Generational Gap in nursing?

  1. I was in report the other day, we do a conference type group report in our 2 nurse ICU, and we got to talking. One of the nurses was bemoaning having to float to med-surg, where the nursing staff is less mature. They got to speculating and one of them surprised me by saying that she thought this younger generation had a different attitude and work ethic than those of our generation (we are in our 40's and 50's)

    For one thing, it made me feel a little old to hear that. And I was surprised to hear it from such a hip looking nurse! Anyways, I wonder if some of this friction that I hear on this board between new nurses, who feel as if they are being badly is in part a generational phenomina?

    I never considered my generation exactly the model of propriety truthfully. But, how much of this "nurses eating their young" mantra really is related to the generation gap?
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  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   Thedreamer
    I think that alot of this does exist but isnt just contained to nursing. Life in general has that rule about older being wiser.. Its not ALWAYS true but its a saying for a reason.

    It could also be that the younger nurses are more energetic and therefore louder and seemingly less "work ethic" like and more "having fun at work is neat" like. It could also be both.

    I myself am 22 but I am quite by the book. I go to work to work. I will be cheery and helpful to patients of course, we are nurses after all (even though some are students *cough*) However, I too would be irritated by an immature staff. Those are the same types of people that still think they are in high school. And the high school mentality is what leads to squabbles and "write ups" about you not being cheery enough or wearing bright enough colors. Or even god forbid, you checking the medication to often to make sure the PT is getting the proper ones!

    But back to what I was saying about this not just being a nursing issue, it can go into anything. And its not always the case. My partner is nearly 10 years older then I, and yet I tend to be the one who dictates the ethics and morals of our relationship. He is quite the jokester.

    And hey, youre not old. Youre pleasantly seasoned! Besides, I would take you on my floor any day! Id rather have someone experienced with a good work ethic helping me on the floor then someone who thinks glove flicking is the coolest thing since sliced bread. And yes I have seen nurses using the glove flicking technique over actually disposing of them in the proper fashion!
  4. by   Jules A
    there are definitely differences in the generations however in my experience there are as many "older people" that don't exactly have the best work ethic, imo and some of the younger ones are amazing. this book is a great read on the subject:
    when generations collide: who they are. why they clash. how to solve the generational puzzle at work.
    by [color=#003399]lynne c. lancaster, [color=#003399]david stillman

    as far as i know the saying about nurses eating their young has been around for a bazillion years.
  5. by   llg
    I have collected several books and articles on the generational differences. It's a very "hot topic" within nursing at the moment as it is within the workworld in general.

    All generations need to learn to recognize the this aspect of interpersonal relationships. Older workers need to learn to work with and respect the younger ones -- and younger ones need to learn to work with and respect their older colleagues. Each generation has something of value to offer and each generation has a few negative aspects to its "personality" as well.
  6. by   oramar
    I rely on younger persons to solve the computerized riddles that the current work place presents me with everyday. Don't know what I would do without them.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from jules a
    there are definitely differences in the generations however in my experience there are as many "older people" that don't exactly have the best work ethic, imo and some of the younger ones are amazing. this book is a great read on the subject:
    when generations collide: who they are. why they clash. how to solve the generational puzzle at work.
    by [color=#003399]lynne c. lancaster, [color=#003399]david stillman

    as far as i know the saying about nurses eating their young has been around for a bazillion years.
    yeah, and i don't like or agree with that saying.

    i think there are jerks in every walk of life - mean people, bullies, etc. it isn't just nursing and so i've always hated that saying.

    as to the generational stuff - there are a few threads here on that and the book you recommended is very good.

    no blanket statements but there are trends . . . my dd hates it when i talk about the usual teenage stuff "mom, don't stereotype".

    steph
  8. by   Roy Fokker
    *groan*

    Not another "the youth of today are self-centered/mannerless/selfish/incompetent/lazy/reckless/(insert another remark here)" !

    Remarks to this accord have been made since the time of PLATO!

    "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
    authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
    of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
    households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
    contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
    at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

    ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato, according to William L.
    Patty and Louise S. Johnson, Personality and Adjustment, p. 277 (1953)."

    cheers,
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    *groan*

    Not another "the youth of today are self-centered/mannerless/selfish/incompetent/lazy/reckless/(insert another remark here)" !

    Remarks to this accord have been made since the time of PLATO!




    cheers,

    Ha ha ha . .. . I have seen this quote many times . . .very funny and makes a good point.:spin:

    steph
  10. by   GardenDove
    Hey, I resemble that remark! I walked through a traffic jam uphills both ways in the smog, back in Beverly Hills! We didn't even have calculators back then, we played pinball not high graphic computer games, and I didn't have a color TV until I was in 8th grade! Not only that, we didn't have any of this high potency weed back then, the best WE could do was Acupulco Gold!

    We were tough, back in the day.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from GardenDove
    Hey, I resemble that remark! I walked through a traffic jam uphills both ways in the smog, back in Beverly Hills! We didn't even have calculators back then, we played pinball not high graphic computer games, and I didn't have a color TV until I was in 8th grade! Not only that, we didn't have any of this high potency weed back then, the best WE could do was Acupulco Gold!

    We were tough, back in the day.
    I see we are the same age. . . . . I lived in Orange County however and did walk uphill both ways to school and back in the smog. Pinball - yes, way more fun and takes more skill than these silly computer games. Color tv - I think I was in 9th grade. As to pot, that's another thread . . .

    steph
  12. by   GardenDove
    Quote from stevielynn
    I see we are the same age. . . . . I lived in Orange County however and did walk uphill both ways to school and back in the smog. Pinball - yes, way more fun and takes more skill than these silly computer games. Color tv - I think I was in 9th grade. As to pot, that's another thread . . .

    steph
    Heh, heh! Those were the days! I actually did walk about 2 miles to Beverly Hills High, or else biked. Did you have 'Yellow Alert Day' in your school district? I remember one year Beverly Hills schools had a drill where we had to get home on our own (just like we would do in case of a nuclear attack, naturally ) Those were the days before people were so overprotective of their kids and actually let them roam the streets.
  13. by   allantiques4me
    Quote from GardenDove
    Hey, I resemble that remark! I walked through a traffic jam uphills both ways in the smog, back in Beverly Hills! We didn't even have calculators back then, we played pinball not high graphic computer games, and I didn't have a color TV until I was in 8th grade! Not only that, we didn't have any of this high potency weed back then, the best WE could do was Acupulco Gold!

    We were tough, back in the day.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from GardenDove
    Heh, heh! Those were the days! I actually did walk about 2 miles to Beverly Hills High, or else biked. Did you have 'Yellow Alert Day' in your school district? I remember one year Beverly Hills schools had a drill where we had to get home on our own (just like we would do in case of a nuclear attack, naturally ) Those were the days before people were so overprotective of their kids and actually let them roam the streets.
    Oh we roamed the streets and fields (when there were still fields in So. Cal) - it was great. Oh the forts we made . . . . such fun.

    I don't remember "Yellow Alert Day" but I do remember in elementary school having "air raid drills" where we had to hide under our desks in case of a nuclear attack . . .

    These young whippersnappers . . . . . will be saying the same thing to the generation coming up behind them . . . . .as Roy pointed it, there is nothing new under the sun.

    steph

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