"NETY" and Other Fallacies "NETY" and Other Fallacies | allnurses

"NETY" and Other Fallacies

  1. 46 It's September. Pre-nursing students have become nursing students and new grads are either starting new jobs or are well into orientation. And there seems to be a plethora of new posts claiming that nurses eat their young, that the poster gets no respect, that their workplace is full of bullies, that "everyone knows that nursing is mostly women and women are caddy," that the senior nurses on their units "owe it to me" to "take me under their wing and train me" and other claims that are "truth adjacent."

    We've all seen the threads, or the post within a seemingly inoffensive thread:

    "Yep -- It's true. Nurses eat their young. I know because I've been eaten."

    "Newbie here, and I get no respect."

    "Respect should not have to be earned; those old cows should just give me respect."

    "Nurses are supposed to be compassionate and kind, so where is the compassion for MEEEE?"

    "No negative posts. If you can't say something nice, don't bother to respond."

    Whether they know it or not, these posters are revealing far more about themselves than they are about the alleged bullies in their workplace.

    As a Crusty Old bat, preceptor and charge nurse, I owe it to the new employees on my unit to treat them with basic human courtesy and kindness. Respect, however, is different and when the word is used as defined, must be earned. (Respect: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.) When you're new, we don't know anything about your abilities or qualities, and the achievement we know about -- that you graduated from nursing school and passed the licensing exam -- is something we've all done. As you work with us for awhile and we get to know you, you will either earn respect for your abilities, qualities and achievements . . . Or you won't.

    Disrespect is defined as lack of respect, scorn, disregard, disdain or contempt. I often see early posts from a new member complaining that their brand new colleagues, preceptors, nursing instructors or some poor nurse who has been saddled with them for a shift lacks respect for them. The posts are dripping with contempt for the nasty old preceptor or addled older colleague who doesn't totally "get" their awesomeness and give them the deference they feel is their due. Posts claiming that "nurses eat their young" while describing said nurses in derogatory terms, claiming that they KNEW the workplace was full of bullies and they've been proven correct because they're currently being followed around by mean old bullies, or that "they should take me under their wing and train me" while verbally excoriating the very nurses they want to mentor them all tell me that the poster doesn't understand workplace dynamics and relationships and is having difficulty getting along with their co-workers. That tells me far more about THEM than it does about the co-workers.

    Like many of us, I've taken the time to write responses to some of these posts, hoping to point the poster in the right direction or encourage them to engage in some introspection before concluding that the problem is all in the other person they're complaining about. Some of those posts are long and detailed. I've thought about the original post and about my response for hours, sometimes, before I sit down to type out my response. And then the poster goes off on me, because my answer wasn't the one they were looking for.

    To those posters: AN has a wealth of information, thousands of wise old nurses and a metric ton of valuable advice. But you have to be ready to accept it. When you're new, you don't deserve disrespect, but you haven't earned any respect either. You deserve, and are likely getting, the basic courtesy we all owe other human beings. If your co-workers don't LIKE you, that's something else again, and this place can be very informative about why that may be and what you can do to change it. Nurses don't eat their young, but we do give negative feedback. Our job is too important and the consequences to our patients potentially too dire for me NOT to tell you when you're screwing up. If you cannot accept any criticism, you don't belong in nursing.

    The senior nurses who mentor or precept you deserve your respect, and you won't GET any respect from them until you GIVE it. Understand that no matter what the nurse in your clinical said, you aren't helpful and don't ease our workload any. If we've taken on the responsibility of teaching you, you have tripled our workload. Be grateful for each and every nurse who gives you that gift. And understand why some seasoned nurses just cannot offer that at this time. Try to exhibit the kindness and compassion for those nurses that you expect FROM them.

    Nurses don't eat their young, aren't predominately bullies and don't owe you. But if you're respectful and grateful, you might very well be the recipient of someone's best tips, time savers and teaching.
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    #1 10
    I think what some may find lacking is the second definition of respect per Oxford's:

    2Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others: young people’s lack of respect for their parents

    This aspect of respect is due to anyone, regardless of status. It goes both up and down the chains of age and experience.

