Poor nurse role models.. is this what I have to look forward to?

  1. 0 At clinical today we were at the hospital we go to regularly for our clinical rotation. I am a positive person, I do what I can to help and stay busy. I often hear the nurses talking bad about patients amongst each other. Hospital policy requires a bedside report and they do the bedside report AFTER they speak their mind to each other. Cussing included, and all before 7 a.m! They bully other newly licensed nurses and talk about them too. Their bedside manner is atrocious.
    It's like the unprofessionalism has spread through the unit because today the RN was gossiping rudely about patients with the charge nurses. The last thing I heard from the nurse today was, "Just go ahead and call the police because I'm gonna throw that b***h out the window." speaking of the patient crying for pain medication.
    Is this just what they do?! Can I do anything?
  2. Visit  Jane says profile page

    About Jane says

    From 'Austin, Texas'; Joined Mar '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 5.

    33 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  OCNRN63 profile page
    16
    Quote from Jane says
    At clinical today we were at the hospital we go to regularly for our clinical rotation. I am a positive person, I do what I can to help and stay busy. I often hear the nurses talking bad about patients amongst each other. Hospital policy requires a bedside report and they do the bedside report AFTER they speak their mind to &lt;em&gt;each other&lt;/em&gt;. Cussing included, and all before 7 a.m. They bully other newly licensed nurses and talk about them too. Their bedside manner is atrocious. &lt;br&gt;<br>
    It's like the unprofessionalism has spread through the unit because today the RN was gossiping rudely about patients with the charge nurses. The last thing I heard from the nurse today was, "Just go ahead and call the police because I'm gonna throw that b***h out the window." speaking of the patient crying for pain medication.&lt;br&gt;<br>
    Is this just what they do?! Can I do anything?
    Vow to do better than what you're seeing.
    joanna73, Gold_SJ, pseudomonas, and 13 others like this.
  4. Visit  Cuddleswithpuddles profile page
    7
    I am sorry to hear you are exposed to such a toxic work culture. I do think some gallows humor and laughing at foibles involving patients is acceptable, but it seems like this place has crossed that imaginary line with the level of bitterness in their language. I can assure you that not every hospital is like this. My only advice to you is be the nurse you want to see in the workplace but also be respectful. Perhaps you could volunteer to give the pain medication, offer a warm blanket or some company to that patient who was in pain. I have done that in the past. In those situations, I did not agree with the nurses withholding pain medications but I expressed my disagreement by being of service and without stepping on the hospital staff's toes.

    Channel your concerns to your professors. It may be tempting to be vocal about your shock and dismay but, the way I see it, you are your school are guests are in this place. Your professors are the best people to determine if there are safety issues outside of bad attitudes.

    This is only a small glimpse of a small corner of nursing. Keep your chin up and good luck.
    Gold_SJ, *4!#6, NRSKarenRN, and 4 others like this.
  5. Visit  Ldial1 profile page
    4
    I agree with OCNRN63. Take their behavior as the type of RN you do not want to be.
    joanna73, Gold_SJ, orthonurse55, and 1 other like this.
  6. Visit  calinurse11 profile page
    1
    People are going to have attitudes where ever you go. Not all nurses are like this but you will definitely run into them throughout your career. Sometimes people have bad days, I'm not saying their behavior is appropriate, because its not. Perhaps you caught them after a horrible shift, or perhaps they are just miserable people in general. Whatever the case may be, you just have to figure out for yourself what kind of nurse you want to be. The learning opportunities in clinical can teach you the good parts of nursing, you will find nurses you want to be just like. You will also come across those who you vow to never be.
    anotherone likes this.
  7. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    3
    This needs to be addressed in post conference and by your instructor.

    I am assuming this is a large inner city facility, please correct me if I am wrong.

    You will see this attitude .. and adapt to it, either pro or con.

    However, you will not change it.
    NurseLoveJoy88, GrnTea, and Ruthfarmer like this.
  8. Visit  LynnLRN profile page
    5
    Not that this is an excuse, and they definitely seem unprofessional. But maybe it is their coping mechanism for a crazy unit. Maybe they find it humorous or it is how they vent.

    Every once in a while on my unit when we have a very difficult pt the nurses will kind of gossip about the pt but when in the room are very professional and respectful of the pt. I think they vent in private to stop from going crazy when in the room. I do not think you will ever understand this behavior until you are a nurse yourself. I guess the best way I can explain it is the nurses vent to each other so that they feel that others understand how crazy the pt is making them.
  9. Visit  anotherone profile page
    0
    Be different than them. Nothing else you can or shoudl do. since you do not work there. unless patients are hearing this or really affected by it. You will find attitudes like this everywhere. Sometimes it is 1-2 people so it may never be noticible. Other times it is 15-20 so that is the dominate attitude in the unit. Some actually seem to thrive with this attitude.
  10. Visit  Jane says profile page
    3
    Thanks for your responses. My instructor knows about it. We discussed this issue, as well as, the morphine vial that got thrown in the med cart trash and the patient that was allowed to smoke in his room.
    This floor has a reputation for these behaviors, it was just shocking is all.

