How do you deal with ICU superiority complex? - page 2

I have to float to ICU occasionally and I just don't jive with the put - downs even if they are not said to me directly. I know the put downs exist when the shift leader gives me my assignment and... Read More

  1. by   nurseRabbit
    I have only worked in ICU for 2 years, worked med-surg and peds for 5 1/2 years prior. I have heard "I am better than You" more than once. I love it when something happens that I show up the "older" ICU nurses that didn't know what to do in a certain situation. They have learned repect for me as a result.
  2. by   Jennifer, RN
    I work in the ER and its the same in my hospital. I worked on tele before I transferred to the ER and we floated to ICU every so often. I loved the ICU nurses, they had a tremendous wealth of knowledge, but it seemed the younger, new grads were a little too confident and snotty. The older ICU nurses were down to earth and great. They would even volunteer to come to our tele floor to help us at times. My last shift on tele I got pulled to ICU and the ICU nurses were ripping apart the ER nurses. Saying they were wimps and too scared to do ICU floor nursing. Jealousy? I don't know. When the ICU nurses get pulled to the ER, they have that deer in the headlights look half the time. I don't have an superiority complex because I work in a specialized part of medicine, but I do know that I can do some things better than other nurses, just like others can do things better than me. I mean, don't even look at my stage 4 ulcer dressing changes, they work and do the job, but they're not pretty, never have been.
  3. by   zolly786
    i just started in icu in january. i've only had problems with one person. our ward is awesome. we have lpns, rns cnas float here. i don't care, you wanna help, come on board.

    but i also worked on a heavy medical ward for 5 years, from which most of our icu nurses came from.

    i got pulled to surgery one night (and they pulled someone from icu to cover my load on my floor, don't get that, but whatever). they didn't make eye contact with me, tell me anything. it was afwul. i went into an isolation room and while i was in there i asked the rn if she wanted me to hang her iv clinda while i was there (i had grabbed the po meds) and she tossed it to me. i hung it, no biggie. then when i was doing narc count with an lpn, she figured out i was an rn....and i heard someone ripping up some paper behind me. i looked at it after. it was an incident report trying to nail me for hanging the clinda because they thought i was an lpn. um, look at my name tag, will ya?

    it's ward culture, not the specialty of the ward. but that's just me.
  4. by   lauralassie
    It's everywhere. I've seen med surg nurses float to our unit and some nurses are nasty. But, it's not the med surg nurse. Those nurses are always nasty. It also works the other way, some med surg nurses are nasty when we float. Seems they always have attitude about, "look who's here, an ICU nurse.". Most of us who float do it because we know what it's like to work short staffed, just there to help. I do have to say though, to those nurses who give attitude when we float: when we respond to codes etc, and they are standing back wide eyed waiting for us, I can't help but to use that situation for a little"on the spot", critical care teaching. It's all about the self esteem of the nurse. Usually, the nurse who puts others down are the ones who lack self esteem. Just think how wounderful it would be if ICU nurses used the opportunity to teach and the med surg nurse about ICU .And the med surg used the opportunity to teach the ICU nurse about care of 9 or more pt's at a time. We would all have a little better understanding of the plight of other nursing jobs.
  5. by   Tweety
    I used to have fun when I floated to ICU. They would give me easy patients and were very attentive. Being a med-surg nurse obviously I couldn't do everything they could do, and they didn't make me feel less than. Once I got a newly vented unstable patient and informed the charge nurse it wasn't an appropriate assignment for me, and she nearly tripped over herself apologizing.

    I just floated to PCU on Sunday and they begged me to come back. I started with four patients, and the discharged two and never got the admits or transfers that they got. The charge nurse said "I didn't want you to have a hard time and not want to float here". I nearly fainted. Aren't nurses supposed to eat their young and mistreat nurses who float there???

    It's not inevitable that it's everywhere.

    If anyone whispers behind my back, which fortunately hasn't happened, I would politely and firmly ask "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you, would you mind repeating yourself?" Nip the tudes in the bud, let them know you ain't playing.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 6, '07
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from bullydawgrn
    just remmember the saying "nurses eat thier young"... to bad it's true in many cases.
    the person who wrote that book ought to be boiled in oil! nurse's don't eat their young, but now everyone who has a bad experience anywhere spouts that phrase to excuse themselves from any culpability in the situation. sometimes people are nasty to us and we totally haven't provoked it. sometimes we have provoked it and either are totally oblivious or don't want to admit our part in the problem.
  7. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Quote from lauralassie
    ... Usually, the nurse who puts others down are the ones who lack self esteem. Just think how wounderful it would be if ICU nurses used the opportunity to teach and the med surg nurse about ICU .And the med surg used the opportunity to teach the ICU nurse about care of 9 or more pt's at a time. We would all have a little better understanding of the plight of other nursing jobs.
    I like this attitude and will use this ammo when I run across my next young nurse with an attitude and arrogance flowing over the brim ICU preppy...no, really, I will!


