What Would You Do?

  1. i want you guys' opinion on something. i had a really bad day, and instead of explaining what happened, i am going to copy and paste my statement of what occurred that i plan to give to my don and i'd really like some advice. i changed some things for anonymity, which is why it may sound strange, and also it would be helpful for you all to know that we have ongoing problems with this nurse and i've gone to her several times about them.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    on 7.7.04 it was brought to joe supervisor's attention that the quarterly labs on unit b were being filled out improperly by charge nurse and had to be corrected. there was an informal meeting held with myself, lpn #2, joe supervisor and unit manager present to discuss the above at around 10am of the same day.

    on 7.8.04 charge nurse told me that she wanted to delegate the task of the special labs on unit b to me since she was having such a hard time with them. i told her that she was responsible for those labs. she then stated that we would speak about the situation at a later time. i then went to joe supervisor to tell him that she had asked me to do this and i had declined. i asked for a meeting to be set up between himself and the unit b nursing staff to clearly outline each staff members duties because many seem to be overlapping. about 20 minutes later, charge nurse came to me, visibly upset, asking why lpn #2 and i have been 'talking about her behind her back' and 'ganging up on her' and 'being mean to her' she told me that she knew we had a meeting about her on the previous day without her being present and that she was angry about it. she said joe supervisor had also spoken with her about the special labs and she said that she thought delegating the special labs to me was 'a compliment' because she likes my work. she asked 'how would you like it if someone was being mean to your daughter like this, wouldn't you want someone to go to her with a problem and not talk behind her back?' i told her that my family has nothing to do with what is going on. i told her that my intention was not to be malicious, but only to discuss problems occurring on the unit with my supervisor. she went on to say that she still believes that lpn #2 and i are being mean to her and she was extremely hurt. she then added that my being mean to her was going to give me 'bad karma' and stated 'it would be unfortunate if your daughter or husband or someone in your family got sick because of this'. at that point, i was very shocked and i told her once again that my family has nothing to do with this situation and that i thought the conversation was taking an extremely unprofessional and threatening turn on her part and that i didn't care to discuss it any longer. i feel that what she said to me about my family was threatening and unnecessary. for the rest of the day while i completed my duties, i was very upset and did not speak with charge nurse except for any necessary work related conversation.

    at 2:30pm charge nurse called me in to the chart room where she had a write up for me. she said that it was a verbal consultation and that it will stay in my file for 6 months. she said she could have given me a written, but wanted to give me a chance like she wishes i had given her a chance. i feel that this write up was retaliation for my going to the supervisor with an issue since the write up really has no merit. i did, however, sign the write up without adding my own comments because i was upset and didn't want to get into another confrontation with charge nurse.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   BBFRN
    Then I guess it was a good thing that you went to Joe Supervisor first. Now I hope you have a witness to back you up when you bring up the retaliation thing, and at least Joe Supervisor knew ahead of time about your problems with Charge Nurse.

    I'm sorry this is happening to you- she sounds a little freaky to me (and it takes a lot...lol).
  4. by   hypnotic_nurse
    I am soooo sorry that you have to deal with this manipulative and malicious person.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    suzy, let me see if i get this right.....

    your concerns were about your nurse mgr., who was incorrectly writing the lab slips; so you went up the chain of command to the supervisor about your concerns, and the nurse mgr. (the one you had concerns with?) wrote you up???? it seems retaliatory. if i am getting it right and even if you didn't write anything on the 'counselling paper', you still have the right to respond with a statement in writing, to be added to your personell file. make sure you make a copy of it. am i on target? am i missing something?

    (it's been a long day for me.....)

    leslie
  6. by   nurseygrrl
    Quote from earle58
    suzy, let me see if i get this right.....

    your concerns were about your nurse mgr., who was incorrectly writing the lab slips; so you went up the chain of command to the supervisor about your concerns, and the nurse mgr. (the one you had concerns with?) wrote you up???? it seems retaliatory. if i am getting it right and even if you didn't write anything on the 'counselling paper', you still have the right to respond with a statement in writing, to be added to your personell file. make sure you make a copy of it. am i on target? am i missing something?

    (it's been a long day for me.....)

    leslie
    Yes, you have it right. It's hard to get your point across on the internet sometimes because you have to type everything out and a story can be hard to follow when you're 'reading' it and not 'hearing' it.

    lgflamini~ She is A LOT freaky.

    I am still upset about this whole situation. I hate it when I feel like I just never want to go back to work because of an uncomfortable situation. I don't understand why it's so difficult for people to just go to work, do their job, and go home. There's always that person who screws things up for everybody. Charge Nurse has a few personal problems and she also has a learning disability. I have really tried to help her as much as possible, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I refuse to do work that is her responsibility just because she cannot do it correctly.

