Nurses.... Our Own Worst Enemies??

  1. I keep reading all the messages posted by everyone in this forum and I have to just keep asking myself... how much of the nursing shortage problems are being caused by nurses themselves??

    I feel that each individual is responsible for how they portray themselves and their professions. If we portray our profession in a negative light, then who wants to join??

    If each individual is not part of the solution, then obviously they must be part of the problem, right?

    Well, I am a Director of Nursing at a 125-bed facility in Maine. Yes, I am part of the "dreaded" management... a term that I am just fed up with. Nothing makes me angrier than when I hear the statement "management doesn't care" or "we get no support from management." Well, I have to tell you that we are all in the same big boat.

    I spend a lot of my time recruiting new staff. Nothing is more frustrating than hiring a new staff member and then having my staff treat them like dirt when they go out onto the floor! Is this not counter-productive?? Many of the same staff that act in such a manner are the very same staff who come into my office to complain if they have to work short!!! UGH!!! This makes no sense to me!! Why is it that people have to behave this way? I have spent many hours with my staff in trying to get this point across... and I have to say that one by one, they are catching on. And.... believe it or not, I am beginning to see a difference. It just takes time and takes patience in hitting the idea home.

    I also spend time talking with high school kids and promoting the profession. I am amazed at some of the ideas that kids have about the nursing profession... yet again, one by one, you have to start changing the image of the nursing profession. The press and other nurses have tainted people's view of the profession and it does take a lot of time and effort to change these images.

    Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to these issues. Those without lots of patience probably do not make the best managers.

    I visit these forums regularly and read what other nurses are saying about the profession... wow, sometimes I am appalled by what I read. I am surprised that a nurse would come on here to tell the world how horrible her/his job is. This sure does not lend to the idea of attracting new people to the profession. It makes me very curious if these are some of the same nurses who frequent their DON's office to complain about working short. I love to bring those people's attention to this fact and do so often. I am a big believer in making people accountable for their actions and making them look at something just a bit more differently.

    Promoting the nursing profession in a negative light certainly is not helping the cause.

    Think about it the next time you make a complaint.

    Thanks for listening (or reading!)

    It is up to each individual to make the difference... remember, an avalanche starts with just one rolling stone....

    Peace to all.... Tim Knight
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   realnursealso/LPN
    This is the place for nurses to come and vent when they have had a bad day. We all encourage and support each other here. I will make no apologies for myself or other nurses who come here to get it off their chests. We disagree here alot, but when tragedy strikes one of our own we rally round them, as we all have around our collegues from NYC and Washington,DC. It is a far better thing to come here and tell it to another nurse than to take it out on a patient or our families. So sorry, but this bulletin board serves it's purpose and serves it well.
  4. by   P_RN
    Tim, I see you are new to posting here. Welcome. Please, please don't take this personally. You are in management, so lend an ear and then lend us some ideas.

    Now I must say that I don't see it the way you portray. Surely you aren't the only "management" around here.

    When I use that term it's usually in reference to the "new kind" of manager...the yes men or ma'ams that follow the company line to the nth degree. The MBA's that are suddenly qualified to be CEOs.

    And did ALL the nurses across the country represented here make up the way they feel they were treated? I don't think so. I can't tell you how many times I had to bite my tongue when our NM came up with some of the stuff she did. You see I knew her when she was a floor nurse.

    We heard you don't have to "work harder, you have to work smarter."
    "You have lost your focus."
    "You are being co-dependent."

    Did it ever occur that the new employees were given less than a gratifying welcome when the staff had all they could do just to keep afloat? Twenty years ago we didn't hear this stuff. Oh yes let's talk PARADIGMS...that's another phrase tossed about. We should't say "we always did...." You get the picture?

    No, it's not your fault, but it isn't ours either. Years ago we had patients not customers. We had a department of nursing, not a Nursing Service Line run by someone who isn't even a nurse!!!!

    We come her to blow off a little steam, and see what the other nurses have to say. I hope that is OK here instead of at work?

