Dinosaurs in the unit - page 2

Yes I am sure in every unit or specialty there is an ancient crabby nurse that rips everyone to shreds. How in the world do you handle such a person w/o going sending them to Jurassic Park?:roll... Read More

  1. by   zumalong
    Dave- Isn't that a little extreme. I have worked with some excellent nurses who were in their 60's and I have worked with some controlling witches who were in their 30's. I think it is just the personality. I am very assertive and usually did not give this type of nurse the time of day. I once went up to our unit witch with a B and asked her why she never could find anything nice to say about people. She did not know what to say so walked away. Several days later she came up to me and told me she did not realize that everyone felt that way. She was having problems at home that she would bring to work. She ended up trying to be less controlling and even smiled once in a while after that. :0

    When I was a new grad, our unit had Wanda. She was in her 60's and had worked on the unit for over 30 years. She was so great. She mentored each of us, as most of the staff were all new or recent grads. She knew her stuff and was a natural teacher. I learned more from her than from any textbook.

    In this time of shortage and lack of respect from docs and administration and even patients, we need to stick together as nurses. If we don't -no one else is going to stand up for us.
  2. by   fiestynurse
    There are a lot of angry nurses out there and many do not know how to deal with it. The other day I received an anonymous type written note on my desk stating that I was not a "real" nurse, because "real" nurses work in hospitals and reputable healthcare facilities. It was obvious to me that this person did not really know me because she/he should have known how much energy and work I have put into my profession. I don't take this kind of venting personally.
  3. by   Huganurse
  4. by   mario_ragucci
    Yo Dave! :-) Your not Italian! (I don't think) You can't talk like that to people unless your a "made" man/woman. It's strictly an Italian trait. You can't be starting your own mafia, unless you want Uncle Vito and Cousin Carmine coming out of that closet!

    If you have a "beef" with one of the raging nurses then you pay your protection money and put your "hit requests" in like everyone else! Though your efforts are noteworthy, the mafia has been around long before you stepped into a workplace. The mafia will ensure these problems are dealt with in an ORDERLY fashion. The mafia will not tolerate crusaders who act independantly, and think they can police themselves. Okay?

    Nah - seriously now - perhaps nurses who are combative with staff just need love. You have to see love in order to know what it is. So show'em some love and guide them because combative people often want combat. Like a dog who has been bitten, and contracts rabies, the virus can effect the bitten dog, and they bite too. Luckily, emotional rabies can be cured often times just by giving them "serum love." You hafta catch it quick though. Get them to drink water, because often they can become hydrophobic. It can be complicated too. If you see a growling dog, our instinct is not to pet it. Sometimes you don't know a dog has rabies, you pet it, and it bites you. This is where the mafia comes in :-)
    Just be careful not to get on the dogs level and try to bite it, or it might bite you, and then yule have rabies too :-)

    This is fun stuff, and please don't take any of this the wrong way. I understand exactly what your saying, and my words are, admittedly, more easier said than done.
  5. by   night owl
    I really am very fortunate to work with two of the sweetest dinosaurs that ever roamed this earth. I'm a younger dinosaur myself, but these two are over 70. They never become angry, always willing to help, always have kind words to say, and are very encouraging people. I hope they NEVER retire, but unfortunately one day they will and I will miss them dearly.
  6. by   Agnus
    Oh, Mario I loved this last post of yours. I'm going to treasure the ananlogy of the rabid dog. Thanks
  7. by   Zhakrin
    Sorry to dispell this fantasy belief that all nurses are saintly wonderful people who would give you their kidney in a second.

    Every year there are quite a few greaduates who for some reason chose nursing as their job, and do not care one bit about their peers, patients or anyone. Yet some nurses become so consumed with their own importance that they look for positions that give them as much power over others as they can get.

    These are the Nursing Educators from Hell.

    There are great educators out there, that's for sure. However because there are so few advanced degree nurse available to universities, power hungery educators are often employed and their actions and abuse of student are ignored.

    Have you had a professor how seems more interested in their research than actually teaching their students? Or a professor that deliberately talks above the heads of their students, and does not care that the class cannot understand them? Have you been yelled at, publicly humilated, spoken down to, failed a clinical due to "unsafe practice" (or a hundred other umbrella terms) and never given an explanation as to why?

    Many have!

    I have been told by a professor that "I have no business being in her profession." I have seen students that would have made excellent nurses, run out of the program because they did not feed the instructor's egos adequately.

    The education of nurses is often based on a subjective evaluation, which gives the advisor virtual control over your hopes, dreams, and future.

    I failed my second year because my preceptor lost my profolio and refused to admit that I gave it to her. I made her copies and then she (out of the blue) stated I was unsafe, with no example given. The School of Nursing, hung me out to dry until I took them to the Human Rights Office.

    I am a year behind now.
    I equate nursing school with being in a war zone.
    I hated every minute in some classes.
    Because I repeated I am excellent with my skills.
    No one was going to scare me out of this profession.

    Bottom line is that nurses can be cannabals: we sometimes eat our young. I WILL NOT. While I may not, as yet, have the title RN I feel that I have earned it many times over.

