I would rather strangle our old nurses rather than eat the young.

  1. We
    Last edit by Chuckie on Jan 18, '03
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Chuckie...My first job in a hospital was a nightmare. It was 20yrs. ago, and nurses who eat their young were around then too. I was a brand new LPN with only 6 months experience working at a health related facility (old definition..classification...doesn't exist anymore) Well I was so very excited to get a position at the hospital...at that time their was a glut of nurses...hard to believe the way things are now.(1980) Anyway, I wanted to learn so much, but all I met with from most of the staff was criticisim and contempt. The person most helpful to me was a nurse's aid who remembered the time when the na's ran the hospital on 11-7am with few nurses in the building. She was great, and I perservered, finally gaining confidence and necessary skills to be an effective staff nurse. I went on vacation the next summer and when I returned their was an envelope on the desk bulliten board. When I opened it their was a note in there from the director of nurses asking me to meet with her at the end of my shift. Went in and met with her...she told me I was fired! Couldn't believe what I was hearing. Those older nurses were chewing my bones. I was told I was insobordinate to an RN on my shift. Well it's a long story and It lasted 6months. But we had a union thank god and they did a grievence and we went to abitration. At the end of the 6 months I won the case...got 6 months back pay and got my job back. I only stayed for 3months...they were trying to discredit me again and the union was ready to go another round. But I had proved my point and found another job quickly. I never forgot that whenever I trained a new nurse or cna. I will never forget what that was like for as long as I live. I just wanted to share my story with you. Like I said they not only ate the new nurse they tried to grind my bones. So I hope anyone who reads my story will think before they give someone a hard time just because they are new. I never do. And I wasn't a bad nurse then either...just inexperienced and wanting to learn the ropes.

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  4. by   JennieBSN
    Originally posted by Chuckie:
    How do you deal with people like this?????
    I just flat out don't work with 'em!! Man, those nurses have two identical twins here in Durham. Thankfully, they refuse to work nights ('I paid my dues!! I worked nights for 20 years!!' Blah, blah, blah), therefore I DON'T WORK DAYS. Working with them (they sometimes work 3-11, so their shift overlaps mine) is always an exercise in torture. One of them is (THANK GOD) retiring this year!! Whenever I have the misfortune of having to suffer through 4 hours of my shift with one (or BOTH...egads!) of them, I just hide in my patient's room, or spend my time stocking. BLEAH!!!
  5. by   CaronRN58
    quote:
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    Originally posted by Chuckie:
    How do you deal with people like this?????

    Kindly. You will be old someday and probably still working. We all need to remember to treat each other as well as we treat our patients.
    An old nurse,
    CaronRN58
  6. by   Jenny P
    There was a special on the Discovery Channel today on The Body- actually a whole series of one hour shows- and the part about aging told about how the brain can't learn as well as we age as when we were young-- something about free radicals causing tissue damage (? I dozed off). Think about how much stress those 2 have gone through as nurses and then imagine what all of those free radicals have done to their brain and nervous tissues! Seriously, they probably are as stressed out as any nurse can get due to the changes that they have had to go through in their careers. Talk with them; get them to tell you about nursing when they were younger; maybe they might consider retiring once they realize how much things have changed (for the worse) since the more golden days of nursing. Otherwise, working the opposite shift may be your only choice until they really DO retire! And do remember to try to support them- and the young nurses they work with. I really believe that positive encouragement from peers can help calm the workplace better than grumpiness.

    [This message has been edited by Jenny P (edited April 09, 2001).]
  7. by   Louie18
    Louie Here,
    I became a nurse in late 69 and was among a segment of .02% of the nursing population at that time. Male nurses get the dumbest responses when saying "I am an R.N."
    "A Male Nurse?"is always replied.
    Regarding the antiques of the day that for some reason just cannot break the routine of getting up and going to a job they probably started when the place you work was built. Be nice to them, remember the power (and the torch) is in all of you younger nurses.
    Thus, the bosses of these older nurses are younger. When working as a capturer of evil doers in nursing care facilities, I found many older and obese on the midnight shift to be the seriously ill persons.
    But you must remember they are afraid and covering their fear with the fragments of dominence once held.
    Age really has nothing to do with it, (although it is an easy way to sway support.
    Women(men) like this have always been like this. Look among yourselves and the minute your ear tends to lean toward any form of gossip you too are guilty. The gossip plague has ruined the potential for so many nurses, don't take any sides but your own and stop and think if the resentment felt in these older comrades is worth all the energy they are taking from you.

    I always went by the answer to a question I asked during the legal section of Nursing school;
    "If whatever action taken, is taken for the benefit of the patient, there shall be no fear of litigation." Just get a doctor to ok your insubordination, with a witness.
  8. by   althea
    Oh Chuckie, it sounds as if you still have a lot to learn. All the negative energy you waste fuming at your older (and wiser) counterparts could be used elsewhere. Some people will never change and there is simply nothing to be done. If these nurses, who have seen more change than you can possibly imagine, cause you to be so stressed out, maybe you should consider another shift. One day, if you last until you are 60 and are still in nursing, you too may buck more change. Remember retirement age has stretched to 67 for some of us, think you can do this until you are 67 and not have a thing or two to say when change gets stressful? I work with these women also, yes it is tiresome occasionally, but they deserve and get our respect.

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    brightest blessings
  9. by   NicuGal
    Chuckie....sounds like these poor old gals are tired...and someday you may have to work until you are 67! We had one older gal that we just worked around...she was the same way.

    As for rotating...I think that if they have put in alot of years, why should they rotate? At many institutions after so many years you have a choice of no weekends or no rotating..geee..which would I pick!

