Very Upset about THIS!! (Vent)

  1. I am at the absolute end of my rope. I despise the way nurses try to eat their young! I graduated last May, and took a job in a GI Unit...It was okay, the work wasn't too demanding, nice hours. But their was one older nurse who was just horrid to work with. She continually followed me around...Walked into my recovery bays after me, always tried to find mistakes I might have made. I gave her no reason to do this! When I confronted her, she said, "Well I just feel like you're not always 'present' here. Like you might be thinking of other things, not just work." What the..??! I had numerous meetings with her and management, but she kept it up. She told me to my face she didn't like me, didn't like the fact that I could "waltz in right out of nursing school" and know the job...Anyway, long story short, I quit and got a job in an ER. I loved the work in the ER setting. It was fast-paced and fun. But once again, there was an older nurse who got it in for me. She was even worse than the previous one! She kept insisting that as a new grad I knew nothing about nursing...Which honestly isn't the end of the world. I mean, I understand that their will be "old schoolers" anywhere I go. So I sucked it up and did things her way. She would follow me around checking temps, vitals, etc after me...But I was still thinking, "It's okay, I have to pay my dues in nursing--especially in the ER." Then there were 2 catastrophes...

    First, we had an elderly gentleman come in with altered mental status. Hx of BPH. He was not my patient--I wasn't allowed to take any patients when I was working with this particular nurse, only help other nurses out, make beds, etc. Mind you, I have worked as an RN, and I am ACLS certified, but whatever...So this charge nurse told me to put a Foley in this man. I went in there with an EMT, and tried to do my thing. Used a Tieman/Caudet, due to his hx...Couldn't get the thing past the prostate. I tried twice, but no go. So this charge nurse comes in and says, "You need to inflate the balloon or you won't get any urine." I told her that wasn't what I had learned and I was uncomfortable with it, but she kept insisting. So finally, to defer to her, I inflated the balloon. I'm sure you can guess what happened. Blood, clots, the whole ball of wax...So I'm out at the nursing station and I say that that has never happened in the past when I did a cath the way I was taught and she says, "Well you haven't done as many caths as you think you have. I'm not that concerned about this mistake." Nice, huh?

    Then...Another day...The triage nurse brings back a 51 yo woman with chest pain. He tells me her chest pain started when she took a drink of a carbonated soda and laid down. No medical history. He asks me to do her assessment. I hook her up to the monitor, get vitals...Everything looks really good. But to be safe, I went out and asked my favorite charge nurse if I should go ahead with the standing cardiac orders...IV, EKG, etc. She says no, the doctor will be in there soon, see what she orders. So the doc comes in and starts screaming for an EKG...Yelling at me that I don't know what I'm doing...We're out at the nurses station. The charge nurse says, "Well doctor, Christine asked me about an IV, but I don't remember her asking me for anything other than that, so..." Anyway, I get an EKG stat...She's got massive ST depression. So the doc is on a rampage (and rightfully so,) and tells me to go start a nitro drip. I go into the room, and as I'm doing so, the charge nurse is screaming across the nurses station, " Someone get in there quick! Christine can't be left alone in that room!" I was livid. I mean for God's sake, I have ACLS, and I am capable of asking for help...

    Had the sit down with the manager...She swore things would improve, begged me not to quit...Said she would talk to this nurse. The next 2 days with this charge nurse were hell. She had to ask me what I had learned from the EKG experience of course, but continued to follow me around like a vulture...Wouldn't let me take any of my own patients, even though management had told her I was allowed too...Whatever. I gave up and quit again.

    I am starting to feel like there is no place I will fit in. I mean, I have a decent personality! I'm not overbearing or cocky, I'm friendly with everyone, and I want to learn! I've tried deferring to people's experience, asking questions, not asking questions, explaining myself, not explaining myself...I give up! I fear the only place I will ever be able to be happy will be if I work alone! And even then there's bound to be some problem!

    So here I sit now. No job. No great prospects, other than maybe the nursing home or home health...I'm thinking of going back for my BSN/MSN...I just hate this. I was so much happier before I graduated. I was so excited about nursing, and all the opportunities. Now I'd give anything to go back and be a dispatcher like I used to be...

    Has anyone else dealt with this stuff more effectively than I am? What works?

    Thanks for listening, and any ideas would be appreciated,
    Christine
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   RNfromMN
    Kinda sorta dealt with the same thing...

    When I became a CNA, my first job explained to us at orientation that the senior nursing staff may not appreciate us being there...for us to just be aware of that. I had one LPN that was just horrible to me. I mean, downright nasty! For absolutely no reason. She would constantly brag about being an "old school" nurse & talk about how she knew her job better than anyone, blah, blah, blah. One night she was training me in & said it was time to go on break & when I said, "Oh, okay, I'll be right there!" She said, "No - you still have laundry bags to empty." And walked away. And I cried as I emptied my laundry bags. Possible overreaction, but you have to keep in mind, this was at the end of the night & she'd been treating me like crap the entire 8 hours earlier.

