Hey, Managers! What's up with the "weeding out" of good nurses? - page 7

Recently there's been a spate of write-ups I've heard about that are basically bogus. Minor infractions that no one else would get written up over. I'm furious. On the surface, it doesn't seem to... Read More

  1. by   kellerpatty
    Quote from stevielynn

    Actually, the newer nurses I see are less apt to take the crap that older nurses did when they first started.
    You're right about some of them taking less crap...and sometime's its not because they are standing up for themselves. Many (not all) times its because they do not have any idea what real life can be like, what senior nurses have gone through to get where they are, the responsibilities involved in a successful career, the value of mentorship, the idea of teamwork or working for satisfaction instead of just the all-mightly dollar, what respect actually means and how to show it and receive it, or what the words empathy or compassion mean. I'm only saying this because I witnessed it many times in my nursing school (the way some "young" students treated our instructors) and at my place of employment (the way some "young" nurses treat each other and their co-workers). Of course, this doesn't only occur in the "young", but they seem a lot different then when I was their age. Maybe I'm just getting too old (I'm a new nurse, but not new to the working world)...I don't know, but its kind of sad. Please do not write me mean e-mails...just thinking out loud...something I don't really do very often. Thanks.
  2. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from kellerpatty
    You're right about some of them taking less crap...and sometime's its not because they are standing up for themselves. Many (not all) times its because they do not have any idea what real life can be like, what senior nurses have gone through to get where they are, the responsibilities involved in a successful career, the value of mentorship, the idea of teamwork or working for satisfaction instead of just the all-mightly dollar, what respect actually means and how to show it and receive it, or what the words empathy or compassion mean. I'm only saying this because I witnessed it many times in my nursing school (the way some "young" students treated our instructors) and at my place of employment (the way some "young" nurses treat each other and their co-workers). Of course, this doesn't only occur in the "young", but they seem a lot different then when I was their age. Maybe I'm just getting too old (I'm a new nurse, but not new to the working world)...I don't know, but its kind of sad. Please do not write me mean e-mails...just thinking out loud...something I don't really do very often. Thanks.
    I would never write you a "mean" email.

    I'm sure there are nurses like you describe.

    What I found when I started working was an older work force of nurses who always said yes to being called at home when the hospital was short. Some nurses brought their kids into the hospital to sleep while they worked nights. Some nurses had marriage problems because of the time spent away from husbands and kids. Some nurses stayed overtime all the time at the expense of their families.

    I worked full-time, 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. and many many weeks I worked way over full-time. Then I would still make it to my sons' football games on Friday night, get home at 11 p.m. and try to sleep until 1:45 a.m. when I would get up for work. I was very burned out after 2 years of trying to do it all at work and at home.

    Maybe my pregnancy at 43 was God's way of slowing me down. I decided then and there that I would not, no matter how guilty I was made to feel by my "teammates", go in to work if I didn't want to.

    I believe in teamwork, but not at the expense of my family.

    steph
  3. by   kellerpatty
    Thanks for the response...it wasn't mean at all! :wink2: I guess what I meant when I was talking about "crap", was more geared towards attitudes about work and co-workers once there, not really anything about working extra hours, being taken advantage of, or stuff like that. I'm definitely for self-time and family time and setting limits to assure one's own mental health and security. I'm talking more about the "me, me against you, you" attitude. I've had more than one "very-close-to-graduating nurse" tell me to do something myself (in no uncertain terms), when I've asked them to help out, and believe me, I'm in no way an authoritative figure. There's a big difference between holding one's self true and resisting being taken advantage of and just not wanting to be bothered and being disrespectful about it. This is a bummer and not the only example. I guess I'm just out of touch with the world...not sure...still sad.

    P.S. I'm jealous you're in Nor Cal. Moved two years ago from my life-long home in Bay Area and still extremely homesick! Say "hi" to the water and the trees and the mountains and...well, you know what I mean!
    Last edit by kellerpatty on Sep 5, '06
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from kellerpatty
    Thanks for the response...it wasn't mean at all! :wink2: I guess what I meant when I was talking about "crap", was more geared towards attitudes about work and co-workers once there, not really anything about working extra hours, being taken advantage of, or stuff like that. I'm definitely for self-time and family time and setting limits to assure one's own mental health and security. I'm talking more about the "me, me against you, you" attitude. I've had more than one "very-close-to-graduating nurse" tell me to do something myself (in no uncertain terms), when I've asked them to help out, and believe me, I'm in no way an authoritative figure. There's a big difference between holding one's self true and resisting being taken advantage of and just not wanting to be bothered and being disrespectful about it. This is a bummer and not the only example. I guess I'm just out of touch with the world...not sure...still sad.

    P.S. I'm jealous you're in Nor Cal. Moved two years ago from my life-long home in Bay Area and still extremely homesick! Say "hi" to the water and the trees and the mountains and...well, you know what I mean!
    I'm in the "real" Northern CA - northeast of Redding in the mountains where I can see Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen.

