Dealing With Aggressive Coworkers

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    I'm new to this forum, as of today. I would like imput on dealing with aggressive personalities.

    We have a new per diem nurse where I work. She is also a brand new RN in her forties. She has a very aggressive personality. She hits me on the shoulder when she talks to me, makes announcements as to who will get the next admit, is bossy about whom I should give information to, makes patronizing comments to me, and generally is offensive, abrasive and obnoxious.

    I'm quite taken aback by her behaviour and realize that I generally have a hard time with agrressive personalities. I dislike confrontation and generally like to put people at ease. I've had to point out some mistakes to this new gal, because she still has a lot to learn, being a new grad, and I try and do it very gently.

    Now, I realize that I'm going to have to somehow establish my authority with this woman. I have a feeling that her behaviour will escalate since she is already so cocky. I'm hoping that she doesn't get an FTE. I spoke to one of the nursing supervisors whom I'm friends with, and she said that others have noticed this and this woman has actually been spoken to by our manager about this tendency to be too aggressive and that she isn't too open to the fact that she has a problem.

    Should I confront her next time she tries to boss me around? Theoretically we are professionally equals, but in reality she is a newbie and I'm an established nurse. I was thinking of writing her a note, outlining the problem, since my manager suggested that when I had a problem with one of the CNA's and didn't want to talk face to face. It worked well. My other option would be to speak with her whenever the behaviour occurs. What do you guys think?
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  4. 0
    Quote from Mystery5
    I'm new to this forum, as of today. I would like imput on dealing with aggressive personalities.

    We have a new per diem nurse where I work. She is also a brand new RN in her forties. She has a very aggressive personality. She hits me on the shoulder when she talks to me, makes announcements as to who will get the next admit, is bossy about whom I should give information to, makes patronizing comments to me, and generally is offensive, abrasive and obnoxious.

    I'm quite taken aback by her behaviour and realize that I generally have a hard time with agrressive personalities. I dislike confrontation and generally like to put people at ease. I've had to point out some mistakes to this new gal, because she still has a lot to learn, being a new grad, and I try and do it very gently.

    Now, I realize that I'm going to have to somehow establish my authority with this woman. I have a feeling that her behaviour will escalate since she is already so cocky. I'm hoping that she doesn't get an FTE. I spoke to one of the nursing supervisors whom I'm friends with, and she said that others have noticed this and this woman has actually been spoken to by our manager about this tendency to be too aggressive and that she isn't too open to the fact that she has a problem.

    Should I confront her next time she tries to boss me around? Theoretically we are professionally equals, but in reality she is a newbie and I'm an established nurse. I was thinking of writing her a note, outlining the problem, since my manager suggested that when I had a problem with one of the CNA's and didn't want to talk face to face. It worked well. My other option would be to speak with her whenever the behaviour occurs. What do you guys think?
    Absolutely.
    I have run into these problem personalities.
    Don't get into an argument with them. It is not worth it.
    But, you do have to draw the line and make sure that she understands that if she steps over it there will be consequences.

    Tell her, next time that she taps you or touches you, tell her that you are not her child and to keep her hands to herself. Remind her She is not at home with her children. Also, let her know in no uncertain terms that, tapping or touching another co-worker can be considered assault. So, unless she wants to take a walk down to the closest police station, she should keep her paws off you. Period.

    About the patronizing part, can't do much about that. The world is full of know it alls. Except, again, call her on it on the spot. She will probably deny, deny, deny but don't give up.

    Keep your chin up. You deserve to be treated in a respectful way.
  5. 0
    A note sounds too subtle.

    If she hits you again tell her, "stop hitting me, that hurts!" If she does it again tell her "I told you to stop that" and write her up, including the fact you warned her in your letter.

    If she is per diem I assume she is not the charge nurse, who is? Can you use report time to agree on who takes the first admit, and rotate turns.

    I would make a point of saying at the next opportunity something along the lines of the fact that youa re both competent nurses, and she should kindly pay attention to her own assignment and you will ask for help if you need it. If you all are consistent as a group, and yet stay available to help her you may be able to get her to back down without ruining your working relationship.
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    If she hits you again i would say "Please do not hit me again, thanks". I'd make a note for myself the date that i asked her to stop it, so i could include that info on a future incident report.

    The next patronizing comment she makes, i would say "I do not appreciate that. Please stop" and document the date you asked this. If she persists, then file a report.
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    Dear Canoehead,
    I work at a small hospital and we don't have charge nurses. Usually we have 2 or 3 nurses plus 1 or 2 CNA's. We get report on all the pts here and cover one another for breaks.

