I am 27 years old and have been a nurse for 18 months. Before becoming a nurse I volunteered in a hospital in post-partum, NICU, med/surg, and patient services (delivering flowers, etc.). After that I worked as a home health aide. I remember being absolutely horrified as a volunteer listening to the way the nurses talked about their patients and each other at the nurses station. I thought surely this was only the hospital I was volunteering at (despite it being one of the best rated hospitals in the city). Sadly I have found that this is the culture of some of the less positive and professional nurses. When I started nursing school I found some of the instructors to be firm, stable, and intelligent. I loved these nurses the best. I did not go to nursing school to be emotionally coddled nor abused. Although I find the sweet coddling nurses to be much preferred over an abusive, codependent, self righteous, gossiping, self-sacrificing nurse any day.
Nursing school was extremely stressful and I started my first job with a very short orientation. I found most of the older nurses to be a great help and I asked for their advice constantly. There were and are a few of the nurses which annoy if not frighten me. They gossip, are belligerant and obnoxious, think they know everything to the detriment of the patient, and are generally low class in my opinion. When I come to get report and they are talking about how this patient is a ***** or fat or whatever borish expletive they have come up with that day I usually leave the room and come back when the actual report starts. I am very professional with these nurses but do not trust them nor look to them for advice. But then there are the awesome experienced nurses. My favorite has worked in the hospital for 30 years, is very strict and emotionally stable. You always know what is expected and where you stand. She has trained countless new nurses and we all thank her and love her for it.
Now that I have proved myself many of the experienced nurses treat me as an equal. That is all I want as an inexperienced nurse; to be treated with respect. I am open to constructive criticism but do not belittle or humiliate me. I do not come to work to be abused or to abuse. And do not forget that verbal abuse and gossip are forms of violence. Do not expect me to grovel at your feet because I lack experience. Do not think I will fail to openly and tactfully question your nursing judgment when I think a patient's well being is at risk. If I am wrong, and many times I am, I am sure you, as the experienced professional you are, will have a good rationale. I am a nurse, not a martyr. I am not co-dependent. I think boundaries are important in this field. You are my co-worker, not my parent. You will find in life that you get what you give. And yes, I am a great nurse. I am an EXCELLENT nurse despite my lack of experience. My patients know it, my DON knows it, but most of all I know it. I believe in myself and it is my hope that every other new nurse loves themselves as much as they love their patients.