I may not win any friends with this post. Then again, maybe I will.
It’s no secret that I have been a registered nurse for 24 years. During this time, I have worked in emergency, recovery and radiology. I have seen a number of patients that have impacted me personally…their stories stay with me to this day.
There is a dirty little secret about the nursing profession. We all know about it…we nurses that have been doing this for some time…we nurses that believe in advocating for our patients…we nurses that have seen the changes in healthcare, the changes in the guard at our administrations…
It is the bullying in nursing that is unlike any other I have come across in any other profession. I know that this has been historically a mainly female profession. I know that we should be supporting each other…and we do. Until we don’t.
I have seen nurses that have been hand-picked by management, or that have some underlying pathology begin their dirty work. I have seen nurses attack other nurses in such vicious ways… I once had a friend accused of using cocaine because she ate a powered sugar donut and had some white powder on her lip. I have seen a nurse carry a little notebook in her pocket to write notes on about other nurses, to go back to the manager and “tattle.” I have had a manager come out to the nurse’s station at Christmas time and give gifts to her favorite nurses…in front of all of us..and walk away.
I have personally seen all sorts of mean, underhanded things done to nurses by other nurses. I believe this is done as a means keep nurses scared and unable to organize. See me later for my “Why nurses need to be organized” lecture.
I think that a PhD student of psychology could write their thesis on the pathology of nurses…and why they turn on each other. From the “why nurses eat their young” to retribution against seasoned nurses for speaking out about unfair labor practices, entire articles could be written.
As it stands right now…I don’t see myself returning to nursing. Ever. This makes me very, very sad. But, as any person in an abusive relationship must do…I must save myself.
I am saving myself.
When I can finally legally write about the final straw that caused me to leave this profession, you gentle readers will be the first to know.
As for now…I’m hanging up my stethoscope. And picking up a pen and microphone.
They say laughter is the best medicine…let me heal people (and myself) with this…