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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (94,997 Views 293 Replies 634 Words)
by nrsgofold nrsgofold, RN (New) New

nrsgofold has 20 years experience as a RN and specializes in ER,ICU.

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As current times have shown, we're short staffed. Administration wants to make money. So cuts are made to equipment and man power. Who has your back? Who can you rely on? Your fellow nurses? I'm not so sure anymore. Why do we as nurses eat our own when we should be teaching them and guarding them as our own. The fact is as we age our young nurses are going to be taking care of us, but there are those all too eager beavers who will in fact burn you. This is my experience. You are reading page 12 of Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I don't know but it is one of the things I like least about nursing. I have not found it everywhere I have worked as a nurse, but I gave run into it a lot more here than in other professions in which I have worked. It reminds me of Junior High sometimes. Maddening.

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Jinxnjaded has 17 years experience and specializes in CVICU.

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Her point exactly. The need to correct someone's grammar doesn't make you look smart. It makes you look like the type of nurse that points out another's flaws. The title of the article is accurate. I've been doing this 17 years as an agency nurse for this very reason. Every hospital I go into all I hear is gossip and back stabbing. I hear how everyone hates their job," don't trust that one", " stay away from that one" etc etc. So I do my time and move on. Nurses Don't eat their young.. They will eat anyone. Women in this profession do not build each other up, not unless they are friends. Being upset with the title doesn't change the fact that it's true. Usually the ones that get offended by this NETY is because they are the catty ones that think their behavior is normal. No not every nurse does this but from my experience it is a large percentage. Now I hope I spelled everything right. I am typing on an IPhone. I wouldnt want to upset anyone because of my grammar or punctuation :-/

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9 Posts; 650 Profile Views

Well, I have been hearing the same stories for 36 years. It has nothing to do with being overworked, understaffed or any other sad excuse. Years ago we we did not face these issues and nurses were still eating their young! I think it is a power thing, bullies and the need to be superior!

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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Weird title, otherwise these newer nurses (basically millenials) are what I like to call "self promoters" that will do *ANY THING* to promote themselves. There is no team for them. It is all about them and what they can do to make themselves look good. This is nothing new and I believe throwing people under the bus is routine for them. They are more about "what can I get from you" then they will dispose of you. They are entitled and cocky while being lazy at the same time, it's made work so interesting since we have started hiring millenials.

And how much further do I have to read to find the posts blaming the older generation for "raising them that way"? (Although I don't disagree with you at all.)

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Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

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These threads always degenerate into "I have never been mistreated by coworkers, so bullying doesn't exist" or "I was bullied, and if your experience was not exactly the same you were not bullied", with a side of "millennials are incompetent oversensitive special snowflakes."

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 171,724 Profile Views

The OP's post was a description of a type of NETY, so the title is only a bit generalized. IMHO, nurses eat their young because we are an abused profession. We are told what to do by administrators, families, doctors, etc., and told what we should be able to do and with how little. Abused children frequently grow up to be abusers. Experienced nurses frequently say abusive comments to newer nurses, implying that the new nurse will never be "as good as" the experienced one. The cycle needs to stop.

The OP's title wasn't specific to NETY, it's "why do nurses eat their OWN." I've found that the biggest bullies among us are those who are most concerned about being bullied. Usually the new nurse. You know -- the one who encounters a preceptor having a bad day and wants to know how to report her. (Not whether to -- HOW to.). The one who encountered an experienced nurse who didn't wear gloves to assess an IV site (through the clear dressing) and wanted to know who to report her to. (Because touching a patient without gloves is ICKY!). The nurse who is so worried about being bullied that she's reporting people here and there for "bullying her", and everyone she meets wants to stay out of her orbit lest they be reported for nonexistent bullying.

We get it -- there are a few bullies in nursing. I've encountered two in forty years. There are bullies in truck driving, mining, the law, corporate finance and at your local grocery store. They're everywhere. A percentage of the population tends to bully -- and they're not confined to nursing.

But let me just say that the new nurse who is orienting to the ICU because she's on the fast track to anesthesia school will NEVER be as good as the seasoned nurse who is there because she wants to take care of ICU patients and was tasked with precepting the newbie. It takes a couple of years to become truly competent at your job, and if you spend that time applying to schools rather than studying and learning the basics of the job you have now, you will never be as good as those seasoned nurses.

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5 Posts; 669 Profile Views

Me too! I worked in the beauty industry and financial industry for many years before becoming a nurse and it's the same thing. Waiting for people to change who they are is pointless. However, YOU can choose who (and how) you want to be and then move on. The genuine relationships will stick and the fake ones will fall off.

