Mean Nurses Mean Nurses | allnurses

Mean Nurses

  1. 0 I hope no one takes this wrong, but I have heard that nurses are really mean to each other and bully each other. I know I would not handle that well. Is it true that nurses really are mean and bullies? If so, why? If they are iin a caring profession, don't they care about their co workers?
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    #1 14
    The rate of "meanness" or "bullies" is about the same in any other stressful profession with high standards of quality.

    What makes "mean" nurses stand out is everyone has this vision of a soft spoken, obedient, wimpy Florence Nightingale when in reality we are a diverse set of human beings that bring our personalities with us.
  4. Visit  ky_grl82 profile page
    #2 17
    Quote from Asystole RN
    What makes "mean" nurses stand out is everyone has this vision of a soft spoken, obedient, wimpy Florence Nightingale when in reality we are a diverse set of human beings that bring our personalities with us.
    Sorry to burst the bubble and change the nature of the thread but Florence Nightingale was anything but wimpy. The woman went onto the middle of a war and drastically reduced the number of soilders dying typhus, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. She may have devoted her life to the cause of nursing others to health, which not many do these days, but wimpy- I would say not!
  5. Visit  lifelearningrn profile page
    #3 7
    I don't want to dog on my gender or anything.. but I honestly believe when you get a lot of women working together (I know there are men too, but still majority women) there is going to be cattiness, competitiveness, gossip, cliques, etc. etc. etc.

    Maybe it's more prevalent in nurses.. but I think you'll encounter this type of behavior in offices, retail, anywhere really.
  6. Visit  Scrubby profile page
    #4 15
    Quote from ttpurtee
    I hope no one takes this wrong, but I have heard that nurses are really mean to each other and bully each other. I know I would not handle that well. Is it true that nurses really are mean and bullies? If so, why? If they are iin a caring profession, don't they care about their co workers?
    Nursing is a caring profession, but who cares for the nurses? We're constantly being short changed with staffing, resources and expected to do more and more on less. I've noticed a lot of people tend to confuse being mean with someone being run off their feet and not having the time to be nice because they are overloaded with work.

    As for bullying being a problem, well there's no denying it. There is horizontal violence in nursing as with many other professions. I've encountered bullies but I find that being assertive and making it clear you're not a weak target works.
  7. Visit  Scrubby profile page
    #5 0
    Quote from ky_grl82
    Sorry to burst the bubble and change the nature of the thread but Florence Nightingale was anything but wimpy. The woman went onto the middle of a war and drastically reduced the number of soilders dying typhus, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. She may have devoted her life to the cause of nursing others to health, which not many do these days, but wimpy- I would say not!
    Sorry to go off topic but that's simply not the case. More soldiers died in her hospital in Scutari than others in the region and Florence believed it was nutrition, not poor sanitation that contributed to the high death rate. The deaths were only reduced because the British government sent out a Sanitary Commission who fixed the sewerage and ventilation issues-nothing to do with Flo. Florence Nightingale only believed that the death rate was caused by poor living conditions after she returned to Britain.
  8. Visit  ttpurtee profile page
    #6 0
    How would you suggest showing assertiveness and making it clear that you are not a weak target? Specifically.
  9. Visit  pghfoxfan profile page
    #7 2
    There is a difference between being "assertive" and being "aggressive". A good nurse SHOULD be assertive. "Mean" people are aggressive. The laws today prohibit a hostile work place. When someone is treating a peer badly, you should point it out. You can start out in a friendly tone, "Knock it off, you wouldn't want someone to run to HR and report you for creating a hostile environment now, would you?" If you are not comfortable, talk to your manager. Many places have anonymous reporting.
  10. Visit  RevolutioN2013 profile page
    #8 5
    I think content is key. If someone says something to you in which the content is valuable, even if the tone or method of delivery is hurtful, then that is not bullying. Bullying to me is people being mean for the sake of being mean and not conveying anything useful while doing so. However, I have never been bullied so I don't know from personal experience. I have had some lessons given me in a way that I didn't like, but I learned from it even though it pi$$ed me off.
  11. Visit  RNDreamer profile page
    #9 2
    The same way you would do in any other setting outside of nursing. People just know that I am not one to mess with. I don't need to be mean, or anything. They can try and will get shut down before it goes any further, whether it's by me giving them a look or by me just saying "I am not the one, hun".


    Quote from ttpurtee
    How would you suggest showing assertiveness and making it clear that you are not a weak target? Specifically.
  12. Visit  coast2coast profile page
    #10 7
    Quote from mjmoon
    I don't want to dog on my gender or anything.. but I honestly believe when you get a lot of women working together (I know there are men too, but still majority women) there is going to be cattiness, competitiveness, gossip, cliques, etc. etc. etc.

    Maybe it's more prevalent in nurses.. but I think you'll encounter this type of behavior in offices, retail, anywhere really.

    mjmoon, this isn't personal, but:


    i've seen this statement dozens of times on this site aaaannd ... I'M SO SICK OF IT.


    Nursing is a profession characterized by a under-powered, highly stressed workforce which happens to be largely female. Correlation does not equal causation.


    Nurses are not nasty to each other because they are women. Think about other female-dominated fields. Are beauticians known for their backstabbing? Preschool teachers? Undergraduates, the majority of whom are now female? Secretaries? Social workers?


    Lateral violence in nursing is about huge responsibilities that are not met with proportional empowerment. A workforce which happens to be female has nothing to do with this. (Except perhaps, to the extent that we are socialized to be less aggressive and therefore less likely to demand the professional environment we need. But I digress).


    Anyways. Please, can we put a moratorium on the "women are catty b*tches" line. It's been a long week and it's making me crazy.


    /rant, /threadjacking.
  13. Visit  CAL05699 profile page
    #11 0
    I have not run into much cattiness/********** and certainly no bullying at my workplace. Some people like to gossip, some don't. They usually target people on other floors, not people they work with. I am sure this behavior takes place, but not in my unit. We don't have time for it anyway.
  14. Visit  nurse2033 profile page
    #12 0
    People can be mean, and lots of people work in nursing. It is a tough job and leads to some people being tense and uptight. My unit has many more nice people than not, just depends.

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