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Nurses go clique-ety clique

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Heard at the lunch table on campus the other day, “I sometimes miss working in the mill”.

This spawned quite the conversation, I must tell you. The conversation topic involved the ‘pulse’ of the nursing profession and its  sometimes palpable cut-throat atmosphere. I think you’ve heard it before. Nurses can be ‘catty’, and cliques seem to be a very common occurrence on nursing units.

“We need more men in nursing”

(I must say I wasn’t expecting this statement). When I inquired as to why we need more men in nursing, the response was not what I expected (or hoped).

“Most men confront you when there is conflict. They tell you how they feel right to your face. They speak their business and move on.” “Women do just the opposite”

Catty: Subtly cruel or malicious; spiteful (Free Dictionary)

As you can tell this was quite the venting session amongst a small group of nurses. It seems that a lot of nurses feel that the majority of nurses are following a horrible stereotype. Apparently most women can be quite mean?

As you can see I’m writing this blog post with a lot of question marks. I’m wondering just how true these opinions really are. Or should I say, how common are these feelings outside of my lil’ world of nursing?

I have to bashfully admit something though. I found great humor in this conversation. Mostly because I’ve heard this before. But more specifically, I found it highly entertaining that I was the only man in this conversation.

I for one think that there is a shred of truth to these thoughts, but I’m not so convinced that they are gender specific. I’ve met a lot of cruel men and women in my professional career thus far. I don’t think the ‘meanness’ trait has some strange exclusivity to the X chromosome. But it sure makes you wonder.

So folks, what do you think?

Are most nurses catty?

If they are, why? And what the heck can we do about it?

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