Monday, February 19, 2007

How many nurses are victims of domestic violence?

I posted this on

Re: intimidation by nurse manager?
Originally Posted by Cat Nurse
"I have a male nurse manager. I have worked with him for many years. I am not agreeable to some of his hired staff. I think his hormones get in the way of his judgement. But many people feel intimidated by him. Many have quit and say it is because they don't feel comfortable around him. Most, probably would not have been confortable any place or with most people!"

Is this really a gender issue? People have quit because they don't feel comfortable around him? Like, he'll hide behind around a corner and attack you? There are so few male nurse managers, please don't take the most obvious route and imply that he is a pervert. Its hard enough being a male nurse as it is. Same goes for male school teachers. Not all men are pervs. Some are, yes. But it sounds like this dude is just being a manager, which means to say he is trying to control you because most managers are too insecure to work with their staff, instead they work against them. BTW, I work in one of the largest ERs in California and the head nurse and nurse manager are both female. More of the nurses here have breast implants than don't. No joke.
Don't blame your male manager for unprofessional nurses, please. If your manager wants to act like a child let him. If patients get turned away, its his rear end.

Cat Nurse (red flag right there), feels that she's not allowed to go fulltime PRN because her nurse manager is a hormone driven scumbag. Thanks Cat Nurse! That must be it. What a bother.

Nursing school is seriously kicking my ass. Mid term tomorrow. I think I'm prepared. You never know...

I've been looking at all the first year residents, second year residents, all the residents. They seem so happy. They're so loud on the floor, joking with each other, high fiving each other. Then I look at the nursing students: Scared, painfully quiet, expressionless. The second me or one of my fellow nursing students does ANYTHING there is another nurse and our nursing instructor immediately in our face threatening us with expulsion. Seriously, I asked my instructor how many clinical days we were allowed to miss, and she fired back at me, "If you miss more than two on your first rotation you are out of here. You will be dropped from the program." What the fuck lady? I haven't missed any days, I just wanted to know.
You know what I just found out? That one of the other 2nd semester instructors, a passionately pro-American ex-army nurse, I call her Chris Farley, (I wrote about her about three posts back) she makes faces at you, tsks her tongue, shakes her head, while you do the clinical competency. Not like goofy faces, but furious faces, disgusted faces. She might as well call us "maggots" That's fucked up. And don't tell me that as a nurse you have to be tough and do it right under pressure, blah, blah,blah. We're fucking students for Christ’s sake! Most students haven't even seen an NG on the floor, what the fuck do they know? This is not the military. We're not in WWII. We're college level nursing students getting a degree and planning to join (what I hope is) a professional work force. All this constant threatening, the persistent mood swings of ALL the instructors, "today I like you but tomorrow I won't" It all dehumanizes us, sucks up what little self confidence my fellow nursing students have, makes them more timid. Afraid to confront asshole doctors, afraid to tell the manager the shift they got is bullshit, afraid to switch to a better department where their co-workers at least attempt civility, afraid to say "this pay is shit and I'm going to quit and work at a hospital that treats me how I deserve to be treated!" How about instilling professionalism in the new nurses of today, which is to say, support them and treat them respectfully. CAN WE AT LEAST ATTEMPT TO BREAK A CYCLE OF OPPRESSION?
Chris Farley fails at least ten students on NG competency every semester. For stupid shit lie forgetting to tape the tube to the cheek, even if its already taped to the nares. That's great for the confidence building!
I cannot believe how hard my school works to keep us from thinking for ourselves. Every instructor loves to shout "critical thinking" about 30 fucking times a lecture but all they're really doing is enforcing protocols. I have no problem following the rules, but do you have to tell me I'm stupid while I do it? Why is this old school, oppressed female nurse shit allowed to perpetuate? Why not make everybody where the fucking white hats while you're at it?
Long shoreman makes 100K a year, to start. They don't do shit half the time. So don't tell me about the gravitas, the noble responsibility of nursing. OLDER NURSES! Most of you have failed in your careers! Your lack of respect for yourself has cost you the safety of the patients and left a smoldering hole where you once held an acorn of self confidence.