    The thing is, this woman seems unaware of her status there, which is the fact that she is a brand new grad, off of orientation a month, and per diem. She acts as if SHE is the charge nurse! The day she announced magnanamously to me that she had decided to take the first admit, there was absolutely no question that she would, based on how we do things there. She was the third nurse until 1900 and had only 2 pts, one of whom was on her way out the door. It was only 1730, and the other two of us had 3 or 4 pts.

    For instance, when she got out of givng report that day, I told her that her that I had gotten her patient up to the BSC and she snapped back at me that she was tired and I needed to tell the CNA or the oncoming nurse (who was still in report). She said it in a bullying fashion then went back to her conversation. I didn't want to confront her in front of all those people so I went back to what I was doing, but she basically spoke as if she were giving me orders.

    Another example would be one day when it was just she and me and we only had 3 pts. She had been off orientation a very short time, and she aggressively announced in report that she would take one pt and the first admit. Since it wasn't a big deal, I asceeded to her demand, but the norm where I work is for the nurses to discuss the assignment, or at least word it differently. And, for a total newcomer to be acting and speaking with so much audacity is amazing.
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    If she is speaking with other people say "can I talk with you in private for a minute?" If she refuses then get right in there and say what you need to- she had her chance for privacy.

    As for assignments- perhaps saying "we usually get together on assignments, it's a group decision" should give her the hint. It's different if she makes unfair assignments, then you have to call her on it. Sounds like she doesn't quite "get" the team experience and may need coaching on saying what she wants and then making sure everyone is OK with the decision.
  9. 0
    We have someone sort of like that at our facility. She is a CNA with years of experience and has just been hired less than a month ago. She has also been very quick to point out all the problems with lack of teamwork or a system, disorganization in our facility, how mgmt. is breaking labor laws in regards to breaks, etc. Although she doesn't mean to, she makes me feel as though she does better at being in charge than I do--and I've been a shift supervisor for years! I have a love-hate relationship with her take-charge attitude.
  10. 0
    Quote from Mystery5
    I'm new to this forum, as of today. I would like imput on dealing with aggressive personalities.

    We have a new per diem nurse where I work. She is also a brand new RN in her forties. She has a very aggressive personality. She hits me on the shoulder when she talks to me, makes announcements as to who will get the next admit, is bossy about whom I should give information to, makes patronizing comments to me, and generally is offensive, abrasive and obnoxious.

    I'm quite taken aback by her behaviour and realize that I generally have a hard time with agrressive personalities. I dislike confrontation and generally like to put people at ease. I've had to point out some mistakes to this new gal, because she still has a lot to learn, being a new grad, and I try and do it very gently.

    Now, I realize that I'm going to have to somehow establish my authority with this woman. I have a feeling that her behaviour will escalate since she is already so cocky. I'm hoping that she doesn't get an FTE. I spoke to one of the nursing supervisors whom I'm friends with, and she said that others have noticed this and this woman has actually been spoken to by our manager about this tendency to be too aggressive and that she isn't too open to the fact that she has a problem.

    Should I confront her next time she tries to boss me around? Theoretically we are professionally equals, but in reality she is a newbie and I'm an established nurse. I was thinking of writing her a note, outlining the problem, since my manager suggested that when I had a problem with one of the CNA's and didn't want to talk face to face. It worked well. My other option would be to speak with her whenever the behaviour occurs. What do you guys think?
    How did this person ever get into nursing school? Are the schools letting just anyone in? They should have seen something was off in her interview, school, and work. Yes, I would confront her, with the manager present. And if she keeps hitting you, bring her up on charges. This nurses has problems, and I think she could become violent. What an embarassment to the profession she is.
  11. 0
    Quote from canoehead
    If she is speaking with other people say "can I talk with you in private for a minute?" If she refuses then get right in there and say what you need to- she had her chance for privacy.

    As for assignments- perhaps saying "we usually get together on assignments, it's a group decision" should give her the hint. It's different if she makes unfair assignments, then you have to call her on it. Sounds like she doesn't quite "get" the team experience and may need coaching on saying what she wants and then making sure everyone is OK with the decision.
    This sounds like excellent advise. I've been thinking along a similar vein. I've been practising lines to say. I want to be prepared. I'm looking forward to improving my assertiveness skills. I'm going to do it!
  12. 0
    Sometimes people act this way because they count on you not standing up to them in front of others. You have to confront her and stop it every time it occurs.


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