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Which Area Has the Most Compassionate Nurses

RNite RNite (New) New

I'm a new nurse (less than one year) and I'm thinking of switching units. There's a lot of trash talking and moral holier-than-thou hype directed at patients where I'm at. It's just not what I want to become and I'm getting the reputation of being a bleeding heart. Before I start shadowing other areas, I was wondering where people have found the more tender hearted nurses at? And yes, I speak up my opinion and the manager has addressed these issues before and after I was here. It's just the culture.

NurseCard, ADN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

Yikes.

I don't know how to answer this.

Sometimes, what you think is a nurse being "holier than thou", is

really a nurse telling a patient the truth, that NEEDS to be said.

A nurse who says "You need to quit smoking, or you are going

to lose your leg, because those ulcers are NOT going to heal"!,

is not being holier than thou.

I'm not sure where you are really coming from.

Thanks for the response. I mean doing things like looking up a patients past criminal history and gossiping about it. There have been instances of judging patients gender status and open dislike for gay patients. There is a general lack of empathy, I.e. a sexual assault patient had to undergo an invasive procedure and began crying in their room, quietly, and there was just a feeling thrown around that they are just dramatic or behavioral issues.

I have no problem being frank with people and telling it like it is. What I'm seeing is just frequent trash talking and negativity.

NurseCard, ADN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

I see. Totally inappropriate to look up criminal history/records

on a patient. I used to work with a nurse who would do this on

a lot of our patients. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

And heck, even if you know a patient's past, you certainly still

treat them with the same empathy that you would any other

patient, if you are a decent nurse.

Unfortunately, I suspect that you are going to run into nurses

like these, wherever you go, whatever the specialty.

I'll throw some ideas out there though. How about

hospice, as PP said. How about pediatrics? What about

OR; nurses don't even have to deal with awake patients.

School nurse.

Home health or visiting hospice; you don't even interact

as much with other nurses. Doing intermittent HH

full time is a difficult stressful job that is not for everyone,

but it is very rewarding and there are plenty of

nurses who would never do anything else.

:) Good luck!

Thanks

I see. Totally inappropriate to look up criminal history/records

on a patient. I used to work with a nurse who would do this on

a lot of our patients. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

And heck, even if you know a patient's past, you certainly still

treat them with the same empathy that you would any other

patient, if you are a decent nurse.

Unfortunately, I suspect that you are going to run into nurses

like these, wherever you go, whatever the specialty.

I'll throw some ideas out there though. How about

hospice, as PP said. How about pediatrics? What about

OR; nurses don't even have to deal with awake patients.

School nurse.

Home health or visiting hospice; you don't even interact

as much with other nurses. Doing intermittent HH

full time is a difficult stressful job that is not for everyone,

but it is very rewarding and there are plenty of

nurses who would never do anything else.

:) Good luck!

Those are some great ideas. I worked in a different hospital as a CNA before becoming an RN and that unit did not have the same culture. I think those are some good places to shadow.

This has more to do with individuals and attitudes that have gone unchecked such that it has become the culture of your workspace. I also wouldn't be surprised if nurses generally aren't treated too well where you work, but that's a soapbox for another day.

People can choose to act ethically in every circumstance (specialty) you can imagine or they can choose not to (again, in any specialty).

I only mention it because you will likely be even more disappointed if you change to a specialty that (perhaps stereotypically) seems more in line with your values only to find out that there are nurses who are overly-jaded or uncaring or punitive or holier-than-thou there, too. Or find out that even though you thought it was a specialty "known for" caring (as if some aren't!), the nurses are spread thin and barely surviving.

A change may indeed be in order, but it would be better to look for a place where people enjoy working, treat patients well, and are treated well themselves.

klone, MSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

I agree with JKL - it has nothing to do with area of nursing, and everything to do with the workplace culture.

NurseCard, ADN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

You all are correct.

I just try to throw ideas out there, as far as... in what specialties

MIGHT the OP have the best chance of not having to deal with

the stuff that she is describing.

However, OP... you can run into jaded, non-empathetic, RUDE

people, anywhere you go.

Maybe it's best to concentrate/focus on what YOU bring to

your patients, be the best nurse YOU can be, and you know,

try not to let your coworkers' attitudes bother you so much.

Crush

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Case manager, float pool, and more.

