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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (94,769 Views 293 Replies 634 Words)
by nrsgofold nrsgofold, RN (New Member) New Member

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 22 of Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

OCNRN63 is a RN and specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

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Pssst, SBE, I'm trying to send you a PM. Clean out your messages, please! [emoji173]️

Ditto.

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I feel this belief has changed from the time I became a nurse in the 1980's. What I'm seeing now is as I'm approaching 60, the young, newer nurses all ready know it, have done it, do it better, don't want to hear anything I have to share. My 31 yrs as an RN and 8+ yrs before that as a CMA must have been a waste of my time according to them. It's sad. Attitude is poor, backstabbing is HUGE! and they can't believe they have to work holidays and weekends! The old isn't eating the young...it's the young eating us "old" ones!

Sad to say, that society has created this attitude, especially among the younger generation. The 20-somethings have never been in a car without air conditioning or power windows. I remember rolling down the window in the middle of summer as a kid so as not to fry in the back seat of the car. There was no DVD player in the back seat for long trips either.

They received participation trophies.” If I did not win, no trophy. It was the incentive to do better. We rode bikes without helmets, when we crashed, we learned to get up and shake it off.

Bullying also has an anthropological purpose, and that is to enforce the norms of society. In nursing, the best example of this would be other nurses admonishing one for taking a shortcut. This was usually initiated by older, more experienced people. What has happened with the explosion of technology is 12 year olds showing their teachers and parents how to use technology that they grew up with. This gives them a sense of superiority when combined with the sense of entitlement from participation trophies and comforts that were at one time luxuries.

Millennials have some nice toys that older generations didn't. Millennials can carry the entire Internet around in their pockets. This technology has probably changed our society and culture more than any technology since the invention and development of the railroads. Those of us who did not grow up with it can't know what it would be like to grow up with the Internet being "normal" instead of "new."

Not only has this made going to the library obsolete, but the permanent information is available in Cliffs Notes” version on Wikipedia.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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SmilingBluEyes,

Sending you some love and strength.

My intent was not to trigger.

Also know that there are many (even men) who do not condone the behavior that you experienced and will stand up to it. I am one of them.

Again, love and strength.

Thank you, I really appreciate that.

Your words mean a lot.

Anyhow I have cleaned out my inbox now......

And on with the thread....... :-)

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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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Let the millennial bashing begin!

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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There's been a lot of "Bashing" against all ages here and in many places on allnurses. Like it or not, we are all gonna have to work together. So maybe the "eating" can stop, and we can get on with it???

Just a crazy notion popping into my head.

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AmyBeckKeeneyZeiler has 20 years experience and specializes in Adaptation......

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Number one the title is fine we all understand where it comes from some animals eat their young I read an article years ago and one of my nursing magazines with that exact same title I can tell you why I eat the young sometimes I can't believe they even graduated or passed the board's what in God's name are the nursing schools teaching these people anymore they're dumb they don't know how to watch people they don't know how to diaper they don't know what their meds are they can't even speak the medical language much less spell it they can't start IVs they don't know how to work a G-tube what kind of training are they receiving and God help me they have no idea about insolence I remember my instructors would have killed me if I set behind the nurse's desk as much as these little chippies do I don't know what these 2324 year olds think they're doing but whatever it is it's not nursing and when you try to instruct them or correct them then you get this attitude you can teach me anything you don't know anything they don't listen they don't learn and then they get angry at you plus they think they can call off at the drop of a hat and not get in trouble day after day I just don't feel like coming to work today and it's not just one facility I've worked 10-15 years an agency and everywhere I go I see the same thing if you want to be a professional if you want to be a nurse I suggest you stop being morons more studying less talking

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AmyBeckKeeneyZeiler has 20 years experience and specializes in Adaptation......

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As a 20-plus years nurse myself I'm right there with your sisters these youngsters have no clue you can't teach him anything because they know everything you can't show them anything because they've done it all you're just old and washed-up never mind that they can't start an IV they have to call an IV team never mind if they can't access anything except what's to order for dinner and getting them out from behind the nurses station resemble something like taking 20 year old wallpaper off a wall do you think they could walk up and down check on their patients then they get mad if something goes wrong or there are these get clogged or their patients fall God forbid somebody needs to do something with them I say we bring back the mean old nursing instructors we had God help us if we ever sat down but you know what my patients don't fall my patients don't have mole Hills that turn into mountains because I haven't looked at them in 3 hours my IV stay functional and flushed my patients don't go into kidney failure because I'm watching their output they don't have problems because I'm watching their School production the simplest things can divert some of the major problems learn how to read a Telemetry strip for crying out loud buy a book there's plenty out there you don't learn everything you need to know in school you learn it by learning continually 99% of you are not going to marry doctors and live a life of luxury so quit trying to take off the makeup but the hair up in a ponytail get rid of the dangly earrings and the six inch nails and get to work

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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I've always thought the phrase that brands our entire profession "Nurses Eat Their Young" is vile and untrue. People get bullied by someone and they brand all of us.

