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Why do nurses treat each other do way they do?

Nurses   (10,595 Views 35 Comments)
by MsbossyRN MsbossyRN (New Member) New Member

MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

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I posted a respond to another thread and it really got me thinking. This was part of it:

But its not only doctors with bad attitudes in hospitals. Nurses treat other nurses like crap. I've seen RNs do some really callous stuff to CNAs and LPNs. I'm not sure when the "I'm better than so and so because I'm an RN and she/he's not' attitude became so prevalent in nursing. I have to say the relationships between experienced nurses, new nurses, and nurse aids is what is the bigger issue. Doctors can have sticks up their behinds all day and it still wouldn't have a huge effect on patient care. But if the communication between the nurses break down it makes a stressful and unsafe work environment. :twocents:

My question is why do nurses treat each other the way they do? Why do the aides get treated the way they do too? Granted I'm a new nurse but in my other career field I never experienced so much backstabbing and total disregard of other staff as I have with nursing. Maybe it is the nursing schools. I've seen many new nurses that believe as RNs they are above poo or messy direct patient care. As a student I watch many nurses just leave a room or call in an aide to change patients or to clean up messes. A nurse I was assigned to one day even told me not to bother with "that type of work' because I was not going to school to learn to wipe someones behind. She said that will leaving the room, going back to the computer to shop online. :eek: Also I've read many posts here from new nurses with more experienced nurses trying to make their life as miserable as possible. I know we are very concerned with these mean insensitive doctors. But when will there be a change in the way nurses treat each other?:confused:

Can anyone shed some light on this? Or share their experiences.:nurse:

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I have no idea! I was so insecure and scared as a new RN on my first job I just assumed, expected, knew, my sanity and my patients lives would depend on the CNA's and LPN's to guide me. I can't remember any nursing school teacher specifically teaching us about team work?

I don't know if nurses are taught in nursing school that they are the "team leader" and should be "in charge" of other staff? That RN's shouldn't be wiping behinds, they should be using their brilliant minds and years of education to be making a nursing care plan, or studying their patients lab values?

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MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

4,356 Visitors; 126 Posts

I have no idea! I was so insecure and scared as a new RN on my first job I just assumed, expected, knew, my sanity and my patients lives would depend on the CNA's and LPN's to guide me. I can't remember any nursing school teacher specifically teaching us about team work?

I don't know if nurses are taught in nursing school that they are the "team leader" and should be "in charge" of other staff? That RN's shouldn't be wiping behinds, they should be using their brilliant minds and years of education to be making a nursing care plan, or studying their patients lab values?

lol The sad thing is I heard that many of times within nursing school from instructors or nurses at the hospitals. Another thing that leads to nursing students that think they know EVERYTHING once they graduate. I guess if I was an experienced nurse I would get frustrated with a new nurse that did not want any guidance and that assumed he or she knew everything already.

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This is the exact reason I have decided to bag nursing school. The attitude is driven by the clique system developed in high school. I can't imagine surrounding myself with this nonsense on a daily basis. No wonder there is a nursing shortage!!! I would bet dollars to donuts there won't be one reply on here from anyone who actually engages in this type of behavior and will admit it either.

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I am an experienced LPN who tried to help out a new grad RN many years ago. I would see things that she would miss and I would bring it to her attention etc. I remember telling her something about a foley catheter and she looked at me with an intense anger in her eyes as though to say "How dare you an LPN tell me the RN anything about foley catheters". After she started acting like that towards me, I decided to stop helping her out. When she missed things, I kept quiet. It didn't surprise me when the hospital ended up firing her.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

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Why? "Because they can."

Few people do anything to stop it. As long as people put up with it, then it will continue. If you don't deal with bad behavior, it will not stop on its own.

You say you have seen examples of bad behavior. What did you do to stop it?

If you did nothing to stop it ... and nobody else did anything to stop it ... then there is not reason to think it will get any better.

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MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

4,356 Visitors; 126 Posts

Why? "Because they can."

Few people do anything to stop it. As long as people put up with it, then it will continue. If you don't deal with bad behavior, it will not stop on its own.

You say you have seen examples of bad behavior. What did you do to stop it?

If you did nothing to stop it ... and nobody else did anything to stop it ... then there is not reason to think it will get any better.

As a new nursing student on their first nursing assignment, at a new hospital without knowing the politics or even how things really work there what can one do? Except maybe fail clinical cause the offending nurse told your instuctor you cannot cut it as a nurse. Or when you inform your instructor what is going on you are told that it is nursing politics and its not our place as guests in a facility. Once I become employed at a hospital or LTC or whatever I won't treat others like that. That's what I will do to try to stop it. :)

Also posting open discussions on nursing forums might help those who engage in that behavior to reflect on their actions, or others who are in position to help might do so too.

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I feel that it is not just a nurse thing, but a personality thing as well. Peolpe have personalities and many times they collide when many people of the same sex congregate.

A group of men, egoes will clash. A group of women cattiness will prevail. Up down and sideways of the heirarchy.

My 3 cents.

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The more I observe these types of behaviors in a select few nurses the more I come to the conclusion that these are people who have a personality defect. I believe that this is the way they treat other people in their life beside their coworkers. It must fulfill some lacking self esteem need to treat others in a demeaning fashion. I interact with them as little as possible as I can be intimidated easily and I don't want to let them feed their ego at my expense. When I do interact, I treat them as nicely as I do others despite their rudeness. I feel better knowing that I'm not stooping to that level. You have to look at yourself every day in the mirror. As my mother always said, "treat others as you would like to be treated."

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Why do people treat other people so badly? Its human nature, like Micheal Jackson said. I would expect the backstabbing and underminding to occur in any occupation, not just the nursing or healthcare field.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

5 Followers; 57,819 Visitors; 13,015 Posts

As a new nursing student on their first nursing assignment, at a new hospital without knowing the politics or even how things really work there what can one do? Except maybe fail clinical cause the offending nurse told your instuctor you cannot cut it as a nurse. Or when you inform your instructor what is going on you are told that it is nursing politics and its not our place as guests in a facility. Once I become employed at a hospital or LTC or whatever I won't treat others like that. That's what I will do to try to stop it. :)

Also posting open discussions on nursing forums might help those who engage in that behavior to reflect on their actions, or others who are in position to help might do so too.

Good answer. :yeah:

But I do think you could bring it up with your instructor -- not as "I saw this and you should do something to stop it" ... but as a "I saw this and I am hoping you can give me some advice as to how to deal with it." Encourage discussion among your clinical group about ways to handle inappropriate behavior as part of your learning experience as students.

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LovelyDragon works as a RN.

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I've experienced being bullied recently! Boy, I never see it coming! Back-stabbing and spreading rumors and lies with this particular Queen Bee and all her minions swarmed!....Such non-sense and junior high attitude and mentality.

So much cattiness, crabby mentality.

I'm hurt but slowly recovering. Well, it may take a long journey of the karma to descend upon them, but when it does, hope they will remember me and whoever will be their next victim(s).

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