I do not mean to be crude, but I ask this question in all sincerity: How many female nurses suffer spousal abuse, be it intense physical of emotional. I'm totally serious. You think about this question, then we have the root of our problem.


Angry Nurse said...

I can tell you from experience as a male nurse I have been abused more times than I can count by fellow (female)staff members. It often takes the form of threats of action against me and as obvious discrimination in hiring.

You might find my own blog post for this week worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Narcissism reigns supreme in the professorial ranks in nursing school. Here's a series of excerpt s from Kathy Krajco's e-book "What Makes Narcissists Tick" at her website: which sheds light on what nursing instructors do to students:
"Remember that narcissists make themselves look good by making others look
bad. They also get high on trampling people and treating them like dirt. So, if
you give a narcissist power over others in a closed environment, she will conduct
a kind of slander-and-abuse-fest known as reign of terror.
I don't use that term figuratively. A reign of terror is a specific, well known
phenomenon caused by the group dynamics in a closed environment under a
bully. That is, a tyrant of some sort. He or she terrorizes by orchestrating
persecution (i.e., "mobbing") of some target, who serves as a scapegoat. The
tyrant makes a terrifying example of this scapegoat, an example that intimidates
the bystanders into docile submission and complicity.
Their complicity implicates them in the wrongdoing, which is why they dummy
up, deep down there in his pocket. To cover their own guilt, they cover his and
blame the victim.
Why do they walk right into such an obvious trap? Because they are afflicted
with something one may call the Normal Personality Disorder ;-)
.... you can't help
but notice that a reign of terror is no end in itself, but rather just a means to
another end. What other end? Power. Gaining and/or maintaining power.
employee-abuse, libel and slander ... affects the status
of employment, which are easy to get away with, especially in private, nonprofit
institutions that can operate in secret. (Visit for more
information.) In fact, the extant statistics indicate that this class of narcissists are
mostly women, probably because these secretive, nonprofit, private institutions
tend to hire women as administrators. These people are harmless? How many
suicides do they drive people to annually? Not harmless at all: it would be kinder
and less wicked for them kill with a gun. ....
Rules of Engagement. Narcissists are often described as vampires, or emotional vampires, and it is
highly likely that the mythological character of the vampire was originally
intended to symbolize this type of person. ....
Keep in mind that you can cause more suffering (draw more blood) by punching
a child than by punching a grown man. It is the same with moral assaults. The
same treatment will more deeply wound some people than others.
Through whom and when they attack, you can deduce the narcissist's rules of
engagement. The opportunity to do damage to another comes in many forms.
Rules of Engagement:
· A narcissist who can be held to account for what he does won't attack in the
light of day, only in the dark where there are no witnesses, so that
afterwards it's just the victim's word against the narcissist's. Only narcissists
who can abuse practically everyone around them with impunity make no
effort to be careful — like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein.
Narcissists who are administrators in private, nonprofit organizations are
just as bold as that institution's impunity allows them to be — impunity
gained by a Teflon reputation, by stonewalling justice, and by keeping their
tax-exempt books and records closed.
· A narcissist prefers the most vulnerable prey available — people who will
be most deeply wounded by abuse. So preferred prey include:
· those with the most reason to trust them, such as immediate family
members, good friends, and benefactors who have earned their
· children, the younger and more vulnerable the better
· people with low self-esteem and filled with self-doubt
· meek or gentle people loath to fight back
· the powerless and defenseless, such as employees, people already
looked-down on, people smaller or of the ... (non-majority) sex
· A narcissist will not attack someone who can just get and stay away from
him. Instead he abuses someone trapped, who must just take it. (like a nursing student?)
That gives
the narcissist the high of absolute power and control over the victim
· A narcissist will not attack someone he fears retaliation from.
Keep in mind that you can cause more suffering (draw more blood) by punching
a child than by punching a grown man. It is the same with moral assaults. The
same treatment will more deeply wound some people than others.
Through whom and when they attack, you can deduce the narcissist's rules of
engagement. ....
The Unblemished Victim
Whom can you hurt the most with slander? A hardened criminal? Someone who
appears to be the model citizen but cats around and cheats and does pretty much
whatever he wants in the dark? Someone cheaply bought? Someone pretty
ordinary who does good so long as he doesn't have to stick his neck out or blow
against the wind? Someone whose work is mediocre? Someone who's going
Or someone with a lot of potential, someone whose work is excellent, someone
who has earned his good name and deserves it, someone who values his integrity
and maintains it, someone exceptionally virtuous because he really tries to be
good instead of just look good, someone who does good in quiet ways even
when no one is looking instead of doing it for a reward, someone who will take a
courageous stand and do the right thing even when it is unpopular and risky? In
other words, someone with integrity. The honest person. The most innocent
Who has the most to lose? Who will suffer the most pain? Upon whom will the
narcissist's slander have maximum impact?
Ignominy is terrible, the fate worse than death. But at least if a person deserves
his bad name, his sense of justice isn't outraged on top of it all. If you've ever
been accused of something you didn't do, you know what I mean: it goes right
through you.
Imagine the situation: there's an ugly false image of you out there that the whole
world thinks is you. They relate to it as you. The whole world treats you like you
are that. So, it might as well BE you. If that isn't a descent into hell, I can't
imagine what is. It's intolerable.
The precious image of yourself that you have inside, that of a good person, is
under unrelenting attack from all sides. In effect, the whole world is gaslighting
you. You have a problem very similar to a narcissist's, except that your false
image sucks and you don't want it to replace your true self. So you cling to it for
dear life. It's you against the world. Six billion people say that is you, and you
alone say that the person you know inside is you. Something's gotta give.*
* Which is why the greatest dramatic stories of all time are built on this basic situation: some such
threat to a person's self concept.
You can hurt only the best, the most innocent, and the virtuous that badly.
But a narcissist prefers to target the innocent, the excellent, and the virtuous....
Other things to consider as a male nursing student: the rise of feminism. Since My comment is already too bloody long, check out the writings of Sam Fryman here:
and see an excerpt of his writings here:
I think you'll enjoy it.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

