Attitudes towards RN's and lack of respect

  1. Hello. I am in nursing school and doing a paper on LACK OF RESPECT, ATTITUDES in nursing. I want to get your thoughts and opinions on this. It will help me for my paper. I know this topic has been talked about before and I have read a lot on here about it. I have read that administrators talk down to us, doctors, and sometimes patients. Do you have any stories to share?? Also, if you are a nurse and have been treated very well by others most of your career, I'd be interested in hearing that too.

    I hope that with my paper and presentation I can express the concerns we have as nurses- how many times we do not get the respect we should and how we might be able to better portray ourselves so others will respect us. I respect myself and my nursing counterparts. What we have to go through to become nurses is unbelievable. We all work very hard to be called a nurse and we deserve respect. One of my teachers told me at the beginning of RN school that MORE TIMES THEN NOT, YOU WILL BE TELLING THE DOCTORS WHAT TO DO. Opinions?? Thoughts? Your impact is appreciated.

    THANKS EVERYONE!!!
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    I find the greatest lack of respect towards nurses today comes from family members. They don't want to follow the rules set up and posted by the hospitals. Visiting hours don't apply to them. Why can't we come back and do whatever it is we have to do, when they aren't visiting? Can you clean this up, while pointing to their empty Starbucks cups?

    I've even had families ask me to bring them back coffees when they see us leaving the floor for our breaks.

    We share our parkade with the public. Our clearly marked stalls are fair game for visitors, who have gotten down right nasty to some staff who have parked in their own stall.

    It's very much customer service these days. Silly me, I thought if you were in hospital there was a medical reason.
  4. by   ebear
    No, you will NOT be "telling the doctors what to do". You can, and will be expected to, report your findings concerning your patient's condition and changes thereof. You must know the normal to report the abnormal.
    As far as nurses being respected, there are many posts here as you see. You may find many more posts concerning this topic in the "specialties" area. :spin:
    ebear
  5. by   EmilyUSFRN
    i've had families completely chew me out when they wake up next to their kid and there is some trash in the wastebasket (not overflowing) and a few towels in the linen bag hanging in the bathroom and demand to know why i didn't take it out during the night.
    i have had a few kids that demand a cup of sprite and when i said "i'll be glad to get if for you after you say please" they say "nevermind. i don't want it anymore."

    I have not really been disrespected by doctors. The ones I have been fortunate enough to work with are pretty cool and listen to what I have to say.
    I have to agree with the above poster; thinking of all of the experiences I've had I think most of the abuse comes from the families... after explaining unit rules they still want to bend them and feel that their neighbor shouldn't have visitors but there is no reason they can't have 7 in their small little room.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I was an LPN for two years and an RN for 12 years and now I've been an APN for another year. Just haven't had trouble being disrespected. I don't take things personally though. My own opinion is that if I'm respectful and polite, I get that back.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    as an individual nurse, i do well.
    agreeing w/trauma, i don't become offended when pts/families are demanding or insulting.
    and i am capable of fighting my own battles.

    as a whole, i find nursing highly disrespected.
    nevermind the public image of sex kitten or a$$-wiper:
    administration does little to nothing in retaining their valued nurses.
    we are all merely expendable entities on an assembly line...
    especially after the fact that our backs and spirits are irreparably broken.
    with all the lateral violence, we shoot ourselves in the foot.
    unless one is in the field, very few have any knowledge re the scope of our practice, and what we are expected to know.

    for yrs, i went along with the raises offered to me.
    they were ok, but nothing great.
    to this day, i'll never know what hit me or why:
    but suddenly, i wasn't willing to accept these raises.
    dangit, i was worth a hell of a lot more.
    evidentally, this showed in my attitude, and i got what i 'expected'...was worthy of.

    even recently, i've interviewed for a couple of positions.
    i used to write "open/negotiable" for expected/desired salary.
    now i fill in the numbers.
    one of the employers raised an eyebrow.
    and i quietly stated, "i am worth more than that".
    period.
    and i got the job.
    it's not about intellectually coaching oneself to self-worth.
    it's about feeling, knowing what you have to offer.
    that is one form of self-respect.
    and it's been a long time coming.

    i can only imagine, that with cohesion, a bit of attitude and a whole lot of relentless determination, we would get there...
    and get the damned respect we are all so worthy of.

