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Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?

Nurses Article   (95,003 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 8 of Why Do Nurses Eat Their Own?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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Yep Many of us have seen this. The experienced, older nurse is a threat or at the very least gets zero appreciation and recognition for her hard work and contributions. The young pretty one can disrespect her mentors all she wants. She can throw all her coworkers under the proverbial bus to make herself look good. And she gets promoted in record time. And she will cry "bully" when anyone calls her on her crap.

Now, I don't want to do management. They (the young) can have it and all the nastiness that goes with it. Middle management is one of the most unappreciated jobs anyone can do. So yea, they can have it. But I mind VERY much you stepping on me to get there while management names you "employee of the year" cause you "look good". I have a real problem there. And those people will be supervising and making decisions that they are not ready to make after a year or so total in nursing. Scary.

What is really sad is that these young nurses are exalted in the eyes of the leadership. The leadership goes so overboard to try and get these people to stay. I am not asking for people to be treated disrespectfully. I am asking for those same people to notice what's going on and do something about it. Oh, and did I mention that these girls get nurse of the year for doing absolutely nothing over and above the call of duty? People such as myself who are no longer cute or young but do many extras get not even a thank you note. LOL. The system is definitely flawed. All those kudos do not change the fact that many of the young people that get into nursing are not inclined to bedside nursing. They are prima donnas who thought that taking care of poop and vomit would be glamorous and lucrative. It is hard to have to make up the difference to give the best nursing care in that environment. You would not believe the standard that I am held to. :yes:

Edited by SmilingBluEyes

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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You don't understand because you have no work experience as a nurse. So I can't really take your POV so seriously. Get some years as a practiced nurse under your belt and get back to us.

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.

Edited by SmilingBluEyes

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Wow. I find it ironic that the posts with the nastiest tones are the ones decrying incivilty.

Is it because it's an election year? Is that why posters think it's OK to be nasty to each other? Or did this one make it onto Facebook?

I am sick of this self perpetuating situation. Stop treating each other like dirt. Stop "retaliating" for what you imagine is happening to you.

Get some perspective and focus on how you can help other people instead of how you've been slighted.

BTW - why does TMZ pop up every time I like a post? Now AN is turning into one of those clickbait sites, too? Next thing you know, each reply will be its own page and there will be links for hot Internet girls and ID theft sites everywhere.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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SOOOO based on this ONE woman, all "older" women are to be judged? For every sweet, pretty, young, attractive nurse I can find you an "old bat" who is better, more experienced and well-versed who is getting passed up, judged, unappreciated every day. Nursing is not unique. There was a LOT LOT LOT of young eating in the military, trust me. I did 10 years and saw it all the time. It's what you make of it that determines your success. Generalizations and whining get no one any place. Showing up, being honest, working hard and respecting people at face value will get you EVERYPLACE. That I know.

As nurses, we size people up every day (and have to) just as all humans do. Some of us are better than others at reading people, but we all come in to every interaction with personal bias and ideas of what makes a good nurse. We size others up within minutes and react according to our personal code of conduct.

Older nurses often feel threatened by younger nurses but I have also seen negative reactions based on the need to constantly "train" someone without having enough senior/experienced nurses to rely on when things get tough. This makes for some pretty negative attitude.........and can you honestly blame these folks? If you've never experienced being the only person who had worked as a nurse longer than a year (I'm at 7, and this has happened to me MANY times), you won't know what I mean. But does this excuse behavior? No, absolutely not.

As far as feeling threatened, there are many reasons for this. Aging nurses may just feel the aging process every time they look at younger folks (with more energy and positivism) coming in. Or as their pay scales max out, they may wonder how much the newbies are coming in at. They may just be plain tired (time to retire and I have met many nurses who simply can't afford that option and hold a grudge).

Then there's this story that I witnessed years ago when I did something else in healthcare:

I was working in an office with 4 women of varying ages (I was in the middle in my late 20s/early 30s). We were interviewing for a relief position. A young woman came in, cute as a button with a WONDERFUL personality, fully qualified for the position. All of us LOVED her. Except one. The oldest woman in our group had been going through a divorce, attempting to lose weight, battling depression and had a damn bad attitude (possibly menopausal to boot). As the interview proceeded, she was very flat affect and appeared angrier than usual. After the interview, we all chatted about the candidate. When this woman was asked what she thought, she initially couldn't respond, uttered something about her age and newness that the rest of us liked (she was just so damned enthusiastic- I wanted her on the spot), and finally came out with the fact that.........she was PRETTY. Yes, this bothered the woman intensely. And of course this was discussed behind her back later.........

The woman wasn't hired. Can you believe it? We got a heavy set girl instead. I'm not kidding.

And having been on other interview panels, I can tell you that things absolutely DO go this way sometimes. So what happens when you don't choose the candidates and you have to train attractive, new, young people with bright futures? Some people in ANY field hold this in and let it out in very mysterious ways.