    Thanks for listening...
  7. by   Angela Mac
    workplace politics stink.....everywhere......sounds like the buck is being passed along to you. I am sure you have a big enough workload as it is. My heart goes out to you. You did the right thing, hang in there.
  8. by   weetziebat
    You know - I see everyone's point, but having recently been in a similar situation I can now look back with hindsight. Granted, her comment about your karma was totally uncalled for, but perhaps she felt defensive and spoke before thinking. As far as the rest goes, its not going to help matters (having to face this person at work every day) by taking this further. If she has already retaliated, things may only get more ugly. Maybe I'd try just sitting down with her and apologizing (yeah, I know but it will throw her off) for not going to her with the problem first and then asking how the two of you can work things out. In any case, good luck.
  9. by   Agnus
    Quote from weetziebat
    You know - I see everyone's point, but having recently been in a similar situation I can now look back with hindsight. Granted, her comment about your karma was totally uncalled for, but perhaps she felt defensive and spoke before thinking. As far as the rest goes, its not going to help matters (having to face this person at work every day) by taking this further. If she has already retaliated, things may only get more ugly. Maybe I'd try just sitting down with her and apologizing (yeah, I know but it will throw her off) for not going to her with the problem first and then asking how the two of you can work things out. In any case, good luck.
    Don't you have an HR department? This is illegal labor practice. HR would certainly respond to this unless they want a law suit.
  10. by   nurseygrrl
    Quote from weetziebat
    You know - I see everyone's point, but having recently been in a similar situation I can now look back with hindsight. Granted, her comment about your karma was totally uncalled for, but perhaps she felt defensive and spoke before thinking. As far as the rest goes, its not going to help matters (having to face this person at work every day) by taking this further. If she has already retaliated, things may only get more ugly. Maybe I'd try just sitting down with her and apologizing (yeah, I know but it will throw her off) for not going to her with the problem first and then asking how the two of you can work things out. In any case, good luck.
    Apologizing may be the nice thing to do, and may be the thing to do to have everyone get along...but there is no way on earth that I would ever apologize when I didn't do anything wrong in the first place. What if this isn't the last time she plans to retaliate with a write up or something worse? I want the higher ups to know that this is how she operates before things get out of hand.

    Also, When Joe Supervisor, Unit Manager, myself, and LPN#2 had that meeting about Charge Nurse, Joe Supervisor thought that it would be best for LPN#2 and I to sit down with Charge Nurse and work out our issues. I thought that was a bad idea because I knew Charge Nurse would become defensive if she was told about her shortcomings from us. I thought that it was Joe Supervisors place to handle that. LPN # 2 and I decided that we would try to come up with a good way to handle the situation, but before we could do that, either Joe Supervisor or Unit Manager TOLD Charge Nurse that we had a meeting about her which is what started the whole controversy in the first place! That, in my opinion, was also dead wrong! When you go to your supervisor with a concern, it shouldn't go any further. I'm also going to have to straighten that out when I get back to work on Monday (I took a mental health day today!)

    Once again, thanks to everyone for listening and for your support and advice. This site is the best place to come to when I'm feeling stressed about work.
  11. by   KarenAR
    I'm not saying you were wrong at all...in fact, I think you are totally "in the right." But - does the chain of command start with speaking directly to the person you're having the problem with, and then going to the supervisor if/when that fails? (I'm genuinely asking here...)

    Even if you technically should have started by talking to Charge Nurse directly, I can certainly see why you didn't! "Freaky" seems to be an understatement (?).

    I am baffled as to how Charge Nurse gets to be Charge Nurse when she acts so childish...and I am baffled as to why should would bring your family into it at all? Weird. Does she know your family and/or do her kids go to school with your kids? If so, I would definitely take her comments as a threat and would go up EVERY STEP of the chain of command (including the DON and the HR dept.) until I found someone willing to address this issue with Charge Nurse. (She should be severely reprimanded for her statements and retaliatory actions.)

    You are right on the money turning in this writeup to the DON, in my opinion.

    BTW, I also think you handled it very well and very professionally when she brought your family into it. This was a great response:

    I told her once again that my family has nothing to do with this situation and that I thought the conversation was taking an extremely unprofessional and threatening turn on her part and that I didn't care to discuss it any longer.
    Good job! You kept a "cool head" and said exactly what you should have said here. Called her on it and set the boundaries!
  12. by   BBFRN
    We all have our share of immature and retaliatory people to deal with, that's for sure. I try to avoid those people like the plague, although it's not always possible. Most of us like to have a comfortable work environment, but there will always be those that insist on making things a living hell for the rest of us. I have worked with people like the one you mention...very paranoid about their colleagues and always on the attack for stupid things that could've been cleared up easily. It makes you wonder how they are living their daily lives to be thinking so much about their co-workers...lol. Sadly, there probably isn't anything you can do with this person except avoid her. It would take a village to help her think things out like a normal individual...that or meds.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Jul 9, '04 : Reason: Broke my finger on Monday...typing sucks with a splint on!
  13. by   Jailhouse RN
    Never, never sign trash like that. Take it to your union official.
  14. by   nurseygrrl
    Quote from Jailhouse RN
    Never, never sign trash like that. Take it to your union official.
    I know...hindsight is 20/20 and there are a lot of things I wish I had said/done differently. Like I said, I just wanted to get out of there without anoither confrontation and hopefully I will be able to clear this whole thing up on Monday.

    lgflamini~ Yes, she does need meds! I don't understand why my facility keeps certain staff around.

    Karen~ Yes, that's the chain of command, and in a normal situation, that's what I would have done, but this person is wacked and also...it wasn't me who brought up the incorrect labs in the first place. It was our Nurse Practitioner who went to Joe Supervisor about it and then he called a meeting. Unfortunately, I was the easiest target.

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