Difficult coworker..how to deal?

  1. How would you handle this?

    I work 3rd shift in a medium security state prison. On 3rd shift, we have 4 staffers. 2 RN's and 2 LPN's(one is male, one is female). I'm a female RN and so is the other RN. We have a difficult coworker in the female LPN. She has a history of mental illness...she's told me herself that she is bipolar. She's also NOTORIOUSLY difficult to get along with. Other RN's who used to work night shift switched to days in order to get away from her. She's been written up for 'hostile work environment' many times over the last few years.

    Last week, she sent our bosses an email stating that us RN's weren't allowing her to get her lunch break during serving hours as we were out in the prison, picking up sick-call slips on the housing units. Now 50% of the time, if I asked her if she was going to lunch, she'd hemm and haw and say no. After speaking with the other RN who works the shift, and read the emails this LPN sent our bosses, we have both decided that we need to meet with our boss and inform her (the boss) that we are not willing to tolerate the behavior of this LPN any longer.

    And then I found out tonight from one of the Correction Officers, that this LPN now has a vendetta against me and will turn me in if I make ANY mistake. Nice huh? Yeah, hostile work environment much? I was at the point last week where I dreaded going to work and having to deal with this LPN's behavior and funny that the other 3rd shift RN feels the same way. This LPN also takes it upon herself to check other employees work. She was told by our boss that it isn't her job to do that and she needs to stop because it's causing a LOT of animosity.

    Yet she did it again on Thursday. I wasn't aware that our boss had spoken to the LPN regarding that situation until I talked to the other RN tonight.

    Is there anything else I need to do? I've only got a year and 10 months in, so not a LOT of time invested in this State job...but I cannot continue to DREAD going into work and having to watch my back around this LPN on a power trip!!!

    Have any of you dealt with a coworker who had it in for you? TIA!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Libby1987
    Is there something that's more tangible that she does to cause a hostile work environment? There's nothing in your post that would cause me to dread going to work, roll my eyes and shrug yes, but not DREAD. Especially with consensus amongst the remaining nurses.
  4. by   RNforLongTime
    She is passive-agressive to the MAX! We have to do these medical release summaries for inmates who are leaving on parole or maxing out. I did one on a certain inmate the week before and then got notice that he was being paroled. I reprinted out the one I had done from the week before and this LPN decided to check it and found that I'd missed a med that was prescribed 2 days after I did the first summary...but INSTEAD of letting me know, she copied the summary, the inmates MAR and attached a post it saying RN so and so isn't verifying this. SHe is just going into the charts and recopying things!! She NEVER said a word to me about it. Nor did she 'fix' my error. I am the Team Leader/Supervisor on 3rd shift as I've the most seniority. So I went into the supervisor mailbox to put paperwork there and happened to notice her 'note' to the bosses. Well, I pulled it, corrected the error and wrote that I fixed it This LPN is quick to point out other's errors but NEVER fixes anything.


    She also comes into the nurses station and starts swearing...What the **** is the problem with payroll or I can't believe how ****** stupid so and so is. It's CONSTANT ******** from her EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!! Last week with this lunch deal, she YELLED at me in the nurses station. I won't talk to her privately unless there's a witness...she's proven to me she cannot be trusted.
    I used my most calm voice I could muster, even though I was FUMING! I asked her why she didn't come to us first before going to the bosses. and her reply was that she didn't like confrontation like right now. I told her, I'm not confronting you. I'm discussing this in a calm manner like an ADULT! YOU are choosing to make it confrontational when you go behind our backs to complain. THAT is what angers us
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jun 22, '16 : Reason: TOS language
  5. by   quiltynurse56
    I think she needs to get her own meds checked and/or into therapy herself if she is bipolar. Not sure how you can go about recommending this, but that is my first thought here.

    Document for yourself what she has been doing and how she has been treating people. I had a CNA like this and after two of us reported her with our documentation, action was taken. Unfortunately, it can be a hard thing to do. I totally understand not wanting to go to work, especially if she is also on the schedule.
  6. by   HouTx
    I would recommend working with your Director of Nursing services (Whoever is accountable for the supervision and deliver of nursing services..should be the person who does nurse performance evaluations) to develop a performance improvement plan for Ms Problem. I would also emphasize and enforce scope of practice. LPN scope of practice in most states requires direct supervision by an RN or physician - so as the team leader, you have the authority to establish and enforce limitations on her work and evaluate her clinical skills.

    In my state, assessment, care planning & development of the discharge plan are not within the scope of LVN practice. If she is assuming this duty independently by evaluating discharge readiness/status, that may be a practice violation. Just sayin'. . .
  7. by   Been there,done that
    She has already been reported for what I feel.. is insubordination. You have another RN that supports your stance on this problem. It is up to your management to continue corrective action.

    Give management the time they need to do so. YOU don't need to leave.. SHE does.

    Continue to write up her inappropriate behavior.. each and every time. Give management the rope they need.
  8. by   RNforLongTime
    Quote from Been there,done that
    She has already been reported for what I feel.. is insubordination. You have another RN that supports your stance on this problem. It is up to your management to continue corrective action.

    Give management the time they need to do so. YOU don't need to leave.. SHE does.

    Continue to write up her inappropriate behavior.. each and every time. Give management the rope they need.
    I wrote her up last night after I found out more information on how she's running her mouth about me to the higher ups. So I wrote up the incidents from last week...how she was on the phone for over 30min to her 'boyfriend' and refused to do anything else. The other RN is going to do the same thing as we are BOTH FED UP with her inappropriate behavior!

    Thank you for your advice!

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