CNA issue~can anyone advise?

  1. Let me be clear, first of all, 90% of the CNA's I work with are worth their weight in gold, and I am in no way slamming them.

    I am a LPN who works night shift in LTC. I have a very difficult CNA who works with me. I have tried to be nice and get along and at best, she will smirk as I say anything to her.
    I inquired to my boss as to how to handle this situation, and she suggested that I take the CNA to the side, with another nurse adn ask her if there is a problem and tell her that professionalism is expected in the workplace. Etc...etc...
    Ok. I was going to do what she said this morning when 1st shift came in and I had another nurse with me.
    Well....apparently my boss said something to her about her rude behavior and she lit a fuse about 12a last night and was yelling and cursing and carrying on at me like there was no tomorrow! When it was apparent she wasn't going to stop even after I told her it was time to knock it off, I walked down the hall and said to her, "Whatever, ****, it's time to cool it." She said, "yea, I'll show you whatever." :angryfire
    I have to work with her again on Wednesday and I don't know if any of this will be handled or not. Before I left, I did email my boss to let her know of the "conversation".

    Any advice on how you guys would handle it? I believe if she starts on me Wednesday, I'm going to tell her to clock out and go home.
    I'm just so backward in the "fight" department, that I don't know what to say until it's over! :angryfire

    Sure would appreciate some help with this!
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Can you take a small, concealed voice activated tape recorder with you? You could get the CNAs inappropriate behavior and statements on tape. Plus, keep a small notebook w/ you. Domument every inappropriate thing she says and does, so you have a paper trail and documentation to back you up.

    I have worked w/ a few CNAs like this in the past. I did not take my own advice, though. I just quit the job.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    At that point, I would have sent her home! No one should be swearing, yelling at other staff members. You are right that she needs a cooling off period - like forever. Either suspend her w/o pay for a couple of shifts or terminate her employment!
  5. by   Katnip
    Be very careful about how you react to her. Name-calling can be used against you. Try to stay cool, I know sometimes for me it's impossible, but I've had to bite my tongue more than once.

    I don't know how LTC works. Do you have the authority to send her home? To recommend termination? Definitaly document every negative behavior she displays. In order to fire someone you needs reams of documentation. I'm not sure if taping conversations without the other person's consent is legal. Look into that before doing it.
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    I can't imagine that something like that would not be handled by your boss prior to this person returning to work (assuming she is allowed to return at all.) However, I have had enough laissez-faire bosses who hope things just blow over without intervention NOT to assume that.

    Call your boss on top of the email and advise her that you would like to know how the situation will be handled as you are unable to work with someone who is so clearly unable to handle herself in a professional fashion.

    Personally, if the outburst happened as I am envisioning it, the DON would have been called at the time of the outburst, the CNA would have been advised to clock out and go home, and a replacement aide called in (if not, the DON should have arrived to assist.)

    Sorry you've had to work with such a schmuck.
  7. by   GPatty
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    Can you take a small, concealed voice activated tape recorder with you? You could get the CNAs inappropriate behavior and statements on tape. Plus, keep a small notebook w/ you. Domument every inappropriate thing she says and does, so you have a paper trail and documentation to back you up.

    I have worked w/ a few CNAs like this in the past. I did not take my own advice, though. I just quit the job.
    Most of the folks I work with there are a-ok. Wish I could quit, but they really bust their cans to work with my school schedule and I don't want to desert them that way.
    I like the idea though.
  8. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from cyberkat
    In order to fire someone you needs reams of documentation. I'm not sure if taping conversations without the other person's consent is legal. Look into that before doing it.
    I asked a lawyer I used to know about this once. He told me that rights to privacy do not apply in the workplace. Any employer can tape calls or film employees without them knowing. Pts do retain the privacy rights in health care facilities.

