"Eating Our Young" and Ethics - page 5

by RNsToBe

5,346 Views | 44 Comments

Hello: We are a group of RN students in a BSN program in Northern California, and we are exploring the ethical implications of experienced nurses "eating their young". We would like to hear the perspective of experienced... Read More


  1. 0
    I have been a registered nurse for 16 years. My experience includes almost every aspect except surgery. As a military nurse in the United States Air Force I was treated like an animal. I was responsible for the care of 22 patients with the assistance of 1 nursing assistant. Oftentimes in the civilian life the facility I was working in ran understaffed and oftentimes extremely dangerous. Between the U.S. government (with their Medicare and Medicaid restrictions) and the greedy owners of the health-care facilities, the nursing staff is caught in the middle trying to do much with little.
    As far as nurses "eating our young"...it is a very real concept. Most facilities do not take near enough time to properly precept and train new nurses to feel comfortable in their role.
    I currently work with a registered nurse that has opened my eyes to some of the problems of "eating our young". This particular nurse spends more of her time trying to find the faults of other nurses than doing her own work. She goes as far as checking other nurses charts and patients with the hopes of finding a missed item i.e. medication not signed off, dressing changed not done, etc.. Please don't get me wrong, these are very important items to insure are properly taken care of. The problem is no nurse is perfect! The solution is not to immediately try to fire everybody like this particular nurse tries to do, but to review and train nurses to help improve them, not destroy them.
    My point here is oftentimes nurses who "eat their young" have a severe personality dysfunction. They have either been victimized and are trying to get even with society, or they know they are incompetent and inept and make a futile attempt to try and knock others down so that she/he may shine. But they don't realize they only create tension and mutiny amongst the team players.
    How to resolve the problem is still a mystery. I have attempted to make friends with these kind of people and help them in every way I possibly can imagine, but that didn't work. I even mentioned how their behaviors and actions can cause other nurses to go "postal" and to be careful how they treat others. That didn't work either. Trying to run these nurses off is extremely difficult. The best advice I can give to new nurses is to do the best job you can, help everyone you're able to and treat your patients with the biggest smile and friendliest voice you can possibly muster. You will learn that if the patient's love you it won't matter if a displaced and dysfunctional nurse has it out for you. Those kind of people are generally so unhappy with themselves they cannot be happy in one place for very long and will hopefully move on by themselves.
    Good luck to all the new nurses! May God bless you in your endeavor to help the ill.
    Regards,
    Bob Clemons RN,BC,MSA,LNC
  2. 0
    May I humbly suggest you change your thesis from "'Eating Our Young' and ethics" to: "Do experience nurses support new nurses? If not, what are the ethical consequences?" I suggest this change for the following reasons:
    1. It's a tired cliche'
    2. It congures up some rather disgusting images.
    3. With a few notible exceptions (Jeffrey Dommer, some indigenous tribes, soccer teams trapped in the Ande's etc.) most of us don't make a habit of snacking on each other. I mean I've yet to meet any nurse who orders up: McYoung Nuggets, Young on a half shell, Toasted Young Sandwich, or my favorite, Hot Buttered Young Clusters.
    4. It really is a tired cliche'

    Thanks.

    PS I oriented to a surgical and rehab floor last May and my flesh is intact. Maybe I had an easier time because I never went in thinking I new it all. In fact, I started my first job thinking, "damn, I don't know crap." I still feel, I don't know crap. Anyway, I always felt supported by experienced nurses, all though, there are a few I don't care for. So, I just avoid them, works out great.

    Good luck as you embark on your new career. I am very happy I became a nurse (most days).
  3. 0
    Quote from rngreenhorn
    May I humbly suggest you change your thesis from "'Eating Our Young' and ethics" to: "Do experience nurses support new nurses? If not, what are the ethical consequences?" I suggest this change for the following reasons:
    1. It's a tired cliche'
    2. It congures up some rather disgusting images.
    3. With a few notible exceptions (Jeffrey Dommer, some indigenous tribes, soccer teams trapped in the Ande's etc.) most of us don't make a habit of snacking on each other. I mean I've yet to meet any nurse who orders up: McYoung Nuggets, Young on a half shell, Toasted Young Sandwich, or my favorite, Hot Buttered Young Clusters.
    4. It really is a tired cliche'

    Thanks.

    PS I oriented to a surgical and rehab floor last May and my flesh is intact. Maybe I had an easier time because I never went in thinking I new it all. In fact, I started my first job thinking, "damn, I don't know crap." I still feel, I don't know crap. Anyway, I always felt supported by experienced nurses, all though, there are a few I don't care for. So, I just avoid them, works out great.

    Good luck as you embark on your new career. I am very happy I became a nurse (most days).
    EXCELLENT suggestions!
  4. 0
    I just find it funny that this thread started in the year 2000 is still alive. :chuckle :stone
  5. 0
    And perhaps people are learning from it even now.


Top