Do Mean Girls make Mean NursesRegister Today!
- by CSARmedic Oct 18Are mean girls getting meaner? Teens open up about bullying
I just read this article and starting thinking if some (many) of these women will gravitate to nursing. I know that nursing is full of bullies and unprofessional behavior so I got to thinking if there could be a correlation. I mean OF COURSE there is a correlation but nothing based on emperics. Just a hunch and gut feeling. I was basically run out of nursing by these behaviors (I refused to put up with it after a while and the different standards of behavior I was subjected too) but was wondering how many other people experienced it also.
- 3,494 Views
- Oct 18 by CSARmedicI've kept my license but I'm a full time student and work as a paramedic
- Oct 18 by Esme12While this article talks about TEEN bullying........I think these people are in every profession. But yes I believe that there are certain inherent traits that can't be grown out of. The worst "bullying" at work I have ever experienced ....has both times been males....threatened by intelligent, competent females.
I think bullies lack confidence in themselves and have to make other people feel bad to make themselves feel better.
However...is nursing one big "popular" sorority? for the most part....Yes it is.
- Oct 18 by GrnTeaI take issue with that blanket statement that "nursing is full of bullies and unprofessional behavior." That does not describe the vast number of nurses and work units I know.
We all know that complainers will repeat their stories 25 times to the 5 times that someone who has a good story to tell. On that basis alone, one ought to discount 80% of the whining about NETY and bullies and mean girls, and perhaps you'd find yourself closer to the truth.
- Oct 18 by JustKeepDrivingI know nursing is a female dominated profession and that there is this idea of this mean girl nursing crew - but I haven't yet to run into it. In a way, nursing/medicine/hospital culture is rather abrasive just due to the nature/stress and responsibility placed on the workers.
Honestly, I hate to say it but the worst bullying I've seen isn't in nursing. It is in medicine. Doctors, are freaking brutal to one another. There is nothing in the world that would make me want to be an intern or resident. Especially in any surgical specialty. I've seen doctors chew one another out and strive to humiliate each other/their residents/or interns in front of entire operating rooms.
I'm sorry that you had a terrible experience with nursing. It makes me sad to hear that. However, I really don't believe that bullying is unique to the nursing profession. I've heard terrible things about a variety of disciplines from university faculty members to firefighters in terms of bullying. It happens in male dominated professions as well - however, I have found that men (and many women in male dominated professions) are a lot less likely to speak up about being bullied than women (especially those in female dominated professions where we don't have to come off as tough stuff).
Just my 2 cents. Again, I'm really sorry that you had a bad experience with bully nurses.
- Oct 18 by MunoRNWe seem to be responding to an overly generalized unsupported statement with other overly generalized unsupported statements. Nursing is not "full of bullies and unprofessional behavior", it exists but is not saturated with this behavior. At the same time, lateral/horizontal violence (bullying and other behaviors) are more common in Nursing than most other professions, there are various studies that show this to be true. It is very subjective, since the incidence of lateral violence is based the victim's perception, but at least in terms of perceived bullying, Nursing is well above average, I'm not sure how one can argue that given the amount of investigation done on the subject.
Despite the OP's unsubstantiated hypothesis, it does bring up the big question about lateral violence in Nursing, which is if it's Nature or Nurture that produces this behavior. There is certainly a large Nurture component given our working conditions; over saturated workloads, frequent high risk decision making with poorly defined standards which promote Nurse to Nurse conflict, a sense of lack of control over practice, and a sense of frequently being 'backed into a corner' all contribute to the frequently raised hackles of Nursing. In other words, only a few Nurses likely start out as bullies, the remaining bullying behavior is likely a product of our environment.
In other words, you could take a group of the nicest people in the world, put them in a situation where they overly stressed, give them unreasonable workloads with severe consequences for failure, and don't give them the time or tools to be successful, all the while criticizing their inability to meet irrational goals (kicking them while they are down), and there is a very good chance they will get feisty and start to turn on each other.
- Oct 18 by jadelpnParents trying too hard to be kids friends, as opposed to parents.
Co-workers trying too hard to be other co-workers friends, as opposed to co-workers.
You can be a supportive and compassionate parent and not be best buds with your kid.
You can be a supportive and compassionate co-worker and the same thing applies.
People are mean and inappropriate everywhere. It is embarrassing, hurtful, and wrong. But as an adult, we have to acquire some sort of coping skills.
Some of the worst behavior I have seen is with Paramedics/EMT's, as well as students in college. But the difference is that if you are a full time student, you have your studying and unless you live in a dorm, you have limited interaction with classmates. If you are a part time paramedic, you have call to call interactions, or perhaps a partner, but there's not the "throw 7 nurses on a unit and let them have at it then" mentaility.
Much like the pp suggests, mean girls (and boys) or mean nurses, if you don't have the foundation and the tools to be successful, people get feisty and all heck breaks loose.
- Oct 18 by CSARmedicOK. I get the gist of all of your comments.
Yes, I was generalizing and yes, it is the sum of all of my experiences and is not to be taken as a characterization of nursing as a whole. I was just asking a question.
Now, Let me back up a bit and put my comments into perspective.
Nursing is my fourth, yes, fourth career.
I just retired from the US Air Force after 34 years of continuous military service. Service which includes three career fields: Security Forces (Military Policeman), First Sergeant (senior administrator for unit commanders) and lastly senior combat search and rescue medic in one of the busiest combat rescue units in the Air Force (Reserves).
I have deployed 11 times in those 34 years, 6 of which were combat deployments which involved direct action with the enemy and have had to perform direct casualty treatment and evacuation while under enemy fire. I have been shot down, mortared, almost (closely) blown up, and scared ******** more times than I care (or want) to remember.
I have been there and done that.
And I kept coming back for more because I thoroughly enjoyed my (stressful and hazardous) job and my (stressed out and frequently dysfunctional) co-workers. I HAD to retire because of something called High Year Tenure (HYT) which means that an enlisted guy can't go on beyond an arbitrary date because of a stupid law. They assume that you are too old and tired to go on performing your duty as well as the twenty-something (which is simply not the case if you ask anyone who knows me).
My point being, I was forced to walk away from an inherently dangerous, stressful, and risky job (military) but voluntarily walked away from nursing. I quit nursing and it was the first time I quit anything in my life.
Why? Because at 51 years-old, I know what is right and what is wrong. I know what behaviors are justified and what aren't.
I'm educated (BSN) and highly trained (16 different months-long formal military training schools) and I KNOW what is right and what is wrong and I REFUSE to continue to participate in the deceitful and unprofessional behavior which is so predominate in nursing.
The mere fact that so many respondents acknowledge the problem existing within nursing proves that there is a significant problem.
Quite simply, there should be a zero-tolerance attitude toward this behavior not simple acknowledgement that it exists.
The mere fact that males, who account for 51% of the population only make up 6-8 percent (depends on who you quote) of nurses in the era of affirmative action and equal opportunity, to me, SCREAMS of a huge problem.
Doesn't anyone realize that there are more female's in the military than male nurses. There are more female MARINES than male nurses.
There are more female firefighters, police officers, and construction workers than male nurses.
But people, not unlike many of the respondents to this thread, continue to make excuses and justified reasoning for the bad behavior of so many of their "colleagues" as well as the low male numbers. "Men don't want to be seen as handmaidens", or "Men don't want to be seen in a female dominated profession" Blah, blah, blah.
Men try and men fail in nursing (as I did) due to factors beyond our control and ability to adapt.
Nurses really need to start asking why that is happening or NOTHING will change.
That's all I'm saying.Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 20