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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (94,974 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 25 of Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

See, now, you ticked me off with your use of the word "whining." No one is whining at you, and you are not expected to control the behavior of your coworkers. You are just expected to exhibit basic common respectful manners we all were taught at home. That includes not tolerating rude and bullying behavior designed to break down co workers rather than coach them and be a team player. The tides are turning. Individuals not in the habit of behaving civilly in the workplace are no longer being tolerated. There are no places for ugly, rude, and difficult coworkers.

Agree, but...they are tolerated, hence their existence.

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

Any job, where illogical and often dangerous pressure/and work is placed on a crew by everyone else up the chain of command will do one thing for sure: It will cause the crew to lash out the only way they feel safe to release pressure, and that is at each other. Folks have job fear, so won't lash UP (the ladder where the problems are coming from) so the pressure valve blasts sideways.

in other words, 95% of nursing stress begins at the very top and is pressured thru your bosses in whatever form works: bonuses...threats...both...etc.

i have mostly worked in rehabs and long-term care. i was fortunate enough to have also served many years in the US military. I bring 2 things to my nursing: strong camaraderie and a strong worth ethic. For instance, the last day I worked last week, i brought in fancy iced coffee and treats. one for the nurse i was taking shift from as well as her coworker. "I know your day was stressful, here is a little decompression treat!"

IF we don't take care of one-another, we can be sure that no one else will.

NO other profession can literally get away with slave labor, like nursing. it wasn't as bad as its getting and i fear will get worse.

I am not sure how hospitals are but, where I work, we do NOT stop for the entire 12 hr shift. No hyperbole there. Dont take lunch because we cant spare those precious minutes. We have way to many acute care, pysch, ALL admissions while we attend a no less than 4-6 hr medpass (depends on emergency(ies). We do MDS' work as well as clean up after pts whose physical habits are horrendous, if you are reading twixt the lines here... work a full shift, collapse into bed with another shift coming up..only to get a call @ 2 hrs into sleep because you missed sonething as you were doing your job plus MDS plus Admissions and told to get your tail into work to fix it. And yes, you still cone in for your night shift. Tired? That, like your license -- is your problem. Even the secretaries get to play "kick the nurse." With all the foreign nurses being shipped in at cheaper pay, attitude has changed too. The prevailing attitude is "If you don't like it - quit"

Suffice it to say if males were nurses, there is NO WAY they would be expected to be subjected to this. Jobs which are traditionally female treat us like errant children...there are good places to be sure but the pile on effect has really been changing these past few years. Not 10 years ago, i worked along 2 more awesome nurses and CNAs (they are still awesome!) and we ran the building at night. we were expected to be the professionals and we WERE what was expected.

Now? We cant send anyone else until the Admin (not a nurse) approves. Millionaire owners want more and more $$$ and we have all watched someone pay for that greed.

Used to be , by word of mouth, you found out where the more nurse-friendly places were.

I should hush...lol. anyhooo, I love my residents! i love my co-workers. i love nursing. but, at 56, i can still easily handle the pressure of 10 years ago...but i am looking to do something else. i have already seen 2 good nurses be destroyed. It nearly tore my heart from my chest. didnt used to believe in unions but i do now. just wish we could get more in the South. God Bless you, my sisters. Lets get our Nightingale on!!! :-)

Someone who understands me....Hugs and more hugs to you.

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

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.

Same here. I'd love to find other nurses who have been thrown under the bus like myself. Seems like we must be out there, but no one will talk about it, and Im about to just spill my beans and tell the story. I am one dof those all but destroyed nurses. Meaning, I haven't given up yet, but after 34 years I'm getting close...so damned tired.

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

I'm sorry but I cannot read a discussion like this and keep silent.

It's okay nrsgofold. There are a lot of snarky people out there. In my darkest moment while in nursing school, I made the mistake of asking for advice on allnurses. I was poked at, chewed up, spit out, and charged with THE HIGHEST TREASON to the profession. I had made a mistake in clinicals. I already felt horrible. The comments on here had me bawling like a baby for 3 days. HEAVEN FORBID WE BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN PERFECT.... Sorry. I'll save that rant for another thread.

One would think that nurses would show a little more comraderie toward one another. When I was a newbie floor nurse I would have been foaming at the mouth for a more seasoned RN to take me under her wing. Then once I made my own way I would have gone out of my way to help her if she ever needed it.

Why are nurses so judgemental and critical of one another? I don't care how stressed I was. I NEVER belittled anyone. I was always the one taking that co-worker, who is having a bad day, aside to make sure he/she's ok.