I wonder if all these people in this thread are part of that. Do all of you eat your young? How did you get your training to eat your young, did you find a mentor and go from there?

I know there are many people that have been bullied, and I know there are many toxic environments where most of the nurses are catty, backstabbing and eat their young. But we need to stop demeaning ourselves with a "nurses eat their young" label because the overwhelming majority of us are stressed, tired, working out butts off without a break and saving lives.

Nursing is a tough demanding profession and when you graduate and are young, yeah you're on your own and when orientation is over, it's over and you got to put you put your big person panties on and not overreact with every negative thing that happens. When you're bullied, deal with it but don't brand a profession you've worked hard to become.

Be the change you want to see. It starts with you. But to lift yourself up, don't knock down the whole profession.

Rant over.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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I wonder if all these people in this thread are part of that. Do all of you eat your young? How did you get your training to eat your young, did you find a mentor and go from there?

You mean you didn't receive this as part of your COB welcoming packet?

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But in all seriousness, the phrase "Nurses eat their young" and all variations thereof need to just disappear. Generalizations aren't welcome elsewhere, so why is this one so prevalent? Yes, bullying exists. Yes, people are quick to cry bully when bullying hasn't really happened. No, it's not unique to the entire profession nor do all or even the majority of nurses participate. I'd say it's a small minority that is ruining the reputation of all. How would you (general you, not a specific person) feel if someone picked out an undesirable trait about someone who has something in common with you and then said all people with that common thing had that undesirable trait?

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Jensmom7 has 36 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice.

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Number one the title is fine we all understand where it comes from some animals eat their young I read an article years ago and one of my nursing magazines with that exact same title I can tell you why I eat the young sometimes I can't believe they even graduated or passed the board's what in God's name are the nursing schools teaching these people anymore they're dumb they don't know how to watch people they don't know how to diaper they don't know what their meds are they can't even speak the medical language much less spell it they can't start IVs they don't know how to work a G-tube what kind of training are they receiving and God help me they have no idea about insolence I remember my instructors would have killed me if I set behind the nurse's desk as much as these little chippies do I don't know what these 2324 year olds think they're doing but whatever it is it's not nursing and when you try to instruct them or correct them then you get this attitude you can teach me anything you don't know anything they don't listen they don't learn and then they get angry at you plus they think they can call off at the drop of a hat and not get in trouble day after day I just don't feel like coming to work today and it's not just one facility I've worked 10-15 years an agency and everywhere I go I see the same thing if you want to be a professional if you want to be a nurse I suggest you stop being morons more studying less talking

Holy Jebus, girlfriend, take a breath!!

It took me awhile, but I read your post, and you do make some valid points.

I was in nursing school over 40 years ago (BSN program) and I seem to remember a lot more clinical instruction that what students get today.

Don't get me wrong, even back then school prepared you for sitting Boards (5 books, 2 days of testing, waiting up to 6 weeks for results-I think students would spontaneously combust if they tested under the same circumstances today, lol), but I also learned practical stuff in clinicals.

Now, the things like IVs, Foley and NG insertion, we were exposed to them during clinicals, but real hands on doing came on the job.

I keep running into nurses who have been working for one or more years, who have absolutely no experience doing any of those things. How does one work at the bedside with an adult population for 3 years and never once had to put in a Foley??

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la_chica_suerte85 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

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Here's a secret about me that I'm not thrilled to share: I once ate my young. This was back when I worked in retail and, reflecting back on what was going on with me at the time, I know why this happened. While I have to resist the temptation to just cover it with the "people are mostly terrible" umbrella, I work everyday to try and see that people are coming from a neutral place and aren't necessarily showing up with evil intentions.

Why did I eat my young? In retail, especially "luxury" retail, the competition is tough and many of us are young and inexperienced. Where I worked, if you start out at 16, you can easily get into a management position by your early 20s. I always took pride in my work ethic even though retail was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do so when people were coming in with crappy attitudes but still wanted to get a keyholder or assistant position, that seriously rubbed me the wrong way.

