Why are nurses such back-stabbers? - page 6

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   Tweety
    Quote from PeachPie
    I think that the biggest problem that nurses have is their tendency to be "Morality Vultures." Morality Vultures are Schadenfreude-diggers who take up any opportunity to swoop down and put you below them, often with a lecture about how the Morality Vulture's poop doesn's stink. If you ask about an NCLEX question, you're lazy and need to do yor own work. If you're stressed about rude family members or violent residents, you're not looking at their perspective and you're not empathetic. If you've had it with CNAs who honestly shouldn't have passed the state boards, you're a condescending snob. If you're hoping that a nursing job will be so much better than a CNA job, you're an idealist and a snob. If we've had it with the obesity epidemic after 600 lb patients throwing out our backs, we're rude and sterotyping obese people. We're encouraged to be nonjudgmental and follow the zillions of HIPAA and JHACO rules, yet we're expected to tattle on others as well.

    My mother taught me to let things go if they didn't concern me and/or if nobody would benefit from my two cents. In her words, "Did anyone ask you?" Thanks Mom. Too many nurses try to live such a good, moral life that they turn into a secret police.

    You might have a point. When I was researching impaired nurses for a presentation that point was brought up in a couple of research articles.....that nurses more so than others tend to be very harsh in their judgements of one another. But to stick to the topic of the thread, it's because we're nurses and have high standards, not because nursing is full of catty females.

    A side note: mom was smart and raised you right.
  2. by   imenid37
    I agree w/ a lot of what Peach Pie says. Some of the biggest policers of others have the poorest work performance. No one of us is perfect we just have to let a lot roll off of our back. Hopefully, some people who are managers don't do a lot of feeding into the back-stabbers, this just perpetuates it.
  3. by   royr
    I have found my solution is simply to do my own work as quickly and competently as possible. Limit my talking in clinical to "yes" and "no" and "I don't know - but I will look into it and get back to you" When I finish my stuff I look for anything else that needs to be done on the unit and help out who ever is struggling that day. I don't care if it is the person fighting with the coffee maker - I just pitch in and get it done. I smile often - and it does not matter to me if others want to gossip or make remarks. The fact that I do not participate makes me "a mystery" - so often this becomes the topic of gossip - as folks speculate on what the real deal is with me anyway? -go figure - water off this ducks back I say - as long as it's not acid I am OK.
  4. by   MsBruiser
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    There are gender differences; no one disputes that. But it is offensive to me as a woman, to hear "women are backstabbing gossipy hags". Why that can't be understood, a mystery. Saying ALL doctors are above-board and professional while nurses are unprofessional back-stabbers, also rather offensive, to me as a nurse who considers herself a professional.

    It's easy to name-call and generalize. For us, it seems to be much harder to be part of the solution, rather than contributing to what we see as a problem, isn't it?
    Well...for one, I never used words like backstabbing gossipy hags. Though I can certainly say that description fits a certain minority of RNs I have worked with.

    Second, I never said ALL doctors are above-board and professional. I do see a qualitative trend about Doctor-Doctor interaction, though and maybe I occassionally see a few snidde comments that are RARELY but SOMETIMES made in public. I'm sure there are one or two docs who breakdown crying in public places, berate one another in front of patients and other fellow professionals, and basically treat work like a cheesy soap opera. Have yet to see that...

    I am part of the solution. I distinguish between work collegues and friends. I keep to myself but am friendly when approached. I read professional journals and attend CE lectures although I am in school. I keep my emotions in check and don't wear them on my sleeve. I stay away from the gossiping classmates and set them straight when they are flat-out wrong. And I certainly don't cry and fight in public. Still waiting to see the med students do that! Though I'm sure there has had to be a public breakdown of teary male doctors somewhere, because, we don't want to generalize....

    In all my years of corporate work I have never seen interpersonal relationships, for the lack of a better word, as crappy as what I have seen between female nurses. A generalization? You bet! Based on my experience, of course, but not factual - because it can't be proven according to the twisted logic on this board. Some days I come home from clinicals downright depressed about the negativity, nastiness, and tear-jerking theatrics I'm subjected to two days per week. Then I work my externship job (with amazing female preceptors I may add) and see that nurisng isn't all like that - you can insulate yourself from that BS if you wish. A lot of starts with someone's attitude.
  5. by   epiphany
    Quote from nurse-lou
    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? This recently happened to me and I thought I had a good rapport with my co-workers yet one of them ratted me out to the boss on an off-the-cuff remark that I made. Why does this happen? Is it because the majority of nurses are women and women are catty individuals. I'm a woman btw. From now on though, I am just going to do my work, and only talk to the other nurses/aides about clinically relevant stuff only. Other than that, I'll keep my nose in a book. Actually, I won't be working at this current place much longer. There are staffing issues that put my license in jeoprady so I am starting a job hunt after the holidays.

