"Nurses are so Mean" - page 17
I wish I had a dollar for every post I've read claiming that "nurses are so mean," "nurses are nasty to each other," "nurses eat their young" or "my preceptor is picking on me for no good reason." ... Read More
May 3, '12 by CialeALSO, we just had a meeting with our director about "bullying". Yes a bunch of nurses men and women ages 22-62 had to be scolded for bullying the new staff members. A new doctor even complained after he heard the "creative" nickname that one of them came up with. We have the highest turnover rate in the hospital becuase of this dispicable pathetic behavior. If someone is being lazy, I'm going to tell them. Problem solved. I'm not going to be passive aggressive about it like so many women are. UGH
May 4, '12 by superiornursingFrom my experience having trained more than 15yrs ago-Tutors and senior nurses are not cruel,but many times are anxious that they maintain high standards to make sure that nurses are well equipped to do what is required.When on the receiving end it always appears cruel and I, too ,shared that belief that my more experienced nurses were cruel-I, however ,changed that view quickly after grqduation and being given responsibilty for a ward of 30 adult clients and 3 junior nursing staff and ancilliary support.I was thankful for the days of "pressure" which made me who I am and allowed me to rise to the challenge of delivering high levels of nursing care in high stressed environments.Sometimes what may appear as cruel and insensitivity maybe the very act that will help us to solidify our commitment to a highly demanding profession.I am glad that my senior Nurses stuck to their guns and saved me.Nurses never eat their young but they do qualify or eliminate all in the interest of the profession and base on established standards.Take heart those who feel offended and continue you who are being accused-Continue to separate the wheat from the chaff.Superiornursing.Quote from Ruby VeeI wish I had a dollar for every post I've read claiming that "nurses are so mean," "nurses are nasty to each other," "nurses eat their young" or "my preceptor is picking on me for no good reason." And then if you add in all the nurses who are "fired for NO reason" or is hated by their co-workers because they're so much younger and more beautiful than everyone around them or just can't get along with their colleagues no matter what they do -- well, I'd be a rich woman. I could retire to Tahiti and lounge on the beach sipping margaritas and eating bon bons. Or whatever. You catch my drift.
I'm beginning to believe that the nurses, nursing students, new grads and CNAs who claim that everyone is being mean to them are revealing far more about their own charactor than they are about the people around them.
It's usually pretty much a pattern -- someone who is new to nursing, new to a specialty or new to a job posts a plaintive lament about how everyone they work with is just so MEAN. Often times, when the poster goes on to describe the situation, it's just that they had a negative interaction with one nurse -- and often just that one time. It's as if no one is allowed to have a bad day. There are no allowances made for the colleague who may be a bit brusque because they've been up all night with a cranky baby or a wandering parent with dementia or their dog just died or even -- heaven forbid -- they're weary of answering that same question over and over without any learning occurring.
People have bad days. It's just one of those things. We cannot all call in sick every time we've had to stay up all night with a child or parent, put the dog to sleep or take antihistamines. We can't all not come to work every time the sewer backs up, the roof leaks or the car won't start. Some of us on any given day have worries and responsibilities outside the job. If you happen to encounter a colleague on the day she discovered her husband was cheating on her, her child crashed another car or the space heater fried a whole circuit they might just be rude to you. They probably don't mean it, possibly don't even realize they WERE rude to you. Cut them some slack. Even preceptors have really bad days when nothing goes right. If you're looking for nurses eating their young or being mean and nasty to their co-workers, you'll find them. Whether or not they actually ARE young-eaters or mean nurses.
Another common theme is a poster complaining about how mean her new co-workers are to her. She's never done anything to deserve it, she's always been pleasant and helpful and she thinks (or someone has told her) that they're picking on her because they are just so jealous of her relative youth and beauty. I'm suggesting that if that's what you believe -- that you're perfect, but your co-workers are jealous of your youth and beauty -- you ought to perhaps look a little deeper. Much of the time, there will be another reason that you're not getting along with the people at work. Perhaps you're not being as friendly and helpful as you think. Perhaps you're not carrying your full share of the work load, or aren't learning despite asking the same questions over and over or are rude to people you percieve as "old dogs who ought to retire" or "ugly old hags."
If you're writing in to complain that "mean people follow me everywhere" and "I've had five jobs since I graduated six months ago, and my preceptors have all been nasty" or "nurses eat their young and I know that because I'm always being eaten," stop and think for a minute. If the same problem follows you everywhere you go, it may not be them. There's a good chance that it's YOU. You can change jobs as many times as you like, but everywhere you go, there you are. Since the only person you can change is YOU, stop and think about what you might be doing to contribute to your problems. A little self-assessment and introspection can only be a good thing.
