I can't stop crying... need encouragement... - page 4

I work at a long term care facility on the 11-7 shift, and tonight's shift has been a nightmare. I am the only RN in the building with 156 residents and 5 LPNs. Any emergency or crisis is my... Read More

  1. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from bethin
    Are you supposed to be God or something? Oh, sweetie, I'd be overwhelmed too with that list.
    Last Thursday night/Friday morning was the first time since my first week on the job that I felt like I could not do it. The normal responsibilities, I have become very adept with and now get a coupla breaks and a meal break during which I can pretty much log on and check out this site (which has been a real lifesaver for me). I just felt so overwhelmed and teary that night, and I didn't want people to see me that way but still I couldn't stop tearing up... that's such a bad feeling. On the bright side, I was asleep within an hour of gettin home (I never get to sleep that early!) and also slept most of the weekend. Thank you so much for your concern. I've never found anywhere so supportive before, and I appreciate it more than I can express. There have been several times when I have been faced with a situation I didn't know how to handle, done a search on here and *poof* five or ten examples of similar situations along with everyone's opinions on how to handle them. I think this should be mandatory for nursing students also! I know it would have helped me a great deal if I had known about it!

    Lori
  2. by   rn/writer
    Quote from daytonite
    i guess it's just the supervisor and manager in me, but did anyone else pick up on the fact that the op mentioned that she was doing all this posting and lamenting about her job while she was on the job? what's with that? not only that, but had also made a post a couple of hours earlier that same night--guess that was before all the falls occurred. when i'm at work, i work. i don't play around on the computer, particularly if it's the facility's computer. one press of a button and the boss can find out when you were on the internet and where you surfed to. there is always something that can be done for a patient or to help out the nurses and nursing assistants. i'd love to know how the people the op supervises would feel knowing she was in an office messing around on a computer. how busy could it have been if someone can see through their tears and sniffling well enough to type out a fairly long message on a computer? i've been a night supervisor in ltc and i'm not persuaded to provide encouragement where i don't think it's been earned. sorry. wonder what a boss would say to the request for help knowing that the person was finding time to go online for personal reasons? go to an internet cafe or the library after getting off duty.

    i can trump 5 patient falls in a night with 2 back to back code blues on a medical unit on the same night within minutes of each other sans hanging out on allnurses.com looking for sympathy.

    i'm kind of stunned that you would speak to another nurse--especially one who came here for help--with such pre-judgment and condescension. i don't remember that kind of contempt from your other posts.

    lori's explanations sounded reasonable to me. in fact, she was darned resourceful in finding a way to keep herself together (the staff didn't need to be taking care of her when she was supposed to be supporting them) at a time when her options were extremely limited. the rest of her posts showed her to be intelligent, caring, responsible, and dedicated. she didn't quit when she found herself temporarily overwhelmed by a convergence of circumstances that were mostly beyond her control. she just asked for some help to get through a hard time. i'm glad she had the good sense to come here where she could get a quick response. and i'm really glad she got some supportive messages before she got yours.

    there's nothing wrong with asking questions, but it would have been nice if you had made your inquiries sans contempt and reserved judgment till you read the answers. maybe you could have listed your criteria for earning encouragement while you were at it.
  3. by   Daytonite
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    At certain times of the night, I do rounds and the LPNs know that. Otherwise, I'm expected to be in my office near my phone in case of emergency so they don't have to call all over trying to find me. I really do work hard, and although I have time to come here and catch my breath, I also am paid salary, NOT overtime and yet work at least 2 hours of unpaid overtime per night. The majority of my work happens after 6am, when the callins come in, the residents are awakened, and the shift report is completed. I do have some spare time in my office. And when my work is caught up, the only internet site I go to is this one and the one for nursing prayers. . . .that morning when I did 6:30 rounds, I got about 15 hugs from residents who hug me every morning... it never fails to make me feel better. . .There have been several times when I have been faced with a situation I didn't know how to handle, done a search on here and *poof* five or ten examples of similar situations along with everyone's opinions on how to handle them. I think this should be mandatory for nursing students also! I know it would have helped me a great deal if I had known about it!

