1. I just have a quick question.

    I'm currently going to school to be an LPN, and I work every other weekend, double shifts as a CNA at my local hospital.

    The question I have is about professionalism. There are a lot of catty, mean, horrible CNA's where I work, and they often go behind each others back and say mean things, or hurtful things and then someone says something to another one, you get the picture.

    At what point does high school end and a professional career begin? Will I still experience this crap as an LPN? I'm working LTC, is this just par for the course? Does it ever stop, will being an RN make a difference, environment, or perhaps just plain job change?

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice, I mostly just ignore it, I do my job and I go home. My main concern is the residents and their safety, not what Suzie says behind my back.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. Visit dbledutchs profile page

    About dbledutchs

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 15


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Unless you're one of the fortunate ones, I seriously doubt that the cattiness and mean spirits will stop. I personally believe that this behavior is connected to the female domination of the nursing profession. All levels of nursing (CNA, LPN, RN) have catty members.

    Nursing possess, in my humble opinion, a very weird professional culture that has its roots in the passive-aggressive tendencies of its members. The nursing profession attracts a fair share of women with low self-esteems. Women with low self esteems tend to take out their frustrations in a manner that is consistent with passive aggression.

    Passive-aggressive nurses will smile in your face and pretend to enjoy your company, while secretly plotting to sabotage you. They'll report you for every little wrongdoing because they perceive a sense of power if you are disciplined over something they brought to the attention of management. They'll talk badly about you. I'll admit that backstabbing occurs in nursing, just as it does in other professions.

    Then there are the people who enter nursing with aggressive tendencies.

    People who grapple with chronic low self esteem are constantly seeking that elusive sense of control. Unfortunately, these nurses achieve a false sense of control and power when they victimize coworkers, either aggressively or passive-aggressively.

    Power perceived is power achieved. Do not give anyone that much power over you!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Sep 23, '07
  4. by   graysonret
    You're always going to find people who have poor attitudes and low self-esteem in any field. The best way to handle it, is to maintain your own professionalism in your work. In other words, don't stoop to their level, to compete with them. I've been told "gossip" and listened to "putdowns" many times. With a shrug of the shoulders and a "uh,uh", it dies with me. My patients are the most important people in my work, not what "Suzie" is doing against "Ann". After 20 years, I've heard it all. Unless it affects the well-being of my patients, I stay neutral. It works well.
  5. by   sgherzi4
    We experience just that same thing here where I work as a LTC/Med/Surg LVN in our small local hospital. It has happened time and again with this ONE LVN...she is constantly writing people up for small insignificant infractions; and says that management is encouraging her to do so. Well, we (LVNs, RNs, and CNAs) all wrote notes to the DON and this one LVN was pulled into the DON's office just last week. Don't know what was said but was reported to me that she came out in tears. You just have to do the best you can and ignore these who need or want to be "in power." They have a severe lack of self esteem and eventually all the "tattling" they do will come back to bite them in the behind! Don't let people like these discourage you...that is their whole intent! I am proud to be a highly skilled and trained LVN.
  6. by   dbledutchs
    Thanks for the advice. I've been out of the working world for 7 years raising my kids and I thought other mom's were bad with there competing and back stabbing, until I re-entered the work force!

    I do agree with the poster who said the blurb about woman, and how we seem to just never be satisfied and are always putting each other down. It reminds me of a song, it says something about how the woman go out all dressed up for each other. We just want to be prettier than the next woman who walks through the door.

    I'm going to just go in and do my jobs. I'm not there to make friends, I'm there to work. It just makes the whole atmosphere unpleasent, because you know they are just waiting for you to do something or say something so they can go "tattle" or talk behind your back. Oh well, I guess you just have to roll with it and not let it get in the way.

    I think of all medical advaces we have achieved and how far nurses have come and for us to get caught up in that catty behavior is so embarrasing to our profession. I think there should be a movement to bring maturity back, make it a goal to keep your mind on your work and not what someone else is doing. It may be corny, but I think it is much needed!

    Thanks again everyone!!!
  7. by   tmmcbrady
    Unfortunately, we nurses tend to be our own worst enemies.

    I have heard it said that nursing the only profession that "eats it young"

    I just try and do my best to stay out of the fray and focus on what I need to do next.

    Good luck!!
  8. by   nursejane236
    The commuter said it best. Having worked in several different professions prior to my nursing career, I have learned that corporate politics is not reserved for the white collar world, cattiness is not reserved for the office and backstabbing isn't always meant for sales associates. Unfortunately, it is a society. Nursing like any other profession is made up of a society. I believe we hold a value that nursing is made up of the "golden rule" do unto others. Know that it happens no matter where you work or what profession you are part of and that as long as you are respectful to your patients first, co-workers second and most of all respectful of yourself and your own priniciples. At the end of the day, you have cared for another human being and that in itself is noble.
  9. by   SAHMU4IA
    Quote from dbledutchs

    The question I have is about professionalism. There are a lot of catty, mean, horrible CNA's where I work, and they often go behind each others back and say mean things, or hurtful things and then someone says something to another one, you get the picture.

    unacceptable. This kind of behavior does not typify nursing. This type of person finds out real quick who they can and cannot speak that way in front of, or even in ear-shot of.
    If we're passive about it, the childishness will continue. Having started a new job recently, I was very unambiguous right up front about my boundaries. And if I ever feel the patients are affected, even remotely by the negative behavior of a CNA or Nurse? It's my duty to give that person fair warning that I am obligated to report such actions. To be passive is to accept.