What Is the Problem With These Nurses?

  1. I've always thought the "nurses eating their young" phenomenon was somewhat of a misnomer, since we're not their children and I know students can impose a lot of burdens on nurses. But, when you're pretty functional and helping out with most of the work, and some nurses still beat you down to a pulp, I just don't get it.

    What's the point of being so mean? I'm running my butt off all day, I'm giving all of the meds, doing all of the charting, aide work, etc. for most of the patients. Yet, no matter how hard I work, there's still a constant barrage of criticism ...

    Of course, I make mistakes and I definitely need to improve in a lot of areas. No question about it. Nevertheless, I am not a total novice and, despite my shortcomings, I do know I'm making their day a hellava lot easier.

    But ... I'm only human, and I do tend to make even more mistakes when I know I'm going to get slammed no matter what I do. After awhile, no matter how tough you are, it's difficult to concentrate and do everything the nurse wants when you know she's hostile and looking for any opportunity to jump on your case ... even when you do things right.

    I actually don't need nor do I expect praise or reassurance but, like a lot of people, I don't tend do well when I getting slammed all the time either.

    I can't wait to get out of there and let them get back to doing all the work. Thankfully, my days of slave labor will soon be over. I hope they got their jollies because if this is how they make themselves feel better or whatever it is ... good riddance.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Nov 29, '06
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  2. 125 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry for the bad experience Lizz...I always liked students but did feel that since I was the RN responsible for the pt, when it got busy, I did what needed to be done instead of always allowing them to do it. Not the best way to learn, I admit.

    Maybe your next clinical experience will be better? Good luck.
  4. by   augigi
    Some people just suck. Others may be frustrated with the work added by having a newbie around, or just not be good teachers - not everyone is.

    It may be their problem and not yours, but to make your life more pleasant, try the old adage "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar". Nothing annoys bullies more than being confronted by a pleasant, friendly person who doesn't react to their rubbish.

    If they are criticizing you, try saying something to the effect of "I really appreciate your input into my development. I'd love to try and meet your expectations - can you give me some specific examples where I could improve my practice?". They usually can't. If they can, great - maybe you can learn and improve, and enjoy a nicer relationship too.

    A lot of these old cronies just want you to acknowledge their experience and wisdom. If you buy into it for your own good, and appear to be LISTENING, and taking their suggestions on board, they often back off and end up being helpful. I had THE most crabby witch as an associate charge nurse in one of my first ICU jobs - she was always bitc*ing at me, taking over, saying "oh, let me do it!", etc etc.. after a while I decided to quit being defensive and listen, and several years later I count her as one of the best nurses I've ever worked with. She taught me a lot.

    So - in summary, maybe they are just misery guts, but try being a willing learner and take advantage of their knowledge, and see what happens. Good luck!
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    I agree that bullying doesn't get anyone anywhere. With the nursing shortage, unfortunately, hospitals really can't weed out the trouble employees.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Heh. I lost my job on SUnday, and realized that something I had suspected was true. I have been an LPN for 5 months, 4 on nights, at a SNF. They moved me to days to give me more back-up and the day charge nurse, and LPN of 20 years and an age peer of mine, had been slowly poisoning the upper echelons to view me as incompetent. Little comments, constant small complaints.... often in front of the CNAs.

    I'm quite disillusioned.

    (Edited because I can't type.)
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Suesquatch
    They moved me to days to give me more back-up and the day charge nurse, and LPN of 20 years and an age peer of mine, had been slowly poisoning the upper echelons to view me as incompetent. Little comments, constant small complaints.... often in front of the CNAs.

    I'm quite disillusioned.
    Yeah ... my nurse has been doing that too and, I'm sure she would continue to do that if I worked there which, of course, I won't. I can't get the CNA's to do much because of it and, instead of delegating to CNA's like I'm supposed to I'm expected to do their work also so ...

    Naturally ... that puts me at a disadvantage since I can't be 20 places at the same time.

