Ageism in Nursing: A Pervasive Problem - page 5

by VickyRN Asst. Admin

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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    Yes, you read my post as I wrote it. The 8 positions I attained, all held interviews with me and hired me based on that. My experience and education is backed by the enthusiasm I showed for the job and my determination to do it well.

    I too, wouldn't have believed that what happened was due to my age, had not a close friend, who owned her own business and whose husband's premium increased by $1,000/month more than their other employees' premiums, by their insurance company (Blue Cross/ Blue Shield) when he attained 55 years of age (over 20 years ago). Then, when he was 65 years old, the premium was increased by $2,500 / month for him. He was told that Medicare could not be his primary insurerthen! My friend suggested to me that my problems keeping employed, could be due to my age,

    This hasn't been your parents' scene with equally packaged premiums,
    for decades!

    Regarding your cynical view of politicians lying, I have to agree that many do. However the transparency afforded by zealous media dirt diggers today, leaves each politician's words open to enhanced scrutiny. Lies told by President Obama's opponent were blatant attempts to discredit him, yet knowing that doesn't seem to affect GOP supporters. They may be bigoted or so paranoid about any tax
    increase (although hardly a drop in their megabuck buckets) that isn't across the board, is a personal threat.

    The amassing of billions of dollars by corporations (who are represented as people by the GOP), that outspenda the coffers for Barack Obama is just part of their game.We all saw how slanted
    untruths in the tobacco company backed, misleading TV ads affected
    voters who somehow didn't realize that the tax would affect only those who buy cigarettes! Let's not see that kind of thing happen in the Presidential election in November!!!

    I've spoken to Coloradans whose absentee ballots were nullified after they didn't cast them in mid term 2010 elections. They were unaware that the Secretary of State there (a Republican) did that, and they were outraged. That is called "caging" of votes, and forms of that happen all over this country (think of those African Americans in FLA who were stopped by police, from reaching their polling places before they closed, in the 2004 Presidential election......) That allowed the
    electoral college to supersede the popular vote, and the Supreme
    Court even supported that, which is why George "W" Bush had a second term as President, to our detriment.

    Now we have a slightly more balanced Supreme Court, which interpreted the constitution as Barack Obama, a former Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, does. *Note: someone replied that he was "just" a student at Harvard, but I have official information about him holding the position of a Preofessor thereand we can agree that he was a professor who is well versed about the constitution, no? The courageous decision of Justice Roberts ended the blatant attempt to derail the Affordable Care Act, and his conscience ruled, to break a partisan tie. What were those Justices who voted against Affordable Healthcare thinking????
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on Jul 9, '12 : Reason: better phrasing and spacing, additional comment
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    I did consult lawyers, especially when there was a class action lawsuit against Anthem/Wellpoint/Blue Cross/ Blue Shield for age related discrimination. The lawyers for that case told me I hadn't worked yhere long enough there, to be included in it!! Then that person revealed that the firm was in the process of filing for $80,000,000 worth (???) of legal fees. Each participant in their action would get about $2,000 total!
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on Jul 9, '12 : Reason: need for clarity
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    Obama being a former Professor of Constitutional Law is actually a play on words, not to mention it was in Chicago. He was just a student at Harvard. He was actually listed as a "Senior Lecturer" from 1996-2004, as brought to light by Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. I wonder if he got the idea of portraying himself as a Law Professor while he was visiting all 57 states?

    I like how the first reason you give for someone not believing in Obama is they are bigoted. Is it really that inconceivable that someone does not agree with his policy or his direction of the country and that be the reason they don't like him as President? I guess it is easier to parrot MSNBC and CNN tailing points that is can only be because they are racists.

    Personally I don't like him because he has proven his ideas don't work. He says if he gets a stimulus package passed unemployment will not exceed 8%. He gets over $800 Billion stimulus package passed and $400 Billion of it goes to his presidential supporters. I am also sick and tired of hearing him talk about how it is all Bush's fault. At some point he has to accept he has not done what he was elected to do and that is his fault.
    DroogieRN likes this.
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    there are plenty of debates that are ongoing aobut the aca/obamacare/romney. this thread is about the treatment of expereinced nurses who are being discriminated against because of their age. hospitals are very good at avoiding litigation with their non progressive discipline plans and vague and ambiguous "up to and including termination" terminology for infractions as small as coming back late from lunch.

    many nurses i know have been "laid off", and "let go" and have been unable to find gainful employment since 2008. "not what they are looking for, have chosen another candidate with more experience (acute care rn from the ltc), you clinical experience is "dated". they can only find perdiem, casual employment while the have no insurance, unemployment has run out and they aren't old enough for medicare or ss.

    this thread is about the discrimination in nursing not the aca.......lets stay focused on the topic of this thread.:d
    marymary, Susie2310, and wooh like this.
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    HM-8404,
    you asserted in your post #42, that "his (referring to President Obama) ideas don't work", without giving any example(s) of that. Your point regarding half of the stimulus money going to his supporters, and the rest of the garbage you wrote has no substantiation. I don't believe any of it!

