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Not all nurses eat their young...

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Hey all! So I have read many threads and comments alike on here about nurses eating their young. Heard many horror stories of nurses being quite frankly terrible to those whom they train and work with whom have less experience than themselves. I myself have had more than a few encounters of this sort but instead of talking about the bad experiences today I wanted to be thankful for the good. I wanted to give a big thank you to all the nurses out there who train, mentor, precept, and teach all of us newbies in the field. It's such a positive and enriching experience to have fellow nurses surrounding you that have your back. Those nurses that answer questions without judgement. The ones who show and tell. The ones who help guide you through experiences that nursing school could never have prepared you for. The ones who lead by example. The ones whom teach you something but are more than open to learning from you as well. There are so many great nurses that don't bully or belittle the newbies it can sometimes be discouraging to hear all the stories of the ones that do overshadow those whom dont. I have been blessed in my new position to have such wonderful nursing staff to assist me in my transition. Nurses who work hard everyday and whom I appreciate and respect greatly. Nurses who also take the time to appreciate and respect me as well new or not. Thanks to all of you nurses who are leading the next generation. Please share your stories of mentors, preceptors, teachers, etc who have helped you for the better! Let's get some positivity going:)

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

I just finished my BSN and throughout my entire experience I only met one nurse who truly had an "eat their young" attitude, and I prefer not to dwell on him, because he was cruel. Everyone else has been so kind and encouraging and such amazing teachers. Especially in the ER, where I just did my practicum, the staff were incredible. Thanks to all the wonderful teachers out there! You are really appreciated and make the world so much sunnier and happier for us students and new nurses.

Lauraingalls, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB. Has 5 years experience.

As a new nurse, I have had a great experience learning from the amazing experienced nurses on my unit. I am grateful for them.

Such a nice post NurseLife! Maybe the subheading for this topic could be And Not All New Nurses Appreciate Their Seniors :)

You definitely do and it's so nice to see.

SmilingBluEyes

Has 26 years experience.

Love this positive post.

The NETY phenomenon is over-rated and over-stated. I am glad you see that. Sure there are nasty people out there, just like in any career field. But to expect nurses to be somehow "better" than anyone else, a bit unfair.

I have had many mentors and good examples in my 20 year career and I am mentoring several future nursing students and new nurses. I don't hoard knowledge; I share it. I give them a hand up, so they can succeed. Because their success is my success at the end of the day.

I appreciate your insight and understanding. Good luck to you.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Love this positive post.

The NETY phenomenon is over-rated and over-stated. I am glad you see that. Sure there are nasty people out there, just like in any career field. But to expect nurses to be somehow "better" than anyone else, a bit unfair.

I have had many mentors and good examples in my 20 year career and I am mentoring several future nursing students and new nurses. I don't hoard knowledge; I share it. I give them a hand up, so they can succeed. Because their success is my success at the end of the day.

I appreciate your insight and understanding. Good luck to you.

Over-rated and over-stated -- I like that! I have noticed, in my 40 years at the bedside, that those who are most worried about finding bullies everywhere they look will indeed find bullies everywhere they look -- even if there aren't any actual bullies there.

I've also noticed that those who were most worried about/most apt to find "bullies" were themselves most likely to exhibit behaviors commonly attributed to bullies.

CCU BSN RN

Specializes in CICU, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

I 100% clicked on this post ready to read an argument about 'oh here's another gosh darn NETY thread, when will they end?'.

And I was 100% wrong. I love this thread!

I'd like to add special recognition to all the senior nurses on the floor who aren't the charge nurse OR your preceptor. The ones who have a cool, rarely-seen thing, and they invite you to not only see it, but take time out of their day to teach you the finer points. The one I remember is peritoneal dialysis, which we did not see much of in cardiac stepdown. A senior nurse called my preceptor, and made my preceptor watch my whole assignment so I could come with her and read the step by step policy aloud to her so she wouldn't miss any steps. She had me gather supplies, use sterile technique, and in the course of 2 back to back 12 hour shifts with this senior nurse, I was able to 'see one, do one, and teach one' peritoneal dialysis session because this one experienced nurse found out she had a unique patient, and made it a priority to make sure I knew how to care for this patient population the next time I encountered it.