    P
  5. by   prmenrs
    I agree w/prn. I bid you welcome as well.

    What you will see here is nurses helping their peers to think thru problems, share the funny and sad stuff, mentor the kids and the new grads. We tell each other when to duck and cover and when to go out with all guns blazing. We take care of one another because that's what nurses do.

    You can almost always find someone on your side. You can ask a stupid question w/o losing face at work. You can supprot and you can give it back.

    Thsi is NOT a recruiting site per se, but we do get posts from High School kids, and people wondering about making a career change. Most of those inquiries are answered appropriately.

    This is a PEER SITE. Sometimes coworkers are too close to you or the situation to be able to help. And sometimes things said at work can come back to bite you later. This is a much safer place to vent. Our families frequently don't know how to help, either. So this is an alternative to taking it out on spouse and children and coworkers.

    I'd suggest that you keep reading--but be SURE to put on your staff nurse thinking cap when you do, ok? I should think this site would give you LOTS of insight!!
  6. by   frustratedRN
    during my senior year of nursing i was asked to address the freshmen class.
    my speech was about this topic. it was unnerving for me as a freshman to hear all the negativity from the nurses and senior students in regards to our profession.
    the nurses where i did my clinicals told us we had to be nuts to be nurses. the seniors reiterated the sentiments. but what shone through to me was that all of these people were STILL nurses. had to be something to that.
    you cant really judge things by this forum because as its been said this is our venting place.

    but you are right in some things you say.
    i started my career at a hospital i really believed in. i was PROUD to be a TEAM member. only to find when i got out of orientation THERE IS NO TEAM. its all for one and one for one.
    rather than the nursing staff looking at me as their relief they are trying to make me out to be incompetent and i have been harassed by one or two of the nurses who are mgmt wannabes.
    i have reported this to everyone and does mgmt care? NO!
    i was moved to a different unit where i flourished. i begged them to let me stay there or move me to a different unit. they refuse.
    tonite i go back to the hell unit. much wiser of course than when i left but still dreading it.
    i now have to find another job because i refuse to deal with the crap that goes on. so this hospital has spent thousands training me. im finally to the point where i can function independently within hospital rules and policy and i have to quit due to unaddressed harassment by some of the staff and the pigheadedness of mgmt.
    so this hospital is going to lose another great nurse. the staff on this unit is going to have to start all over again orienting another newbie. and if they treat her like they treated me...and they will...she or he will quit too.
    i dont know about how you are as a manager but i will tell you that our managers ONLY care about how they look and filling those beds.
  7. by   MaineNurse67
    Sorry to have upset you all by my posting... that was certainly not the intention. The only point I was trying to make was that generally nurses tend to portray their jobs in a negative light. That was it. And, so sorry, but I believe it to be true.

    The fact that I am management does not matter. Trust me, I can well remember being a CNA on the floor, as well as a charge nurse, a staff nurse, etc. I have been there, done that. Which does help me out a lot on many occasions when dealing with staff. I well agree that if you have not been there, you do not understand... but, I have been and have a great memory.

    I did not mean to take away from the "peer" aspect of this site. I well agree that it is important to have a place to go to vent. Not a problem. What really got me started was the "What State is the Best Place to be a Nurse" forum. There were several nurses in there downing the states that they work in. Making very negative comments, etc. My concern was that anyone reading that would certainly not be "turned on" to entering the field. That was all.

    So much for being entitled to an opinion. I guess I have learned from this experience that only the "Senior Members" of this forum are allowed an opinion, no matter how much experience or knowledge of the field you possess. Thank you all so much for the very warm welcome.

    I will continue to promote nursing as a profession... I will do it positively... not negatively. In the big picture... maybe someday, my efforts will pay off.

    My efforts here were NOT to recruit... that should be made perfectly clear. Only trying to make a point, which was obviously missed due to narrow minded thinkers.

    Thanks.
  8. by   soundsLikesirens
    NEWSFLASH: nurses DON'T "come on here to tell the world how horrible their job is."
    This website is "allNURSES".COM.........get it? All-nurses?
    The people who come here to READ and post are supposed to be nurses.

