Why are nurses disrespected so much?

  1. Hi all! I just started our clinical this week as a new nursing student and there is something that's been bothering me and I just can't seem to come to terms with it... why are nurses so disrespected? I've seen nurses treat other nurses like dog crap and the pts treat them like slaves essentially-- ungrateful, degrading, etc. I'm shocked that this is the way the heirarchy is structured... Dr's are gods, nurses are peasants. We've worked way too hard in school and beyond to be subjected to this treatment. I guess this is also my phlegmatic personality coming thru... but wow!! Nurses are literally like Mean Girls. Sometimes I wonder, how did I end up choosing this profession again? It sickens me the way HCP are supposed to nurture and support their PTs yet they can't even treat their own coworkers like human beings... I guess I have "thin skin" but yikes this is not the kind of work environment I want to be in! Why can't we all show compassion towards each other? I'm a very kind person and I feel like I'm going to get spat on in the nursing world... rant over.
    Last edit by Brian S. on Sep 14
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  2. 115 Comments

  3. by   TriciaJ
    Your clinical placement may be in a place that is poorly managed. Issues aren't addressed properly and a toxic culture is allowed to prevail. You will see this in all walks of life; health care workplaces aren't immune. Most of us have had experience with less-than-stellar environments. Some were even in health care.

    Your first week of clinical might not be the best time to judge how others are functioning in their profession. Your viewpoint may be skewed by your newness. It's always easiest to judge from the outside, with your previous filters in place. Give it time and see if your perception changes. If it doesn't, then this clinical placement may serve as more warning than example. But it can still be a learning experience.

    You should take the word "nurse" out of your user name. It isn't legal to use it unless you already are one.
  4. by   fitfabfunnurse2b
    There's no RN after my name, I can't change my username now! EVERYONE: this was an innocent username I created. I am not an RN and do not pretend to be one. I am a BSN nursing student.
  5. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    Quote from fitfabfunnurse
    There's no RN after my name, I can't change my username now! EVERYONE: this was an innocent username I created. I am not an RN and do not pretend to be one. I am a BSN nursing student.
    actually a mod will reach out to you about that. I was nuguynurse and I was told (back then) since I wasn't a nurse yet, my screen name had to change. Now that I am a nurse, I don't need the "2b" but I don't care enough to change it. But that highlights the importance of the use of "nurse" in your user name, since some people have questioned my posts due to my screen name.
  6. by   rearviewmirror
    Supply and demand... sad but true. Nurses are dime a dozen to management, so they are okay with putting the nurses through crap and abuse, but providers, not so much. Many other factors engage in it though. Your own personality to say no to patients' crap, demographics, socioecomomics, education levels, geography of the clientele at hospital you work at, years of experience and amount of confidence you have, and lastly... people just suck for no reason many times. There are decent human beings, and there are crappy human beings regardless of all those that I mentioned above.

    Best advise I had for myself was don't work at direct care as RN, go back only as provider if I want to.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from fitfabfunnurse
    There's no RN after my name, I can't change my username now! EVERYONE: this was an innocent username I created. I am not an RN and do not pretend to be one. I am a BSN nursing student.
    Are you also a theater manager?
  8. by   pixierose
    I was a teacher before becoming a nurse, so this is a second career for me. This is not unique to nursing.

    I've had good patients, great patients, and god awful patients. Same with their families. And this went with the families of those that I taught. People come from all walks of life, and they behave how they deem fit. Some of them suck. Most of them don't.

    Your clinical placement may be poorly managed like Tricia stated. I love my coworkers; there are no "mean girls." But I also selected my floor after I interviewed because of the vibe. Nurses have been there forever; there are very few openings on this floor.

    Give it time.
  9. by   luvmyc
    It all depends on the location you work. Where I am, the doctors are very respectful of all the nursing staff; they're wonderful. Similar with patients. Some people are just rude in general and those people take it out on the easiest targets. Usually the nurse.
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    That's quite a strong opinion based on very little experience.

    Give it time and focus on the good things.
  11. by   CelticGoddess
    Quote from fitfabfunnurse
    There's no RN after my name, I can't change my username now! EVERYONE: this was an innocent username I created. I am not an RN and do not pretend to be one. I am a BSN nursing student.

    FTR: In many states in the US, if you call yourself a nurse and you are not(however innocent) it is breaking the law. It doesn't matter if you use RN, LPN, or nurse, the title is protected and can only be used by those persons who are licensed as such.
  12. by   sevensonnets
    What an odd post considering that you are only in your first week of clinicals. You went from asking why nurses are so disrespected to disrespecting us yourself in a couple of sentences. You're there to learn not to criticize. I'm in my 38th year of nursing (CVICU/ Open Heart) and have never even once felt disrespected or been treated like a slave. I have an excellent rapport with my physicians, most of whom I've known for many years, and with my coworkers, because I CHOOSE to get along with them. You're there to learn how to be a nurse; be humble enough to accept that you don't know much yet and you are going to have to depend on experienced nurses to teach you. Don't waste your time taking offense at every perceived slight and looking for bullies and mean nurses around every corner. You have a choice to take the high road.
  13. by   Neats
    As a RN I do not feel disrespected no one can make me feel things only me. I have had my share of people who are rude, crude and downright mean spirited. I have also had my fair share of pleasant, cheerful, and happy nice people all around my healthcare careers.
    I think in general people think highly of nurses. Patients and physicians always ask for the good competent nurses when needing assistance, just observe this. As in any profession there are good and bad. In nursing the good and bad nurses it just seems to be amplified because of the assistance we provide.

    Until we are properly reimbursed just like therapies i.e. 15 min increments we will continue to be like the drop and run room...you know the room or drawer we all have in our house where we drop things off and run away. I will just continue to be a competent nurse who refuses to be a floor mat and hope what we do eventually will be reimbursable (as far as payment goes).
  14. by   Atl-Murse
    OP, you should change your name to Drama queen . lol just joking

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