And over the last 6 years of nursing, my thoughts about this have evolved, and I see it from a new perspective every time.

New grad: Wow, she is so awesome to care so much about my learning! This is awesome! Also she made my preceptor watch my patients, which was amazing.

2 years in, new charge nurse, somehow already jaded: Oh, she wanted me to learn these obscure skills so that I wouldn't be going to the charge nurse in 2 years and saying 'but I never learned how, you have to help me or reassign the patient'. She as probably pissed that week because she had to take the PD patient instead of a newer nurse who she could say it was 'a good experience' for.

4 years in, seasoned charge nurse, precepted many, role model among new grads who think you're young enough to be cool but seasoned enough to answer all their questions: Oh, she cared so much about teaching me because back in her day, new grads weren't just here to get a year of experience and go back to grad school, or move on to something more exciting like ICU or more hands-off like case management. She wants to build a floor of nurses who are skilled and well-respected, and who can then in turn teach others, and have an amazing team! I love her!

6 years in, working in a new hospital and a new acuity level: Who cares what the motivation was, I learned a LOT because the entire village had something to teach me, and they were all willing. I took away knowledge and also that it's my responsibility to teach newer nurses and students everything I can, because the entire profession benefits every time a nurse learns a new skill or piece of knowledge.

Overall, it's amazing how much we help each other in nursing. School didn't prepare me to be half the nurse I needed to be. I learned it from each and every nurse who took the time to teach me something or show me something. I didn't always know they were doing me a favor, and I didn't always remember to say thanks, but I have appreciated it for my entire career, and every time I get something cool, I go scouring the halls for a new kid to show it to and teach about it.

Because nurses guide their young.

#NGTY

Zyprexa

Has 2 years experience.

#NotAllNurses

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

CCU BSN RN, BSN, RN: I loved your post and it inspired me to share one of my "it takes a village" experiences from nursing school as well, and would love to hear other people's stories!

It was my last quarter of nursing school and I was doing my practicum in the ER. The ER is large and fairly spread out, and one part of the ER is a short walk down the hall and back behind the rest of the department. My nurse and I were assigned more towards the front of the department in the pediatric ER.

I was in my patient's room when I heard a nurse at the station say "has anyone seen the nursing student?" I poked my head out of the room and there was a nurse (one of my favorite nurses, actually!) who was talking to my preceptor. The nurse said to my preceptor "mind if I steal your student for a bit?" and then asked me if I wanted to go with her and access a power port. I said yes, and she took me back down the hall and to her station which was in the part of the department that was down the hall.

Her and a second nurse sat me down at the nurse's station and together we watched a YouTube video on the skill. Then they both helped me gather the supplies and had me access the port, while they helped and walked me through the skill. With their encouragement, and a wonderfully kind patient, I was able to do it mostly by myself! It made me feel so fortunate and lucky to be in a department where nurses will go even a step further and search out the student to do an interesting skill. I had never experienced it before my practicum in that department. Granted this wasn't like an everyday thing, but that wasn't the only time a nurse did that! I can think of at least two other times off the top of my head where a nurse in the ER came and got me when there was an interesting skill to do. It was also wonderful because many of the physicians would explain concepts to me, explain why a medication or order was given, give me feedback or teach me for a few minutes after a code or after sedating a patient for intubation, or even take me into the physician workroom to show me an interesting x-ray that my patient had and explained what I was seeing. The other two students who had their practicum in this ER had very similar experiences, I think the culture there is just amazing. It really was, as CCU BSN said, an "it takes a village" type situation.

One of the preceptors that I had, who has worked in that ER for about 15 years, loved to constantly remind me "we don't eat our young here in the ER, we feed them!" :) :) I can't wait to be able to do that for a student someday, wherever I end up.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Once when I was quite ill, middle of my chemo but hospitalized with Flu and cellulitis, my nurse came in to get labs from my port that had running fluids going. She said she was calling the oncology floor for some guidelines; so I offered to walk her through it. (After all, I had a stake in the outcome!).

