Generation Y

  1. Generation Y accounding to a long discourse over on the HealthLeaders site is now between the age of 3 and 23. The oldest group are between 18 and 23 and just entering the health care field. My question is how are they doing? I do have a few nieces and nephews in this age group and none of them seem to possess the type of life skills that would predispose them to nursing. Notice I am not saying that are bad or troublesome kids. First of all they are from very small families and have no expierence looking out for anyone but them selves. In my early years I was the oldest daughter of a large family and totally accustom to looking out for people who could not take care of themselves. They have little exposure to the very elderly because people in this age group tend to be hidden away. I grew up in a big family with a lot of people from all age groups, I just wonder how that would react to the fact the a good portion of people over a certain age do not have control of their bodily functions. I can't imagine any of them patiently ministering to a 87 year old undergoing a bowel prep and completely losing everything everywhere repeatedly. Also my nieces and nephews in this age group are some what materialistic, they thought of working in a field where wages and benefits are second rate is not acceptable to them. Biggest thing of all, my female nieces are total liberated. How they would react to a profession where 19th century style oppression is still rampant I do not know. They have no concept of being a second class citizen due to their gender let alone their profession. Anybody have any thoughts?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Miss Mollie
    We have hired at least 6 new, young grads this past year. They have surprised me with their sensitivity and concern for patients. They (perhaps because they don't feel like second class citizens) have doggedly persued physicians to get patients better pain control, rapid treatment for unusual lab values, and so on. What great patient advocates! Some are more patient than others, but I think you will find that in older RN's as well. In general, they work pretty well with the confused population- trying all sorts of alternatives to restraints and sedation. (Some of our older RN's simply restrain and sedate- stating they are too tired, or can't be bothered to try somethign else).
    Most were exposed to lack of control over bodily functions at some point in school- and still chose to enter nursing.
    I have also seen a few RN's with the very made up look (lots of hair, acrylic nails) in hot persuit of the young MD- but they don't seem to last very long, no matter what their age.
    I think Oramar has some very valid points about the values present in todays society not being very compatible with nursing, but I am not sure that it only applies to the youngest generation of nurses.
  4. by   oramar
    I just want to say that I am not unleashing one of those "you are all a bunch of spoiled brats" tirades against people in the 18 to 23 age group. Believe it or not when I was between 18 to 23 years I had to listen to that stuff daily. It was called the generation gap and it was a daily topic in the newsmedia. It was a load of bull whipped up to sell newspapers. The only basis in reality was that there was a group of people who were in the uppermiddle class who had managed to provide nice lives for their kids back in the 50s and 60s. These people were journalist, businessmen, doctors and lawyers and they did think their kids were not as grateful as they should have been.(we will not even go into the Vietnam War this is not the place). However they were an economic MINORITY. When I was 18 I looked around me and all I saw for miles and miles was hard working blue collar people with very large families, usually 8 to 14 children. No body can be a spoiled brat under those conditions. Living in a big family is an excellent training ground for a budding nurse. All I am saying is that different generations have different experiences and I wonder how the 18 to 23 years olds were prepared for a career in health care by their life experiences.
  5. by   Tiara
    I think these characteristics can have a very positive effect on nursing because I have heard from many new nurses that they are going to fight for better conditions in the hospitals rather than put up with the status quo.
  6. by   JillR
    Some of the people in this generation that I have worked with have been very hard working and thoughtful and some have not. I don't think it is fair to generalize about anyone, there are always excetions.

    However, not long ago one of our surgeons was complaining that the new grads now are not easily intimidated and that this took some of the fun out of being around new grads. So, if this is what this generation had brought to nursing, I think we should thank them, don't you?
  7. by   chili2641

    This is a very interesting topic. I started working as a cna when I was seventeen years old. I am now twenty-five years old. I can not speak for the young nurses. Working as an aid was a smack in the face a real shocker to my system. It was my first job and I wanted out from day one. I spent the next eight years trying to get out of nursing. Now, just because nursing was not for me does not mean that I lacked work ethic or compassion. It just wasn't for me. I worked fulltime as an aid for three years. Once I started college I was jumping around like a rabbit. It was something if I would stay somewhere for three months. In my other life I never missed a class and maintained a 4.0 grade point average. I was so dedicated to school; work was just a job and it always came second. I would call in if I had a final exam to study for. I started to realize that my co-workers were paying the price. My decision was to leave nursing all together. That is something that I should have done a long time a go. But I felt stuck. Nursing is a great job for students because it is so flexible and they are always so desparate for help.

