sadly, i think it is a unit thing.... i used to work on a unit (ldrp) as a tech and later as a nurse extern that was very high school!! i hated
going to work everyday because i hated engaging my co-workers. if i could work by myself, i did so and did not complain! from the unit clerk to the charge nurses, everyone was in a gossipy, backstabbing, finger pointing, circle... if you were not in the power circle you were on the outs and you knew it! i can safely say i am soooo happy i did not return to that floor as a nurse!!! if i had returned, i know would be screaming for a transfer right now because of their behaviors!!!
this is not to say that other floors do not have similar people, but i have noticed that since the ldrp at my hospital is not a high trauma unit and can only take particularly healthy patients, they have a lot of down time (which also contributs to bordom)!! in fact, when a mother is laboring many of the l&d nurses and techs are sitting outside the room gossiping about the patient!!! the only way i survived that floor for over a year was to conform and be a part of the pretty people.
i am not kidding, i was like the red headed chick in “mean girls” (i forgot her name, lol). i changed my looks after six months of being tortured as a tech. by doing this i was able to befriend the pretty people that ran the unit. afterwards, the others were nice to me to my face and mean to me behind my back (this was fine with me because i was able to get my work done in peace....)
if you plan to stay you need to grow a thick skin and/or conform! kissing butt will not work... you have to become one of them
... you have to become one of the ones that runs the unit (this does not mean that you have to act like them... i did not act like them)!
btw, i have not noticed this behavior on the busier units. why? my co-workers and i are too busy!!! this is not to say that i have run into nurses trying to eat their young while working on other floors. i have run into those nurses too, but they are not able to do the eating as easily as a slow unit because they are too busy working! in fact, i have noticed that i am able to pretty much avoid the eaters and haters on my unit most of the time.
plus, though the small circles of friends exist, they hook up before or after work. during work, i have access to everyone and do not have to worry that i am not his/her best friend to get help. the reason being, there is an unwritten rule on the busy units that if a nurse or tech does not want to help me out now, they risk not getting my help later!!! karma plays out on these units pretty quickly!