Nurses Eat Their Young - page 2

Can someone explain to me why Some nurses eat their young. I am in an ER internship and i love the work and the patients. I work in a ltrauma center and its very fast paced. My only problem with... Read More

  1. by   purplynn
    :lol_hitti
    Quote from K98
    If anyone tries to eat me, I promise you they will get indigestion.
  2. by   Tweety
    Quote from K98
    If anyone tries to eat me, I promise you they will get indigestion.

    LOL.

    I'm not a new grad. I could over look and attitude or two, but continued rudeness and hatefulness shouldn't be tolerated. Telling the manager won't work. What works is direct confrontation at the time it happens, each and every time. "I understand what you're saying, but can we talk about the degrading manner you used? Why is that?"............."what you just said makes me feel............."...........

    Our ER hires new grads and the old folks don't like it. Especially since they have to give the traumas to the new grads so the new grads get the experience. I know of four new grads that couldn't make in the ER and are working the floor. It's a tough and demanding workplace, where they haven't learned to nuture new grads and where many feel new grads don't belong.

    Hang in there. Good luck to you.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 9, '06
  3. by   Freedom42
    Threads like this one have been eye-opening for me. I am 43 years old, finishing up my pre-reqs, and hope to start nursing school by May. I'm coming from the private sector. I quit my job with a goal of getting at least my BSN and making a major career change.

    I offer the background because the world I'm coming from is apparently a starkly different workplace. Are hospital employees not drilled in the concept of hostile work environment? That you can be held liable for creating one? That any human resources department worth its salt is going to work hard to prevent such environments? Are people not reprimanded for bullying? Is there no accountability? Is this problem truly widespread?

    I'm not naive enough to suggest that a newbie who's been belittled or snapped at run off to HR every time she or he has a problem. And I know that it can be hard to stand up to someone when you're starting out on your first job. But if someone degraded me for the sheer delight of being mean, I'd make damn sure that she knew I wouldn't tolerate it. It's one thing for someone to point out a mistake in a stressful situation. It's another thing for someone to be nasty. That's unacceptable, and I'd tell her so, in a quiet, civil manner: "There's no need for you to speak to me in that manner." Period. If she persisted, I wouldn't hesitate to tell my immediate superior, and if she were my immediate superior, I would go over her head. Let the supervisor answer for it and there's a good chance it won't happen again. It's your employer's responsibility to minimize hostility. Don't stand up for yourself and you'll be recognized as a door mat by the bully.

    That said, I see a common theme on this board: that veteran nurses are weary of newbies who come in thinking they're the greatest invention since sliced bread. I saw that on my old job with new grads, too. A suggestion: Why not cultivate allies among the vets? Why not let them know that you value their knowledge and experience? Respect is mutual.

    Yup, all written by someone who's never worked in a hospital and is still working on her pre-reqs. But I can't wait to join you on the job in what I hope will be an energizing, professional atmosphere.

    Flame on! I can take it.
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from Freedom42
    Threads like this one have been eye-opening for me. I am 43 years old, finishing up my pre-reqs, and hope to start nursing school by May. I'm coming from the private sector. I quit my job with a goal of getting at least my BSN and making a major career change.

    I offer the background because the world I'm coming from is apparently a starkly different workplace. Are hospital employees not drilled in the concept of hostile work environment? That you can be held liable for creating one? That any human resources department worth its salt is going to work hard to prevent such environments? Are people not reprimanded for bullying? Is there no accountability? Is this problem truly widespread?

    I'm not naive enough to suggest that a newbie who's been belittled or snapped at run off to HR every time she or he has a problem. And I know that it can be hard to stand up to someone when you're starting out on your first job. But if someone degraded me for the sheer delight of being mean, I'd make damn sure that she knew I wouldn't tolerate it. It's one thing for someone to point out a mistake in a stressful situation. It's another thing for someone to be nasty. That's unacceptable, and I'd tell her so, in a quiet, civil manner: "There's no need for you to speak to me in that manner." Period. If she persisted, I wouldn't hesitate to tell my immediate superior, and if she were my immediate superior, I would go over her head. Let the supervisor answer for it and there's a good chance it won't happen again. It's your employer's responsibility to minimize hostility. Don't stand up for yourself and you'll be recognized as a door mat by the bully.

