Why does every unit have a princess? - page 4

by echoRNC711 10,313 Views | 45 Comments

When I graduated nursing school some 20 years ago I made a promise to myself to explore all of nursing and feel satisfied that I have done that. I have specialized in several areas and have done per diems everywhere in the... Read More


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    [QUOTE=DutchRN09;6976899]We had one where I used to work, the only person who could work 12's on the entire unit. Everyone else had to work 8's. No clue as to why, but I do not miss that.[/


    Similar thing where I work. We do 4 ten hour shifts. Princess is the only one who does three twelves although everyone has been asking for three 12s for years. What is most annoying, once at a staff meeting I brought up some of the behavior of the princess only because someone came to me almost in tears one shift over the behavior of the princess and I empathized with how she felt. We all agreed the behavior was just outrageous. However, at the staff meeting no one said anything to back up that what I was saying was the truth. They all just sat there like a bunch of scared children. Literally, they looked scared. I will never forget it. In the future, I will let my coworkers fight there own battles and speak up for myself as needed.
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    My answer to this question would be: For the same reason every unit seems to have a general or a tyrant. That is because nursing would suck without the drama they bring. LOL.
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    Quote from Pranqster
    I think you nailed it!


    I can't understate how many times I hear how much smoother the shift is when there are men working. I don't want to offend the ladies, I love'em, but you asked.....
    Truth, brother....it always is a woman (or little girl, age 34!)
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    We all have character flaws. I thought after school, these types of popularity contests and jealousy would finally go away. Why can't we women just go to work, do our job, and go home? Answer.....because we must share our feelings with one another, talk about others, compete with, and put others we are jealous of down so that we can "bond" with each other. Men bond by doing things together. Well, I don't want to "bond" with with my female coworkers. So, I'm immediately the outcast. I admit, I have been labeled the "princess" before too. Truth is....I'm kinda spoiled. I like things my way, and I throw temper tantrums sometimes to get it. It's a character flaw I know. We all have flaws. We all have meltdowns, tantrums, sadness, jealousy etc. Can't we just accept it and move on? The constant arguing and talking about one another is old. I'm so tired of having to watch my back all the time because my fellow coworker might be PMSing that day and wanna try to get me fired. There are men like that 2. They are usually borderline personality D/O too. We aren't doing ourselves or our pt.s any favors by throwing each other under the bus all the time. No wonder we can't unite and demand better nurse to Pt. ratios. We are a dime a dozen. When we get too old, or injure our backs or speak up not getting breaks or lunch, we are fired and replaced by the next day.We must realize that we are all flawed. We are all different. We all want what's best for our Pt's. We are all over worked. Most of us are woman. We all have 4 or 5 personalities.lol.....We all need each other to take care of our Pt's. If we backed each other up instead of back stabbing each other, we could get better working conditions as well as better care for the Pt's. and nobody would dare stand in our way. We are the answer to the current health care crisis. Power in numbers ladies....power in numbers! So say one, so we all?
    FMF Corpsman likes this.
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    I work in a doctor's office and even there we have a princess. The manager asked me to make the daily schedule (there were three nurses and we rotated between the doctor, allergy testing, and shots daily). The manager wanted me to work in the back with her so the two of us would be with the doctor and testing. I made the schedule and posted it without realizing that "princess" wound up working in injections two days in a row that way. Princess emailed the clinical director of the company (who's over all 20 offices and about 250 employees) to complain about it. Princess REFUSED to help the other nurses on any other day, even when we were short-staffed. I had 5 patients sign in for injections at one time and asked if she could help do one or two. She said "you've got 5? You'll be okay" and picked up the phone to return a patient call that was non-urgent. There was one day when three of us were working in the back and there were three things going on at once: a chart was up to be brought back, a timer was going off for an allergy test to be read, and the doctor needed assistance in an exam room. I asked who wanted the timer, who wanted the doctor, and who wanted the chart (three nurses, three assignments). Princess said "I've got to check the phone lines" and walked off, where she again emailed the clinical director to say that I was "bossing her around". The clinical director eventually came to our office and interviewed each of us individually, where she told me "princess" was lazy and transferred me to another office, much to my delight.
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    OP, I'm not yet a nurse (few more months), but I'm already dealing with this issue as a student in clinicals. I'm very quiet, very hard-working, and I try to ask questions about things i don't know and just go that extra mile to gain more experience and learn, but I often feel like even my clinical instructor overlooks me, is often too busy with the other students or feels I'm not assertive enough, opting to work with the more interesting to talk to peers. They're more exciting and tend to have more they're willing to share about their social life than I do. In essence, these are the ones people tend to like and admire, even the superiors, and are often more willing than not to go that extra mile to help them and provide them with support. I figure there's something about those individuals that the feel is worth aiding. What? I don't know.

    But I'm dealing with it. I've begun to realize that if I'm only a student and my life is already like this, then I need to be more self-motivated than i already am and just use the resources I have to further myself and be my own advocate. The princesses are using their own resources (their popularity and people skills), so maybe I just need to further access my own resources as well.
    echoRNC711 likes this.
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    I an sure the people I used to work with would have said I fit your description. I just simply refused to be taken advantage of. When asked to do things I found unreasonable, I very politely, professionally, and pleasantly, said "no, I won't do that." After a while, no one asked me to do unreasonable things anymore and it probably appeared like favoritism.

