Is this how nurses really are?

  1. Hi everyone:

    I just needed to share this story with you. My friend who is also a nursing student was doing her biology in a public place. Along came this gal who asked what her major was. My friend replied..nursing. She said..I am a nurse. So my friend proceeded to ask her a question about something she was having difficulty with in her bio homework. The girl responded.. OH NO..I am not helping you. You are on your own. My friend said she was really rude about it. I cannot believe that I have run into nurses in the hospital and some can be very rude. Ever since I started my nursing studies, all the gals I have met on my campus are very nice. We have this neat little bond. I was just annoyed by this and wanted to see what you all thought. If this is how nurses behave..then I feel like I am in the wrong profession.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   tmblweed
    hey cheri, hang in there. We don't all eat our young. I've been a nurse a long time and for the most part nurses are very supportive of one another. Of course there are always exceptions. It seems toughest on the students, but as you gain experience and confidence you'll be okay. if you need any help in anything, except of course, biology , just give a yell!
    Good Luck!!!
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    You're in a wonderful but complicated profession. None of us are perfect. It is unfortunate but you can make a difference not only with your patients but you can be a better role model than this nurse was to you.
  5. by   MD_Rn
    It makes me so angry to hear this. What is it about this profession that we can't stand together? Hang in there, you are entering a wonderful profession. I have oriented many new grads and have never eaten any of them
  6. by   hollykate
    No offense to anyone, your friend met a rude person, who happened to be a nurse. Nurses are people too, and do not always behave in ways that they should. I do agree with Jay Jay, as a Nurse with a Biology Major, I find a lot of nurses shy away from biology as a "hard" topic, and she probably was afraid she might look silly. However, I gather from your post that you were/are under the impression that all nurses are just loving and caring all the time. Nurses are human, they have good and bad moments.
  7. by   Jay-Jay
    I am very disappointed in my fellow nurses to hear of your experience! I was a biology teacher before I became a nurse, and during my nursing courses, provided peer tutoring to students who were having difficulty with that part of the program.

    Now, knowing how complicated a subject bioligy is, I would bet the nurse refused to help you because she was afraid you were going to ask her something she either didn't know or had forgotten, and she would have been embarrassed!

    Hope that makes you feel better! And any biology questions you have, feel free to fire away!
  8. by   Tina Harrington
    OOOOOO, This makes me so angry !! I am in the middle of doing a post reg course "teaching and assessing student nurses" and it is pumped into us that WE as RN'S are the "gatekeepers" of our profession, People like this are gonna slam that gate closed, I agree with the above that maybe she felt threatend by lack of knowledge but rudeness like this shows us as inappropriate Role models, which has been identified as the most powerfull teaching method!! Cherie not all nurses show this trait,most of us can acknowledge our limitations, Get qualified, get out there and make a difference. If you reflect on this and learn from it you can make a difference
  9. by   mustangsheba
    Cheri: I worked with a nurse like that once! Fortunately, I was as often her charge nurse as she was mine. Everyone is right, my dear, ignorance is at the top of my list of poor excuses for that kind of behaviour. The majority of nurses would have put their own immediate needs aside to assist a fledgling - saying "no" is not something most of us are able to do, nor do we want to most of the time. You will have tons of support from here, as you can plainly see. This person was rude before she became a nurse. I suspect she'll become one of those LOLs that pinches! Percentage wise, the non-pinchers are still in the lead. It was a learning experience, nothing more. Take heart!
  10. by   Sylvia
    For some strange reason, some nurses are especially hard on student nurses. When I was in nursing school, I was convinced that hospitals placed special nurses there for the specific purpose or tormenting nursing students! Furthermore, there was a group of senior nursing students that delighted in scaring freshman students to death, by telling us things like we would have one hour to memorize every muscle in the human body!

    I don't know why some people are like that, but I can tell you it gets better as your experience and confidence grows. For every nurse like that, I have met three or four that were very supportive. So hang in there and don't let it get to you. And when you get your license, remember your experience and use it to help your student sisters and brothers.

  11. by   041975
    HI, Sorry to hear about your story about the rude nurse. I have been a RN for 4 years now and I have run into similar situations. Just hang in there. We are not all like that. Unfortunately I see nurses like this every day but just try not to let them bother you. Maybe this will be a lesson to you. Luckily the shifts I have worked, I have worked with wonderful nurses. Just remember to speak your mind. Don't let anyone walk all over you. Good Luck with the rest of nursing school!!!
    Originally posted by cheri2:
    Hi everyone:

    I just needed to share this story with you. My friend who is also a nursing student was doing her biology in a public place. Along came this gal who asked what her major was. My friend replied..nursing. She said..I am a nurse. So my friend proceeded to ask her a question about something she was having difficulty with in her bio homework. The girl responded.. OH NO..I am not helping you. You are on your own. My friend said she was really rude about it. I cannot believe that I have run into nurses in the hospital and some can be very rude. Ever since I started my nursing studies, all the gals I have met on my campus are very nice. We have this neat little bond. I was just annoyed by this and wanted to see what you all thought. If this is how nurses behave..then I feel like I am in the wrong profession.
  12. by   Doc

    Well, everyone here depicts nurses as being such great people, but lets face it - a lot of us are not! We may have all done 3 or 4 years of university, but there are a lot left who went through the old hospital system - and they were the mentors of the first few generations of university trained nurses, who then shared the mentoring of the next generations... and thus the tradition has been passed on.

