Nurses rat on nurses

  1. I have noticed a disturbing trend amoung nurses. I am new to nursing so maybe I am wrong. Nurses seem not to have any loyality to each other. I have seen many nurses sell out, tell on, rat out, or whatever other description you would like to use. I am a male RN who has spent the last 7 years as a firefighter / Paramedic. I realize that the Fire service is not a fair comparison. Within the service there is a very strong tradition of not giving up your brother/sister firefighter. In nursing there seems to be no control on this behavior. The loyality to each other is stronger than any loyality to a system because you place your life in your fellow firefighters hands and the system can't do that for you. I have had feedback from others who attribute it to the fact that nursing is a female dominated profession but that does not feel right. Female firefighters adhere to the standards of silence as strongly as their male conterparts. I have also heard this tradition blamed on The Sisters of Mercy. That they began the tradition of loyality to the system over your fellow nurses and that it as well as eating our young is a legacy from them. I would like to here from other nurses male and female on this topic as well as some suggestions for change.
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  2. 86 Comments

  3. by   frannybee
    99% of the nurses I've seen/heard "ratting out" on other nurses have done so to protect their patients. When patients put their lives in your hands, your loyalty must be to them as much as to your fellow nurses. It's not a case of giving up on anyone or of loyalty to "the system", but a case of upholding the code of conduct of nursing, which implores us to protect our patients. Male or female has nowt to do with it.
  4. by   memphispanda
    Would you rather people cover for each other's mistakes? There are all sorts of problems with that, number one being patient safety.
  5. by   leeca
    When l went for an interview l was asked whether l would report a work mate who was doing something unprofessional, and l said that l would approach the work mate first to find out why they did what they did, but if their attitude didn't change then l would report them.

    Personally l feel that if a co worker was doing something wrong and l kept my mouth shut and something happens to the patient l would feel l am responsible for what happened to patient as well, because l didn't say anything.

    You will find that sometimes patients die because of unprofessional conduct not being reported, l'd rather "rat" out a nurse than live with someones death on my conscience.
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    If by "not ratting on" you really mean "covering up for" then I hope you are never in the position of seeing another nurse do something inappropriate or harmful to a patient. It's not "us against them" as in staff versus management - it's "all of us FOR the patient."
  7. by   kids
    Originally posted by frannybee
    99% of the nurses I've seen/heard "ratting out" on other nurses have done so to protect their patients. When patients put their lives in your hands, your loyalty must be to them as much as to your fellow nurses. It's not a case of giving up on anyone or of loyalty to "the system", but a case of upholding the code of conduct of nursing, which implores us to protect our patients. Male or female has nowt to do with it.
    Very nicely put!
  8. by   Katnip
    It's a little scary, really. Just what are EMS people keeping silent about?
  9. by   Tweety
    We out there "fighting" for our patients lives not each other. Firefighters may be a bit unique in their culture of support.

    Sure there is bickering and gossiping and even backstabbing. This isn't because it's a female dominated field. Check out some of the male-dominated fields like business, finance and computers, same happens there. Sometimes when that occurs, it covers up the fact that 99.9% of the time nurses are providing good care, supporting one another, helping each other.
  10. by   litepath
    ~~Tell us more about the silence thing...that sounds very interesting??
  11. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    i'm afraid in this sue happy times we live-in...it's best to watch what one does in order not to get into trouble by someone else. in other words...cyo (cover your ass)!

    i understand where ya coming from...your more or less speaking about the little things that a fellow nurse might forget to do on the previous shift...& your right about those things. but unfortunately...it becomes a force of habit with some whom take other nurses for granted. i know because i've seen where some will only do the bare miminum...pushing-off work they're very capable of doing onto someone else because they perceive them as being easy or new to the scene. i've seen seasoned nurses whom are at the top of the salary ladder push-off work because they say they're tired & can hardly do the work anymore...some feel entitled to the extra help from the newly arrived nurses whose salary are at the bottom of the ladder. is it fair for the newly hired nurses to have to pick-up four hours worth of work left by the other nurses before they can start their shift's work...just because they're new? or how about the seasoned nurses whom keep cleaning-up the newbies' mistake over & over again...is that fair to them either? everyone's got a license that they're responsible for...so they should be very careful how they conduct themselves with regards in performing their nursing duties. folks can & should be professional with regards in how they communicate any problems that they're experiencing among themselves without having to *report* their fellow co-worker to the charge or supervisor. sometimes...this isn't always possible...so ya just document what ya do & just how ya did it & be done with it. if someone else constantly doesn't do their job or didn't do their documintation where they should or they forgot to do something that is potentially life threatening for a patient...then oh well...they get reported. there's only so much *covering-up* i would be comfortable & willing to do for another nurse without jeopardizing my license in the process. sorry.

    cheers!
    moe
  12. by   sjoe
    rsc writes: "I have had feedback from others who attribute it to the fact that nursing is a female dominated profession but that does not feel right. Female firefighters adhere to the standards of silence as strongly as their male conterparts."

    As you pointed out, nursing is a female dominated profession and firefighting is NOT.
  13. by   New CCU RN
    Just out of curiosity what types of things do you feel merits a write up?


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  14. by   EmeraldNYL
    Excellent post Moe.

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