Snapshots vs. The Big Picture

  1. I have a feeling I'm being watched.

    I'm a float who has been working on a severely understaffed unit so much that some of the nurses think it's my home unit. I think I am acceptable to that unit's manager, but now I'm wondering. The following things happened on various shifts in the past month.

    "Your phone number is not on that patient's whiteboard." I'm usually very good about updating white boards on first assessments, but that day, my assessment with one patient required immediate interventions, and when I did assessments on other patients, I had to do them more quickly and get first round meds out, and the whiteboard wasn't a priority at that time so it slipped my mind.

    "If the state sees these meds out, we'll get dinged." I had a student and clinical instructor working with me, and she handed me these properly-labeled meds to put back in the patient-specific bin right as I was doing an admission. I put them down, and it slipped my mind to put them back when I had a second.

    "The patient in xxx is in pain." She just so happened to round on a patient after I had left to get the order for pain meds. (The residents forgot to put in an order for pain when the patient came in with it!!!!)

    "The patient's family member has written down the information the docs wanted. Can you speak with her?" I knew what the information was, and I knew that it just needed to be put in the chart because, you know, I actually talk to my patients. I can pick it up from the station after I finished catching up on charting, otherwise, I'll be running waaaay behind.

    "This call bell has been going off a lot for longer than three minutes each time." The first few times, I answered it, but I realized that the patient is messing with the TV and keeps hitting the call bell!!! I'm not the only one on the floor!

    Snapshots vs. The Big Picture. I fear it's giving me a bad rep. When I get questioned face-to-face or called about it, I just say, "I'll take care of it/I'm taking care of it," and I do! I usually don't give a long-winded explanation because it sounds defensive.

    There are more, but these are all I can remember. I have no idea if other nurses get the same interrogation about every aspect of our work because I don't pay much attention. It could well be that everyone gets it. I just don't know.

    Any advice on how to address this before it blows up in my face?
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    About dudette10, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 3,900; Likes: 11,137


  3. by   netglow
    How childish of that NM. Don't you want to say, "Hey, you know there is no way I'd permanently work on this trainwreck of a floor, don't you?"
  4. by   dudette10
    It's a very tough floor, but after my last rant/vent in early January, I started rethinking ways to chart faster, organize my morning, etc., and I am magically less stressed because my reorg is actually working!! Now this is renting out some of my headspace...
  5. by   netglow
    Quote from dudette10
    It's a very tough floor, but after my last rant/vent in early January, I started rethinking ways to chart faster, organize my morning, etc., and I am magically less stressed because my reorg is actually working!! Now this is renting out some of my headspace...
    Ah there it is! She sees this in you and is not happy that you are more confident - she's gotta tear that all down you know
  6. by   proud nurse
    I was thinking the same thing. She's looking for something, since she sees a change in you. One good thing I see about this is that she's letting you know the nit-picky things instead of stockpiling them and dumping it on you all at once. Just keep being your professional self. Being a float takes maturity, and you've gotta be the mature one since she's not.
  7. by   amoLucia
    Just a thought - are you up for a yearly eval or some performance check??? Have you a request to go permanent on another floor or shift and they're checking up?

    It does sound like you're being observed, so you're NOT paranoid.
  8. by   LTCNS
    I get the same treatment from the CM in the clinic I am employed in. The more she nags and nitpicks, the more my job performance and confidence improve, so I say bring it on sister!
  9. by   PunkBenRN
    Honestly, sounds like she is doing her job. Its not a fun job, but these questions are what management are there for. Its nothing to worry about, I'm sure everyone on here has dealt with these questions/demands before. She is not going to judge you for something out of your control; what she will be watching for is how you deal with the information presented to you. As long as you follow up with whatever she asks you to do, you will stay on her good side. Remember, she is not being vindictive, she is just a manager.
  10. by   dudette10
    Thanks for all the replies. No, I am not seeking a permanent staff position, and I probably never will again until my husband can no longer provide bennies to our family. I've worked this floor long enough that I think I will ask for a very brief feedback conversation from the manager just to weed out whether I am being watched or, like punkben said, she's just doing her job. If she points out things to work on, I'll work on them.
  11. by   RNperdiem
    I am wondering about the history of the floor you are working on. Sometimes a manager is brought in to turn around a "problem floor". You know, the ones where morale is low, standards are low and turnover is high, so maybe the manager had to be overly present to get some results.
    Where I work, the manager does go from room to room introducing herself to patients and family.
  12. by   applewhitern
    Wow. Seems like this manager would jump in and help out on a severely understaffed unit. Instead she comments that the call bell has been going off for more than 3 minutes? Could she not answer it? This is the thing I hate about nursing~ you are expected to have all this education so you can be treated like you are a lazy moron.