    That said, I see a common theme on this board: that veteran nurses are weary of newbies who come in thinking they're the greatest invention since sliced bread. I saw that on my old job with new grads, too. A suggestion: Why not cultivate allies among the vets? Why not let them know that you value their knowledge and experience? Respect is mutual.

    Yup, all written by someone who's never worked in a hospital and is still working on her pre-reqs. But I can't wait to join you on the job in what I hope will be an energizing, professional atmosphere.

    Flame on! I can take it.


    No flames from me.

    I would like to say that you can't judge the profession by what a few people say.

    Obviously there are some nurses that eat their young. But is it a widespread problem? Doubtful, but there are a few million of us nurses out there. Mainly we are just doing our jobs the best that we can day by day and are pretty friendly people to work with.

    There are a few trolls that make it bad for us. Many of us, myself included, love being mentors and teachers and welcome the next generation of nurses. While there may be those weary of new grads, that's not a common theme in nursing, in my opinion.

    We come here to vent and people tend to slant the board to the negative.

    Also, a new grad comes across dozens of nurses in their week, and one troll mistreats them and they come here and scream "why do nurses eat their young" (I'm not talking about the original poster here.)

    On the other hand, you bring up good points. Bullying and eating our young should not be tolerated by the new grad whatsoever. I still maintain, like you, the first line of action should be a direct confrontation, rather than running to HR and management because studies show that's ineffective.

    I also choose my battles.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 9, '06
  5. by   Freedom42
    Great point, Tweety: You've got to choose your battles. Is this truly the hill you want to die on?

    I think that when it comes to confronting coworkers, you've got to decide whether the affront was a one-time-only slight or is part of a troubling pattern. Patterns must be dealt with or you'll be miserable -- and the bully will prevail. In my experience, a person who is a bully to you is generally a bully to many. And that's a management problem.

    My local hospital is having an open house at its critical care unit later this month. It's a chance to tour the unit and meet the nurses. I cannot wait to meet veterans and ask them questions, not only about their jobs, but for their best advice on what makes a great critical care nurse and how to become one.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from Freedom42
    Great point, Tweety: You've got to choose your battles. Is this truly the hill you want to die on?

    I think that when it comes to confronting coworkers, you've got to decide whether the affront was a one-time-only slight or is part of a troubling pattern. Patterns must be dealt with or you'll be miserable -- and the bully will prevail. In my experience, a person who is a bully to you is generally a bully to many. And that's a management problem.

    My local hospital is having an open house at its critical care unit later this month. It's a chance to tour the unit and meet the nurses. I cannot wait to meet veterans and ask them questions, not only about their jobs, but for their best advice on what makes a great critical care nurse and how to become one.

    Good luck with that!

    I agree, sometimes I have to allow people their moments. Nursing is stressful and some environments are fast paced, full of tired overworked people. I had a PACU nurse snap at me the other day, and I let it go right over my head and allowed her that moment without running to the OR board screaming "Why are PACU nurses so catty!". God knows I've had a moment or two in my life.

