With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought this topic as timely. Things happen, right? Your head may tell you to not get involved with someone at work, but your heart may be screaming the opposite and I think REO Speedwagon sums it up best, “I can’t fight this feeling any longer…” Who knows, taking that chance could lead to greater things?
Having said that, starting an “office romance” in nursing and especially travel nursing can present a serious set of challenges in an already challenging environment: Your new relationship can be distracting, especially if you interact with this person frequently while on the job and in turn can make your coworkers uncomfortable and sometimes even hostile towards you and your partner.
So what are some of the best practices you can do to avoid these mishaps of love? Well, as a travel nurse, your time there will be short barring any extensions or permanent placement so an “office romance” may be difficult to come by… But not impossible. Upon arrival a traveling nurse is usually given a brief orientation covering hospital policies and practices, but one topic may not be covered. Make sure to double check the policy on in-house dating, both written and unwritten. No one wants a sexual harassment charge on their permanent record.
It’s important to maintain your existing relationships with friends in the workplace, especially coming in as a travel nurse. Your time is short to make a good impression. Make it known that you value you coworkers and you would do nothing to jeopardize what you have. At the same time, try to refrain from gossiping about information you may have learned from your “special relationship”, especially if they are from a different department or hold a higher position than you.
One of the most important things you can do is keep your lips sealed. Whether the relationship is good or has soured, keep your affairs to yourself. The last thing you want to do is tarnish the reputation of those involved. Keep the details to yourself.
Lastly, be professional. There’s a time and place for displays of affection and the workplace is certainly not one of them. If you happen to be dating a superior or someone on your level, call them by their professional title and name, no nicknames. That will only lead to eye rolls from spectators and worse yet, making others uncomfortable.
Dating a coworker definitely doesn’t have to mean you’re flirting with disaster. But ultimately, in nursing as in life, discretion is usually the better part of valor.
Here are some pro’s and con’s of dating in the workplace. Is love in the workplace really worth the price? Sometimes, it can be.
Let’s hear from you, how do you feel about relationships in the workplace? What were some of your experiences, whether your own or what you’ve witnessed?