Nurses “tell all” during an interview—did you catch it?

Public perception of nurses is a fickle thing. On one hand, nursing has a firm hold on the #1 spot for the nation’s most trusted profession. On the other hand, media outlets (both real and fictional) guide popular opinion—and we don’t have to tell you that there are times when nurses aren’t showcased in the most flattering light.

In a recent ABC News interview, one reporter sat down to chat with three nurses who came prepared to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly sides of nursing.

Find out which trade secrets these nurses chose to reveal, and how they responded to swirling questions, rumors and fears. Then tell us—what would you add? Or maybe you disagree? Either way, we want to hear from you!

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9 Responses to Nurses “tell all” during an interview—did you catch it?

  1. Louisa Ghiberti Toledo

    I wish they would have had more seasoned nurses in the interview as well. This doesn’t paint as accurate an account as I’d like. There are so many more positives than negatives that I don’t think the public sees. As well as A Great Deal of nurse abuse from patients. All in all, it’s a wonderful profession with so much to offer. Nurses not only hold your hand, and administer meds, but have a great deal of knowledge as well.

    • SoThere LPN

      agreed.. Need seasoned professionals to express views. And yes, what about staff abuse towards patients. This needs intervention, as well.

  2. nytdance

    I liked the ending statement to be good to your nurse and they will be good to you. Actually, we will be good to you anyway but why would you treat someone badly who puts stuff in your veins? We are constantly prioritizing so don’t assume we don’t care. Also, ask again. We do pretty well remembering but we forget sometimes.

  3. ZenRN56

    I feel the interview zeroed in more on the diverting drug issue then anything else…..of course something the media would love to take and run with-much more interesting than the dangerous nurse to patient ratios, or the mandatory overtime some nurses are required to work. The comment made by the narrator that nursing “has no universal drug testing” is hogwash….I’ve been a full time emergency room nurse for 30 yrs; have been staff as well as traveler, manager as well as bedside nurse and have NEVER worked for a hospital that did not drug test me at the start of my employment. All hospitals have policies that they can drug/alcohol test ANY employee they suspect is impaired…at any time. I can only hope that there was more to the interview that addressed the real problems nurses face; not just hazing and diverting drugs….which truthfully, makes us all sound a little “thuggish” if you ask me.

  4. Bertina-Kevin Standridge

    I work on a busy Medical Surgical unit. It is very different than ER nursing like the nurses interviewed. So, I just want to point out that Nursing Assistance’s are the back bone of any patient care setting. They are the eyes and ears of nursing yet are over looked, under appreciated and payed a disgraceful wage that barely allows them enough to live on. I love being a nurse, but I started as a nursing assistant for thirteen years and I remember the back breaking work.I think it is great the nurses had a voice, I would have liked a positive message spread rather than another message of negativity such as drug addiction.

  5. Roberta Richardson

    SOS OMG after they throw us all under the bus!!! Shame on them! Why did those nurses not speak of nurse to patient ratios? Safety in our work place?Yes we all know Nurses eat their young and I doubt this will ever change unless there is a bullying clause put into each and every workplace! They didn’t say a word about the MD’s who bully just as bad especially if you are on the night shift and have to wake them up for a stat order! I could go on and on what I have seen in my past 20 plus years. I have seen the drug addiction on all sides Doctors, Nurses, CNA’s etc.etc.etc. In the end it’s your integrity for your career of caring for your Patient that makes you a Nurse!!!

  6. golfingrn

    I thing you should have interviewed more experienced nurses and not travel nurses. I have been an RN for over 31 years and there is more to being a nurse than these three very young nurses have experienced. Nursing is fast paced and changes occur almost every day. The changes since the 1980’s to today are very important things to consider in interviewing nurses!

