Men: Are catty / backstabbing / selfish female nurses typical, or not?

Nurses Men


Men: Are catty / backstabbing / selfish female nurses typical, or not? I am asking because I am a career changer, from engineering and manufacturing, in predominantly male environments, to nursing, predominantly female. I even had one nursing school ask me during the interview whether I thought I'd be able to make the change from male profession (engineering) to female (nursing.) I don't think they liked my answer, and they were the ONLY school out of five that I applied to that didn't accept me.

Anyway, to read this board, nursing as a profession is one neverending ordeal of catty women, b'tchiness, scheming, and set-ups, and mind games, and everyone running scared because of (seemingly), character assininatoin and apparently a very real threat of losing their licenses.

Is this carp for real???!!! I know when I go to work, I am there to work. And I could really not care less whether I am loved or hated, but I do expect to be respected. And I do not want to work in any workplace where stupid high schooler games and pettiness are the norm. Right now, I can go find a job in my profession. I do not want to spend 12 to 24 months out of the workforce to change careers to a workforce full of roadblocks, stumbling blocks, and malicious behavior.

Here's another snip from a career-changer (female) who is also wondering the same thing:

Another concern is if I do go to school, and graduate, will I hate working with other nurses. Will it be catty and will it be a constant fight and dread when I go into work dealing with employees. What is the work environment like. Will I be treated like an idiot because I am a new nurse learning really and will I be constantly having to watch my back so not to be set up to lose my license because the doctor screwed up orders or what not. These are very scary things to consider. Can anyone out there tell me why I should consider nursing? Or maybe it is just not for me.
Yeah, maybe it's not for me, either, is what I am starting to think after reading all of these posts here. I don't go for a lot of BS people getting in the way of co-workers getting their job(s) done. Is the work atmosphere REALLY that toxic??

Yes, it is. You would be much happier continuing in your present line of work.

Specializes in being a Credible Source.

I haven't found it to be typical but have seen much more of it in my one year as a nurse than my 15 years as an engineer.

I find that most of the gals treat me really well and most of the ones that I'm around don't abide the cattiness thing... with one very notable exception.

I'm a male LVN student and I've found that girls are usually nicer to the guys. Usually because men usually have an easier time with the physical aspect of nursing, and can help them out when needed. Also in some circumstances its easier for a guy to get a male patient to comply with things that need done as far as bed baths etc.. Just done get involved in gossip and you should be fine.

Specializes in CCU/ICU.

Usually the catiness that I have seen is among and between the female nurses; they tend to not get the guys involved in it. I have worked in other environments that were the same way, not just nurses and healthcare.

Specializes in Mom/Baby.

It's not just nurses, that would describe women in general :banghead:

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU.

i love working with women!! there will always be those negative things going on with some, male and female in any occupation. i don't have time to worry about all the "stuff" that is going on around me. if you like/love what you do, then it won't have much effect on you. don't go into nursing for job security or the money; you won't be happy.

Specializes in ER, ICU.

It's what you make of it, mostly. Each unit has its own culture and you do find some that are run by the "iron b****s". You dont' want to work there anyway. The vast majority of my experiences have been positive. Especially if you just show up, do your job, and keep to yourself, you can let most of it roll off.

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Yes, cattiness is prevalent among nurses because its mainly populated by women. Some environments are worse than others. A lot of times hospitals encourage this behavior by the policies they set up. Example: practice audits. This is supposedly set up to "ensure quality patient care to our patrons." This means that other staff members may either hover over you and watch you for any mistakes or that they may discretely watch you for any action that is against policy. Nursing may not be for you if you are going to have a hard time putting up with middle school behavior. Don't feel bad though, its not really for me either. I'm still trying to decide how and when I get out of this profession without exploding and just setting my license on fire.

Specializes in ER, Tele, Cardiac Cath Lab.

After 17 years of nursing i would not recommend it to anyone. The profession in my opinion has changed for the worse. The new customer service nursing style has totally increased nursing burnout. If i had the money i would definitely go back to school and change professions. I recommend staying in your engineer career. Working with all women is not easy !!!!!

Specializes in ER, ICU, SICU,(Critical Care).

I worked on a med-surg unit in Florida for about a year once. My head nurse was in the process of getting a divorce and I was the only male on the unit. After the first 3 months I was "counseled" by my head nurse for my "attitude" even though there had been no complaints and my co-workers told me it was because of her situation at home. I was skeptical that someone would let their personal life into the professional setting and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Over the next 6 months, this continued to the point I was looking for another job. Before I found one I was terminated, For the next 6 months, when I would apply for jobs and was required to inform the new prospective employer of my last job termination, the prospective employer would contact my old job and the head nurse would fax my entire job personnel folder to them!!! The new employer even asked me if I knew this was going on. I did not. I even found out that she had stuffed my folder with "disciplinary" comments of which I was not aware. I was out of work for almost a year and eventually went to travel nursing where I was able to discuss the situation in a more one-on-one setting with an understanding male recruiter that had gone through a similar experience. I was advised to sue, but I just wanted to get back to work, and after being out of work for a while had no resources to do that anyway. That was 10 years ago and I haven't had any problems like that since.......but I agree that sometimes, if a woman does something, "that is just the way she is.Try to steer clear of her." If a man does the same thing, or sometimes less, you can be disciplined or fired.

I have been in nursing 17 yrs and worked hospitals, VNS and insurance and have found for the most part peer female nurses are no different female co workers in any place else. Most are wonderful nice people. However supervisory nurses are another story. IMHO no sane person would want to be a nursing supervisor and so it attracts jack- wagons that thrive on the power and /or have outright personality disorders (narassitic typically). There is little managerial training. Hospitals in particular have such a hard time filling and keeping these positions that they feel they have to tolerate this behavior and in worse cases fill the heirarchy up to the C suite.

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