    I do agree with the attitude problem you mentioned and have experienced that and it is awful - but it is not limited to nursing - there are jerks everywhere.

    steph
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Steph, it never fails to make me smile when you talk about having a 5-year-old.:wink2: Until my 13-month-old grandson was born, I'd forgotten what it was like to have a little one around the house.........it's like discovering life all over again!!

    While I admit I'm glad I'm well past my own childbearing years---by the time I was 43 my youngest was in fifth grade---it's so cool to watch this little guy learn about the world. I didn't really get that chance when my kids were little, I was too busy trying to keep body and soul together, working, going to school etc. that I didn't have the time or energy to get down on the floor with them and really try looking at the world through their eyes.

    Now there's nothing I enjoy more than sitting outside in the yard with Eli, blowing through a blade of grass and making a funny noise and seeing his reaction. I love to walk him up and down the porch steps---he is very proud of this new skill and practices it every chance he gets!---and show him the squirrels and the deer that come to visit. EVERYTHING is new to him, and even though he isn't talking yet, his facial expressions and his way of pointing at the things he wants to know about tell me that he is a very observant and intelligent little being.

    OK, enough bragging..........now back to your regularly scheduled thread.:wink2:
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from stevielynn
    what i found when i started working was an older work force of nurses who always said yes to being called at home when the hospital was short. some nurses brought their kids into the hospital to sleep while they worked nights. some nurses had marriage problems because of the time spent away from husbands and kids. some nurses stayed overtime all the time at the expense of their families.
    [font="comic sans ms"]it could be that some nurses had marriage problems because of the time spent away from husbands and kids, and that they stayed overtime at the expense of their families. it could also be that the reverse is true: the marriages were falling apart, and the nurses were working the overtime so they could afford to leave. they brought their kids into the hospital to sleep while they worked nights because it was safer than leaving them home with dad who might be falling asleep with a cigarette in his hand or out drinking half the night or abusive or . . . .

    i'll share with you one thing that i've noticed -- when you see someone suddenly start spending a lot more time at work, it's usually because the homelife is already in the dumpster and work is either a safer or more pleasant place to be. i'll also comment that i myself worked an awful lot of overtime to keep me out of the house toward the end of my ex-husband's approximately 12 week cycle when he was looking for something to fly into a rage over.
  7. by   nursemike
    Quote from purplemania
    I have never been asked to do such a thing with my units. However, we did some housecleaning a few years back of nurses who had been on the same unit so long they thought they owned it and all the equipment in it. They covered all sorts of bad deeds for one another and caused low morale. One by one they were eliminated on policy infractions, but not on trumped up causes. We limit our new grads to areas in need that have seasoned nurses present to support the unit. Salaries do not compare to huge insurance settlements over things that could have been avoided.
    I have a relative with many years' experience who used to complain about "them" trying to force out the older nurses because they get paid more, and also that new grads were making nearly as much as she was, since base starting pay goes up every time there's a raise.
    Eventually, she got so disgusted she quit on short notice. She was told she wouldn't be eligible for rehire. She said there was no way she would ever come back, anyway.
    Few weeks pass, and her next job wasn't exactly a picnic, either, so when the VP for nursing called to ask why an experienced nurse would leave like that, she told her. When the VP offered to meet with her and her director, she decided she had nothing to lose by hearing them out. In the end, she was reinstated with all her seniority.
    She still grumbles, of course, but not about being "pushed out."
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from ruby vee
    the marriages were falling apart, and the nurses were working the overtime so they could afford to leave. they brought their kids into the hospital to sleep while they worked nights because it was safer than leaving them home with dad who might be falling asleep with a cigarette in his hand or out drinking half the night or abusive or . . . .
    in the instances i'm referring to, the above was not true. i had to laugh at the dad falling asleep with a cig in his hand or drinking half the night . ... . nothing could be further from the truth for the husbands of these women.

    there is a generational difference - women coming of age in the 60's and 70's were taught that work was more important than family.

    i never bought into that (i'm of that generation) and stayed home with my older kids. and i work part-time now - because as marla mentioned i love being around my son and i have a daughter still in high school who needs her mom around.

    in my 9 years of nursing (granted, this is not a long time) i've not seen any weeding out of older nurses - i'm sure it must happen but not around here.

    we need nurses - we would love to have some older nurses or younger nurses apply.

    steph
  9. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I understand where you're coming from, but we place such great emphasis on nursing history, and this phenomenom is such a huge part of (unspoken) nursing culture, that I submit that new grads do need to be aware that it goes on. They need to have tools to deal with it, if or when it happens to them.

    And maybe they also need to realize that if they get into a management position, maybe they also need to understand that just because this has been a part of the workplace culture, does not mean that it must always be. Maybe this little dysfunction of the profession can change with leaders who are aware, active, and involved.

