Does ED have a bad rep for mean nurses?

  1. 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 were nice to me, but a handful of the veterans were downright unwelcoming and nasty to me and more importantly, to their pts, too
    One of the docs saw what was going on and offered advice--he told me it was b/c I was attractive. He suggested I try baking treats, being extra helpful, etc. I did all that and it seemed to make things worse. It seemed the nicer I was, the more they disliked me. Anyway--I could go on and on. It was one of the hardest experiences of my life b/c I so wanted to be accepted there, never had a problem ANYWHERE else. It was months ago but still messes with my mind.
    I found the ER to be my fav work. Loved the pt population, will go back to this or another ER one day. The tele unit I transferred to seems SOOOOO much busier for me than ER. I get out late almost always, juggling so much more than any other unit I've worked on. Most of the RN's there are registry or agency, I am staff. I go home drained both emotionally and physically almost always. Just an observation. I'm not saying the floor works harder than the ED. It's just different, different degrees of busy-ness and workloads, and I wish we would all recognize this. Nursing is tough enough without us fighting each other, for any reason, period. The really great RN's, the ones who are secure with themselves and truly love what they do, are who continue to inspire me. The old dinosaur RN's, like the ED ones I referred to earlier, shouldn't be able to call the shots anymore. (They need to change jobs
    Whew! I feel better! Just my 2 cents.
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  2. 75 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    No, the ED or ER does not have a bad rep for mean nurses.



    steph
  4. by   fgoff
    I've spent many years in ER & though I'm sure that I had my moments, I can say that overall ER nurses are not any meaner than other specialities!

    Sorry, you had this toxic episode, & double glad you moved on!
  5. by   EDValerieRN
    I don't much care if anyone likes me or not, I just do my job and go about my business. I've never been much on making friends or gossiping in the workplace.

    I don't think we're an overly mean bunch though... I actually think we're pretty easy to get along with. Maybe it's just that particular hospital?
  6. by   nuangel1
    i agree with everyone i don't think ed/er nurse are mean.no matter where you go there is always someone who is not happy .i have worked 4 different er's and like most of the people i work with .but i am there to work not win a popularity contest.
    Last edit by nuangel1 on Sep 15, '06
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I agree with all the above posters - I think maybe you just had a bad experience. Sometimes it is better to cut your losses and go on with life.

    Hope you find your niche.
  8. by   snowfreeze
    I have worked in about 14 different critical care units some were full time, some agency some as a travel nurse. Most were staffed by nice, caring nurses who were usually easy to work with. One was staffed by 'attack nurses', I guess they just gather where they are allowed to behave inappropriately. Generally speaking I find the unit is a reflection of the manager and the manager is a reflection of the administration. That gives you a quick picture of what you are up against if you want to work at that facility. This is where taking advantage of your 60 or 90 days orientation to decide if you fit in can come in handy. If you don't like the facility it really isn't a bad spot on your work history. If the facility didn't outright fire you then you can just state that you found a job more suited to your current needs. I only did that at one facility and I usually don't even put them on my resume.
  9. by   noelle4
    [quote=stevielynn]No, the ED or ER does not have a bad rep for mean nurses.



    steph[/quote

    Hmm, thanks for clearing that up for me, Steph! In retrospect, that was a dumb subject title. If you're a guy, you wouldn't understand where I'm coming from. And if you're a girl (Stephanie?), you're lucky you work with nice people.
  10. by   noelle4
    Quote from snowfreeze
    I have worked in about 14 different critical care units some were full time, some agency some as a travel nurse. Most were staffed by nice, caring nurses who were usually easy to work with. One was staffed by 'attack nurses', I guess they just gather where they are allowed to behave inappropriately. Generally speaking I find the unit is a reflection of the manager and the manager is a reflection of the administration. That gives you a quick picture of what you are up against if you want to work at that facility. This is where taking advantage of your 60 or 90 days orientation to decide if you fit in can come in handy. If you don't like the facility it really isn't a bad spot on your work history. If the facility didn't outright fire you then you can just state that you found a job more suited to your current needs. I only did that at one facility and I usually don't even put them on my resume.
    Attack nurses--EXACTLY. In fact, this ER is well known for having SOME (repeat, SOME) mean nurses. Patients c/o of actually being afraid of some. These same RN's would undermine the attendings and the manager.
    I didn't mean to offend anyone. I also didn't expect anyone to post back to me and admit they were a mean nurse.
    I know it's not a popularity contest and I don't need to make friends at work--I have a family who comes first, like all other married RN's. I'm talking about the RN's who go out of their way to be nasty. I guess you just have to feel sorry for them.
    Anyway--this subject is dead in the water--I should've known better than to bring up something negative.
    Thanks for the input.
  11. by   noelle4
    Quote from fgoff
    I've spent many years in ER & though I'm sure that I had my moments, I can say that overall ER nurses are not any meaner than other specialities!

    Sorry, you had this toxic episode, & double glad you moved on!


    thanks :wink2:
  12. by   noelle4
    Quote from EDValerieRN
    I don't much care if anyone likes me or not, I just do my job and go about my business. I've never been much on making friends or gossiping in the workplace.

    I don't think we're an overly mean bunch though... I actually think we're pretty easy to get along with. Maybe it's just that particular hospital?
    I think you are 100% correct--it's just this particular hospital.
  13. by   neneRN
    No, we're not mean! (usually!) But if you're new to the ER, there probably are some things that can be construed as mean.
    I've noticed that we all vent a lot to each other about pts, docs, visitors, etc.; I think this is because no one else "gets" what we go through except another ER nurse, so we get it all out while we're at work and can unload our frustrations onto people who can empathize. Still, most ER nurses will tell you they wouldn't work anywhere else.
    We may sometimes appear callous or jaded, but this comes from all the abuses that come along with ER nursing; hopefully we keep this side in check when interacting with pts though.
    Because of the strong teamwork that has to be present in the ER, staff kindof morphs into a dysfunctional family; nurses bond very closely and as with any family, you'll see the occasional bickering and spats. The ER is like a second home; just like in your own home, you are welcoming to a visitor (new staff member), but that person is still a stranger and its normal for existing staff to maybe be a little wary and territorial initially. I've noticed that in my ER, we are friendly and helpful at first..but it does take some time to fully envelop a new staff member into the "family".

    But it sounds like the OP experienced more than a normal wariness of a newcomer; as others have said- maybe its just that particular ER is a little toxic.
  14. by   LeesieBug
    It is REALLY important to judge every unit on its own merits.

    I absolutely LOVE the nurses in our ED. I have been there about ten weeks as a completely clueless new grad, and NOT ONE person has said anything rude or discouraging to me. They work as a team, and you never feel like you are on your own in dealing with a rough situation. They have been kicking butt in pt satisfaction as well, treating the patients with respect and kindness even when it is really hard to do.

    I think each unit has its own vibe and culture...bad attitudes are contagious and will spread like wild fire if they are tolerated. Places staffed with a bunch of mean spirited, hateful people will breed more employess with that type of attitude....so it continues.

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