“They smile in your face
All the time they want to take your place” (Song The Backstabbers O’Jays)
Today’s society as many declare may be reflected by attitudes to the most vulnerable, including old people, mentally ill, people with learning difficulties. Even Kant announced this hundreds of years ago (1700s).
In nursing many undertake the role for reasons including- the course is free, power, compassion, prestige, management, or pay (education).
The fact that many have different reasons for becoming a nurse may well define their approach to patients, in addition to other factors such as culture (Dimon 2013).
In nursing the majority of nurses and care workers are female. This may well reflect the fact that caring is regarded as a feminine role (Noddings 1984) . This has a huge effect on nursing. Gender influences attitudes and behaviour as many researchers document( Maslach et al 1987 ). Women are considered to adhere to group norms more (Steffensmeier, Alan 1996), whilst men are more assertive. So how does this affect nursing?
It is possible that more men are prepared to question or raise issues than women.
It is also possible that men may be listened to more due to their assertiveness.
Good ideas in nursing are often ridiculed, or the individual who suggested them is ousted, unless the idea is favoured by the majority. When questioning why others get everybody out of bed at 6am, a nurse will not be flavour of the month .
The old hierarchy of the sergeant major approach still exists in nursing , with people afraid to question their all powerful leader.
If a nurse raises issues, there have been cases where he or she has been falsely reported to the NMC, for relatively trivial reasons.
This reflects society, in which politicians encourage people to be responsible for themselves; “me, myself and I syndrome”. All compete for that high position or greater wealth, and in order to do so are prepared to “stab others in the back”. Of course, this is well evident in other professions, such as education.
What can be done about it? There are some genuine individuals who refuse to adhere to the herd come what may. These people are often termed “whistleblowers” and are often destroyed either personally or professionally. This backstabbing extends to writers, alternative news reporters, or anybody with alternative views. This is the real problem in care and society. All are failing to speak out of fear, and are following the herd. Unfortunately, many cannot see amongst the smog of false accusations.
Self- aggrandisement explains the common practice of plagiarism amongst academics and students (Dimon 2013). Life has become a competitive race. Ask yourself- would you assist a colleague?
Dimon C (2013) The Commodity of Care Cloister House Press Free updates qualityofnursingcare.webs.com
Dimon C (2013) Plagiarism or Bust? https://nursebloginternational.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/plagiarism-or-bust/
Maslach C, Santee RT, Wade C (1987) Individuation, Gender Role, and Dissent Psychology 53(6) p1088-1093
Noddings N (1984) A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education University of California Press
Steffensmeier D, Allen E (1996) Gender and Crime: Toward A Gendered Theory of Female Offending Ann Rev Social 22 p459-87
Carol Dimon 2014
Version 2 in Nursesfyi 2014 Issue 13