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I decided, after getting into the nursing program at Chaffey college, and seeing the kind of drama I would have to deal with in a predominantly female job, that I wasn't going to put up with it. So I decided to do something else. My first profession was law enforcement, and I personally think that keeping my head on a swivel to keep from getting shot is far less stressful that putting up with a bunch of snippy women who back stab their own to move up the ladder.

Lesson learned

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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.

What frightens me about your view is that this might be used as an excuse; ...not my fault, I was abused…” How many times have we heard this from people charged with a crime? By using as an excuse, what I mean is if they bully (abuse) others (nurses, patients, etc.), they either justify it in their own minds (continue to do it), as a defense if they get caught doing it, or as reason NOT to report it if they witness it.

You don't understand because you have no work experience as a nurse. So I can't really take your POV so seriously.

milesims,

The only explanation that I can see for this line of thinking is the union mentality where seniority is more important than qualification. Nurses are one profession that still has a strong union presence.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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Military is/was always predominantly male. The backbiting, cat calling, disrespect shown by the males toward female servicemembers was unreal. It happens in many places.

I just chose not to cave to it all. I was honest, respectful, kept my ears open and mouth shut in the beginning. Then I went about showing them my worth. It was a great career, but only a few years. Got out to raise the kids and go back to school....

I have been a waitress, hostess, cashier and military. I saw people "eating" each other in all those areas. Esp. being a waitress. Talk about cattiness. It's all over. I just have always chosen to rise above it and prove my mettle and get past it all. Worked for me.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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Wrong. This line of thinking comes from simply years of work and life experience. I am not even in a union position, so you don't know my situation at all. But go on and believe what you want. It gets you nowhere to write it off as "union" mentality. For me, it's ridiculous to make generalizations and statements about a career in which a person has zero experience.

What frightens me about your view is that this migh t be used as an excuse; ...not my fault, I was abused…” How many times have we heard this from people charged with a crime? By using as an excuse, what I mean is if they bully (abuse) others (nurses, patients, etc.), they either justify it in their own minds (continue to do it), as a defense if they get caught doing it, or as reason NOT to report it if they witness it.

milesims,

The only explanation that I can see for this line of thinking is the union mentality where seniority is more important than qualification. Nurses are one profession that still has a strong union presence.

Edited by SmilingBluEyes

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A friend of mine is a police officer and she describes some of the most horrible hazing and cattiness I've ever heard of no matter what the gender. But I think she'd look at you weird if you suggested that Police Eat Their Young.

Like I said before, people are people no matter where you go, there are friendly and unfriendly co-workers and it doesn't do our profession any good at all by insisting that our PITA colleagues are worse than another profession's PITA colleagues! I'm a little embarrassed at the level of complaining I'm seeing from people who seem to really believe that nursing is the one place where this kind of thing is a reality, has no one ever worked in any other field before???

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Ah Yes!!! The company's bottom line, and the co-worker politics. Been a nurse for 40 yrs and it has just gotten much worse. The competition for positions and shifts are immense and some will do anything possible to get to the head of the line. I now work in a clinic that accepts a prestigious university's nurse practitioner students and what I see is horrible. Even the students 'back bite' one another for the best rotations and clinical site. I refuse to get in the middle of the squabbles nor comment on other students clinical skills. What I am seeing is nursing programs are so focused on the courses and ATI scores, that the clinical skills have gone out the window. Sims labs are great for practicing skills such as IV lines, Pumps, Pics, etc but they do not provide the needed interaction between the patient and the student. Some students do great when in the lab, but throw in a patient that talks to them during a 'practiced' procedure and they lose all train of thought. Also facilities now want nurses to work 12 hr shifts. Young nurses may have more stamina but may lack the essential skills and background to problem solve in a situation. By the time I work with these NP students, they have already passed NCLEX but common sense is sorely lacking. I would be terrified to have some of them take care of me!!!!

I also think that today's society has changed drastically and it is all about taking care of 'yourself' and leaving whoever behind. Helping others is few and far between. If you help another student, they might get a better job review, a better grade, etc and it would leave you out of getting the job or lower in the class rank.

So I wish the young nurses luck. Don't stoop to the back biting etc. Try and treat others with kindness 'just watch your back and what you say. And always document what you do and don't be afraid to write comments on your performance review. Remember, it is part of your permanent record.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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There was, once upon a time, the notion that NPs had years of actual nursing experience. Those in the military were top-shelf. Nowadays, not so much. Sad. I always had such respect for all NPs at one time. Still some good ones around. But they are getting fewer. The schools, now, are laughing all the way to the bank. No one wins, especially the patients.

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

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Graduate nursing degrees definitely have a cheapened feeling to them. It seems like every nurse who is a single mother out there is in grad school "getting her APRN" as they so crudely state. Do they just give away diplomas these days?

By the way, the fact that there are fully online NP schools was shocking to me. Only in nursing... there's no online med/pharmacy/PA school. Those professions still have respect for themselves.

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