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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (94,101 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 4 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 understand how somebody can unethically "climb" over somebody, whether or not they mentored them. Unless, of course, they killed everyone that stood in their way, brought down competition's reputations, threatened their families, and slept with everyone to get there. You know, like they do in the movies.

If management hires them over you for lower pay, how is that their fault? If management thought they were better for the job and they tried really hard to "grab that promotion from you," how is that their fault again? Just because you mentored them, they should perform worse and not aim high in order for you to get above?

There is a lot of hypocrisy. It isn't unethical to aim high and take a promotion, and the very people who complain about this would do the same in a heartbeat.

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Palliative Care, DNP specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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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.

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Sensibility has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

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Keep work at work and your life outside of that.

That is true. But that isn't the point. Most lateral violence that is typically cited is concerning senior nurses to the newer nurses. That has happened to me even though I was older age wise at the time. I think the frustration for me personally is embracing bedside nursing. If everyone is aspiring to get away from it and only a few senior nurses are at bedside for 30 plus years, then the other spots are constantly being filled and rotated by new nurses who can't wait to leave. So they leave and another person who is new comes to take their place. The senior nurses give a great deal of themselves into those nurses to make them successful but rarely get any recognition for their efforts. I actually like teaching. In fact, as a night shift nurse, I have come to expect the outcome that the person is aspiring to eventually move on. I pour myself into these people knowing they will leave at some point. My only contention is that some of them (not all) are not there to work or are not there because they care. I could care less what they do in their off time. :geek: I barely have time for my own family. I have no desire to do anything with anyone outside of work. I love this statement from the original post. " as if those great women who pioneered nursing to care for the sick, indigent and wounded would be so saddened by the "General Hospital", "Grays Anatomy"; "high school acting" nurses of today."

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BuckyBadgerRN has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

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Right? I was 75% turned off from the entire article based on the tired old cliché of the title

I can't get past the title. I might have been a good idea to hang around here for a while before choosing it.

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dzadzey has 19 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Dialysis, Hospice, Critical care.

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All cliches aside, there is an element here which goes unrecognized, and that is the inability, or unwillingness of too many nurses to stand up for themselves. Hospital administrators expect the nurses at bedside to do more...with less. And, in large part, nurses quietly do so. They grumble amongst themselves, the frustrations spill over, resulting in cliques and a general unwillingness to look beyond what is immediately before us...The patients. If we can't see beyond what is in front of us, desperately important though it is, we won't be able to provide our patients the care they deserve. We must take care of ourselves by demanding as much from hospital administration as they demand from us. And we can't do this if we fall victim to the cliquishness and back-stabbing we see...all to often...among our co-workers.

To paraphrase another cliche, we must hang together or hospital administrations will cheerfully hag us separately.

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

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This happens everywhere. Nurses just whine about it more.

(I commented only so I can follow this thread on my app. Kind of over this topic, but since it's Featured... :) )

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RNdynamic has 5 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing.

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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.

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RNdynamic has 5 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing.

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By the way - I think its disgusting in general how nurses talk to one another. It's amusing how a nurse will be talk down to their coworkers, using expressions such as "Why didn't you do xxx?" or "You really should do xxx." Those same people would then turn around and talk to their patients in the sweetest voice ever and never use those expressions with them. Why? Well - because it's wrong and its unprofessional. "Why" questions and "Should" statements are supposed to be avoided: its communication 101. Their "niceness" to their patients is all an act. "

But we give ourselves a free pass to use them on each other. Disgusting.

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Slhengy has 10 years experience and specializes in Cardiac, Ortho, Med/Surg, ICU, Quality.

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Nurses do eat their young in my opinion. It's one of the reasons why I left the bedside and I see it quite often in my rounding on the units. Not sure why they do it.....I just know that it happens. My daughter told me recently that when she transferred from the Ortho floor that she was on for years to a Mom/Baby unit that the nurses were a lot more critical of each other and back stabbing. They weren't competing for any advancements....they were just mean people. I find that very sad and perhaps this thread will prompt people to think before they speak and be aware of how they treat people in general.

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

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I'm wondering if anyone has ever worked anywhere, ever? This happens all over the place, people. It is part of the work environment. People don't always get along and warm and fuzzy and gooey and smiley and "pat me on the back, I showed up!"

Just go to work and do your job as best you can. As you work more and go through stuff with people, you will form bonds. Most people can work together if they try. They don't have to be best friends.

If the environment is truly toxic, change jobs.

This is not rocket science.

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Axgrinder specializes in Adult MICU/SICU.

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Having only recently been chastised soundly on this very site by a member for bringing up this topic in passing, I am curious to see it now a couple of weeks later, since I am still licking my owns wounds for daring to speak my mind.

Yes, I believe there is a fair amount of this in nursing, but I think nearly every profession has their fair share of it too, and nursing is no different. Perhaps (yikes - I can see the fallout and carnage from this statement on many different levels) because nursing is still mostly predominantly female? There: I said it.

My own preceptor warned me at the end of my own orientation now more than 2 decades ago, but I didn't take that warning to heart. I paid a heavy price for not doing so, and still carry the scars around in my collective psyche - it has also shaped who I am, and who I chose to be. I chose to not willfully harm others, and to give a helping hand to those who are new.

I think there are two avenues to consider here: 1) the work place has become much more competitive overall, and earning a living presently is a lot harder than it was 20-30 years ago. Having a 22 year old son whom has eschewed the college route, I can see it will be much tougher for him to earn a good wage for a choice I consider foolhardy in the extreme (the verdict on this decision is still out at this point). That being said, only the very best will get selected for jobs that pay well. On the other hand, 2) there are just some people with cut throat personalities, and it is only natural some should make their way into nursing too. There are rabble-rousers who thrive on trouble in all professions - believe me when I tell you they are alive and well in dental offices, schools, and real estate appraisal firms too.

We can chose not to be catty to one another. We don't have to pick each other part. A wagging tongue can be as sharp as a dagger, and I think it is likely we can all bring to mind someone we know whom this describes … just remember ladies and gentlemen, those fingers clicking away on keyboards can hurt just as much.

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

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So many responses to this piece illustrate the OP's point. Why even bring EBP into the mix when we have a live demonstration of the snide condescending, negativity that goes on in practice settings of all types across the country everyday.

You want EBP. Participate in your professional organization, and read the ANA's official position statement on Incivility, Bullying, and Violence in Health Care and Among Nurses. You'll get all the EBP you can stand. That evidence should make most of us hang our heads in shame. Somewhere along the way, we nurses lose the part of us that makes us human. You don't like the inflammatory title, tough. Our predecessors bestowed it on us, and too many of us are still trying to play hard nose passive aggressive, and keep the cliche true. You all don't agree with the characterization or think it's blown out of proportion and unfairly assigned- come off your high horses, change it. Be kind. Stop being so critical of every little thing from grammar to opinions.

Write your own EBP articles refuting the idea of nurses eating their young. Prove all the studies wrong. Show people it doesn't really exist. I wish you luck in that endeavor. Because from my work and research on the issue for the ANA's position statement and my own personal experience in nursing, I can safely say I have never encountered a group of individuals so petty, mean-spirited, ugly, unprofessional, cruel, and down right hateful than in nursing. Nursing takes the cake for having some of the most disrespectful, passive aggressive, bad attitude individuals- from floor to administration.

I am happy to say I have had the pleasure to collaborate with some truly wonderful nurses, but they are far too rare in the field. That's why individuals are fleeing nursing. That's nursing sucks the souls from otherwise good, hard working individuals. Think about that when you are over worked on the floor.

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