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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (95,032 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 24 of Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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

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I have found through many years in the nursing profession, that nurses will find whatever it is they expect to find.

Here's a quote to remember "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."--Dr. Wayne Dyer

This may be helpful to you and your daughter moving forward.

I think you're exactly right, and I wish I could have said it as well myself!

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Eastern RN has 30 years experience and specializes in ER, Paeds, Gen Surg.

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I also have worked with such wonderful groups of people since I graduated in 1982. And - the climbers can go right ahead - I also will gladly step aside - because I like bedside care. BUT - I did get thrown under the bus last August and they backed up and went over me again to make sure I was unable to work. And the driver of the bus was a climber.

I am still working with Union and HR to get back to work. In an occupation that is supposed to be caring and supportive - it might have been at one time - but it sure saddens me to see what it has become. At least in my little part of the world. I can't speak for everyone.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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I haven't read any other responses yet...You spoke my mind and heart and I want to respond from there, without other's opinions clouding my point of view. Yes, even at my ripe age I can still see "the other side" and sometimes doubt my perspective. In this case, I have no inclination to do so as I feel very strongly about this topic. I know I risk criticism...oh well, here goes....

I started in Nursing as an LVN in 1982. I became an RN in 1995. Change is good. Expansion is good. Throwing away the baby with the bath water is NOT good, and this is what I believe has happened, to a large degree, in our profession of Nursing.

It has always taken a "special" type of person to even consider this profession. That hasn't changed. The education and training was grueling, and still is. You always have had to want to help people...no change there. It has always required HARD work...it has become "insanely" hard work now, but for a variety of reasons very few of which has anything to do with the nurses. This is what has changed with nurses...

When I was a student and a new grad, the older, experienced nurses were respected. We young ones looked up to them. We eagerly gave up our seats when one entered the nursing station. We didn't want to get in the way...they were busy and we were there either to learn a lot or the bare minimum by their good graces. Yes, they were sometimes grouchy and hard on us, but it was extremely rare that we were mal-treated. When we towed our line, they pulled us up under their wings. Occasionally, one didn't much care for another, but do not let someone from the outside overly criticize or be harsh with that one, before the other was right there to defend her. When someone was over their head or struggled with something, at least one, if not two were right there to save the day...We were continually taught by one another, and once you worked hard, tried your best and made progress, you got a well-deserved pat on the back. At that point, your opinion mattered as much as anyone's and we tackled our challenges

TO-GE-THER.

When my day came where I was ready to teach/mentor/precept, I was as protective as a mother bear. No one could officially chastise, harshly criticize, or otherwise impact their career without my input. If, there was substance to their criticisms, I would address them with my preceptee and do my best to help her improve that area...just as others did with me over my years of growth. The "tradition" was to ensure and encourage growth and learning FIRST..."We" did not toss someone out or give up on a new one, unless and until there was truly nothing else we could do and I can tell you that was a very rare situation, in deed. If nothing else, a transfer to another unit or specialty more appropriate to their abilities would be arranged. When one got to the point where it was more difficult to keep up physically, we made sure she had the lighter loads and she would help us with our tasks to compensate until she could retire or transfer.

I could go on and on. The "cut-throat" crap I see today is actually painful for me to watch. And, not for nothin', the ridiculous expectations of the hospital administrations only adds and encourages the survival of the fittest attitudes that now prevail. Sink or swim. Fit in from the start gate or go home. Figure it out yourself...it's not my problem. Look it up. Google it. I don't have time to help you...ask so and so... What? You don't know that?...eye roll...

What...you got accused of/suspected of X,y, z? You probably did it.

Op..can you tell I plan to vote for your article? Sincerely, it was well-written and much more succinctly than I could respond...

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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You said you genuinely wanted opinions so here is mine, I think the title of this article is inflammatory and designed to get people to read something they otherwise might have just skipped over. I think that there are people who treat other people badly no matter what the profession and having yet another person harping about how Nurses Eat Their Own is just fanning a fire that should have been put out by now. I think that new nurses will cheer is and most experienced nurses will scoff at this and the whole thing will be pointless because in the end we all make our own beds, and we all must learn to lie in them. Reap what you sow, like that. There's nothing new about that!

Excuse me...the fire is now so out of control, you don't even realize you are burning up.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,058 Profile Views

Titles are meant to draw in the readers......just like the titles of best-selling books. Who wants to read an article (or buy a book) with a boring title

This is a seasoned nurse (20 yrs exp and has been a member here for 2 years) sharing her personal experience.

Thank you for defending the OP. Right out the gate, CRITICISM, without even one comment on content.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,058 Profile Views

Professional nurses take at least introductory-level college courses in psychology, sociology, and human development ... and have presumably functioned in group settings (family/school/work/etc) before becoming nurses. But some appear completely dumbfounded by the realities of typical adult interpersonal relations, including power games.

I have never understood this.