    We all bring something to the table, regardless of age, experience, or lack thereof of either. For me to treat a new nurse as though he or she is not worthy of my respect - my due regard for his or her feelings, rights, or wishes - is nothing shy of poor professionalism. "New nurses" and "new grads" could be, as in the case of my one classmate, in their fifties. Just because they know nothing about nursing doesn't mean they're not intelligent.

    For an older person to treat a younger person as a complete dolt simply because they're younger is disrespectful, just as the converse is also true.

    Pandering to others because of inexperience is disrespectful.

    Respect is given; the admiration aspect is indeed earned. But due regard is, well, due everyone.
  4. Visit  NurseGirl525 profile page
    #2 20
    Ruby, as a new grad, I have not once felt bullied or NETY at all. I'm well into orientation, and I have felt nothing but support from my unit.

    I feel it's those few who are disgruntled will seek out websites to vent on. Those who are happy, are usually quiet. I feel that's why we see a plethora of complaints every year. Some people, no matter what, will find fault with everything. Everything.

    To me, that is just a hard way to live. Negativity, all the time.
  5. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    #3 8
    I do agree that it's propagated by its own legend.

    However, there's far too much discussion for me to be that dismissive of its existence. Gotta be some fire to go with all that smoke.
  6. Visit  roser13 profile page
    #4 14
    Quote from NurseGirl525
    Ruby, as a new grad, I have not once felt bullied or NETY at all. I'm well into orientation, and I have felt nothing but support from my unit.

    I feel it's those few who are disgruntled will seek out websites to vent on. Those who are happy, are usually quiet. I feel that's why we see a plethora of complaints every year. Some people, no matter what, will find fault with everything. Everything.

    To me, that is just a hard way to live. Negativity, all the time.
    NurseGirl525: May I just say that I, for one, have been extremely impressed with your mature & accepting attitude on this forum. I was shocked to learn just now that you are still in orientation. Dumbfounded, actually.

    Thank you for your open & accepting attitude here. I believe that you are well on your way to a successful career, whether in nursing or otherwise, due to your positive attitude.
  7. Visit  nutella profile page
    #5 6
    I would like to point out that respect is not a one way road. As others pointed out in the other topic, it also depends on which definition you use. But generally speaking I found that if I treat everybody with respect and decency and assume that everybody (new or old) is working with a common goal (to provide patient care) it goes a long way. It has been my observation that if you encourage new nurses, give them the tools, trust them and show them that you respect them for what they do they will grow with it, feel more encouraged, and the climate is better. The basic assumption is that a nurse who has passed the NCLEX, while new to the profession, has already proven that they have knowledge and critical thinking skills to some extent. They have made it through nursing school , which is not exactly a walk in the park. If you make it through nursing school, pass the NCLEX, and get your first job you have already persisted and shown some determination.
    I find that if I extend my trust and treat new nurses with compassion and helping them to ease into their role they also extend themselves.
    I have worked as a charge nurse and clinical manager - of course once in a while there is a newer nurse who shows a lack of understanding, not adhering to policy and procedures, or has problems managing a full patient load. But if the general climate is that of respect and decency, it is also much easier to address those problems without falling into a behavior that is not helpful.
    I think as older nurses we still need to self-reflect over our assumptions, expectations, behavior, and general "good will" attitude. There is a huge difference between the general drive to set new nurses up for success and mentor them in a way that they feel supported and can thrive and the idea that they have to proof themselves "worthy" to be accepted into the nursing profession. If your assumption is that every nurse who made it this far is worthy to begin with - why make it harder than it already is? Nursing is hard and new nurses have to learn how to assume their professional role and at the same time learn how to fit in, collaborate, deal with emotional situations, grow as a human being - that is a lot!
  8. Visit  Horseshoe profile page
    #6 9
    I can treat you "respectfully," but I will not have respect for your knowledge, your practice, your critical thinking skills, etc. until you demonstrate that you deserve it. I EXPECT that you will come out of nursing school lacking experience. I COUNT on the fact that you will make mistakes. I PREDICT that you will not be able to answer correctly every question put forth to you.