    One could hope.
    Point taken and agreed.

    I guess when I was referring to things that don't need to be discussed within an earshot of students or new grads, I was thinking more of scenarios like a preceptor trying to orient a new grad while his/her coworker walks up and starts telling stories about someone who got fired yesterday for this that or the other reason.

    When I'm precepting, I try to cut those conversations short with my colleagues for a more appropriate time and not in front of the new person.

    I agree that they need the tools to deal with that sort of thing when/if the time happens to them, but I also feel that it can cause unneccessary stress when one is trying to get the hang of a new specialty and/or new to nursing altogether and that they really don't need to hear our dirty laundry and get paranoid of getting fired on top of learning to read monitors, vents, meds, drips,etc. But yes, they do need a realistic picture at the same time.

    I guess I was drawing a parallel to conversations at work and these threads being read by people new to nursing/students.

    Although it may be taken that way by a student or newbie, the discussions aren't intended to either scare nor encourage them and their decision to enter nursing. They are mere discussions about what goes on with us at work and they should keep that in mind when reading.
  10. by   RN34TX
    Quote from ruby vee
    i'll share with you one thing that i've noticed -- when you see someone suddenly start spending a lot more time at work, it's usually because the homelife is already in the dumpster and work is either a safer or more pleasant place to be.
    oh i think we've all seen that.
    unfortunately, occasionally the horizontal violence can sometimes stem from that.

    my home life sucks so i'm going to work a ton of overtime and see how miserable i can make my entire unit by finding as many mistakes to tattle-tale on as i possibly can.
    i have no control at home so i'll try to exert as much control and authority at work as i possibly can to try to make up for it.

    it's particularly unpleasant when it's your boss who has a bad home life and takes it out on you as they work around the clock.
  11. by   mydesygn
    Quote from RN34TX
    Oh I think we've all seen that.
    Unfortunately, occasionally the horizontal violence can sometimes stem from that.

    My home life sucks so I'm going to work a ton of overtime and see how miserable I can make my entire unit by finding as many mistakes to tattle-tale on as I possibly can.
    I have no control at home so I'll try to exert as much control and authority at work as I possibly can to try to make up for it.

    It's particularly unpleasant when it's your boss who has a bad home life and takes it out on you as they work around the clock.

    I do wonder how much of the wholescale "tattling" and "eating the young" are form nurses who need control at work because they don't have a balance in their personal lives. I do find the worst offenders are usually the ones who do enormous amounts of overtime or seem to willing to volunteer for charge or commitees etc.. but that's another thread.
  12. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from stevielynn
    There is a generational difference - women coming of age in the 60's and 70's were taught that work was more important than family.

    I never bought into that (I'm of that generation) and stayed home with my older kids.
    I came from that generation also, and interestingly most of my close friends and I were not ever taught that work was more important than family. And, yes, I am a Feminist with a capital F.

    What we did learn from experience, that our mothers who stayed home with the kids, were faithful to home and husband and did not get much work experence, often got dumped later, because they were not as "interesting" or "wellrounded" as the other woman. They then were left without insurance, had no work record, little retirement...left high and dry for all their years of taking care of hubbie and family. Or their spouse died or became gravely ill, and they were quite helpless to care for their family. And these cases happened in the "good old days" when women were "protected" by men and supposedly by law.

    We learned that we needed to have the knowledge and ability to care for ourselves and children, if the unthinkable happened. That responsible mothers and women must be able to care for herself and her family.

    Please do not generalize the experience of a generation of women. We all come from diverse backgrounds. My child (by choice not by birth) is more important than my job. But I would not have been able to give her the care that she deserves without an income in the household. It took sacrifices on both our parts, but she grew up to be wonderful w/ a spouse and children and a carreer as police officer.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from nursingis4me
    Hey guys/gals,
    What's up w/ scaring off those of us who really want to be nurses? I know there's crap wherever you work (I've experienced that, but managed to come thru ok), but d***, is it really that bad? Should I be considering a career change to something other than nursing (I'm currently a m.a. who's looking to go back to school)? :uhoh21:
    Love, you are a 38 year m.a.

    Would you prefer someone lie to you say that something is a bed of roses? Or would you prefer coming in with your eyes open?

    I for one want to know what I am getting into. Even if it is not pretty at times.

    There were loads of BAs, and MAs that were in my prenursing classes. All I heard about was how much money NPs and CRNAs make, and nursing is '"so" easy, and I have my Masters, my CNA license, etc so this will be a snap. Some got into the nursing program. Some then dropped out because nursing was not what the thought it was. Some graduated by would not take Boards as they no longer wanted to be a nurse. And many stayed one or two years in nursing, and left.

    This not to say that you should not be a nurse. It is to say you need to keep your mind open to all sides.

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