...The Young Also Eat the Old

  1. I have been a nurse for 24 years, but out of the hospital for 20.
    I recently, in a temporary state of insanity, left a position
    where I had worked for ten years.
    Like so many places that employ nurses, there was little postitive feedback, nurses were treated rudely by MD's, and as time went on the most important thing in the company was "How much money did we make today?".
    I needed to increase my income, and since there was no hope of doing that without getting another job, I took another position.
    I was promised a lengthy orientation.
    I worked 10-14 hours a day, usually without ANY break, and under the continual scrutiny and critisicm of my younger preceptors.
    I asked for lunch one day, and was called into the manager's office, who brutally confronted me and accused me of worrying more about my breaks than my patients.
    The Young ate me alive...not all of them, but the few with the voracious appetites. My orientation ended after 19 days when I was fired.
    Of course my lovely state of Illinois barely whispers "union"
    I had to sign papers in 2 jobs that stated,"You must acknowledge that you can be fired at any time, with or without notice for any reason, or no reason...and if you don't sign this, we will not hire you."
    I was humilitated, ashamed, terrified about money. I had to tell my kids (I am a single parent...hubby took off for someone younger).
    There is something fundamentally wrong with this profession.
    There is no security, no seniority, and trial by fire seems to be the norm.
  2. Visit Flora profile page

    About Flora

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 21; Likes: 12


  3. by   Purple_RN
    I am surprised to hear about new nurses treating older nurses with little respect. That is horrible and quite sad. I am sorry to hear about your job situation. Hopefully you will find a better job soon. I myself am relativly a new nurse who would have loved an experienced nurse to be my mentor (but it never happened - everyone is just too busy it seems) and could never image treating a seasoned nurse the way the new grads at your facility did. Hopefully you can take a little break before you go job searching so you can destress - you deserve a break.


  4. by   debRNo1
    sorry that it happened Flora but
    that was gonna be my next post topic you beat me to it !!

    Im being eaten up on orientation in my first hospital job. For the most part the staff has been patient and helpful but one nurse has really rubbed me the wrong big time.

    She makes me feel incompetant and belittles me every chance she gets. She is so anal. Im not a new nurse just new to this setting.

    the break thing got me because going over some assessment tests I took with my new supervisor and the nurse educator they explained to always ask questions (which I would but dont want to be laughed at.) She pipes up with "oh she asked a VERY good question this am, she (me) asked when her break/lunch was ?" Not too sure why she was there with us I dont think my tests were any of her business.

    was that needed ? I have seen her insert an IV, do a dsg, and get a UA- all without wearing gloves..........HELLO

    My orientation will be the same for a new grad which is OK but I rather not be with her, told my manager to switch me and he did not so thats down the drain.

    well I feel for you and I know how hard it is to be the new kid on the block.

    good luck


  5. by   terrina
    I moved a year ago from one area of the country to my original "home state". I took a job in a large University setting and stayed only 2 months because of the attitude of the younger staff. I was set up, yelled at in front of my patients, ignored, talked about openly in the nursing station (in front of me). I know that this was the way things "went" there if you didn't "fit in" (ie party, hang out, etc) with the rest of the group. I did not feel like I really had a lot in common with the majority of the group and did make friends with some of the older (mostly travelers) who were also treated horribly by this group. Need I say the place has a bad reputation in the nursing community in this city and staffs mostly with the travelers and this core group.
    As a nurse with 25 years of solid hospital experience I have finally thrown in the towel. As I look back at this experience, I know what it is to be discriminated against. It may take me a little longer to get down the hall, and I may forget things more than I used to ( is it because of age or being overwhelmed by the work?) but the fundamentals of nursing are still the same and my heart is STILL in the right place.
    There are a few younger nurses that I get to know who love to get tips and timesavers that I pass on. I don't offer if they don't ask though.
  6. by   sjoe
    All good reasons to "hang out" or "shadow" for at least a few hours before accepting ANY job. Getting the feel of a place can save a lot of time and misdirected energy.
  7. by   Flora
    Thank you for all your support.
    I am so happy that I found this web site.
    I have been feeling so forlorn and alone, wondering what I have done to cause my trouble. I realize we all have a share in what comes our way, but to know that so many other nurses, young and older, are experiencing many of the same problems across the US, makes me realize even more, what a systems problem we have.
    Do nurses in other countries encounter these issues, or are we just lucky here in the USA?