    I work with alot of people that have been in the same place for 20 years or so and they are in the 40's and get crotchety too...and I have been there for 15 and get crotchety...and I am sure that the 22 year olds coming in have much of the same as you to say. I think that it comes from new grads that think they should have every holiday off, every summer vacation they want, etc...and these people have been there for years and paid their dues! No other profession treats their elder employees as badly as nursing...at least that I know of!

    So, patience is a virtue...and listen to them, you may learn something new!
  10. by   mustangsheba
    I think the behavior you describe has more to do with how long these people have worked in one place and their personalities than how old they are. Not all of us old chicks are in a rut. I dislike the computers for two reasons: 1. They are slower to use than hand charting, especially during peak charting hours when the system is overloaded. 2. The computer system is different at each facility so us agency nurses have to learn and remember a bunch. It seems to me it is more cost effective to pay a good ward clerk or secretary to enter information. In the places where they do this, things seem to run much smoother. I don't understand how they can refuse to use pumps; they've been around a long time and protocols for use are usually dictated by your facility.
  11. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by Chuckie:
    We have two older nurses 60ish that have been threatening to retire daily for the last 10 years. They both refuse to change anything in the daily habits. We got new pagers the had serious problems trying to erase the numbers at the end of the shift. We got new IV pumps they refused to use them. One of them will ask anyone to do the computer charting for them they flat out refuse. Computers are not 100% of our daily lives yet mostly because of these old gals. One asked me to order some supplies on the computer I said sure as long as I could show her how I do it. She refused so she asked someone else I'm sure someone caved in probably the secretary. One stated at her computer class that she would quit before using these things.

    Another problem is new or different procedures. We had a 13 year old needing a PICC line that was latex sinsitive. It took these two hours to get there ducks in a row in order to do it. I said just take a try use sterile latex free gloves and a latex free tourniquet. They never did get it. It was not in the routine plan of care and they couldn't do it that way.

    Another problem is that they have been here for so long that they feel all decisions need their approval. So when we post a message on the board they need to put their little notes of approval or disapproval at the side.

    One of them was asked to work part of a night shift and left a nasty letter on the bulletin board about why she had put in her time and felt it was not her duty to do any extra shifts.

    We have a lot of new nurses that just shake their heads and roll their eyes. I have only been here about 10 years and would work with a new grad any day over these two old fools. How do you deal with people like this?????
    Well-try to put yourself in their places...Possibly they are not able to retire due to financial reasons and are afraid to start over in another facility.Starting a new job is no fun even when you are young...As far as refusing to use new equipment and computers it should be up to staff developement to give them the proper training.I have not been able to stay with a position for more than 4 yrs in my career due to illnesses in the family,lay-offs etc.I will be trying to keep up when I am in my 60's-no great big pension for me...But I have already made the move into a less physically stressful position...Also if these folks were installed with the fixtures they are entitled to feel as though their opinions matter(even if they really don't)Humor them just because they have survived..and ignore the little notes..Do you think they are to the point of becoming dangerous?That is a whole new can of worms....

  12. by   lalaxton
    I have to agree with wildtime on this one, it is a state of mind not age. I also agree with mustang that it is not a function of their age but of being tired of the job. I believe that although sometimes change is hard it 'keeps you young' and helps you to better handle change when it occurs. My mom became a legal secretary at age 60, learned to use a word processor which was hard for her to do but not impossible. She is 77 now and is tackling the internet, not very good at it yet but determined to try....

    Some people would rather complain about a problem instead of find a solution.... Hang in there Chuckie...
  13. by   night owl
    Well I've got to tell you that I work with two RN's who are at least 70 and 72, and I really admire them for staying as long as they do. So far, neither has mentioned any thing about retirement, and I hope they never do. One that I work with on a daily basis on 12-8 is the kindest most caring person that I think I've ever known. She is smart as a whip, attends all the computer classes our facility has to offer, and is always willing to learn. I've taught her a few things and she has taught me 100 fold. I'm 46 years old and feel like 90 when I'm done with my shift and am lucky that I make it to my car. She on the other hand walks out just as briskly as she walked in. She always amazes me. She is a true inspiration to all of nursing and when she retires, she will surely be missed. The other fine gentleman works on the day shift. another wonder in the nursing profession. When he finished climbing the corporate ladder and retired at 65, his wife convinced him to become a nurse. He graduated ADN at 68 and he's been with us ever since. The man never gets stressed out for anything or anyone. He has a wonderful sense of humor about life. He's a very caring person and we all love him.
    Someday we are all going to be that elderly and as long as I am able to work, I will always think of those two wonderful people that I had been blessed to work with and thank God he sent them to me. It sure beats working with some of the younger gossip mongurs,back stabbing bi#ches I've come across in my day!
  14. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by lalaxton:
    I have to agree with wildtime on this one, it is a state of mind not age. I also agree with mustang that it is not a function of their age but of being tired of the job. I believe that although sometimes change is hard it 'keeps you young' and helps you to better handle change when it occurs. My mom became a legal secretary at age 60, learned to use a word processor which was hard for her to do but not impossible. She is 77 now and is tackling the internet, not very good at it yet but determined to try....

    Some people would rather complain about a problem instead of find a solution.... Hang in there Chuckie...
    Hi. Ditto Lalaxton. I also agree with wildtime and mustangsheba. The pace of our work is regularly increasing and change, especially chaotic change, is difficult. If we nurses are forced by financial need to work or simply want to stay in the mainstream, we must do what's necessary in an effort to keep up with the tide no matter our age. If these two nurses feel that they're being unnecessarily put upon by management, then as "elder statespeople" with longevity, they can do themselves and the rest of the staff a favor and go directly to management. In my opinion, that's called leadership.

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I would rather strangle our old nurses rather than eat the young.