Why dont' nurses help each other?!

  1. 2
    All I have ever wanted to do with my life since the age of 7 was to be a nurse. I accomplished this goal and took a position in the ER. The experienced nurses warned me..."ER nurses eat their young". This was a concept that I came to understand quickly. It is actually one of the biggest reasons that I have not been active as an RN for over a year now. Don't get me wrong, there were the FEW that made the biggest difference in my life because they took the time to teach.
    I am sort of jaded by this experience though, I thought that nursing is supposed to be about caring and helping others...at least that's why I became a nurse. It seems that more experienced nurses do not want to take less experienced nurses under their wing. Instead, they become easily frustrated unwilling to explain or flat out tell you that basically you're an idiot for not knowing something. I am still on the fence as to whether or not I will return for a significant amount of time or just long enough to go back to school. Any thoughts or feelings on this topic?
    pinky23 and netglow like this.
  2. 49 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I hate to say it but I think it is common in many professions. Its a matter of personal ethics. I see it in teachers and in students ( in and out of NS). Its just especially disappointing in a "caring" profession. But there are some absolute gems out there too.
    I hope you will decide it is worth the effort to keep hunting for better mentors - the profression needs MORE people with good hearts, not less
  4. 9
    I agree, nursing is not any more 'unwelcoming' than other professions -- every hung around with lawyers? But we're characterized by more mythology -- 'angels of mercy', nurturers, etc. -- than other jobs. This also contributes to more burnout than just about any other career except Social Work; we just expect too much of ourselves.

    To OP, it is a shame to stereotype all of us by the actions of a few. For the most part, the work environment is a self-perpetuating culture. Nurses become tough and mean to survive in a hostile setting -- and so on. It takes courage to reject the dominant paradigm but it has to start with someone. The corny old adage is still true -"it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness". If you decide to go back into a clinical environment, put on your kevlar vest -- take a supply of candles with you!
    canoehead, maxthecat, inshallamiami, and 6 others like this.
  5. 4
    I always try to help out nurses. I will never understand why nurses would eat their young. Makes no sense other than to make themselves feel superior. I've been eaten many times and I've learned to ignore the obvious signs of eating and thank then when they actually help me. Sooner or later they realize that for the most part I'm harmless and only want to learn. I'm not after their job and I know I'm not better than anyone.
  6. 6
    Nurse DO help each other. There are many more places where people work together than you see mentioned on here. You tend to hear the vents here and not the day to day good stuff. People are people though and you will find good people and not so good people everywhere. Work ethic is the key.

    Don't let that one experience stop you from your dream job.
    hikernurse, catshowlady, nursel56, and 3 others like this.
  7. 1
    I think it depends on who's on duty with you. There are co-RNs who would really help you and some who wouldn't even care if you're swamped. There are also those who are willing to help and teach, these are the people that you have to be with and emulate. Those who eat their young, are not nurses!
    mamamerlee likes this.
  8. 2
    I agree with the above poster ", depends on who's on duty." Moreover, I do believe if you offer to lend a hand every now and then and when someone asks for assistance, you'll encourage a more team oriented atmosphere.
  9. 13
    I am helpful when there's an emergency situation.

    I get tired though of having to help out the same person day in and day out because they can't get their time management together and I can. I have the same number of patients as they do but I am much more organized. I can't help them do their charting. And it's a rarity when they are able to help me because they are so wrapped up in their own little world to even notice that I might need some help.
    canoehead, mykrosphere, WalkieTalkie, and 10 others like this.
  10. 6
    Good luck finding a job anywhere that it's all angels and roses with a string quartet in the background. It's the real world, not everybody is nice.
    WalkieTalkie, nursel56, letarn2b, and 3 others like this.
  11. 8
    Well I disagree with those who say nursing garbage is just the same as in any other profession.

    I had 20 years in another profession. One that required me learning the nuances of other business in order to do my job. So... I have worked closely with many different professions. I've dealt with tough people, but that's what I call an intellectual tough. You square off on skill,/knowledge and negotiating/navigating. In nursing I don't see intellectual sparing at all. It's petty childish fighting that's done with no mind for the fallout (patients). I haven't quite decided in my own mind if I consider nursing to be "professional" yet. I will have to work with people who actually see themselves as professionals in order to do that. IMHO, I hope I'm not forced to have to make the same conclusions as the OP.


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