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"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" Elinor Rosevelt.

Nursing is a very challenging and worthy profession and if you are to survive, you will "grow a backbone". take each experience as a learning opportunity; not every person will hold your hand. This is true in everyday life too. If you are in a toxic environment, either move on or learn to stand up for yourself and you will see things change.

1. This is by far my favorite quote of hers.. She was a wise lady for her time.

2. This is true in ANY field. I am currently in the banking business (trying to leave due to major burn out and want to try something totally different) atm.. and I see this all the time. We have had people who micromanaged every little detail or want to micromanage every little detail of YOUR job.. yet want you to train them FOR YOUR job. I don't do that any more and it's sad... My reviews are constantly coming up that I should share the knowledge because I have so much.. sorry.. being backstabbed hurts a bit and I'm still healing from the last set of people you asked me to help out.. So No, they have to learn the old way like I did. (don't get me wrong.. I absolutely LOVE training new people, showing them different ways to get the same job done that doesn't require a bunch of steps, but I don't like being backstabbed, talked behind, complained against and I get in trouble for doing my job.)

3. If you don't like where you are, find someplace or something else. It may take time and patience, but life is way too short to be in a toxic environment.

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14 Posts; 854 Profile Views

Her point exactly. The need to correct someone's grammar doesn't make you look smart. It makes you look like the type of nurse that points out another's flaws. The title of the article is accurate. I've been doing this 17 years as an agency nurse for this very reason. Every hospital I go into all I hear is gossip and back stabbing. I hear how everyone hates their job," don't trust that one", " stay away from that one" etc etc. So I do my time and move on. Nurses Don't eat their young.. They will eat anyone. Women in this profession do not build each other up, not unless they are friends. Being upset with the title doesn't change the fact that it's true. Usually the ones that get offended by this NETY is because they are the catty ones that think their behavior is normal. No not every nurse does this but from my experience it is a large percentage. Now I hope I spelled everything right. I am typing on an IPhone. I wouldnt want to upset anyone because of my grammar or punctuation :-/

Okay...that's just right on the money. I too, became an agency nurse (ER-Travel). I come in and do my job. Stay clear of the gossip and try to engage in friendships if possible. I have been lucky to make some great friends I will always keep in touch with, but yes, every hospital, every job, will have this behavior. It isn't young vs old...it is just crazy. I think it does happen more in nursing because everyone wants to be a super star. We are nurses, professionals and we should conduct ourselves as such. You can laugh at me, say you are a better nurse than me and start drama, but you can't take away my self respect, dignity and love for people. In the end, we all age. You can do it gracefully with a clear conscious or say hello to mr or mrs karma when it happens to you, eventually. Let us return to kindergarten and relearn the basics. Not to put down a profession, but nursing is professional...if you want to do drama and shop for shoes and use words like hella cool dude”, be a waitress.

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Farawyn has 25 years experience and specializes in A little bit of everything..

2 Followers; 12,645 Posts; 97,880 Profile Views

These threads always degenerate into "I have never been mistreated by coworkers, so bullying doesn't exist" or "I was bullied, and if your experience was not exactly the same you were not bullied", with a side of "millennials are incompetent oversensitive special snowflakes."

That's why they are redundant. Yet, I cannot. help. myself.

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JimmyDurham9 has 6 years experience and specializes in Ambulatory Care, LTC, OB, CCU, Occ Hth.

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I think you're wrong here Jimmy. Jcg1 has got it. A bachelor degree prepared nurse falls short of what many academics in the old days would consider to be "educated people," both in attitude and in breadth of knowledge.

Speak for yourself.

I'll concede that I am not happy with the culture of resistance to life long learning that I see in nursing. It frustrates me to no end when I come upon a nurse who thinks they got the degree or diploma and that's it for their education, and then actively resist learning or changing. It's those attitudes that are at the heart of much strife between experienced nurses and newer nurses. I'm gonna tell you here and now, this superiority complex that is being flaunted in regard to credentials and degrees just illustrates ugly pride. It shares traits with the same lazy pride the nurses who reject life long learning posses. How can anyone possible learn from one another when they are all convinced they are smarter or "don't hafata learn"? All the fancy degrees in the world won't save you or your patients if you don't have the sense to critically think and work as a team.

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2 Posts; 374 Profile Views

I've seen this happen so often an its sad an frustrating. I have learned the hard way that you need to make a stand without losing your dignity or going against your morals or losing who you are an the reputation you have worked hard for respect of other coworkers. Don't let them win. Learn to put them in their place and let them know that messing with you or the others you care about had consequences. A little fear of the right degree earns you respect an helps you keep them in line.

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