Nurses Eat Their Young - page 3

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   gobucksCRNA
    Some peole are just miserable no matter what. I encountered this same thing in the ICU. You just tell them,"Oh, I'm sorry. I suppose you exited the womb knowing everything you need to know..."

    DO NOT be afraid to ever stand up for yourself whether you're new or not! As long as you are trying your best. Most nurses who are like that lack some ability (be it cognitive or physical) and that's how they compensate!
    Last edit by sirI on Oct 14, '06 : Reason: TOS
  2. by   ortess1971
    Quote from 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
    :roll I was drinking my coffee when I read this and almost spit it out on the computer screen! The visual is what did it LOL
  3. by   DeLana_RN
    Yes, they do! They sure made a meal out of me in my first job - chewed me up and spat me out I was on an oncology floor run by an evil dictator and her minions - the horror story is posted in hica19's thread below (no, I can't repeat it, I'm trying to forget about it but it haunts me still ).

    This was 8 years ago, but I'm sure some of these old-timers are still around. And it wasn't just the old-timers - some younger nurses (who probably endured the same fate as new grads) model themselves after them. Maybe the attitude is, "I had to pay my dues - now it's your turn?" Maybe I'm missing something here, but I thought we're who are trying to help people (OK, I do realize that my idealism has gotten me in trouble before, but I do find it hard to believe that people actually enter this profession to hurt others?!)

    That said, I've had enough experience by now to know that not everyone entered the profession for altruistic reasons (maybe nowadays they're the minority). Let's face it - years ago, many women thought they only had a choice between secretary/teacher/nurse; in many regions, especially rural, other employment opportunities may just not be there. And the pay has become quite attractive (OK, this varies, other topic though). My point: there are indeed lots of people in the profession now that are in it for the wrong reasons (IMHO) and therefore hate the "unpleasant" aspects of the job. What do miserable individuals often do? They lash out, of course. Convenient target? The newbie, i.e., new grad. Vicious cycle, indeed.

    * * *

    Note to early2bed,early2rise:

    The job you just left was obviously not your first one (you have 1+ years experience?) You have two options: Tell a prospective employer that this was just not a good fit for you or don't list the job at all. In my last job I watched two seasoned RNs get chewed up and spat out during their "training period" (no, nurses don't just eat their young - nurses eat their own as well! I tried to help, but they were set up to fail. But I digress.) Anyway, both of them quit within 5-6 weeks without any notice (good for them!), which means the employer would be justified to tell that to anyone calling for a reference.

    I asked nurse friends why these nurses would risk a bad reference and was told, "They just don't list such a job." Hmm... good idea. No application nowadays requires you to list all previous employment anymore, and even some pesky questions ("Have you ever been fired or asked to resign?") have been eliminated. Sign of the times - nurses rule!!!!

    Good luck to you, you'll do fine.

    DeLana
    Last edit by DeLana_RN on Oct 14, '06
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    Yesterday at orientation we had a talk about nurses eating their young (and believe it or not, my mind did an involuntary *groan* :chuckle)

    I pointed out that while there are certainly experienced nurses who seem to be unforgiving to the newbies - there are also many newbies with a stupid little "entitlement" mentality. I said that:

    "saying nurses eat their young absolves the young of any responsibility for their behaviour.

    I can understand the generational gap and all that but basic courtesy and professionalism extends both ways. Yes, there are older nurses who could use an attitude adjustment - but some of the younger nurses are NOT doing themselves any favours either.

    This isn't a "cut and dry" situtation and I strongly believe that by and large we nurses tend to get along."

    It taketh two to tango.


    cheers,

    PS: Great post Tweety
  5. by   Danianne
    Acutally I just declined a job offer on this basis alone. I was told that i might have a "hard time" with some of the more experienced staff members.
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Yesterday at orientation we had a talk about nurses eating their young (and believe it or not, my mind did an involuntary *groan* :chuckle)

    I pointed out that while there are certainly experienced nurses who seem to be unforgiving to the newbies - there are also many newbies with a stupid little "entitlement" mentality. I said that:

    "saying nurses eat their young absolves the young of any responsibility for their behaviour.

    I can understand the generational gap and all that but basic courtesy and professionalism extends both ways. Yes, there are older nurses who could use an attitude adjustment - but some of the younger nurses are NOT doing themselves any favours either.

    This isn't a "cut and dry" situtation and I strongly believe that by and large we nurses tend to get along."

    It taketh two to tango.


    cheers,

    PS: Great post Tweety
    That was an excellent post, Roy!
  7. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from Danianne
    Acutally I just declined a job offer on this basis alone. I was told that i might have a "hard time" with some of the more experienced staff members.
    Good for you! You are wise to listen to your gut feeling on this and are very fortunate that you were given this warning at all.

    Good luck you, and always trust your instincts - when job hunting and in your first weeks on the job. To state the obvious, it's always better to quit after a short time (and easily explained in nursing) than finally being forced to resign or even getting fired.

