Published Jun 14, 2005
You are reading page 5 of Too Many Crabby Nurses!!
I, like you, experienced that type of behavior when I was a student, and also as a new nurse. I have now been a nurse for 14 years and can tell you that I am very friendly and helpful to new nurses because of my past treatment. However, I have to say that I believe the attitude is because of the staffing situation. Nurses are overworked and overstressed, and I believe that they look at a student nurse as "another thing to do" to add to their amount of work. Please don't take it personally and try to keep up your good attitude. It will pay off in the end, and just take this experience with you when you are precepting any new students or nurses on your floor.
I thought that nursing would be one great sorority and we would inspire each other, but unfortunately it seems we are our own worst enemy.
Daytonite, BSN, RN
Regarding the original post by lisa41RN: Besides these staff nurses being overworked and burning out I think you are also seeing cases of people who went into nursing for one of the wrong reasons--the money. Why would someone stay at a job because of all the pressure? Because they need the wages. It's difficult to change your career with the snap of your fingers. So, it sounds to me like these staff nurses are probably caught in a situation they do not like and are feeling helpless to do anything about it because they need the job. It's kind of like the "kick the dog when you get home" syndrome except that you as a student nurse have become a convenient kickee. Very sad. It takes a lot of energy for someone to override those secret little thoughts that we never reveal about others. Suppressing strong negative thoughts results in overt behavior that you experienced.
We often talk about nursing being a career of constant change on the job. That is true. Take two or three weeks off and you come back to a couple of changes that were made on the unit you work. However, it is human nature to like stability. That also accounts for the hundreds of nurses who stay in jobs that they don't like. I challenge everyone to think on this: could you today quit your job, move across the country and go looking for a nursing job in a new state? Hard, maybe impossible to do, you might think. However, nursing is one of the careers that gives you this kind of option. How many ever take advantage of it?
Unfortunately, people can hide negative attitudes at interviews for jobs and a spot in nursing school very easily if the right questions aren't posed as well. Once they're in, it's almost impossible to "can" someone who just has a negative attitude. When I started out in nursing I felt that it was a science. However, as I've evolved I began to think that as well as being a science it was also very behaviorly driven. You just cannot take the elements of psychology out of it because it is a case of people interacting with people in so many different kinds of situations.
Lock away these experiences you are having in your memory and make a resolution to NOT be that way. It takes a great deal of conscious awareness to hold unacceptable behavior in check. Once the barriers you put up to hold it in break down (as in the case of the staff nurses you've run into), it's harder to rein the behavior back in. The only person's behavior you can change is your own. When I was a head nurse I thought that I finally had the ability to change people's ways of thinking. Wrong. What I had was the power to make their working life miserable enough to force them to quit--and, I am not so proud of that either.
I'm really amazed to find so many grouchy nurses on the floor I'm a "student" on. These aren't long time nurses, but fairly new nurses with only one and two years of experience. I can only imagine if they can be so bitchy at only 23-25 years old, what will they be like in the future?! Nearly half of the nurses are this way; the others are either nice or at least reasonable. Our instructor told us today they are like that because they are overworked and underpaid!! Is that really our problem? After all, we're not making a dime, are paying them to be there, and are very nice to all of them!! The treatment is so bad I don't know even one student who wants to work in this hospital. A couple nurses report every tiny mistake to our instructor. I realize some thing should be reported, but not to the extent it is being done. It makes for a troubling environment and doesn't help others to learn. I'd love to say they are great nurses regardless of this, but one overdosed my 80 year old patient on pain meds the other day. It was crazy what she did. All you hear about is the nursing shortage and how those working as nurses are often very unhappy. Isn't it time, we treat others with respect and work as a team?? Maybe if we could be good to one another we'd be happier. Shame on those who want to be in a field in which you help others, yet treat those you work with so terribly. For those who deal with students/ coworkers, they appreciate your treating them fairly. I'm so blown away people can be so cruel who are being so nice to them!!! WOW!!
Take care ladies and I will hope the best for all of us.
Tweety, BSN, RN
I cannot believe it either and I have to work with them everyday! The mood swings and bitterness and jealous attitudes etc is amazing to see in full view. The deliberate attempts to try and get chaos/confusion started with the other workers is sickening to me. Why did they go into this profession if they are SO damn unhappy? I realize a job is work not playtime but we have to work together not against one another or so I thought and was taught. I am the lowest paid on the floor because I am not a nurse but just try and get a quarter from them to contribute for a card for a patient or staff members birthday or food for a potluck on a special occasion or Holiday...it is like pulling teeth! The poorest paid is the one who gives the most here and we all have bills so I am tired of hearing about their student loans and car/house payments! Wow is right! Enough is enough. Get another profession for crying out loud! Well, where would they go or who would hire them? I will continue to be tolerant because perhaps when I graduate one day, I will understand exactly what they are going through?Take care ladies and I will hope the best for all of us.
