The Top Three AN Red Herrings

  1. 84
    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It seems to me that whenever there is a debate here on AN, there are three predictable "red herrings" that get tossed into the mix. For those that don't know, a red herring is an element that distracts attention away from the real argument. There may be more, but these top three are the ones I have noticed the most. Perhaps others have more to add to the list! Feel free!

    #1) The "Where is Your Compassion" Red Herring. Inevitably, whenever a poster takes an unpopular stance, their compassion is called into question. Questioning a nurse's compassion is like questioning a mechanic's willingness to get their hands dirty. It's such an integral part of nursing that I would give 99.9% of nurses the benefit of the doubt that they give compassionate care, no matter their opinion on a matter.

    #2) The "Exception to the Rule" Red Herring. This one is pretty obvious. Whenever someone makes a generalization, no matter how much truth that generalization holds, someone always has to pipe up about their brother's mother in law's cousin who "had x,y, and z, but still managed to do a, b, and c". Know what? There is *always* an exception to the rule. That doesn't make the generalization any less true.

    #3) The "Well, if you have never had (fill in the blank), then you couldn't possibly know anything about it" Red Herring. This one assumes that, for example, if I have never had a broken bone, I know nothing about the appropriate assessment, treatment, and follow up for that condition. Unless I have had my arm ripped off in an industrial accident, I couldn't possibly know anything at all about how to treat that patient. Unless I have not personally experienced burns over 50% of my body, I could not possibly know what is the most critical thing that needs to be done with that person.

    Well, that's my little rant for the evening. Good night, all!
    eriksoln, carolmaccas66, ŽNurse, and 81 others like this.

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  2. 94 Comments...

  3. 1
    I see two sides to #3. I agree on some, but disagree to a point as well. I completely agree with the assessmet aspect of what you are saying. BUT, say you have a patient with a chest tube and you've never seen one or been trained to manage a patient with a chest tube (for example). The unsafe nurse might try to manage that patient and not ask any questions. The safe nurse will tell the charge nurse and either someone will train the nurse to manage that patient or their assignment will change. But, saying the nurse who asks for help or a change in assignment is incompetent with no critical thinking skills, is completely bogus. And that goes with testing nurses in areas they had no experience.
    Eaglelady likes this.
  4. 8
    I agree with your rant and have no red herring to add
    ŽNurse, tabhow52, Otessa, and 5 others like this.
  5. 17
    What about the RED HERRING who only reads the title of the post and not the information under it, responding completely into left field. OR The RED HERRING who adds details to a post that wasn't there, therefore putting words into the OPs mouth, just to start a fuss. LMBO!
    TiddlDwink, Zombi RN, LPNnowRN, and 14 others like this.
  6. 8
    Quote from TwinkleToes13
    I see two sides to #3. I agree on some, but disagree to a point as well. I completely agree with the assessmet aspect of what you are saying. BUT, say you have a patient with a chest tube and you've never seen one or been trained to manage a patient with a chest tube (for example). The unsafe nurse might try to manage that patient and not ask any questions. The safe nurse will tell the charge nurse and either someone will train the nurse to manage that patient or their assignment will change. But, saying the nurse who asks for help or a change in assignment is incompetent with no critical thinking skills, is completely bogus. And that goes with testing nurses in areas they had no experience.
    I think you misunderstood the OP. She's not saying she's never cared for those types of patients; she's saying she's never been one of those patients i.e. she's never had an injury requiring a chest tube or had 50% surface area burns on her body and therefore cannot empathize with the patients or understand their distress or know what to do for them.
    nuangel1, DizzyLizzyNurse, janaRNWV, and 5 others like this.
  7. 29
    I'm thinking that the ultimate red herring is that *nurses eat their young*. This seems to always get thrown into a good juicy debate.
    Last edit by Up2nogood RN on May 28, '11
    Zombi RN, LPNnowRN, Kyasi, and 26 others like this.
  8. 73
    Add:

    The "I think I deserve to be a nurse, despite the fact that I cannot add, spell, put together a legible thought, and failed because I was short by 0.005 to 5 pts. After all ability to pass, add, spell, write doesn't measure my compassion".

    Followed quickly by the "Why am I not treated as a professional, despite bathing in noxious perfume, Tinkerbell scrubs, 3 inch nails, discussions about sex in front of the whole team, 20 smoke breaks a shift, late from lunch d/t shopping at the gift store, inability to show to work on time and requiring the assignment be changed when you do show, facebooking, delaying report to get your darn coffee, etc.

    And for good measure: "I got a DWI/DUI, or use marijuana and they say I can't be nurse. What does my off duty life have to do with my job. After all EVERYBODY does it and it is not as bad as X, Y or Z".

    Let's not forget the "My job/dept is harder than yours, so I should get paid more."
    Last edit by caroladybelle on May 28, '11
  9. 1
    Mmmmm, McGuffin.
    JacobK likes this.
  10. 11
    Quote from Up2nogood RN
    I'm thinking that the ultimate red herring is that *nurses eat their young*. This seems to always get thrown into a good juicy debate.
    Anything less than agreeing with them, telling them they're being mistreated without cause because they're too pretty, and telling them they're simply fantastic nurses with awful preceptors is deemed "eating your young" around here.
  11. 38
    Here's another:

    "The evil instructors don't teach me anything at all. They expect us to learn it on our own ..." and then go to write about how they work full time, have a family to take care of, and "need a personal life" -- and therefore don't have time to study more than an hour or two per day. Somehow, it's always the instructor's fault.
    TiddlDwink, Sand_Dollar, LPNnowRN, and 35 others like this.


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