Angels with a broken wing

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    This is about Nurses who take the time to mentor Students, and share their experience with Nurses learning new skills and Nurses who are forced to work with one arm tied behind their back due to short staff or poor management

    So much has been written in this Forum regarding the behavior of Nurses toward their co-workers and Patients and the impressions of the General Public toward the Nursing Profession; its time to take a fair and balanced view of what is actually happening in hospitals and medical facilities in today's society.

    Let me say, at the outset, I am not an expert in the field of examining and/or evaluating personal behavior and all its ramifications in the medical professions. I can only draw on my own personal experiences and in this case the hundreds of responses to an Article I wrote on "Allnurses" Web Site" called "Why Nurses Eat Their Young" along with similar Articles written by other Nurses addressing the same phenomenon in a variety of nurse related disciplines along the same lines. All addressing some type of hostility in the workplace.

    " Nurses Eat Their Young" is an analogy used in the Nursing Profession to describe how some Nurses cull the weak from the strong just as a Mother Cat will push a Runt or weak kitten aside and focus all her attention on the health and survival of the rest of the litter. Some feel the phrase is overused and portrays Nurses and the Nursing Profession in a negative light and call for its abolition. Some scoff at the idea and respond with sarcasm ridicule Some prefer to keep the spotlight on the complainer, suggesting they should look more to themselves for answers, rather than point a finger at any person or situation .

    Last but not least there are those who fight the good fight and do their best to share their skills , education and experience with the eager, young people, the older, experienced people, learning new skills, the young students, full of potential but insecure and need a strong mentor with the patience and understanding to help them fulfill the promise they made to themselves "to do no harm" and "to make a difference" and chose Nursing as their lifetime Career.

    The number of posts detailing how Nurses cull the litter is in the thousands. Everything from just plain old rudness to out and out hostility. One only has to read about 50 posts to catch the drift of what some Nurses endure just to get through their Nursing Program or to do their job. One can continue reading and discover how little is being done by Management, on every level, to address the problem. It doesn't take a Phd. to figure out the magnitude of the problem or the effect it has on Patient Outcomes. It is time to take an in depth look at the state of Nursing today. It is time to put the "Caring" back into the Nursing Profession.

    There was a time when Patients called us "Angels of Mercy . That time seems to have gone by. I contend there are still plenty of Angels still out there. They do the best they can every day with whatever comes their way and give a helping hand to whoever comes their way. If you just look around you will find one. When you find one, give him/her a hug but be careful of the broken wing.

    This Article in the New York Times says it better.

    Which one are you? Only you can put the caring back in Nursing and that includes your fellow nurses.

    "Nursing Is The Gentle Art of Caring".
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 31, '11 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
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    About timetoshine

    LVN class of 1955 Retired 2008 as Director of Staff Development. I have been an advocate for the fair treatment of Nurses for more than 25 years. My goal has been to treat everyone with dignity and respect and in the process elevate Patient Care to a higher level.

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 74; Likes: 121
    Director of Staff Development, Quality Assurance and Infection Control Nurse and Charge Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 54 year(s) of experience in Acute Care Hosp, Nursing Home, Clinics

