Socially needy coworkers - page 2

We have a newer coworker at one of my jobs. She seems to be universally annoying everyone there. She seems to want to intrude in every conversation with over sharing about her own life. She will... Read More

  1. by   Anne413
    "The key to success is that every other nurse in the unit must join the party, which can be very difficult thing to organize. But, if as you said, she "annoys everyone"....[/QUOTE]

    I'm sorry, I misunderstand the last sentence. What's the key to success that everyone has to join the party for? What success?
  2. by   Emergent
    Quote from TriciaJ
    Since she's still new, does she have some sort of probationary eval coming up? Some of the behaviours really should be addressed by management: looking into charts without reason, undermining other staff by butting into patient care, low threshold for writing people up. These all speak to professional conduct and are grounds for disciplinary action.

    The social cluelessness is another issue. When she butts into a conversation: "Excuse me, I think xxxx was still saying something." Cat photos: "I like cats; I just don't find them endlessly fascinating." On the flip side, it would be nice if people greeted her warmly and asked how were her days off. But when that opens the inevitable can of worms, you'd have to be prepared to cut her off nicely.

    This is really going to take a consistent and united front. And even then, we may see her on here complaining about how she was bullied. Good luck.
    I politely looked at her many cat photos that she insisted on showing me. I wouldn't have minded one but then she kept flipping through quite a few. She takes advantage of the fact that one is a captive audience while sitting at the nurses station.

    She got written up for prying into chart that she had no business prying into. That has been dealt with. I think that management is becoming aware that there is a problem.

    As far as bullying, she is the one who is engaging that type of behavior. She is like a bull in a China shop. She has a domineering personality I've been told, I haven't worked with her but twice since that is a Per Diem job for me. I have definitely noticed the irritating behaviors when I have worked with her though. It's a small hospital where the impact of one person is much higher than in a larger place where it is diluted by numbers.

    I only mentioned her size because of her lack of awareness of the personal space of others. She'll stand behind somebody in between the counter and their a chair and hover over them while they are charting. She gets really into another person's bubble in an intrusive way which is magnified by the fact that she is probably about 6 feet tall and weighs over 400 pounds. I have other coworkers that are overweight and I don't have any problem with heavy people whatsoever. I do have a problem with someone invading my personal space repeatedly.
  3. by   tara07733
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Sometimes, a very direct conversation over a cup of coffee in a neutral location is needed. 1:1 so she does not feel ganged up on. Just facts.
    I agree with this resolution. Otherwise it will just be a cycle of her seeking attention and others gossiping behind her back. This way it's at least done in a friendlier way and she'll know that people don't appreciate the minutiae of her life. The issue of file snooping is obviously a different story, as others have stated.
  4. by   kakamegamama
    Quote from Anne413
    With respect, it might help to look within yourself to separate your personal biases and try to separate the personal and professional "annoying" characteristics that she has.
    First: Personal: This isn't high school where the prettiest and most socially polished are the "good friends". She's large? Unless she smells or her appearance somehow makes her unable to do her job, that sounds like a "that's your problem and how old are you" category. She likes her cats? She likes to shop? It certainly seems like she is trying to feel part of the team and included. If she was attractive and showed pictures of her vacations, dogs, homes, etc. would you like it better? Please understand, I'm not jumping on you, but all kinds of folk are nurses and these personal characteristics are nothing more than who she is. She may be insecure about a new job and wants to impress her coworkers. Coworkers being dismissive and disgusted behind her back for her appearance and characteristics certainly won't help. Why not have some coffee and find out more about her? After establishing some trust, you could bring up your discomfort with the personal space and other personal aspects that make you uncomfortable, those aspects you have a right to bring up, of course. This is just decent adult behavior.

    The professional aspect is different easier to deal with, and required by you as a staff member. She has to have a supervisor. Being authoritarian in front of patients is a no no. A supervisor would be able to help her make corrections in her behavior as related to her job performance and that should improve, regardless of who it annoys or who it doesn't. Getting into patient charts that she is not assigned to may or may not be a no no with policy. Often new staff are allowed to review old charts to get to know the procedures and filing styles. Either way, telling her supervisor in an appropriate professional manner about your concerns will go towards improving her job performance.

