isnt helpful but I have become v cynical about whether the healthcare service actually does care about its staff.

Escapetab Fri 29-May-20 14:03:56

Okay really missing the point here but working in a little coffee shop isn't that lovely, it's not stress free, and the management is frequently horrible. Low end work isn't the doss people so often imagine it to be.

MrsChanningTatum Fri 29-May-20 18:46:44

I’m a nurse (Qualified 1996) It can be horrendously stressful. I really feel for you. What about going to a job that’s shift based, but dropping a day? So doing 2 long days or 3 long days. Otherwise keep looking, and consider jobs in other fields.
I feel the NHS is so pressured now that only huge ego moody management are considered good leaders. Because they get things done. Very sad.

user1471082124 Fri 29-May-20 19:20:15

Are you in a trades union?
If not join. If you are speak to them or regional office for advice.
You can take out a grievance. There must be a bullying policy. I know this is not easy. Please speak to a rep. They should be able to help

Molly333 Thu 04-Jun-20 07:12:17

I can understand totally how you feel. I too was working in a setting ( a hospice) and was bullied by my senior . She often told me off, standing above me in front of the whole offfice pointing her finger in my face . She was totally critical of all i did ( i was a student at the time) until I was a total nervous wreck . I left and sought counselling where we role played me standing up to her and where i regained my confidence again. I then went to another job and explained my experience and got nothing but amazing support . I guess what I'm saying here is dont stay in yr place long enough for her to wreck yr confidence. Write down all she does and confront her with evidence or leave and try to find a job where you can flourish. I now know i wish I had confronted her but like you I was a single mum and was scared as i needed it to work for fitting in reasons it wasn't until my daughter who was 10 said mum shes a bully you have to do something that i did sad

Bahahahha Thu 04-Jun-20 07:17:00

I'm a student MH nurse have you completed your preceptorship yet?
I don't do well with office politics even when I was a HCA I mostly picked up agency and bank in different locations. I also liked the more lone working element in the CPN placements my plan was when I finished Preceptorship was to go to agency or community work.

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