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"Nurses Eating Their Young"

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Doc Lori, R.N. specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab.

6 Articles; 7,798 Profile Views; 135 Posts

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. You are reading page 11 of "Nurses Eating Their Young". If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Saiderap has 25 years experience and specializes in retired from healthcare.

526 Posts; 15,397 Profile Views

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.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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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.

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goodnightopus4 has 11 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Community health, Education, Administration.

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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.

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