    To Mario: What you describe is the "perfect world" nurses rarely live in such a place. We can have mental illness, personality flaws, or just be A-holes. We are human, not characters in a novel. Be diligent and re-evalute you interactions regularly to make sure you do not become a monster.

    Again, I have overcome these obsticles and feel that I will be a better nurse for it. Some do not, they run from their experiences in nursing school and our profession loses big time.


    (I need a vacation) Mid-term pyschosis, LOL.
  8. by   Mary Dover
    I went to a very interesting seminar just the other day on how to deal with difficult people. Two books the speaker suggested, that I plan to buy (not written by the speaker so it wasn't a sales pitch) : "Emotional Intelligence at Work" by Daniel Goldman and "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense" by Suzette Elgin.
    I understand when patients lose their cool, I mean, in my opinion those experiencing pain and suffering sometimes don't know any other way to cope or express what they're feeling. But when a coworker who is supposed to be a professional, gets their kicks from belittling others - I just cannot tolerate it. The one thing I have learned during my 41 years on this earth is NEVER to take it personally. It's usually not personal, unless one encounters difficult behavior from others more often than one's colleagues, well then maybe it is personal, and time to do a reality check.
    Essentially, we have nothing to fear about others' attitudes, especially if we are comfortable in our own skins and can acknowledge (truthfully) our own competence.
  9. by   Hardknox
    I have met some miserable people in my life. They are in the minority. THEY WERE NOT ALL OLD. THEY WERE NOT ALL NURSES. As for dinosaurs-by which I assume you mean nurses who are older and more experienced than you- be glad they are there. Most of them want to help you and above all help the patient. They are a wealth of information and your best resource. They also deserve a medal for sticking it out in the profession. During the years when primary nursing was the mode of health care delivery, before the HMO'S killed the health care system, a nurse knew what a wonderful profession she was in. Today everyone's just in survival mode! If you can't deal with difficult people I suggest you get the above mentioned books. As for me, I kill 'em with kindness and have as little contact as possible if that doesn't work!
  10. by   zumalong
    Zharkin---Not all nursing educators are power hungry I can't cut it in the real world, so I am going to make your days with me miserable. I love nursing. I am unable to work on floor due to severe asthma but I can pass my love of nursing on to my students.

    I have seen many instructors like you describe--but we are not all bad!! It is unfortunate you had such a bad experience. I remember in nursing school we went to clinical on a unit where Rosalie (i can still remember her last name even after 15 years!!) was a staff nurse. She hated students and let us know it. I have no idea how she got along with other staff members, but she treated us like scum. I asked her on the last day of our rotation (in the sweetest voice with a big ole smile)whY did you become a nurse if you hate people so much??? She didn't answer me, but I felt better.

    Now I am the instructor, I look at the fact that I can protect my students from nurses like this. I always tell them that I am the buffer zone. Also to remember when someone treated like dirt and don't do that to another student or coworker once you get out of school.

    I wish you luck in school. Like school, nursing will place you with all types of personalities. It is up to us how we deal with them. I usually kill them with kindness even when I want to throttle them, just because they usually don;'t know what to do with kindness.

    Nursing is always changing and growing as must we all
  11. by   micro
    originally posted by huganurse
    i think that some nurses would not be so crabby if there was proper staffing, employers who really care, decent schedules, etc.
    maybe some nurses become control freaks because they feel their jobs and profession is out of control.
    how long and how much can we take? remember these dino's know what it used to be like in nursing.
    just a thought.

    :stone :roll i also know some dinos who aren't!!!!!!!!! and they are the truly best and most caring nurses that you would have.........
    that doesn't mean that there isn't ????? and about your place of employment, and with your coworkers, and unit.........
    but it does mean that

    if we could all just get along, then our day to day would be better......even if conflicts r/t managment...........etc......the old golden rule.......remember do unto others as you would have them do unto you!!!!!!!!!

    just a thought from micro:stone
  12. by   Mkue
    I may be wrong but I think that age is not a big factor in the dinasaur syndrome, it can affect any age, any profession.

    Also, think it has more to do with "self-esteem" issues than anything. Somewhere along the way in that persons life led them to a low self esteem and therefore the coping mechanism is the bullying, controlling etc. attitude. Deep down inside they are fearful of their own inadequacies. They achieve some type of "power" high by belittling others, it's very sad and those are the people who should not be instructors !!!

    I think this type of behavior is a danger to the workplace and management should have a "no tolerance to bullying policy" Then again, if management is the "bully" who does one turn to?

    My heart goes out to anyone who has been bullied, you don't deserve it. You don't own it, it is the bullies problem. If a bully isn't asked to leave or modify behavior, I would certainly leave, not to run, but to remove myself from a "no win" situation. Move on and be an asset to another facility. It is their loss.

  13. by   NicuGal
    I think that many of the dinosaurs, as you called them, are a bit crabby because one...how would you feel working till you are 65 on your feet for 8-16 hours a day, aching back, etc?? Someday, you may be in those shoes and support hose! Two...most newer grads were not taught to respect their senior nurses!

    Between me and you...I 'd rather work with a mean ole dinosaur than one of these new grads we have that think that they should have the world handed to them on a platter and with a big smile!

    So..would I be a mean ole dinosaur with 16 years under my belt?