Tuesday, January 06, 2009

BItchy Nurses

Nurses in my ED have a reputation for being notoriously bitchy. I remember being scared of them when I ran EMS. I wonder if it's because we get hit, chased, bitten and generally abused by out patients on a regular basis. Yes, we take it... most of the time, but we can dish it out and then some. I can play the charming southern girl, but can flip into Linda Blair from 'The Exorcist' at the drop of a hat. Now that I'm back in the ER full-time I have noticed that some people don't need an excuse to be bitchy. I am happy when I go into work...I blast the radio (sometimes the songs predict my night... 'Highway to Hell' does not bode well!), drink my Starbucks and generally smile about my cool job.

I work with nurses that come in hating life. They are bitchy, treat the patients poorly and generally bring gloom and doom. I work with one in particular... she yells a lot. If someone is sick as shit I get pretty quiet, I hum Buffett songs under my breath. There is enough going on without my little soprano drawl over the noise. This chick yells over whoever is talking, it doesn't matter who. I caught her screaming over the trauma attending the other morning. Some poor guy wrecked his car, was crumping for ems and came in the trauma room. I was the trauma back-up and essentially the critical care resource. She was screaming for drugs and pressors (not the rights ones!) and when we started the Levophed she didn't know the dose. Grrr.... she pisses me off.

When she and her buddies get together they are almost intolerable. To say that they are "badge Bunnies" would be an understatement. I get dirty looks when the police officers come in.... I think the cop's buddies know them well enough to ignore them. With the current economic situation I know that I need to stay in the ER and ride this out. Even if a flight job comes up I still need to watch out for myself. Flight programs are expensive to maintain and can be considered "expendable," especially when the hospital is overbudget already. Ugh.... sorry this is a boring post.... am back for 3 days on Thursday. We will see what happens.


Blogger Stephanie, RN said...

i work with girls like this now. and have in the past...what's up with this? i don't understand...i mean, i know sometimes it's rough in the ER but jeez!
i wish we could put a little ativan in their drinks, although i'm not sure if it would help. hehe.

5:11 PM  
Blogger mojitogirl said...

I've worked with your girls too. They just make you look good. They're going to be bitchy and unhappy even if they're working at Disneyland as Snow White!

Jeez, the last thing you want to do is alienate the cops!

5:13 PM  
Blogger GingerJar said...

I work with some of these girls. Unfortunately one was hiding a very horrible home situation under all that bitch, scream and moan and attempted suicide on New Year's Eve...now it looks like she will be a veggie on a vent for the rest of whatever is left of her life. It makes me sad.

6:18 PM  
Blogger patnb said...

There are nurses like this where I work. They seem to feel like victims, always complaining about how mistreated and unappreciated they are, as if to explain and justify their bitchiness. I feel like telling them to grow up- most people are here during the toughest times of their lives, they are here fighting, sometimes for their lives, they are down, in a foreign environment, often "out of it" , and under enormous stress. They are not here to stroke our egos. These nurses are always feeling like victims, always angry, if somebody looks at them the wrong way they go off, they drag everybody down. I wish they would figure out that if you're pissed off and bitchy all the time, you are going to bring out the worst in people, even in the nicest people.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Paul M. Peterson said...

Patnb is right on. I can empathize with what you are all saying. Mean people suck. Having said that, some of the bitchy nurses I have worked with over the years, I have come to appreciate. Why? They stick around through the hard times.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One mean nurse says she wants to kill me. She and other nurses gang up on me. I am going to pray hard that they will stop. Hopefully God will intervene.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of the nurses are mean but some are nice. I hope God will help me deal with the one that wants to slap me out, and the one that wants to roll me in a blanket and start me on fire, and the ones that hate me.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems all nurses are out to “eat their young.” A lot of it has to do with their insecurities about themselves. Best way to deal with people like this is to let them express their concerns and then be done with it. Offer help if they need it (implacably stating they need it) and support them with areas they need assistance. Some nurses just need a helping hand and will react when you offer your current knowledge of evidence-based practice. Of course, some nurses cannot be helped and will perpetually be complaining about everything. However, it is your responsibility to examine the validity of their complaints. Could this really be changed? Would another process be better? Do you agree with what they are complaining about?
As far as rumors and the “bitch of nurses” go, just remember we all came from the same starting point and reiterate that fact to them. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. In fact, according to our Nursing Standards of Practice, as long as we are acting for the good of our patients (with the idea of “do no harm” and “without intentional harm”) then we are abiding with those laws. All of us can survive. New nurses have way more knowledge on the current evidence-based practices for care and should never feel ashamed to express that successful practice with other nurses. It seems beneficial to listen to the new nurses and reap the benefit of learning. Unfortunately, some nurses dismiss new nurses and have this belief that they “don’t know what they are talking about.” However, there have been several examples where these novice nurses educate the “well-versed” nurse. It appears as though they did not take the new information well and deemed those novice nurses as “risk-worthy.” Hilarious. Nurses should be kept up to date on their continuing education to realize practice that promotes or prevents evidence-based practice!!!
Don’t give up. As a nurse, we are continually learning. Why would you pass on the opportunity to advance your education? Forget those hating change and insisting on making the new nurses look like idiots because they are not up to date on their current education. If you don’t encompass all aspects of your learning process then it is YOU who looks like a fool.

2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I been working in ICU night shift for the last 28 years and seen and dealt with so many personalities thru the years. What I can't stand the most are those nurses who come in to "work" but actually spends most of the night making their fat asses fatter.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get why some nurses are so intent on being miserable. They should have left the field long ago if they hate life as a nurse so much. They live to make others' lives difficult...are snotty to patients' families, bitchy to the new nurses, antagonistic towards the docs and just plain rude to the patients. I can't stand it. "Health profession" my ass! They bring "sickness" to the world with their rotten attitudes.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Bay Area RN said...

Bitchy nurses work ALL shifts and are not confined to to one area of specialty. After over twenty years of nursing, many areas of practice and over six employers on two coasts I can speak (er, type) from experience.
My first RN orientation was on a busy 60 bed med-surg unit in Pittsburgh, PA. Unfortunately, this was my first preceptorship and could not have picked a worse group of miserable people to work with then. As a new RN I was exposed to so much negativity, sarcasm, lack of support with no role models. Too, I worked with a lot LVNs who were resentful that the new RN grads made more money and it was evident in their attitude. Of course, there were many RN's sour too for whatever reason. After toughing it out for eight months I left for another job offer and landed on a better unit. The staff nurse were nice and supportive but the nurse manager was a bitch from hell. After several years I moved to the west coast and worked in a variety of positions from home care to acute. Overall, my experiences here in the Bay Area are positive. Everyone once in a while I encounter a sour RN and have learned not to respond to poor behavior. Learning how to set firm limits on poor behavior, choosing words carefully and if needed, documenting disturbing interactions with a coworker may be necessary. HR has policies on unprofessional behavior.... also referred to as 'lateral violence.'
Always best to lift someone up then to put them down. Share your experiences and skills to increase the overall professionalism of your unit. Always be kind and take time to teach student nurses.... we were all there once.

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, seems like you have your hands full. My experience is that many nurses just hate their jobs or simply enjoy being a bitch at work. This is my predicament. I work in a facility where every move you make is monitored and critiqued. In their eyes no one ever does anything correctly. Not to mention they carve one another up when that person is not around. What an ill spirited bitch. Can't say as I wish her any good.

12:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home