    leslie
  8. by   withasmilelpn
    Quote from ebear
    No, you will NOT be "telling the doctors what to do". You can, and will be expected to, report your findings concerning your patient's condition and changes thereof. You must know the normal to report the abnormal.
    As far as nurses being respected, there are many posts here as you see. You may find many more posts concerning this topic in the "specialties" area. :spin:
    ebear
    Not true! I actually have had an MD ask me what I thought regarding a patients INR and coumadin dose (he was a bit scary, truthfully), and I frequently make 'suggestions' of what I want from MDs.
  9. by   ebear
    Withasmile,
    "suggestions" fine.
    "telling them what to do" not fine (would probably go over like a fart in church!)

    watching arrogant, "nurse hating" doctors get their tails in a crack...priceless
    ebear
    Last edit by ebear on Oct 11, '07 : Reason: needed to clarify
  10. by   justme1972
    I have heard people "bash" individual nurses for things, but I have actually never heard someone bash the nursing profession in general.

    I can't quite say the same for physicians.

    I hate to say it, but most of the people that I have seen that bash the nursing profession and constantly preach that no one has respect for them...are other nurses.

    Just my experience.
  11. by   AmaurosisFugax
    I am not a nurse but can give you a perspective as someone who works with nurses & also has been a patient.
    In my job in medical publishing I work closely with several nurses who are among our writers; many of them have advanced degrees & are highly knowledgeable in their field. One thing I learned is how many opportunities are open when one has nursing experience-clinical trials, pharmacovigilance, publishing, management & even legal or informatics.
    Now from patient's perspective. Recently I was diagnosed with cancer & needed treatment for that as well some associated procedures. My doctor was very knowledgable but all business (I understand many doctors are unwilling to express compassion or say I am sorry for fear of lawsuit!)-the nurses in both depts were goddesses, they had the kind words, the compassionate touch, a joke or so to ease the tension as they set up the infusion, & took prompt action when needed. Nurses are probably the last of the healthcare professionals still putting a human face on this business of medicine. Sometimes the patient out of fear, distress or frustration at the system grumbles or whines at the nurses (coz they are ones they see most often), or is too focused on his/her problems to thank the nurse properly-but after all is said & done most of them are genuinely thankful. It is probably those who have no idea what nurses really do who think they are not well educated or semi-skilled or sex-kittens or whatever. Maybe my post is a bit irrelevant to the original question, however I wanted to say thank you again to all the nurses here for what you do.
  12. by   NursingAgainstdaOdds
    I have found that overall, most people have a high degree of respect for nurses in general. A lot of the disrespect we experience is simply a desperate patient or family member venting on us because they can. Often, this kind of treatment can be alleviated by trying to get to the bottom of the issue, and letting a patient and/or family member know by your actions that you are professional, capable, and a person who can help them through this crisis. I've seen the most hardened, disgruntled patients and family members melt into a puddle with a simple "I can't imagine how difficult this is for you, and I can see why you are so upset. My job is to help you guys through this, and I want to help you make things better". Sometimes no matter what you do, that person will go right on treating you like dirt - because they can, and that's the only way they know how to cope at the time. Sometimes one nurse getting to the bottom of an issue can turn the entire stay around. Other times, you just have to set boundaries for what is OK and how people may treat you, and stick to them. That's another simple (not easy) change which can turn the whole thing around. I find relating to patients and families comes quite easily. I can handle the people (usually) that will just continue right on treating you like dog poo no matter what you do. Boundaries are really difficult to set and stick with (for me), but often they are also really effective and therapeutic.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I hate to say it, but most of the people that I have seen that bash the nursing profession and constantly preach that no one has respect for them...are other nurses.
    That's my experience as well, except that i don't hate to say it, it's more like i'm sad to say it. And even sadder, the majority of that i've seen has been from some people here (like those ADN vs. BSN threads?). And those are the same people, after insulting (yes, insulting, degrading) whatever education, degree, or nursing title in the next line say "there's no unity, we need to band together, etc." yet have no clue that they are part of the very problem they speak of.
  14. by   steelcityrn
    There will be times when you are respected, there will be times when you are not. There will be times when you deserve it, there will be times when you did not. Knowing what you did wrong...priceless.

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