If you have ever watched crabs in a barrel, you’ll note how one crab can only get so far before the other crabs pull it back into the barrel.
I have seen nursing students very simillar to crabs in a barrel.
When one student is attempting to rise above the rest in her craft, the others work to pull her back down.
The “crabs in a barrel mentality” will often rear its ugly head during seemingly friendly banter during lunch or when a fellow student voices his aspiration to further his education beyond the Baccalaureate degree.
Nurse mentors can prevent this destructive assault on confidence by being in tune with their students.
The nurse mentor can do this by having lunch with them or being more aware of student conversation.
When a disparaging remark is noted, the nurse mentor can counteract this verbal assault by making a positive statement. He can make a positive statement about the subject at hand, or point out a positive attribute of the person making the negative statement; thus, diffusing the situation.
For the person that is pulling the other students down with his negativity, a reassessment of moral and professional values is needed.
This person must evaluate why he feels the need to destroy another’s confidence. He must understand that negativity is a contagious disease that is easily spread; professionally, it can be damaging for him.
Student nurses; the best defense against the “crabs in a barrel” mentality is to continue doing well in your studies and remembering why you entered nursing school.
It is my hope dear students, that you’ve entered nursing school to assist in the healing process of yourself and humanity.
Theresa Durham RN,ADON is Clinical Assistant Director of Nursing for Parkway Rehab and Nursing Center.