Why do we eat our young? - page 5

by jreynrn

8,209 Views | 71 Comments

I'm a float pool nurse at my hospital so I bounce around, a lot. Wherever they need me, I go. So I'm pretty well known around the hospital, favorably, thank goodness. The past few months, I was pretty regular on one unit and had... Read More


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    Jreynrn, what a wonderful resource you have been for this new nurse. You sound like a truly nice individual. I always loved working with the float nurses, they were at the top of their game and stayed out of the gossip and just did their work.There is such a steep learning curve coming out of school that is a real shame that her preceptor or someone else on the unit is not there to offer guidance. I was so very lucky to have the best preceptor EVER. She asked me to use my resources and wouldn't tolerate being asked the same thing twice, but she was always there for guidance, opinions, help with finding resources, coming up with a brain sheet, and overall moral support. We became very close and I have so much respect for her as not only a nurse but also a person. I invited her to my wedding. From what you describe, it sounds like this new nurse is really trying hard and doing all she can. Maybe the unit is just a poor fit or maybe its too fast paced for a new grad? If the others in her unit continue this behavior, she will be damaged and leave the field which so sad.
    Nightingallow and BulmaBriefs like this.
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    Quote from sheba516
    In the article the new grad talks about numerous ways she was treated...not just by her preceptor. I'm a new grad and a mature woman who has been thru many of life's experiences and done well in all of them. I have come across all kinds of personalities and rotten people in life. People can make up all kinds of excuses they want for the way things are and how they treat people. If you're a nurse, you are b/c you make that choice to be and stay with it. Why does that give you the right to treat people the way you do? Deal with your issues or get out! Many professions are stressful but to use it as an excuse to ok the way new grads are treated??? In the last year I had the same rotten experience as a new grad b/c of many things. I have never been treated so poorly and humiliated in my life. I'm a very hard worker and have always been. I have never needed my hand held and have always overcome tough obstacles to get to where I needed or wanted to be. I worked for a Magnet hospital for 5yrs and they never treated their new grads with such disrespect. Nurses are overworked b/c many places are short staffed but then you don't want to take the time to help the new nurses,who will be able to help with the load once they are trained and make your life less stressful?? So the new nurses quit and then where are you... still no better. You treat people how you want to be treated...with respect. You all started in the same place we are today, except things are much different and more difficult now. There are no excuses for how nurses treat their young! It tells me that you experienced nurses, who are suppose to love helping people, really aren't such caring people. Nursing is very stressful and new nurses are willing to do the work to get where they need to be. I don't think that any new nurse goes into nursing thinking that it's going to be a "piece of cake" and handed to them!! With all that you go thru to get thru nursing school, we all know that! I believe that nursing makes you old faster and many of the people, who are nurses, shouldn't be b/c they are there for the wrong reasons. We always have choices and making excuses for how you treat new grads speaks a lot about you. A new grads success is in the preceptors hands, so if you donít want to be a preceptor and know you arenít good at it, then donít do it! You donít have the right to take that away from someone who has worked hard to get into nursing and knows that this is where they want to be! Iím so tired of the excuses that experienced nurses give for the way they treat new grads! You were all once in our place.
    Sometimes you're not given the choice about precepting.
    Conqueror+, Rose_Queen, anotherone, and 2 others like this.
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    I'd like to see more respect for the nurse who feels bullied. (It's not just the new grad.) Are we blaming the victim? "It's just because we're busy. You should toughen up. No need to get upset." Don't most of us know the difference between real bullying/emotional abuse and the curtness that comes from stress and hurry? Are all the many nurses who've felt bullied by other nurses guilty of overreaction and emotional fragility?

    If someone asks too many questions and is told "I'd really like you to figure this out on your own," clearly that is not bullying. Clinical instructors often say this without making someone feel lower than ant dung. They are professional and respectful. The message is clear. Find the answer and come to her/him only if you can't or it's an emergency. New grads should expect and be accustomed to reality checks like this.

    I appreciate OP's speaking out, and her vivid description of the emotional destruction that followed. Call it bullying, lateral violence, emotional abuse, nurses behaving badly, or eating their young -- it needs to be dealt with. It should and will keep coming up until it has been eliminated through policies of zero-tolerance.

    OP was right about the need for better orientation programs, reducing stress on experienced staff and preventing new grads being "thrown to the wolves." New nurses being better prepared for the job by their college programs would help, too.
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    Nursing schools deserve a share of the blame for new grads not being prepared for the work load and feeling "bullied". New grads who weren't CNAs or LPNs first don't have the slightest idea what real nursing is like. I wish schools could incorporate more pt care floor-time into their programs. It would be nice to see students take on a full pt load toward the end of their clinicals. But I suppose there's a lot of liability issues there.
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    Brandon, that's what I just don't understand. As part of my PN education, I had to take a full assignment in acute care and handle it or fail that portion of the course and not graduate. Yes, it was stressful but by the time I grauated I could handle the LPNs assignment I was preceptored by and when I went to my final placement, I was expected to work as a new nurse after a basic orientation to the unit. When we graduated we were given a one week orientation and cut loose on the world. The BScN students never had this expectation and never had to manage a full assignment.
    BrandonLPN likes this.
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    Quote from Fiona59
    Brandon, that's what I just don't understand. As part of my PN education, I had to take a full assignment in acute care and handle it or fail that portion of the course and not graduate. Yes, it was stressful but by the time I grauated I could handle the LPNs assignment I was preceptored by and when I went to my final placement, I was expected to work as a new nurse after a basic orientation to the unit. When we graduated we were given a one week orientation and cut loose on the world. The BScN students never had this expectation and never had to manage a full assignment.
    Was that in Canada? I really think it the liability factor keeping this from happening. The transition from student to nurse much have been so much smoother in the old hospital-diploma programs.
    Fiona59 and workingharder like this.
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    Quote from Flatlander
    I'd like to see more respect for the nurse who feels bullied. (It's not just the new grad.) Are we blaming the victim?
    I'd like to see more respect for actual victims of bullying by not diluting what they've gone through and using the word "bully" for every freaking time someone doesn't treat a person like the special snowflake that they think they are.