    Your last sentence concerns me. I don't know about you, but I can spot in a minute when someone is being "nice to my face". Again, this is not the high school lunch room. Are you also making comments behind her back? I'm sorry, but it certainly seems like you are. If she was petite, beautiful, and all polished pretty for the team that would make a difference, that is very easy to read between the lines. It certainly looks like she has some areas to work on in personal and professional growth, but I think her coworkers do as well.
    This. It's difficult to not fit in. Loneliness (and the coworker sounds like she is, even if she has family....one can be lonely) is a monster that rears its head in the most interesting/irritating of ways. I agree---a cup of coffee, a friendly chat....lurking underneath this behavior that seems annoying may be a beautiful person.
  5. by   Anna Flaxis
    "I get the feeling that she is socially starved."

    Ya think?

    Maybe find a way to compliment her once in a while. Find something about her that you appreciate and tell her so. Humor her kitty pics, but hold her accountable for unprofessional behavior. Remember that you never know what battles others might be facing, and try to be forgiving.
  6. by   KatieMI
    Quote from Anne413
    "The key to success is that every other nurse in the unit must join the party, which can be very difficult thing to organize. But, if as you said, she "annoys everyone"....
    I'm sorry, I misunderstand the last sentence. What's the key to success that everyone has to join the party for? What success?[/QUOTE]

    I meant that, if the nurse is seriously irritating to everybody (maybe not by sharing kitten pics but by teaching people how to do things her way, leafing through random charts, etc), then her behavior should be appropriately noted by every other nurse. Nobody should turn head other way. I do not mean nanomanagement, harrassment or aggression; I mean that the nurse should hear something like "Katie, I am sorry but please put the chart of my patient from ### back; we all can get into big trouble because you do it". Nice, politely, calmly insistingly, but every time once any other nurse sees it done.
  7. by   BSN16
    just ignore it, who cares. especially for a PRN job, not worth the battle IMO
  8. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Emergent
    As far as bullying, she is the one who is engaging that type of behavior. She is like a bull in a China shop. She has a domineering personality I've been told, I haven't worked with her but twice since that is a Per Diem job for me. I have definitely noticed the irritating behaviors when I have worked with her though. It's a small hospital where the impact of one person is much higher than in a larger place where it is diluted by numbers.
    Oh, I get that she is the one doing the bullying. I was just referring to the fact that she is the kind of person who doesn't get how her behaviour affects others. When she starts getting consistent feedback from others, she will likely express being ganged up on.

    In fact, if you ask her about her previous jobs, that may be the theme.
  9. by   Emergent
    Quote from TriciaJ
    Oh, I get that she is the one doing the bullying. I was just referring to the fact that she is the kind of person who doesn't get how her behaviour affects others. When she starts getting consistent feedback from others, she will likely express being ganged up on.

    In fact, if you ask her about her previous jobs, that may be the theme.
    This gal actually has a full-time job elsewhere, and is working two days a week at this facility. I used to work at her other job and I was going to ask around.

    She doesn't have a whole lot of nursing experience, and is always talking about her other job which is also at a small hospital, like it is the be-all end-all. I'm familiar with that hospital, having worked there for eight years, and I assure you it is not gods gift to healthcare.

    I hope things settle down, she's already called off quite a bit because of health issues, I think she has alot on her shoulders with a husband who doesn't work due to PTSD etc.

    We all have problems and work is work not our therapy. It is not my obligation as a coworker to for fill the emotional needs of those I work with. What about my emotional needs? What if I have the emotional need to warm up to people slowly, gradually learning about them, and confiding in them if I like and trust them?
  10. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from not.done.yet
    The only thing in the original post that anything really can be done about is her peering into charts without a justified cause for doing so. Looking at charts is now on a "need to know" basis and if she is not part of that patient's care team, she has no need to know and it is a HIPAA violation, which should be reported to management.

    All of the rest falls under the fact that you can't control someone else. You can only control how you react to them. There is nothing you can or cannot do to make this person be more likeable. Chances are she has been that way all her life and now, firmly ensconced in middle age, it just is who she is.
    I'm not the most savvy person re: HIPAA. But it seems to me that I do need to know at least the basics about patients on my ward even if I'm not assigned to them. And if an emergency comes up, I think it is helpful to have the basics in mind. Name, Room #, Diagnoses, any bad labs, POD 1 appy or whatever. I don't need all of their intimate personal face sheet info - address, next of kin, insurance.