    So, why do we do this to eachother?

    Backstabbing is a symptom of dysfunctionality and failure to communicate. The question is not whether women tend to backstab - the question is why anyone would do that.

    It IS tempting to go down that road, and make it a gender issue (I have done the same thing) but ever wondered why not ALL women backstab?

    Being in place where you are distrustful of your co-workers, and which makes you think the worst of women in general, that's a toxic state of mind. I would speak to these nurses and confront them, or get out of there.
  6. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from smilingblueyes
    complaining and generalizing change nothing. either model the behavior you want to see, or if that fails, move on.
    i think it does help to "model" as you put it. kinda the same notion as "attitudes are infectious" but this only works to a point.

    i also agree that "complaining and generalizing change nothing" in regards to the behavior of back-stabbers but that's not the issue. who said if we "complain and generalize" things will change?

    being aware of the back-stabbing and preparing for it is what i have taken from the comments in this thread (as well as my own experiences).

    the number of people agreeing with the op, most of them women, suggests there really is something to what she and others have observed.

    of course not all women are back-stabbers and there are plenty of men who act this way, too. i also believe ignoring a situation does nothing to change it.
  7. by   allantiques4me
    Quote from medic2ernurse2b
    Because the profession is predominanty women, and that's how women are.
    I personally always preferred to work with men.Ive always got along better with them.
  8. by   Era
    I agree with NurseHobbit! Some people's lives are just so empty that they just have to excite it by aggravating someone else's. Unfortunately, this happens where I work now. We have been merged into one ward ( Male & female ) and there is this one nurse who 'spies' on other nurses and e-mails everything to our ward manager.
    Her motive for @**e kissing? Empty life and wanting to go up the 'professional ladder'. It is our profession that has taught me to bite back!
    I now go to work, do my job 110%, talk to my colleagues ( patients & relatives too, of course ) who interest me and ignore everyone else. Does it sound mean being like this? It gets you out of trouble and maybe even gets you out of the ' gossip ' circle of the ward.
  9. by   jmckeith
    First, I do not claim to know it all or have all the answers. I have read every post on this topic and have formulated an opinion.

    Being a supervisor in a huge Fortune 200 company, I have learned a golden rule; do not listen to gossipers; they only fuel discontent. Try not to say anything behind someone's back that you could not or would not say to their face.

    IMHO, all the energy going into backstabbing would be better served to lifting the profession of nursing, including better pay and benefits. All of us who have read this post are acutely aware of the problems. We can go from here and continue to contribute to the problem or use that energy and contribute to the profession. By the way, I'm a male for what it's worth.:uhoh21:


    Be careful of the feet you step on today for they may be attached to the buttocks you kiss tomorrow.
  10. by   Sabby_NC
    so sad really.
    i am just so blessed to work in a predominantly female hospice organization who truly do care about each other. if one rn is having a busy day with her case load one of us is more than happy to pick up a patient.
    we would not survive in our job if we did not have the love and support of each other.
    i believe our organization works well and this extends from the top down.
    our managers are so supportive. even our busy days we still manage to smile and 'egg' each other on.
    it is no wonder we have people knocking our doors down for a job.
    we have a monthly meeting where awards are given out to deserved members such as the attitude and gratitude award etc. we also have a 12 member team ( picked out at each monthly meeting ) to present some kind of fun, team building skit etc.
    you, yourself, can make a change if you are prepared to.
    change your attitude, be bright and supportive, i wonder how that would rub off eh?
    from one happy contented rn.:icon_biggrin:
  11. by   epiphany
    Quote from west_coast_ken
    i
    i also believe ignoring a situation does nothing to change it.
    how do you think we can change a situation by blaming an epidemic behavior on an x chromosome?
  12. by   RNHawaii34
    Quote from meownsmile
    i think basically its a manipulation thing. managers know that people are looking to make their lives easier and they choose to appear to reward people who spill about things that go on when they arent around, as well as it strokes the ego of management to see co-workers barking about each other. youve surely heard of divide and conquer. little do these people know they are doing nothing to promote themselves but in most cases being used until the rest of the staff cant stand to work with them any longer and they eventually get squeezed out.
    ive seen it over and over,, eventually the write-ups start coming on the person who likes to recount everything and eventually they (management) cant ignore it. i hate write-ups by the way,, i think they need to be used gingerly and after much analysis of a situation. write-ups can be as bad as the "tattletale" game. these people tend to forget what goes around comes around.
    amen to that!!!!
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from allantiques4me
    I personally always preferred to work with men.Ive always got along better with them.
    I'm just the opposite.

    When I worked for an insurance company and a newspaper it was predominately male oriented and I hated it. Too much testerone irriates me for some reason.

close