    Quote from Tweety
    If anyone whispers behind my back, which fortunately hasn't happened, I would politely and firmly ask "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you, would you mind repeating yourself?" Nip the tudes in the bud, let them know you ain't playing.
    Thanks for the tai chi tip to nip tudes, tweety!
  8. by   k3immigrant
    i work DOU-Stepdown & pick up a few shifts for ICU. Some nurses welcome me with open arms but the other half think that i am not good enough.one time i got pissed off & i went to this person & told her, "ok, so you think i am not good enough, then take my patients & i'll go back to my home unit". of course what happened reached the manager's ears & since then all the step down nurses that float/pick up shifts in the icu got a better treatment.

    some ICU nurses think that they are the best because they are in ICU but i don't think that way.some nurses choose to stay in a certain unit because they like what they do & that's it. i for one, i just do ICU once in a while because i get depressed taking care of vented pt/unconscious/sedated pt. i like educating and interacting with patients & their families.
  9. by   burn out
    The last time we had a med-surg nurse pulled to our unit she was completely overwhelmed with the two patients (the easiest we had to give her) that she started crying and called the supervisor. I was in charge and didn't know she had called the supervisor and I really felt bad for her so we gave her one patient only that should have been on med-surg anyway. At lunch time when I got in line in the cafeteria I hear a code called to ICU to the room that this nurse has. Scared to death for her and wondering what had happened to the patient as I ran the entire length of the hosptial back (at 50 years old this is not easy) to find her laughing that she thought she was turning off the call light and pushed the code blue button instead. She didn't know each room had a code button. I'll be sure to include that in the orientation of med-surg patients the next time we get one.

    As for what you are referring to as superiority I refer to as laziness. There are alot of nurse in every unit that will always take an easy assignment and not care what the others get..acuity means nothing to them. I find these kinds of people on med-surg, Tele, ER and my own ICU. It is a character flaw not a pre-requisite to work a particular kind of unit.
  10. by   Ariesbsn
    Where I work, the attitude isn't saved for the people who float, it is openly directed at fellow ICU nurses, secretaries, house supervisors, house keeping and security.
  11. by   banditrn
    Quote from ruby vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i'm an icu nurse, and every time i float to the floors i have to deal with their nasty attitudes. i swear they give me the six worst patients, and they take the easy ones. i have to walk all over their three long hallways -- couldn't even give me six patients near one another so that i can see the call lights of each of my rooms from the same spot! and every time i ask a question, (like "where do you guys keep your iv solutions?") i get the rolled eyes and the smart comebacks like "you don't know that?! in the med room, of course.") we keep ours in the supply pyxis, and theirs are in the med room in a locked cupboard for which i don't have the keys, at knee level where i would never think to look.

    i floated to the renal floor one time -- i was told i was going to be a sitter for a confused patient. ok. when i get down there, i'm told "you're the rn, you'll do all the care." ok. i can do that. "and we're going to give you another patient down the hall." i protested -- a sitter is a sitter. they stay with the patient at all times. i can't do that if i'm caring for another patient down the hall. i'll be the sitter or i'll take care of two patients on dialysis, but i can't do both. the charge nurse refused to speak to me for the rest of the shift. i was the sitter, but i was also the patient's rn. no one would watch the patient so i could eat lunch, go to the bathroom or even walk down the hall to the med room to get her meds. and then they complained that *i* had a "superior attitude."

    nasty attitudes exist everywhere. it's not just icu nurses or renal nurses or charge nurses. anyone can have one. i swear to the heavens that i'm perfect in every way -- except occaisionally i have a nasty attitude that leaks through no matter how hard i try to hide it. unless you're someone who has been nasty to me repeatedly, it's not personal. i had a hellacious attitude the day my dog died, the day my father told me my mother had alzheimer's and the day i caught my husband cheating on me. try not to take it personally, and learn to deal with nasty attitudes. they're everywhere.
    yep, ruby, worked in icu for 10 years - and saw it several times. i can't think of anytime any of us on our shift ever treated a floater badly - most nurses that had had some orientation liked to float there - i think we were a good bunch to work with - and they never got admits or unstable patients.

    the few times i went out on the floor to help, some of the girls out there weren't as welcoming to me, so i finally just stopped doing it.
  12. by   b eyes
    I agree that there is going to be attitude werever you go, owever youdon not need to accept it. Do what you know and know what you do. If you have to ask questions, ask them.. You are there to help. Most people who treat you that way, treat everybody in their lives like that, not just fellow co-workers. You know what kind of a nurse you are and your patients know what kind of a nurse you are. when you walk out of the facility at the end of your day, you will either feel like you did a good job or you didn't. and you are the only one who can change that. unfortunately you will not be able to change a nurses attitude who feels like she is superior to you. She needs to change her attitude. When you do a good job, it gets noticed. Maybe not commented on, but believe me, it does get noticed! so keep being the wonderful nurse I am sure you are, hold your head high, and enjoy what you do! Good Luck to you!!!
    b eyes
  13. by   RNperdiem
    Sorry to hear of your troubles.
    I have been a per diem for 5 years, and was in an ICU/Stepdown/Burns floatpool for 3 of them. I have never been given a bad assignment as a float. My assignments were always the lightest. The charge nurses always treated me like a welcome guest. I think this was because these charge nurses knew me as the transport nurse- I carried a beeper and would take patients for tests, thus freeing the nurse. Everyone is glad to see the transport nurse. When I had to staff a floor or unit, they were helpful.

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