As people are staying healthier longer, many workers are choosing to remain in the workplace well into their 50s, 60s and 70s. What does this mean? That more and more, seasoned workers are working alongside fresh-faced college grads. This is equally true in our field, where each year tens of thousands of new nurses join seasoned nurses who have been in their careers for decades.
With this generational gap among health care workers widening, there’s a lot of potential for miscommunication or differing perspectives. Though you may absolutely deny that you have any preconceived notions about certain people, let’s face it — stereotypes are a reality in our culture whether we like it or not.
To ease relations between older and younger nurses, here are six things never to say to an older coworker and six things to never say to a younger coworker. Some of these may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised to hear how many people have actually been asked these types of questions. So whatever you do, don’t say these 12 things!
1. “Do you know how to use email?”
2. “I didn’t know you were so old.”
3. “So are you planning to retire soon?”
4. “My grandpa gave me that same advice.”
5. “You’re going back to school?”
6. “There were some last minute changes. Will that be too much to handle?”
7. “Are you the new intern?”
8. “You sound just like my son/daughter.”
9. “How old are you?”
10. “Considering this is your first job, you probably wouldn’t understand.”
11. “When I was your age…”
12. “The real world doesn’t work like that.”
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!