  8. by   lynnintn
    This is so very sad.
    WTF is wrong with nurses and the nursing profession????

    Fortunately as a case manager and life care planner in training under a wonderful mentor, I don't see this type of behavior ever. I, and my colleagues appreciate experience and wisdom.
  9. by   RNFROG3
    Hey Flora--

    how about coming to Indianapolis? Chicago isn't so far away to move, we are still Metropolitan and I promise you will be valued!!
    Hang in there- obviously that place isn't experencing the nursing shortage. I can promise there is a job out there where you will be valued. I agree with the advice though ask to shadow someone before accepting the job. Goodluck and remember you always have value to us!:kiss
  10. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I had the same type of experience. I had been a nurse for 8 years when I went to work in med/surg for the first time.
    I was one of only two nurses who never got to take breaks. I found out the reason when the charge nurse told me "You don't have time to do assessments on all your pts. Just Do the sickest one."
    I had never given blood before, and was given three pts to hang blood and blood products on all at the same time, the first time I ever did it. The charge nurse refused to help me, or even go over the paper-work w/ me. I ended up have to go 3 floors up and down back and forth to the blood bank over and over again. they would not release the blood to me, because I did not have the right paper-work. the other nurses refused to go over it w/ me. The creep of a charge nurse went back to smoozing with his cronies in the break room for hours on end like he did every night.

    It was a nightmare. When that terrible night was finally over, I cried all the way home. I gave my 2 weeks notice the next day. My only consolation is that the hospital is so screwed up and disorganized, they forgot to ask me to give my sign-on bonus back. That was 2 years ago. I kept all the sign-on $$.

    The hospital had a "theme of the month" program going. Each month, they would pick a new topic and would post flyers about it all over the place, and include hand-outs on the monthly theme with the paychecks.
    The theme for the month that I quit was "Respect you co-workers".


    With your expereince, I bet you could find a good job in case mgmt, consulting or something like that.

    Here is a story that you may find encouraging: I have a friend (RN, BSN) who has only been a nurse for 9 years. She worked at that horrible hospital with me, she was the only other nurse besides me that never got a break. Right after I quit, she quit.

    One day, she just randomly opened The Yellow Pages to the attorney section. She called a few medical mal-practice lawyers, and found one who just happened to be looking for a consulting nurse. She got the job- $60,000. a year, A $5,000. Christmas bonus, Mon-Fri 8-5, no weekends or holidays. Last Oct, her boss took his entire staff on an all-expenses-paid Carribean cruise.

    She has far less experience than you do, and you do not have to have training as a legal nurse consultant to work helping a lawyer sue doctors for mal-practice.

    Whatever happens, I certainly feel for you. I would love to work with you and have some of your knowledge and expereince rub off on me!
  11. by   magRN
    After 24 years as an RN I too have noticed that some of my younger collegues treat the more experienced staff with little respect.

    In my own situation I did change w/e's and that has helped because I now don't have to work with the worst ones as much. I would Never have thought of treating the experienced staff as I myself have been treated and made to feel.

    There are great new nurses out there though...and I rejoice in working with them, learning from them, and hopefully assisting them too.

    The generation gap sure can be trying!
  12. by   atwitzend
    I agree with the nurse who said we will only get as much crap as we take. I think it's entirely appropriate to take a co-worker aside and state: "look I do not want you to do this (whatever the behavior is)". Many younger people, the so-called Gen-xers, simply do no have what my mother use to call "home training". It's up to us to let them know how we want to be treated. I think they are basically clueless. Nursing is a difficult, demnanding job, and for the love of God I don't know why any of us do it. And I dont see why any of us who are working in general nursing can't make time to take a break. I always have and always will or I will be looking for another nursing job. Before any of us can take care of patients we need to take care of ourselves. It shouldn't be too difficult for you to get another job given the nursing shortage crisis. I dont know about where you live but here in Oklahoma they are basically hiring off the streets. Good luck and hang in there.
  13. by   oramar
    Recently, Karen posted a report on the nursing crisis. It showed that the most disatisfaction according to age groups was in the 40 to 55 age group. The suprising thing was the older than 55 age group showed the same amount of satisfaction as the much younger group. Unfortunately the over 55 age group was the smallest age group of all. My interpetation of this statistic was that if a person works in a supportive enviroment they will stay around into there sixties. This supportive enviroment would include managment support and lack of lateral violence.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    Come on down to Peoria - we could use another ER nurse...judi