I’ve been visiting my adult daughter for the past week or two in-between contracts. She works night shift and when she got home the other morning; she left me a note that she was going to have an after-work breakfast with some of her co-workers. When I woke up and found her gone and read her note; I became nostalgic.
Years ago, I worked a factory job on night shift. We worked 8 hour shifts and 2 or 3 mornings after work, we would all go to the local diner and enjoy coffee and a bite to eat together. We discussed work, our families, problems and joys. We built a camaraderie by doing this that extended into our work hours. I feel that this made us more productive and helped us work together a little better as a team.
I miss this camaraderie. Nurses barely talk to each other during work hours, cut down each other and as many nurses state; we “eat our own”. I have yet to figure out why we do this or how to fix it.
I recently read an article written by Lisa Gonzales, RN, who is President of Absolute Nurses. Why Nurses Should Socialize Outside of the Workplace is an excellent article and may explain some of the reasons that we as nurses do not socialize outside of work.
Ms Gonzales recommends 10 Things that you can do with your fellow nurses. In addition to her suggestions, I would like to add a few of my own.
- Invite your co-workers for a weekend cook-out.
- Organize a carry-in lunch on the unit.
- Take cupcakes, cookies or a cake to work once a month to celebrate the Monthly Birthdays (suggest that this is rotated between the nurses on the unit).
- Get involved with a fund-raiser for a good cause and invite your co-workers to join you.
- Find out what your co-workers interests are and find something in common.
Remember that sometimes it’s just a matter of asking if a co-worker would like to do something after work or on a day off. As a traveler, I do this frequently. During my first week or two on a new contract I will ask the staff what their favorite restaurant is, where they go on their off-time, if they can recommend an activity in the area. When they give me their recommendations, I ask them if they would like to join me. You might be surprised how often they say yes. So next time, just ask!
Is anyone interested in a cook-out?
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