Published Jul 18, 2004
This actually started from another thread, but its got me wondering now. Shed some light on your feelings on the phrase "Nurses Eat Thier Young".
As a new grad I experienced it on several levels, and have seen it over the years done to others (I swore if I survived the first year I would nurture every new nurse I encountered, and have done so....) Is this an American phenomenon? Is this because nurses are mostly female and behave badly in groups (sorry ladies, this one is true, too) ? Thoughts?
Tweety, BSN, RN
I was a lucky new grad to work in a supportive environment.
No, I don't think it's a female thing. Because Dr.'s and Lawyers, even the military sometime say the same thing.
Nursing is a tough and demanding field. Many nurses are stressed and burned out and take it out on new nurses, or are hypercritical of new nurses.
I also think that when we come out of school we are hypersensitive, and allow one or two bad nurses to ruin our day and accuse "nurses of eating their young" when it's only one nurse on the unit. Also we think no one cares about us, when the fact of the matter is many nurses are just too busy and stressed out with their own stuff to nuture, that when a new grad asks for help or asks a question our expression is one of stress and they feel "nurses eating their young" when in reality we're thinking (o.k. 414-2 wants pain medicine, I have to start an IV in 412-2, I've got the data base in 411-1 to do, and this new nurse needs me right now..........".
There are good nurses and bad nurses. Fortunately I've never seen a nurse who was hip on eating their young. Usually they are sourpusses that pick on all nurses, not just the young ones.
Am I making sense? LOL
I would like to add to what 3rdguyshift said, but I think he said it well. In fact, the same nurses that treated me like s*** when I was an aid on the floor now continue to treat me like S*** even though I'm one of their own--no big surprise there.
I, too, am a new nurse in my first month of preceptorship. I find myself hypersensitive to rudeness, and that could make me think that some of the nurses eat their young, if I didn't know better. Unlike my preceptor, however, I'm not going to defend the rudeness, which she does all the time and it makes me sick. To her, the only people that are rude are the people that are rude to her. I don't count (See, there I go again being hypersensitive).
Nevertheless, this is what I have experienced in the workplace and in every clinical I ever had: 50% percent are cool; 50% are rude, condescending, cold a**holes. But here's the thing: the ones who save the day are the ones who always seem to have a smile for me, the ones who are in good humor, the ones who readily answer a question--as if that question was actually important. I will strive very hard to be like them, because the power to be positive, and the influence that postivity has is leaps and bounds greater than the power of the negativeness.
Most high stress and HIGH KNOWLEDGE jobs seem to have a reacurence of folks who get the "I got my SH*T together" attitude and then gaze down apon the masses of the "young" almost daring them not to be at thier level. 9 times out of ten these types of people are usualy some of your poorer performers. They may be good at med surge but put them in the ED and they freeze. In the EMS field we have this same problem with folks who get first arrogant about thier knowledge then, complacent. It is a bad thing for a supervisor to allow this to attitude to prevail. It promotes poor morale, lack of profesionalism and early burn out of our younger folks. All of us need to remember that we to were once the PROBE. I make a personal responsability to set my JR folks up for success
Keep your people happy and you may acctualy get a day off, something that seems unheard of lately:rolleyes:
Well, I think nurses eat their young for a few reasons. Firstly, we seldom get real lunch or dinner breaks so we are very hungry. This is compounded by the fact that we work OT, then are too tired to cook good meals on our days off. Plus, younger nurses taste better than older nurses since the meat is more tender.... It's really a complex issue.
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
The more i read about "female" theories on why nurses eat their young, the more i desire to beat my head against a brick wall.
It's been my experience that the only nurses who get snippy with me are the insecure ones. A lot of the time they are insecure for good reason. That being that they are not very good nurses. I know I sound like an arrogant SOB when I say that, but that has definitely been my experience.
I've only been on one floor where the nurses where pretty unanimous about not wanting students around and if I ever found myself as a Pt on that floor I'd jump out a window. Among the many terrifying things I saw there was a nurse who had NO idea what an infiltrated IV was. I noticed it and shut off the IV pump and then let her know. I walked into the room 10 minutes later (when she finally decided to do something about it) and she was forcing saline into the site that was now so edemitis that it was actually about 1 inch thicker/higher than the same spot on the other arm. Pt was screaming in pain. The doc finally came in an hour later and d/c'ed the IV.
That nurse was the snippiest of the lot. Go figure!
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: So on my first day I will remember to bring the salt & pepper.....:chuckle
Only a pre-nursing student but every nurse I have met has been nothing but nice. I can't imagine these women turning into monsters at work. I agree with the others that it is only a select few.
:rotfl: pass the A-1 please.
beating a dead horse, again!!! lol :)
Do nurses eat their young? So far, I have not seen this. I have seen that nurses want to be able to trust that a student or new nurse has enough confidence, information, and experience to perform the skills they are assigned, without putting a patient or fellow nurse in jeopardy. I have also seen that nurses who are less confident of their job performance are the nurses who have the attitude of being tough; in actuality they are afraid of being critique.
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