Judging Nurses or Is It Just Me?

  1. I think I allowed my feelings to be hurt this evening in class and I want opinions from other nurses as to whether I am just being oversensitive.

    I am in a class for foster parents looking to be approved to care for special needs and medically fragile children. The class was split into workshop groups for part of the session and we shared our experience with biological children, foster children, and children with special needs. We made a poster board collage of all of our experiences to present to the class. After the break the instructor brought in three people who are foster-adoptive parents of children with special needs to tell us about their experiences.

    The instructor told one parent to share her experience and she did. It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Listening to her was simply exhilirating. Then the instructor remembered our collages and since time was winding down she wanted us to present before the other two spoke. The spokesperson for our group went through the collage and talked about our different circumstances. The collage had all of our occupations listed on the board (barista, teacher, truck driver, stay at home mom, nurse, unemployed/WEP). As she went through the list she pointed us each out. I don't know why exactly but she did. The WEP mother was embarrassed because she didn't want the whole class to know she was on welfare. The goal of the collage was to demonstrate that even though we come from very different walks of life we are all working towards the same goal.

    After the presentations the other two moms spoke. When the last mom spoke she was downright rude in tone. She talked about how she hopes none of us go into this endeavors with blinders on. She said her child received 24 hour nursing and how she didn't trust NURSES. She said that more than once caught the nurses doing inadequate jobs and had to fire them. The whole time she is looking at me. She said that she hoped none of our children needed nursing services because the nurses in our area are incompetent and overpaid. She suggested that if we needed nursing services that we invest in surveillance cameras and keep them on at all times that the nurse was in the home. She said that if our children are hospitalized that we better set up camp in the room and watch the nurses like hawks.

    She then said that she was particularly concerned that some of us are there because of the stipend and she believed some of us were doing this simply for the money. This was an obvious jab at the unemployed mom because then she started looking directly at her, so I know she has some hang ups and prejudgments. Nonetheless, she went on to share a very small story about her two special needs children but it was nothing compared to the long time she spent on putting down nurses and calling out the class for doing it "for the money" :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire.

    I was livid. Absolutely livid. And embarrassed because everyone knew I was a nurse. DH said I took it personally and was over reacting. He says that she really didn't make that many judgments against nurses or the unemployed mom but I WATCHED her body language and I listened to her words. Professionally and personally I felt attacked and offended. I was upset for the unemployed mom who felt she had to defend her desire to foster medically fragile children after class. Obviously I am not the only one feeling called out.

    Was I wrong? Was she not putting down nurses or is it just me?
    Last edit by HisTreasure on Jun 11, '08
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    About HisTreasure, ADN, RN

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 821; Likes: 441
    BSN student; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics


  3. by   Batman24
    Yes, she was putting down nurses. Even if she had a bad experience most people are intelligent enough not to stereotype a whole profession as bad, incompetenet, etc.

    And making comment that some of the people there are in it for the money is completely out of line. That's not for her to decide not to mention the fact that it's completely rude.

    I've often found that people that are so negative about others are usually miserable in their own life. I would reach out to the people who run the class. It can be done in a friendly and courteous manner. I bet they would appreciate the feedback.
  4. by   Indy
    Oh she was probably lashing out at both groups: people on welfare and nurses. As to her whys and whatnot, that's her issue. It certainly offended you, but has nothing whatsoever to do with you. Do you have to see or interact with this person in the future?
  5. by   MisterSimba
    No, I definitely don't think you're overreacting! I'm not even a nurse yet but I am very offended by what this woman said to you about nurses! It's a good thing I wasn't there or I would have given her a piece of my mind! :angryfire

    Why would you want to become a foster mom and go through all the difficulties involved in caring for a special needs child if you were only doing it for the money? I do believe that there are some people out there who foster children mainly for the extra money, but you definitely don't sound like one of them!!!

    I'm working as a nanny right now, until I start nursing school next year.... and let me tell you, if someone told me that most nannies beat and shake babies and start affairs with dads, etc... I would be very offended!