    Is what I have stated appropriate and lawful with regard to HIPAA for all workers to know? If I'm going to cover for someone's break I will need some info about the patients, or if I am walking by and the call light goes on, I am going to go into the room and see what they need if at all possible, (not rushing to a known emergency, for example).

    Thanks.
  11. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Emergent
    This gal actually has a full-time job elsewhere, and is working two days a week at this facility. I used to work at her other job and I was going to ask around.

    She doesn't have a whole lot of nursing experience, and is always talking about her other job which is also at a small hospital, like it is the be-all end-all. I'm familiar with that hospital, having worked there for eight years, and I assure you it is not gods gift to healthcare.

    I hope things settle down, she's already called off quite a bit because of health issues, I think she has alot on her shoulders with a husband who doesn't work due to PTSD etc.

    We all have problems and work is work not our therapy. It is not my obligation as a coworker to for fill the emotional needs of those I work with. What about my emotional needs? What if I have the emotional need to warm up to people slowly, gradually learning about them, and confiding in them if I like and trust them?
    You sound like you need to gently confront her. Stop keeping your frustration pent up. Nicely tell her you do not want her to come in and teach you anything unless you ask for that, or do the other stuff she's doing that annoys you.

    "When you come into my patient's room and tell me how to do a dressing change, position someone for comfort, whatever, it makes me feel embarrassed and angry. It makes me wonder why you must be thinking that I am incompetent, inexperienced and it doesn't give the patient confidence in my abilities as a nurse. Therefore, I want you to not come in to my patients' rooms unless I ask for your help. I know you mean well and maybe I can learn some things from you, but let me come to you.
    Don't be the one to (what's a nice way to say horn in, butt in, break in?)".

    If she keeps it up, remind her. If she persists, report her. Don't be part of the group that puts her down behind her back. That is not brave or mature.

    I wouldn't confide in anyone at work. Lesson about that learned long ago. People don't keep secrets well. Old saying - 2 people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. LOL
  12. by   KatieMI
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    I'm not the most savvy person re: HIPAA. But it seems to me that I do need to know at least the basics about patients on my ward even if I'm not assigned to them. And if an emergency comes up, I think it is helpful to have the basics in mind. Name, Room #, Diagnoses, any bad labs, POD 1 appy or whatever. I don't need all of their intimate personal face sheet info - address, next of kin, insurance.

    Is what I have stated appropriate and lawful with regard to HIPAA for all workers to know? If I'm going to cover for someone's break I will need some info about the patients, or if I am walking by and the call light goes on, I am going to go into the room and see what they need if at all possible, (not rushing to a known emergency, for example).

    Thanks.
    That really depends on policies of your agency. If you are covering, you are supposed to get report from the nurse you relieving with all necessary information for this (presumably) short period of time. If you need to take a look in the chart because you need to know something else, it is sure ok for the period of time you provide care for this patient. But if you just peruse this chart randomly, it may be not seen as benign action.

    Since HIPAA, as many other laws, presents quite unspecified definitions, it is interpreted quite widely and in accordance to tastes and feelings of management, although usually within some (more or less) reasonable guidelines. I was in a unit one time where, to prevent spreading of PHI, no one but assigned personnel could ever enter the room for any reason, call light or not, unless it was a code (while residents were sitting there freely exchanging charts and making screenshots of EMRs), and in another one where everybody was supposed to know enough about each patient in unit to immediately get up and going with care if needed. Nevertheless, routinely looking through paper or electronic chart of a random patient just out of nothing else to do won't be seen positively pretty much anywhere nowadays - at least for a nurse. And HIPAA violations are from that short list of things which really can lead to endangering license. One may like it or hate it, but that's how things are right now.
  13. by   KatieMI
    Quote from Kooky Korky

    I wouldn't confide in anyone at work. Lesson about that learned long ago. People don't keep secrets well. Old saying - 2 people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. LOL
    I heard that in hospitals walls got ears, and there's a pair of them on every step and in every elevator, too.

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