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Seasoned and Newbie Nurses

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Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

There is something of a pattern here on allnurses with the Newbie and Seasoned Nurses. The Newbies tend to seek information and support, whereas the Seasoned discuss experiences and share knowledge.

This is a very general perspective, may be the natural order of things, and does not apply to every situation, but it's like I said, it's a sort of pattern I've noticed.

In discussing differences between Newbies and Seasoned Nurses, this thread has the potential to go off in multiple directions, yet continue to remain true to the topic. The direction that I would like to begin this discussion with a passing and taking the torch sort of thing.

As long as I can remember, I have been attracted to older people. I loved hearing them tell tales of how it use to be and what they thought about how things are now. I would sometimes even ask them what they believed the future would bring.

Multiple older people, ranging from relatives to friends to professionals, truly influenced and had an effect on my life and career. I sought their perspective and knowledge and I believe that seeking helped to make me the person I am and the Nurse I was.

Basho said something along the lines of, "Follow not in the footsteps of the wise, but seek what they sought".

A passing of the torch. Or the baton.

If my perception regarding this thread is correct, it will receive the majority of the posts by Seasoned Nurses sharing their perspective. Very few Newbies will make submissions.

Why is that?

I've got some thoughts of my own but want to read and discuss yours first.

I'm just here for the comments with some occasional snarky input. However, for those who don't know, I got some seasoning in my nurse bag. Nevertheless, don't mind me. I'll just be eating my 🍿 over here in the corner.

Carry on.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

The first reply from a seasoned Nurse.

12 minutes ago, NurseBlaq said:

However, for those who don't know, I got some seasoning in my nurse bag.

Being a denizen of allnurses, I know that the term seasoning applies to both to your longevity in the nursing field AND the palatable spiciness of your submissions, NurseBlaq. 

I, for one, would enjoy reading your general perspective on the differences in the perceived attitude of seasoned versus newbies toward the field of nursing. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

"The devil opened up his case and he said, 'I'll start this show'
And fire flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow."                                                     -The Charlie Daniels Band

 

1205163427_trainwreck3.png.237c8e153bd2515a54abeedb0246b542.png

 

Recently there was a thread by a Newbie...

1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

 The Newbies tend to seek information and support, whereas the Seasoned discuss experiences and share knowledge.

.. to who I responded something along the lines of "Your situation sounds like one where the plane has already crashed into the mountain and is just now requesting bearings".

(Disclaimer: I am not degrading Newbies here. Lord knows I have made situations in my life to be FUBARed. I merely wish to make a point and request responses.)

I wondered how the situation got so out of control when a little applied foresight could have made it much more manageable. Did this Newbie have no guide to tell them, "If you mix bleach with ammonia, you're likely to get an explosion which with you will have to deal!"?

Thoughts?

 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

                                             The INBETWEENERS

A third group of Nurses on this website are the "Inbetweeners".

Inbetweeners have a few good years of experience under their belts and generally range from coming across as empathetic to arrogant. Some can identify and commiserate with the Newbies and offer sound advice, while others seem to have an exaggerated sense of their own importance and/or abilities. 

Empathetic Inbetweeners sometimes take umbrage and become defensive with the straight-shooting Seasoned Nurses, possibly believing an attack is in progress.

Arrogant Inbetweeners often make inferences of imprudence by asking passive-aggressive questions of Newbies and other Inbetweeners.

It seems that the Seasoned Nurses sometimes feel threatened by the Arrogant Inbetweeners and will flout them with their knowledge and experience. 

Uh-oh. I see Don Quixote on the horizon.

Well, Dave....... since you asked

I think there's always something to learn, newbie or seasoned. However, there are problems with attitudes on both sides in terms of ego and know-it-allness. I'm not riding the fence, just my observation.

Examples:

Some new nurses think anybody over a certain age is 'old' and 'outdated' where they don't seem to realize a lot of the things they're used to were tried and introduced to us first and we have children/family at home who are young too and can teach us the things we have no clue about. There are some things that can't be taught in a book and many things we've learned from experience and never taught in school. Then, we know there's a book way and a real-life, short of staff, and just suck it up and work it out way. We use the latter far more often than the former.

On the other side of the tracks, you have seasoned nurses who think all newbies are incompetent and not worth the time to train because they won't be around anyway and only here for money or waiting to get into NP school. Some have fought tooth and nail to be nurses and not looking to go back to school because they're still traumatized from undergrad. Also, I was a young nurse in an era where not many young nurses took college seriously or nursing in general and I received a lot of unnecessary drama from older nurses. Because of that, I try not to be 'that nurse' who looks at newbies as young or (if they're older) here because they heard it's money in nursing, or whatever their reason for being a nurse later in life. I offer advice when asked, I answer questions the best I can when asked, and I show them how/what to do when asked. Everything is 'when asked' because some people feel like you're trying to bully them or being a know-it-all.