    Four months later, all new CNAs had to attend a meeting with some members of administration to see how we were all adjusting to our new jobs. When the woman in charge of this meeting asked, "So...how have your new co-workers been treating you since you were hired?," I looked around the room & just saw a lot of people giving eachother little looks, but no one saying anything. I finally raised my hand & said, "One woman made me cry." And we talked about that & that got the ball rolling & most of the other CNAs had their stories to tell of being treated like crap.

    When I got back to my unit, that LPN asked me how my meeting had gone. Now, mind you, this was four months after her initial 2 week long nastiness period & her & I had actually come to get along pretty well. I told her what I'd said about one person making me cry. Since this particular LPN seemed to actually pride herself in hurting others, I thought she'd automatically assume it was her that made me cry & actually think it was kind of funny. She said, "Who? Who was that? Who made you cry?" I didn't even hesitate; in my loudest voice, I screamed back, "HELLO! It was you!" Well, this woman, who is known for her coldness, known for her nasty attitude & nasty remarks, actually put her arm around me & apologized! And we talked & I truly believe she felt bad about it. I do not, however, believe she did not go out of her way to be nasty to new people on the unit - I just don't think she realized exactly how hurtful her comments could be, especially to someone who's still not 100% confident in their job yet.

    So, obviously this is not quite the same situation, but the way I dealt with it was to just take my lickings. It worked out for me because I truly loved my job & it seemed this woman simply needed new staff to "prove" themselves to her before she would treat them decently. Eventually she let up...I guess I decided to post this here, because as I approach my graduation from NS in May, I have to believe that when/if I have to deal with nurses that eat their young, that they will eventually let up. I hope I'm right...
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: Title edit per TOS
  4. by   squeakykitty
    The only thing I can think of would be to go up the chain of command and Human Resources. Those two were unprofessional bullies. :icon_hug: There is a website about bullies that may help. Bully OnLine: bullying in the workplace, school, family and community, action you can take, stress, psychiatric injury, PTSD, resources, case histories, news and contact the media.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: Title edit per TOS
  5. by   Epona
    Wow. That does sound horrible.

    It sounds like you have worked with some real turkeys. I am not a nurse yet, but have worked in the professional sector for over 10 years. I am going back to school to get my BSN (second degree). I worked in Media before, newprint, radio and TV and let me tell you there are Coo-Coo birds there too. They are everywhere. I know they may get to you. But how about standing up for yourself. I am not an advocate for yelling by any means, but maybe "Hey.. I have it under control. Get off my back! Will you?" They may stand back and be astounded that you said something and stood up for yourself. Again, I am not one for fussing, but from your post, nothing else seems to work. I had to do that in my previous career.. one of the head producers used to always give me a hard time... she was the only one... and one day I yelled back and told her somthing like "if this is what you want, ask for it, otherwise everything is under control!!" How ridiculous!" I yelled it across the newsroom and she looked right up and was like "No, it's fine. No... all is Ok." Her tone totally changed and she walked way. Was definitely not the screaming and ugly person she had been two mintues before. I NEVER get like that.. but she was constant and never let up. Amazing how it changed her. Again, I don't advocate yelling back, but you have seemed to have done almost everything else. Sometimes just taking a stance will grab their attention and that's all they need. They know they can't push you around. Sorry for your woes. Just keep on and hang tough...........
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: Title Edit per TOS
  6. by   *RubySlippers*
    This "Nurses eating their young" thing is most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, it sounds like nothing but a insecurity on seasoned Nurses when other new Nurses get hired. Its like..oh thats how its always been. Well you know what times change, procedures change, the world changes, get over it.
    I graduate in May as a RN and I will not put up with the crap, I ignore people like that, if they want to be miserable or a bully they can, but, not to me. There are too many Nursing positions in plenty of facilities to have to put up with immature, childish Nurses like that. Yes, you can learn and will learn a lot from experienced Nurses and there are several I know that I would love to work under, but, that does not give them the right to treat me like dirt due to this eating young, which sounds ignorant. I am sorry but this sooooo outdated.

    During my 3 semesters of clinicals, our class encountered one seasoned Nurse who is near retirement, that was hateful, snappy, and other things with us, well you know what, my mother l"ove her heart", who is a CNA and very well respected at that Hospital reported her to the Supervisors for treating students like dirt, and after that she has been the most helpful nicest lady you could ever work with, even telling us stories and speaking to us without prompting. My class was never so glad.

