Entitlement/ superiority attitude of some nurses?

Nurses Relations

Updated:   Published

I work alongside nurses and am in the process of becoming a nurse myself.

While I have great respect for the profession and my coworkers as well as a passion for it (hence my reason for going to RN school), I've noticed nurses (many but not all) have this superiority attitude like their job is the only job in the Healthcare field that matters. They talk down to all the other professionals (respiratory therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc) and disregard any of the hard work they do and just expect a pat on the back for every little thing. I've even heard some nurses say they should get paid more than the doctor because their work is more important.

Also, I hear many nurses complain that they have too much to do, and then when anyone tries to give them a hand they have this turf battle and think everyone is trying to take over their job and isn't competent enough to do so even if it's something as simple as helping bathe a patient.

What's your opinion?

heron, ASN, RN

4,128 Posts

Specializes in Hospice.

My opinion is you're being deliberately offensive. And that the nurses you describe are idiots.

Specializes in PCCN.

Ill agree with we have too much to do, but not with anything else.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

6,843 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

I think the work we do is very important and we recognize that. I think anyone who has not done the work we do, shouldered the responsibility, accepted the liability, lived with the consequences and carried the memories as we have cannot understand that it is not arrogance or entitlement, it is simply the kind of mindset that comes with having lived with all of the above. We have earned our stripes.

It also comes, to some degree, from being marginalized by patients, families and even other medical staff so frequently. I had a doctor tell me the other day that physicians critically think and should not be subject to protocols, but checklists for nurses are totally appropriate because of our lack of training and critical thinking experience. Wha??

I don't think very many nurses think what we do is more important that others we work with but we do think what we do is just as important. Perhaps that has lead people to overspeak in an attempt to make that point. I wasn't there so I do not know. I find it hard to believe anyone would realistically feel we should be paid more than physicians. I also think because this tends to be a women dominated career field that the experience of women being something other than deferential and self deprecating makes some uncomfortable. Oh well.

As far as having too much to do, we DO have too much to do and the load gets heavier by the day. Most of it cannot be delegated. When we do delegate half the time we get called lazy and treated with resentment by the CNA/PCT for doing so. The other half the time it isn't done correctly or to our standards or we find out it wasn't actually done at all...again....liability. Having too much to do is one thing. Being able to realistically give any of it to someone else to do is something else entirely. When it comes down to it the nurse is responsible. We all have too much to do, which means we are nazi about our routines, which is the only thing that lets us squeeze 18 hours of work into a 12 hour shift. This has the unfortunate consequence of meaning if we give something to someone else to "help" us, we get our routine all screwed up and it doesn't help us after all or it is done at a level or pace we cannot live with and we have to go ahead and do it or redo it ourselves anyway.

Observing what we do and actually doing what we do are two different things entirely. Come back two years after you work as a floor nurse and we'll talk. ;)

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

Quote
What's your opinion?

My opinion is that this isn't anything even remotely unique to nursing. Go work in a law firm and see how some lawyers relate to the paralegals and other staff. Watch how some doctors act around other HCW. Go into a big corporation and observe the hierarchy there and you will see some jerks treat others poorly.

You haven't said anything very profound.

Infofreak411

145 Posts

heron said:
My opinion is you're being deliberately offensive. And that the nurses you describe are idiots.

Deliberately offensive? How so?

Infofreak411

145 Posts

not.done.yet said:
I think the work we do is very important and we recognize that. I think anyone who has not done the work we do, shouldered the responsibility, accepted the liability, lived with the consequences and carried the memories as we have cannot understand that it is not arrogance or entitlement, it is simply the kind of mindset that comes with having lived with all of the above. We have earned our stripes.

It also comes, to some degree, from being marginalized by patients, families and even other medical staff so frequently. I had a doctor tell me the other day that physicians critically think and should not be subject to protocols, but checklists for nurses are totally appropriate because of our lack of training and critical thinking experience. Wha??

I don't think very many nurses think what we do is more important that others we work with but we do think what we do is just as important. Perhaps that has lead people to overspeak in an attempt to make that point. I wasn't there so I do not know. I find it hard to believe anyone would realistically feel we should be paid more than physicians. I also think because this tends to be a women dominated career field that the experience of women being something other than deferential and self deprecating makes some uncomfortable. Oh well.

As far as having too much to do, we DO have too much to do and the load gets heavier by the day. Most of it cannot be delegated. When we do delegate half the time we get called lazy and treated with resentment by the CNA/PCT for doing so. The other half the time it isn't done correctly or to our standards or we find out it wasn't actually done at all...again....liability. Having too much to do is one thing. Being able to realistically give any of it to someone else to do is something else entirely. When it comes down to it the nurse is responsible. We all have too much to do, which means we are nazi about our routines, which is the only thing that lets us squeeze 18 hours of work into a 12 hour shift. This has the unfortunate consequence of meaning if we give something to someone else to "help" us, we get our routine all screwed up and it doesn't help us after all or it is done at a level or pace we cannot live with and we have to go ahead and do it or redo it ourselves anyway.

