the young eating the old??


  • Specializes in med/surg, home health. Has 12 years experience.
  1. Is there a generation gap at your facility?Computer vs paper chart trained

13 members have participated

I started a new position in med/surg after having been away from hospital nursing for a few years,working in home health. I will be working nights at the hospital, but orientation starts with a month of day shifts. I had never done compurerized charting. The nurses orienting me are young, brought up in the computer age, unlike me. The nurses are not friendly, condescending, and have no mercy. I have never been treated so badly, in all my years of nursing, as I am right now. I had no lunch break today, and was so exhausted by the end of the day, I could hardly think, and my "mentor" said "that's the way it is, get used to it,". Learning the computer system, the hospital routines, the layout, etc. while taking a full patient load seems a bit much. Is it?? Other, older nurses, who have been oriented by the young, "computer generation" nurses, report similar experiences. There is a definite generation gap at this hospital. These young nurses are super confident. One of them even made me change my assessment findings to what SHE thought! When I tried to explain I didn't feel comfortable with that, she called me "defensive" I trust my assessment skills, I've been a nurse for 13+ years! Yet she made me feel like I didn't have a clue. Is this the norm nowadays? I've always heard that "nurses eat their young" Do the young now eat their old?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

Nursing itself is under a lot of duress......pressures from administration to do more with less, "customer service", press ganey, have all played havoc with the stressed that nurses are under. When computers were instituted at the hospitals those there were reluctant for the change and were told by administrations they had no choice. There is a ton of pent up frustrations and anger right now and I think it does have some acting out occuring.The bedside has changed a ton in the last 10 years. It will get better.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

Your computor orientation should have come along with other administrative things, like reading the P+P and such.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

the computer training should come in a classroom. since you've been a nurse for awhile, you already know much of the skills that those whippersnappers will be trying to "teach" you. (giving meds, talking to patients, dealing with doctors, assessments . . . .) you'll have a bit more attention to give to the computer. it is doable -- if you want to. if you don't want to do it, i guess it's easy to say you couldn't handle the computer or the young preceptors or whatever.

the young preceptors are hard to take, i know. when i switched jobs after a cross-country move a few years ago, i had a preceptor try to tell me that "digitalis" was the same thing as "diltiazem" and different from "digoxin." (obviously she wasn't used to giving either drug.) she'd sit at a cow and berate me for not having charted my potassium -- as i was hanging it -- or missing a murmur in my assessment. (the cardiologist didn't hear it either.) i got through it and so can you.

(by the way -- that young preceptor decided that the icu wasn't for her after all. she's in home health now. i hope you and your colleagues taught her something there!)


2 Articles; 1,406 Posts

Specializes in nursing education.

Criticizing your assessment skills is rude. Since you are an experienced nurse, and especially since you have worked in home health, I would have hoped she could see that maybe she could learn a few things from you. You are not a student- you are not working under her license or anything like that, so you are responsible for your assessments- maybe she needs to be reminded of that.

And yes, the computerized charting should have been a classroom-based orientation.

Do you have fake patients in the computer system that you can play with/practice charting on? That definitely helps, to get comfortable with the system.

Specializes in LTC and School Health.

Sorry you are going through this. I don't believe in the sayings " eating their young or old" I just believe there are some mean,nasty, nurses young and old!


66 Posts

Specializes in Peds, PICU, NICU, CICU, ICU, M/S, OHS.... Has 14 years experience.

I totally get where you are coming from, in a way anyhow. I have been a nurse (non-stop) for 13 years. I worked on an extremely busy tele/surgical unit for 8 years, did ortho/surgical for a bit, cashed in during the agency boom where I learned ICU/CCU, peritoneal dialysis, ER, etc. I've even got LTC and supervisory/charge/mgt experience.

ALL of that experience, you'd think I know what I am doing...but, RARELY can I get thru one shift without some "newer" nurse trying to school me on a policy, procedure, med time, order, etc. I put up for it for a while, just laughing at how eager some of these young ladies are, and I'd really LOL when their patient would code or have an emergency of some sort leaving me to fix the issue/call the code/start CPR while they stand there and look like a deer stuck in the headlights.

As far as comp. charting goes, I HATE IT. Paper charting all the way for me...but, thanks to the US gov't that is total history. Just keep your head up, do some practice charting on your day off (if you can log on at home, even better) and realize that when you went to nursing school YOU learned how to take care of your patient, not how to DELEGATE every nit-picking little thing to the PCA that you can. It will come back to you, work on your time management. If you aren't getting lunch, that is your "mentor's" fault. Do things the way you used to do them before you took time off. If after 6 months you still hate it, then find another job somewhere else. If you have not yet gotten it, GET YOUR BSN. Even us "seasoned" nurses have to have it...

Good Luck!


32 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Do you really need to give your job 6 months. I know now it isn't right and it isn't going to get better. My working environment is TOXIC to say the least


7 Posts

I agree, this girl just seems mean... and let me add USELESS as a "mentor". There are a couple younger mean girls like that where I work who think being charge nurse means they're the boss of everyone on the floor. They're still older than me as I am a newer nurse, so as part of the younger crowd I can promise not all new nurses believe they have some superiority over nurses who are experienced with paper charting. I can't wait until she sees you throw those 13 years of experience into action and leave her and her precious COW in the dust :)

Baubo516, RN

405 Posts

Specializes in Skilled Nursing/Rehab. Has 3 years experience.

Random question - what does COW stand for? I tried Googling it but I kept getting lots of info on bovine creatures. Googling "COW - nursing" was even worse. You can imagine the pictures. :)


355 Posts

Computer on Wheels.

I think that a lot of "preceptors" are given the job d/t some arbitrary length of time in the job, not their ability to teach or precept (I mean that for both new grad and not new grad preceptors). I have met RNs with 30 yrs experience who are a wealth of knowledge, but they are horrible for a new grad and don't really have the ability to share that knowledge with new grads. They are wonderful as resource/ charge, for RNs with experience that just have questions about an unfamiliar situation, but it's a different type of teaching.

As far as learning charting in the classroom, I'm 34, so I'm very familiar with doing things on a computer, but I will admit that I never had email until I went away to college at 18, and when I changed jobs and had to learn a whole new learning charting system, it took me several weeks to really get into the swing of things. I knew how to be a m/s nurse, but their charting system, CPOE and flow of things was very new to me. I'm really sorry that you're dealing with such an a$$hat. I just hope it's not a sign of the culture on that floor. Everyone has strengths, and everyone has weaknesses. Some will be better at the computer than others, but telling you to change your assessment findings (something which I'm sure you have very well honed from HH), is pure a$$hattery!


12 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric LTC. Has 1 years experience.

Since we're going off anecdotes here, I must say that, being part of the "computer generation," I've encountered several not-so-computer-savvy nurses who seemed to have made up their minds already about being unable to function with electronic charting. IMHO, being resourceful and accommodating are huge parts of being a great nurse, so if you can't use a computer, you better be eager to learn how. I work with nurses who simply throw their hands up and refuse to learn certain parts of our electronic charting system. Instead, they push the work onto others. Not cool.

That being said, it's not ok to be condescending when teaching anything, period. Very discouraging.