Ageism

  1. Have any of you nurse's ever encountered discrimination regarding your age when applying for a job. I realize you would have no way of actually proving this, but did you ever get the feeling that may be why you weren't hired?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Not that I'm aware of, kayzee. I hope that never happens to me, but woudn't be surprised if it would happen down the road....not that I'd let them get away with it, mind you. :chuckle
  4. by   lever5
    I can see this happening, I wonder about it. I want to be a nurse until I drop dead. Do you think they will let me?
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    Are you suspecting that there has been discrimination because of being "too young" or "too old?" You do see both.

    Lever - nurse 'til you drop as long as you're safe! I always say we'll be there until they stop paying us to be there and start charging us!
  6. by   Tookie
    Good point nurse Ratched
    Actually this topic attracted me as l thought - OK ageism - the perception that people who are old are discrimintated against-
    evene though l am 52 in a few weeks - dont see myself as old - others do
    When l think ageism - l think about the discrimination against the old in our medical system - they are not worth the money to be spent on them - they take up too much rrom in our hospitals , thay are a drain on our national econmy - OK its never ststed - but its an underlying concnept and will only cahange if we get angry enough to fight and demand more for our age -

    OK l am part of the baby boomers - we are the ones now who are perceived to have the money and fairly soon the government and the media will be demanding better care for that age group - as that is where tha people with the power are at now. -
    Hey this is getting a bit heavy
    Yes there can be ageism - both in nursing but more importantly against the elders in our systems.
    I have subnitted this as is - if l reread l may delete it.
    my vague interruptation - anyway - l beleive that as said above it can be too young or too old for different types of nursing - however
  7. by   Tookie
    Sorry that is very rambly - my point is that we as advocates for our patients/residnts should be advocating more for the aged in our care
    the other point that was the original thread that l do think that there may be a ageist attitude to nurses - not neccesairy based on their age but based on their experince - If you have been nursing only for a year and have limited experience even though you may be 40 you may not be considered as readily as a person who has 10 years experince - but may be veru unflexible.
    You may also be my age and have laods of experince in ER, peds, aged acre and you are seen as valuable if you have the ability to keep in touch with the trends and up to date and physically fit

    I think that we do need to be work fit - please do not interrupt this as slim or able to run the marathon but work fit.

    I am sorry if l am of the thread here - l think the mere word ageism sets off all sorts of triggers on mind
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    hmmm good question. I am only 39 so I have not encountered this problem, yet. But I have an aunt who has nursed in peds since 1961 or so......and they beg and beg her to come fully out of her semi-retirement back to fulltime work. Being in her 60s, she is still VERY much in demand, still very much wanted and apparently, no one has a problem w/her "age" .....I suspect as the shortage reaches even more critical levels over the years to come, experienced nurses who want to work will be able to "name their price" (like my aunt does; she makes money hand-over-fist as a perdiem RN)---- as long as their health and backs hold out.

    I envision less and less "ageism" as we know it, as the very demanding and much-bally-hoo'ed baby boom generation ages and increases the ranks of elders to epic proportions! Sorry so long!
  9. by   Nurse Ratched
    LOL. As I thought about this thread some more, I recalled being 16 and a brand new aide, and attempting to get little old folks to bed at night in the nursing home. They didn't respond well to it because I looked entirely too young and they were sure I needed to go to bed first!
  10. by   P_RN
    I will be 58 soon. Yes I have experienced it. By the time I left there were only 4 nurses over 45. The cluster was in the 35-45 range. I made a grievance along with another nurse and was told that since we were near "retirement" they doubted we'd get anywhere.
    My W/C lawyer helped me on that, and the ageist manager is no longer there. None of the nurses who were over 45 are there any longer.
  11. by   WalMart_ADN
    Absolutely.
    walked into a hospital in buffalo, had an appt. for an interview, show up, check in, wait over there, okay.
    receptionist told me to go to her office.....she looks up at me..."is there something i can help you with??"
    "yes...i have an appt. at 10:30"
    "oh"
    rest of the interview...she acted like i was totally wasting her time. okay, maybe i was just reading into it. until....

    "What if I told you I was a little apprehensive about hiring someone your ago?"
    hmm..interesting . so i look at her and say

    "the only difference between me and a 35 year old new graduate is that I have nothing else going on, nothing else to worry about, and i can and want to put everything I have into this job"
    whoa. where did THAT line come from??
    apparently it didn't work. She didn't even bother to call and tell me i didn't have a job..she just didn't call. WHATEVER!
  12. by   Kayzee
    P-Rn and Walmart ADN, Thats exactly what I was asking. Thanks for your posts. I am one of the baby boomers, and sometimes I wonder if my age has anything to do with getting hired for a job. Do employers want someone fresh out of school they can mode to their standards, or would they take the time to train a potential candidate to the area interested in? I don't know. You can leave an interview feeling very positive about the experience and than not even get a call. I found both your exxperiences hard to believe. What a shame.
  13. by   Dayray
    I supose I have been the target of reverse age discrimination but I dont really care. Some older nurses will explain things to me at a very basic level. I just listen to them and figure I may learn something. Every so often I get a littel offended when nurses assume I dont understand things becuase of my age but I just let it roll off.

    As far as discrimination against older nurses, Im sure it happens but I havent seen it. My hospital is so hard up for nurses they will keep nurses until they they CODE in the hall.

    I love listening to the stories older nurse tell and have learned so many things from them. I cant keep up with some of the older nurses they can handle loads I wouldent atmept. Some of the older nurses move a littel slower but when Im in over my head I go looking to them for help.

    I dont mind picking up a littel slack for some of the more mature nurses. they help me with their knowge and I help them with soem of the phsyical aspects of the job.
  14. by   mattsmom81
    My experience is facilities (especially corporate) look at older nurses as a comp risk and don't like the idea of high payouts on medical insurance policies...they really dwell on medical problems and medications an older nurse takes...and I suspect I did not get several jobs due to these things. Hard to prove this...all they will say is, "We had a better applicant."

    Kinda makes ya wonder about the cry of 'nursing shortage' when they can be so picky doesn't it.

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