Why are nurses such back-stabbers? - page 10

Why do nurses feel the need to "tattle" on colleagues to the boss for petty things? Behavior like this does nothing to elevate our profession and everything to keep us down. Why are there some... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Stopnik
    So far the stereotypes are proving true. Deal with it...
    Neverrmind You already answered the question i was going to ask you next.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 17, '06 : Reason: n/m
  2. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I think that we as nurses have a lot of responsibility and very little actual power. If we actually advocate we're viewed as troublemakers, if we don't we're viewed as uncaring.... whenever you have a group of overworked, underpaid, and stressed people personality differences will gain in importance, and butt-covering will often consist of pointing the finger at others.

    I must say, I worked in corporate America for decades at a pretty high level at the last and men are no better at teamwork than women. They're just better at not talking so it lends them the appearance of bing less catty. HAH! Watch parts of a major roll-out of a new computer system crash and burn and see what happens.
    Suesquatch, I think you are right on in para #1 and I know you are right on in para #2. I used to support large database systems and "it's always the database" HA! The abbreviated title for Database Administrator is DBA and we used to say it stood for Don't Bother Asking!! (as in leave us alone!!) :typing
  3. by   Quiltedstar
    From my experience it's may appear to be most nurses or most women but in reality it is usually a select few who are repeat offenders.

    I have worked in several different work envirornments, construction, education, manufacturing, etc. There is always at least one of those type of people. When I worked in human resources we had a saying "10% of the people take up 90% of our time". And it's true. It is usually the same 2, 3, or 4 people who backstabb or tattle and that just makes it seem like it's women as a whole when really it's not. But, men are not excluded. I have seem my fair share of men who are gossips, they just don't come along as often.

    As for why? Well, I think it's one of a two reasons. 1 - to get attention from the supervisor because tattleing is one thing that will make a supervisor pay attention to you or 2 - to make you look bad and, in turn, make the tattler look good.

    The best advice in the thread has been to keep things as business like as possible and fly below radar. I learned that the hard way.

    And those who gossip/backstab to you will do it about you so it's only a matter of time before they end up in trouble because they've done it to the boss.
  4. by   HEAVENBSNRN
    we attack what we fear....
    or perhaps,
    when we believe ourselves to be lacking in some way, tearing down another provides us with a pseudo sense of self esteem if only for a moment....
    and
    while we are busy attacking another we are distracted from our overwhelming feelings of lack.
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from Quiltedstar
    From my experience it's may appear to be most nurses or most women but in reality it is usually a select few who are repeat offenders.

    I have worked in several different work envirornments, construction, education, manufacturing, etc. There is always at least one of those type of people. When I worked in human resources we had a saying "10% of the people take up 90% of our time". And it's true. It is usually the same 2, 3, or 4 people who backstabb or tattle and that just makes it seem like it's women as a whole when really it's not. But, men are not excluded. I have seem my fair share of men who are gossips, they just don't come along as often.

    As for why? Well, I think it's one of a two reasons. 1 - to get attention from the supervisor because tattleing is one thing that will make a supervisor pay attention to you or 2 - to make you look bad and, in turn, make the tattler look good.

    The best advice in the thread has been to keep things as business like as possible and fly below radar. I learned that the hard way.

    And those who gossip/backstab to you will do it about you so it's only a matter of time before they end up in trouble because they've done it to the boss.


    Good post. This is definately true of where I work, it's only a few and eventually they always get caught with their pants down.

    This is precisely why I have trouble when people label the entire female gender or my beloved profession when they are mistreated by a few. Yes, sometimes it's a whole unit or a whole group of students or instructors. But there are millions of us. Surely it's not fair to say "nurses are catty and backstabbers, and it's because it's a female domoinated profession......deal with it, end of discussion". I can't buy that.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 18, '06
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from HEAVENBSNRN
    we attack what we fear....
    or perhaps,
    when we believe ourselves to be lacking in some way, tearing down another provides us with a pseudo sense of self esteem if only for a moment....
    and
    while we are busy attacking another we are distracted from our overwhelming feelings of lack.

    I think you have a good point. I know when my self esteem is at a low combined with stress I tend to be ultra-critical of others. I am ultra-critical of myself as well, but sometimes it's easier to look outside and see the world and the people in it as an ugly place. However, when I'm rested, dealing with my stress appropriately and feeling good about myself, funny how the world around me looks.
  7. by   GardenDove
    Quote from Tweety
    I think you have a good point. I know when my self esteem is at a low combined with stress I tend to be ultra-critical of others. I am ultra-critical of myself as well, but sometimes it's easier to look outside and see the world and the people in it as an ugly place. However, when I'm rested, dealing with my stress appropriately and feeling good about myself, funny how the world around me looks.
    It's good to remember that when we are on the receiving end of someone's unholy wrath too. Something made them dump on you at that moment in time, and it probably wasn't your fault. Something's going on when people act like that.

    I just got off shift and someone dumped on me, after some low grade hostility t/o the night that I didn't quite know where it was coming from, since she's usually cheerful all the time. I'm still P1$$ed, but then I figure, she must be extremely tired, stressed, or who knows what.
  8. by   Lizzy6
    why are nurses such back-stabbers?
    why do nurses feel the need to "tattle" on colleagues to the boss for petty things? behavior like this does nothing to elevate our profession and everything to keep us down. why are there some nurses who feel superior when they tell on someone to the manager?

