Why are nurses such back-stabbers? - page 3

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   SillyLilly
    It is true that it is something that woman do-and nursing is a female dominated world. (didnt know that eh?)

    In my new job I am faced with a gossip and tattletaling all dayyy longgg. I tired of it already, and I have been there for 3 months. One of the reasons why I think I took my job was bc my manager was male, and I had a sense that he was more or less immune/would not not fall for or stand, the gossip and tattletaling.--which he does not thankfully...

    Since I am new, people would be mentioning so and sos name. I would ask, who is so and so? They would say, oh shes a night nurse, shes a back stabber. Ooooohhhooookk...... thanks for the info. I wonder what they say about me behind my back!! And whats funny is that I would make comments like, Oh I dont like gossip, or I dont understand how people can make choices like that, or mind their own business, the one who gossips/chatters the most says, 'I tottally agree with you, I am the same way'.

    As much as a vent as this is, I do not try to engage myself in gossip at work with my other co-workers----especially in the hallways! And I dont think I have the heart to back stab someone.

    But being a woman and going to all girl highschool, through out my life I have realized that all that chitchat does a few beneficial things 1) nothing brings 2 people feel closer together-like girl friends, than when they are talking gossip. Now they are probablly not your best friends, but that comadarie (sp) makes you feel good.
    2) like others have said, it does make one feel better when they put someone down.
    I will be one to admit, I do get into gossiping, but that is usually with my best friend or boyfriend. I have not gossiped at work, and I refuse to. Its not something that I can see myself slipping into too easy, because I really dont see myself being good friends withany one at my work anyways. I consider that a good thing.
  2. by   Simplepleasures
    We nurses are just playing intio the hands of management when we turn on each other , this is presicely what the managemnet wants, like it was said in an earlier post-divide and conquer.If we are so busy backstabbing each other we wont notice the real issues that make nursing such a difficult profession.
  3. by   SillyLilly
    Oh, and about it being not only a female thing---I totally agree. Lots of people are gossipers,slimey, tattlers, etc...

    But, for the most part, for most of my experience through out life, women have much more been the gossipy/catty ones.
  4. by   LargoLPN
    I had an experience with a mail nurse. He had a desk job, doing what I'm not exactly sure. One night the other nurse didn't show up. That left me with 52 pts. and I called the supervisor and said cant you tell ill call him jack to take the no show nurses place. I mean he is an RN and she agreed. So he was mad he couldn't do his comfy desk job for one night. This was third shift and he worked this shift because he had had issues with day nurses. any who, he is passing meds and comes to me and says well this Lady's mars say she is to get the eye drops 4 times a day, but here under the opthamology in her chart it was changed to two times a day. I said then the doctor should have written an order and put it in the physician's order not under opthamology. He then went and got a medical error report and filled it out, then replied to me will I have to right out in this report that I counseled you on checking your mars for errors, just so you know. I was like, there were no orders in the mar or physicians orders to check, the doctor wrote a note in the opthamology seg, but no official order. I don't have time to search every chart, every section, every day for this. any how it was reported as a med error. I was not the only one giving it as ordered in the mar, but the one who got counseled and mentioned in the med error report. He was just pissed because he had to work the floor
    Last edit by LargoLPN on Dec 15, '06
  5. by   tddowney
    Quote from Stopnik
    You said it, not me. I think gender plays a huge role.

    I'm a guy. Consider myself a typical blue state liberal. Even was educated (BA, MA) at a historical women's college that turned co-ed. Can't stand sports, etc, etc. In other words, I am about as much of a feminist as the other person.

    But since I started nursing school I am sounding more and more like a Neanderthal guy when talking about some of my classmates. Only 5 guys in a large, large class. A lot of the women (not all - but lots) spend an inordinate amount of time ********, moaning, backstabbing, and sabataging each other. I simply am amazed at the behavior. I see the same thing with RNs at my clinicals. The good news - being a guy, I am largely immune or at least not atuned to that behavior as far as I am personally concerned. Every week there is inevitably a huge breakdown in my class as some student cries about how someone is treating her. Yuck...no wonder a lot of the directors where I am an extern have said (both men and women - all highly educated, intelligent people) "we love to hire men." 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 love nursing - but am continually amazed at how nurses treat each other. Good thing I'm just a clueless guy capable of ignorning it.

    BTW, the next time someone "tattles on you" about a remark you SUPPOSEDLY made, just say "I have no ideal what you are talking about."
    I'm also a guy, over 50 with many years in the corporate world, in an accelerated option program. I have to agree that gender plays a very large roll in how nurses treat each other. I also have to say I'm not surprised at this point, since the same thing happens in the corporate world. It's not as notable since there is a more even balance of men/women in most offices I worked in, and I think also the percentage of stabbers, etc is lower.

    My class mates are an exception to this situation. By and large, most get along quite well with each other. Perhaps because many of us have lots of experience in more mixed occupations. If so, I hope this is a continuing trend.

