Do nurses only "eat their young" in certain departments? - page 5

This semester we are on Med/Surg. At first I thought this "nurse eating young" thing was just something made up by overly sensitive students, until I floated to other departments. I have been is... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from GeekyRN
    I don't disagree and will definitely take you up on your offer but truthfully that quoted piece rubs me a little wrong too. People who ETY or in otherwords are unaccountable for the hostility and misery they cause others, whatever you want to call it is costing the profession and the country a LOT of productivity. (As I mentioned in my story earlier, for example, ICU lost what was going to be one hell of an RN)

    The answer isn't just to tell everyone to develop thicker skin and love it or leave it because a lot of talent and great potential talent is going to say fine, I'll leave it. (the thought has occured to me once or twice myself).

    There's a great new bestseller getting five star reviews out now by Robert Sutton called "The No A**Hole Rule" which is meticulously researched and basically is all about how workplace bullies destroy morale and cost astronomical amounts of dollars in talent and productivity.

    I personally think it's must reading for every clinical manager, director and preferably every physician and RN.

    I wish I had time to read that book.

    Let me begin by saying I do not under any circumstances advocate for nurses to develop thick skin and not be self-advocates in dealing with situations.

    I do advocate choosing battles, because some aren't worth fighting. But if someone mistreats me, is rude or whatever, I'm not going to go running to Allnurses and cry "why do nurses eat their young and abuse each other". I'm going to confront the situation head on, deal with it, collaborate on a solution, or work my way up the chain of command or what ever. The point is I'll nip it in the bud and realize it's a situational thing and not loose any sleep over it precisely because I have think skin and can keep it in perspective without putting down my entire profession.

    I'm not going to say "I need think skin and I'm going to ignore this jerk in front of me, nurses eat their young anyway, nurses are catty, nurses abuse each other, this is a horrible profession for that but I'm the rare exception".

    There are times to leave jobs and places if it's just so bad. Nurses vote with their feet all the time.


    What I have an objection to is labeling of the entire profession.
  2. by   mamason
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    This semester we are on Med/Surg. At first I thought this "nurse eating young" thing was just something made up by overly sensitive students, until I floated to other departments. I have been is short stay, OR and the ICU and the nurses in there are SOOOOOOOOOOO nice compared to the nurses on M/S! One of the nurses in OR told me "I want the student nurses to enjoy their time in here so they will come and work here when they graduate". He spent tons of time with me; quizzing me a little things, showing me how to sterile gown-up, and told me the names of all the instruments he was setting up. In M/S however, I feel like I am a big pain in the arse! I try at all cost not to bother the nurses in this department, but if I can not find my teacher and my client is in 9/10 pain an is allowed prn morphine and it is time (we need assistance/an observer) they sigh and act all put out. Its like, if I was not there there would be a number of other things they would have to add to their list of things to do because I am taking two of their five patients and doing everything for them (minus needing them or my teacher when available for I.V. push meds). I even say, "as soon as you get a chance can you watch me give such and such med".
    Don't get me wrong, there are some that are nice, but the majority make me feel hated. The school tells us that students in the past have been hired as techs that have left an impression...but who would want to work with these people? Some even ignore you when you say good morning!
    OR - 1 patient at a time
    ICU- max 3 patients at a time
    Med/Surg- anywhere from 6 to 10 patients at a time.

    Hummmmmm......... Do you see a pattern here? Not all nurses "eat their young." Maybe the med/surg floor you were assigned to was short staffed and probably is like that all the time. The nurses were probably too busy trying to figure out how one nurse is going to complete the job of two in a 12 hour shift. No offense, but, wait until you're out there and on your own. You'll understand then. Good luck in school.
  3. by   SICU Queen
    Quote from MKZ
    I agree "nurses eating their young" are not prone to be in secular areas. However, I find the statement "you are going to run into jerks where ever you go" offensive. For one, I have been alot of places, worked a lot of jobs, and never have I ever been put down, scorned, or unappreciated as I have been in nursing. It's a job I proudly accept. . From the beginning my attitude was bright open and willing to learn, suck up and deal, work hard to become a very good nurse.
    Jerks don't belong in nursing. But hey, lo and behold, there they are. And if one is to put up with it, more than likely, they too, will one day think its okay to be a jerk themselves. It rots the proffesion.
    You're offended? Whatever for? Am I wrong?

