‘Crabs in a Bucket’ Metaphor in Nursing

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Do you know the story about how a bunch of crabs behave in a bucket?crabs bucket

I won’t tell you but Keith Carlson has a great post about it and b/c it was so well read, has a follow-up podcast on the Nurse Keith Show.  I just listened to it and think he’s offering some great advice!  It starts out with “Is your workplace like a bucket of crabs, with nurses biting, fighting, snipping, and clawing their way to nowhere within a tragic pool of toxicity? 

Listen to the show. TheBurseKeithShow

Read the show notes.

Read the original blogpost.


If you read or listen, let me know what you think.  I wonder things like:

  • How can we love the crabs but not get pinched by them?
  • What about being stuck in a bucket relates to the cultures many nurses work or have worked in?
  • Are some crabs trying to bring other crabs down in a mindset of ‘misery loves company’?

Thanks for another great show, Keith and for mentioning my work with  ‘Medical Improv‘ and Renee Thompson’s work with bullying and lateral violence.  Nurses deserve to work in cultures of safety and respect!  Where we can thrive and provide safe compassionate care!



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This entry was posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Medical Improv, Nurse Leadership, Patient Safety, Teambuilding, Workplace Bullying and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

What are your thoughts?