A Plea to Nurses Everywhere - page 3

by SarahLeeRN

17,245 Unique Views | 62 Comments

I donít seem to process everything that I see, hear and do at work until I am home. My lack of reflection until later might have something to do with running around like a Looney Tunes character for eight or more hours caring for... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from CarryThatWeight
    Ok, I'm curious, I'll bite. What ways would those be?
    *** Find them alone in the parking lot and "explain" to them why it's inappropiate to ever scream at me. Don't know what ThatGuy does but works for me.
  2. 4
    Quote from SarahLeeRN
    The "shock" was not at unprofessional behavior-that is to be expected everywhere. The shock was that there was such a commonly known phrase such as "Nurses eat their young." She has not been the only one of my non-nursing acquaintances to express surprise at such a phrase that is well known in nursing circles.

    And I am glad for you that you have never witnessed screaming. You are not in the 48%. Lateral Violence and Bullying in Nursing
    I am somewhat familiar with Cheryl Dellasega's work on this topic.

    The 2003 ISMP survey to which 1,565 nurses responded - 48% reported "strong verbal abuse". (52% apparently did not)

    Intimidation: Practitioners speak up about this unresolved problem (Part I)

    There were 2.4 million registered nurses in the US in 2003 (Women's Bureau (WB) - Statistics on Registered Nurses) I'll leave it to someone better versed in statistics than I am to determine the validity of a sample size of 0.065%.

    "Screaming" is not a term I find in the survey summary -- and I cannot necessarily interpret all "strong verbal abuse" to be "screaming".

    I believe the semantics are important. Screaming is a very different behavior than various other forms of jerkiness.

    I certainly do not deny the existence of unprofessional behavior in general, or bullying specifically. But you yourself noted that your original post was "not necessarily reflective" of your work environment as a whole.
    Last edit by Altra on Mar 13, '13
    NCalLVN, SarahLeeRN, tnmarie, and 1 other like this.
  3. 6
    We should also consider when one of our co-workers finder herself under extreme stress and in a moment of frusteration lashes out at another vs the person who is simply a jerk and seems to enjoy making other feel diminished or hurt or intimidated. The first could happen to nearly any of us. The second should not be tolerated.
  4. 0
    Think about it: If a patient screams at you, it is not pleasant but we, as professionals, continue to care for the "screaming patient". (Oh yes, the one in Room 10.) When another professional nurse screams at you, under any circumstances, that person needs to be reported immediately.
  5. 1
    I don't know how many times I hear nurses complaining about the doctors, when they are just as guilty of the same poor communication about which they complain.

    I make a point of trying to speak respectfully to everyone. I am not perfect -- there are times when I know I could have said something differently -- but I try. I also make an effort to know everyone by name and to use their names when speaking to them. Courtesy goes a long way.
    salvadordolly likes this.
  6. 0
    I have my students call physicians when appropriate, which is basically any time that is not an emergent or complicated situation. It is good practice for them to learn how to make a physician call with full support from me before they have to do it on their own. Seriously, it's doing them a favour as future nurses and the docs, too (some of the calls I overhear make me cringe. Those poor docs!)

    We prepare beforehand what they are going to say (including identifying themselves as a student nurse), and I am right there listening in and available to take over if need be. They can take an order, so long as I either hear the doctor say it to the student or have the doctor repeat it to me after (I usually go with the first option, though some ask to speak to "the nurse" after anyway to make sure). I would also co-sign the order on the chart.
  7. 3
    Quote from Altra
    Screaming, OP? In a 9-year career as a nurse I have never witnessed screaming.

    And I think "shock" at unprofessional behavior probably stems from some degree of naivete about people in general, or a belief that somehow nurses are set apart from the rest of the population.
    In my (short) 3 years as an RN I have witnessed unprofessional behavior at 2 workplaces. I have witnessed an RN screaming, and I mean physically shouting an another RN. I have witnessed the DON screaming so loudly at a nursing supervisor that I cleared the area of patients. I have witnessed a nurse practitioner throw a chart at a CNA. That all was workplace number 1. At workplace number 2 I have witnessed an RN shouting at another RN in front of patients. I have witnessed yet another RN shouting at yet another RN and one quitting on the spot (abandonment) and the other being fired. I have witnessed "nurse wars' so bad that HR investigates for hostile work environment, and people get fired. And I have stayed out of all of it.

    I believe these sorts of behaviors and incidents happen in certain areas of the country more than others. I believe I have seen more of these behaviors than some nurses because I have worked in rural areas with a severe shortage of nurses - meaning "problem" nurses are attracted.

    Something tells me if I worked at, say, a big-city teaching hospital where they have their pick of applicants - I wouldn't have seen so much of this behavior.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Mar 13, '13
    anotherone, Altra, and tnmarie like this.
  8. 3
    I dunno, I think one can't be "too nice". Being nice doesn't equal being a "doormat" who is "walked all over". Perhaps it is this attitude that people feel the need to be aggressive. Being appropriate in a professional setting for some needs to be learned. (there must be an app for that LOL) In all seriousness, that there are so many threads regarding "eating one's young" and "rude co-workers" would lead anyone to believe they perhaps need to check themselves if they are aggressive on the job. But besides leading by example, it is the charge RN/Manager/DON/HR who needs to impliment an enough is enough culture. Behaviors as over the top as this won't change unless there's consequences.....
    SarahLeeRN, Altra, and tnmarie like this.
  9. 0
    Wow. These were the things I was worried about when making a career shift into nursing...
    I don't remember this type of stuff when working in long term care, but I wasn't nursing staff, so maybe I did not see it. I do remember being thrown under the bus by my DON and her telling me once, "Wow. You are smarter than you look." But I always thought of her as a bully who must have had a lot of insecurities to treat others with such passive aggression.
  10. 0
    Thanks for sharing this. This is the reality of nursing, sometimes it is not all bed of roses.


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