    *i have been reading all the replies. i guess there could be a plethora of reasons why some nurses feel compelled to run to their nurse manager. however, i often wonder if these same people, if they were employed in a non nursing/non medical profession would they behave in the same manner if working in a different profession and/or environment? on the other hand, is it possible that some people, it is just their nature to "tattle", go behind one's back and stir the pot?

    yes, there are certainly valid reasons to seek the assistance of one's supervisor/nurse manager in something that is detrimental to the welfare of a patient and not to mention being harassed by a co-worker. but, since nursing is a second career to me, it appears to me, as well as many of my friends who also are in their 40's and chose nursing as their 2nd career that this behavior tends to be more prevalent in nursing or maybe i should say more "obvious" as in my previous career.

    i think as many posters have stated, we need to band together and support one another. however, due to high pt loads, being short staffed, stress and often lack of support from above that many of us have experienced, ....some people tend to take it out on one another, when maybe if they were in a less stressfull position, the pettiness would cease. not sure, but maybe some of it would.
  9. by   Mission
    Quote from Phen
    Its amazing how common backstabbing is no matter which part of the world one practices - be it America, Africa, U.K, - wherever... It seems almost universal & the common factor is that its a "woman thing".
    I disagree...I worked in IT for years and there was backstabbing and cattiness nearly every where I went and I was always the only woman in the department. I think it has to do with a bad work environment. When people are underpaid and overworked they are going to lash out and when the poop hits the fan they point fingers at the people they don't like. Can't even begin to tell you the amount of time the guys in our department would waste speculating who in the other departments was having sex with who, even going as far to read their emails.

    I did have one job where everyone was pretty happy, we were all paid well, had very flexible work schedules, and a caring and mentoring boss. No gossiping, backstabbing or cattiness, we all went out together regularly, even occasionally on the weekends. We liked our jobs and we liked each other. Too bad OBL had to ruin it for us.
  10. by   Lizzy6
    [quote=Stopnik;1971768]
    In fact, half of the questions at my extern interview entailed how I would handle social situations ("what if someone is gossiping about you"). In my 12 years in the corporate-world, no one would EVER ask a stupid question like that at a job interview. It prompted my wife to ask "what kind of profession are you training for????"


    I have to agree with you in regards to the interview questions that you were asked pertaining to social situations. I too, have also been asked questions such as the same and never in my life have I have heard such stupid questions by HR. But, maybe since there are such rampant problems as you can see by the numerous posters who have stated how some of them been treated, that is why HR chooses those questions?? Maybe they are hoping to weed out the trouble-makers? Not sure, but there must be a reason. I was just shocked when I first started interviewing for positions over 9 years ago at the questions I was asked and these type of questions are still asked!?! I know they had to read my resume to get an "idea" of my background and what I did prior to nursing, education etc.. and I certainly dealt just as much or more with the public than I would with nursing and also worked with more of a diverse work force.
  11. by   buddiage
    Quote from MarySunshine
    Well, for what it's worth, I'm a woman and I don't gossip. I find that people like you better if you don't because they subconciously trust you more. The nurses I work with aren't too bad about it either. It's a really nasty habit.
    ME TOO.

    I think it does have to do somewhat with gender. Gossiping may get people to pay attention to you initially, but there are no long term gains- besides a reputation. It totally kills trustworthiness. It is easy to get sucked into.

    I'm just a student now, but no way do I want to enter the arena of gossip- even if the stuff being said is true. Its main purpose is to harm, and frankly, I don't want to be known for that.
  12. by   blueyesue


    As long as you do your work well, don't lash back, and smile, you are doing good. I sure wish there was no such thing as mean people, but we have to deal with what we have. It is up to us to either get involved with the pettiness, or rise above. Once in awhile, if you see someone getting picked on, go up to them and befriend them. Soon, you will out number the bad apples, and you may even change the atmosphere for the better. A true leader does not demean and degrade, but rather lifts up.
    :flowersfo
  13. by   hptogram
    I've run into this in my short time as a caregiver. The place I work for, they require a mandatory once a month meeting. During the first two meetings, the majority of the meeting was spent with the Excutive Director talking about how the morale is very low, treat each other right, backstabbing and gossiping need to stop, ect. What floored me was she mentioned that she is told everyday about how one manager will not talk to you unless it is to yell at your or say something nasty to you. Her advice for handling this......take it up with that manager. Ask the manager if there's something wrong. She also said she no longer wanted to hear about it and "work it out amongst yourselves". So not only does she do nothing when you come to her with a problem, now she doesn't want to hear about it. What's really sad.....this manager is the KITCHEN MANAGER.......not a Nursing Manager! I've had run in's with her before and my thinking is, I'll treat you the way you treat me. The next meeting I'm sure this topic will come up again by the ED. I've decided that I'm going to say "if you know this is a problem, and you know who it is, then why aren't you dealing with this? It is very difficult to say confront a manager who treats you horribly considering they can have you fired. And if you aren't going to do anything about this situation, then who can we go to about it?" I'm sure I'll be terminated for speaking my mind.

    As far as how to handle gossiping, I know how those girls are. They're all smilies and as soon as I leave, they talk nasty about me. How sad for them that their lives are so dull they have to talk about me. At first, I got wrapped up in all the talk. I have to keep remembering why I'm doing this job.....for the resident. I don't care what anyone has to say, as long as my residents are happy with my work and happy with me, that's all I need.

close