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 hospital with the exception of L&D. Throughout my travels, I have come to see that in every area, there reigns a princess.
The princess as I see it is the nurse who is allowed to demand and receive privileges and the staff as a whole panders to it. Specifically, the princess can protest her assignment, demand extra staff and throw an occasional tantrum when she gets upset. This same assignment and staffing ratio has been managed without complaint or problem by other shifts yet when the princess complains it becomes a "justifiable issue that needs immediate correction. "
I initially thought that this nurse was the most knowledgeable or skilled but over time came to realize that this wasn't correct. I can wholeheartedly admit that at times I did resent this disparity, but I had a hard time really fathoming how it was permitted.
I am a reflective person so I have examined myself for the presence of jealousy and although not a refreshing find, I had to accept that it was there. I think I used to mask it in righteous indignation that I was a hard worker so why was her mediocre at best work hailed in such high regard. The answer is she is popular, powerful or both: I am not a princess.
I genuinely like to work hard. My relationship with my pts is very private. I allow them to see me and I them in a way that is deeply meaningful. I think often where we go wrong in nursing,myself included, is we expend energy comparing ourselves to each other. Usually, if I am having a strong reaction to a person, they are showing me something about myself that I haven't yet faced. Why is there a princess in every unit? I really don't know.
What interests me is what can I learn from her. The princess no longer becomes my enemy when I register my own truth: that I am quiet, I am deep, I am respected but in my career there are times when I too wished to be popular.
Oct 9, '12
The only princesses I've worked with were either related to or good friends with people like medical directors and those who have buildings named after them. Could be just luck of the draw, though.
Last edit by nursel56 on Oct 9, '12