Ageism in Nursing: A Pervasive Problem - page 3

by VickyRN 14,645 Views | 50 Comments Senior Moderator

Mary stewart, age 62, has worked as a registered nurse on the postpartum unit for the past quarter century. She began her long career in nursing in 1972, with her graduation from a nursing diploma program. Mary is capable,... Read More


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    "Mary" found herself jobless....unable to make bills. She cut into what was left of her retirement to keep her home. HS tried talking to many lawyers but pro bono was never an option. She just got tired of fighting, got used to her fate and tried to find work wherever she could. She filed all the reports with the "proper authorities" she continues to wait.

    Sad...... after a lifetime dedicated to a profession who just threw her away. Who would have thought?

    I know I didn't....
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 2, '12
    lamazeteacher, VickyRN, and kcmylorn like this.
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    I was the RN, I should have been caring for the more difficult patients, dealing with IV's, etc. Not stuck caring for all the IV patients, doing all the wound care, AND stuck on the long-term floor with new admission with dementia and a million falls. I accept more responsibility and more work, but to have to deal with the difficult patients of every assignment and be given an assignment with 50 other patients, that's just ridiculous.


    I am not complaining about getting the worst assignments, but when I have to do half of the other nurse's assignment because she doesn't like the long-term floor and dementia patients, then do that assignment as well? No. No and no.

    I am not complaining about working holidays. We all have to work holidays. We have floating holidays. Why was I, the youngest one there, working EVERY single holiday? No one else had to work every single holiday.

    I don't condone discriminating against anyone because of age, young or old. Period. The facilities just need to set up fair systems with rotations, etc.


    I am NOT bashing older nurses. I am bashing a system in which if you are young or new, you're treated like complete garbage and abused.
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    Esme- that nurse, Mary and your follow up, could be me also. And sadly enough- it happened at age 52, hardly nursing home material.
    lamazeteacher and VickyRN like this.
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    Quote from JZ_RN
    I am not complaining about working holidays. We all have to work holidays. We have floating holidays. Why was I, the youngest one there, working EVERY single holiday? No one else had to work every single holiday.

    I don't condone discriminating against anyone because of age, young or old. Period. The facilities just need to set up fair systems with rotations, etc.


    I am NOT bashing older nurses. I am bashing a system in which if you are young or new, you're treated like complete garbage and abused.
    Welcome to working in an industry that operate 24/7. Being the last hired really sucks. You typically get stuck with the shifts the more senior people don't want, such as nights, weekends, and holidays. Do you think it is more fair for someone that has been there for 20 years to be forced to work Christmas when someone with less than a year is home with their family? Trust me, when you gain seniority you will think differently.
    VickyRN and Szasz_is_Right like this.
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    Quote from JZ_RN
    I am NOT bashing older nurses. I am bashing a system in which if you are young or new, you're treated like complete garbage and abused.
    You're not being "treated like complete garbage and abused" because you're young, it's because you're new. Which has nothing to do with ageism. It's seniority.
    VickyRN and HM-8404 like this.
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    When I am given a double-patient load assignment compared to every other nurse in the building (As in, OVER 50 patients, ALONE) because the other nurses "don't like that assignment", and it's the only assignment in which I won't have to do IVs, wound care, and other RN only tasks (facility policy and BON policies) and I'm the only one qualified to do certain procedures on the 2nd assignment- it's abuse. When some of the other nurses there get every holiday off and I work every holiday, when company policy is ROTATING HOLIDAYS but the nurses who have been there longer complain to the scheduling manager, so they get their way, that's wrong. Sorry. Seniority doesn't mean you have to make work life miserable for the new person. Do I expect to get the best assignments? No, but I don't expect to not only get the worst assignments but also have to do a portion of other nurse's assignments as well. When the new person doesn't even have access to the supplies they need because the people who have been there longer lock them in their lockers so they have it for their next shift? I mean come on.
    Last edit by JZ_RN on Jul 2, '12 : Reason: clarification
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    Quote from JZ_RN
    When I am given a double-patient load assignment compared to every other nurse in the building (As in, OVER 50 patients, ALONE) because the other nurses "don't like that assignment", and it's the only assignment in which I won't have to do IVs, wound care, and other RN only tasks (facility policy and BON policies) and I'm the only one qualified to do certain procedures on the 2nd assignment- it's abuse. When some of the other nurses there get every holiday off and I work every holiday, when company policy is ROTATING HOLIDAYS but the nurses who have been there longer complain to the scheduling manager, so they get their way, that's wrong. Sorry. Seniority doesn't mean you have to make work life miserable for the new person. Do I expect to get the best assignments? No, but I don't expect to not only get the worst assignments but also have to do a portion of other nurse's assignments as well. When the new person doesn't even have access to the supplies they need because the people who have been there longer lock them in their lockers so they have it for their next shift? I mean come on.
    Sounds like you need to be looking for a better employer.
    caliotter3 and VickyRN like this.
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    I already left there. They cannot keep any nurses there, besides the ones that have been there forever. One of the many reasons I quit. But they weren't being fair to me simply because I was new.
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    There is a big difference in paying your dues and being abused. The later is never acceptable, but often young new employees expect the same perks as someone that has been there for 20 years. In a previous job, where I had 18 years experience, I constantly heard the younger employees gripe about not being able to get 4th of July week off for vacation, because all the "old" guys had it off. I set many of them straight by telling them I had to work that week for over 10 years before I was able to get it off. My standard response became, "You should have hired on sooner."
    VickyRN likes this.
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    Another piece of food for thought: The ER MDs I have seen rotate nights, weekends and holidays. Even the ER director works his fair share (balanced of course for his or her administrative responsibilities.) There are fewer of them but they work their fair share regardless of where they sit on the totem pole. I really don't know why RNs act like the only people who have to work nights weekends and holidays should be "new" people. Its just not that way in other jobs. Its not.
    whichone'spink and JZ_RN like this.


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