    Been there. Done that. First thing I was taught as a hospital supervisor was not to let the staff know my routine and to make rounds at random times. I understand all about the 6am calloffs and the staffing that has to be attended to. Don't understand how someone can justify 2 hours of overtime and still be sitting on the Internet making multiple posts during work hours. I would request a pager or a cell phone to carry so I could be reached anytime and anywhere within the building. As a supervisor I'd prefer to get some hugs and appreciation from the staff I supervise. When someone wants to identify more with patients than the staff they supervise it tells me that they are not aware of all their job functions and are regressing to what they feel most comfortable with--patient care. I would read the statements made by a bunch of anonymous people on an Internet site, but it doesn't come near to equalling what can be learned from consulting with one's boss, checking out textbooks on supervision and leadership, and attending seminars on supervision. I think it's interesting that when I held supervision positions in both an acute hospital and a LTC facility that neither had an office where we supervisors could hang out. We carried pagers and were on the move. What I have learned over my many years in nursing is that you can't supervise or manage by hiding away in an office somewhere. You miss too much stuff that's going on that you need to be aware of. Supervision is more than taking care of patient problems. It involves taking care of staff and administrative problems as well. This is something that nursing school is not so good at teaching, so one is often left on their own to hone these skills unless a mentor steps forward to help.
  4. by   rn/writer
    Quote from Daytonite
    Been there. Done that. First thing I was taught as a hospital supervisor was not to let the staff know my routine and to make rounds at random times. I understand all about the 6am calloffs and the staffing that has to be attended to. Don't understand how someone can justify 2 hours of overtime and still be sitting on the Internet making multiple posts during work hours. I would request a pager or a cell phone to carry so I could be reached anytime and anywhere within the building. As a supervisor I'd prefer to get some hugs and appreciation from the staff I supervise. When someone wants to identify more with patients than the staff they supervise it tells me that they are not aware of all their job functions and are regressing to what they feel most comfortable with--patient care. I would read the statements made by a bunch of anonymous people on an Internet site, but it doesn't come near to equalling what can be learned from consulting with one's boss, checking out textbooks on supervision and leadership, and attending seminars on supervision. I think it's interesting that when I held supervision positions in both an acute hospital and a LTC facility that neither had an office where we supervisors could hang out. We carried pagers and were on the move. What I have learned over my many years in nursing is that you can't supervise or manage by hiding away in an office somewhere. You miss too much stuff that's going on that you need to be aware of. Supervision is more than taking care of patient problems. It involves taking care of staff and administrative problems as well. This is something that nursing school is not so good at teaching, so one is often left on their own to hone these skills unless a mentor steps forward to help.
    Sounds like you have some valid concerns and some equally valuable suggestions, but would it cost you so much to connect with Lori as a person in need before you just club her over the head with all that information? I'm not fond of cliches, but the one that comes to mind is, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." You may not be a warm fuzzy kind of person by nature, but you still need to treat someone who is/was already reeling with at least a veneer of kindness and concern.

    Someone who is struggling needs help. Even if they're in charge. Even if they may have inadvertantly contributed to the situation. Even if others don't think they deserve it. When they get their feet back under them and their wits back about them, then they'll be more receptive to constructive criticism.

    Constructive. That's an important word. Criticism is best received and truly taken in when it is coupled with recognition of current effort and the offering of future encouragement. These are also valid supervisory principles. Supervising isn't only about running the show. It's also about motivating others and educating, challenging and inspiring them to give their best. If you only find fault and hand out lists of what should be done differently, you may find yourself trying to run a well-designed engine without the lubricant that makes it operate smoothly. No matter how flawless the orignal product, it's going to break down without some protection against everyday wear-and-tear and the friction that is a normal byproduct of daily interaction. People are just like this only moreso.

