Nurses eat their young?!

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    Any thoughts on this concept? I am especially interested in nurses who have a lot of experience. I work in a place where the mean seniority is approximately 10-15 years. There are many 20 year or more people on staff. I have 5 years of nursing experience, 2 on this unit (part time). I am conscientious and not lazy. I also care about the well being of my patients. There are a lot of wonderful people where I work. I also notice that often, instead of very experienced nurses sharing their knowledge in a kind way and helping younger nurses grow, they tend to criticize and be very harsh towards many moderately experienced or inexperienced nurses. I am not the only person who feels this way. There are many of us. One person put it "I just come here, do my job to the best of my ability, and go home" It can be frustrating to feel good about your nights work going into report, and feel like crap when it is time to go home. Any thoughts, advice or insight?
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  4. 0
    Do a search, this is a much-covered topic.
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    I graduated in May 2005, and immediately went to work in the ACCU; previously I was a CST in L&D. Many of the nurses I work with have been on this unit for 10-20 years, and some, while not on this unit, have been critical care nurses for easily that long. My experience so far has been positive; most nurses-have been helpful and kind, making sure that I don't feel stupid or look stupid in front of the pts or docs. However, there are a few that "eat their young"-there's one in particular that comes on as helpful, then turns like a snake, but I truly believe that that is her personality 24/7/365; it's who she is. I think that the nurses that engage in this type of behavior do it because it is their personality; they likely treat the grocery store clerk or their families the same way.
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    Quote from cyrus
    any thoughts on this concept? i am especially interested in nurses who have a lot of experience. i work in a place where the mean seniority is approximately 10-15 years. there are many 20 year or more people on staff. i have 5 years of nursing experience, 2 on this unit (part time). i am conscientious and not lazy. i also care about the well being of my patients. there are a lot of wonderful people where i work. i also notice that often, instead of very experienced nurses sharing their knowledge in a kind way and helping younger nurses grow, they tend to criticize and be very harsh towards many moderately experienced or inexperienced nurses. i am not the only person who feels this way. there are many of us. one person put it "i just come here, do my job to the best of my ability, and go home" it can be frustrating to feel good about your nights work going into report, and feel like crap when it is time to go home. any thoughts, advice or insight?
    hello, cyrus,

    check out this thread on the subject:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f8/why-n...s+eating+young
    Last edit by sirI on Jan 19, '06
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    Personally, I think the expression "nurses eat their young" outlived it usefulness long ago. In reality ... it goes both ways.

    Yes, some older nurses are not very kind to newer nurses. That is true in any profession. It's not exclusive to nursing -- and the expression makes it appear that nurses are somehow "more guilty of it" than people in other professions. There are some nurses who are unkind and there are other nurses who are wonderful. Most nurses are somewhere in between.

    There are also some new nureses who are very unsupportive of the senior staff members and management. Instead of giving the more experienced nurses a little consideration/respect by acknowledging that perhaps they have learned a thing or two in the last 20 years of work as a nurse, these newer nurses come to their first jobs with the attitude that the existing staff and the employer "owes them" all sorts of things simply because they showed up for work that day. I'm sure that happens in other professions, too.

    Of course, there are also many new nurses who are delightful to work with -- just as there are delightful people in every discipline.

    So ... in summary ... There are nice people and not-so-nice people in nursing just as there are in other professions. That is true for experienced nurses and beginners alike. To keep emphasizing the "nurses eat their young" theme is to engange in another form of "nurse bashing" -- which can damage our profession and rarely helps solve anything. I therefore choose not to engage in that sort of nurse-bashing.

    I know the OP meant well by her post, but I think we really need to get beyond that knee-jert response and that worn-out phrase before we can start to adequately deal with the set of complex interpersonal dynamics that underlies nurse-nurse relationships. That approach/phrase has been around for decades and it really hasn't helped us solve the problems. As a profession, we need to move on.

    Good luck, everyone.
    llg
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    I've seen it and lived it. For me, I learned to speak up. Saying something as simple as "Did you mean to be so harsh when you said that? I appreciate learning from you, but I don't learn well when I feel attacked" or "Are you being intentionally rude to me or am I just picking up on something that isn't there?" sometimes works wonders. Some nurses are just gonna be chronic young eaters no matter what you do. I avoid them as much as possible and when I have to deal with them I just remember that their attitude isn't about me and it must be hard for them to enjoy life when they are so bitter and mean.

    I have also seen the bad new nurse, but that's another issue entirely IMO.
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    All I have to add is you are moving into the experience bracket where less experienced nurses will be coming to you for advice and help. Stop the cycle!
    (No thanks. I don't eat baby nurses.)
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    It's as simple to solve as following the Golden Rule. Treat the "old" nurse-eaters as you would want to be treated.....and the Old need to treat the young the same way.

    In theory, this should work. In reality, it's another story. Just be a person of solid integrity who is assertive and you will go far.
  11. 0
    Hi Cyrus welcome to allnurses.

    Indeed this is a well worn topic here. There are lots of previous excavations into this topic. Search the phrase and see.
  12. 0
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    It's as simple to solve as following the Golden Rule. Treat the "old" nurse-eaters as you would want to be treated.....and the Old need to treat the young the same way.

    In theory, this should work. In reality, it's another story. Just be a person of solid integrity who is assertive and you will go far.
    :yeahthat:


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