Yeah, your post is glowing with tolerance. (sarcasism intended) (P.S. I don't like giving money to coworker causes becuse it gets out of hand, but that's another thread)
What I'm seeing is the attitude that nurses complain about most begins with some people in school. It's disheartening the negative attitude students already are developing about people in their profession before they are even a part of the profession.
It's our fault as older nurses I know and I could write a thesis on the subject, but disheartening nonetheless.
I can tell you that after almost 15 years of nursing that a lot of times, bad attitudes and what you perceive as "crabbiness" is often due to fear. Fear of making a mistake, fear of hurting someone, or fear of being exposed as not knowledgeable can cause many people to appear hostile. The fact that you mention that these are relatively new nurses underscores this, although veteran nurses can also act out in this way. Also you mentioned that every little mistake is reported. This too goes to the fear; maybe they feel that your mistakes may be reflected on them or they will be blamed. That's a legitimate concern because a lot goes on after the students leave the floor. Also, your instructor is right about working conditions. Also try to remember you are not doing them a favor;I picked that up in your attitude. You are at clinicals to learn, not help them out. I'm sorry that you are having a bad experience but being judgmental is just as bad as crabbiness.
Also try to remember you are not doing them a favor;I picked that up in your attitude. You are at clinicals to learn, not help them out. I'm sorry that you are having a bad experience but being judgmental is just as bad as crabbiness.
Now don't forget the Medical Secretaries going to school...we are the Nurse's right hand man/woman so please be kind to us no matter what kind of day you are having!
OP, I know where you're coming from. I had a situation a couple weeks ago, where a nurse told me put a leg bag for a Foley on a patient. I immediately went to his room and saw that he had just gotten his lunch tray, so I went back and told the nurse that the patient was eating and I would do it after he ate (empowering patients and all that, right?). She said, he can wait to eat. I need that bag on him now. So I told her, oh, sorry. I'll do it right now. Walked out of the conference room, directly to the patient's room and put the bag on him. From original request to completion of task took maybe 5 minutes, tops.She turned around and told my clinical instructer that she had to tell me 3 times to do it before I "finally got around to it." My instructor gave me an Unsatisfactory, but when I explained my side of it, she took the "U" away (which NEVER happens at this school!).I wonder why this nurse felt she had to lie about me to get me into trouble? All the nurses on this particular floor are "tattle tales" to the clinical instructors. You've really got to watch your back.
So I told her, oh, sorry. I'll do it right now. Walked out of the conference room, directly to the patient's room and put the bag on him. From original request to completion of task took maybe 5 minutes, tops.
She turned around and told my clinical instructer that she had to tell me 3 times to do it before I "finally got around to it." My instructor gave me an Unsatisfactory, but when I explained my side of it, she took the "U" away (which NEVER happens at this school!).
I wonder why this nurse felt she had to lie about me to get me into trouble? All the nurses on this particular floor are "tattle tales" to the clinical instructors. You've really got to watch your back.
As a clinical nursing instructor, I always investigate the cases before I award a U...there are some nurses who enjoy getting the students into trouble, but rest assured, clinical instructors usually know who they are.
yeah, your post is glowing with tolerance. (sarcasism intended) (p.s. i don't like giving money to coworker causes becuse it gets out of hand, but that's another thread)
wow! i am new to this site and was just reading through the posts and i have to say how disheartened i am to read a response that says "sarcasism intended", my perception of the intitial post was that lisa was just venting and looking for support. sometimes you just need to hear from someone else that things will get better, especially when you are felling burnt out or down. i was drawn to this website b/c the first few posts i read were overwhelmed with support and thoughtful encouragments. i look forward to reading more posts like those.
enjoy your day!