It's just a fact of life---nursing school is a dehumanizing, hideous, hellish experience for everybody, males and females. It's miserable--and your only goal is to keep putting one foot in front of the other so you can just get through it intact. I went to a diploma convent school--and those nuns were so SPITEFUL and MEAN that I truly believe they would have physically BEATEN us if it had been legal. (And I swore that if I ever had a juvenile delinquent child I would send them there!) Just do it. Just grit your teeth and play by their book. You'll be glad you did later...

Doobie said...

I work in a teaching hospital with residents. Most of them are looking to fuck any sliver of pussy they can find in the hospital.

And chicks always fall for it...

Mother Jones RN said...

Thank you for writing about this. Nurses will never get ahead until we face this issue head-on.


Anonymous said...

Just seems that there may be some times when women are legitimately oppressed? Your hosility and anger at women for "being victims" whether it's at work or in the home, also releases the perpetrators from accountability. I really appreciate a lot of what you're saying, but you sound so angry and bitter at female nurses (not male nurses, they're given explanation and understanding) that it starts to border on misogyny. Do individual women who get breats implants deserve all the blame for being shallow and self-absorbed people, or can we think of a larger cultural value system, that we all participate in, where women aren't valued if they are fat and ugly? This type of objectification is happening to men more and more, but it's still very widespread for women. It's how men and women are socialized in this country - so it's really everyone's problem - not just those women stupid enough to get breast implants or "get themselves into" abusive relationships.

angry male nurse said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Thoughtful, guttural, great things to think about.

