Lazy Charge Nurse

  1. I don't understand how a charge nurse can be lazy. At my job, there are permanent charge nurse positions. Charge nurses don't take patients (except for one charge nurse who does, who has won awards because she really is an amazing nurse, but she's on the shift opposite as mine). We have three during my shift. There is one charge nurse on our unit that 9/10 times is sitting down and talking about her personal life or gossiping. Plus, she talks a lot of crap about the new hires on our floor and nurses on other floors (all people who she doesn't know very well). That is disrespectful and I don't look up to people like that.

    10% of the time I've heard her talking or doing actions that pertain to nursing. She brings down the productivity of the other charge nurses that we have any day that she is there. When she isn't there, the other charge nurses actually do their jobs.

    She has had her position for 5 years. She only helps out when she feels like it, which is 30% of the time. She rides the staff all the time and 90% of the staff ARE always complaining about how she does nothing & isn't helpful. All she does is bark orders and tell you what to do and expects you to get everything done all at once.

    Us floor nurses are running our a**** off, balls to the wall with being busy and she's a professional a** sitter and just watches us run around like crazy. She never offers to take patients, never offers to give pain medication, never offers to take report, never offers to do ****. You ask her, she gives you the run around or mysteriously disappears. She has to get asked by the manager to do something & that's even a stretch.

    Our manager is great, but she favors this nurse & has other favorites on the unit who also don't do much of anything (the people who suck up to her) which is also talked about amongst the rest of the staff who don't believe in sucking up.

    We're able to voice our complaints but are only able to do so at work when we get a free moment, which is oh, at lunch time. I've currently complained and plan to say something again to someone higher up than my manager. Many others have complained too but it seems like it hasn't helped. And this issue is prevalent on other floors too in my hospital.

    Any suggestions would be great.

    I have no problem with talking to your co-workers for a bit during the day but when you have work/tasks to do, get them done and then have your chat sessions.
  2. Visit JoeyGirlRNNYC profile page

    About JoeyGirlRNNYC

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 46; Likes: 22
    Staff RN; from US
    Specialty: Urology/Telemetry, Ortho


  3. by   MikeyBSN
    Unfortunately, the frustrated answer to this is nothing more than politics. We have an ADN who does not even meet the minimum requirements for being and ADN. Some people actually get those positions because the management wants them out of their current position but for whatever reason can't fire them. Politics is how the world ends up with poor managers, crappy charge nurses, irresponsible police officers and clinically mentally retarded presidents. And the worst part is that there really isn't anything anyone can do about it.
  4. by   martymoose
    wow- make them be a charge nurse on my unit- charge and 6 pts. let's see how lazy they are then.
  5. by   Chin up
    She should not be discussing the staff with staff, that is unprofessional. But I would be careful calling someone lazy, especially when you do not do her job. Sometimes we think people are lazy, slacking etc, when they are not doing, "what we think they should be doing". There were many times over the years, I found out I was wrong about certain someones, once I started the position. Charge, unit managers etc, all have slight differences and especially now the roles have changed quite a bit from just 10 years ago. Those positions have their own challenges and expectation, not always visible to others. Having said that, you may be bang up, straight up, on the money....but what can you do... If it is politics, you can't win...if she is the sister of the CEO, you can't win. I know how infuriating that can be, but all it does is hurt you and not the person. I remember one year, I spent half the year bitter about an unjust DON, and in the end, I got sick. She is still going about her merry way. I guess what I am trying to say is focus on you and how you can improve your surroundings. Because if you don't, it will eat you like cancer and you alone will suffer whilst everything else, remains the same. Peace!
  6. by   rkitty198
    Mine is just as bad! She signs off orders all day and then dosen't tell us when a doc (sometimes they can be sneaky) writes orders. She tells them "oh yes we will do that doctor," and then won't tell me what the plan of care is. I hate it.

    I stay away from the front desk as much as possible because if I am just walking by, she will give me an admit, nevermind I am so busy I haven't taken a lunch.

    She goes around at the end of shift asking if we all had our lunches. Of course we didn't, but you bet your rear end she sure took her lunch.

    She then gives report to the next shift and says that so and so has a foley and a PCA, when those things were out the day before.

