Generation wars in your OR?(this is a rant..)

  1. Just wondering if other people have experienced this as well. Lately, it seems as though there is a war of the generations happening in my OR. We have lots of older nurses and techs who loudly proclaim their seniority, but these are the same people who flit around, not doing much of anything. The main claim to fame for some of these people is that they know how to hide, and are gifted at flying under the radar. We have some wonderful older ones as well, who love to teach and are receptive to new people. The "bad" ones basically try to make new people feel like garbage, with the explanation of "I got treated like crap, therefore you must put up with it too" They fail to realize that, actually, we DON'T have to put up with it and most of us have enough backbone to realize it. I was raised to respect the older(but not necessarily wiser!) people, so I've thus far remained professional and haven't told any of them to stick it where the sun don't shine, but the ignorance of some of these people floors me. Do they not realize that if they manage to alienate the younger generation of nurses and techs, there will be none of us around to take call etc? Most people of my generation realize that workplaces have no loyalty towards the workers, therefore, most of us will not put up with a facility's nonsense for 20 plus years. I was raised to respect unions(dad was a firefighter) but part of me thinks it's a good thing this place isn't union. If it were, the lazy people who holler about their seniority would be even more obnoxious! OK,(slowly counts to 10...) I feel better now. I know that really, it's probably more of a personality thing-the lazy ones were probably just as lazy when they were younger, but I'm getting so tired of respect being given solely based on age and the fact that you managed not to get fired. Actual job performance doesn't seem to mean much lately..
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   PollyPutTheKettleOn
    I don't work in OR (I work in ICU at the moment) but I have the same problems you do. Except that I have been nursing for 5 years, but look like a new Grad - therefore now I have started my new job and am treated by the 'older' nurses like dirt. They double-check everything that I do and won't even let me start the CVVHDF without 'checking' it first.
    I am letting my feet do the talking - after a month I am leaving. I would like to have an exit interview and let the manager know how I feel, except that there are only three hospitals in my town and I don't want to 'pee on my own doorstep', so to speak.
    Nursing is a wonderful profession to be in at the moment - generally there are plenty of jobs, so if you really can't stand your current one- or the people, find one you do like! Life is too short to put up with ugly people!
    Polly
  4. by   IsseyM
    I love your quote you were raised to respect the older but not necessarily the wiser! I was also raised to respect the elders but some of them make it extremely difficult. I have always been respectful and professional even though their were times i wanted to tell them a thing or two. I'm more of a quiet and peaceful person anyways, don't say anything unless it absolutely positively needs to come out.

    We have a few rotten apples in our OR and we also have some of the greatest, whether its the younger or the older. BUT......I have noticed that it is more of the older nurses & techs that are colder towards me and my younger classmates who are also new grads. Some can be so downright rude, mean, evil and sabotaging. I don't understand why some of the older nurses feel like they have to be mean towards newbies. I agree with you i also think it is more of a personality thing, they were probably that way when they were younger. And yes, older nurses do seem to get more respect even if they are the "bad" apples.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Actually the wrath our dept has comes from the 'in betweeners' more than the older ones. In-betweeners, as in the ones that have been there more than 4, less than 15-20 years. They seem to be the most territorial, and very rude and unwelcoming to new people. But also the same people that whine about the lack of teamwork, and the increase in staff turnover.

    Not to mention, God help it if you're new and make a suggestion or debate for anything. lol
  6. by   RNOTODAY
    Yes, I understand. My hospital *is* union, so you can imagine how bad it is. these people, who have so much *seniority* should be the ones teaching us the ropes, but instead, they complain, treat us like morons, and yes, even sabotage. It is my biggest question........why??? I just dont get it.
  7. by   shodobe
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    Yes, I understand. My hospital *is* union, so you can imagine how bad it is. these people, who have so much *seniority* should be the ones teaching us the ropes, but instead, they complain, treat us like morons, and yes, even sabotage. It is my biggest question........why??? I just dont get it.
    I just don't get the way some people are treated. Deliberate sabotage, allowing mistakes, etc....... Unfortunately in my 30 years I have seen this happen. The group I work with now is in a position that getting anyone with a desire to learn is number one. I think with "senior" nurses most are frustrated with new nurses that have a learning retention problem more than with an attitude problem. What I am saying is it gets frustrating teaching people the same thing over and over and over and over and over and, well you get the point. I think the group that we have now is very patient and will bend over backwards to teach them correctly. The old adage about see one, do one teach one, just doesn't cut it for me. There are alot of people out there that just love to see newbies fall flat on their face, but what does that tell you about them!
  8. by   RNav8trix
    I must agree that there is alot more time involved with teaching youngsters or even new oldersters but the technologies are constantly changing and maybe we aren't as comfortable with them ourselves? Just a thought.
    As for generation wars, the thing I see the most is the older nurses becomming lazy in some instances and not setting an example of what is the standard. I was trained by example and look fondly on the really great nurses who drove me nuts in the beginning constantly hounding my every little moe, but I'm sooo much better for it now. I'm sure the pace in busy OR's doesn't help. I look to foster the detail oriented people who pick up on the little nuances and the ones who ask the intelligent questions. And especially those who take the initiative.
  9. by   ortess1971
    LOL, I reread my post from the other night...I was pretty PO'd! There are some awesome experienced nurses and techs that are great to new people so I've been trying to hang with them and try to ignore the meanies.
  10. by   Nursonegreat
    i have seen some crusty older nurses and i dunno...is it cause they have been in one place for so long and have seen so many new RNs come and go that they dont want to put forth the effort/teach/be nice cause they know its a lost cause and that we will be leaving soon (ie high turnover rates)? thats my guess for one scenario of the crusty old gals. either kill them with kindness or ignore them if u can i suppose
  11. by   RNOTODAY
    I have noticed one thing. A person who has been working in the OR , say, for 5 years or under, is a better teacher to the newbies. This is only in my experience, I am not saying a veteran is not capable or effective. Reason being, they are new enough to remember when they really were brand new, and can remember the things a new person needs to be taught, the knowledge the veterans seem to take for granted, and sometimes forget that we dont have that knowledge yet.
  12. by   ewattsjt
    Quote from ortess1971
    LOL, I reread my post from the other night...I was pretty PO'd! There are some awesome experienced nurses and techs that are great to new people so I've been trying to hang with them and try to ignore the meanies.
    While there are some awesome nurses and techs, there is a generation gap. Our facility is like your's in people having the "seniority" attitude. We have some that hide, some that talk down to everyone, etc... It is frustrating! Do you have this problem with the "seniority people," that if you see extra people and say, "we need turnover help," they vanish?

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