So, we have all heard the "nurses eat their young" stories right? Well I was one who would say that the nurses with the worst attitudes are those who have one foot in the burn out grave, and I found out I am correct about this. Last Sunday at work I was the plump, juicy, worm sitting on the hook waiting to be eaten, and one of the meanest, nastiest, nurses on my unit took a bite! After her temper tantrum, in which she verbally attacked me at the nurse's station, I was stunned by her outburst and by the way I responded to her! I stood my ground and told her she was being ridiculous. Since her little outbreak took place in front of two other nurses, two techs, and one doctor the rumor mill was in full swing by the time I returned to work on Wed. and as I was called into the director's office I felt like I was on the verge of breaking into tears. My director had been told by someone else about the outburst, I did not plan on speaking to her about it. I had chalked it up to one of the rites of passage. Being called into the directors office can be very intimidating and I had thoughts of my director taking the nurses side, but I was very wrong! My director told me that yes nurses do get burned out, and it is the attitude from burn out that adds to the frustration and ultimate failure of many new nurses. She said the nurse behavior is not acceptable in her unit. She said new nurses are the future and that she hired me and other new nurses with the hopes that our abilities will be a reward to her unit, she did not hire us to be lambs sent in for sacrifice. She told me to come to her with any problems. She also said she would speak with the nurse who made a spectacle of herself and there would be "conditions" to her returning to the unit. I have never felt so protected. This unit, up until this point, has been incredible and I refuse to allow this one nurse to ruin any part of my experience. In reality the nurse's outburst will be one of hundreds in my nursing career, so the fact that I stood my ground taught me a great lesson.