Umm, the truth is, it wasn't always like this.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,058 Profile Views

I guess my problem with the headline situation is that I feel, they contain false premises most often leading to a rousing, rancorous nurse-on-nurse throwdown. We had the "do BSN's save lives?" headline and the "you've been lied to" headline which I would put in that category. I'm sorry, but it really bothers me. Maybe I should voice this someplace else on the site, but there you have it nevertheless.

nrsgofold-- seems you've had a string of jobs not working out, the jockeying for position and betrayals just suck no matter what you call it.

Hope you finally find an employer who values your experience and teaching talents.

Sorry, but you guys assume way too much...Doesmit matter to you at all that the way we treat each other has changed...No one seems to want to hear that part...just offense taken, offense taken...does the shoe fit?

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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Florence would like me!

There is the occasional nurse that is so frustrated with their situation, that they take it out on the kids. Most of the oldy moldys just want to mentor and guide.

Thank you...but "am I an oldy moldy?

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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Replies like this highlight the ops point....mean spirited and nasty....and reading on through many nasty posts continue....why even bother to reply with a snarky negative post....wait I know.....you are nurses....attempting to make yourselves look like you are all that while trying to minimize the credibility of the OP....Unreal

Can I like what you just said 5000 times?

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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I suspect it's unique to nursing.

I worked a variety of customer service jobs prior to nursing and ran into lots of people stepping on each other. We'd all complain about the worst offenders, but it's not like it surprised or horrified us in some moral way. It was just human nature and not surprising at all. I have also been trained for customer service jobs by people who didn't particularly want to train me and/or weren't particularly nice, but I wasn't morally offended and screaming, "Customer service people eat their young!!!" either - once again, human nature.

I don't know what it is about nursing that makes us such drama queens about this topic.

Drama queens? Are you kidding me? I feel as though those who don't get this are missing the point. Nurses used to support one another much like fire fighters, police officers, military folks... And don't get me started in the abuses of all that. Nurses have registered high on the lists for the most trusted professions for good reason.

Do you really think that us "oldy moldys" as you call us don't realize that there are mean people all over the place? Do you really think we are not aware of human behavior? No you cannot get beyond your perceived offense that you miss the whole point.

The profession changed dramatically in the past 10-15 or so years...at least. It's not just about the one jerk who takes advantage. There will always be some of those. How many times I have been in meetings called by administrators to tell us they are making some change, adding one more thing to our already over-loaded plates etc...where I was the only one raising my hand to diplomatically and professionally voice concern about whatever the new, one more thing being added to our plates was about and the impact it will have and have no one else speak up? Then after the meeting 5 people come to me to say..." Oh you are so right. What they are doing is so wrong." And then...complain, complain, complain, but No back up. No one standing up in fear they will be thought of unfavorably by administration. Then, feeling disenfranchised, burned out, and pissed off because of the business practices, they know are wrong, they do nothing to try to change it. "Im not going to stick my neck out.". I'll just save my own neck. In the mean time, this "oldy moldy" is the only one looking like she has a problem. Failure to adapt, (to borrow a military term).

I'll say it again..."We used to support one another.". And, in spite of all the changes, I am still here, and I will continue to do my damndest to support you! Thanks.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

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The truth is people at work aren't your friends. They are acquaintances that you work with for 12 hours. When you go home they don't come with you. Co-workers are supposed to be team members during that 12 hour shift working together to provide better patient care. They aren't there to have your back or ensure that you love your job. People place too much weight on what a co-worker is. As long as they take care of their patients, help when they are able, & show up at a code who cares how quickly they move up? I don't because I'm there to pay my bills not worry about how someone else pays theirs. Karma always catches up. It's only a matter of time before that nurse feels like she can trust the wrong co-worker. Then she will be the one talking about the knife in her back. Keep work at work and your life outside of that.

Your main point is well-taken. However, for me, it's not about moving up. I'm the first to applaud your accomplishment. It's about the over-all change of attitude that appears to prevail these days. For example, the numbers of Nurses who get "run out" of the profession because for example, they had a different learning style than the "one" teaching style their preceptor was prepared to use. The ones whose preceptor is/was not interested in precepting, but was one of the few who had enough experience to take on the role (and I know it is a lot more work piled onto an already very challenging work load). I remember "differences" being acknowledged and adaptations made in an effort to try to ensure that the new person was successful. I'm talking about caring if the new person was successful and making more than the absolute minimum effort to try to help them be successful. I just don't see that any longer...just one example.

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,058 Profile Views

The topic post of this thread contains anecdotes, whose salience is implicitly in question. As many stories you can come up with of lazy young nurses who have thrown you under the bus or snuck out of the building to make out with each other, I can come up with just as many stories of gossiping, lazy, and overweight 40 and 50 something year olds who are "assignment dumping" on younger nurses and "type A" personalities talking about their "vast experience" ad nauseam. They would just as meaningless as the examples in the OP.

It's not so much about the generational issues of thinking, although I have done my fair of haranguing on the subject...it more about the changing priority of values in society as whole...

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