    I get so frustrated. I know she is worthless to me. She wont help with patient care, probably because she hasn't put in an IV in years. If I need help she will find the next busy nurse to go help me.
  7. by   Isabelle49
    I have found the majority in administrative positions, permanent charge nurse, adon, don, etc are there because they are 'team players', however, they are playing on the wrong team. Once you accept the fact that you can't change anything, you can get on with the work or get out.
  8. by   Emergency RN
    Thread like this often reminds me of the story of the Friendly General. His troops loved him because he wasn't afraid to get down into the dirt and get his own hands dirty. On the day of a big battle, he was on his way to his headquarters when he commanded his driver to stop so that he could help his soldiers load an ammunition truck. While he was doing so, the enemy suddenly shifted its forces and counterattacked. He was captured while passing the ammunition. Hence one cannot be a general when he's being utilized like a private.

    The moral of that story is, that people in charge are not there to win points with anyone. They are not there to lend hands to staff, but to keep the shift on an even keel so that the unit won't be eventually overwhelmed. The overall mission is to keep patients moving, beds cleaned and ready for the next occupant, supplies topped off, and to direct (not participate) others in case of emergency. It is a thankless job, and if done well, their staff under them will actually have their working lives easier. For the charge RN that devotes his or her time to slinging bed pans with the best of them; while that may win the hearts and admiration of the working staff, the reality is, they've abandoned their charge post to do so. They can't realistically focus on overview issues if they're down in the trenches with the troops.

    Granted, there are degrees of sloth in every job, charge RN included. I've seen some charge people shop for shoes on the internet while their unit fell apart around them. But one who energetically rushes to each room to help the staff is doing the unit a disservice in that their real job of being charge is not being attended to.

    So how can one tell that a charge RN is doing their job? Easy, by the number of "emergencies" on your unit during their watch. The more emergencies or dire situations then the lower the charge caliber. If a charge person is sitting on their behind and nothing urgent ever happens whenever they do that, then that is exactly what they should be doing, even if the crew hates them.
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Mar 20, '11
  9. by   Katie5
    Be careful with your gripe.Sounds like you're projecting your job description on her.Besides your input is very biased because of your apparent dislike of her.

    Just because, your crew on the floor are equally "gossiping" about her doesn't make y'all right.

    Next time, try asking her for assistance and not just give her the side eye and expect her to know what's up.

    Open your mouth and ask
  10. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from JoeyGirlRNNYC
    Our manager is great, but she favors this nurse & has other favorites on the unit who also don't do much of anything (the people who suck up to her) which is also talked about amongst the rest of the staff who don't believe in sucking up.
    Well, if that is true, then she really isn't "great," is she?
  11. by   JoeyGirlRNNYC
    @ Katie5 --> Yeah, I have, as I said earlier:
    Quote from JoeyGirlRNNYC
    You ask her, she gives you the run around or mysteriously disappears. She has to get asked by the manager to do something & that's even a stretch.
    Of course not everyone on here is going to understand where I'm coming from. If our manager is saying that our charge nurses need to help us out more and they aren't, I find that to be a problem. Just saying.
  12. by   missladyrn
    Do you work on my former floor? lol I love when I was elbow deep running around trying to keep above water and see that Charge Nurse C was sitting there on Facebook. And if you ask her for help, she is too busy. Very rarely did we get a lunch break, but when we did she will call you in the break room to go bring water to a patient rather than interupt her online shopping. I worked nights. If she did have to do something, she would come find us to "help" since she couldnt remember how to do it. She was good at faking helplessness.
  13. by   NicuGal
    Do you do peer review? You can use that CONSTRUCTIVELY to get a point across.

    I can tell you, as the charge nurse of a busy unit, there are times that it probably looks like I am sitting doing a whole lot of nothing, but in reality I am working on staffing, getting coverage for other shifts, making phone calls, doing a lot of paperwork that gets shoved at me (audits, reviews, doc reviews, ordering, fielding computer problems, fighting with the nursing office that yes, I do really need those 2 other nurses despite what the staffing ratio says). And when someone calls me to help them, I may not be able to do it right then and there because I am doing one of these things. I will take an assignment if I need to, but then people still want us to do a hundred things for them and I still have to do all my other work that comes with being a charge nurse.

    Sometimes, you need to walk in someone else's shoes. When I find out people are saying I don't do a lot or help them a lot, I get permission to orient them to charge and then they change their tune the first few times they are on their own. Staff have to be in charge when we are off (we only have one per shift, so that leaves 3 or 4 days we aren't there). Most of them decide that I do a lot more than it seems.
  14. by   lilmama007
    Do we work together? Sounds like my charge nurse lol.