Scalpel likens nurse complaints to how lawyers consider lawsuits:
Nevertheless, it seems to me that many nurses will complain about each other and about physicians at every opportunity. They will fire off e-mails to their bosses, my bosses, or even the CEO of the hospital about any disagreement or perceived mistreatment, whether or not it affects patient care. Everyone has to walk on eggshells or we will end up at a sensitivity training seminar or get a stern letter of reprimand. Several of our best nurses have been fired for ridiculously petty complaints. Talk too loudly in the nurses’ station, speak a little too bluntly to a patient, make an off color joke or tease an overly sensitive colleague around the wrong nurse and you will get burned. Even those who we think are our friends are just waiting to stab us in the back. It seems to be the below-average nurses who complain the most, but even the superstars have the potential to bite. Nurses seem to consider scathing e-mails about their colleagues the same way that malpractice attorneys consider lawsuits….it’s just part of the job. An occupational hazard. Nothing personal. I find this generally disturbing, but it truly seems to be an ingrained part of the nursing culture.