Does ED have a bad rep for mean nurses? - page 3

I was perusing the posts and this question came to mind. I have worked several different units but my short stay in the ER showed me some of the meanest, bitter, most unhappy RN's I've ever met. Most... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from noelle4
    Thanks Steph. You are very wise
    I didn't mean to be such a pot-stirrer.. I was very tired after a really tough shift.

    That being said, I hope you can lock this thread up forever.

    Not me - I'm not a mod.

    I'm tired too - been up since 1:45 a.m. and heading to bed now. You can request that the thread be closed - just look for a moderator.

    Get some sleep!

    steph
  2. by   ERNP
    Quote from noelle4
    Thanks Steph. You are very wise
    I didn't mean to be such a pot-stirrer.. I was very tired after a really tough shift.

    That being said, I hope you can lock this thread up forever.
    I don't know that I would have this locked up forever just yet. I think there might be something in this post (and I am not trying to be mean but merely explain)... "I didn't mean to be such a pot-stirrer"

    This statement says to me that perhaps you aren't comfortable making waves, even when you think you are correct. From years of ER experience that is not the personality type of most ER nurses I have been acquainted with. Making waves when necessary is a job requirement.

    I have worked with nurses who were extremely wary of the new person (which looked a lot like being mean) and some who just acted like the new person didn't exist. The ones smiling were often just gathering information to be fed to the other "family members" later.

    I always found the best approach was just to put my head down and do the job at hand well. It didn't take them too long to make a judgement of competence and then VOILA!! the testing period was over.

    It isn't just the nurses either. Once when I started in a new department, one of the docs only snarled at me for 6 months. He decided I was worthy one day over a critical patient and later was my favorite physician preceptor during NP school. We still have dinner when I pass through that town.

    Working in ER is tough work. The nurses there see much, hear much, and know much. It isn't any place for the squeamish or thin skinned. You will be tested, sometimes vigorously, before acceptance occurs. The personalities are strong and the head butting can be fierce, but that is just because everyone needs to know they can count on you in a pinch.

    In short, I can be firm, abrasive, sweet, and sometimes maybe mean. It really isn't personal, just trying to make sure the job gets done. I couldn't imagine working anywhere other than ER. After my first shift, I knew I found what I was supposed to do.
  3. by   Melina
    I volunteer in the ED, and the nurses there are WONDERFUL. I know that sometimes the pace of the ED attracts people who may be more efficient and less effusive, so students who need a little more stroking may find ED unattractive.

    ~Mel'
  4. by   LeahJet
    Quote from Melina
    I volunteer in the ED, and the nurses there are WONDERFUL. I know that sometimes the pace of the ED attracts people who may be more efficient and less effusive, so students who need a little more stroking may find ED unattractive.

    ~Mel'
    well said.
  5. by   andhow5
    It sounds to me like it was a toxic environment, not that it was BECAUSE they were ED nurses. Glad you're out of it - no job is worth putting up with that...

    And I have to ask...

    ATTACK NURSES?

    ROFLOL! I read that among the posts and about giggled myself silly!

    Now I have a mental pic of nurses that are wearing black leather collars with silver spiked studs, attached to a tie-out chain that lets them roam from the nurse's station to their room assignments.

    I can also visualize the patients with whips and chairs, swatting at the nurses if they get too close, or foam at the mouth...

    LOL!
  6. by   911RN
    Not Mean nurses,
    TOUGH nurses.
    Yes, we are testing the new staff to see what you've got.
    You have got to be tough to put up with all the abuse that we take from patients, Doc's and the floor nurses.
    Do I love my job, YES, I do! Like working in a circus
  7. by   andhow5
    Quote from 911RN
    Do I love my job, YES, I do! Like working in a circus
    I affectionately refer to work as, "The Zoo". Only I can't quite figure out if the staff is supposed to be the animals in the cages or not...
  8. by   scrmblr
    Quote from 911RN
    Not Mean nurses,
    TOUGH nurses.
    Yes, we are testing the new staff to see what you've got.
    You have got to be tough to put up with all the abuse that we take from patients, Doc's and the floor nurses.
    Do I love my job, YES, I do! Like working in a circus
    I think the ER brings out the tough. I have worked in the ER for almost 2yrs and my family often comments on my "personality change" I used to be super sensative and take every comment personally. (not anymore) I used to assume everyone was telling me the truth (ha) My teenager had a difficult rebellious time when I first started working ED. If this had happened earlier I probably would have let her get away with more BS. But, I had new found respect for "tough love" I had watched alot of teen's come in and walk all over mom and dad ("no mom, I never drank alcohol, my friends FORCED me to drink tonight")

