Undermined by Nursing Student

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    For reference I am (somewhat) a new grad (9 months). There is a nursing assistant on my unit who is also in nursing school and she is graduating soon in 2013. This CNA/student is hoping to get a job on my unit when she graduates. I will call her "Jane". Jane is always looking for her big moment to be acknowledged as the one who saved the day. She follows around new grad RNs hoping to catch us missing something so she can be the one to fix it (I know bc I have noticed and also she told one of the other CNA's that this was her tactic). For example she will see a patient whose SCD's are not on and then will loudly announce in the hallway that the nurse missed it but don't worry she put it on. I usually don't mind when she does this, the job market is tight for new grads so I understand.

    Yesterday "Jane" tells me there is a problem with one of my patients. This patient speaks very little English. I went to check the patient, used a phone translator and found out it was a miscommunication that led Jane to believe there was a problem. I come out of the room and Jane sees me. She asks me why I'm not doing anything. I tell her she misunderstood the patient and there is no issue. She decided to go around and tell people I am "making the wrong move". I got the head nurse involved bc of this. The head nurse also went to the patient and assessed the situation and then agreed with me that there was no issue. Jane rolled her eyes and walked away. I respect her right to disagree with me, but going around gossiping that I am ignoring an important matter (which wasn't even true)? That really got on my nerves. Am I overreacting? Anyone else have a situation like this and how would you handle it?
    Last edit by babysteps25 on Dec 11, '12
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    "Thank you Jane for bringing this to my attention. I appreciate your input. and I will follow up" And follow up, however, you are under no obligation to then share with the CNA the details of the outcome. In other words, to explain that there was a mix up in communication is then putting the issue back on her to comment and evaluate. "I so appreciate your insight, and thank you, the patient is stable at this time".
    That this CNA wants to run around and look for ways to make herself a "real live hero" is not your issue. Irritating, but not your issue. You went in and assessed the patient. The patient was stable. You did the correct thing in involving another nurse to also assess the patient.(that the CNA said you were making the wrong move is a moot point, ALWAYS get a second nurse's opinion when a third party brings something to your attention like this), The patient was stable. Document the same. Should the CNA question your nursing judgement again, and your head nurse looks at you like you have 3 heads, I would fall back on the fact that you can't be everywhere at once, and a good CNA is your eyes and ears when you can't be. So you should always follow up and err on the side of caution. But limit the details on your interventions and outcome so that the CNA can't comment on them. And if you are not crazy busy, I would say something to the effect of "what a wonderful teaching moment!! What is it that you would have done in this instance? I would love to talk to you about what you would do, it may help you in your clinicals!" (<---I am saying this WAY too sarcastically in my head......but you get what I mean). As an aside, that you involved the head nurse was a good thing, as in fact, if this CNA, who is a nursing student still, shows questionable clinical judgement and continues to comment on the nurses it will not go un-noticed. And in fact may be taken into consideration should she then seek a job on your unit when she becomes a nurse.
    gonzo1 likes this.
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    As an aside, that you involved the head nurse was a good thing, as in fact, if this CNA, who is a nursing student still, shows questionable clinical judgement and continues to comment on the nurses it will not go un-noticed. And in fact may be taken into consideration should she then seek a job on your unit when she becomes a nurse.
    This.

    I would find the CNAs actions highly irritating also, but if you have noticed it, others have too. Anyway, if she does get hired on the unit after graduation, she'll learn quickly enough how difficult it is to be an NG RN.
  6. 0
    Quote from dudette10
    This.

    I would find the CNAs actions highly irritating also, but if you have noticed it, others have too. Anyway, if she does get hired on the unit after graduation, she'll learn quickly enough how difficult it is to be an NG RN.
    Hopefully she learns quickly or else she is going to be a real pain to work with (not that she isn't already).
  7. 3
    You're not overreacting. What she is doing is called slander, and she being a nursing student should review her ethics and professional issues in nursing material. She could get sued for this type of behavior. If patients or family heard her, they could believe her and believe you to be incompetent. Its putting both you and the hospital in jeapordy, and her behavior needs to be addressed directly.
    gigglestarsRN, morte, and NevadaFighter like this.
  8. 0
    If i were the nurse manager, she has already cooked her goose.
  9. 0
    Quote from morte
    If i were the nurse manager, she has already cooked her goose.
    The manager has somewhat noticed but has said she actually likes how outspoken she is! She has implied that she plans to offer her an RN position next year. I guess I had better get used to working with her.
  10. 1
    the NM may change her mind when the individual, as a new nurse, will send darts her way! This is not a team player and cause real trouble. I worked with someone like that. She even got to the point of telling the patients "Oh, I see the previous nurse did this wrong. I will fix it" or things to that affect. We voted her off the island
    SNB1014 likes this.


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