    DeLana
  8. by   VivaRN
    My current job is in a place where I was warned "sometimes they have a hard time accepting new grads." And it was very difficult for awhile, but I know that every workplace has some version of "the in-crowd" and "sink or swim". My new-grad friends in teaching and business ran into the same thing: gossip, people choosing who they will help, being set up. But if there's one spot of positivity, one ally ~ I found that one experienced nurse and learned everything (that I couldn't learn from a book!) from her. Gradually the others came to respect me when they saw I could be trusted in the critical care environment. It is my belief that if you are a certain kind of person, you will attract certain kinds of people. If you stick it out and hold onto your values, you will find those other nurses like you.
  9. by   early2bed,early2rise
    thanks freedom42! sorry it took me a bit to get back to this thread. I really thought a lot about some of the questions you presented. The truth of the matter is that my conversation with the nurse manager really did not draw light to the problems going on. Although she had asked me on several occassions if there was anything that she or the staff, could do, she never listened to what I was trying to point out. Her offers of help were empty and she didnt listen or accept my concerns. And for the record: I am by no means, a cry baby. It became apparent that the problems on the unit were planted by the management and the cycles were set into place. I really wanted to believe that it wasnt all "just me", so I ended up convincing myself that I left on good terms. That being not of my own definition, but at least feeling somewhat okay that I recieved the manager's "pat on the back" and that she offered to be a reference for me. As I've put more thought into it, it is clear that anything I had to say during our "farewell" talk, was not going to change anything. Now I have to remind myself of what I've learned from this experience and at the same time, feel good that I made the choice to leave instead of staying in such an unhealthy workplace.
    Delana RN: thanks for your advice as well. in some cases i mention the job and in others i dont. after discussing this situation with different recruiters, it seems to be quite common that nurses come and go and that i really dont need to put that experience down on my resume if it would not be an asset. the nurse manager offered to give me a good referral, but i dont even want it from her!
  10. by   grentea
    This week on my unit, a new RN who had been orienting on day shift started on my evening shift, which will be her pemanent position. Her usual day shift preceptor did a double and I don't usually work with her. I felt so terrible for her when I saw how her preceptor was treating her. Her preceptor called her "retarded" behind her back. Of course my other co-workers and I were shocked. I've been really stressed at my job. Our unit had a stretch of highly acute patients with not-so-great staffing, and I was charge nurse every day through it all. So I got a little fried and plus I've only been around on my floor for about 7 months, otherwise I would have been happy to be her preceptor. I helped her with whatever questions she had during my shift and was extra nice and encouraging to her. I just felt absolutely awful for her. I went through a similar situation with a domineering and insulting preceptor, and I know it's hard in the beginning anyways. There's just no reason to be mean to new nurses, unless you have some sort of mean streak and need to take it out on someone vulnerable. I've been particularly angry with that day shift nurse who is trying to scare new nurses off of MY shift! My advice to the new RNs out there is to find the nice nurses on the unit and hang out with us, and of course always consider how welcoming a unit is to new grads.
  11. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from greentea
    This week on my unit, a new RN who had been orienting on day shift started on my evening shift, which will be her pemanent position. Her usual day shift preceptor did a double and I don't usually work with her. I felt so terrible for her when I saw how her preceptor was treating her. Her preceptor called her "retarded" behind her back. Of course my other co-workers and I were shocked. I've been really stressed at my job. Our unit had a stretch of highly acute patients with not-so-great staffing, and I was charge nurse every day through it all. So I got a little fried and plus I've only been around on my floor for about 7 months, otherwise I would have been happy to be her preceptor. I helped her with whatever questions she had during my shift and was extra nice and encouraging to her. I just felt absolutely awful for her. I went through a similar situation with a domineering and insulting preceptor, and I know it's hard in the beginning anyways. There's just no reason to be mean to new nurses, unless you have some sort of mean streak and need to take it out on someone vulnerable. I've been particularly angry with that day shift nurse who is trying to scare new nurses off of MY shift! My advice to the new RNs out there is to find the nice nurses on the unit and hang out with us, and of course always consider how welcoming a unit is to new grads.
    Did you report this sorry "preceptor" to the manager? Nurses like the one you describe should never be preceptors, because they obviously resent it and let their frustration out on the new grad or employee. If more nurses did this rather than quietly ignoring this kind of behavior, then maybe new grads would no longer become meals for old battle axes

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to criticize you; this is just a general statement. I was the victim of a horrible head nurse in my very first job. And yes, she was the manager, so reporting her wouldn't have done any good. But I would have appreciated it if the charge nurses and other staff who were nice to me in private had given me some warning before the head nurse fired me without cause.

    They knew this was going to happen (I have since found out) - she had done it many times before to those who didn't "fit in". The only thing I was guilty of was idealism and naivity - I never saw it coming. But because nobody spoke up, nobody gave me any kind of warning, I had to live with this which had been devastating to my self-esteem as a new nurse - it's a wonder I'm still in nursing.*

    When will nurses quit treating their own like dirt?! :angryfire

    DeLana

    *Must be that hopeless idealism Seriously, if anyone had warned me, I could have resigned in time and maybe gotten an internal transfer (which she later prevented.) But I can't say if I would have done this... maybe I wouldn't have believed it?!
    Last edit by DeLana_RN on Oct 26, '06
  12. by   Freedom42
    Early2: It's great that you've decided to learn from what happened instead of -- for lack of a better phrase -- copping an attitude that carries over to your next job. It sounds like your first employer was remarkably callous. (By the way, my nursing instructor had us read an interesting article this calling for changes in nursing education. It referred to nurses lashing out against each other as "horizontal violence." I'd never seen that reference before.)

    I hope someone will fill me in a bit on hospital culture: Who becomes a preceptor? Do you have the option of declining? Is it considered a mark of prestige to be chosen? And what makes a good preceptor?
  13. by   PANurseRN1
    If you do decline to be a preceptor, just don't say anything about it here unless you want to have students and new nurses lashing out at you for being selfish and neglecting your obligations to "future generations."

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