    I'm not suggesting you go all ooey-gooey here. I do think that you have managed to come across as cold and uncaring and that this perceived harshness diminishes the "hearability" of your message. Form is overshadowing content and that's unfortunate because it sounds like you could be a valuable resource for someone in Lori's position.
  5. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from rn/writer
    I'm kind of stunned that you would speak to another nurse--especially one who came here for help--with such pre-judgment and condescension. I don't remember that kind of contempt from your other posts.

    Lori's explanations sounded reasonable to me. In fact, she was darned resourceful in finding a way to keep herself together (the staff didn't need to be taking care of her when she was supposed to be supporting them) at a time when her options were extremely limited. The rest of her posts showed her to be intelligent, caring, responsible, and dedicated. She didn't quit when she found herself temporarily overwhelmed by a convergence of circumstances that were mostly beyond her control. She just asked for some help to get through a hard time. I'm glad she had the good sense to come here where she could get a quick response. And I'm REALLY glad she got some supportive messages before she got yours.

    There's nothing wrong with asking questions, but it would have been nice if you had made your inquiries sans contempt and reserved judgment till you read the answers. Maybe you could have listed your criteria for earning encouragement while you were at it.
    Thank you so much! I really needed that! It's so tough to get flamed like that, I totally wasn't expecting it. But like I said, the support of the people who reached out to me was worth the snide comments of others. I really appreciate you standing up for me like that. I really did need the support that night/morning... and I received it. Thank you again... you really brightened my morning (and I'm grateful it's been a GOOD morning this time! No falls, no sharp declines, no callouts!)

    Lori
  6. by   Daytonite
    Quote from rn/writer
    I'm kind of stunned that you would speak to another nurse--especially one who came here for help--with such pre-judgment and condescension. I don't remember that kind of contempt from your other posts.
    She's doing this on a company computer during her work time. Look at the time of the postings. It takes time to type up post. I'm all for giving encouragement, sharing my expertise, and giving sympathy but not with someone who is breaking rules of conduct to solicit it. I don't know about you, but when I'm at work, I'm working. There is always something to do. We owe that to our employers. If it gets quiet, I make work. This young lady would recieve such a harsh evaluation from me if she were under my management that she would be embarassed to talk about it. She'd be in major hot water for the time spent on the computer. (It had occurred to me that the reason the computer might be in an office is to keep staff from playing around on it. Guess that backfired on administration. If they only knew. . .) I've been in supervision and management for awhile and I know very well how easy it is for someone in a leadership position to take advantage of it, hide, and sit around doing nothing (or play around on a computer) until some problem comes up that requires them to get up and go attend to it. It's cheating the employer, the patients, the staff. I try to put myself in the time and place of the poster and this one just smells of employee misconduct to begin with.

