moody nurses

  1. have any of you ever worked w/moody nurses? I mean a nurse who is happy & productive one day & then acts depressed & avoids work for several days. I have worked w/this person for 7 weeks now and I have given up even trying to figure him out -- & forget relying on him, b/c we never know what "mood" he'll be in from one day to the next. We have brought this topic up to our manager, and she told us to "give him a chance"! Well, he IS a very good, experienced & competent nurse WHEN he's in that mode, but more often than not he seems to be struggling to get by- emotionally. I might add that I work a very very busy ED & there is no time to play counselor to a coworker & figure out WHY he is this way. He is also putting a burden on the rest of us who are competent EVERY day. Suggestions?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   SCRN1
    Not only nurses, but CNAs, Nurse Managers, Pharmacy techs, RT, and on and on. I just tell myself that they may have something going on outside of work that they aren't able to separate their mood from and try to overlook their mood unless it's affecting their job and putting someone at risk.
  4. by   penguin2
    :smiletea2: Well....it could be he's bipolar, or struggling w/depression. We all have our off days- though his sound a little extreme. In some cases it's caffeine deprivation!:smiletea2:
    Seriously, if the situation doesn't improve w/in a few weeks, I would definitely ask the manager to assess the situation.
  5. by   UKRNinUSA
    I think he needs a check up from the neck up
    or perhaps a motorbike (male menopause?)
  6. by   RN BSN 2009
    Have you confronted HIM about it? Of course in a professional manner in a private place, at the right time.
  7. by   caliotter3
    I once had a DON who could throw tantrums of the century, not very appropriate when this was happening where pts could hear it all. This person's behavior probably was affected by the psychotropic drugs she was stealing from the workplace and how she was self-medicating. Sure, you can and are supposed to report such behavior to the Board. But the Board takes no action without a criminal conviction; meanwhile the person that you complain about finds out who reported them. Who would turn in their DON?
  8. by   anne74
    Isn't there at least one of those types on every staff? That's pretty much attrition.

    There's always the one that's late, one that has problem children, one that has boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse problems, one that pushes their work off on others, one who is the tattletale, the one who's negative all the time, the list goes on. High school behavior does not stay in high school.

    You have to basically put up with others' behaviors/personalities, unless it crosses over and starts negatively impacting the overall work and especially patient safety. That's just the reality. You only have to work with him - not marry him or be his best friend.
  9. by   gitterbug
    Give him a few more days, then if the situation has not cleared up discuss it again with your NM. Maybe a face to face will help. I agree with the other posters, everyone can have a moody, depressed, withdrawn stage. Hope things get better soon.
  10. by   clemmm78
    You could be talking about me today. Usually I'm upbeat and postive, past few days I am barely grunting to my coworker. I'm trying to ignore the pain in my back and be a "good" coworker, but sometimes I just can't.
  11. by   RNperdiem
    There is probably not much you can do about his moods, except to try not to get dragged down. I once worked with a couple of nurses who I believe were on fertility drugs at the time. I wrote them a fool's pass, and carried on.
  12. by   dali92
    LOL, this is good advice- you're right, everyone has their idiosyncracies-- & there has to be a certain amount of tolerance of each other to work together. We don't have to be best friends, we don't even have to LIKE each other (tho that helps!) we just have to WORK together.




    Quote from anne74
    Isn't there at least one of those types on every staff? That's pretty much attrition.

    There's always the one that's late, one that has problem children, one that has boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse problems, one that pushes their work off on others, one who is the tattletale, the one who's negative all the time, the list goes on. High school behavior does not stay in high school.

    You have to basically put up with others' behaviors/personalities, unless it crosses over and starts negatively impacting the overall work and especially patient safety. That's just the reality. You only have to work with him - not marry him or be his best friend.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i've worked with a number of moody nurses over the years.

    in some cases it was personal problems -- a guy just got home from iraq and found his wife cheating on him with his sister. now the wife and the sister are living in his house, neither of them works, and he's supporting both of them and his two kids whom he never gets to see because he's always working. another co-worker was living with domestic violence. she'd always call in sick when he put her in the er, and damn, she just didn't come to work very consistently. (bad outcome there.) i'm sure i was no picnic to work with when i caught my first husband in bed with the neighbor or when my second threw me (and the washing machine) down the basement stairs. i know i was awful to work with both times i had cancer.

    in some cases, it's a chemical problem. i've worked with a few nurses who are bi-polar. they're great when they take their meds appropriately, but when they don't, look out! i've worked with some nurses with anger management issues -- anger management classes don't seem to help much but prozac seems to. (especially with males -- evidently depression is more often expressed as anger by males.) when i lived in seattle, i worked with one nurse who had sad. prozac made him into a different man! and then there's substance abuse.

    in some cases, it's big-time serious. had one co-worker go postal and have an armed stand-off with police (fortunately, not at work although i'm not so sure his wife appreciated that distinction) and another whose psychotic break left him standing on a bridge arguing with the voices in the middle of rush hour traffic. ok, he wasn't a nurse and we all saw that one coming. but perhaps if someone had tried to help him earlier on . . . .

    if you're close enough to this person that you feel you can broach the topic with him or her, ask them if there's something going on in his life right now. maybe there is, and you can help him figure out how to get some help. maybe he just needs someone to care about him and listen to him. maybe he needs good drugs or a psychiatric referral. maybe he just needs to get over himself and stop being such an a$$hole. if you don't feel you can approach him, does he have a friend on the floor who could? how about your manager? is there an employee assistance program?

    it's all too tempting to just write someone off as being a jerk when maybe they just need a friend to point out that their personal problems are affecting their work and offer to help them find some counseling, drive them to chemo, move out of their house or whatever.
  14. by   k3immigrant
    i work w/ moody nurses & secretaries every time i work. i got fed up already & i don't want to be around them anymore as patients are starting to complain about particular nurses who are very loud. i figured, i don't want to be a part of a staff that is negative so i am leaving.

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