I wish the phrase "nurses eat their young" had never been coined. Thirty some years ago when I was a new grad, the phrase hadn't yet been coined. When I had problems with my co-workers, I could only look at my own behavior. I was young, fresh off the farm and totally unprepared for my new job as a nurse. When I grew up and learned more, my co-workers became muchy nicer people. While I know that lateral violence does exist, I don't think it exists to the point that some people seem to think it does. Or to the degree that a regular reader of allnurses.com could believe it does. Every time you have a negative interaction with a co-worker, it's not necessarily lateral violence. It could very well be that someone is having a very, very bad day. Or week. Or it could be that rather than your co-workers being jealous of your extreme good looks, you're regularly doing something really stupid or thoughtless that irritates or annoys them. Quite possibly, the problem is you. Maybe you're not studying enough, learning enough, understanding enough or doing enough. Certainly if you're always having the same problems over and over again, everywhere you go, the problem IS you.
The only person you can "fix" is you. I really, really wish that people would at least consider the possibility that they are part of the problem before they scream that "nurses eat their young."
Oct 6, '12 by nightengalegoddessBullying DOES happen. And it often happens to any nurse who seems to veer from the norm. She may do her job well. But she may stand too straight, have too many curves, be too smart, too competant, too well spoken, too well educated....she may be too cheerful...and the list goes on and on. Just continue to stand up for any nurse who is being gossiped about and sooner or later this bullying will become unnacceptable. Bullying, gossiping....all forms of verbal slander; this can affect the vitality of one's carreer, psychology, family life and even faith in humanity.
As for it being "your" problem if you are the continual target.....Of course you will audit your performance. But if after you have audited and improved in every way...and you are still being gossiped about; just know that the others ARE probably jealous of you because they are miserable and probably threatened by you for whatever reason you stand out for.
It seems to be "normal" for many nurses to be overweight, in ill health, and plagued with martyrdome (sp?). Why would anyone want to "fit in" with THAT kind of crowd? I prefer to be my own healthy self...in good shape, standing tall, doing a good job no matter how threatening that is too many ugly personalitied nurses who gosssip and bully.
Oct 6, '12 by nightengalegoddessAfter reading more comments about this topic...I have to say....some nurses DO have a hard time because they are good looking. I've seen it and heard it. They don't go around talking about how good looking they are. It is just there for all to see. And people will always make work difficult for some of them. I know of some very beautiful nurses (on the outside and inside). The beautiful ones who have the beauty on the inside too are the ones who get clobbered the most. It is funny, that male nurses have nothing bad to say about them. It is the jealous women nurses who do. So please ....stop attacking everyone. It is getting in the way of the real work we have to do.
Oct 7, '12 by reveriies, BSN, RNI must be blessed because almost every person (except for one nurse) I work with has been nothing but helpful. They were always asking to see if I was okay, especially the first couple of months after I got off orientation. Now they don't care about me because they know if I have an a problem, I will grab them as my reinforcements. And to quote one co-workers, apparently it's me being mean to them (playful banter of course, never truly malicious). I have to say I am truly, truly thankful for the wonderful team of nurses, techs, and unit secretaries I work with. Sure we all have our bad days, but we try not to take it out on one another. Unlike other horror stories I read here on allnurses.com, we definitely exude the definition of teamwork.
Oct 7, '12 by danjobeanso do you experienced nurses have advice for newbies and students who are still trying to learn? how do you recommend we enter the environment? what should we be aware of, what questions should we ask? what are the biggest mistakes we're making?
Oct 8, '12 by bborcykI graduated June 2011 from my school of nursing, and I immediately was offered a job in occupational health, in an office setting. At first, before I took my boards, I had to work as a tech, but then after I passed, I was the office's only nurse. I admit, it was tough at first. My co-workers, being all females, didn't work very well together. Coming from a large hospital in my city, I was used to that, but at least at the hospital, I'd already had friends, or at least common ground with people.
I have learned a few lessons since then: things are better if you realize you aren't just at work solely to make friends; it is ALWAYS best to avoid being in the middle of personal spats between coworkers; never talk about anyone behind their back, no matter what; keep facebook out of the office; if you have a problem with something a person is doing, there are better ways of handling it than doing any of these things: tattling, lying, or blowing up.
Oct 14, '12 by Not_A_Hat_Person, RNPeople have bad days. That doesn't make it okay to take out that bad day on someone else, no matter how much more experience or seniority you have.