None of us know everything, and none of us are completely ignorant. There's always something to learn. Ask when you need help, and offer help when you see it's needed. If people don't want it, at least you tried.

Moral of the story, there's a lot of ego and misunderstanding on both sides. People are offended over stuff we laughed at in the past and so forth and so on. Therefore, I just meet people where they're at and unless they're about to harm a patient, I stay in my lane. That's also why I eat my popcorn and mind my own damn business. 🍿

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I could be a nurse with 25+ years of experience, but I've had a couple careers, so I've only been a nurse for 9 years. I think that my age and general life experience probably lands me more on the side of the seasoned nurses, although in true nursing experience I'm really more an inbetweener. I like to try and help other nurses because I've worked in a few different nursing environments, LTC, med-surg and ICU so I have, what I hope are, some insights from different areas. 

I think newbies may be hesitant to post here for a couple reasons. First, they may not know what the expectation of a post on this thread would be. Second, they're probably on this site looking for help, advice, camaraderie, so they're focused on specific types of posts they can glean something from. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

You, NurseBlaq, are so darned entertaining and I'd like to comment on a view portions of your post.

Firstly, you generally have a certain style of submitting to a thread with an introduction of sorts. Many members barge into a thread and throw around their perspectives or opinions like they are the KIng/Queen of the World and everyone should stop and hang on every word they type..

I made this animation for them:

 

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Next, I sense that you, NurseBalq, are quite good at picking up nuances.

1 hour ago, NurseBlaq said:

Well, Dave....... since you asked

In this and other threads, you have refer to me as Dave, even though my username is Davey Do. "Dave" is what I go by, and your perceptive powers picked up on that.

Finally, WISE WORDS:

1 hour ago, NurseBlaq said:

There are some things that can't be taught in a book and many things we've learned from experience and never taught in school. Then, we know there's a book way and a real-life, short of staff, and just suck it up and work it out way. We use the latter far more often than the former....

I offer advice when asked, I answer questions the best I can when asked, and I show them how/what to do when asked. Everything is 'when asked' because some people feel like you're trying to bully them or being a know-it-all....

None of us know everything, and none of us are completely ignorant. There's always something to learn. Ask when you need help, and offer help when you see it's needed. If people don't want it, at least you tried.

 I just meet people where they're at and unless they're about to harm a patient, I stay in my lane. That's also why I eat my popcorn and mind my own damn business. 🍿

Thank you, NurseBlaq for your submission!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

I agree with your self evaluation, JBMmom- you are an Inbetweener- an empathetic one. More Seasoned, and definitely not a Snowflake.

37 minutes ago, JBMmom said:

I think newbies may be hesitant to post here for a couple reasons. First, they may not know what the expectation of a post on this thread would be. Second, they're probably on this site looking for help, advice, camaraderie, so they're focused on specific types of posts they can glean something from. 

Yeah, it's good to be focused in the data gathering stage of the problem-solving process.

The not knowing expectations is where I take pause.

As an LPN Newbie working in a township hospital, I made myself known, primarily by making a nuisance of myself. I reaped the benefits of being exposed to professionals and procedures and situations that I would have not encountered had I stayed on my home unit of psych.

Contacts are gold and I often had Nurses from med/surg or ER call me on the psych unit and say things like, "We've got an interesting case, procedure or whatever, so if you have time to come down and observe or help out..."

If we really want to deal with any major life thing, we need to eat, drink, and sleep it. Becoming a Nurse is a major life thing.

Maybe some don't want to be seen as being stupid; I know I didn't.

That was however, until I gave my opinion of myself more credence than the opinion of others of me. 

 

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

6 hours ago, Davey Do said:

As long as I can remember, I have been attracted to older people. I loved hearing them tell tales of how it use to be and what they thought about how things are now. I would sometimes even ask them what they believed the future would bring.

Multiple older people, ranging from relatives to friends to professionals, truly influenced and had an effect on my life and career. I sought their perspective and knowledge and I believe that seeking helped to make me the person I am and the Nurse I was.

I also was influenced by older relatives, friends and professionals. When I was a teen I used to clean my Grandma's and her sisters (my great Aunts) apartments, later when I turned 16 I also started driving them around for their errands etc. This gave me much time with them to mostly listen to their sage advice. I was always open to it even if I didn't agree with everything they said and thought they were old fashioned (they were all in their 70's). They also told of family history and talked about the future (things they thought would help me). The oldest of the three was born in 1900 so you can only imaging some of the stories. I also appreciated their wisdom and caring about me enough to share it. This is why as a seasoned (and even a inbetweener) nurse I sought to share what I had already learned. Some nurses were open and some were not. I learned to not waste my time/energy on the ones who were not open (no skin off my back!) except for certain safety situations. 

