What to do when a nurse is LAZY?

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    I'm the evening shift (2-11) nurse in LTC with 40 residents. The day shift nurse who I follow is driving me crazy! He never does his alert charting, leaves tons of holes in the MAR, does not follow-up with MD's or Rx's, does not fax lab results to the MD's when they arrive. Every day I come to work and see a huge pile of orders, labs, etc in the box. He will sign his name on each one & write "noted" but he doesn't mention what paperwork in the stack is important in the report or mention ANYTHING he's "noted". I come to work & just sit, watching him frantically type up report for 20 min. Then the report will turn out to be mine from the night before with a few new sentences here & there. He also keeps information to himself because he wants to be the hero nurse. For example: He's told me he tried to reach a resident's family to discuss some concerns. I asked "what concerns?" in case they call back during my shift... He said, "I'll just do it tomorrow. The less people who talk to them the better" He also is late (30 min - 1 hr) clocking out every day! I never his attitude stop me from prioritizing needs, f/u with families & providing the best care I can. I almost always clock out on time...unless its a Friday, always chart & include alll the information I uncover in the report so next shift can pick up where I left off. I'm just really frustrated. Has anyone experienced a similar work situation? Any advice? This nurse is well liked so I'm concerned about making waves...
    Last edit by SwissMiss28 on Feb 11, '13
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

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    Is this person lazy or just untrained? It sounds like he may not understand what exactly needs to be accomplished? "noted" to him, may be that he read the orders, but then does not know the next step should be?

    Holes in the MAR... well, where I work we have chart check out-going, so maybe you need to look over the MAR before he leaves and make sure that he fills it in prior to leaving? Not charted, not done and all that.

    Have you talked to your supervisor about your concerns for his lack of training or do you just let it get to you and not address?

    I know it is difficult to address someone directly, and you may not want to "rock the boat" But these things can be corrected if addressed properly.

    Personally it really does sound more like he is going through the motions of faking it till you make it and no one has caught on yet.
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    OP: I work in LTC as well (night shift: 11p-7a) and believe me, I know what it's like to have tasks/follow-ups trickle down throughout the day and land in my lap... I have 2 nurses at my facility that seem to fit the profile you described in your OP. It sounds like this nurse is leaving behind an unreasonable amount of work for the oncoming shift. I would be curious about two things, though: #1) Does this nurse explicitly know exactly what his responsibilities are in regards to these new orders, family follow up, etc? Sometimes we are quick to assume a co-worker is being lazy or negligent when perhaps they were misled during training or some other circumstance; #2) I know you mentioned that this nurse is "well-liked" and you don't want to "make waves," but I think this may go back to the idea that one cannot correct a behavior if one is unaware that it is incorrect.

    If you can make sure that he understands what he is responsible for, then the next step, IMO, would be to politely point out to him what he should better in regards to his work. Also, it is always better to point out small, easily corrected behaviors/issues one at a time for a person to correct. Telling someone that they are "doing everything wrong" can come off as overwhelming, perhaps offensive, and is likely to reduce morale and therefore decrease likelihood of their compliance with changing whatever needs to be changed. Take it slow, be patient, but DO NOT allow yourself to be stepped on simply because this person is liked among his peers. That is no excuse for irresponsibility in the work place, especially in our line of work...

    Just remember, the nursing process applies to life! Assess his learning needs or what he may require to help him adjust his work patterns, "Diagnose" what the issue may be/communication gone wrong? Plan to help him out, one issue at a time, and intervene as necessary!

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
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    I run into this situation often at work...I have no problem helping someone out when they've been slammed with work, but I won't let people take advantage of that fact.
    He doesn't fax reports or follow up with MDs? I would ask, "Is Dr. Doolittle aware of these lab results? I see they came in at 10 am." Or, "Did you follow up with the pharmacy regarding this medication?" Sometimes, a simple question will help a person realize the duties they are expected to perform.
    I'm just curious...is he signing off on orders and leaving the paperwork and follow up for you? In that situation, I might mention that if they signed off on an order, they are responsible for for noting it, and the paperwork, even if they cannot perform the actual order.
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    He's been a nurse for 5 years. I used to work the same shift as him but in a different section. When I would see him in the Nurses Station, he would be watching videos on his iPad, talking to friends on the facility phone or schmoozing with families & CNA's. He also brings his puppy to work! He definitely knows what he's doing. He'll sign his name on everything in the box then just leave it there for me to process. I'm behind as soon as I start. I'll walk in & find 10-40 orders/faxes to process every day. I have no problem helping someone out when they've had a bad day & they're behind. He just really irritates me. For instance, yesterday I asked him if he gave a resident N.O preparation H PRN to a res who had bleeding hemorrhoids. He said no, the res was not in pain & everything was fine.
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    Quote from SwissMiss28
    He's been a nurse for 5 years. I used to work the same shift as him but in a different section. When I would see him in the Nurses Station, he would be watching videos on his iPad, talking to friends on the facility phone or schmoozing with families & CNA's. He also brings his puppy to work! He definitely knows what he's doing. He'll sign his name on everything in the box then just leave it there for me to process. I'm behind as soon as I start. I'll walk in & find 10-40 orders/faxes to process every day. I have no problem helping someone out when they've had a bad day & they're behind. He just really irritates me. For instance, yesterday I asked him if he gave a resident N.O preparation H PRN to a res who had bleeding hemorrhoids. He said no, the res was not in pain & everything was fine.
    Oops sent that on accident.
    Anyways, he said he did not administer the tx. When I was charting, I noticed he wrote that he did administer the tx, resident's pain level & response. I always thought his charting seemed like a big lie.. The med was new from the pharmacy & hadn't even been opened! He'll also chart someone ate 25-50% of lunch. To me there's a big difference between 1/4 & 1/2.
    When I ask him how someone responded to a new med or if their dressing was changed, he'll say, Girl, I was soooooo busy today! I didn't have time for that!"
    He also faxes the MD's & says a skin problem, skin tear l, etc.. is resolved when it hasn't just because he wants to D/c something he dislikes. He's stated wounds are closed that are not.
    I have spoke to my supervisor about it several times, but nothing has happened. I feel like I'm wrong for not reporting all of this and more, but I'm also scared of losing my job because he is so well liked or because I let it go on for so long without reporting it. I feel like they may tell me I should've reported it sooner.
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    You need to tell him to get it together you are tired of doing his work and if you have told the supervisor about it then call corporate. to d/c a treatment because he doesn/t like it? the wound hasn't healed but he says it has? Major tag by the state! I know day shift is busy but he has time to be on his ipad and phone. Do what a night shift supervisor use to do when she found somebody sleeping LOL Take a picture and send to corporate I bet they'll take notice then! Nursing is not for the meek , speak up
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    All nurses are responsible for their own actions and licenses. I'm sure his deeds are going to catch up with him.
    BrandonLPN likes this.
  11. 0
    That's interesting that you type up report where you work. I've never heard of that.


    As for the matter at hand, I lean toward letting management handle it. But some of what you describe causes clear harm. If he's really doing stuff like D/Cing treatments before the wound's healed that needs to be addressed.


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