    Tyler Clementi. Amanda Todd. Ryan Halligan. Dawn-Marie Wesley. Real VICTIMS.

    Your coworkers aren't super supportive? You're not a victim. If you think you are? That's a much bigger problem than someone being short with you.
    Rose_Queen, hiddencatRN, Altra, and 4 others like this.
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    Quote from mclennan
    In my experience, new AND old nurses share the blame for this phenomenon, and neither want to take responsibility.

    A lot of the "young" make themselves look pretty tasty by their lack of work ethic, sense of entitlement, poor communication skills, immaturity, unrealistic expectations & reactionary emotional response to EVERYTHING. Then when they get called on it, they cry and play "poor victim," usually get defensive and all-out refuse to take responsibility for their own actions or thoughts. Rather than learn self-recognizance, the art of reflection or have a sense of humor or honor, too many newbies choose to react, blame, and deflect. That's an unfortunately common characteristic of being "young."

    Many old bats also seem to want to refuse to accept their role in this stereotype. I've seen some be AWFUL to new grads. Too often they are complacent with the "boot camp" mentality, grinding their axes on the heads of those they precept. I think too many old timers have deep-seated issues with facing the facts that they are aging, and all the aspects about it. They use their wisdom & knowledge as a blunt instrument rather than a constructive tool. Many are bitter or burnt out and can't admit misery loves company. And again, when called on it? You guessed it: defensive, blaming and deflecting.

    All of this 'eating our young' nonsense is really becoming a tiresome discussion. Maybe if we all made a conscious choice to practice some self-control and personal responsibility in the name of combatting this stupid stereotype, it wouldn't be such a burning issue all the time. Maybe then we could focus on IMPORTANT issues facing our unstable profession these days.

    If it is such a tiresome discussion, why did you read about it and respond to it? It isn't that tiresome of a topic to people who are actually being bullied on a daily basis who do not deserve that treatment. As a "victim" I can tell you this experience is so psychologically tormenting that it could make you physically sick to your stomach day after day. I quit my job due to it. I agree that some young nurses may have a sense of entitlement-many want to do their year of Med/Surg and get their Masters and get out of bedside nursing, and many experienced nurses resent this because they feel that they "paid their dues". We all have choices in life, and new grads don't deserve to be treated like crap because nurses are miserable because they are not happy with the choices they made which have made them bitter. That feeling of being new, of feeling like you have no idea what your doing is lost to nurses who have lived and worked for the duration of the time I have been alive. I dont think it is fair to stereotype young people either by saying they have a"lack of work ethic, sense of entitlement, poor communication skills, immaturity, unrealistic expectations & reactionary emotional response to EVERYTHING", because there are many young people that act more grown up than people twice their age. The sad thing is that nurses should be compassionate, and putting yourself in one's shoes is to have compassion, and unfortunately that is lacking in many nurses today, and I dont know if that is because they do not have enough to go around between their pts and their co-workers, but if you dont have it , then you shouldnt be a nurse. And I absolutely cannot stand when nurses talk crap about their patients to other nurses, sometimes not even in private but right in the doorways of the patients they are talking about,loud enough to be overheard-so unprofessional- could you demonstrate any better how you dont possess any empathy,compassion, nor discretion, and you could be violating HIPAA while looking like a total jerk. Then you turn around and talk about how this nurse and that nurse did this and that and oh my god they are such idiots. UGH. Patients can see right their facade of caring and talk about them behind their backs to nurses that actually care! A large part of this bullying is gossiping about other's incompetence behind their backs. Happier people have more meaningful conversations-and usually meaningful conversations do not include gossip and belittling others to make yourself feel better. So one way nurses can combat this problem is to not entertain or waste their precious time with non-meaningful conversation by people that are obviously not happy and say " hey , I dont have time to hear this", and the enabling will stop.
    Nightingallow likes this.
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    I taught student nurses at a community college for a few years......I totally understand locking the door while she cried. I had only a few strict rules I held dear- one of them was they were never to cry out on the floor, and if they had to cry- do it on the way home or in the bathroom -but they had to hide all evidence that they had been crying before they came back out to do patient care. There is something in the water in nursing units, I swear. If some of the crusty old nurses would see a student cry, it was like they were an easy mark for the rest of the semester. I think some of the staff actually enjoyed making students/new grads reach their breaking point. I don't understand it to this day, but I know that kind of abuse exists and thrives in certain units. I certainly don't have any answers on how to put a stop to it, especially because we all know those attitudes and behaviors are out there and yet it shows no signs of ending anytime soon :-(
    Nightingallow, milfordmom, and multi10 like this.
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    Perhaps some of it could be because pointing out the flaws of another keeps the focus off of their flaws. Talking about how slow the new nurse is gets everyone to focus on the new nurse and not on the fact that it takes that "experienced" nurse longer than the rest to complete tasks. Talking about how much a new nurse does not know makes others forget that nurse can't start an IV to save her life.

    Or it could just be that many women are naturally competitive when it comes to other women. Never outgrew high school no matter how old they are.


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