Monday, November 16, 2009

Mean girls

I posted a comment on Bone Collector's blog entry about mean girls and boys.


Hi Bone Collector,

Thanks! Agree with your views.

I was previously from another industry which was male-dominated. From there, I learnt/practise that guiding newbies do not have to involve bullying.

I suspect nursing culture involves a lot of bitching because it is female dominated. Since females are socialised into not expressing aggression openly, passive-aggression is the socially accepted alternative.

Of course, I'm no saint either, sometimes I loosen my tongue inappropriately even though I try to refrain from it. I also try to ignore the minor transgressions. However, if I deem the matter serious enough, I will (and did) confront the person involved.

IMHO, nurses in Singapore don't seem to be trained or promoted on the ability to mentor others. Many went through the same bitchy environment when they first joined nursing at a young and impressionable age. Years down the road when they become senior, they accept that it is the way to train newbies. [My impression from their conversations is that] They think that, afterall, they survived and the "weak" were weeded out by the process.

Add to that, amongst the experienced foreign nurses who downgraded from RN to EN when they come to Singapore, some have an axe to grind. Usually those new to nursing suffer at their hands. Don't know whether to be relieved or disappointed over the fact that I'm not the only victim, ha ha.

As for a green-eyed experienced foreign-trained senior EN at my ward, I feedback my unpleasant experience to the ward manager when she interviewed me over an incident involving us. I put it plainly that while I accept she has a right to whatever her feelings are, in my opinion, by hitting out at new RNs [Edit: click here, here and here for examples], her frustrations are misdirected. I also made commendations to the ward manager of those staff (including foreign ones) who demonstrate professional attitudes consistently. I am not sure how things will go from here, so I am just keeping my fingers crossed.

Generally, given the pathetic nature of nursing culture in Singapore, I honestly do not think we are anywhere near gaining professional respect from the public since we would not even cover each other's asses properly. We don't have a functional union to speak of in Singapore. I doubt we will have one anytime soon, given the political culture in Singapore.

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