    Jerks ARE everywhere, even in nursing. Do they belong there? Of course not. Do they rot the profession? Absolutely. But the fact is that they exist in all areas of life, and learning to deal with this early on is a matter of self-preservation. Nowhere did I say that one should put up with it; on the contrary, I think I've made myself perfectly clear in other posts on this thread that one needs to develop a strong spine, and quickly, so that one doesn't succumb to the negative people that will try to make life miserable.

    Our patients need strong nurses grounded in REALITY, and part of that reality is that there are some real a******s out there, and they carry the same title we do: NURSE.
  4. by   SICU Queen
    Quote from mamason
    The nurses were probably too busy trying to figure out how one nurse is going to complete the job of two in a 12 hour shift. No offense, but, wait until you're out there and on your own. You'll understand then. Good luck in school.
    :yeahthat:
  5. by   LeahJet
    Honestly, I don't know why people have a problem with the advice to develop "thick skin".
    It just simply means, deal with conflict in the best way you know how.... choosing battles, working it out...whatever.

    Just don't be all weepy and whimpy and moan about it.
    That is counter-productive and adds even more to the negative workplace.

    So substitute the term(s) of your choice for "thick skin" if that is offensive or disagreeable to anyone.

    If, for any reason, this post offends anyone..... please accept my most humble apology. Sometimes I may be too straight forward for the delicate sensitive types. (yes, I'm rolling my eyes over here)
    Last edit by LeahJet on Apr 9, '07
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think we indeed have a choice about what we find offensive, and very much have it in our power to DO something proactive and assertive about it, rather than just remain offended.....

    Just a random thought.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 9, '07
  7. by   GeekyRN
    Quote from MKZ
    I agree "nurses eating their young" are not prone to be in secular areas. However, I find the statement "you are going to run into jerks where ever you go" offensive. For one, I have been alot of places, worked a lot of jobs, and never have I ever been put down, scorned, or unappreciated as I have been in nursing. It's a job I proudly accept. . From the beginning my attitude was bright open and willing to learn, suck up and deal, work hard to become a very good nurse.
    Jerks don't belong in nursing. But hey, lo and behold, there they are. And if one is to put up with it, more than likely, they too, will one day think its okay to be a jerk themselves. It rots the proffesion.

    I couldn't possibly agree more. In the cockpit of an airline the crew MUST get along and there is no room for b.s. because of what's at stake. The same is just as true on a nursing unit but some people just still don't get it.

    I can't even believe the stuff I'm reading here. Or think I am reading.
    Let me double check that I'm not misintrepreting:

    1. If you expect professonal courtesy you need to get a backbone.
    2. If you don't like being bullied, well, tough, you're a shrinking violet and don't belong in nursing.
    3. If you paid your dues being eaten alive when you knew virtually nothing as a newbie and had no support or comfort zone, instead of helping others, it's your right to instill the same grief on them that you got.

    This is what makes me think nurses are their own worst enemies.

    As Sutton says in his book: Admitting you're an a.h. is the first step to recovery.

    PS - and no, I'm not defending the types that want to throw an arm-flapping fit because someone looked at them wrong. But then that's not what we were ever talking about in this thread.

    But good nurses are made, not born, folks.
  8. by   chadash
    I think the tough skin advice is right on the mark.
    You can have tough skin and a warm heart at the same time.
    Really, I don't see how you could work in healthcare for long without coming to terms with the fact that, whether it be because of the stresses of the job or just that there are "jerks" everywhere, you can't take it personally.
  9. by   Little Panda RN
    Quote from GeekyRN
    I couldn't possibly agree more. In the cockpit of an airline the crew MUST get along and there is no room for b.s. because of what's at stake. The same is just as true on a nursing unit but some people just still don't get it.

    I can't even believe the stuff I'm reading here. Or think I am reading.
    Let me double check that I'm not misintrepreting:

    1. If you expect professonal courtesy you need to get a backbone.
    2. If you don't like being bullied, well, tough, you're a shrinking violet and don't belong in nursing.
    3. If you paid your dues being eaten alive when you knew virtually nothing as a newbie and had no support or comfort zone, instead of helping others, it's your right to instill the same grief on them that you got.

    This is what makes me think nurses are their own worst enemies.

    As Sutton says in his book: Admitting you're an a.h. is the first step to recovery.