    I agree it's the patterns that set the bullies apart from us stressed out, burned out tired old battleaxes. Consistent bullying is a management problem for sure.
  7. by   RNKay31
    I know the feeling, I have came across the same thing.
  8. by   I_Heart_Nursing!
    I realize I'm kinda of late with this post.....but maybe my message will be shared. YES! YES! YES! "some" nurses eat their young. They take the fact that they are more experienced and comfortable in their element, and make u feel like crap because you are not. Believe me...I'm a new nurse! It is happening to me at this very moment. Don't let them belittle you, or make u doubt yourself. Trust me, I am exactly like you. You should not have to feel that when u go to work ur headed for battle! Find a new job. If there isn't any professionalism on ur job, dont let that be the place that molds and shapes u into the wonderful nurse growing underneath ur shell. Remember, those nurses are not giving u anything, which means they cant take it away. Find a better job babe!
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from I_Heart_Nursing!
    I realize I'm kinda of late with this post.....but maybe my message will be shared. YES! YES! YES! "some" nurses eat their young. They take the fact that they are more experienced and comfortable in their element, and make u feel like crap because you are not. Believe me...I'm a new nurse! It is happening to me at this very moment. Don't let them belittle you, or make u doubt yourself. Trust me, I am exactly like you. You should not have to feel that when u go to work ur headed for battle! Find a new job. If there isn't any professionalism on ur job, dont let that be the place that molds and shapes u into the wonderful nurse growing underneath ur shell. Remember, those nurses are not giving u anything, which means they cant take it away. Find a better job babe!
  10. by   early2bed,early2rise
    I recently left an acute rehab floor after one month due to the negative environment. Out of 4 preceptors, only one did not snap or yell at me. One in particular would grill me infront of the other nurses and then mutter that i was "full of s***" right behind my back. It was the worst thing I ever went through. When I look back on it, I recall everyone on the floor complaining about all sorts of things and I think that the unit had a cloud looming over it. I feel good about leaving and not taking any more of the abuse and I had a really good talk with the nurse manager about it, so I left on good terms.

    Now I am having a difficult time finding another job. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can present myself to future employers? The nurse manager offered to be a reference for me, but I'm not sure how it looks on an application if I was only there for 5 weeks.
  11. by   Freedom42
    Early2: You say you had "a really good talk" with the nurse manager about why you chose to leave. I'm curious. What happened? Did he or she acknowledge the toxic atmosphere?

    Again, I'm coming from the corporate world. The existence of that kind of hostility and behavior in the corporate world reflects failure on the part of management, and in today's legal climate it is the inept manager who permits a hostile work environment to persist. Did your nurse manager express any surprise? Had you gone to anyone with complaints prior to your decision to leave?

    Now you're having a difficult time finding another job -- through no fault of your own. Do you really think you left your old job on good terms? And are you willing to be honest with perspective employers about why you left?

    Is Tweety right? Are there merely a few "trolls" out there who are the problem? Or is this pervasive? I thought the phrase "nurses eat their young" was a joke until I came across it in a text book.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Freedom42
    Is Tweety right? Are there merely a few "trolls" out there who are the problem? Or is this pervasive? I thought the phrase "nurses eat their young" was a joke until I came across it in a text book.

    Let me put it this way.

    I can only speak from my 15 years of experience, 14 of which were spent in various units in one hospital I work in now.

    It's pervasive enough that one should look out for it and learn how to cope with it, if and when they come across it.

    However, I still think the number of nurses out there that actually actively eat their young is small when measured against the total population of nurses and it's unfair to lable our profession as one that eats it's young.

    I have to wonder, how do nurses become the ones that eat their young, if each batch of new grads screams nurses eat their young. Obviously these new grads themselves become ones who eat their young. Is it a vicious cycle?

    I've seen many a thread when a new grad comes here and bemoans "why do nurses eat their young", and when it all comes down to it they are really talking about one nurse out of the dozens they've come across in their young career.

    I also think there are varying degrees of what people define as eating their young. I define it as out and out bullying, or at least disrespect directly to the new grad.

    Other people define it differently such as those who don't roll out the welcome matt and spread positivity. Or those that gossip about the new person (although I've never worked anywhere in any profession where it wasn't asked "what do you think of the new guy").

    Nursing unfortunately is a profession, where during the orientation process and there after, it's sink or swim. I'm not sure they're any other way to do it when it's a life and death situation where only the strong can survive. This might be considered eating our young, but it's reality. The meek need not apply.

    I am in no way shape or form saying eating of our young should be tolerated, in fact I'm the role model preceptor and welcome wagon to students and new grads on my unit. I had three new grads ask to me precept them this past month.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 13, '06
  13. by   Danianne
    NOPE not at all they just roll you around in the dirt a bit and kinda just nibble a little. Just kidding hope you are okay

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