    I think my personal change is for the best, but I can see how the ER could ruin people.

    I do think ER nurses can eat some personality types alive. I've seen it happen. Some people are just not cut out for ER. This is a job where you need to have some healthy thick skin, be a little suspicious and be able to go home and (after a few strong drinks) forget about your day:beercuphe
  9. by   JMBM
    Way back in the beginning of this line, someone wrote that toxic situations like the one described by the OP are often a reflection of management, which I totally agree with. I'm been in departments where one shift or team becomes known as the "mean" shift as the nurses who can get away with that behavior tend to congregate there. After shift change, its like another world. The charge can set the tone. If they let this stuff go on, sometimes it will. Its certainly not a reflection on an entire specialty........ Speaking more generally, the ER requires more teamwork than any other spot in the hospital with the possible exception of the OR. Unlike the OR, the world of the ER changes unpredictably minute-by-minute. Good ER nurses are the ones who can spin 180 degrees in an instant without blinking an eye - from a Code to a crying baby to a dying elder to a puking drunk to a trauma to a seizure to a fighting junkie to frightened child with a broken arm - all before coffee. Patients hug you, spit at you, puke on you, tgry to slug you and bring you cookies - all in one night. To be good at this, ER nurses do tend to grow a chip on the shoulder - as one writer put it, a "best nurses working the toughest department" attitude. You get to value your team members like sisters/brothers because ....well, they are your team and when the chaos starts, you are in it together. A newcomer sometimes takes a bit of looking over and feeling out before they are accepted, and this sometimes is perceived as exclusion. If you want the ER, just keep working. There will be those "toxic" departments/shifts but they are the anomoly just like anywhere else. For me, I wouldn't work anywhere else.
  10. by   Miss Mab
    I'm just curious as to what eventually led the OP to believe these nurses were "threatened" by her?
  11. by   LeahJet
    Quote from Miss Mab
    I'm just curious as to what eventually led the OP to believe these nurses were "threatened" by her?
    because that doctor said she was attractive.


    you know, like cinderella and the wicked stepsisters
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from noelle4
    re-read my post. i do not assume anything. i myself, never said i was "so attractive." i have worked many jobs and several different units and have never been treated like some of the rn's in this particular ed. it still hurts! you know nothing about me. you are merely reacting to the fact that i mentioned what one of the docs said to me and are prejudiced against me already for being "so darned good looking." you actually prove my point, so thanks.
    i did read your post, noelle, and my concern remains. it's all too easy to dismiss problems interacting with others as the result of those others being "mean." for the most part, we elicit the responses we get. for you (or anyone) to consider their part in the interaction to be that you're attractive and somehow threatening to others is to shortchange both yourself and the others.

    i've never met you, so there's no way i could be predjudiced against you for your looks. maybe i don't think you're in the slightest bit attractive. i'm reacting to what you've written, and what you've written indicates that you find yourself so attractive that you're threatening to others -- and an attitude like that is guaranteed to irritate some folks. maybe even those "mean nurses" you've encountered in the emergency room.

    i don't know you, or much about you except what you've written. but perhaps if you think about what i've written, you'll gain some insight and i will have helped you somewhat. that's what i was aiming for. good luck.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Ruby - I like your sig line.

    And I think sometimes it can be very hard for us to look at ourselves and realize how others perceive us. We may have NO intention to come across a certain way and when are called on it deny it. But with maturity (and practice) we are more able to do this. Your points are good.

    steph

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