IT IS REALLY SAD THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE TO SEE THAT AS A NURSING STUDENT. MOST OF THE NURSES THAT I WORK WITH TODAY, AND I HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELD FOR 10 YEARS LOVE THEIR JOB. THERE ARE SOME WHO ***** CONSTANTLY, BUT I JUST THINK THAT IS THEIR NATURE. YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT WHEN YOU LEAVE FOR THE DAY, THESE NURSES STILL HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU LEAVE UNFINISHED AND TAKE CARE OF ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE. AND IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE, IT IS THEIR PATIENT THAT IT IS EFFECTING. THEY ARE CORRECT TO REPORT MISTAKES TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR, AFTER ALL YOU ARE THERE LEARNING AND HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES? I WORK ON NIGHT SHIFT IN THE CCU AT A SMALL TOWN HOSPITAL. I CAN TELL YOU THAT MOST OF THE NURSES THAT I WORK WITH ARE UNDERPAID AND OVERWORKED. ON MY DAYS OFF, I GET 2-3 PHONE CALLS ASKING ME TO WORK. IT WAS OKAY WHEN IT FIRST WAS REALLY BUSY, BUT NOW THAT IT IS GOING ON 8 MONTHS OF NON STOP CONSTANT CAPACITY IT IS GETTING OLD, AND WE ARE BEING ASKED MORE AND MORE TO FLEX UP AND TAKE THAT ONE MORE PATIENT EVEN WHEN WE KNOW THAT WE SHOULDN'T BECAUSE WE ARE STRETCED BEYOND OUR LIMIT WITH THE HORRIBLY SICK AND DEMANDING PATIENTS THAT WE ARE ALREADY TAKING CARE OF. WE CAN ALSO GO BACK TO THE OLD ADDAGE THAT I HAVE ALWAYS SAID SINCE I STARTED THIS CAREER, IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR JOB IT IS TIME TO GET A NEW ONE!!!!!!
I went out of my way to be extra kind to students whenever possible, and really avoided any negative interraction unless absolutely necessary. Sadly, nurses are human and we do have bad days...months...years...and may not be at our best.
My best advce to students is not to take it personally. Tell yourself 'they're not feeling well, etc....its not about me.' I know, easier said than done.
If a nurse is being obviously rude and unkind, a student would be within her rights to ask her if she prefers not to precept students. This has been the problem in some cases, in my experience. The student is better off with a nurse who wants her IMO.
I never relinquished responsibility for my patients when a student was working with my patient (and this is always how I looked at it) nor did my staff nurses relinquish to me when I was a student. It was considered a shared responsibility, in Mn and Tx anyway. Guess different areas do things differently, in this as with many things. :)
wow! i am new to this site and was just reading through the posts and i have to say how disheartened i am to read a response that says "sarcasism intended", my perception of the intitial post was that lisa was just venting and looking for support. sometimes you just need to hear from someone else that things will get better, especially when you are felling burnt out or down. i was drawn to this website b/c the first few posts i read were overwhelmed with support and thoughtful encouragments. i look forward to reading more posts like those. enjoy your day!
please don't let one sour post from a burned out crabby nurse like me spoil your impression that this isn't a supportive place.
the post i was being sarcastic about was overwhelmingly negative about coworkers and ended with a claim of being tolerant of them and i thought that was funny.
but you're right, i should have been more supportive and let her/him vent. thanks for keeping it real.
but i stand my my dismay that already in school nurses are starting with the negativity and looking askance at each other thinking such negative thoughts, be they true or not, i'm still dismayed at the judgements.
my apologizies for the sarcasm and i'm certainly enjoying my day and i hope that you do to.
Thanks for all your responses!! It's nice to see so much support. For those who don't fully agree, that's fine. However, as I'm just getting back into nursing, I feel I'm well aware of how overworked nurses are, although I don't think we can quite fully know until we actually work as nurses. Nevertheless it is my belief that no matter how busy or stressed ANYONE is, they have no right to take it out on ANYONE. I don't care if this is a nurse treating a student poorly, a cashier treating a customer poorly, a teacher treating a student poorly, a daycare worker treating a parent poorly, etc, etc. My husband has a very successful business and has been stressed more than I can tell you at times, but never lashed out at a customer. If he had, he'd have no business. Being older, I realize, it isn't me they are really upset with, but try to tell that to a younger student. We all need to help each other. If you see a crabby nurse maybe you can step in and help answer a student's question if at all possible. Or maybe the crabby nurses can be honest and tell the student they're really stressed and ask for a little space. That might work among the nurses as well. Most people can understand that. I tell my husband to give me some space when life is getting tough and he does...maybe that's why we've been married 20 years!!
Thanks for your post. You're right, I was just venting that day. Fortunately I ended up with probably the nicest nurse a couple days later who has been on the floor for nearly 12 years who really helped me to see the good side of nursing. I also had a patient who left and told me I was the best nurse he ever had. We need to hang onto those good experience, to get through the tough times. It really concerns me how these 25ish women can be so miserable. What will their life be like? I can only imagine. Don't give up on this site. I see far more supportive posts than negative ones. I'm just surprised this issue has received so many responses. We all need to support each other and the newbies/students as well!! Take care.
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X