    President Obama HAS ACHIEVED:
    The passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act which will result in insurance coverage of 32 million uninsured people in this country, beginning in 2014 and stops the placement of caps on necessary expenditures and the exclusion of those with "preexisting conditions",

    the Stimulus Act which rescued the domestic auto industry, resulting in 100,000 new jobs created and the "Big 3" automakers have all gained market share for the first time in 3 decades and produced more jobs than were lost in the first 12 months. There has been continuing economic growth in all industries for 23 months. resulting in the creation of 3.7 million new private sector jobs, passed
    The Wall Street Reform Act of Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act which tightened capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions; and mandates that banks have a "living will" in place to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers' money for their own profit, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, and creates The Consumer Finncial Protection Bureau headed by Richard Cordray, decreased our military presence in Iraq and began the drawdown in Afghanistan.

    I could go on to list at least 48 more of the accomplishments of this administration, but in order to keep with the subject of this thread, I'll stop here, with apologies to those who would like to see less politics here.If you're "sick and Tired" of the truth, I'll repeat the old adage that "There are none so blind, as those who will not see". President Obama has done much more than he was elected to do, and will do even more positive, tangible improvements for the 99% of the people in our country, when he is reelected.
    TheCommuter and kcmylorn like this.
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    Another tall tale sign of age discrimnation is hiring the older nurse and letting them go afew weeks later-"wasn't a good fit" well if it was n't a good fit,to be termnated that close to hiring, it would have been seen at the interview unless the interviewer is now saying their incompetent which could be. But in any case, this approach of hiring and there soon after, keeps the EEOC of their back.

    Ageism is very covert.
    Susie2310 and Esme12 like this.
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    I have only met one nurse, out of all the nurses I've worked with in seven years, who was truly not competent in part due to her age. Only one. And it wasn't all her age, some of it was training. When you work 50 years in a doc's office because you're the doctor's wife, then try to do LTAC, well it's kind of a big change. I think the young'uns tried to help her adjust, and there were a lot of other factors involved in her performance.

    Nursing as a whole revolves around learning new things and adapting. All of us can do it, to some extent. All of us can take a lesson or two and remember to think twice before participating in writeups and such that will possibly cost someone their livelihood and their dignity, whether they are old or young. I don't get into discussions of the afterlife much, but I do like to think there is a special place in hell for those who allow money to decide the well-being of other people.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from kcmylorn
    Another tall tale sign of age discrimination is hiring the older nurse and letting them go a few weeks later-"wasn't a good fit" well if it wasn't a good fit,to be terminated that close to hiring, it would have been seen at the interview unless the interviewer is now saying their incompetent which could be. But in any case, this approach of hiring and there soon after, keeps the EEOC of their back.

    Ageism is very covert.
    I know by your posts you have experienced what i and many other nurses with our experience level have suffered at the hands of hospitals and their administrations.

    kmcylorn
    Susie2310 likes this.
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    Thought provoking article and comments. I have been a nurse for 7 years but I am an older nurse having passed my boards at the age of 55 with and ADN. I am currently in school for my BSN and fairly proficient with technology. I love working with the new graduates who enter the field with enthusiasm and energy. What I am finding is that trying to find a less physically demanding job (9-5 clinic type instead of 12 hour floor shifts) is not happening. There is always a more qualified (younger) applicant. What has happened is that the younger nurse then leaves in less than a year to marry, have children, travel, etc. With the economy the way it is, I see my self working for at least another 5 years and if I can sustain the pace I will stay where I am! I do love sharing what I know on the medical oncology unit I am on and I also love the patients. JZ, I am with you on trying to save the essence of Nursing. We can work where we are and hold on to the light of the lamp;-)
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from Susie2310
    Why can what is written in the article not be construed as ageism? A highly trained, experienced, older nurse was written up for petty things and micromanaged, while the younger nurses she works with were not subjected to this treatment. The nurse was then suspended and fired. Surely it's not unreasonable to think ageism is happening. The nurse certainly appears to have been discriminated against.

    My personal thoughts are that probably the older, highly trained, experienced nurse's
    medical insurance, worker's comp insurance, and other benefits were costing her employer more than they were willing to pay. Unless I am mistaken, her employer would have to pay more for these things for an older nurse versus a younger nurse.

    It is very sad, in my opinion, that one's years of service, loyalty, clinical experience and expertise, often appear to mean next to nothing to an employer.

    The author did well to point out that age discrimination is prohibited, and that there are avenues of recourse. I think that if I was in the above situation, once I recognized I was being subjected to a discriminatory pattern of behavior from my employer, I would probably want to consult with a lawyer who specialized in these kind of situations. And I would do it early on, after the first few occurrences. I would also keep notes for myself of when I was written up, the circumstances, and the date and time, and anything else I felt was pertinent. Mary took no action in her defence that we know of.
    I was actually refering to someones comment about senority and saying that was ageism.
    Sorry, I thought I had quoted the post I was responding to.
    I agree with this article, but at the same time I wish ageism towards younger workers was more aknowledged.
    Sadly its not, probably because new worker want to complain about senority and call it ageism.

    I have been treated poorly at work for being young (no one had a problem with me when they thought I was in my twenties). My fiance has faced much worse, though. He is the youngest employee in his entire company at 19. He works hard and tries to learn as much as he can. One time he was working as a temporary crew leader, meaning he had to supervise men in their 30's. I could understand them being upset if they had put their time in as well, but these were new hires with no relevant experience in the industry, who proceded to swear at him and tell him that they didn't have to take orders from a kid.


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