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of nurses out there who complain that the supervision and management people never help them out or totally ignore the problems they're having. Here's one very good example of why that happens. Do you think the LPNs at the facility where this nurse works would be extending warm fuzzies if they knew this person was holed up in an office during the shift posting to a forum on a night when everything is going to the dogs on the nursing unit? I very much doubt it. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that their attitude toward her would change drastically and that they'd be angry as anything.
  7. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from Daytonite
    Been there. Done that. First thing I was taught as a hospital supervisor was not to let the staff know my routine and to make rounds at random times. I understand all about the 6am calloffs and the staffing that has to be attended to. Don't understand how someone can justify 2 hours of overtime and still be sitting on the Internet making multiple posts during work hours. I would request a pager or a cell phone to carry so I could be reached anytime and anywhere within the building. As a supervisor I'd prefer to get some hugs and appreciation from the staff I supervise. When someone wants to identify more with patients than the staff they supervise it tells me that they are not aware of all their job functions and are regressing to what they feel most comfortable with--patient care. I would read the statements made by a bunch of anonymous people on an Internet site, but it doesn't come near to equalling what can be learned from consulting with one's boss, checking out textbooks on supervision and leadership, and attending seminars on supervision. I think it's interesting that when I held supervision positions in both an acute hospital and a LTC facility that neither had an office where we supervisors could hang out. We carried pagers and were on the move. What I have learned over my many years in nursing is that you can't supervise or manage by hiding away in an office somewhere. You miss too much stuff that's going on that you need to be aware of. Supervision is more than taking care of patient problems. It involves taking care of staff and administrative problems as well. This is something that nursing school is not so good at teaching, so one is often left on their own to hone these skills unless a mentor steps forward to help.
    I think if you read my posts more carefully you will see that I am salaried- I do not get paid for overtime. Sometimes I come in on my days off also, to give inservices or support new staff members, and do not get paid for that either. I do make random rounds during the night, I also pop into rooms that CNAs have come out of and inspect everything. Just because I am on a computer does not mean that I am in my office. I use the ones at nursing stations also. I have read my staff excerpts from this site when they have asked me questions. My DON knows about this site and is glad that I have it as a resource. As for internet access at work versus hauling around textbooks or calling my boss (the DON) at 2 or 3am is no comparison to me. I'd rather get the information and advice from experienced nurses without phoning one and waking them up. Every staff member in this facility has internet access, from the CNAs to the administrators. As long as the work gets done, there is no problem. Working 11-7 there are going to be quiet periods, just as there are going to be frantically busy, overwhelming ones. I never come on here instead of doing what I need to do. I come on here inbetween when my work is caught up. The exception to that was that horrible night last week, and that was only because I was trying to pull myself together. You seem awfully quick to judge me.
  8. by   Daytonite
    Somehow, I doubt very much that the boss would approve of what is going on regarding the Internet. There are lots of things to be done during quiet periods. Refrigerators need cleaning, cupboards need cleaning and rearranging, med cart drawers can almost always use a washing and straightening up. Somewhere pages are falling out of charts that could use hole reinforcements. People can go from room to room looking in on the patients just to make sure they are OK. How many patients could have been taken to the BR instead of left to pee in a diaper? Did all the MARs and TARs get checked for missing signatures? For all the time spent here on the forum, the facility might as well get rid of it's supervisor. Doesn't seem like there is anything for her to do for the facility.

    By my count there were 27 posts generated since about 12am (that's the time showing on my computer, but I'm in a Pacific time zone) and there is at least one post every single hour up to now. That's more than just looking for advice--that's goofing off on the job. Someone doing this deserves to be fired.
  9. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Daytonite
    She's doing this on a company computer during her work time. Look at the time of the postings. It takes time to type up post. I'm all for giving encouragement, sharing my expertise, and giving sympathy but not with someone who is breaking rules of conduct to solicit it. I don't know about you, but when I'm at work, I'm working. There is always something to do. We owe that to our employers. If it gets quiet, I make work. This young lady would recieve such a harsh evaluation from me if she were under my management that she would be embarassed to talk about it. She'd be in major hot water for the time spent on the computer. (It had occurred to me that the reason the computer might be in an office is to keep staff from playing around on it. Guess that backfired on administration. If they only knew. . .) I've been in supervision and management for awhile and I know very well how easy it is for someone in a leadership position to take advantage of it, hide, and sit around doing nothing (or play around on a computer) until some problem comes up that requires them to get up and go attend to it. It's cheating the employer, the patients, the staff. I try to put myself in the time and place of the poster and this one just smells of employee misconduct to begin with.

    I suppose that when a nurse is in the bathroom crying and having no one to vent to about a situation, that's misusing the facilities and wasting the employer's time too?

