Back-handed compliments

  1. Anyone else ever been given the crap patient load, float assignment, whatever, because "you're always so good, you can handle it..". Or the "I can't give it to XXX, because she can't handle it, isn't fast, is lazy, whatever".

    Near as I can tell (got this from 2 different units on 2 different hospitals), it pays to be "less competent", "slow", even "lazy", because then no one expects anything from you.... right?

    Argh.
    •  
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   jenni82104
    Ok, I am not in healthcare yet, but I just had to comment, it has been this way in every industry I have ever worked in!
  4. by   meownsmile
    You will see that things like this fall when whoever you are working with is favored by whoever is making the assignments. Whether its the NM or supervisor or whatever and they know people do less complaining if they pose it in the form of a compliment. Dont let yourself be fooled, its not about whos competent to do it and whos not, its about who will put up less fuss about it or who the person wants to SEE where. At least thats how its gone in my experience.
  5. by   lannisz
    YES. And it's so irritating! How come the nurses that are incompetent, lazy, hard on patients or get rattled too easily - whatever the reason - they still get paid and are allowed to "work"....then the rest of us are given so much more to handle. Usually it's someone who has been there for YEARS in my experience. It's like a dysfunctional family. Everyone, including management knows about these people....but nothing is ever done about it. It makes me angry. I feel like I get penalized for doing a good job. How come I can't get away with being incompetent, irresponsible and downright crazy too?
  6. by   muffie
    ya, and thanks nm for the complex chronic on my 3 day weekend
    and thanks nm for giving me 5 pts [normal 4 pts] assignment and putting me on first coffee
  7. by   Mulan
    Quote from meownsmile
    You will see that things like this fall when whoever you are working with is favored by whoever is making the assignments. Whether its the NM or supervisor or whatever and they know people do less complaining if they pose it in the form of a compliment. Dont let yourself be fooled, its not about whos competent to do it and whos not, its about who will put up less fuss about it or who the person wants to SEE where. At least thats how its gone in my experience.

    This is very true.

    Also, as was said to me once, they are going to give the job, whatever it is, to someone that they know is going to get it done.

    Very unfair. Also, very tiring, and how about burnout, if the same person is getting the heaviest load day after day.
  8. by   firefly49RN
    you are singing to the choir. it's called manipulation.by nature i am not confrontational and would put up with"oh, you can do it."i finally got tired of knowing any patient greater thant 250lbs would automatically be my patient ,not to mention the physical strain.so i took a class on assertiveness and it changed my life.when i put into practice some of the things i learned in my workplace it was like majic,and i mean assertiveness not aggressiveness,no verbal sarcasm no matter how much they have it coming.the confused looks and open mouths on some of the more frequent manipulators was priceless.the mouse had roared-assertively speaking that is.my job got a lot better after that,less stress on myself because i finally stood up for myself and the sky didn't fall.assertiveness rules!:xmas_smilies_daz:
  9. by   caroladybelle
    Well, HCW do it to each other.

    It ranks right up there with, "I could NEVER work Oncology, I have too sensitive a heart to do that". Or "I'm not able to harden my heart".

    Or the person, that when I floated another floor, gives me the dying patient, because "You are used to it" or asks me how long before they die, because, "You would know". Like am I G-d or the crypt keeper?
  10. by   Mulan
    [quote=caroladybelle;1947747) Like am I G-d or the crypt keeper?[/quote]

    :roll
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yep assertiveness rules. It's what you need to make it in a dog-eat-dog world and nursing is no different.
  12. by   banditrn
    In the ICU I very often got the 'difficult' patients or families, and my NM truly did mean it as a compliment - and I enjoyed the challenge. I don't mean neccessarily physically demanding, but those that needed a special touch.

    I'm not a door-mat type person, but I was able to get along with most of these people, and bring them around to 'my' way of thinking. Each situation demanded a different approach, and it was interesting to find the way that worked.
  13. by   gonzo1
    I am often the crapped upon one. I work my ass off while watching team mates sit and chat and laugh for hours. Then five minutes before quitting time they walk by and ask if I need help as they walk out the door. The other day I got so sick of it that I sat and didn't do anything on the abd pain that came in because I knew the doctor wasn't even gonna see him for an hour. The day nurse that came on chewed me a new buthole for not starting the IV and drawing labs. And she is one of the ones that often comes up as people are talking about the lazy ones.
    I don't think I'll let a patient go like that anymore though because I felt bad for the patient after I did that. In the end it probably only delayed his real treatement by 15 minutes and he was in no distress but I just felt bad treating a patient like that. And I have always prided myself on giving great patient care and spoiling my patients.
  14. by   EmerNurse
    When the "She can't handle it, etc" is one of TPTB favorites, makes it much more irritating too. If *I* tried to get away with being lazy, not handling "it" "(whatever "it" is), or whatever, I'd be written up in a NY minute.

    Yeah it's a compliment - and I really don't mind taking tough assignments - actually I take pride in give good care under those kind of conditions - but NOT when I'm to change my assignment half way through my shift simply *because* someone else is coming in that "needs" to be here or there cause they can't handle the tougher, more-work-involved, situation.

    Back-handed compliment indeed!

close