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'Why can't I make friends with other nurses?'


Can you advise this student nurse?


“I am really struggling to make friends with other nurses and people on my placements. This isn’t my first placement so it has been a issue for me for a while.

”A few of us went for a drink after my shift on placement the other day which was nice but I always seem to struggle to differentiate between the person I am as a nurse and the person I am when I am socialising.

“Also (and this is pretty uncomfortable for me to mention) I think my mentor is attracted to me. I don’t need any lectures about right and wrong and I get the strong impression from him that he knows it is wrong. I really don’t think he would do anything about it, but I am intrigued by him I have to say, and neither of us are exactly teenagers anymore! Although I could be totally wrong of course!

”Maybe this is why I am scared of letting myself go around colleagues here, but it is much bigger than this and has been going on ever since I was working part-time when I was young.

“Has anyone else experienced not being able to let yourself go outside of work?

”I have now started to make excuses and saying that I’m busy as partly I’m scared of doing or saying something to harm my prospects of getting signed-off.

“I feel so antisocial and disliked - or if not disliked, like people think there isn’t much to my personality. But there is! And I really want to make friends as this is such a great opportunity to do so.

“What can I do?”


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Readers' comments (3)

  • Personally I was never too bothered about making friends on placement and was more focused on passing. I found a good rule for me in the workplace is not to mix business with pleasure. Always be polite and friendly but never rely on work to provide you with a social life it can get messy and complicated.

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  • As you are an older Student, I wonder if you have lost confidence in your intuition. As we gain life experience we learn from our intuition, through our success & mistakes, As we become wiser our Gut Instincts become more accurate and we make more successful decisions and fewer mistakes. Put another way, our Intuition becomes Inductive Thinking as against , pure intuition, Deduction & Reductive thinking).. so its 'second nature', and we still percieve it, therefore as Intuition.
    People who have high expectations of themselves and particular expectations about others, often become anxious, in unfamiliar situations, not wanting to lert themselves or otherf people down.
    Being outside your comfort zone, in unfamiliar and a less regulated setting, like the Pub, is challenging your intuition, ( your gut instincts + life experience) asc maybe you are out of practise ornits completely new; and maybe this is panicking you a little, leading to worry, a lack of confidence and thoughts about not being likeable...or in the case of your Mentor, maybe too likeable.
    Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen? Use what you know about your life to date, to address this question; and think how you'd advise someone else were they asking themselves that question.
    If you want to be able to socialise and fit in...keep on going out, stick with it, and eventually you will be invited into a circle. Be yourself and people will use their intuition about you. You will make a friend.
    As for your mentor, if he makes a pass at you, make eye contact and tell him you aren't interested. Practice it in the mirror though, on your own, and train yourself up. If he doesn't try his hand, well he'll never know that you practised a rebutal and you'll have added to you Inductive Thinking skills. Hope this helps.

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  • Work and friends outside of work are two different things. We can have more control with friends choosing but in work it is a common goal and we have to get on. Bear this in mind and try to focus on your professionalism and own goals.
    as regards mentor well..he should know his boundaries and responsibilities and keep them in place-particularly in a female dominated profession. Try not to be get caught up in intrigue as the reality is what you need to focus on. Of course we can be attracted to people at work but we take responsibility of our actions.
    there are clubs and organisations where you can meet people so why not look at this or charity causes. Just be yourself and have confidence in the unique person you are

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