    I hope you get to foster a child and give him or her all the love your heart can hold, and try not to let this woman's uneducated ramblings get to you!

    Hugs to you and your family!
  6. by   athena55
    I agree with the above poster. During the next class I would raise my hand and ask if "we" could discuss the last weeks presenters and state that I felt "attacked" and give my rationale as to why I felt that way.
    Ya know, it's all about power and control. I guess that negative person had some rather bad experiences and perhaps she herself was in it for the money and now regrets her decision? Just wondering....
  7. by   HisTreasure
    She was rude and I just can't shake the presentation. DH is convinced I am just being overly sensitive so I am glad you guys see it the same way I do. I guess you have to be a nurse to understand how off-putting her remarks are. I don't know that I'll see her again in class but I am going to type up an anonymous letter and send it to the homefinding team. I don't want to say anything to them personally because honestly I don't know if they have a special connection to her (they obviously hand-picked her for a reason) and I don't want to ruin my chances of getting a phone call for a child because I peeved someone off...ya know? I just can't let it go.
  8. by   canoehead
    Yes she was rude, but it's not worth wasting your time worrying about it. Although I would find it hard to shake too. You don't want to let her know she hurt your feelings in any way. Also you don't want a feud- let her showcase her negative emotions while you stay serene.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    The lady's a jerk. She's was putting down nurses and you should feel insulted. After all, that was her intent

    If you meet up with her again and she tries the same thing, cut her off with "Gosh you're judgmental" and walk away.
    Last edit by SharonH, RN on Jun 11, '08
  10. by   allthingsbright
    She just sounds like a very angry person--

    My dad always tells me, "Hurting people hurt other people." I would just cast aside her comments and her anger and be proud of who YOU are and what you do!
  11. by   snowfreeze
    She sounds angry and also as though she has no control. From your post she bashed more than just nurses.
    Maybe suggest they send this foster mom to her local community college to learn public speaking. Her presentation would have had more impact if she had presented her fostering story first and then shared actual incident issues about nurses, sitters, and other foster moms she has had interactions with. I am sure no one really heard much about her foster kids as you were all on the defense due to her taunting presentation of her own issues first. She probably raises her kids in the same manner, belittling them. I would write a note to the homefinding team.
  12. by   juliemcd
    Sounds like this Mom has had some bad experiences in the healthcare world. Maybe she doesn't know any other way to express herself. At any rate, it's not your fault and it's nothing you did (or your classmates did) you all just happened to be there and it gave her an "oppurtunity" to vent.

    If you can, take this and run with it. Take it and let it help you build upon yourself and your own nursing skills. Let it help guide you into being the BEST nurse you can be. You can't change the experiences she had but you can take her perceptions and advocate for her and all the pateints you ever come in contact with. You know why you are a nurse. We alll know why we are nurses and that is all that matters.

  13. by   catlynLPN
    Well, I suppose she thinks people can give their services for free??
    Did she ever stop to think that nurses don't get rich doing nursing, but they do have to eat and pay the bills??

    What a jerk. They should not have had her up to speak.
    That's just rude and uncalled for.
  14. by   allevi
    I come from both perspectives here.

    First as a parent of a medically fragile child. We had home nursing for 16 hours per day. We had both wonderful nurses and nurses that I am not sure how they even became nurses. Examples: Calling 911 because oxygen concentrator unplugged. Wanting to check placement of NG tube by injecting 10 cc's of water and listening for placement, telling new nurse that she just sits in living room and waits to hear footsteps of parents then she gets up and looks busy. Numerous other bad experiences also.

    At the time I was not a nurse, but I knew my daughter. She is alive today and doing well because of her pure determination and a real persistent and at times ****** mom and dad! She is also no longer medically fragile.

    Now as a nurse, I can relate to feeling judged. I have been judged by both families and other nurses and it is frustrating. But we never know what is going on in the others person's lives to make them act like they are.