Is there an element of misogyny to my writing? A male, attacking women for having breast implants, accusing women of allowing themselves to be victims of abuse, criticizing a field almost entirely made up of women- how could my writing not come across as misogynistic?
My issue is with the hypocrisy of nurses. Most of those nurses are females. Most of those nurses impose a belief/value system on themselves that is unrealistic and saturated with denial. And without a doubt, unequivically, nurses are oppressed. They are flattened and made two dimensional by their representation in history, in media, their standing in the hierarchy of the hospital, the way they govern each other. You bet your ass they're oppressed. But I don't blame all WOMEN NURSES for being oppressed. I blame the idiot nurses who make an art of confining themselves to the status quo, like nurses who see themselves as "just a housewife" and don't take an interest in salary or bargaining issues. I didn't impose that on anyone, I'm fucking revolted to hear it. I blame nurses who gang up on other nurses, who are fucking predatory in their politics, who get off on inflicting damage on other, weaker nurses.
To be honest, the male nurses I've worked with GENERALLY just don't play this game. Get in get out, make your money. Of course some male nurses suck. Some are as caddy and vindictive as bad female nurses. I've had a male nurse manager who was a total tool. But since the majority of my coworkers are women, I find myself thrust into the world that oppressed women live in and I think it fucking sucks. I got problems with dudes, too, don’t you worry. When I come across them, I’ll write about it. I did a couple of weeks ago with sack launch.
So yeah, right now, I am writing my virulent words primarily at women. I am criticizing them because I expected more. I just thought women were more emotionally intelligent, and I was naive to think that women in general are more caring. (Which is internalized man oppression) They take that intelligent edge, the better understanding of internal dialogue and throw it in each others face. Still shocks me.
The whole thing about breast implants- the way I see it- at my last hospital- except for two or three implanted nurses, the vast majority of nurses who had implants were more catty, more vindictive, and made no attempt to hide to anyone that their sights weren't on patient care, but on firefighters butts. I've heard just as raunchy talk that could come from any guy's mouth come out of female nurses mouths on a hospital floor in regards to sexualizing the opposite sex. The fake breasts became like a sad epidemic. So many nurses started to get them, it was just fucking sad. The insecurity spread like a virus. And to be honest, some of them got stripper size implants, fucking ridiculous. The whole crew wore tight shirts and rolled down their scrubs. It pisses me off because I’m embarrassed to be doing he same important job that they do. It demeans my career.
I must write an observation that I know will enrage people or seem cruel but, man, so many of those nurses who had implants had non-existent stability in their personal life. You may not believe me, but the majority of the implanted used to get the crap beat out of them by their cop, firefighter, construction worker /husband/boyfriend. I know domestic violence occurs in all social strata but it was really prevalent within these three male categories. There was never anything funny about it, no joke I could make. Shame, embarrassment, excuses, humiliation. I guess I do blame them. How hard is it to figure out that if Guy A beat the crap out of Nurse A he will do the same thing to you? If firefighter A lost his second marriage to cheating what are the odds that he is now faithful? Common sense. And when these same nurses turn around and try and shit on me- Fuck that. I may have been a lowly EMT but I’m not the family dog. I’m not big on perpetuating cycles of violence. I blame them just like I blame a drug addict. Just like I hold the criminals responsible who blame everyone around them when they get caught. I know this is not the view point an enlightened nurse is supposed to have, but goddamit, I expect more out of nurses/professionals.

And if I ever found out that one of my male nurse co-workers beat on his wife I wouldn't hesitate to tell him what I thought about him and shun his ass from here till kingdom come.

Where I might be wrong: am I taking my random sampling of domestic violence from a population that is more prone to be victims, or am I neglecting to look at our society on the whole? Certainly nurses are not the only women who suffer domestic violence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for considering my comments so seriously and thoughtfully. I really agree with so much of what you're saying and as an old school sort of feminist, I find breast implants to be horrible. But I digress, I agree that nurses need to stand up and get some strength and healthy boundaries. This is really just based on my personal experience, but the issue I find with a lot of female nurses is that they are disproportionately adult children of alcoholics. So they're really into this selfless, give until there's nothing left, martyrdom that always, eventually, breeds resentment. They have no idea how to set healthy boundaries and have a lot of issues with codependence. (sorry for the Oprah psycho babble). The other part of this is that these ACOA also often experienced abuse in their parents relationship and seek this crap out in their lives. The have a condition in the domestic violence field that we call "learned helplessness" and that totally stops them from making any changes to abusive relationships that they are in... I wish they would read a book by Suzanne Gordon. Thanks again for taking the time out to consider my comments, I'm starting nursing school this summer and I look forward to working with nurses like you. Hope you did well on your midterm and that your coworkers start treating you with the respect you deserve. Please keep bloggin'.

