Nurses Eating Their Young

In homage to an allnurses member who wrote a wonderful article entitled "Nurses Are So Mean", I'd like to provide excerpts from my personal blog which I wrote not to long ago. I give enormous kudos and applause to the writer of this article, and I sincerely agree. It seriously is about taking the time to evaluate your self and your actions, and the rationales for your reactions. It is about looking inward... it is ultimately about personal growth and fulfillment.

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You are reading page 10 of Nurses Eating Their Young

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
I think that there has been a slight change to the way the eating of nurses has been happening. While there have been older nurses that eat their young their are younger nurses who think they are gonna cull the herd and go after the older (seen as weaker) herd mates. I have always loved teaching the younger nurses and have always been told that they enjoyed being taught by me and that they learned a lot. I've dealt with a few of this next generation of nurses recently who have tried to cull me from the herd pretty much from the minute that I spoke to them.

And we ought to coin a fancy term for it, so that we can chant it every time someone starts the "NETY" chant. "NETO" just doesn't sound cool.

Steffy44

98 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Thankfully no one ever treated me horrible when I started as an RN almost 2 years ago. Everyone at my hospital is kind and willing to help. Seems this isn't the norm. Some of the experienced nurses were intimidating at first but I went in with a "only know enough to be truly dangerous...let me suck your brain dry" attitude and they were more than willing to share. Maybe it helps I'm older and I'm not out to prove I'm better or smarter. I just want to be the best me.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
Thankfully no one ever treated me horrible when I started as an RN almost 2 years ago. Everyone at my hospital is kind and willing to help. Seems this isn't the norm. Some of the experienced nurses were intimidating at first but I went in with a "only know enough to be truly dangerous...let me suck your brain dry" attitude and they were more than willing to share. Maybe it helps I'm older and I'm not out to prove I'm better or smarter. I just want to be the best me.

Bullying or "eating their young" is not the norm. It's a myth perpetuated by those who would rather blame their problems at work on bullies or "young eaters" than take a good solid look at how they're contributing to their own problems.

staceylee67

28 Posts

Specializes in Orhto, med/surg.

Great article that gives an idea, helps us understand why some nurses are so mean. Any mean nurse that reads this may actually take a step back and reflect on his or her behavior and learn something.

Alnitak7

559 Posts

Specializes in retired from healthcare. Has 25 years experience.
Bullying or "eating their young" is not the norm. It's a myth perpetuated by those who would rather blame their problems at work on bullies or "young eaters" than take a good solid look at how they're contributing to their own problems.

I think the real myth is more that no one ever takes a good look at how they're contributing to their own problems. Some of these people really don't know why they're being humiliated and that's why it's so frustrating.

Most of my R.N. teachers helped to empower me and also explained where I went wrong out on the floor in a private conference. If they had not told me what I was doing wrong, I would never know and no amount of introspection would have helped.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
I think the real myth is more that no one ever takes a good look at how they're contributing to their own problems. Some of these people really don't know why they're being humiliated and that's why it's so frustrating.

Most of my R.N. teachers helped to empower me and also explained where I went wrong out on the floor in a private conference. If they had not told me what I was doing wrong, I would never know and no amount of introspection would have helped.

You have a very good point. You were lucky that your instructors were brave enough to take you aside and explain to you where you were wrong, but more than that you were smart enough to take advantage of the information and learn from it.

A huge part of that introspection is in being able to "hear the message" rather than concentrating on what you don't like about the delivery. If you weren't open to hearing the message your teachers gave you, you would not have been able to learn from it and correct what you were doing wrong.

Many, many of these posters who are complaining about being surrounded by bullies have been told what they're doing wrong -- and have discounted the information because they didn't like the delivery, because they were absolutely certain that they never made mistakes, because (in one case I remember vividly) the instructor delivering the message was "not our kind of people" or some other "reason" that relates directly to their inability to take criticism. That is what is so frustrating. As a preceptor, I WANT my orientees to succeed. It reflects poorly on me as a teacher and a colleague to have orientees that don't succeed but more than that, I have genuinely liked my orientees and wanted to work with them as colleagues. To have an orientee that I've worked hard with keep making the same mistakes over and over because I cannot get the message across to them that they're MAKING the mistake is a failure on my part, and I take it as such. It is also a failure on their part, however, and I have to keep in mind that while I can present the information, I cannot make them learn it or profit from it.

Specializes in Community health, Education, Administration. Has 11 years experience.

I'm not sure this thread is even live anymore, but I needed throw in my two cents. I was one of those nursing students that felt like I was being eaten alive. I was shy, and when I was told to "just do it," I felt like crawling under the table. I WANTED to "just do it". But I didn't know how. Not the task...I didn't know how to speak up, how to be confident. I got a lot of tough love from nurses, but it didn't feel like love at all back then. The nurses that taught me had an opportunity to build me up, but I have to say, they left me behind.

I'm lucky though. My first job out of school was with a group of seasoned nurses that took the time to actually see me. They didn't let me get away with anything, they told it to me straight AND they reminded me that I could do this.

There is one thing I do with every single new nurse that works with me or has a rotation with me. I take a deep breath, drop all of those other priorities I have swirling around in my head, from both work and home, and I focus on that sometimes not so bright-eyed newcomer. I watch their body language, I ask them questions about what they are excited about and what terrifies them. I lower my guard a little and quietly invite them to do the same. I see them, look for the strengths they either didn't know were there or need a little reminding of. I look for ways that their perceived weaknesses can work for them instead of against them. Yes, I'm too busy for this. Yes, I'm exhausted. But this new nurse is going to be someones coworker. They are going to be taking care of someones loved one. They are going to have life and death decisions to make and I want them to have firm ground to stand on when they do. And even more than that, I want them to learn how to see their patients and co-workers. Knowing oneself and believing in who they are is not a lesson that comes standard.