Observing what we do and actually doing what we do are two different things entirely. Come back two years after you work as a floor nurse and we'll talk. ;)

Well I agree you have too much to do, in fact I do the same thing. We actually had a consulting firm come on and asked why the the techs were the ones running around doing everything while some of the nurses sat at the station on their cell phones. So I know about the time crunch while giving reliable and safe care. But, at the same time why do nurses (some not all) complain about having too much only to get defense when anyone tries to help.

I have, in passing, threatened to levy fees on certain residents for each screw-up I fix without word getting to their attending.

I have also mentioned garnishing washes from a few of the long standing hospitalists regarding every telephone/verbal order that was taken by me unnecessarily.

But I'm joking when I say it. I don't honestly believe I deserve a physician's salary. In fact, last week I told a favorite attending just that - "I don't know! I don't get paid the big bucks and wear the fancy lab coat like you do! "

I agree with PP: I am crazy overloaded and much of it cannot be delegated out. Certain tasks with my vent patients could theoretically be farmed out to RT, but they're just as overworked as I am, so no help there.

Until you have ran a 12 hour shift in a nurse's Nikes, please do not inform us that we are too full of ego. We are literally the last stop before something reaches the patient. Let that sink in. *We are the last people to potentially prevent iatrogenic harm to the patient.* You're dang right I'm going to be territorial over that patient, expect the best out of everyone involved in care, and bust balls/ovaries if someone is 1) not giving credit where its due 2)making life harder by not doing their job.

And it's not "just a bath". If there are dressings, I have to come change them once you get them wet from the bath. Or there's an open wound needing staging/cleaning that is due at bath time. Don't *assume* anything.

Infofreak411 said:
Well I agree you have too much to do, in fact I do the same thing. We actually had a consulting firm come on and asked why the the techs were the ones running around doing everything while some of the nurses sat at the station on their cell phones. So I know about the time crunch while giving reliable and safe care. But, at the same time why do nurses (some not all) complain about having too much only to get defense when anyone tries to help.

I've been sitting on my wide tuchus "playing on my cell phone" at the nurses station. Never mind I was waiting for a call back and calculating total dose received/total fluid I&O in relationship to that call back, I'm sure it's just much easier and nicer to imagine all nurses to be playing candy crush and chuckling evilly while they make the techs run the floor.

So you can't see how you're being offensive, huh? Have fun in clinical with your current attitude then.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

6,843 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.
Infofreak411 said:
Well I agree you have too much to do, in fact I do the same thing. We actually had a consulting firm come on and asked why the the techs were the ones running around doing everything while some of the nurses sat at the station on their cell phones. So I know about the time crunch while giving reliable and safe care. But, at the same time why do nurses (some not all) complain about having too much only to get defense when anyone tries to help.

Because most of what we have to do requires our license to do it. Therefore there isn't help available.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,594 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU.
Infofreak411 said:
I work alongside nurses and am in the process of becoming a nurse myself.

While I have great respect for the profession and my coworkers as well as a passion for it (hence my reason for going to RN school), I've noticed nurses (many but not all) have this superiority attitude like their job is the only job in the Healthcare field that matters. They talk down to all the other professionals (respiratory therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc) and disregard any of the hard work they do and just expect a pat on the back for every little thing. I've even heard some nurses say they should get paid more than the doctor because their work is more important.

Also, I hear many nurses complain that they have too much to do, and then when anyone tries to give them a hand they have this turf battle and think everyone is trying to take over their job and isn't competent enough to do so even if it's something as simple as helping bathe a patient.

What's your opinion?

My opinion? You don't know what you are talking about.

Nurses are the very backbone of healthcare. We make up the largest workforce in the health system and we are central to patient care. We are the last stop/barrier to the patient. We are the patient's advocate. A hospital, clinic, nursing home, etc, could not function without a nurse.

I have absolute respect for other healthcare professions, and I look to them for their area of expertise. But make no mistake. They don't have to put up with half the crap that nurses have to as they are not "chained" to the patient and the family for an entire shift.

I have never heard a nurse say he/she should be paid more than a doctor...ever. And the vast majority of nurses I know would LOVE to have more ancillary staff to help out with simple tasks such as ADLs so that they may focus on things that only a nurse can do.

For someone who wishes to be a nurse, you sure seem to have a low opinion of nurses.

Infofreak411 said:
Well I agree you have too much to do, in fact I do the same thing. We actually had a consulting firm come on and asked why the the techs were the ones running around doing everything while some of the nurses sat at the station on their cell phones. So I know about the time crunch while giving reliable and safe care. But, at the same time why do nurses (some not all) complain about having too much only to get defense when anyone tries to help.

No, you do not "do the same thing". RN's have responsibilities that you are not aware of. Neither does the consulting firm.

Your attitude is coming out loud and strong. Perhaps it is that attitude that leads to a defensive reaction.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X