My shortest of shortcomings came as a result of being fired from a job where I was apparently a threat to the boss. I just wanted to be helpful but apparently made her feel insecure (mostly my fault, I came on too strong; I was too ambitious, I guess). That whole experience was damaging to say the least and, as it occurred in the middle of the financial crisis, trying to find another job at one of the "luxury" stores was all but impossible. I was damaged goods, everyone knew it, no one wanted to hire me.

I was getting in serious financial trouble as it took me nearly 8 months to find a new job. I got lucky with a new store coming in so the hiring boss knew nothing of my not-very-well-deserved reputation and she took a chance on me and allowed an old boss who I was on good terms with to come in and put together his own team. It was fantastic but I was shell shocked. I never wanted to be in that position again. So, anyone who was not up to my standards was immediately on my bad list.

I worked hard to prove myself to my old boss and the hiring boss and I worked my way back into a good position. Nearly 7 years down the road, hiring people was incredibly difficult. Our hiring boss had left for a new frontier and the upper management was in shambles. Finding new people was all but impossible. Even starting with the resumes people were turning in (crooked photocopies rife with spelling and grammatical errors) it was just hard. Overworked and overstressed from covering for the lack of staffing, each new person that came in I struggled significantly with accepting and training. One newbie in particular had a serious issue with hoof-in-mouth disease. This person was a know-it-all from the start and was supposed to be my replacement upon starting nursing school. Definitely not up to my standards I ate her up whenever the chance came. I couldn't help myself. I just couldn't understand how daft this person was being. If it was the floor, she would have had know-it-all new grad syndrome for certain. Was I wrong? Yeah, but was she an idiot? Yes. However, I was older and should have known better and been more patient (although she ended up being on drugs and having considerable personal problems). Am I proud of how I acted? Nope. Did I learn a new level of patience? Yep.

Furthermore, the stress and desperation of wanting to hold on to my job made me act in a way that was maybe not as civil as I could have been. For the OP's "underling" I wonder if there was also a personal sense of desperation that caused them to position themselves in a way that resulted in such negative outcomes. Everyone needs to eat and when you have had your ability to provide for yourself become threatened, it will make you salty and it will make you do things you never thought you would do.

The factors that caused me to be this way stemmed from the fact that her boss talked her up to my boss and it seemed from the outset that she would have been a good replacement for me. Lesson learned that the only reason this boss did it was because she was trying to get rid of her (and this boss was in the middle of getting herself fired for fraud). This person coming in with this attitude (as I'm sure many new grads do) of thinking they are more in the know on things so they don't have to respect the fact that I and my boss had been working twice as long as they had been alive was more than enough to get my stomach growling and ready to eat. The stress from trying to do my best for a place that was steadily losing itself and trying to do way more with much less meant I had no time to screw around and even less time to be patient with someone who was pretending to have a good work ethic.

I can easily see this happening with any experienced nurse on the floor. You get these new grads coming in with their "I know evidence based practice!" attitudes and their "I have a BSN so where's my management job please" arrogance. People who (as we have seen in other threads) attempt to discredit instructors with their textbooks. People who have no sense of exactly what they do not know (which is about 99% of everything). People who don't know what it's like to adapt to a work culture that was well-established by the experienced people who have already put their time in. Essentially, people who go out of their way to act like entitled little brats. No wonder they get eaten. And, assuming the old adage that for every negative instance 16+ positive things must occur to ameliorate the negative instance is true, it's no wonder that experienced nurses are more ready than not to eat their young. They have already given their all and they have likely worked in a place long enough to see things go from bad to worse while management wants them to work harder and harder with less and less (and the customer service mentality of patients, give me a break). New grads who can't find it in themselves to respect this as a reality are basically marinating themselves in soy sauce and brown sugar.

That said, where I work, the majority of the nurses are awesome and come from a place of having been mistreated or having been treated well and knowing that they want to treat others well, too. I am more than happy to perpetuate this accepting, welcoming environment because it is so freaking nice to work in. :)

But, I know that not everyone is so lucky and some places are not in the best ways in terms of management, workload and stress. There's a lot of work left to do. I think that's why we're seeing so many more facilities mandating "civility" training to their staff. It seems weird to take an 8-hour class that basically teaches you to be a decent human being but, when facilities are treating their nurses like robots with infinite energy and providing a workload that matches that attitude, it's no wonder people start behaving a little less human. :shy:

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