LVN Issue

  1. Working at a small rural area hospital there are times when are relief LVN is scheduled to work the same shifts as the full-time LVN. This LVN is notorious for barking out orders and demanding reasons why all residents on my shift are not up and in their chairs everyday. I personally feel that since she is somewhat new at the LVN position that she is trying to show management she can keep the CNA's jumping and that her word is law. Well the other day when she was chosen to work the floor as her and the full time LVN take turns if we are short-handed she picked up a magazine and promptly sat up at the nurse station. While the remaining CNA's and regular LVN worked the floor. When asked to please help answer her lights she just looked up and said nothing. This caused a major conflict this particular day. One of my co-workers did her showers because she refused to move from her chair most of the day. Well the management and RN's day shift bosses never said a word to her until we asked them to and then they told us to take her in the lounge and ask her what was up! Now as CNA's we are not her boss and even so we should be accompanied by one of her peers or superiors. Well one of the aides asked her in the lounge why she insisted on all this work when she was on LVN duty and when she was working the floor she wouldnt even take care of her own assigned residents let alone help anyone else. Her reply was "You dont think I am carrying my weight around here"? With that she walked off like she was queen for the day and returned to her spot at the nursing station. The nurses never told her to get to work or anything. I know this is a long post but I wanted to paint the picture here. Does anyone see what is wrong with this picture? Any replys would be appreciated as our CNA team is baffled at the way our charge nurses and DON ignored the whole situation that day.

    Thanks Pumpkin92356
    •  
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    your rn boss was wrong to tell you to take this lvn into a lounge and ask her what was up. i have been a supervisor for many years in both the hospital and nursing homes as well as a manager in the hospital. i would never ask a subordinate employee to do something like that. it was inappropriate.

    i think what you should do is to sit down and write out as factually as possible what this lvn did (actually, what she didn't do) and what the rn asked you to do in response to this lvn not doing her share of the work and how the lvn replied, sign and date it, and put it in a sealed envelope and give it to the don. give as many specific facts as you can and include how other cnas had to do her patient care and what specific patient care it was. mention how she was always found sitting and reading and what she said to people when she was asked to help out. do not add any personal comments or criticisms. just give the facts. this way the don will have written documentation of what happened. do not talk about writing this up with anyone else as it is none of their business and you will only put yourself in the position of being in a spotlight and you don't want that. the don cannot do any kind of discipline (or firing) of anyone without written documentation to back up whatever action she decides to take. hopefully, your documentation will cause the don to start investigating this lvn. so, provide her with some evidence of what this lvn does. hopefully, the rn will have also written this lvn up, but based on what you have said, i wouldn't count on it, so you can do it.

    just a word. . .it takes times to collect evidence (documentation) of a worker's wrong doing, particularly when it involves a licensed nurse. if your don is not one to put the pressure on someone who isn't doing their job it can take even longer. a don cannot just fire someone, especially a licensed nurse, without a number of written documentations by different people to backup the termination or the department of labor, particularly in california, will come down on the facility with all kinds of fines. so, i would just quietly and unknown to the other cnas and workers just write up the wrongdoing of this lvn every time you see it and quietly turn it in to the don in sealed envelopes. hopefully, someone else will also be doing the same and the evidence against this lvn will build up and she will soon be history.

    you can never assume that the don is aware of what is going on. when i was a manager in the hospital and any serious incident involving the wrongdoing of any nurse came up, it was part of my job to interview all people involved and that included the nursing assistants, lpns and rns. most of the time other nurses and nursing assistants are afraid to put what they saw in writing. they fear some kind of retaliation from the person who did the wrongdoing. this is silly. facts and truth cannot be disputed, especially when two or more people have observed the same things. and, we never revealed to the wrongdoers who had written them up. and, in reality, when workers are confronted with their wrongdoing and they realize they are facing being fired, many of them, if they are smart enough to see the writing on the wall, get huffy and end up quitting before they even get fired which eases the entire situation. i saw this time and time. it is really rare to have to outright fire a licensed nurse as they usually see it coming and quit first in order to avoid having a termination on their work record.

    if you are ever worried about being confronted by this lvn over writing her up--deny it. this is why i tell you to not reveal to anyone that you are writing her up. if the don is stupid enough to reveal who writes this lvn up your protection is that you told no one you did write her up and then to deny it if anyone asks you about it. it becomes the don's word against yours. it makes the lvn look desperate and like she is clinging at anything she can, blaming anyone she can, in order to keep her job. then, i'd be looking for another facility to work at because a don like that is not a don to be working for.
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    She sounds like a bully and if your management ( DON included here?)will do nothing to alleviate this situation, it would probably be time to go to the administrator ( as a group)and maybe he/she will do something, if not, then it may be time to leave this facility, I usually dont advocate job hopping , but sounds like a no win situation if someone in authority wont address this properly.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Dec 15, '07
  5. by   jack of trades!!
    I am so sorry you a HAVE to deal with this person at work. I wish she was working where I work, because believe me she would would not have a job the next day. If all else fails do talk to corporate about her. Not everybody tolerates this MESS. Good Luck and let us know how things turns out. PS be patient while everthing is going on, some body once told me. What don't come out in the wash will come out in the rinse!!
  6. by   Dental Hygienist
    Leadership is often harder than it looks from the outside...I'm not defending the "bad" LVN here, but I'm suggesting that while maybe it "looks" like the RNs and superiors are doing nothing to punish this LVN, maybe they really are....just maybe.

    To be an ethical and effective leader, you must "counsel" and "punish" subordinates in private, and it would be bad leadership to then go to the other employees and give details of the punishment...

    You will know in due time whether or not they are doing anything about this bad apple; in the meantime I think the last poster's suggestions are a very good, well thought out strategy. Just document everything as factually as possible and turn it in to the DON, keep quiet and do as good of a job as you can. Either the bad LVN will start shaping up, or she'll quit, or she'll be fired. If none of those things happen, then you'll know management has done nothing to remedy the problem, and this isn't the kind of facility you want to continue working for.
  7. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from Dental Hygienist
    Leadership is often harder than it looks from the outside...I'm not defending the "bad" LVN here, but I'm suggesting that while maybe it "looks" like the RNs and superiors are doing nothing to punish this LVN, maybe they really are....just maybe.

    To be an ethical and effective leader, you must "counsel" and "punish" subordinates in private, and it would be bad leadership to then go to the other employees and give details of the punishment...

    You will know in due time whether or not they are doing anything about this bad apple; in the meantime I think the last poster's suggestions are a very good, well thought out strategy. Just document everything as factually as possible and turn it in to the DON, keep quiet and do as good of a job as you can. Either the bad LVN will start shaping up, or she'll quit, or she'll be fired. If none of those things happen, then you'll know management has done nothing to remedy the problem, and this isn't the kind of facility you want to continue working for.
    I dont think anyone expects to be told what goes on behind the closed door of the DONs office, but you are right, IF ,in time, this nurse CONTINUES this behavior one could surmise that she was not disciplined or she is just plain stupid and/or waiting to get fired.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Dec 15, '07

close