    Read My Articles


  3. by   silverbat
    appears to be a good article
    Last edit by dianah on Jul 24, '11 : Reason: misspellings corrected
  4. by   timetoshine
    Thank you. I appreciate the critique. I also found the Spell Checker.
  5. by   neurobb67
    is their any dignity and respect for the care giver i learnt you give and you get get back from an early age.but this days you giv and giv and all you get is complaints from humans whos been taught from an early age to be curtious?????????.mostly the haredst part in dealing with this angels with broken wings is we give grace .practice code off conduct and still its not enough..we get judge an told how it is to do our job because off the google it nurse or google it doctor experience n most complaints comes from your own co workers visiting their parent or friend.. then they say you i am anurse to and this how you should this ..and that is how that should be i am suppose to throw out my policies and follow wat the visitor nurse is saynig so that we dont upset her feelings....huh helppppppppppppppppppppppp???????????????????????
  6. by   timetoshine
    Sorry you are so frustrated. There are several answers that might apply to your situation. However you have not given enough information to answer your questions appropriately. Sounds like you need to talk to someone in your facility, who can evaluate the situation and help you with this problem. Good Luck.
  7. by   looking for work
    Excellent article. I posted a few responses to "nurses eating their young" . It is truly a demon in the profession and repeats itself year after year. I am hopeless when I learn that this happened to me 10 years ago, and is still happening today. If you put 5 nurses in a room with one patient, you will get 5 different assesments. This does not mean that one nurse is wrong and one is right, its just the way things are. In a precepting situation you have 2 licensed nurses with the same patient assignment. The preceptor should be there for questions and guidance, and to share knowledge. It should not be an opportunity to bash, boss and demean a fellow nurse. This seems like common sense, but it doesnt happen this way. Truly devastating.
  8. by   timetoshine
    Looking for work.- I agree. I tried to give you a Kudos but my Kudos button doesn't work. Did you read the New York Times Article? The Author validates the seriousness of the problem. Since joining AN I have come to realize it is far more widespread than I previously imagined. I have even found situations reporting from Great Britain. Sad. Very sad indeed.
  9. by   looking for work
    I just read the article and left a remark. It was a wonderful article and I am happy to have the opportunity to vent about it. This is such a problem in our profession and we all know that "only the **** survive." I read some of the comments in that article and saw patients complaining that they were bullied by a nurse. It is inconceivable how these nurses remain in their jobs. My opinion is that precepting should be eliminated entirely. When I started out, new grads could work as a GN until they passed the boards. I think that is part of the problem. RNs should be licensed as such before they start to work. Once you are licensed, you should be given your own patient assignment even if it is a small one. You should be able to ask questions to whomever you want, and get help from whomever is willing, without having a formal preceptor. In one job, there was a very nice nurse who was kind and understanding. I requested that I precept with her, because she was a pleasure to deal with. My current preceptor was a *****. I was told "she has too many personal problems" and was stuck with the nasty one. This really has to stop. BTW, I never transitioned from that job, and wound up quitting.
    Last edit by dianah on Jul 31, '11 : Reason: Terms of Service: use all *s
  10. by   timetoshine
    That's what makes it even more serious. The good ones leave or try to hang in there and often end up with health issues and the nere-do-wells stay and keep the water boiling. Sorry you had to quit but I certainly understand why you did
  11. by   nubianqu
    I am new to this site and I am finding the articles very interesting, especially the article on "Angels with broken wings" Yes we do have a few angels out there, we just have to take the time to identify them. I am an LVN currently in an Accelerated RN program, it is challenging but I have a few excellent RNs whre I work so I guess I am bless they often take me under their wings and give pointers when I get stuck with some assignments.
  12. by   timetoshine
    Welcome. AN is a good place to enrich yourself with ideas and situations I don't think you will find in the classroom. Count your blessings. I have worked with some wonderful, smart, skilled RN's who have taken me under their wing and gave me the opportunity to be the best that I could be. I have also worked with some RN's and LPN's who seemed to enjoy finding fault with everything I did. I remember as a student scurrying past the desk at the nurse's station with a wash basin filled with water, balancing a complete bed change of clean linen under my left arm, towels, wash clothes under the right and a bottle of lotion hanging off my ring finger. As I passed the desk the RN Supervisor spoke my name and I stopped dead in my tracks. Then she said, " Miss P_______, can't you say "Good Morning?". I wanted to say "Well I'm a little rushed and busy here." but instead I said, "Good Morning, Miss C______. "That's better. Don't just walk by without acknowledging your Supervisor. The least you can do is say "Good Morning.". "Yes, Mame." I was 18 and scared to death. That was my introduction to Nursing in 1953. Just never forget "Nursing is the gentle Art of Caring", and that includes your fellow nurses.
    Last edit by timetoshine on Jul 29, '11 : Reason: spelling
  13. by   looking for work
    I have not only seen the "horizontal" violence, but also the "verticle" where a doctor is as rude and nasty as can be, and this is also tolerated
  14. by   timetoshine
    I know. I know. I suffered from "the Doctor is God" complex for many, many years. Some of the older ones still think they are God. Most of the younger ones I find more willing to be part of the team.