Helping or interfering?

  1. Quite a few of the nurses I work with are very territorial about their patient care. I have to admit that I don't like other nurses messing with my patients either. I don't mind if someone answers a bell or hangs an IV for me when I am busy, but there is one nurse in particular who just cannot keep her nose out of other people's patients. She will suction vent patients even if their assigned nurse has just suctioned them, she turns them and rubs their backs, and even updates their families and calls doctors about patients other than her own. She has been heard telling patients that she is a much better nurse than the one who is assigned to them. I don't know how she finds time to become involved in other patients and still have time for her own. She has been "talked to" about this behavior, but always has some excuse for what she did. "The patient asked me to turn her," or "The family had questions, and I didn't know where her nurse was." These are not situations where the patient is not receiving care from his own nurse, they are episodes where the assigned nurse is busy for a minute or two, and will get to the patient shortly. Some of us have told her very bluntly to stay away from our patients. She has learned to keep away from my patients, and a few others, but continues this behavior with others. She is especially intrusive with one of our newer nurses who is a little timid yet. I have on occasion stepped in when "Super Nurse" was giving her a hard time, but can't always run interference for her. We have also tried pulling the same stunts on her, but that hasn't helped either.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    That's happened to me. I think that's more than annoying--it's dangerous. There's a major difference between someone helping out a little and someone taking over.
    Sounds like she's trying to take over. Ultimately, I'd probably offer to give her the patient officially, because I don't want to be responsible for her doing one thing (that actually could be-- wrong) and me doing something else, not knowing what's been done.
    Unless she's preceptoring me--hands off, please.
  4. by   RNinICU
    There is one girl in our unit who doesn't mind if the this intrusive staff member does her care, because then she doesn't have to do it. That one is just plain lazy, but she always tells Nurse A how wonderful she is and how much she depends on her. This just feeds into Nurse A's ego. I think that is a big part of her problem. I think she needs to prove to herself and everyone else that she is the best nurse in the unit. I have tried giving her some positive reinforcement when she stays away from my patients and does something good for her own. This has helped a little, but I don't always have the time (or inclination) to stroke her ego.
  5. by   nursejws
    Originally posted by Sleepyeyes
    That's happened to me. I think that's more than annoying--it's dangerous. There's a major difference between someone helping out a little and someone taking over.
    Sounds like she's trying to take over. Ultimately, I'd probably offer to give her the patient officially, because I don't want to be responsible for her doing one thing (that actually could be-- wrong) and me doing something else, not knowing what's been done.
    Unless she's preceptoring me--hands off, please.
    I'm not a nurse yet, but I have to agree with Sleepyeyes. The nosey nurse has no business tending to everyone elses patients, except her own!

    If the pts family has questions...hunt the pts nurse down!

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