    PS - and no, I'm not defending the types that want to throw an arm-flapping fit because someone looked at them wrong. But then that's not what we were ever talking about in this thread.

    But good nurses are made, not born, folks.


    :yeahthat:
  10. by   GeekyRN
    Quote from Tweety
    I wish I had time to read that book.

    Let me begin by saying I do not under any circumstances advocate for nurses to develop thick skin and not be self-advocates in dealing with situations.

    I do advocate choosing battles, because some aren't worth fighting. But if someone mistreats me, is rude or whatever, I'm not going to go running to Allnurses and cry "why do nurses eat their young and abuse each other". I'm going to confront the situation head on, deal with it, collaborate on a solution, or work my way up the chain of command or what ever. The point is I'll nip it in the bud and realize it's a situational thing and not loose any sleep over it precisely because I have think skin and can keep it in perspective without putting down my entire profession.

    I'm not going to say "I need think skin and I'm going to ignore this jerk in front of me, nurses eat their young anyway, nurses are catty, nurses abuse each other, this is a horrible profession for that but I'm the rare exception".

    There are times to leave jobs and places if it's just so bad. Nurses vote with their feet all the time.


    The problem with that is, the people who are most likely to be bullied and abused ARE the newbie nurses on the unit (and/or in the profession) that DON'T have the resources to fight back successfully - they haven't got a support system, the faith of the clinical director, friends in the hospital etc to defend them. They probably don't have the experience to land several job offers in a few weeks either.

    Voting with the feet unfortunately does happen all the time but it's a total waste of productivity, talent and investment. Dare I suggest that people GTFU and act like the white collar professionals they are.
  11. by   GeekyRN
    Anyway, as I was saying earlier, and then I'm done here, but that book Imentioned, that's out now Sutton's "The No A**hole factor" talks about the loss productivity and talent that workplace bullies cost industry - finds that even those ah's perceived as abrasive but stellar performers, are hurting productivity and the productivity of everyone else actually rises when they leave. Much more.

    Underlying point: We all have to enforce 0 ah tolerance, not just management.

    Anyway, the book is easy reading,not a big timesucker, and best of all , if you are trapped in a situation where you are working with one or more bullies, it helps you deal with it.

    PS - and no, I'm not related to the author, an investor in the publishing house, etc.
  12. by   Cattitude
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I think we indeed have a choice about what we find offensive, and very much have it in our power to DO something proactive and assertive about it, rather than just remain offended.....

    Just a random thought.
    This is right on the mark. I remember reading a thread here once where a newb complained about another fairly new nurse yelling at her in front of coworkers and how embarrassed she was. I was waiting to see what action SHE took. NONE! She didn't even SAY anything to the other nurse. Uh, no way would I let any other nurse, especially another new nurse yell at me. That was a perfect situation to take control respectfully and nip that nonsense in the bud right there.

    I see many threads where the "offended" party doesn't seem to do much of anything to try and correct the situation. Hello? Yes you do need to react in a positive way to let idiots know you will not tolerate being treated poorly!

    Quote from GeekyRN
    1. If you expect professonal courtesy you need to get a backbone.
    2. If you don't like being bullied, well, tough, you're a shrinking violet and don't belong in nursing.
    3. If you paid your dues being eaten alive when you knew virtually nothing as a newbie and had no support or comfort zone, instead of helping others, it's your right to instill the same grief on them that you got.

    .
    I guess this is your view of what was was expressed here, it's not mine. Everyone is going to read posts and take them a bit differently. I think that nursing is not for the faint hearted and that if someone is being treated poorly they SHOULD stand up for themselves. I see nothing wrong with that. No I don't think they should get out of nursing but maybe they need to re-think the area of nursing they are in if it is causing them grief. I definitely don't think anyone should ever instill grief on anyone else, EVER.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from chadash
    No one asked my opinion, but that has never stopped me before. So here we go:
    It is not connected with departments. It is connected with some sick sick person geting in a position of power, and craving more more more.....
    OK, that is a bit over the top.
    But by golly, it may have something to do with that. If an organization is to function well, it must be peopled with functional people, not folks crazed with the quest for power.
    Actually, I see more in units where nurses are disempowered. If someone is comfortable, staffed adequately and has good personnel, these problems are less common.

    In the MS floors where there is consistantly understaffing, the personnel are treated poorly and management treats them crappy, you will see more difficult personalities.

close