The nursing subculture

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    I work as a nursing assistant and go to school almost full time. I am taking this sociology class, and I came across a topic which I found relevant to this industry. There is a subculture found in nursing that we may not be aware of. Nursing has it's own language, it's own way of looking at the world, and even it's own fashion trends. I guess, in a way, I have become a participant observer. What ways may this affect how we treat patients? How may this determine what specialty of nursing we choose to follow? I'm curious to hear what people have to say about this.

    In my own experience in long-term care, I have noticed certain attitudes toward especially need patients. It seems that the general consensus, is that especially needy patients are actually lazy and could do more for themselves. They choose to give up their independence, thereby relying on staff to provided for more of their needs. I believe this to be a myth, but I have heard it expressed multiple times by many different people. What are your thoughts?

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    don't know about LTC patients, but your observation is keen and might be a good research topic.

    As for the subculture - yes. I believe it exists. It also exists in other careers. I evaluated data on this years ago and learned that about 60% of nurses have the same personality traits. So I guess we gravitate to one another.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    ^ or we could unknowingly develop those traits as we stay longer in our nursing careers hehehe

    All I know for sure is that in every unit, in every facility, there is always that one nurse who is lazy, refuses to take an admit and basically, let's everyone do the work for her.
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    Actually, the tool was designed to test for traits, not expressions. So if someone has a sickle cell trait they may/may not have sickle cell disease. I was trying to "prove" that certain personalities focused on ER, others in Maternal Child, etc. Could not prove it but still believe it.

    Subculture-would have to define the concept first, but I believe every industry has their own. Even stay-at-home-Moms have one.
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    [QUOTE=b0rea1is;4752674In my own experience in long-term care, I have noticed certain attitudes toward especially need patients. It seems that the general consensus, is that especially needy patients are actually lazy and could do more for themselves. They choose to give up their independence, thereby relying on staff to provided for more of their needs. I believe this to be a myth, but I have heard it expressed multiple times by many different people. What are your thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    Really needy ones tend to be the lonely ones, who are looking for extra time and attention; it's their coping mechanism. Or some are indeed lazy, as there are lazy people everywhere in every situation. Who needs independence if you can be waited on? Different values, different upbringings ( if someone has always been taken care of, first by Mommy then by spouse, it's a learned behavior). It's easy to grumble about someone causing extra work for you, and the "easiest" route for us is the quick judgment of Laziness.

    Some behaviors can be modified by a little extra TLC or attention, to avert the need to request things just to get someone to talk to. Others require limit setting. One study on skin hunger reported (anecdote) of the sudden incontinence of an otherwise healthy LTC resident. On interviewing her, the DON reported the resident began to cry, and say when she was cleaned was literally the only time she was ever touched. Extra TLC and the occasional hug ended the incontinence.

    All professions have a subculture of shared technical language and experiences; nursing is just so far outside most people's experience that we tend to stick out
    resumecpr likes this.
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    This is a facinating idea that would be a great research project. Yes, nursing itself is a subculture- it does have it's own language, group imposed 'accepted'norms of behaviors(I'm not saying they are right) rules, beliefs( not saying their right either), group imposed acceptable style( if you go to a new job wearing white dansko's from your last job, your preceptor admonishes you to not wear them again- "get a pair of sneakers"). I see nursing as a counterculture - kind of like the hippies were. that whole philosophy of "don't trust anyone over 30 mentality. There really is no room in nursing for self expression, being who you are, conformist behavior to fit in. If you don't act, think and feel like the group you are working with- it's professional suicide. They are very critical and hypocritical. They talk out both sides of their mouth. How can one group proclaim to be all for the paitent/wave the banner of humanity/ we are the greatest because we are nurses yet sit down and go through co-workers charts to write them up for the sole purpose of getting that person terminated, deliberately picking arguments with a singled out co-worker and never looking back on the damage we've done to someone.. and all the other acts of sabotoge and genuine evil spirited ness. (the abusive husband who hits his wife and tells her it's for her own good) Proclaiming to be so responsible yet are very irresponsible. And if you don't behave in the same way, you become the target.
    There are personality types in the different specialities- Ed nurses are a certain personality(treat em'and street 'em) ICU nurses- pure ADD- ever try to have a conversation with an ICU nurse that's more than 5 words?. Trama nurses- I'm told their a tough crowd. Onc nurses- quiter, more pristine and calmer in manner. The specialites could be said to be subcultures in the nursing culture. Each speciality stays to them self, very possessive. Don't be a tele nurse friends with a med/surg nurse- that is stopped at the first time your seen talking to each other. It's pounded into your head- 'your a critical care nurse', 'the creme del la creme' of the hospital. You don't associate with thoses 'below' you. The nursing management- there's another collection. They don't know who they are. They didn't want to touch a patient, my guess is because they were incompetent to begin with and knew it deep down right in nursing school, put in the least amout of time at the beside they could and the wanted to play ball with the corporate world- the "Wanna Bees" but keep the RN after their name because it makes then feel good in their neighborhood and at PTA. They use phrases that are inappropriate to the nursing world-"Nurse driven"( like they were working for the toyota company) "engaged"( where's the big diamond ring) 'that being said"( that's a nauseating statement if I ever heard one)all gussied up like they had an appointment posing for Vogue magazine and faces as frozen as old Joan Rivers after her plastic surgeries( highlighted, sprayed and laquered, lip glossed and manicured and mean as dirt.)
    Nursing is a facinating study in sociology and psych.


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