Why are new nurses treated poorly?

  1. I am a new RN. I am also a 46 year old man. I graduated in May, passed NCLEX and started work in July. I started in a new nurse bridge program that was basic but nice and informative. I worked in several units before ending up on a cardiac/pulmonary stepdown unit. I have been there 90 days. I still feel as though there is a lot of knowledge I am lacking. About 2/3 of the other nurses on the unit are great. They offer support and are very willing to answer questions. The other third are condescending and just plain rude. Giving report is the worst. I work hard to prepare for the report. I try to anticipate questions. I give more information than I typically receive. It feels like an interrogation. They inevitably ask a question I don't know the answer to and then they sigh and say things like "Don't you think that's important to know?" For example, I told the oncoming nurse my patient had an aortic valve replacement. She asked if it was tissue or mechanical. I didn't know and she made me feel stupid. She could have used this as an opportunity to teach why that was important to know instead of being mean. Sometimes I wonder if this is personal, if they don't like men, or if it's just because I'm new. Whatever the reason, it's getting old. Any advice?
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    About rnckr

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 17; Likes: 11


  3. by   bsyrn
    If 2/3 of the nurses you work with are great, focus on learning from them. For the other 1/3, kill them with kindness, it's very hard to be snarky to someone who is smiling at you and thanking you for your helpful comments/suggestions. I wouldn't take it personally, some people are just nasty.
  4. by   netglow
    That is irritating, she should have told you why, and then just gone on with it. I don't understand people these days.

    It's bleeding BTW. But then again you are on a stepdown and if postop you're gonna be looking for that kind of thing anyways along with everything else. Sheesh.
  5. by   afjgnp
    Historically, it has to do with schools of nursing being"Millitant" and being a female occupation. It might have a bit to do with being a man, but moreover, it has to do with "when I was new, I was treated like crap. I will do the same to those up and coming". When I taught nursing, it happened to me. I had a new job, new clinical spot, and when I asked,nicely, to leave meds and AM care to the students on some of the patients, my requests were ignored. I looked like an idiot and the students got nothing out of it. I always told my students"Remember this; the good and bad, and treat those coming up with kindness and understanding
  6. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I bet if you listened in to how that other 1/3 give report to non-new nurses, the attitude and tone of voice would be similar. That's just how some people are.
  7. by   Been there,done that
    Your experience has nothing to do with gender. One third of nurses are rude, two thirds are not.
    I am thinking this is about the average .. across the board .

    It is what it is.

    You will come across nurses that get their kicks , by putting you on the spot.
    In order to gain the respect you deserve, you need to look them in the eye.. be firm and assertive.. and ask..
    why is this important in report?

    Good luck.. it's a jungle out there.
  8. by   Been there,done that
    Oh **** NO! That approach will be seen as weak. Do not cow tow in this situation.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 20, '12 : Reason: TOS/profanity
  9. by   classicdame
    Some people are mean. Even nurses. You do not have to pattern your behavior from them and you do not have to accept their bad attitude either. Be firm and friendly. I hope this stress will not last long.
  10. by   missladyrn
    ONce you have more experience, you will be able to handle those other 1/3. For now, do your best but don't let them walk all over you either. I treat people the same way they treat me. I am not going to kiss anyones but for being rude to me and I don't think you should either. Keep it short, to the point, and all business and don't let them rattle you. Your time will come when you know what you are doing and you realize they grill you so hard at report because they themselves know nothing unless they got it in report the day before.
  11. by   Esme12
    There will alwyas be the "Mean girls" in every group. I think there are always those passive aggressive ones in every group...not just nursing. Keep your cool.....never let them see you sweat....it's what they are looking for. Kill them with kindness.....for about six months....then let them know you are done. Firmly and professionally....but that you are done.

    In case you don't have a good one....I have some brain sheets you might find helpful.

    mtpmedsurg.doc 1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
    student clinical report sheet for one patient

    I have made some for nurses and nursing students and some other an members have made these for others.....adapt them way you want.
  12. by   roser13
    I read a response once here that has really stuck with me. If someone starts to interrupt your report and interrogate you, calmly put your paperwork down and just look blankly at the interrogator until they stop talking. Showing no emotion, just say "I'd like to finish my report please. If you still have questions after I've given it, I can answer them then."

    As long as you stay calm and matter of fact, they really have no option other than making a scene vs. complying with your request. And you can bet that the 1/3 who are doing this are not really interested in knowing the answers to their questions. They're likely not even listening to report because they're too busy trying to think of questions to trip you up.

    Hang in there.
  13. by   trueblue2000
    The valve question is VERY important because it determines which kind of meds the patient will be on for the rest of their lives. So there is a lot of patient education riding on that answer. She was right about asking that question but she should have cut you some slack knowing you were a new grad and taken the opportunity to teach you about pig/artificial valves. View this incidence as a learning opportunity. You didn't know about the relevance of the type of valve and now you, thanks to the mean nurse who exposed a gap in your nursing knowledge. Hey, what if patient/family had asked that question (and they will)? That mean nurse actually did you a favor for saving your face next time a patient asks you that question since you will now for sure know the answer. Let me add that I am a new male grad and also experience the same problems. I think it has to do partially with gender; you know, we are breaking into their exclusive "girls club" and some of them resent that intrusion. But hey we knew it was female dominated profession before we got in so we can't complain too much now.
    Last edit by trueblue2000 on Nov 20, '12
  14. by   tewdles
    Yup...there are mean nurses, therapists, social workers, doctors, pharmacists, etc, etc.

    College education doesn't magically change a meanie into a nice guy...