    Since you are not the employer in this case, the law will not apply the same way. However, I would bet that you could legally tape a conversation at work, and submit it to your boss. You probably could not use it as evidence in any legal proceeding. If you do want to tape this person, ask a lawyer about it first.
  9. by   GPatty
    Quote from cyberkat
    Be very careful about how you react to her. Name-calling can be used against you.
    Just so everyone knows, I didn't call her a name...the **** used is where I said her name. I just didn't want to put it in!

    I think I will call my boss tomorrow and ask how it is going to be handled. It sure did make for a looong night last night!
    I do have the authority to send her home, but she is the type who won't leave if she doesn't want to. People just don't buck her, they ignore her behavior.
    I just never know what to say in situations like this. I've only written up 2 people before in my entire 2 year long nursing carreer, and I have never encountered someone like her.
  10. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I told a CNA to clock and go home, once. She actually refused saying "I'm not leaving and you can't do anything about it." I was floored and didn't know what to do. I was not charge that evening, and the charge could not get her to leave, either. We wrote up everything together and submitted it to the NM. Thankfully, the CNA was fired. It did take a loooong pattern of behavior and a ton of documentation to finally make it happen. I had to document on this gidrl every shift i worked w/ her.

    I also had to show that she had falsified V/S, which was hard to do.
    This CNA had even sat on a male pts lap w/ her arm around him, and was saying some really inappropriate stuff. Even the pt's wife complaining did not get her fired- only suspended for 3 days.

    I have worked w/ quite a few violent and inappropriate people in my career, both CNAs, and nurses. In most cases, I could not get the employer to do anything and quit. In two cases, I quit and the offending co-worker quit soon afterwards. Both times, the employer asked me to come back, but I refused.
    I mean, they wouldn't back me when I needed them to. I rejected their "Well, the problem is over now, so let's forget about it" attitude. I will not work for employers that ignore violent and abusive employees.
  11. by   TexasPoodleMix
    I have no advice as I am not a nurse, but I can't believe people like this are in the health field "taking care' of us !
    Sorry you have to put up with such B.S. Very disturbing....
  12. by   swhyte
    Hi julielpn.
    I am very sorry for all that is going on at your place of work. Nursing is as stressful as it is, therefore, You dont need the additional stress from your co-worker.Someone had suggested that you take an activated voice recorder and tape this in appropriare behavor.
    Please dont do that. It is against the law to tape someone unaware to them. Please get one of your buddies make sure that your buddy witness and document this type of behavior when it occurs and that you can call on your buddy as witness when the time comes. Remember that CNA's are unionized and the Union will fight you on this subject.
    Ignore this person as much as you can. Keep a calm head and dont do anything that will cost you your job.You Patients/Clients needs you. Anyone who can behave like that to a fellow staff and infront of patients/Clients does not have any class.As for your N.M he/ she needs to be reported to the Director of Care.

    Good Luck,
    Write again let us know how it goes.
    Last edit by swhyte on Jul 6, '04
  13. by   Destinystar
    as far as ltc is concerned this behavior is not rare but nore should it be tolerated. based on the fact that you are a supervisor and a pt. advocate it is in the pts. and the other employees who all depend on you best interest to give this nasty nurse a directive to leave the premises at once. if she refuses call the police and have her cited for distubing the peace & trespassing. using a tape recorder could cause your efforts to dismiss her backfire especially if the use of one is illegal in this manner. if she is as bad as you say you should have no problems having employees and alert residents who have heard her sign off on your complaint. you can also report her to the cna boards for insubordination to prevent her from ruining someone elses day. this woman has an anger management issue that could escalate into violence. good luck
    Quote from julielpn
    most of the folks i work with there are a-ok. wish i could quit, but they really bust their cans to work with my school schedule and i don't want to desert them that way.
    i like the idea though.
  14. by   flashpoint
    If you told her to go home and she refused, I would call a nurse manager or the DON or whoever is authority over the department. I can understand people getting upset and blowing off steam once in a while, but this is above and beyond what is acceptable.

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