How awful. You are not alone. It’s terrible that you had to leave to get away from a sick culture.
We as nurses HAVE to stop the cycle. Did you know that it only takes new graduate RNs one year to assimilate into the culture of their floor? This means that day one they are the victim, day 366 they are the abuser. This is not okay. This is backed by research.
Even I am not immune, one year into nursing, I caught myself yelling at a new grad way more than I should have for a pretty egregious error. But is this okay? NO. I stepped back and realized I had become the nurse I hated. We have to stop the cycle. Just because it was done to you doesn’t mean we have to do it to others.
You can also see if your hospital offers a training course on precepting new nurses so you can learn the best techniques to mentor others. Additionally, you can make sure everyone on your floor who is taking new nurses is following those same rules. If you see a nurse “eating their own”, address them and stop it. We are just as bad as the bully when we see poor treatment and stand quietly.
I was fortunate enough to never experience this in two years of clinical work. I honestly couldn’t say if it was because I was a male nursing student, or if I just lucked out when it came to my assignments. Either way, the code I lived by is sitting right at the top of my Tumblr page, as a friendly reminder that my patients need me WAY more than I need other nurses.
This is why I almost quit nursing in my first year after qualifying, the nurses, not the job.
This is why I am determined not to EVER treat students or newly qualifieds the way I was treated.
Good for you!! Don’t let the cycle repeat!
I’m glad you stuck through it all :)
I work in the operating room, and luckily, I was able to find a private surgical center where I can still practice my skills, keep my competency up in a specialized are and not lose out by choosing to go into private healthcare over the public system. I plan to return some day because there is a certain level of acuity I won’t experience being in private healthcare, but it will be on my own terms and at a time where the staff are treated with respect and dignity by management and HR. I wholeheartedly believe the stress of having to deal with upper level bullshit like understaffing and poor staff satisfaction contributes heavily to the attitude and environment of an inpatient unit. From what I hear, the unit I was going to work on is now left without a manager, a nurse educator or proper staffing, and the PARR manager is covering for them, which sounds like a clusterf*ck to enter at a critical learning point in one’s career.
One of the most terrifying things was the constant temptation to throw myself in and fake it till you make it. The pressure to “appear competent” is such an unsafe and risky thing to do in critical care. I just remind myself that I was a deer in the head lights for a solid 3-4 months when I first started in the OR and it will never hurt me, the student, or the patient if I slow things down just to explain it or be safe. This applies to clinical clerks or even first year residents who are also stressed out to the max and appreciate every little bit of kindness. Plus when you’re nice to students, they bring you treats :)