I am finishing my orientation as a new employee in an ER, and over the past couple of weeks I have been working alongside another nurse who, unlike literally everyone else, has not even bothered to do the friendly introduction. I love this place... everyone else has been so nice, helpful, welcoming, and willing to assist/answer questions whenever necessary.
This individual, however, seems to go out of her way to be insulting and condescending. She is a lead occasionally on nights when the other 2 assistant managers are off, and is a nurse practitioner student doing her clinicals at our ER as well. I hate to take this personally, but there is a decent group of established staff that she seems fairly chummy with (though her personality in general is dry and kind of flat/blunted as well), and yet toward me individually she has developed an attitude I've honestly never encountered and can't quite read.
I'm still learning (I'm sure you'll have that as a new ER nurse who's 6 weeks of orientation is, as of today, complete), so obviously I'm a tad slower than the more experienced RNs. Over the past couple weeks, when I have someone who is discharged, she has jumped on the opportunity to grab the chart while I'm finishing something else up and goes in and discharges my patients. I would think she was doing this to help me out in a kind way, however, she's kind of rude and cold to the patients, and when I walk in to see if I can finish up, she abruptly says "No, I did it" and when I show appreciation, genuinely saying things like, "Thanks so much for your help -- I saw the discharge pop up on the screen and was finishing <such and such> and then had planned to head right in here, but I appreciate you helping me out!" she doesn't have the decency to even say you're welcome -- nothing. She doesn't respond, and then walks away. What on earth?! A few days ago, I had 2 patients -- one of which came in with abd pain and vitals were stable, the other also abd pain but bp was around 100/50. I had been in the stable pt's room around 1945 to give her a pain med, and saw that the bp was going to be taken (by the machine) at 2000 (q2h vitals required in our ER)... I had charted my last set of vitals at like 1810 so I figured I'd just let the machine take the next set at 2000 and I'd come in shortly after and check her pain after the med, and chart the vitals. In the meanwhile, the stable pt went to the bathroom (so she took off the BP cuff), and I was in checking on the other pt and took her BP finding it had dropped to 74/40. While dealing with this pt, I didn't make it in to check on my stable one for about 20 minutes or so, popped my head in and checked to see how her pain was, noticed the BP cuff was off, and didn't check her vitals but went back to do some more stuff with the hypotensive pt. When I finished, I went to the nurse's station to print off some things for the more stable pt that was going to be admitted, and as I was getting ready to go in her room to get a set of vitals prior to calling report, this nurse addresses me in front of several nurses and ER docs, saying, "Well Amanda since you haven't gotten a set of vitals on your patient in room 10 in god only knows how long, why don't you just call report so we can get her out of here?" Where this came from, or why she had nothing better to do than to check my charting, I have no idea. She wasn't lead, and we were pretty busy so I'm sure she could have been helping someone or taken one of however many admits were rolling in.
I blew off the remark, despite the fact that she was obviously trying to make me look bad in front of the other staff standing or sitting around, and continued doing what I had planned. At that time it was about 2100, so my patient went 3 instead of 2 hours without a set of vitals. I realize I screwed up by not going in exactly every 2 hours or less and physically making sure the patient was hooked up to the vitals machine, and that's my bad, but I guess I prioritized making sure my other patient didn't bottom out completely ahead of a set of routine vitals on a stable patient.
So after I call report on my stable pt that was admitted, I very casually mention to her what happened (why I didn't have my 2-hr vitals in for the last set), and I get a very motherly, "Well, we can't always rely on machines, can we? Patients do some funny things, but this is why you need to check on your patients every two hours," and on and on talking to me like I was a 6 year old child.
Today, she jumped on one of my discharges literally within a few minutes of the discharge being put in the computer and rx/instructions being printed off by the doc. The patient was spanish-speaking and the translator was gone, so the only other people in the room were his mother and wife (both also only spanish-speaking). I had done fine with him his entire stay due to my being able to speak pretty decent spanish, and was looking forward to discharging him so I could make sure they understood everything. She went in and when I came in, the same cold detached attitude, and in english -- how can you stand there and have someone talking to you in spanish and not even stop and think maybe you should have someone there who can understand the patient to know if they have questions or even understand the instructions for when they go home???
Then while I was drawing blood/starting an IV/giving insulin to a new pt LATER, she calls on the overhead pager for me -- I hit the call light in the room because I'm trying to get the J-loop connected and fill the tubes with blood... she tells me I have a new patient in room 2. I say "Ok, thanks -- I still need to finish up in here" and *click*. I quickly finish what I'm doing (maybe 5-10 minutes including assessment, answering questions, sending stuff to lab), and go to room 2 to find my new patient has tears rolling down her face crying, unable to breathe, clearly stating she can't breathe, O2 sat is 87% with 2L of O2, and she's standing there over the pt trying to get the pt to hold a thermometer in her mouth for a temp (when the pt is clearly VERY SOB, gasping and bawling and then trying to keep her mouth shut for the temp to take)....
And she'd been in there since the patient arrived and had been standing there waiting for me, when she could have been triaging the patient and maybe putting a non-rebreather on her or calling respiratory for a neb?
I'm just floored. I really don't like working with this chick, and part of me would like to just ignore her and hope whatever this issue is will go away... but I'm afraid it won't. The other part of me would like to flat out confront her and ask her what her problem is -- whether she's always this condescending and degrading, or if she just has a personal issue with me individually (and if so, what on earth IS it?!). The other little hidden "I used to be a prison nurse" part of me wants to go all out gangsta and tell her to get off my freaking back! But, I am out on parole and now in a position where customer service and nicey-niceness are priority.
So, the prison nurse has been tucked away. LOL.
I know this is a SUPER long rant, but I am so frustrated... I hate being treated like that, and in another situation I would definitely be uber-assertive (borderline aggressive) and not tolerate this at all, but being a new employee, not knowing who I can talk to in confidence and who belongs to what clique, I am just being the passive new RN.
This woman is just another staff RN, and on occasion she acts as lead when the 2 assistant managers (who both work 7p-7a) are off, so she works as lead 1 day a week... the other days she works, like tonight, she's just another RN like the rest of us, but oddly enough she doesn't take patients for what seems like forever. Tonight she spent the majority of the night (when she wasn't a thorn in my side) sitting next to the lead RN, took NO patients from 7pm all the way up until 1am when I left... I just don't get it -- 6 hours of playing lead when we already have a lead? What gives?!
How do I address this? I don't think she's going to be receptive of me taking her aside in private and asking if there's something I'm doing wrong or if I've done something to offend her (seeing as how we've never had a conversation outside of my team of patients I don't know how that's possible)..... should I mention this to my nurse manager or one of the mentors for us new employees? At least now I've vented to you guys -- I got 90% of my frustration out -- now I just have to take the other 10% and resolve the issue at work!
Thanks for listening! Even if no one listened, at least it's all typed out and I can rest without being irritated by this tonight!