I think most newbie nurses here on AN are sincere and I try to respond in that manner. I figure if they are asking something (and I think I can help) then they deserve a fair answer. That said, I do get a little annoyed with the ones that seem to get angry because their perspective was not validated. Oh well, cant please all the people all the time!

I try to be open to different opinions/perspectives because sometimes we old seasoned nurses/peoples can learn a new thing or two. I just don't like when people start with personal attacks or question your abilities etc. That can turn people away and it is a shame because it usually stops was could have been a real conversation with both people/sides gleening something from the other. 

I wish there was a AN when I started nursing because it truly would have been helpful to me. I hope that the newbies (many who don't even know life pre social media) can appreciate what they have here, getting advice and support from other nurses in a place aside from their workplace with many different perspectives. I have always been one to at least listen to others, then take away what help/works for me but also consider those differences as well. 

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

That was however, until I gave my opinion of myself more credence than the opinion of others of me.

A very mature and seasoned attitude, and one that many early 20-something new nurses may not fully embrace yet. I sense many of them are hesitant for the exact reasons you mention. However, many are very open to feedback and I hope they find what they are looking for here.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

Your entire post was an enjoyable read, Daisy- your history, perspectives, and methods.

I chose to quote a couple of statements in order to specifically comment on them

 

1 hour ago, Daisy4RN said:

 I do get a little annoyed with the ones that seem to get angry because their perspective was not validated. 

I just don't like when people start with personal attacks or question your abilities etc.

Some members do not have the ability to separate thier premise from their personality. Hence, if their premise is attacked, they take it as a personal attack.

Some do not know the rules of polite debating and automatically, it seems, attack the person.

6 hours ago, Davey Do said:

Arrogant Inbetweeners often make inferences of imprudence by asking passive-aggressive questions of Newbies and other Inbetweeners.

For example, one member stated their premise, and instead of debating that premise, the other member crassly questioned the member's perception of reality.

A falling person will flail reach out for anything on which to grab to save themselves. If the person feels and believes they have found a sturdy support, there's no need to flail about.

My guess is the one who attacks does not have a sturdy premise which will support them in a debate.

I could go on with other examples, but suffice it to say that I refuse to debate with those who do not follow the rules of polite debating.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

4 minutes ago, JBMmom said:

A very mature and seasoned attitude, and one that many early 20-something new nurses may not fully embrace yet. I sense many of them are hesitant for the exact reasons you mention. However, many are very open to feedback and I hope they find what they are looking for here.

Thank you, JBMmom. As the Man in  Black said, "I've worked very hard to become so".

When I was in my 20's two of the major things that drove me was others' opinions of me and sex.

Age, experience, an illuminating revelation here & there, and a decrease in hormone secretions goes a long way.

Oh, there are some really great young adults out there, and I have felt honored to have worked with them and to have known them.

It was a joy to have passed the torch to such individuals.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

I am old, seasoned-to-a-crisp nurse. I try very hard to hold back on the snark when dealing with new nurses who behave a "certain way". I would say the vast majority of new nurses are earnest and seeking help/advice/information and I am very happy to be there for them. I guess ageism works both ways. The "young" are disregarded as much as the "older" among us are.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

19 minutes ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

I try very hard to hold back on the snark when dealing with new nurses who behave a "certain way". 

Sometimes, being snarky is necessary in order to drive home a point if other methods fail, SBE.

BTW: As a side note, I have, in my possession, a Jedrnurse Snarkometer:

 

snarkometer.gif.8f286aa6b0a8ab89b6f3a124d868bc50.gif

 

 

 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

OH NO now I know you are tracking me. I better behave!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

2 minutes ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

OH NO now I know you are tracking me. I better behave!

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1 hour ago, Davey Do said:

Your entire post was an enjoyable read, Daisy- your history, perspectives, and methods.

I chose to quote a couple of statements in order to specifically comment on them

 

Some members do not have the ability to separate thier premise from their personality. Hence, if their premise is attacked, they take it as a personal attack.

Some do not know the rules of polite debating and automatically, it seems, attack the person.

For example, one member stated their premise, and instead of debating that premise, the other member crassly questioned the member's perception of reality.

A falling person will flail reach out for anything on which to grab to save themselves. If the person feels and believes they have found a sturdy support, there's no need to flail about.

My guess is the one who attacks does not have a sturdy premise which will support them in a debate.

I could go on with other examples, but suffice it to say that I refuse to debate with those who do not follow the rules of polite debating.

I'm going through this in another thread right now. It's actually entertaining to me because it's so petty it's funny.