Next morning I had 6 people around my bed :)

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience.

Once when I was quite ill, middle of my chemo but hospitalized with Flu and cellulitis, my nurse came in to get labs from my port that had running fluids going. She said she was calling the oncology floor for some guidelines; so I offered to walk her through it. (After all, I had a stake in the outcome!).

Next morning I had 6 people around my bed :)

What a win-win....!

Today had a kiddo with orders for a lumbar puncture. Although somewhat common this was something I had never personally assisted with and isn't done often on my floor. The nurse who had this kiddo was not my preceptor but made a point to make sure I could be in on it for the learning experience. These are the moments I'm grateful for! Thank you all for sharing:)

Her and a second nurse sat me down at the nurse's station and together we watched a YouTube video on the skill. Then they both helped me gather the supplies and had me access the port, while they helped and walked me through the skill. With their encouragement, and a wonderfully kind patient, I was able to do it mostly by myself! It made me feel so fortunate and lucky to be in a department where nurses will go even a step further and search out the student to do an interesting skill.

How amazingly fortunate you were! There are times when I wish I had the time to give this kind of mentoring but the reality of the job is that most of the time I barely have time to do what I need let alone sitting with a student to watch a video and then wait for her to complete the task or skill! I hope that other students reading this realize that NOT doing this for them doesn't mean we don't want them to succeed or don't feel like helping them. Sometimes our patient load (or patience that day) just don't allow it. That unit sure set a high bar for everyone else lol!

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

I just started, over a month in. Adult in-patient psych, a ton of med surg thrown in due to the unique needs of the population.

I love my unit. They are the most supportive bunch of people. It can be all hitting the fan, but I know they're there for me. And I'm there for them. They're a tough love, throw me into the deep end unit (which some could mistake for NETY) .... BUT IT WORKS.

And I love them for it.

chacha82, ADN, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

All of my nursing instructors were fantastic. They were stern, fair, and prudent nurses. We were taught early on we were there to help the hospital - not the other way around. There was only one time when a nurse didn't want to take a student, and as a new nurse I certainly understood how she felt.

I worked with a highly organized night nurse who helped me develop a routine and get down to business - take everyone to the bathroom, assess, chart, give meds once everyone is settled. She was awesome to work with. My preceptor was very understanding and kind, even in a difficult ICU setting. I often think about how she would handle sticky situations nowadays and I use her firm but compassionate tone.

The first floor I worked on had very experienced and helpful nurses! Whenever I needed help, I got it - not always right away but they made time for me. I have been very lucky but you need thick skin in general in nursing - just because people are frazzled or short with you, it's not NETY.

This is a fantastic and refreshing idea for a thread. So thank you!

I'll be back later to contribute more but I have a hospice call.

I just wanted to chime in with kudos! :yes:

donsterRN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac Care. Has 10 years experience.

Because their success is my success at the end of the day.

This is undoubtedly the truest statement I have read in a long, long time.

HermioneG, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 1 years experience.

How amazingly fortunate you were! There are times when I wish I had the time to give this kind of mentoring but the reality of the job is that most of the time I barely have time to do what I need let alone sitting with a student to watch a video and then wait for her to complete the task or skill! I hope that other students reading this realize that NOT doing this for them doesn't mean we don't want them to succeed or don't feel like helping them. Sometimes our patient load (or patience that day) just don't allow it. That unit sure set a high bar for everyone else lol!

Hey! Yeah, I completely agree that this isn't the norm, but I think that because they had a few extra minutes they wanted me to do it.. and the fact that they used their time to help me like that was absolutely incredible! I really couldn't thank them enough :)

And I've never felt that a nurse who didn't have the time to do this didn't want me to succeed or didn't want to help me! If anything, me just being in the room and watching is a huge opportunity! I think most students would agree that nurses can have enormously stressful and busy jobs, and so any tidbits that they share are so deeply appreciated, but definitely not expected!