    All that said, I am watching to see if you learn from your mistakes, show evidence that you have been doing some homework on your off hours, and demonstrate that your critical thinking skills are improving as a result of being challenged. I will be even more impressed when you show that you appreciate the mental exercises your preceptor puts you through, stressful that they may be. That tells me that you are going to rise to the occasion and that you are intellectually invigorated by the challenge. If I see any sign that you think you know it all as the result of having "months of practice in clinicals," notice a defensive posture to constructive criticism, sense a lack of accountability for your mistakes, or witness evidence that you believe you are entitled to make errors with zero correction and discussion, then you will never receive my respect for you as a professional. If you don't show that you get that you don't know what you don't know, and you don't give respect where it is due, then you aren't worthy of the same.

    Most new grads I've been around do seem to get all this. But there is always one who shows up thinking that they deserve the same admiration for their professional practice as a seasoned veteran, and they just end up looking ridiculous.

    As for NETY, like most stereotypes, it never would have gained such traction if it weren't based in reality to some degree. I've seen a few preceptors who abuse the privilege in order to make themselves feel powerful and to soothe their insecurities. But they really are also few and far between. NETY has become the default accusation because it's ever so much easier than introspection and acknowledgment of fallibility.
    Last edit by Horseshoe on Sep 8, '16
  9. Visit  Wuzzie profile page
    #7 11
    Quote from Horseshoe
    As for NETY, like most stereotypes, it never would have gained such traction if it weren't based in reality to some degree. I've seen a few preceptors who abuse the privilege in order to make themselves feel powerful and to soothe their insecurities. But they really are also few and far between. NETY has become the default accusation because it's ever so much easier than introspection and acknowledgment of fallibility.
    This a thousand times. I experienced severe lateral violence but even I don't believe in widespread NETY. I also experienced mild contempt (not NETY) from a few of my co-workers over the years and a good deal of it was my fault, some of it wasn't. A little introspection and maturity took care of that. But seriously, eye-rolling is lateral violence?! Not saying good morning? Puh-leeze. Try being reported for diverting ( I wasn't) or having your equipment tampered with so that you ran into difficulties providing patient care. How about having your patient being told that you were responsible for another patient dying (didn't happen) so that they were terrified of you and demanded a new nurse. Or being told as a completely, utterly gullible new grad to do something that they knew you would get in trouble for doing while they snickered at the nurses station watching the fallout. Those are the things that are worthy of being called violence. Most of the stuff I hear on this site is the epitome of trivial. I would have paid good money to just be left alone and ignored. It certainly would have been the better alternative. Yet still I do not believe for a second that young-eating is more pervasive in nursing than it is anywhere else. We just don't have cubicles, desks or offices to get away from the negativity when it happens.
  10. Visit  Not_A_Hat_Person profile page
    #8 7
    Can we also call a moratorium on "all newbie nurses are spoiled, incompetent, entitled special snowflakes?"
  11. Visit  Davey Do profile page
    #9 2
    Another ​great article, Ruby Vee!

    Any response I could write would only be echoing your words in my own lesser prose.
    Attached Images "NETY" and Other Fallacies-cob-png
  12. Visit  Davey Do profile page
    #10 4
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    Can we also call a moratorium on "all newbie nurses are spoiled, incompetent, entitled special snowflakes?"
    Okay...
    Attached Images "NETY" and Other Fallacies-snowflake-png
  13. Visit  Buyer beware profile page
    #11 0
    Wild Man from Borneo.flv - YouTube
    I believe this may be the source of the NETY phenomenon.
  14. Visit  Buyer beware profile page
    #12 0
    Quote from Buyer beware
    Wild Man from Borneo.flv - YouTube
    I believe this may be the source of the NETY phenomenon.
    ...or at least the Kuru phenomenon...

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