'Nurses eat their young' is an understatement. What has your experience been? - page 2

Maybe this has been covered previously, but I am finding that it doesn't matter where I am, Nurses and CNAs are not very friendly to new hires. My first experience was in clinicals. Not one of... Read More

  1. by   cbOmahaNE
    Weren't you a student once?
  2. by   cbOmahaNE
    I wasn't going to feed her, I should have made that clear. I understand what NPO means. The lunchroom doubled as the rec room.
  3. by   brithoover
    Nurses tend to forget what it was like to be a student once. Remember this experience for when you graduate so you can be welcoming to new students
  4. by   nguyency77
    Quote from brithoover
    It takes 2 seconds to say hello to a group of new students/new hires. There is no excuse for being "frosty" to anyone
    If I see them and it's convenient for me, I will say hello. But if they are scattered throughout the facility (a couple at the med carts, hiding in the break room, and some down this hall and some down that hall), I'm not going to play hide and seek. My point was that I don't go looking for them because between the 3 confused residents plotting their escape, and the new admit who is yelling for iced tea and the bathroom at 5-minute intervals, and the RN asking me to take 20 vital signs and do 4 showers, you all know where my priorities lie.
    Quote from KatieP86
    When you are working with somebody who is orienting you, that person is responsible for the actions of the person they are orienting. Just today I stopped a new hire doing something dumb (but without the yelling- a quick explanation and a demonstration of correct method and where to find information was all it took). I do not let the people I am training out of my field of vision long enough to do anything that could cause harm to them or a patient.
    Unfortunately, not all preceptors are like you. When I was new, one of my preceptors spent the whole shift MIA (AKA texting her boyfriend in a comatose patient's room while I ran around getting all her call lights). But I digress.

    Perhaps that CNA should not have 'yelled' at the OP. But at least now you know that patients'/residents' diets are everyone's responsibility. Another example is code status. Everyone needs to know that, too. You cannot just resuscitate someone who didn't want to be revived and just say, "Oh my bad, I didn't know." You would be in for a major lawsuit and legal actions against you as a person. You would also lose your job and any chances of getting another job.

    OP: Students actually ARE a liability. When I'm in my nursing clinicals, I work under my instructor's license AND the RN preceptor's license. Meaning if I do something wrong, both of them are in big trouble and can lose their license to be a nurse. And then the hospital/site will get sued if a patient is harmed and it will be also my fault. That is the definition of liability. You probably thought I meant "annoying" or "in the way," but no. Please don't be defensive. I never said anything about you as a person (because how could I know that from one post?); likewise, I would appreciate it you refrained from making assumptions about how I am heartless and cold, just because my day doesn't allow time for me to go kiss up to nursing students.

    I am just informing you the consequences of what happens when you don't know someone's dietary restrictions. It's not about us CNAs and the inflated egos we tend to get from time to time; it's about the patient being well, and having the surgery or treatment that they need.

    We are here to care for our residents and make their lives easier. I personally don't come to work to get compliments, or told how I'll make a wonderful nurse someday. It's about humility, an idea that many people cannot grasp early on.

    When I was new, I was very shocked that some of the CNAs came across as stand-offish and wouldn't come say hi to me. Later, when I got their same workload, I understood why. It's not that they wouldn't; they couldn't. Maybe not now, but someday you will realize it's not about you. I sure did.
    Last edit by nguyency77 on Mar 2, '13 : Reason: Added something!
  5. by   Compassion_x
    Quote from cbOmahaNE
    The TV is in the lunchroom, and another CNA told me to take her in there. I guess I should have mentioned that I wasn't planning on feeding her.

    I sincerely hope that you are more welcoming to new staff members than your comment suggests. Calling students a liability is totally unfair. Maybe if nurses and other CNAs were nicer to new staff and students, there wouldn't be a 'liability.'
    I don't think it's unfair to call students a liability at all. And I am currently an LPN student until I finish my program in July. Hospitals and facilities see students as a liability for a reason: they don't really know what they are doing yet, and I don't mean that in a mean way either. There are a lot of things that come with practice, and take time to get the hang of it, and not all students do things like they're supposed to, because they either don't know the right way, or are doing things without their instructor present, etc.

    As for the NPO thing, you should ALWAYS get report on your patient before you do anything with them, or at least look in their chart. If they're NPO it should have been mentioned in report, and should've been in the chart, or even posted on the door depending on where you are.

    Nurses and CNAs are busy, and they all have a million things to do. Some of them have the attitude that they shouldn't need to teach you certain things because you should know them from classes. It's not necessarily that nurses/CNAs are mean it's just that they don't always have the time to explain things in depth and go out of their way to introduce themselves to nursing students. Their focus is (or should be) on the patients.