    Once they get these cliques going on these floors they really like to shut everybody else out ... despite the fact that they need the help. It's really weird because, ultimately, they end up short staffed and only sabotage themselves.

    :typing
  8. by   nursehellokitty04
    hey i know what you are talking about they do eat there young i became an LPN at 20 yeah i know what was i thinking its what i wanted to do i am 23 now and there is this nurse who works 3-11 i work 11-7 and she talks to me like i am freaken slow now i have done every shift i have been a nurse for going on 3 years now and i must have know what i was doing to graduate i must have know what i was doing to pass my boards i do know what i am doing i have that confidence now i know i am human and i do make mistakes and i own up to them learn from them that is how we grow in nursing but this nurse will harp on it the only thing i can think is she is jealous because i have what she has at such a younger age then her and i am good i love what i do i love my patients and when there is something that needs to be done i do it i dont cry about it i just do it i dont know what to do about this nurse i have confronted her told her to talk to me as a peer and not as a child i am getting sick of it !!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH cant we all just get along!!
  9. by   augigi
    I hate the saying "eat their young" - sounds like we're all mother lions or something. Newbies aint my kids.. not that I'd eat my kids.
  10. by   Sheri257
    Quote from augigi
    A lot of these old cronies just want you to acknowledge their experience and wisdom. If you buy into it for your own good, and appear to be LISTENING, and taking their suggestions on board, they often back off and end up being helpful.
    Yeah, I know ... it's an ego thing. It's just that I feel it's a constantly moving target. If I try to improve on one thing, she changes her mind about what she told me earlier. She'll tell me not to do something and then, later, expect me to do it.

    I guess I'm supposed to feed egos and, normally, I could do that but, there's only so much crap I can take. I don't know why I'm supposed to bend over backwards even more when I'm being treated like absolute dirt.

    It's has taken every ounce of my energy to maintain a professional demeanor, and I have but ... I really just want to explode.

    :typing
  11. by   nursehellokitty04
    yeah but i am not going to feed into them because they have issues call DR Phil lol
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Heh. I lost my job on SUnday, and realized that something I had suspected was true. I have been an LPN for 5 months, 4 on nights, at a SNF. They moved me to days to give me more back-up and the day charge nurse, and LPN of 20 years and an age peer of mine, had been slowly poisoning the upper echelons to view me as incompetent. Little comments, constant small complaints.... often in front of the CNAs.

    I'm quite disillusioned.

    (Edited because I can't type.)
    I am so sorry that you lost your job.

    THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT FOLKS THAT GOSSIP CAUSES PEOPLE TO LOSE THEIR JOBS!!!

    WHY WHY WHY doesn't upper management get rid of the gossips?
  13. by   Tweety
    I hate reading these posts. It gives us all a bad name, when there are a few out there like that.

    You are not there to feed anyone's ego.

    If there is a "constant barrage" and constant criticism and being "slammed all the time", you need to bring it to your instructors and the unit manager. Which more than likely won't do a bit of good, but if you accept it, you allow it, it will continue.

    This is unacceptable treatment of students.

    Be sure to be specific and provide examples of each and ever instant of constant harrassment.

    Good luck.

    I do cringe when I hear students say "I'm doing most of their work, what's their problem............", I heard that the other day (fortunately he was talking about another hospital, not my unit). But I won't go there.

    I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. Even if you choose to just bide your time until you get out, that's a good alternative too. Hang in there and good luck!
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 29, '06
  14. by   VickyRN
    Whether management realizes it or not, the experience of nursing students during clinicals at their hospital is the most powerful recruitment tool there is - FOR or AGAINST. If the nurses on a floor are welcoming and helpful to the students, then the graduate nurses will choose that place for their first job, even if the pay is less than somewhere else, or they have to drive 30 miles. If the unit has a "toxic" feel, then graduates will avoid that place like the plague, even if the management is offering all sorts of pay incentives and bonuses, and the place is "local." Trust me, I know this from experience

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