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    Nursing assistant
  8. by   moonshadeau
    Okay, so I know that the original post was for the older nurses to comment on how the "Y" generation of nurses act. But since I am considered part of this group I felt compelled to respond to some generalizations.

    I am currently the youngest RN, and the 2nd youngest staff member on my floor. I am 22. I hear all the time from patients "You can't be more than 12". Now, I will agree that most of my cohorts are mostly in the "yuppie" unrealistic mode of thinking that life is handed to them on a silver platter and how much money can they make for doing nothing. Nursing certainly doesn't count for a job that you can make easy money and sit on your butt all day. Somehow when I started nursing school, I was with a group of 50 and by the end 12 graduated. BACK TO THE ORIGINAL SUBJECT OF PATIENCE. I love the elderly population that I work with. Yes, sometimes it is very difficult to work with them. But most of the time they can tell you the best stories if you take the time to listen to them. But maybe I feel this way because I didn't grow up with a large family and the family I did have I hardly ever saw, including grandparents. This way I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life because they ARE someone's grandparent, if it's not just me pretending that they are mine. So maybe I am the only Type A personality, oversensitive nurse that is in Gen Y, but I highly doubt it. If you didn't know that nursing was going to involve bodily fluids of a disgusting nature, then you didn't know about nursing. And for the sedation part. I believe that a person should be given several attempts at non-physical/chemical relaxation before they are sedated or restrained. Family is an excellent resource if they are availabe. I am very cautious in asking for restraints. Only in times of physical harm to patient/staff. Then let it be.

    So, I know I have babbled on. But I just want it to be known that not all of us GEN Y'ers are block heads, self-centered or impatient. Where else but in nursing can you be a: teacher, advocate, detective, counsler, a life saver all in the same day?
  9. by   Tiara
    I'm sure no one had the intention to cast aspersions on any new nurses. We're on your side! I think it's great you are happy with nursing, and I hope you continue to be. I wanted to mention that I felt much the way you do when I became a nurse. I also had a very small family and it really does fill the void. Best of luck to you.
  10. by   Tiara
    It is also the instant gratification generation. It takes a lot of patience and delayed gratification to stick with nursing.
  11. by   fergus51
    Great post moonshadeau, I hope you retain this enthusiasm for a LONG time. I think the worst part of being on the young side (in my 20s, look about 12) is the patients always ask me if I have had kids and I haven't so then it sounds pretty holow when I am giving them breastfeeding tips and things like that...

    I have to say I WAS exposed to the elderly all my life and bodily fluids never bothered me. And I wasn't materialistic, and I DID come from a large family. What you're talking about, Oramar, sounds like a different experience, but not a generational thing. Those types of people have been around a LONG time.
  12. by   CashewLPN
    Well, at the last 2 institutions I've worked in, I have been the youngest nurse/employee hired... at 18(last year) I was a LTCF nurse, and was soon promoted to charge LPN.
    At three days after my 19th birthday (last june) I joined the major hospital on my island, and am now a rehabilitation nurse...
    Oramar, you ask how we young people keep it together through the worst parts of our job as nurses... well... how do you keep it together... how do you react...
    Am I materialistic, sure... most people my age are... but, I work my tail off... I love my job... a glance, a smile, a kind word... it makes my day go from 'code brown r/t golytely' to 'yawn....'
    I goof around a little, but nothing so overtly un professional... to work you need a sense of humor...
    Oh... and my life skills.. what do I have of them? Well, I come from a smallish family... just 2 younger brothers (one is a nurse too...) my mum(again, a nurse) and my da... thats it... we're all self sufficient... thats my major skill...
    Oh-- and yes, I do look like a little kid at work sometimes... but, most of the time, in my head, I am 35 years old upstairs in a 19 year old body... And I promise you that I can perform my duties as well if not better than any older nurse you can find...
    --Barbara, LPN

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