How do you work with a ***** ??? - page 3

I need advice...I work med/surg, and if we miss a scheduled weekend, we have to make it up. Well, guess what. My makeup weekend is working "with" the biggest ***** I've ever seen. I am so... Read More

  1. by   Stargazer
    Tim, I'd work with you anytime! Sirens, while I agree other posters have a point that management doesn't really rush to get involved--it's still worth mentioning and documenting. I worked with 2 nurses at the same time in my unit who would blow up at a moment's notice over NOTHING--which was really scary because you never knew what would set them off. One nurse in particular could turn any remark or even a glance into a major incident and start shouting personal insults in the middle of the hallway! Did administration do anything active about it at the time? Well, no--but we had some layoffs soon after--and these 2 were the first to go. Keep covering your ass w/documentation and verbal reports. In case there ever IS a pt. problem, you want to make sure she can't turn it back on you somehow.
  2. by   soundsLikesirens
    Stargazer: excellent suggestion!!! I had sortof given up on documenting anything because, as short-staffed as WE are, they aren't going to fire/discipline/come down on anyone...so I thought it would be a waste of time. But you make a good point! I am going to leave a paper trail. Besides, you never know how long your current Unit Manager will last....and, if the day comes I ever DO have to go to management; I will have something to back me up. Thanks again.
  3. by   duckie
    After reading all the advice here, I decided to stick my .2 worth in also. I have to say though, there is lots of great advice here and I even got a few laughs! But I'd like to offer yet another approach. If you feel this way about her, there is no doubt others do also. Since I have always believed in the safty of numbers, perhaps several of you could unit and speak with her. BUT, take a tape recorder and place it where she and everyone else can see it, and let it be stated verbally that this conversation is being recorded on (date). You might make a statement similar to the following: (her name), we are here to speak with you about your attitude, the way you treat all of us and to let you know we are all tired of the negativity and hostile atmosphere you promote and most importantly that it will not be tolerated by any of us from now on. We want you to know we have no desire to cause you problems but if you continue to treat us with such disrespect, we will take this tape of our meeting with you to our Administrator. Each person could offer a particular incident that occurred between them and maybe once she begins to see she is out numbered, maybe she will realize you are all very serious. By recording the converstaion, you protect yourselves should she state something was said, which was not and it gives you back up of your attempt to solve it in a professional manner. Knowing you are being recorded makes you choose your words wisely and if you're really lucky, she'll flip her lid on the tape and then you have proof by her own mouth. It may not work but it's another idea to consider, since punching her in the kisser isn't considered professional!
  4. by   wendy, ccrn
    I've had a situation similiar to this. We had a nurse on our icu floor who was very unstable. She would scream profanity at co-workers and pts. at different times. Very unpredictable and we just knew she was going to snap anytime. We wrote her up for every foul word and action. We all addressed this problem with mgmt over and over. It took about a year to finally get her terminated. We were all relieved. She was a walking time-bomb and we never knew where the anger would be directed. So hang in there and write up everything she does. It may take a while but if you all stick together it'll happen. Also if you come across a family member or pt. not satisfied with her care, hand them a evaluation card if your facility has these. Sometimes mgmt will listen to pts. and families over staff complaints. just some ideas. Good Luck
  5. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    It is really sad that we as caregivers have to deal with these types of people in our workplace. But, rest assured, these negative individuals can be found anywhere, in any workplace and in any industry. The important questions are: What power does this individual have over others that is so strong, she can precipitate your negative reactions? and what power does she have in the organization that allows her to behave this way without sanction?

    Each of us has a decision to make when confronted with this type of person...to lower ourselves to her/his level and react to it or to elevate ourselves above it and act on it. There is a big difference between reacting and acting. Make a conscious choice with this person to act on the situation, especially since you know in advance that her behavior is likely to be negative and/or volatile. Let her know the facts, not your emotion. Use stong "I" messages. Point to her behaviors that affect you negatively and impede your work, for example: "When you interrupt me with your personal anger, I am distracted from my work. If you have an issue with my work, tell me what it is. Otherwise, I want to be left to do my work as I see fit. If you have a problem with that, let's see the manager first thing in the morning together." More than likely, she uses anger because she knows it has been effective in getting what she wants in the past. Let her know that anger will not work with you and you will not sink to her level. Diffuse some of her power.