    Don't give up there is a place for you in Nursing and there are some really good, nice seasoned Nurses out there.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: Title Edit per TOS
  7. by   Cattitude
    Quote from *rubyslippers*
    this "nurses eating their young" thing is most ridiculous thing i have ever heard, it sounds like nothing but a insecurity on seasoned nurses when other new nurses get hired. its like..oh thats how its always been. well you know what times change, procedures change, the world changes, get over it.
    i graduate in may as a rn and i will not put up with the crap, i ignore people like that, if they want to be miserable or a bully they can, but, not to me. there are too many nursing positions in plenty of facilities to have to put up with immature, childish nurses like that. yes, you can learn and will learn a lot from experienced nurses and there are several i know that i would love to work under, but, that does not give them the right to treat me like dirt due to this eating young, which sounds ignorant. i am sorry but this sooooo outdated.

    during my 3 semesters of clinicals, our class encountered one seasoned nurse who is near retirement, that was hateful, snappy, and other things with us, well you know what, my mother l"ove her heart", who is a cna and very well respected at that hospital reported her to the supervisors for treating students like dirt, and after that she has been the most helpful nicest lady you could ever work with, even telling us stories and speaking to us without prompting. my class was never so glad.

    don't give up there is a place for you in nursing and there are some really good, nice seasoned nurses out there.
    :yeahthat:

    you have a good strong attitude and it will serve you well, especially if you come across any "bullies". i believe that perseverance will make them back off.

    as for the op, i was disappointed to read that you quit the er position. i realize that it must have been very difficult to work with this woman but you leaving is probably what she wanted.
    don't give up, there are plenty of opportunities in nursing, many people try several before they find their niche. i thought i would fall in love with icu. once i got there, i enjoyed some of it, but a lot of it was grueling, back breaking work. also the sicu i worked in was very cliqueish and i always felt like an outsider.
    i am now in home health, visiting nurse. i do like it, it gives me a lot of freedom with my schedule and a nice bonding relationship with my patients and families. will i stay in home care forever? probably not but that's what is so great about nursing, the ability to change.

    beez
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Been there, done that, have the scars to prove it.

    Now, my way of dealing with this "eating-our-young" problem won't work for everybody, but it sure did for me: I took a DON position in an assisted living facility (where I am the ONLY licensed nurse) and then had a heart-to-heart with my staff as to my feelings about using newbies, or less experienced caregivers, as chew toys. Simply put, I do not allow it. There is no excuse for treating each other like garbage. I'm pretty easygoing, and I don't resort to the disciplinary process very often; but everyone who works for me knows there are two things I will not tolerate: abuse of residents, and abuse of other staff.

    As much as managers hate to acknowledge it, they do set the tone for their unit or their facility. I think nursing would be far better served if so many of them didn't set a NEGATIVE tone by treating their subordinates like something they just scraped off the bottom of their shoe.
  9. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from mjlrn97
    As much as managers hate to acknowledge it, they do set the tone for their unit or their facility. I think nursing would be far better served if so many of them didn't set a NEGATIVE tone by treating their subordinates like something they just scraped off the bottom of their shoe.
    Amen Sister!! The morale in our unit is so low right now that I really can't see how it could get worse, and it's because of behaviour like this. Our manager of patient care is well known for her frequent public rages against staff members who may have done nothing more than suggest an alternative solution to a problem. She's even more well known for her invitations to "have a chat in her office" which means she plans to use nasty language and doesn't want any witnesses. She once told a very experienced and competent nurse that she would rather have ten brand new grads working for her than the nurse she was insulting. Our middle managers follow her lead. One of them said, in so many words, that she didn't have time to be fair with assignments, so what if the same handful of junior staff always have horrible assignments, and didn't we know that we are there to work? She's also the one who changes people's schedules, doesn't tell them about it then takes great delight in calling them at home when they haven't shown up for the shift they didn't know they were working. They see nothing wrong in walking away from the unit when their 8 hour shift is over knowing full well that half the staff on for the rest of the twelve hour shift won't be getting breaks and that there's a kid in extremis down in the ED who is on the way up. I could go on all night here, but I won't because my blood pressure doesn't like that!
  10. by   GardenDove
    Wow! These places sound totally terrible. I work for a much better place. It has it's problems, but nothing like these stories!
  11. by   Daytonite
    I'm inclined to agree that it is the unit managers and other management officers that set the tone for how behavior problems are going to be handled. In this case both managers of the units you were working on were not very responsive to your problem and not recognizing what was going on. I think that before quitting you might have tried demanding a transfer to another unit first because quitting is a final action. Having been a manager myself I was often aware of units where there were problem employees who drove good nurses off units. Their loss was my gain! Don't give up. With ACLS certification you are marketable. Keep looking for another job. The problem with going into long term care is that you will get stuck there. It's hard to go back to hospital work later. After working the fast pace of critical care, you may not like the routine and paperwork required in LTC.

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