    I don't think it was favoritism at all. In fact, I doubt TPTB liked me, as a person, very much. I am certain they respected my skills, but I am sure they thought I was a bit of a PITA. The bottom line was, they knew if they asked me to do something even approaching the line in the sand I had drawn in the past, it might be a bigger headache for them than it was worth, so they just didn't ask. The fact that other nurses didn't stand up for themselves appropriately, but whined & complained to others, behaved passive aggressively in any number of ways instead, or just took the abuse like mules is not my fault. So they were continuously mistreated, and I never was. I got the schedule I asked for, without fail. I got good assignments. I got continuing education classes I requested. No one ever called me on my days off to fill in. Ever. They knew better, lol. They simply left me alone to do my job, and in return I provided perfect attendance, and exemplary performance. I was never once "written up" in any position I ever held. I have never had anything short of outstanding performance reviews, yet we all knew I was a "high maintenance" employee. I attended board meetings and lodged complaints directly to the hospital board of directors if we didn't have enough soap, lol. I was a thorn, but I was also the one they wanted on the floor the day TJC came through.

    No matter what role I was in, my supervisors and I each gave each other exactly what the other wanted, nothing more, nothing less. We achieved perfect detente. That does not make me a prince/ss. It makes me a skilled diplomat and negotiator.

    I also got along well with everyone. I had no "friends" at work, but I was friendly with every single person and had not a single enemy. I never had a single disagreement with a workplace coworker. Not a single cross word in 20 years of bedside nursing with a nurse or provider. No one could say a bad word about me, other than I bad an awfully nice schedule.
    FMF Corpsman and echoRNC711 like this.
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    What a great attitude.I am impressed at your introspection and ability to problem solve.I have always been a very vocal pt advocate and had no problem speaking up for them. Why, because I thought they were worth it. I worked for several yrs before realizing I always put my self last. I don't see that as healthy. Princess,nurse and pt are all worthy of fairness.I spent too many yrs finding my own voice.The experience was still valuable regardless but work could have been so much easier if I had learned this earlier. I am delighted you see that already!

    But I'm dealing with it. I've begun to realize that if I'm only a student and my life is already like this, then I need to be more self-motivated than i already am and just use the resources I have to further myself and be my own advocate. The princesses are using their own resources (their popularity and people skills), so maybe I just need to further access my own resources as well.[/QUOTE]
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    Blue Devil -

    I really enjoyed your post and I think you nailed it. The root issue is assertiveness. I think if we were all more honest in expressing our needs fairly then the princess platform would have collapsed a long time ago. I like your directness, I personally would rather someone spit in my eye and say "I hate you " than use manipulation to have their needs met.

    I have noted that the nursing profession can at times not only foster but promote a co-dependent type climate. To always put patients ahead of yourself , even when an assignment is too much, is encouraged.

    I applaud your ability to be clear and decisive. You appear very independent (feel free to correct ) and I am left wondering did your co workers perceive you as a team player? I don't think getting your needs met implies princess. To me a princess utilizes manipulation and I don't hear that in how you have presented yourself. Manipulative behavior irks me most not because of the privileges they attain but because of the dishonesty. I value the truth. I have said when giving report "I didn't do the dressing because the truth is I was just too bloody lazy. Sorry, I will make it up to you next time ."

    In the interest of honesty and my own curiosity I am wondering Blue were you respected,feared or both. I'd like to see better teamwork in nursing to recognize each others strengths. I am wondering where is the middle ground between being assertive and team player?
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    Quote from Meriwhen


    You said it perfectly. Yes, there are the 5% who have exceptionally strong blood/money/social ties to the powers that be, and so their antics can't be helped. But more often than not, the "princess" (or "prince") continues to thrive because everyone else lets them.

    At the same time...are you (OP) and your unit resentful that she is getting things changed for her and you're not? It could be because she is actually asking/complaining, while the rest of you have chosen to "tough it out" and suffer in relative silence. Admittedly, I don't work there so I don't know if her requests/complaints/behavior is justified (e.g., is she asking for extra staff with a patient load of 10 or a patient load of 3? Does she have 3 post-CABG patients while the others have none, or does she not want to deal with a demanding walkie-talkie?).

    So she could really be a princess or just being assertive; I can't judge that as I haven't witnessed her in action. I can only go by your side of the story, which is only one POV.

    But one thing that I have learned pretty fast as a nurse is that if you don't ask, you don't get. Management isn't going to rush in to offer help or make changes if you don't say anything: they're going to assume that all is well. If you're not making any complaints about your 7 patient load that you're struggling to stay afloat with, then they're going to read that as you can handle 7 patients just fine and move on to the next issue.

    Not saying to complain over every single little thing, but perhaps there are times where speaking up would be justified, even at the risk of gaining a label from coworkers. Just something to think about.

    Most of you already know my position on political correctness, so please, do not be offended by my directness in this post. I cannot, and will not be other than what I am, and that is an old military hard@$$ with far too many years of experience in a female driven profession. As I have said numerous times on this board, I truly love Nursing and when you do something you love to do as a profession, you never really "work" a day in your life. The only thing "wrong" with our profession is that it is dominated by women, and women, while they will argue amongst themselves, rarely argue with others. It hasn't been until the last few years that Nursing has finely began to find its voice and begun to speak for itself in the Halls of Congress and in the Senate. Nursing has finely learned they must have Lobbyist to speak for them, and for far too many years, they remained mute where they most needed to have a loud voice to speak for us, and have people hear what we had to say. The million plus Nurses could have turned this Country around and stood it on its head had we learned to speak earlier, yet we remained silent. Only c/o to each other about our petty differences, while things that needed to be changed were left unsaid. As meriwhen said in the above post, "But one thing that I have learned pretty fast as a nurse is that if you don't ask, you don't get." We have gone for over a century, now we're speaking out, and finally some of our needs are being met, but just some of them. I'm not suggesting that your little Princess is "all that and a bag of chips" but maybe her example is one to be followed and more people need to speak up and maybe some things in Nursing will change for the better.

    Last edit by FMF Corpsman on Oct 11, '12 : Reason: HTML tags


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