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. Nurses Relations Article

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You are reading page 3 of Nurses Eating Their Young

DizzyLizzyNurse

1,024 Posts

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor.

carolcowarn-

I worked with someone who was in a similar situation. She came to our LTC to get supervisory experience because she was having such a hard time getting a job at a hospital. Maybe you can try that?

RymaBielkus

1 Post

Thanks for saying it! I totally agree that fear is underneath emotional reactions. Having worked with nurses extensively I understand the various stress factors described in your article and know how important it is for them to shift from an emotional reaction to emotional responsibility. I am very passionate to help nurses learn to shift to Emotional Responsibility (The ER for emotional recovery) by using a feeling centered coaching technique, The B1 Process.

Doc Lori, R.N.

1 Article; 135 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab.

Ohh Carol...ugh. Kudos to you, my dear. Kudos to all of us!! Seems as though, since healthcare is so regimented, that the bottom line wins...why pay a nurse with experience ( who would probably train in minimal time ) when we can pay a new grad for less? I mean absolutely no disrespect to new grads, I am simply stating the obvious. And shame on you for being sensitive and showing emotion! And for not putting a pillow over someone's face. (Seriously!?!) You know, I thought I felt angry when I read your wonderful post, but really, I feel sadness. Sadness for the profession, for the nurses who are so toxic that their only defense is to become crusted over..simply because they need to self protect..and this is not their fault...nursing is not roses and sunshine. But we all need to come to terms with our lives! A little respect goes a helluva long way. We need to engage in self love and boundary practices, in order to remain whole, in order to be, a Nurse. Best wishes to you in your ventures, Carol.

Doc Lori, R.N.

1 Article; 135 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab.

Also, I am so happy that this article is creating a discussion. :) All excellent points of view..Nurses Rock!

deginurse

3 Posts

Specializes in Burn ICU, Home Health.

From my experience, the nurses who say that "nurses eat their young" are the ones who actually "eat their young" or are hard on new grads. The other 90% of nurses I know are very helpful, kind, considerate, and enjoy helping out new nurses.

Doc Lori, R.N.

1 Article; 135 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis,M/S,Home Care,LTC, Admin,Rehab.

Where do you work? lol..thx for the post :)

deginurse

3 Posts

Specializes in Burn ICU, Home Health.

Thanks for the kudos! I work in a burn ICU in CA. I'm actually a new grad myself (as of Dec. '09).

Nurse Smiley

41 Posts

I recently finished this book, Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other, by Kathleen Bartholomew and it has some great insights that might help numerous nurses on both sides of this experience. As a four year nurse, I have experienced wonderful nurses and bullying types of nurses. I finally came to the opinion that nurses are representative of the rest of the world even at work. The majority are terrific and helpful but even the bullies are still good nurses too. I have learned to try and let their behavior not affect me and pray that I am not the recipient of their actions. :chair:

There is a companion book by Nurse Kathleen Bartholomew titled Speak Your Truth, Proven Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication. Both books are excellent and will also give you four (4) CEUs.

Good Luck with your plights and I am still happy to be a nurse.

Nurse Smiley

KelRN24

24 Posts

Specializes in ED, Critical Care, Peds & Nursery.

Nurse Smiley and others, my CNO is in the midst of getting that book out to the clinical leadership for us to read. I have read experts and it sounds great!

Nurse Smiley

41 Posts

Hi KelRN24,

Great! I hope that you really enjoy it! Please let me know your feelings and perspectives once you have read and finished it.

Happy TGIF,

Nurse Smiley

eriksoln, BSN, RN

2,636 Posts

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

The premises that personal shortcomings are based in fear is a cornerstone belief in a great many 12 step programs. They often teach that to be truly free of their disease, the members must work on freeing themselves of these shortcomings. Following their steps to do this, one can see how it can lead to a moment of clarity on how fear drove most of the defects of character.

While I was a travel nurse, I ran into a great many experienced nurses, preceptors, who had taken up a personal interest in changing the view that nurses eat their young. They were effective at it too because not only did they campaign against the slogan itself verbally, but they lead by example in both their nursing care and in how they precepted newer nurses. True leaders in my eyes.

I am saddened though to say, I have seen a return of this behavior with the recession. And when I say "return of this behavior", I mean both a return of nurses eating their young and of younger nurses using said slogan to belittle older nurses. Its a shame really. People "fear" job loss and are going to extremes to circle the wagons, take care of themselves. People are frequently looking for ways to advertise mistakes they see others make, as if smearing their name somehow means they will be laid off before you or something. I'm lucky in that I work full time nights and, at least in my hospital, no one wants to work nights. So, people kinda see me as a necessary evil (so far anyway) and don't target me with their backstabbing as much as they do the other nurses on their shifts. I don't doubt though that, eventually, if things don't improve economically, my night shifts will look more and more tempting to people fearing being laid off.

I too contribute this behavior to something similar to animal behavior. Everyone knows a dog in pain can sometimes lash out at a loved one. Not in anger, but..........again.........in fear, they will snip an owner they love or someone trying to help them. I think the economy has put administration in a position to do/say whatever they please to nurses. They, in many ways, have their foot on our throats while we are down. Most of us dare not lash out at management or administration, the risk of job loss is to great. So, we go the nearest, most convenient alternative, and lash out at each other.

Nurse Smiley

41 Posts

Hi eriksoln,

You are fortunate to have worked with nurse leaders with a commitment to change this phenomenon.  In the book there are analogies to tribal group behavior, professional tradition, and examples of overt and covert hostilities with various styles of individual and group dominance, mandatory submission, ostracizing new and transferred nurses, or the "victim of the week" etc.. This book will empower you. I hope that you give it a read. You are correct about the "lashing" out of each other whether knowingly or sometimes hard to believe "unwittingly".

Smiles Forever, 

Nurse Smiley

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