Why can't nurses accept that fact that we are all human beings and all inherently flawed? No one is perfect. You try your absolute "Type-A Personality" best but you can't be perfect in everything.

Perfect examples of of how wonderful nurses have treated me over time starting with nursing school:

1). They stole our charts/MAR's and hid them so that we couldn't properly take care of our patients, while in nursing school. They just didn't want to deal with us.

2). They watched in silence as my nursing instructor ripped me up one side and down the other for not "paying attention" during report. In reality, I felt rude sitting in a room full of women while they bashed a coworker behind her back. They hadn't even started report yet. They were gossiping (as usual).

3). They say to your face, "how could you be so stupid?" Oh I can never ever forget the wonderful time when someone said, "You are such a disappointment." --- where is the constructiveness in that criticism?

4). I once had a patient fall because he vasovagaled in the bathroom. I was standing beside him, grabbed him under the axilla, (I'm 5'6" and he's 6'2"). Needless to say, his butt hit ground (very gently but because it did I had to write an incident report. No one spoke to me or even looked at me for 2 hours and I was made to feel like the incident was entirely my fault. Turns out, they were Withholding assistance on purpose.

5). I once went to someone I thought was a mentor to ask advice. I got a little watery eyed because it was very serious in nature. She told me that I was being unprofessional and so on and so on.

6). I learned to 'shut up and color' real quick. I was forced to turn very introverted and I used to be quite the opposite. There a lot of strong personalities in nursing. So after being criticized and ridiculed or just plain ignored when trying to make small talk at the nurses station/break room, I just withered away in the background.

7.) I made the mistake of going into the OR. I did love surgeries.... I didn't love the drama. I was constantly ridiculed and compared to another nurse who started a month just before me. I wasn't catching on nearly as quickly as she did. I couldn't understand it either. I was usually pretty good at learning things that I had a drive for... And I wanted to be an OR Nurse BAD.

Long story short I was diagnosed with MS (hence, the difficulty learning with memory loss). There was a staff meeting and my name came up because the housekeepers were asking how my orientation was going. The housekeepers shouldn't know anything unless people are openly gossiping about me!! That other new OR nurse didn't help and would often throw me under the bus as well because it made her look so much more golden!

I loved helping people but Nursing broke my spirit. I see my diagnosis as an open window to a brighter world than I've known in nursing. I'm applying for Grad School to start a Master in Social Work program in the fall. No job is perfect but Maybe there I'll be allowed to be a little bit more myself.

My heart breaks for you. THIS is what I have talked about. THIS and more...

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

Nurses eat their own because it's how they're acculturated in too many settings. There's tons of sociology literature on behaviors of oppressed groups and how it relates to nursing, so I won't bore you all with that. Except that I will say that the younger nurses everyone loves to complain about are molded by the exact culture nurses also love to complain about that they seem to foster and carry forward. There is this insecurity that exists within nursing that is so sad in that any accomplishment or perception of someone "moving up" is seen in a negative light, like a relatively new nurse being picked for a management role, or a nurse that has graduated with a bachelors degree in an area that is composed of mostly diploma or associates degree nurses.

I've experienced this time and again as a 32 year old nurse that's been a bedside nurse for ten years. When I finished my masters degree, there were snarky comments that I was trying to "move on up" and "leave the rest behind." The comments have grown more fervent since I'm now a PhD candidate in Nursing.

Let's be honest with ourselves for a minute and admit that there's a reason younger nurses want to move into management so soon, or want to become advanced practitioners. It's generally not out of laziness, or thinking they are better than anyone, but really it's just that the culture sucks. Being a bedside nurse isn't the draining part half the time. Dealing with bedside nurses is draining. And, again, I say this as an experienced ICU nurse that's still at the bedside. My main point here is that this discussion continues and seems to go nowhere because of a fundamental reality that nothing will change until the culture changes. If you want to be treated like a professional, then act like one, and support your nursing colleagues in whatever goals they have. Want to know the main difference between Nursing and Medicine as professions? When there's a problem for physicians, they circle the wagons and back each other up. Nurses throw each other out and fend for themselves. That's why Nursing doesn't get ahead, and we continue to have the same discussion about nurses eating their own.

And THIS is also whatbI have been saying for years. My current issue is how things have changed...it didn't used to be this way. We used to support one another....not always perfectly, but a heck of a lot more than today. I have also commented on how doctors take care of each other. You NEVER hear them talk about one another the way nurse do....even the really poor physicians...they just don't.

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

1 Article; 781 Posts; 7,054 Profile Views

Yes! Point and validity of topic by these snotty caddy comments. Author has proved a point. Nice work!

Are you being sarcastic or do you really mean she did a good job?

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