young nurses

  1. Why is it that at times, especially in the hospital, nurses tend to eat the young? I mean, when I first started working at the hospital it seemed that you would get no help from more experienced nurses. For instance when I was on night shift I may ask a question about a skill i had not had much experience with (ie wound vac) and instead of answering me they would ignore me and walk away. It happened many times.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   PANurseRN1
    Brother. Here we go again. (And again, and again, and again...)
  4. by   CIRQL8
    I think that it all stems from insecurity.

    Let it roll like water off a duck's back, and don't act that way yourself.
  5. by   Mimi Wheeze
    I am so sick of hearing the phrase "nurses who eat their young." It's so overly dramatic. Most professions or places of employment have un-agreeable employees lurking about. They aren't going to "eat" you, just annoy you.

    That said, I'm a brand new grad nurse. I'm 38 years old and work on an extremely busy med-surg unit. Nobody has tried to eat me yet. :icon_roll
    There are some nurses with p*ss-poor attitudes, just like anywhere else. The only time I see seasoned nurses be not so helpful is when a younger or newer nurse acts like an unprofessional nit-wit.

    Most younger nurses are great, and I respect them for making through nursing school at a young age. They try to adapt and act professionally at all times. But for some others, it's time to grow up. The hospital and these nurses were not put on earth to accomodate them. Learn to adapt, act professional and mature, and utilize those critical thinking skills you worked so hard for.

    And please, for the love of Pete, stop saying that "eat their young" crap. :trout: I can't take it anymore.
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    I agree, Mimi. It's nauseating.
  7. by   ICRN2008
    A lot of us just coming out of school have very little experience with skills (I have only put in one feeding tube, and it was on a baby). I think that a lot of more experienced nurses are understandably frustrated by the fact that our programs did not spend enough time giving us the chance to perform these skills while we were still a student. Many are not interested in teaching or precepting, but they have this responsibility dumped on them anyways.

    I think that the solution would be for schools to offer a full-time 3-6 month unpaid post-graduate internship to GNs where they are guaranteed one-on-one time with a qualified preceptor in their chosen area of specialty. They could even offer credits towards a BSN or MSN in exchange for this time.

    Most nursing programs in my area have 6-10 student per instructor, and this results in poor clinical experiences. There were certainly times when I felt like I had to fight for my instructor's attention. By contrast, all of my clinical hours as a Clinical Laboratory Science student were one-on-one. (The same is true for pharmacy and dietetics). My mother (dietitian) and sister (pharmacist) each had one-year internships as part of their programs, and they paid tuition for them! However, they came out of school knowing how to do their jobs for the most part.

    If we were better trained in school, we would not come out of our programs with so little practical knowledge, and we would not have to annoy our co-workers with endless questions.
  8. by   clee1
    Quote from BSNDec06
    If we were better trained in school, we would not come out of our programs with so little practical knowledge, and we would not have to annoy our co-workers with endless questions.

    Apparently unknowingly..... you have arrived at the crux of the issue w/o even realizing it.

    Several decades ago, the Nursing Profession turned over the training of "newbies" to the Education establishment. Instead of what used to be a type of structured apprenticeship program that turned out qualified caregivers, we now have scads of new "nurses" that can write one heck of a care plan and can quote NANDA dx's in their sleep, but don't have a clue how to drop a NG tube or start an IV w/o a dozen sticks and 50ml of blood on the bed.

    Add to that the "quality" of most current nursing schools, as well as the droves of experienced nurses leaving bedside practice, and you will quickly realize that this problem is only going to get MUCH worse.
  9. by   tattooednursie
    I really hope that doesnt happen to me. I graduate LVN school this summer. I've worked in the same place for almost 5 years, and I'll probably continue there. They know me very well, and so far most of the nurses have been very supportive and more than willing to teach me skills. I have noticed as a nursing student there are nurses who seem to despise students, but there are really good ones too.
  10. by   SCRN1
    Oh no! Not another "eat their young" post! I'm sick of hearing this too.