    Don't get me wrong - I think the majority of us are nice and even the ones who seem not to be have their good points, but the stresses of nursing (taking crap from doctors, violence and abuse from patients, horizontal violence, abismal nurse-patient ratios, unfair rostering, poor leave arrangements, etc) can tip just about anyone over the hilt! Many nurses tend to ***** at each other as a way to cope with these daily stresses. Instead of talking about how the conditions are poor and doing something about it, they talk about how Betty wouldn't help them with this or that, or how Jane forgot to do a care plan, etc, but they would never say these things to their face.

    Instead, the nurse who is being ******* about gets subtle messages from the one who has been ******** about them, and some of her friends. I'd like to hear from any of you who have experienced this. I'm sure that's the majority of you, because studies done in the US, UK, Australia and Ireland all show that this is so. The percentage of people reporting verbal abuse or other forms of "horizontal violence" uncovered in these studies ranges from 30% to 67%, and is considered to be vastly under-reported!

    These are a few tips I can offer which I have found useful:

    1. It's important to take this in stride - it's not really as personal as it seems. ****** behaviour directed at you SEEMS personal, but you're just an unlucky target.

    2. Often (but not always) the best thing is to ignore the behaviour, as it'll usually be a one off. You may think that because Sandy has ******* about you to all the night staff, they're all going to keep their distance from you. Don't believe that for a moment! If they have 6 months or more post-grad experience, they'll know not to take it to heart. ******** is, well, just ********!

    3. If it is a recurring thing, first approach the person, preferably when others are around, and say: "you seem to be upset over ...... How come you didn't just come up and say so?" By showing that you're approachable, you're firstly showing others around you that you're a reasonable person (hence dispelling the myth they've just tried to spread about you), and secondly - you're setting an example so that maybe they'll just tell it to your face next time.

    4. Don't underestimate the value of talking to superiors about these things. Nurses are by far one of the most avoidant groups of people when it comes to confrontation. Nurses have switched jobs, quit the profession and even committed suicide because someone was giving them a real hard time. If you take the step and see a superior, don't be hesitant about it. If your nursing manager detects hesitancy, he/she may not take you very seriously, and then you will feel like you have no support.

    5. Be PUBLIC about issues. If you think there is something wrong with the profession, or with your workplace, come out and say so. You will be encouraging others to do the same, rather than keep it all inside and then SNAP AT SOMEONE when it becomes all too much! If YOU decide "aggh, it's not worth it" or "it's not that bad", YOU will end up being the perpetrator of ********/back-biting behaviour! Also, be public at a community level. Have you ever wondered why nursing schools have THE HIGHEST drop-out rates? One college which neglected its students (in a pretty bad way) ended up on a TV current events program. They also got taken to court (the students wanted their fees back). You don't have to do anything that extreme (unless that's how you feel about it, of course). You can send editorials out, post messages, etc.

    6. Remind yourself that you are in one of the most special professions around. Nurses get to see the most of their patients. All the little things we do make such a big difference. There is such a big range of employment opportunities/specialty areas your degree can get you. Most of all, remember how you felt when you made a difference to certain people, or the compliments/gifts they gave you.

    I wish you all success and good times for the new year!
  13. by   casirn
    Nursing is a SERVICE profession. We serve our patients, our communities, our coworkers, ect. There are rude people in any profession, you would think this would be less common among nurses. It is your personal obligation to treat others how you want to be treated. You can be an example for others. Don't let the bad behavior of burnt out/disheartened people deter you from the reasons you picked nursing for a career in the first place.
  14. by   Doc
    Originally posted by casirn:
    Nursing is a SERVICE profession. We serve our patients, our communities, our coworkers, ect. There are rude people in any profession, you would think this would be less common among nurses. It is your personal obligation to treat others how you want to be treated. You can be an example for others. Don't let the bad behavior of burnt out/disheartened people deter you from the reasons you picked nursing for a career in the first place.
    For the most part, this is the best advice, but there will be times when it gets a bit much for certain people. We can't all be super-men/women. We end up getting so used to the idea that we are in a service profession (and therefore have to just get on with it), that we lose track of what effect the rude/****** behaviour has on us. Then 15 years into their career some nurse is going to have a nervous breakdown that could have been prevented.

    In order to look after others we need to look after ourselves (much as a tradesman has to look after his/her tools - damaged tools do a poor job) and this means we must acknowledge that this behaviour exists, and try to eliminate it. Also, if you see someone who is getting a hard time, support them. We will never totally eradicate this behaviour from any profession, but I don't see why nursing has to continue being a profession where these negative experiences are so widespread. We are all pretty much articulate enough to stand up against it.

    Doc

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