    However, your comments gave me a new perspective....
    Maybe working on a hospital floor is similar to waiting tables in a restaurant. There is always going to be the 1 or 2 servers who feed off difficult customers. They curse and complain in the kitchen so, when they take food to the table they don't throw it at you. I get it now.
    I just expected something different. Something called compassion? But I'll be different. After all, I never spit in anyone's food
    NRSKarenRN, GrnTea, and Esme12 like this.
  11. Visit  OCNRN63 profile page
    3
    Life in the real world of nursing is far different from what it's like in the classroom. I saw stuff that shocked me, including overhearing a nurse slap a three year old in Peds. I try to do the best when I work, but there are some days that giving the minimum is all I can muster.
    pseudomonas, Jane says, and Fiona59 like this.
  12. Visit  RN_Marie profile page
    1
    You also have the power to stop this. As a mandated reporter, you have to protect the patient whether from themselves, yourself or colleagues. It is important that you understand how powerful you are in the nursing profession. When we see evil and do nothing, we let the evil doers go and perpetuate the cycle.

    I say this because the nurse abusing the patient is wrong, for sure, but how you deal with that defines you.

    There will be loads of times when you have to be an advocate for your patients. More often than not, it is a healthcare provider such as yourself or a doctor, will not see eye to eye. It is essential that you develop the skills to be assertive without being aggressive.
    azcna likes this.
  13. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    7
    Quote from CCRN_Marie
    You also have the power to stop this. As a mandated reporter, you have to protect the patient whether from themselves, yourself or colleagues. It is important that you understand how powerful you are in the nursing profession. When we see evil and do nothing, we let the evil doers go and perpetuate the cycle.

    I say this because the nurse abusing the patient is wrong, for sure, but how you deal with that defines you.

    There will be loads of times when you have to be an advocate for your patients. More often than not, it is a healthcare provider such as yourself or a doctor, will not see eye to eye. It is essential that you develop the skills to be assertive without being aggressive.
    \

    While it is true that nurses are mandated reporters, there is nothing to report here other than the nurse was gossiping to another nurse about a patient. While maybe not the most professional behavior, the patient was not harmed. You also don't know if the crying patient for a pain med isn't a drug seeker trying to manipulate the staff for the pain meds and is well known to the floor.

    Nurses are human too and loose their patience, as long as it is with the staff, it is difficult for non medical and new medical people to sometimes see the frustration or sick sense of humor that helps us survive in difficult environments. I wouldn't be so quick to call someone an evil doer. I have busted patients many time for smoking in their rooms and have caught many smoking pot. The general public is crazy.

    OP be careful not to judge so quickly. This floor may be notorious and use it as an example of what kind of nurse you don't want to be.

    I am curious Marie....how long have you had your CCRN since you have just graduated and need a certain amount of hours worked to even sit for the exam.

    Practice as an RN or APRN is required for 1,750 hours in direct bedside care of acutely or critically ill patients during the previous two years, with 875 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application.
    Nurse Leigh, imintrouble, Lovely_RN, and 4 others like this.
  14. Visit  Cuddleswithpuddles profile page
    8
    Quote from CCRN_Marie
    You also have the power to stop this. As a mandated reporter, you have to protect the patient whether from themselves, yourself or colleagues. It is important that you understand how powerful you are in the nursing profession. When we see evil and do nothing, we let the evil doers go and perpetuate the cycle.

    I say this because the nurse abusing the patient is wrong, for sure, but how you deal with that defines you.

    There will be loads of times when you have to be an advocate for your patients. More often than not, it is a healthcare provider such as yourself or a doctor, will not see eye to eye. It is essential that you develop the skills to be assertive without being aggressive.

    Are these nurses using very harsh, unprofessional language? Yes.

    Is there a very bitter, stressful environment in that hospital? Most likely.

    Is there clear patient harm and abuse? We don't know. For all we know, the nurses in that unit gritted their teeth and did their job well enough when they exited the station.

    As a student only armed with textbook knowledge, I saw many things in hospitals that I considered "wrong" or "bad practice." As a more experienced nurse, I no longer have a black and white view. I did not have the insight to know what I do not know, what I would do when faced with the same stressors and how people cope with the difficulties and ambiguities of patient care. There is a blurry line between unprofessional behavior and truly harmful abuse that warrants reporting, but there is one.

    How would you deal with the situation the OP presented? Talk of advocacy is well and good but I would like to know specific actions you would or have taken in the same situation. I am having a problem seeing how a student has the power to stop the negativity.


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