    --Sarcasm intended. :angryfire
  10. by   rn/writer
    Quote from daytonite
    she's doing this on a company computer during her work time. look at the time of the postings. it takes time to type up post. i'm all for giving encouragement, sharing my expertise, and giving sympathy but not with someone who is breaking rules of conduct to solicit it. i don't know about you, but when i'm at work, i'm working. there is always something to do. we owe that to our employers. if it gets quiet, i make work. this young lady would recieve such a harsh evaluation from me if she were under my management that she would be embarassed to talk about it. she'd be in major hot water for the time spent on the computer. (it had occurred to me that the reason the computer might be in an office is to keep staff from playing around on it. guess that backfired on administration. if they only knew. . .) i've been in supervision and management for awhile and i know very well how easy it is for someone in a leadership position to take advantage of it, hide, and sit around doing nothing (or play around on a computer) until some problem comes up that requires them to get up and go attend to it. it's cheating the employer, the patients, the staff. i try to put myself in the time and place of the poster and this one just smells of employee misconduct to begin with.

    meanwhile, there are plenty of nurses out there who complain that the supervision and management people never help them out or totally ignore the problems they're having. here's one very good example of why that happens. do you think the lpns at the facility where this nurse works would be extending warm fuzzies if they knew this person was holed up in an office during the shift posting to a forum on a night when everything is going to the dogs on the nursing unit? i very much doubt it. in fact, i'd be willing to bet that their attitude toward her would change drastically and that they'd be angry as anything.
    for lori's sake, i am glad you are not her supervisor. i'm glad you're not mine either.

    as for the lpn's becoming angry with her, i kind of doubt that they would object when she said she had already dealt with the situations and was trying to find a way to regain her composure. might they not also need emotional support? certainly and it sounded like lori tried to provide some of that. but remember, each of them had a piece of the big picture to deal with. lori had it all.

    your loaded phraseology--hiding in the office, playing around on the computer, sitting around doing nothing--suggests a cynical attitude and a serious distrust of others. i don't know if you really have those things, but the "guilty until proven innocent" tone and your demonstrated willingness to view everything in the worst possible light sound more like bullying and ruling by fear than sound management principles.

    i'm fortunate that every supervisor i've ever had has led by example and treated her staff in a manner that was firm, fair, and kind. sounds like lori has someone who operates this way as well. i'm glad.
  11. by   mar326
    It amazes me that people actually think Internet use on resident care time is ok. Employees of LTC facilites are paid to be care takers of Residents not to surf the internet. That is like where I work, the supervisor thinks its ok for a CNA to study for a classs she is taking if her work is done.This is on the PM shift so no administration is aware of it. A CNA's work is never done,there is always something to do. I believe a person is paid for 8 hours of work and they shouldWORK that 8 hours.
  12. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    Whether or not you should have been on the internet is a matter of company policy. Some companies allow employees to go online during their lunch hour. Many don't. But regardless, you had to unload and it was the closest thing. This forum is always there, ready to help, and you knew that. That is no crime.
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    Thank you so much! I really needed that! It's so tough to get flamed like that, I totally wasn't expecting it. But like I said, the support of the people who reached out to me was worth the snide comments of others. I really appreciate you standing up for me like that. I really did need the support that night/morning... and I received it. Thank you again... you really brightened my morning (and I'm grateful it's been a GOOD morning this time! No falls, no sharp declines, no callouts!)

    Lori
  13. by   gypsyatheart
    Lori, I have not read all of the posts but I just want to say how sorry I am for the awful night you've had! What a responsibility! And, God Bless You for the work you do. I truly think it takes a special person to work LTC, it is so good to know there are such caring people like yourself. Thank you!
    I hope you are feeling better when you get back online.


    P.S. OK, Lori, I have just read through the other posts and I still stand by what I posted above. It is difficult to get people, especially people who give a c*rp to work in LTC. There are always cynical management types who forget what it's like to be "in the trenches"....just keep on keepin' on!
    Last edit by gypsyatheart on Nov 23, '05

close