I see. Totally inappropriate to look up criminal history/records

on a patient. I used to work with a nurse who would do this on

a lot of our patients. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

And heck, even if you know a patient's past, you certainly still

treat them with the same empathy that you would any other

patient, if you are a decent nurse.

Unfortunately, I suspect that you are going to run into nurses

like these, wherever you go, whatever the specialty.

I agree with NurseCard.

I have to wonder if some of it is "just blowing off stress", not that that justifies those behaviors. It seems this is a culture/behavior thing that has gone on there for too long. I hope your leadership addresses it for the sake of the patients there. Certainly you could also find a med-surg unit where you have nurse who do not behave that way too.

RNite, keep your compassion and maybe by your example the others will learn something.

Julius Seizure

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

I'll throw some ideas out there though. How about

hospice, as PP said. How about pediatrics? What about

OR; nurses don't even have to deal with awake patients.

School nurse.

I dunno about pediatrics in general, but I wouldn't count on PICU avoiding the behaviors that OP described. Unfortunately, those attitudes and behaviors are still found there - towards both patients and parents.

hawaiicarl, BSN, RN

Has 28 years experience. Specializes in Critical care.

Well it's not ICU! When we all wrote our CCRN exams our consistent lowest score across the board was Empathy. I would say Pediatrics, Oncology, or Hospice. Takes a special kind of heart to be able to survive in those fields.

brownbook

Has 35 years experience.

You seem to have found a job in a very toxic unit.

In my 32 years of nursing in four different facilities and numerous different units within those facilities, I have never seen the type of behavior you describe. Well.....may I can think of a few nurses who OCCASIONALLY were brutally frank that came across as harsh or uncaring. But even then these were very good intelligent nurses who still gave the patient good care.

There is no one magical unit or area of nursing where every nurse is always kind, compassionate, caring, etc. Even I admit to the occasional bad mood. Simply apply to work in a different unit, or get a years worth of experience and apply to another hospital.

I would second (or third?) the opinion that it's the workplace culture, not specialty. I however would not be so quick to change jobs. Depending how large the unit is and how fast the turnover is, it could change to be more empathetic with some time. It might not be worth letting the rotten apples scare you off an otherwise good job. Changing jobs can make it hard to gain the perks associated with seniority or longer tenure. Focus on your practice for now.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

I'm a new nurse (less than one year) and I'm thinking of switching units. There's a lot of trash talking and moral holier-than-thou hype directed at patients where I'm at. It's just not what I want to become and I'm getting the reputation of being a bleeding heart. Before I start shadowing other areas, I was wondering where people have found the more tender hearted nurses at? And yes, I speak up my opinion and the manager has addressed these issues before and after I was here. It's just the culture.

Which area has the most compassionate nurses? I'd say the student nurse forum on AN. Most of the other forums have just regular nurses.

Well it's not ICU! When we all wrote our CCRN exams our consistent lowest score across the board was Empathy. I would say Pediatrics, Oncology, or Hospice. Takes a special kind of heart to be able to survive in those fields.

Old ICU nurse here, and I don't think the low scores indicate a lack of empathy, it's just that often the other more life and death matters take priority over empathy much of the time.

Which area has the most compassionate nurses? I'd say the student nurse forum on AN. Most of the other forums have just regular nurses.

How RUDE!!! U have NO COMPASSION and I hope you are never my nurse! U need to retire and stop being so biter!

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Pedi.

Thanks for the response. I mean doing things like looking up a patients past criminal history and gossiping about it. There have been instances of judging patients gender status and open dislike for gay patients. There is a general lack of empathy, I.e. a sexual assault patient had to undergo an invasive procedure and began crying in their room, quietly, and there was just a feeling thrown around that they are just dramatic or behavioral issues.

I have no problem being frank with people and telling it like it is. What I'm seeing is just frequent trash talking and negativity.

I don't think some of this stuff is necessarily reflective of the type of unit you're working on but workplace environment that allows such behavior and perhaps an area of the country where said views are welcomed. I have never experienced what you describe here from colleagues in 10 years of being a nurse but I live in a state where gay marriage has been legal for 13 years. You could probably go work in the exact same area of nursing but in a different workplace or different region and find the most compassionate nurses you've ever known.

How RUDE!!! U have NO COMPASSION and I hope you are never my nurse! U need to retire and stop being so biter!

I wish I had witnessed the original "biter nurse" comment. I assume it was something someone wrote here at one time or another.

Makes me laugh every time I see Ruby's signature...

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