People who are insensitive to other people's feelings tend to be extremely sensitive about their own feelings.
Oct 14, '12 by FLmedQuote from annmarie899Amen!! :-)annmarie, age 58, NP for 15 years, nurse for over 25 years,
I agree with many of the opinions, but there does seem to be a little defensiveness in some of the comments.
Here is my take on this, as a 'seasoned nurse of age 58'. I was once a young and attractive nurse, and naive. I had a preceptor who was almost ready to retire, walked with a limp, I'm sure was in constant pain, and mercilessly tortured me. Why? I don't know. I almost quit nursing because of her. She picked on me, was rude to me, singled me out. It was the associate director of the program ( who I went to in tears when this 'sourpuss' dismissed me from clinical one day for being unprepared - notwithstanding the fact I had just had a death in the family and still showed up) that talked me into staying.
Through the years there have always been 'the young and entitled' - and this pertains to med students as well, whom I have had the privilege of herding during clinic. The young and entitled cannot do more than one thing at a time, get upset when you ask them to do a second thing - because it's just too much, or they were'nt expecting it ' like 'see another patient? but I haven't presented this first patient yet?' - but more like this will cut into their gossip session or internet surfing time.
But let's not overlook the fact that there is still serious incivility present in our academic institutions and workplace. Not only incivility - there is violence as well. Recently in the news there was a shooting in a hospital in CT where an elderly patient pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot a nurse - a male nurse, a former military man, jumped to the rescue, and was shot in the leg and disarmed the patient.
There is real violence and real incivility in our society. Bad things happen to all of us. But as professionals, we should leave it at home, and put on our professional demeanor, and NOT take it out on our patients, our co-workers, or family members.
If things are that bad, please go to EAP and sort things out. It's not ok to dump on other people. Yes, it happens, but as the saying goes, it all just trickles down. . . and creates a really bad workplace mileau.
Let's not make excuses for being 'martyrs' or being the perpetrators of incivility. I think nurses, as professionals, are much better than that.
Stiff upper lip, smile, then go to the gym. Join a kick boxing club, and kick the crap out of a bag. Not your patients, your co-workers, or your loved ones. It just won't do. And don't forget that humor is the stress reliever of all.
Oct 21, '12 by trai1971I am a "seasoned" nurse who has been nursing now for 20 years, and I've only had 2 jobs in my nursing career, and I am here to tell you there ARE alot of mean nurses( in the coworker sense) out there, but also some great ones. I currently work with a fellow nurse (even more seasoned than I am) who makes my life torture with her rudeness and bullying, to the point that I've actually asked her to stop, then later address it with administration who basically told me to handle it myself but let her know if it continued even though I had already talked to this person, so I'm still in the same boat. This person talks about me to my coworkers, counts my meds., it's virtually harrassment. Other people complain about this nurse's behavior behind her back, but don't stand up to her because they're afraid she'll start trouble for them as well. Of course some days are better than others, but my point is, it's not the even just the new nurse who is getting bullied, but seasoned nurses do as well. I think there needs to be a "no tolerance" policy for bullying and maybe even more focus on this in nursing school...perhaps even a course focusing on this issue, then maybe it will begin to change. I also feel that employers need to actually care about this issue as well. It's sad that people who are in the art of caring would treat eachother this way. So, I'm not trying to be a "whiner", just telling you my experience.
Oct 22, '12 by nightengalegoddessWhat is wrong with management that they can not control this sort of thing? It is infuriating. I keep to myself now totally. I help my co-workers but you will never hear me chatting or ever speaking about anything besides the patients and their needs and our work. Of course...THIS behavior has started a whole new round of gossip about me. "why isn't she social, why doesn't she chat with us, she only talks to the docs.... etc"...(yes, because the physicians don't play this stupid game).
I look forward to moving away from the med-surg environment into ICU world. I hear there is much less of this there. It is too bad, because I really like med-surg. There are not a lot of RNs who like med-surg; I could have been a great asset if my nasty co-workers could have overlooked my good looking a$$. The med-surg world has just lost a great nurse because of their MEAN culture. Hello...ICU!!!!
Jun 1, '13 by RN/MSN1984im 28 and a very experienced nurse with a masters degree. Some really SNOTTY stuck up nurses can be just catty and uncalled for.Last edit by TheCommuter on Jun 1, '13 : Reason: terms of service
Sep 7, '15 by babydolltoo, RNI love your article!! I feel the same way & wish co-workers would not "take it personally ", but they do. Nursing can be very stressful & I understand that & don't take it personal when I clearly know it's not you personally, just the stress of the job. Good read!! Thanks.