eating our young and old - page 2

by john william 2,499 Views | 13 Comments

we eat our young because we've never been taught not to.It's also a power rush. For the first time WE have the control over someone else.And it does get passed down form nurse to nurse,I'am not sure why I'am not sure were even... Read More


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    Well, one thing that worked well for me with some new grads, was if I found the wrong IV solution or some other problem after following them, was to write an informative note explaining what they did wrong. The new nurse who had written me up for the bedpan had been making lots of little and not so little mistakes that I was catching and fixing on the night shift.

    So, I started leaving nice little notes explaining her error and advising her of the importance of checking her IV solutions when she came on, or whatever else she was doing wrong. I think this tempered her behaviour quite a bit. She and I get along just fine now.
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    Quote from Mystery5
    Well, one thing that worked well for me with some new grads, was if I found the wrong IV solution or some other problem after following them, was to write an informative note explaining what they did wrong. The new nurse who had written me up for the bedpan had been making lots of little and not so little mistakes that I was catching and fixing on the night shift.

    So, I started leaving nice little notes explaining her error and advising her of the importance of checking her IV solutions when she came on, or whatever else she was doing wrong. I think this tempered her behaviour quite a bit. She and I get along just fine now.
    This is great, see you did something intelligent as a professional and found a way around it. As I can see it the new grad wanted to be able to say you did something wrong because of their lack of ability. I think the fact that you and this person are getting along fine now, shows there is always a way to resolve issues. In the initial posting I would have never gathered that there was a positive outcome from this.

    I often think we dwell on the bad to tell others, not the good because that seems to be what others want to hear. A few months back in my own life, I found that when anyone asked me how I was, I always looked for the negative things going on in my life, and believe me there are many. Then I said to someone how negative I was feeling all the time. I decided to start telling only the positive in my life from that point on and my mood changed. I also had to really search deeply for the positive in my life too, but it was there. My mood and response to things have greatly improved.
    I will leave you with this thought. Have you ever noticed when you cannot stand to be around some people, you are really having a hard time with yourself? Often when we do not instantly like some one, it is because they remind or are a reflection of something we do not like in ourselves. If you have not noticed this, think about it for the next time your feelings may seem out of sorts. Thanks again for the response to my comments. I look forward to postings of more solutions.
    As for a research project, I am not sure what tool could be used to identify a research question. This might be a good topic for someone wanting to take this on for their PhD. Not me though, I am struggling through how to construct tests right now for my masters. Sincerely, Old CAT
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    Quote from mattsmom81
    I have always strived to be very kind to new nurses.it seems like today if we say anything but wonderful things to a new grad, they run crying they've been 'eaten'.

    In today's money driven healthcare system, hospitals use warm bodies where they shouldn't. They have given me new grads (counted as a staff member in) ICU and told me to 'train' them on the job, without an education or internship program at our disposal. That is unfair to me and all the ICU patients, as well as unfair to the new grad. But when I have spoken up about the unfairness of this (and refused to precept new grads in my ICU), I have been accused of 'young eating' and of 'not liking new nurses'. Both untrue...it was the SITUATION I didn't like!!. Of course a few spineless nurses took on the new grads. <sigh>

    Just because a seasoned nurse says 'this is no place for a new grad and I cannot be responsible for precepting them' doesn't mean the problem IS the new grad.

    So...the term has been twisted IMHO. Perhaps even used against us to manipulate us into accepting new grads in less than optimal conditions to keep from being labeled a 'young eater'.

    I think the answer is "courtesy" and support. I, too, beleive the "eating our young" phrase is getting to become so oft-spoken that that kind of enviroment is almost expected and accepted. I had fortunately up unitl last year had always worked with courteous and supportive nursing staff. I won't say I was personal friends with everyone I worked with but I knew that I would not be left "out in the cold". Last year, I learned the true meaning of the phrase. They say God sends you thru trouble to learn something. I know will not ever allow that kind of behaivior to persist in the work enviroment nor will I work in an enviroment where it persists.

    There are many things that can be done to encourage and support new staff (young and old). Many of those stem from leadership, this in my opinion is the root of the problem. For instance,

    (1)management should select indiviuals to precept based on willingness to teach not soloely on clinical expertise it is wonderful to have clinically proficient staff teach new staff but if they are burnt out and disillusioned, they are simply not worth it. My first foray into ICU, I was precepted by nurse who was 1 year out of nursing school (I had been in nursing up to ten years at that point) but that nurse was patient, enthusiastic and encouraging. Coming into a new and unfamailiar enviroment, she made a big difference.

    (2) If a orientee makes a mistake, their preceptor is equally responsible. At the hospital where I currently work any nurse who is assigned as a preceptor is bound by an agreement that if a significant error is made by an orientee, she is equally responsible. After a certain period of time, the preceptor, manager and orientee sign an agreement that states that the orientee is comfortable in administering medication unsupervised and is fully responsible for their own errors. It is amazing how much more reponsibilty and concern are shown to orientees by preceptors because of this. By the way, preceptors are also attend a training class and are paid an additional 2 dollars an hour for shifts that they precept on.

    (3) Management has a responsibility to be bigger than the pettiness. One of the reasons I left a previous job was not because I disliked the nurses that I worked with (although I did) but was primarily because of a manager with poor leadership abilities and lack of good communication. Part of being a leader is observing, ensuring accuracy, and remaining objective. If the manager runs behind every petty complaint without considering merit or affect, they are worse than the staff. So often, new staff is the target of petty complaints, it is up to mangement not support that behaivior by not going out the door with it.

    (3.5) Stop talking to the manager about problems and start talking to one another. If someone makes a mistake, talk to them about it first. New staff often do not know they made a mistake or something is a problem, how insulting and disillusioning to keep hearing compaints coming to you from your manager. How can new staff trust and respect co-workers who are so conniving and petty.

    (4) Everyone deserves an organized, prepared orientation that is planned and followed. How difficult is it to start taking retention seriously enough that you plan for new staff. So often, orientation is an afterthought. Before a new employee sets foot in the door, they should have their progress monitored and documented. They should know the plan and leadership should support and follow the plan. Stop putting new nurses into staffing because you are short, start showing how much you value them. Like the above qoute, it is absolutely unfair to a new nurse to expect them to have an effective learning experience in that type of situation. It burdens the preceptor and the orientee.

    (5) I may not be able to change your attitude but I don't have to support you in it It's about time that good nurses start standing up to the poison spitters. If and when I hear a nurse trashing what so and so did, I don't stand and quietly agree. I remind them (in a nice way) how often I have had to clean up behind them and what a shame it is that they can only find fault since I have seen so many positive things in this person

    (6) Be a mentor and team I always find new staff when a procedure needs to be performed. They don't have to be "my orientee". I take time to step in the room and take a set of vitals for them if I see they are busy --- you don't have to ask. That's what teamwork is. That's what I expect -- That's what I demand!!!!
    Last edit by mydesygn on Jun 6, '05
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    Whatever happened to just plain ole common courtesy? There really is no excuse for the behavior that some of us display. I don't care what the excuse is, it shouldn't be tolerated. I find it strange that we're having a discussion about something that should've been learned when we were youngsters. I think the discussion is necessary; but still odd that we as adults find ourselves having to find solutions on how to be polite to one another. Is there a solution? I don't know. This is something that should've been taught at home. I'd like to think we can lead by example, but is that enough?


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