  7. SoThere LPN

    Horizontal Violence is real. It has been around for years. But, there’s so much I’d like to express in other areas. Drug testing….It’s in the industry. And not only for travelers. all it takes is one phone call to human resources, to start the process. And a reminder, if those of you in the medical profession see something wrongful, and you are not if the process of corrections, then you are a part of the problem. You have a legal and moral, ethical duty to do the right thing. From the doctors you work with all the way down the workforce chain to housekeeping. and this goes for errors, whether accidental or intentional. there’s a system of ckecks and balances for a reason. If you are not 100% honest, leave, you shouldn’t be in nursing or the health industry. And be nice to me, because I am the one who’s administrating your meds, is hogwash, you need to leave the field now, as you belong to that “elite” group leaving us with a blackened eye & profession. Like I said earlier, there’s more I’d like to say. But bottom line, ALL this political bullsh*t, is hurtful to the patient, if not lethal. Did anyone stop to think what that young man went through with intractable pain postoperative? Had he not been so healthy, he could have been a statistic, too. YES, intractable pain has led to fatalities. It is almost unbelievable a fellow nurse could have conceivablely and willfully let a patient suffer so. Let’s work together and get rid of all the bad apples

  8. BNIS2Us

    They my be newbies but they’re right. And being travel nurses, they see more variety than those who only worked in one place. I’ve been a nurse 20 years, and the previous 17 was a nursing assistant, unit clerk, and monitor technician. Worked in 6 different hospitals in 4 different states. Unfortunately, nursing is getting a bad rap because so many are bad. It only takes one mean or rude nurse to give that patient or family member their view of nurses at that facility.
    Bullying is so common now and something you almost never saw 30-40 years ago. But I need to add that the demands of nurses are not more now then years ago when related to direct patient care. It’s the addition of more documentation and improvement projects and too many meetings that pull the bedside nurse away. We used to be able to come to work, usually 8 hour shifts, get our assignment and spend all day with our patients…we got to know the whole patient, developed a bond…a trust. Now we have have longer shifts less days a week, which decreases patient continuity, and is harder on the aging population of nurses. Yet management expects the same bounce in their step as the younger nurses. Administration expects all to constantly learn new technology, all documentation and reports and test orders in computers now. And many older nurses don’t even own a smart phone much less a computer but now are expected to learn a whole new way of nursing which actually dehumanizes us….we nurse through machines too much and that will never change.
    So nurses aren’t just eating their young anymore, they’re eating their elders…seasoned nurses for not learning fast enough…moving fast enough…being too rigid because they still follow the rules of nursing and come to work for the patients, not the paycheck. For many new nurses, its all about how much money, how many days off, switching schedules, complaining about their assignment or their nursing assistant.
    As a manager, I’ve dealt with bullying behavior and being bullied…still am. Yes we have a policy but too many don’t report in writing because of the retaliation behind the scenes, the kind that’s hard to prove and it’s not just from the bully but other coworkers. I’ve seen staff leave because they couldn’t take it anymore, yet they never filed official complaints or didn’t want to take action. I’ve seen a nurse addict, work through 4+ years of rehab, random drug tests monthly, AA and therapy to come out a better nurse, stronger but were still treated bad by a few that couldn’t see the good and offer support. So she ended up back on narcs, diverting drugs again. This time when caught, couldn’t take the ridicule and embarrassment from her own coworkers, and ended up committing suicide.
    Where is the compassion that nurses used to have for everyone? Where is that drive to work harder and be the best they can be for their patients?
    If anyone wonders why nurses change careers, it’s because we’re not treated with respect by patients, families, other nurses, administration, community, and media. One bad nurse doesn’t make the next 100 you meet also a bad nurse. One stupid tv show portraying nurses as sex objects doesn’t do anything for the profession.
    It used to be great to let people know you’re a nurse. My sister, grandmother, and several aunts are nurses. I know nursing from several sides of things. Good nurses are out here. ..everywhere, but are hard to find behind the rubble of the smaller number of bad nurses. Media rules and ruins our reputation.