    It sucks the CNA yelled at you. She/he probably should have gone about it a different way. But not everyone is going to be nice to you all the time, it's just the way it is. Be nice to everyone you can, but grow a thicker skin so this stuff doesn't hurt you.
  6. by   niteguy65
    What you have to realize is that nursing is a mobile and transient field so here is what you have you become friendly with someone and then you look up and that person is no longer there so you have to see will they stay but what most do not understand if you welcome a new hire they will stay if you make them feel welcome. Also the other mindset in nursing is some are very territorial and that comes from the management and here is an example you have a seasoned nurse that is very good resource but is not really paid their worth, they ask for a raise and they hear it is not in the budget , but you constantly see younger less experiences being hired so the mind set becomes I will outlast you I will be here when you are gone because you really have no ideal what it all about; and when it happens and they leave it very sad but it validates the point of instead of offering an acceptable pay the company would much rather throw good money at bad solutions, thus you get the nurses eating their young
  7. by   slasher
    I guess this is where women and men think differently. As a PCA who will be an R.N. in the next few months (yes I know, you're not an RN until you pass the NCLEX...Im not worried about it) I get the silent treatment. I don't worry about it. When I see a nurse or PCA if I have time and I see they aren't "all over the place" I will introduce myself. Sometimes you get the silent treatment. Don't worry about "nurses eat their young", it's all in your head. Do what you are trained to do and don't worry about what people say or don't say. They don't have to kiss the ground you walk on like someone said previously (although I think they took your perspective out of context), and you don't have to go out of your way in order to make people like you. People in general, who behave this way, are insecure or feel threatened. I have heard, that being a male, I am going to be treated a little different than the average female nurse. I don't sweat it. It's a hospital. Everyone will do their jobs or there are consequences. Who cares who likes who? It's about the patients. You will be alright....relax.
  8. by   PattiReece
    I am finishing up my last semester in nursing and I have to say that the nurses and CNA's I have worked with have been very friendly and helpful. I think when you show respect and appreciation for another person you get that back in return. I have been truly grateful for the help and guidance I have gotten from both nurses and CNA's and I hope to pass that forward when I become a nurse. Thank you Cone Health System and High Point Regional Hospital!
  9. by   blackvans1234
    This depends on the nurse.

    I have had one nurse (when I was new) who would always treat you like you were incompetent.
    There is one nurse that has blown up on me for insignificant things before.

    Most of the RN's respect you if you are caring about the patients.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    From a 2011 thread on this very issue (there are many threads about this).

    The subject comes up so frequently that we have what is called a "Sticky" - a recommended reading area. Here is the link to the sticky on "Nurses eating their young".


    "This vile expression implies that experienced nurses do not treat new nurses kindly. My first problem with the statement is that it’s a generalization implying that all nurses are like that. Interestingly, whenever I hear someone utter the expression, I always say, “I don’t do that. Do you?” The person making the statement always says, “Oh no, I don’t, but many others do.” I’ve never heard even one nurse own up to doing this, although some nurses are willing to indict the entire profession. Every time that statement is repeated, it causes harm and casts a dark shadow on every nurse. Say anything enough, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

    One more of many:

    Nurses eating their young
  11. by   Miiki
    I haven't had that experience. When i first started in the ER EVERYONE asked me my name, introduced themselves, and told me to come to them if I needed help, even the ones who seemed intimidating. So far, everyone I've worked with have been extremely helpful to me. There is the expected 'politics' but no one seems to be trying to 'eat' (giggle) me.
  12. by   Skayda
    I'm sorry your experience was so crappy. It sounds similar to that of my a lot of my fellow CNA class students during our clinicals. We, however, had an awesome teacher who really prepared us both before and after our clinical days and she went above and beyond to see that we succeeded, even offering students with transportation trouble rides home at the end of the day, and she worked out a signal before she put us on the floor between us in case things were going badly and we needed to step away for a few because she knew how awful a lot of the staff at the nursing home could be to newbies and each other. She'd let us come hide out with her for a few minutes and vent and she is where I first heard that phrase; "nurses eat their young" from and gave the advice to try not to let it get to us too much but she would be there if we needed a break from it. We all met up at the end of the day to vent about what bothered us and/or talk about any good things we saw/learned. I also know how you feel about the negative vibes; at the nursing home we were at I noticed staff talking bad about each other behind their backs, being snippy to both the CNA students and the nursing students who were there at the same time, even the residents could feel it as one said to me; "Why is everyone always in such a bad mood." They can see right through those fake smiles everyone pastes on for them. Other than the nursing home staff my own experience at clinicals was actually all right. I was very nervous going into it having never worked at a nursing home before but we were paired up with another student in our class and we shadowed a CNA from the facility. We were lucky enough to get one of the nicer ones and learning how to use the lifts, (under supervision!), and stuff was actually kind of fun.
  13. by   TurtleCat
    This has completely been my experience. The CNAs at the LTC facility I worked at for 3 weeks treated me like absolute dirt. They gave me dirty looks, badmouthed me, talked down to me, screamed at me and cussed me out, one even called me up on my phone and threatened me over something I didn't do. I remember one time when I had just started, I accidentally put a resident's brief on wrong, an aide came into the room to look at it... I'd swear, she must have thought of me as scum of the Earth, the way she looked and talked at me was so dirty and hateful. But nah, I'm sure they were "kind" and "caring" aides who were just stressed out having to put up with the likes of me, an incompetent. My short experience working in LTC has just further solidified my conviction that I'm a an idiot and loser who will never get anywhere in life.