Smalltown RN said...

I don't think it is just female nurses who are oppressed I think it is the profession and the way we are seen in the eyes of the hiearchy of other healthcare professionals. As nurse we have a responsibility to be advocates for our patients. We do this be ensuring we stay current on medical treatments and challenge the GP's when they are not following protocols or current treatment regimes. Make them justify and tell you why they have chosen the treatment they have. You do that and the GP starts to look at you differently, like you aren't just another glorified care aide...that you are educated and know what you are talking about.

I question doctors decisions/orders often and feel comfortable doing so. I feel I would be negligent if I didn't. Who is with the patient more than the RN? As an RN we see the trends in the patient. The size of my breasts or the department manager or whether I am abused at home has nothing to do with the care I provide my patient. I am strong in who I am and what needs to be done.

It's when we as nurses start to see ourselves as educated and well informed professionals that things will start to change in nursing.

Your assumption that nurses who have what you would consider "no back bone" to be victims of domestic violence just fuels that fire that nurses are not worthy of being treated with respect.

angry male nurse said...

smalltown R.N.:

Thanks for your comments. I agree, we are educated, we are professional!

"The size of my breasts or the department manager or whether I am abused at home has nothing to do with the care I provide my patient. I am strong in who I am and what needs to be done."

"Your assumption that nurses who have what you would consider "no back bone" to be victims of domestic violence just fuels that fire that nurses are not worthy of being treated with respect."

I disagree. The size of your breasts and the chaos at the home environment does effect your ability as a nurse. When that internal chaos, which most of us can keep to a moderate level of volume in our head becomes a consuming roar, our work is effected. As to whether or not a manager can effect how you care for patients, well that's a matter of iron will. How many train wrecks can they give you, how closely can they srutinize your documentation, your decisions? Can any nurse, male or female tough it out? Personal fortitude. I don't think I could.
And I back up my former statements about implants in the ER: When the goal of being a nurse is to seduce a firefighter or other professional, you are not doing your job. Take this coupled with domestic violence, I think you would be very hard pressed in this scenario to find a pro-active, confident nurse who defends the pt.'s rights.

Can I make the assumption that all nurses with "no backbone" and breast implants are victims of domestic violence? of course not. I'm just thinking higher incidence. Nurses earn respect, just like any other job. Nurses would earn more respect if they stopped back biting and started to act more like professionals in a corporate environment. If they visualized the hospital as an office, not a floor.

girlvet said...

You're really fixated on the breast implants! HAHAHAHA
Nurses are wimps and if you're not a wimp you are viewed as a troublemaker, radical. Its ridiculous.
Ya gotta have a sense of humor in this field or you will never survive.....

Kim said...

Best manager I ever had was a guy. Enthusiastic, encouraging, the whole shebang. Worst manager I ever had was a guy, too, but he was young and needed to learn how to manage.

My nursing school experience was so different than what you describe! ugh! I'm sorry you have to go through that and no, it isn't right.

I work with many male nurses in my ED, there are shifts when I'm the only female nurse on duty! The guys are efficient and they know their stuff. They approach nursing differently than I do, but the profession is better off having the male perspective.

To answer your question, I don't think it has anything to do with spousal abuse. I read recently that this horizontal hostility between nurses reminded a blogger of how cruel girls are to each other in high school. He wondered if there was a correlation.

At any rate - what you are going through sucks. And when you are out in the actual profession, away from nursing school, you will find yourself appreciated by your colleagues of both genders.

Hang in there.

Kim said...

Oh, and PS: you got me all riled up and empowered re our profession and that's a good thing.

I didn't see your post as misogynistic, you are like the majority of guys I know: you calls it like you sees it!