    Otoh, I run away from gossip as fast as I can find the door, so maybe I'm just oblivious to what's really going on.
  6. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from sillylilly
    but, for the most part, for most of my experience through out life, women have much more been the gossipy/catty ones.
    i've been around the block a few times so to speak and i've seen a lot in my years but one of the things i am very concerned about entering the nursing field is this very topic: the pettiness. i can't believe it. i am stunned and embarrassed and i am not even finished with my rn program yet.

    i contrast this with 15+ years in corporate america were about 50% of my co-workers were women and i just can't believe what i see and hear in this field. there is no excuse. the lack of professionalism is appalling. "black pens, not blue" "you are going to get written up for that" and on and on and on and on. sometimes, it reminds me of kindergarten, frankly.

    when my so told me she was so glad she only has sons, i asked her why (i have both sons & daughters, btw and love them all to death!) her reply? "because women are such catty b*tches!!!!" i couldn't believe my ears.... she's a women, too, folks!!! i thought she had a screw loose or some horrid life experiences, etc. then i entered this career path and while i'm not finished yet, one semester to go, i simply can not find the words to express my complete amazement at the pettiness i have seen already. sadly, i think she is so right and she is not in the healthcare field, either.

    i don't have anything else to say...except that it saddens me so see such a wonderful field so damaged from within. i can't bring myself to use the word "profession" in relation to nursing as i once thought i would, why? it is because of the pettiness and lack of professionalism i have seen already from the classroom, to the lectern, to the clinical setting.

    there are exceptions, there are wonderful persons in this field both women and men, but so far the number one thing i have learned by far is: i must watch not the patients so much as i must watch my back from my coworkers and that is a stunner.

    i expect to get flack from this post (see above for the reason). note, the op is a woman, btw...
  7. by   Tweety
    I'm disheartened that one nurse rats on you, and I understand that's upsetting, but why judge a whole profession and gender? Is that fair?

    I work with a catty nurse or two out of the 30 on my unit, so if one rats me out I'm going to focus my anger and attention to her and not judge anyone else.

    Maybe I'm just lucky because of the overwhelming support you're getting. That saddens me too.

    I've been around the block a time or two and have come across those kinds of people. Fact of life.

    I too was ratted out by a coworker, who actually blew it out of proportion with some untruths. It reminded me to watch my p's and q's and what I say, particular what I say about my manager, because while I trusted this person in confidence, and didn't deserve the rat, I did disrespect my manager.

    You have time to stick your nose in a book???

    Good luck to you in all that you do.
  8. by   etownnurse
    A lack of morals in general?
  9. by   ewattsjt
    I am a male and I have learned to just keep my comments to myself because most the female nurses will turn on you sooooo quickly. It is their learned behavior.

    I work in surgery and had a disagreement with a co-worker. I said some things out of anger that I should haven't. It was just a moment that I went off. Before the end of the sift, things were blown out of proportion. By the time it made it to the co-worker, I had caller her vile names and things like that. I had not and stated so. The next morning I made the comment to the staff in the room that I was in; that I would not say anything like that again in front of the people who was in the room again. Before I could open the case, 5-10 min, both ladies were there contending that neither had said anything. Which went to show me the other 2 two ladies went and told the first two.

    Backstabbing they are! So give nothing to stab with!

    There are other ladies who I would trust greatly but it has been earned.
  10. by   bluestar
    Quote from CorporateToRN
    My philosophy - Stay under the radar. Just focus on work. Don't worry about making friends. Be professional.

    Unfortunately too many people try to turn their work environment into a gossip/counseling/support/friend thing. And inevitably always backfires.
    Well said.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from ewattsjt
    Backstabbing they are! So give nothing to stab with!

    There are other ladies who I would trust greatly but it has been earned.


    BINGO! Give them nothing to stab with. In your moment of anger you lost their respect. Too bad in response they lost yours. Two wrongs don't make a right anyway you look at it.
  12. by   sister--*
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    ....Another thing that you can't change so easily: if you are in a truly toxic environment, nothing you will do will change it, until you change jobs. Generalizing and complaining rarely will do it for ya.
    Yea, that...(
  13. by   UM Review RN
    I would gladly leave this profession if I could find another in which I didn't have to worry about losing everything that I've ever worked for because some catty little brat took my words out of context and blew them out of proportion to my boss.

    Do people not realize that their words have power? That those words can literally destroy lives?

    I make a great target because I don't join in on the gossip. And if there's one thing I've learned, if you're not right in there with them, you get targeted.

    Give them no ammo?

    I'd love to, but it's a bit unrealistic. Coworkers follow each other and critique each others' every move throughout the day.

    This last job, I thought everyone was so nice. Then one night, I'm sitting in the back doing my charting and I hear every single one of them ripping the absent ones to absolute shreds. It was disgusting. I just wanted to walk out right then and there, and I completely lost my respect for these otherwise excellent nurses.

    I'm tired of it and I'm glad I'll be getting out soon.

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