RN's are perfect human beings, aren't we?

I entered the best profession in the world, it is exciting, it is challenging, no two days are ever the same. There are endless opportunities and if you are a people person you get the best and worst of all-sorts. We are also the most unsupported, criticized, mean spirited, judgmental, intolerant, human beings in the professional world. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

RN's are perfect human beings, aren't we?

We are expected to be mothers, fathers, priests, sisters, brothers, asexual, nonjudgmental, councilors, Mother Theresa, non racial, non cultural, advisers, have excellent interpersonal skills, Oh and work 20 hour days with no breaks and are not expected to complain.

We have to be slim, non smokers, exercise daily, don't use drugs, sexually discreet, have no mental health issues, come to work when sick, never get a speeding ticket, don't cough, swear or do anything remotely human, and finally wear short-skirts and put up with the Doctors BS because we have no opinions. We have silly smiles, and are handmaidens at their beck and call.

I don't know about you but I am certainly not describing many nurses I know or have known with the description above.

Yet we are held and are accountable to behave as perfect human beings.

In fact you only have to watch the TV hospital dramas where Doctors council, sit in patients rooms and chat, give out drugs, make the beds and never make mistakes LOL - to know what the public think of us.

We are abused, used, bullied, discriminated against, made examples of, accused of all kinds inaccurate behavior, we are made to feel isolated and unsupported often by management who silence us by saying we must not discuss our conversation outside of the room.

How many times have you heard or read of nurses who are summoned to the office, accused by fellow co-workers of a behavior or action which they have to then defend. Even in a court you are innocent until proven guilty. In the healthcare profession we are 'Guilty even when proven innocent'.

The mentality is get to the office first because more than likely you are the one who is believed!

How many times have you been asked to go to the office and the first question out of our mouths is "Am I in trouble?" or "What did I do?"

We never assume that we are being called into the office to be told we are doing a good job!

Oh yeah and everybody within the hospital environment knows that you have been called into the office, and the gossip mongers are rife!

When you come out of the office, staff come out of the woodwork to check "Are you ok?" what they really want to know is "What did you do?" and "Are you in trouble?" Nobody ever asks did you get a promotion. LOL

We can be horrible, hard and uncompromising to our young nurses. Hence the frequent posts about 'Nurses eat their young"

Do we do this to wean out the weak? Almost like in the animal world where the sick and weak are abandoned and left to die?

Or do we do this because 'it happen to us' and we survived.

Frequently I have worked in a culture where the weaker staff are constantly criticized, not supported and educated. Some survive but a lot are lost by the wayside because they can't fight back and their co-workers look the other way in case they get caught up in the drama and are fired too!

I have never understood why we as nurses feed greedily into a negative culture, and when management point out that this negative culture will not be tolerated they accept no responsibility that they are the leaders and if there is a negative culture it has stemmed from their leadership.

I have seen some of the worse culprits who feed into the negative cultures be the same staff who 'suck up' to management and somehow manage to convince management that they are not part of the negativity which is lurking in the work place.

They moan, complain and disrespect management along with the rest of the gang but are often seen laughing and socializing with management, behaving as though they are the best of friends, which further undermines the weak or vulnerable.

Staff who struggle are easily identified, they tend to be the quiet ones, the ones who never finish their work, or are charting long after everybody else has left for the day/night, they are the ones the other shift moans and complains about. Highlighting to other staff, problems or issues they have seen when they take over their patients.

These staff members dont have refined interpersonal skills and can sometimes be unattractive for various reasons.

We also have the 'buddies' at work that wouldn't normally associate with each other but they have one thing in common they SMOKE.

It is amazing what is discussed when staff are outside smoking with each other, and it ain't how cheap fish is! Or what a wonderful day it was at work today.

Everybody is eager to listen to these moans and complaints, why?

Sometimes I think it is because if nobody is complaining about you then you must be doing a good job! So we dont want to rock the boat by disagreeing because then they will focus in on you!!!!

Unless you are 'liked' then other staff members dont try to help you, with education and advise of how to do it easier. If you are a likable person who is popular the support is immense.

We have come a long way in recent years, I have seen improvements with support networks and education but there are still a lot of work places where the potential is not supported.

RN with 26 years of experience many of those years spent in dialysis. I have worked in acute care, home, ICHD as a CN, FA, and currently a director.

26 Articles   4,777 Posts

Share this post

Madwife2002...I am speechless. What you have shared is sooo true my bones ache. I am a new grad and currently work as cna and I see the BS everyday. Too the point I passionately dislike where I am. However, I stay because it pays the bills. But it is not worth it at times. It is said how our profession is so cut throat. Yet, there are changes happening, that are empowering nurses ,and elminiating the nursing bullies. I do my best to be a team player because I feel it makes the day run smoothly, I do my best to comfort patient, but some are just ungrateful, but I still keep a smile on my face and remain professional. I go my the mantra " Kill people with kindness" that keeps me going. I became a nurse for a reason even with all that we put up with, do to our new nurse, or act foolish is because it is a noble profession and a place were i can tough someone even for a moment and know I did my best to make their day a little easier.

However, there are good nurse out there who are trying to make a difference. I am going to make it my goal to improve the solidarity of the nursing profession. We need to show the world we are the heart and soul of any hospital, university, community center, and politics...

Thank you for sharing

God bless

Specializes in School Nursing.
Specializes in CNA/LPN.

Great read! You're definitely true from everything that I've heard/witnessed, although I'm not in the healthcare field working yet, I can only imagine the roads ahead, but at least it deems to be softening up just a little bit. Thanks for sharing this with us!

I agree. Nursing is so dysfunctional it is scary. I try to make a difference....and usually get in trouble for it. What other profession does that? What other profession does not make it a priority for their employees to go to the bathroom, or take lunch, or all the other millions of other things nurses are taken advantage of? Oh, and what other profession lets non professionals use their titles? Arrrrggggggggg

Yes.. that is well said. Yes.. that is all true.

No.. this will not change... despite our best efforts.

I'm applying at different hospitals and before I pass an application, it comes to my mind the pressures that new staff nurses can face, it might be tough environment... but I say to myself, even with the struggles, I will survive it because I'm dedicated to my profession. Thanks for sharing this :)

Specializes in None.

I almost feel like this rant was written about myself!!! LOL!!! I'm a new grad that basically and feel like I'm a poster person. Oh well. I'm determined to find happiness in my life, I'm not my occupation, I am me. No f*cked up manager is going to walk all over me anymore. I don't care how "crazy" everything is, including them.

Specializes in Hospital, med-surg, hospice.

If only we would support one another :sniff:

If only we would support one another :sniff:

Hi aileenve,

We sure can support each other. One day at a time. Though I make it sound so simple, it will definitely take time and soul to get a great place in nursing:)

Specializes in Icu, Corrections, CICU.

you are right nursing is a very nasty field, however that being said you let it roll off your back do the best you can and go home. You can't let other people rule your life ecspecially others who have nothing to do with your practice these people have no lives and choose to be petty and immature, because they lack self esteem and confidence.

I could not have said it better! WOW! I would like to share this with my nurses at my next LN meeting. Though I am management and fairly new to where I work.....I have been in those shoes for a very long time and I will forever be able to relate to it all. I am in the midst of changing this where I currently work and happy to report it is going fairly well as I get positive feedback daily. This is my motto to success in Nursing....Accountability through Communication and Education.....makes for a BETTER work enviroment.....most people dont want to do a bad job....but if you don't educate so they understand than you get what they think is right.....even if it isn't.