    Why on earth shouldn't nurses have a place where they can come together and discuss issues, and VENT if need be?

    You sound like a very uptight, bigoted person.

    Venting to others in the profession is very helpful and is also helpful to one's stress level.

    If you don't like it here, then maybe you should leave, but don't EVEN TRY to make nurses feel ashamed that they seek the comraderie/support of other nurses!!!!!
  9. by   CarolineRn
    Tim, I had to reply to your post. As I read your original post, I was thinking to myself, "he sounds like a pretty good manager." As I read the replies, I thought everyone picked up on the gist of your post, and replied accordingly. I saw no bitterness, or anyone putting you down for having your own opinion. I saw members welcoming you to the forum. I saw members having an open discussion, and sharing their points of view and experiences with you. Not once did I interpret anyone's comments as hostile or unwelcoming in any way. You were invited, quite eloquently, I might add, by P_RN to "Lend an ear and then lend us some ideas." Instead, as evidenced by your second post, you lashed out at everyone for being what you perceived as "narrow minded thinkers." I understood, from reading their posts, that your point was taken, but that these posters had other issues to factor in. This is the usual way in which conversations are continued.

    I found your whole paragraph beginning with "So much for being entitled to an opinion," offensive.

    Tim, it seems to me that you are the one who missed the point.
  10. by   radnurse2001
    OH BOY TIM, YOU ARE A TYPICAL MANAGER!!!!
    You claim to remember what it's like to be staff nurse, but you really don't, otherwise you would understand why a forum like this is so crucial to our sanity. You lead my counterparts into their responses and lashed out when you read what you didn't want to read. I think they call it bait and hook. It must be great to have a job you love 100% of the time. I like my job, but there is always those days you want to scream. I think this is a great website---to exchange ideas, to meet new people, to gain perspective on other areas of nursing, to catch up on new and existing legislation, and YES, to vent. I think perhaps, you only looked under the threads YOU could complain about. Take some time and read some other threads before you judge...unless you are a typical manager.



    PS I am sorry if I offended any good managers out there. I know you exsist. I've had a few great managers in my career. Again, I am sorry.
  11. by   theboss
    HELLO REAL NURSE ALSO,
    YOU GO GIRL VERY WELL SAID. ALICIA
  12. by   debbyed
    You know, after reading the first post, I thought "This nurse (Notice I didn't think Manager) is new here and it takes awhile to understand what you are really seeing and hearing." It takes awhile to understand the personalities of the board. I thought the first few replys were great. You were welcomed and your opinion sough after.

    HOWEVER...you second post has further convinced me that a good number of nurses who become managers loose the ability to "listen", to "get the point" as soon as the new office door closes.

    WE, are nurses! WE still care about nursing! WE want our profession to regain its self-respect! WE wouldn't be here if we didn't!!! Sure we vent, Sure we ***** and moan, but in the process we also listen, we learn, we help each other.

    There is no LINE TO TOE here, there is no absoulte right or absolute wrong here. If those are the concepts you need in order to be confortable you should probably move on to a different board...BUT:

    If you want to truely know what nurses across not only our country, but across the world are truely thinking and feeling, If you want to understand why you might be having trouble reaching your staff, if you want to listen to possible solutions to some of you problems than you have come to the right board.

    You are welcome here... To listen..To Share..To agree...To disagree....but don't come here with pretty speechs that have been sent "down from above" We hear enough of them at work, we don't need them here.
  13. by   frustratedRN
    how absolutely management like. you ask what we think. we tell you and you take it all the wrong way and turn it back on us.
    you will do well in your position.
  14. by   P_RN
    Folks, this is not at all like you. Tim is a member here just like you and me. I've been management...but at heart I'm a nurse just like Tim.

    Let's not strike out at someone for voicing their opinion, be it Tim, or me, or you or even "Jerry and Pat".....(I did see their retraction/apology).

    We are ALL nurses. OK?

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