Nurses are cliquey. Competitive. Snobby. Which is kind of surprising since so many of them are female and females are known for being such accepting, kind and loving creatures, especially toward the same gender.
A sensible person might think, “Hey, we’re all nurses. The job sucks for everyone. We’re in the same boat so let’s be good to one another.” Fat. Chance. ICU nurses are snobby elitist who provide specialized care to two patients, both of which are on a continuous propofol drip (so really, how hard can unconscious people be). ER nurses put IVs in the most annoying places, give terrible reports and don’t really give a flip about quality patient care because they are perpetually “too busy.” OR nurses are members of “Club Posh.” NICU nurses are overbearing type-A women who fulfill a hole in their life by caring for someone else’s child. Med-surg nurses get “in the trenches” respect but no one wants to be them because let’s face it, med-surg sucks.
The truth is, it’s a 24 hour job and all our actions affect the next nurse, whether that nurse is on your floor or in a different department. ICU patients are very sick; it’s emotionally exhausting to constantly have to monitor them. Patients in the ER are in and out because that is the very purpose of an ER; it’s not for long term care. Can we really blame ER nurses for not being as thorough as a floor nurse might be?
The hostility can also entangle its way onto individual floors: day nurses v. night nurses. Night nurses are so lazy, I mean, really, what do they even do all shift? Patients are asleep! Day nurses are such worry worts, such primadonnas; the smallest change in their patient, the tiniest new hospital protocol and they are freaking out!
Truth is, patients don’t sleep in the hospital, people. That’s a misconception. Nights are busy. Patients are lonely at night. There is nothing to occupy their mind and the night nurses bear the brunt. We have to show the patient we care, that we’re “taking action” without actually taking action (I’m not calling the doctor at 2AM because you really, really need TUMS for indigestion). On the flip side, day nurses “freak out” more because doctors/PT/OT/surgeons/respiratory/nutrition and all other hospital personnel who are also awake at that time are calling with questions and new orders. Management breaths down your neck so yea, you’re gonna dwell on the little things that us night nurses brush off as not important.
Here’s what’s so stupid about it all: you’re a nurse. You can go anywhere. You think someone’s got it better? Think the grass is greener? Well then shut the eff up and buy the lawn, already, gheezus.
***For the record: when I take a patient to the ICU, they do act snobby. ER nurses do give terrible reports. Pretty sure I’ve seen a NICU nurse’s eyes glow red when I came near “their baby.” And OR nurses are actually part of Club Posh (they are fully aware of this and would have it no other way)***