hostile chargenurse

  1. My current charge nurse has really become hostile to employees. She has a sacarstic remark about everyone and everything. She has no problem making remarks to your face or behind your back. I work a weekdend shift, shich means the same crew works basically the same shifts. Her remarks have really gotten out of hand and everyone seems unhappy.
    The problem is that she has decided I was her "buddy". Even though I am not stupid enough to think she doesn't talk about me behind my back, she atleast doesn't make rude or belittling comments to my face. When she startes in on her downing of other people I do not participate and change the subject. I would be more vocal but she is a very manipulative and back stabbing person. I do not want to tangle with her and do not want to participate in the games she plays.
    The situation has gotten really bad, making going to work a chore instead of a joy. Then, when talking with the House Supervisor the other day, she informed me that "everyone" thinks I am up the Charge Nurse's a**!!!! Because I don't get involved? She even said everyone thinks I am just like her. I corrected her and informed her of my personal opions. The HS wants me to make a formal complaint against the CN. My delema is I know how the CN is, vendictive! She has been with the company 16 years and I do not see her going anywhere. I told the HS this and her reply was "not unless you do something"
    I tried to avoid the CN my last shift we worked together, but she went as far as paging me out of a patients room, "to go outside" (we both smoke)
    I believe I can handle this myself but it is making such a bad work environment. What suggestions can anyone give me?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Blackcat99
    I would make a formal complaint against this nurse immediately. There was a nurse like that many years ago at an LTC. Everyone got so upset with management who didn't do anything about her because they were desperate for RN's. So about 20 CNA's got together and met her in the parking lot when she was suppose to come in to work. They surrounded her and they were all yelling at her. She didn't come in that day and we never saw her again. :hatparty:
  4. by   teeituptom
    Boy do I know this charge Nurse from what you have said. I was that charge nurse. Towards the end of being in charge in an ER for 14 yrs. The added stresses of being in charge, the additional meetings. and daily conferences with the nurse manager, dealing with problems with doctors, nurses, patients, ems, administration took their toll on me. I didnt get into trouble or anything, but I was becoming snippy, snarly,sarcastic,uncaring. I realized this myself though and stepped down and now Im back to my happy more pleasant self with greater joy in what I do.
    Point this out to her, tell her to get some counseling, tell her to step down and get back to enjoying her work. She will be much better for it.



    eother that or go find another place to work


    dont let her take you down with her
  5. by   traumaRUs
    How about telling her what you think? Is that an option? If not, then I think I would ask for a meeting with the charge RN and unit manager and yourself.
  6. by   purplemania
    do not consider verbal abuse "part of the job". This person sounds like she needs help, but you can't provide it and as long as it goes undocumented, nothing will change.
  7. by   bargainhound
    She does need to change roles or leave. Management cannot do anything without staff's input to back them up. It does no good for staff to be upset about her if they will not give specific examples to management so they can do something about her.
  8. by   Snowy
    Are there other staff you are a little closer to? Perhaps best thing is as a group complain about her, plus others who "think you're like her" may realize otherwise. My first impression from reading the post about this CN is that she's extremely burnt out from her job, and unfortunately the snippy sarcastic attitude is how she's 'dealing' with it.
  9. by   stretch thin
    As a charge nurse myself, I do know the struggles that the charge nurse takes. There are times when I snap, but I always apoligize to the other person. Everyone in the ER is backed against the wall already, they don't need a charge nurse that is a b----!. I think you need to talk with her and tell her your stand. For one thing, she's not the boss, even though she thinks she is. She is a fellow co-worker. At least that's how I feel. I always tell my my co-workers if they have a problems with thing I do or the way I act, please don't hesitate to come talk to me. I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable. We are a team and if someone has conflict with me or another staff member, then we're not working as a team. I hope that helps.
  10. by   maxinefrancine
    Yes, as it turns out I am about the last person on the entire shift to go to the House Supervisor. I have found out that several people have already brought it up to our Nurse manager and were told "oh just ignore her" I never went to the NM because I knew they were "close" and decided to confide in the HS as a friend. She informed me there are numerous complaints about my CN and encouraged me to call our corperate compliance line. I do not feel comfortable doing this, If someone had a problem with me, I would rather them come to me instead of filing a telephone complaint. The problem is that the CN does direct her comments to me because I called her on the first time she did. She does it to everyone else and I have no doubt behind my back.
    Now I know it is coming to a head and the Nurse Director has become involved. Now I can't wait to see to ramifications in regards to her attitide this weekend!!!
    Thanks for all the suggestions and I'll let you know how it evolves.
  11. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    I second what Snowie says!! DO NOT go alone. Find a group and do complain. Not to discourage you, but I worked for this woman for 5 yrs (just kidding-I mean someone like her) and upper management liked her ('cause she sucked up there). Very little changed. I tried-BY MYSELF and others filed on her with Human Resources also. I ended up quitting for my piece of mind (but best decision I made-hospital culture was too entrenched). My prayers are with you, but go as a group and don't put up with that any longer-life's too short to spend most of it unhappy.
    Sorry didn't see above post. But part of the reason nothing was done in my case, I was told, is that she has been here sooooo long etc etc
    Last edit by Nurse GOODNIGHT on May 26, '04
  12. by   veetach
    I agree with those who said do not go alone. Maybe a group of you can go in to talk with your nurse manager. I definately would not act on behalf of the group!!

    I am also a charge nurse and the job does get trying at times, but not enough to disrespect your colleagues or act in the manner you have described.

    I cant ever imagine Tom as a snippy, sarcastic Rn...
  13. by   tlf91
    As a former ER Manager I can tell you the problem is not uncommon. The best advice I can give you is to document every event. In the time of confrontation or in discussion with the Manager or Director you will need this to reference. The problem is everyone is afraid of this person. Probably have been several to leave the department because of her. Make sure any confrontation you have with her is witnessed. House supervisor would be good. "He said she said" is not a good thing to have in this instance. If confrontation occurs, tell her very plainly that you will not continue the conversation until the House Supervisor is present. She will very soon avoid doing this with you because these people never want a witness. Demand respect. You tell her that she does not have to like you but you will not be treated unfairly or unprofessionally. You need to report this to your Manager. Most of the time they know whats going on but quite frankly without formal complaints and documentation, their hands are tied. Others will follow the lead. I hate that you have this situation. It makes for a miserable work environment. Good luck!!!
  14. by   teeituptom
    Quote from veetach
    I agree with those who said do not go alone. Maybe a group of you can go in to talk with your nurse manager. I definately would not act on behalf of the group!!

    I am also a charge nurse and the job does get trying at times, but not enough to disrespect your colleagues or act in the manner you have described.

    I cant ever imagine Tom as a snippy, sarcastic Rn...

    Now I am a very happy staff nurse, happy in my own little world

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