Seems I can't keep promises about not posting. Came to this thread when I saw it was directed at Youda - who always makes sense to me.
Something similar happened to me. I had moved to Florida, was working on a small unit. For some reason, a new graduate (hey, I had two years experience so I guess I was an old-timer but, I swear, I have never dined on new grads) went after me. I never knew why. I don't think I ever said anything mean to her or about her, I was impressed that she was starting her career in a semi crtical care environment.
She never said a word to me about having problems with me. She began writing incident reports. I've always felt that an incident was when something actually happened to a patient, visitor or staff. Not everyone feels that way.
One report was because I had not picked up an order the MD wrote sometime during my shift. Hey, tell me about it, I'll apologize. But, the med was given on time, no problem with the patient.
I wouldn't have had time to write an incident report about such a trivial thing. (I know, there are those of you out there who think an unpicked up order is never a trivial thing, whether it impacts the patient or not. I respect your opinion. Mine is different, though I think it is the definition of "incident" unless the definition has been expanded).
One report was rather upsetting. I have benign essential tremor; my head shakes, I'm not sure when it started but it started before I even went to nursing school
Stress can make tremor worse. While I was at that hospital I finally sought treatment because when I tried to take blood pressures, the stethescope would fly off the patient's arm with a bad tremor. People kept thinking I was saying no to them.
One day I was called into the manager's office. An incident report had been received describing shaking hands, appears fatigued (at end of 12 hr night shift), etc. Basically questioning my competency. I don't know how she saw my hand shaking past my head - a lot more noticible - but she did. Funny, though, she never even bothered asking me if I was OK, if there was a problem.
The manager took it seriously, left me practically crying - my head shakes, I'm getting it fixed, have I done anything to hurt a patient, at all? Have my notes been bad, has any of my work suffered? Well, no. Still.
Fortunately there was no further counseling. I left there pretty quickly though.
I'm not sure of the answer. Yes it is slanderous. Who is sandering? The fellow nurse. Who is bothering to listen? The manager. If I ran the universe, I would have told the new nurse that both incident reports were inappropriate as she was not reporting an incident and there are other, less paper-y ways to address such concerns. My manager didn't.
In retrospect, I would have requested "the counseling" to include my accuser, whose name was on the report. I think this would have led to appropriate embarrassment as I could have asked her,in front of the manager, "why did you not ask me when you were there?"
I don't know the answer to this stuff. A nurse with a chip on her shoulder of some sort uses the incident reporting system to go after another nurse and the manager addresses it as if an incident has occurred.
After I left the hospital, I worked with a nursing student who worked on the same unit part time as a tech. He said it was kind of funny, he'd come in in the morning, the two night shift nurses would be filling out incident reports about each other. He called it "dueling with incident reports."