    If she is really this bad, the manager on that unit must know or be turning a blind eye to it. Whatever the case, your co-worker, by default has permission to act this way. Unlike some of the posters above, I would never run to my manager and "tell". Rather, I would offer your co-worker the option to change her behaviors then and there. If she chooses not to, then go with her to the manager for a conference. But, regardless, you must not sink to her level and you must without equivocation offer her the option to change her behavior. You will find out that you will have the power leverage then.
    regards
    chas
  6. by   mustangsheba
    SIRENS: Some more good points made here. I agree with Charles that taking the time at the moment to confront her by describing her behavior is the ideal way to respond. Sometimes when these incidents occur, we feel like we don't have the time to take appropriate action. Personally, especially if I am surprised by an attack, I need to walk away without any action at the time. I am not a master of swift repartee so I have to prepare myself emotionally. However, I always make a paper trail - "If you didn't write it, it didn't happen." Journals and calendars are admissible in court. Documentation doesn't always have to be a formal letter. I worked with someone like that once. We did confront her gently but firmly. It didn't help at all. The worst part was that she was the same with patients, and the patients were the ones that were instrumental in getting her discharged. It does not happen overnight however. Above all, one cannot engage with these people. It just seems to give them more energy. Medication might help. The trouble is, I don't know whether to give it to them or take it myself!
  7. by   mustangsheba
    I didn't mean to imply that one shouldn't confront the person, just that it may not always work. I agree with Charles that the persons needs to be the first one you speak to.
  8. by   nursejanedough
    Most nurses are women. I am a woman, but I understand PMS and hot flashes, etc. I was horrified when I saw all the petty crap that floor nurses were giving to their ADON and DON. I was an MDS nurse (privelege to the management meetings)(I saw it all, along with the family complaints). Plus, years before nursing, I was a supervisor of 13 women. Never again. Nurses, deal with your problems one on one and document it. God bless supervisors of 6 women or more. Tim may sound a little rough, but he has the right idea. Good luck.
  9. by   nursejanedough
    P.S. I mean most nurses are women. Oops.
  10. by   soundsLikesirens
    I pretty much agree with Jane....you can't go running to "mommy" everytime you have a problem with somebody. It's childish and it shows you cannot "deal" with things. After thinking about it I have realized that this isn't enough (yet) to make me run squealing to my unit manager. Like you all say, there's always documentation....it might be a good idea to have more on paper, anyway, before/if I do go to "the boss". But it will have to be more than this....I don't think they have the time to fool with personality clashes and "taking sides..." We're all supposed to be grown-ups, after all.....
  11. by   ratchit
    Wow, Tim...

    I tend to get to this board every 3-4 days and catch up. What a storm I've been missing! And YOU! LOL- I read your posts and think "damn, he's one of those PERFECT nurses I always insist don't exist!" Now I have PROOF! <grin>

    I like the one on one idea. I like the tape recorder idea. I would even go to her at the start of a shift and tape yourself saying you'll have it with you the whole shift and will turn it on whenever she speaks to you. Would it hold up in court? Don't know but doubt it. SHould be enough to catch managements eye if she does something truly bad.

    I agree that managers don't want to deal with Susie doesn't play well with others type stuff, but they seem to have a bigger problem at hand.

    Most places have Employee Assistance Programs that anyone can contact. I don't know if you can ask them to contact her but that may be an idea. Another one is to deliver your incident reports directly to risk management and the CEO's office- your manager may be filing them circularly. If this nurse is unstable in any way, she could affect a patient either physically (risk mgmt issue) or contribute to patient dissatisfaction and hurt your hospitals reputation in the community- things the CEO doesn't want.

    Even if this nurse doesn't physically harm a patient, they can hear what is said in the halls.

    How was your weekend?
  12. by   soundsLikesirens
    I haven't had my weekend yet....my weekend with Godzilla. It's looming ahead of me, like some giant monolith monster. (That's an old B-horror flick...) But somehow, it seems appropriate here.......
  13. by   MartyL
    Isn't it sad that ONE person can make such a negative impact? I know exactly how you feel. I think it is similar to another post I have out there, it boils down to COMMUNICATION. Obviously if nurse-from-the-temple-of-doom is always MAD or UPSET she must have a problem communicating--maybe she doesn't know how she SOUNDS to other people.
    And maybe she doesn't care. I think taking a cross with you to work those 2 shifts may just be the thing you need to make it without letting HER get the best of YOU. Hey, you may even end up feeling like BUFFY the vampire slayer.

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