    It's never happened to me and I've never seen it happen to anyone else. Has anyone who's ever felt like they were being ignored was because the nurse they were asking something to was extremely busy her/himself at the time and it was nothing personal to the "young nurse"?
  11. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from SCRN1
    Oh no! Not another "eat their young" post! I'm sick of hearing this too.

    It's never happened to me and I've never seen it happen to anyone else. Has anyone who's ever felt like they were being ignored was because the nurse they were asking something to was extremely busy her/himself at the time and it was nothing personal to the "young nurse"?
    I really wish all these hating-on-seasoned-nurses threads could be consolidated into a sticked "General Rant Against Preceptors/Experienced Nurses." Kind of like what was done with the multiple "BSN v ADN/Diploma Nurses."
  12. by   jjjoy
    We can toss the "eat their young" phrase out the window, but I think BNSDec06 has a point. Experienced nurses who never signed up to be nursing instructors are being asked to precept new nurses as they (the new nurses) fumble along learning to organize their time and to do tasks that they may have only done on a dummy. Most nurses are stressed enough about being able to do good job themselves much less worry about a novice working with them. Even once off of orientation/preceptorship, the new nurse will be needing a good deal of help from other nurses - who don't have enough time to do their own job much less spend time teaching a new nurse. So the stressed, experienced nurses snap at the newbies, seem to leave them hanging, sigh loudly, etc... The new nurses who are nervous and already feel inadequate then interpret the experienced nurses' frustrations as indication that they (the new nurses) aren't measuring up and they may start wondering if they have what it takes to be a good nurse.

    Yes, the new nurses shouldn't take the experienced nurses' frustrations and stress personally and the experienced nurses shouldn't blame the new nurses for their relative lack of preparedness to work independently on the floor. By talking about it, though, maybe we can help find a way to make the experience better for all involved.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    I love to teach, but I know that I have many many nights in the ER when I don't get to pee until I get HOME from work (and then God help DH if he's in my bathroom!).

    When you're flying as fast as all that, it's very hard to slow down and teach someone else how to do what you do. Really, if they want a new nurse to get a good preceptor experience, tptb need to CUT that nurses ratio down, not bring it up because "you have help".

    When you give me a preceptee, you either want me to do what I do every night, to the same high standard, OR you want me to slow down and teach, which requires a lower ratio. But I don't see how you can have both.

    I can spend all day teaching someone how to put in a foley, drop an NGT, log roll a hip, place an IV. But I CAN'T keep up the pace AND teach them my thinking process, why I'm doing what now before I do that and how I switch gears in my brain to accomodate something else quickly. That takes time and thought that I just don't have when running my full load AND trying to teach as well.

    On the other side, new nurses need to remember to bring their ego to work with them - they won't get it on the floor. Even the best of us sometimes have a crisis of confidence and we bull through it. A new nurse IS a crisis of confidence (understandably) but with a full team, the preceptor simply doesn't have time to baby them through that. Does it suck?? Absolutely!!

    For TPTB: CUT the ratio for those with preceptees if you want them to stay and learn, instead of run screaming from the floor or profession.

    For New Nurses: It's NOT personal mostly, it's circumstantial. You're having to learn in a less-than-ideal situation and everyone around you has their full caseload (including short staffing and all the other fun stuff that comes with it). A nurse who hasn't peed in 10 hours, will probably seem to be or be too busy to stop and explain clearly every time you ask a question, even if he wants to.

    For preceptors: Do the best you can - isn't that what we always do anyway <sigh>. Until TPTB get the picture, we'll continue to be overworked, tired, and less than the good teachers many of us want to be. Something's gotta change.

    For all you new nurses who stick it out on the floor, only to fly into management as soon as possible.... PLEASE remember this stuff and work to CHANGE it for the people you manage. How come it always seems that folks who end up in management from the trenches forget where they came from? Never understood that!

    Ack! turned into a rant .. sorry!
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    There are a bunch of threads right now addressing this stereotype of nurses eating their young.

    I too dislike that phrase . . . . . people in all walks of life are rude and "nurses" do not eat their young.

    Check out some of the other threads . . . here is one.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f8/why-n...rs-199349.html

    steph

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