Nurses Eat Their Young

  1. 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 myself is trusting my own knowledge and skills. My problem with the place is some of the other nurses on my unit are just plain hateful. They make rude remarks that have nothing to do with my competency. I am new in this profession and new to this hospital add those to the fact that I am nervous and not very good and standing up for my self and I tend to avoid confrontation. Heres the best part she is one of the charge nurses. I feel like I have made the biggest mistake ever. One nurse did stick up for me once when I was told to do something in a very degrading manner. Several of the hateful nurses told her that she was over exaggerating and blew her off. How am I suppose to stick up for myself when I see how they did that nurse. I wish I could say that my preceptor was one of the good guys but she is just like them only she is more subtle about it. Is it like this everywhere or have I just chose the worst place to work?

    HELP any suggestions
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry for your frustration. I would like to dismiss this with "find somewhere else" but that may not be possible. I would keep it calm and cool. Try to find an ally - start with your preceptor. Ask what you can do to make her job easier. Then...expand from there. Good luck.
  4. by   sirI
    Hello, texaschick. Check out these threads:

    Eating Our Young?

    Survey: Do Nurses Eat Their Young?

    Eating Your Young
  5. by   Sylv
    Have you tried to show it doesn't bother you, and be real friendly to them and kill them with kindness? It's worth a try. If that doesn't work then a different approach is in order.
  6. by   777RNThatsMe
    You know, we got told that in school And, sometimes it's true; sometimes not. You will find it in any dept I think.

    Remember, you are a practitioner so to speak, with your own license and that is sort of like being a sole practitioner while at the same time in an ER environment teamwork comes into play sometimes. So....being the new person on the block...all you can do is just wait and see who your real team players are - maybe those who you think are being degrading are just tough humored. So you may need to learn to roll with their humor. Blow it off and move on.

    Or....... find somewhere else...but if you are new..it could just be that you don't know their real personalities yet.

    I don't work ER...but I spent some time in ER in school and I saw the typical sarcasim. It was sometimes fun. But then I also some some nitpicking behind the scenes...typical for any workplace unfortunately... in the end, they back each other up. But again being an RN you are there to protect your own license...so just be on your toes insofar as not making mistakes etc.

    If you don't like your preceptor..that may be a problem. Hard to say though huh? maybe just hang in there and...see what happens when you make it through your trial run as a newbie.

    I don't envy any of us new nurses b/c we have so much to learn and that causes us to rely on coworkers more. Such is the way.
  7. by   grinnurse
    This is the time for you to make your stand. I have found in my short past as a nurse that if you don't put these remarks in their place then all you are going to do is build resentment toward these nurses and in the ER I think it is all about teamwork just as any other department. I relate these nurses to the bullies on the school ground, the longer you take their crap the longer they are going to dish it out. I am not saying be rude to them, but pull them aside when the chance arises, confront them and say something like, I think that was an unnessescary comment and since I am new and trying to learn here, how would you have handled the situation differently? Or something to that nature what ever would fit the situation at hand.

    It is very difficult at first to deal with these types of people. Like someone else said, find an ally in the deptartment and ask advice on how she has dealt with nurses like this in the past and other things. And if confronting these co-workers doesn't work and the rudeness continues, go up the chain of command.

    Sorry that you are having to deal with this, but I think all new nurses go through this to some extent. The good thing about going through this is that you know what you won't do when you are no longer the new person on the unit right??
  8. by   HeatherLPN
    My first nursing job was like that--I lasted a month. It wasn't worth forcing yourself to go in, and crying all the way home. I didn't have any trouble finding another job, where the nurses have been wonderful, by the way. Now I go out of my way to be extra supportive to new nurses and aides, b/c I know what it's like to be treated like a moron and talked down to all the time. New grad or not, you have something to offer the team, and they need to accept that you are trying.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    "Nurses" don't eat their young - we've gone over that on some of the threads Siri linked to.

    Some people are just bullies or rude or jerks and that happens in all walks of life.

    I like grinnurse's advice - now is the time to stand up for yourself. Start as she mentioned, in private and do it in a calm and professional manner. Then work up the chain of command.

    I know it is hard - I too have a difficult time with confrontation. But you have to do it or suffer in silence. Which is not good for you or your patients.

    steph
  10. by   K98
    If anyone tries to eat me, I promise you they will get indigestion.
  11. by   RNLisa
    Quote from K98
    If anyone tries to eat me, I promise you they will get indigestion.
    Well put!!
  12. by   PANurseRN1
    I am asking, no, BEGGING, that the moderators put an end to the numerous threads about horrible "older" nurses. They are degrading and serve little useful purpose.

    Suppose new nurses had to come here and see thread after thread devoted to "stupid new nurses." How would those new nurses feel?

    Could we at least do like we did with the ADN/BSN and limit the hating to one thread?
  13. by   willdgate
    I believe that if nurses would respect each other, then nurses as a profession would have more perks and advantages, but the lack of respect is what hurts nurses, docs respect other docs, nurses should respect other nurses
  14. by   purplynn
    So frustrating isn't it!!

    I am currently still a toddler, 1 yr in. I am the same way. I hate confrontation. I couldn't tell you how many nights my husband had to deal with a blubbering idiot, i.e. I can't do this, I feel so inept, I've made a huge mistake, yada-yada-yada.
    He really has been so supportive ( Luv ya honey :kiss )
    Anyway, I finally stood up for myself and things are much, much, MUCH better!
    I still get the occasional you-are-beneath me attitude from a few but I just let it roll off my back.
    Sometimes I wonder
    Do nurses really "eat" their young
    OR
    are the wiser of us just trying to make us newbies tough because sometimes it is a necessary trait of a good pt advocate?
    (but there will always be, just like in kindergarten, those darn bullies)

    Be a duck when needed but quack when necessary :roll

    signed,

    on-the-way-to-being
    1 umpiron:
    Last edit by purplynn on Oct 9, '06

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