Charge nurse trouble - need to vent!

  1. I've never started a thread before but I'm so angry after work today & need to vent (also want to hear some opinions). Warning - it's a long one!!

    I work in a LTC facility, recently was switched to new unit because previous nurse had conflicts with the charge nurse & CNA's. The unit is divided into 2 sides, 24 residents on the north (mine) 23 on the south (another LPN, went to school together & are friends outside of work). Our residents are primarily sub acute care with some very active & ambulating Alzheimer's patients thrown in. So as you know, it's pretty busy. My problem is our charge nurse. This man pretty much does nothing all day besides care plans (excuse me, that's 1 care plan per day - a 8 hour day). He does not pick up any MD orders. He does not assist with treatments (& we have QUITE a few because he also does not follow up that the CNA's do afternoon rounds). He conveniently assumes that we will do admissions (& as LPN's we are only supposed to assess their vitals & skin integrity) and then LIES by telling our unit manager that we either said we did the whole assessment or "never let him know that the admission came in" (pulled 2x this week). If you show him, for example, a skin tear (when you can find him or get him to come down to the resident's room) he'll say that it's not really open (as if you're BLIND) & "we'll watch it". Most of the MD's do not want to deal with him so we also get stuck doing rounds, calling the MD, etc. I cannot go into enough detail so everyone understands just how useless he is. My friend & I do not mind working hard but where does it end???? When I do charge (on weekends & when he's off during the week) I do all the treatments, MD rounds & orders, answer the misc. call bells, a gizzillion questions from families & just about everything else so the med nurses can give their meds & do their charting, follow up on the CNA's (who are a whole other story, from same country as charge nurse & they worship him, they've had 3 nurses removed from the unit & one unit manager who was there for 15 years fired - don't know where they get their power from) oh, & manage to do that day's care plan & go over the others that (SURPRISE) he never got to. If we complain that a CNA has not completed rounds, left dirty linen in the room, etc. - I don't know what he says to them (because it's NEVER in English) but holy crap, you cannot beleive the attitude you get!!

    We were called into the DON's office today because he complained that I was "hyper" with him (which I was & so was my co-worker but for her own reasons). I had to send a resident out at 7:30AM - SOB, temp 103.9, resp. 28, pulse 110, B/P 88/38, c/o crushing chest pain, n & v. I called the MD before even telling charge nurse (naturally not even around the unit, down in cafeteria getting his breakfast). When he came back onto the unit I told him what was going on, went to start paperwork because secretary was not in yet. He came to me & said resident has temp of 101 & vitals are normal. I said NO, the temp is 103.9, B/P 88/38, etc. & I'VE ALREADY CALLED THE MD. MD was already en route to the facility, arrived within 5 minutes so when he checked the resident he gave an order to call the ambulance & directly admit the resident. By the way, during this I'm suppossedly doing my med pass. Charge nurse accompanies MD to desk to start paperwork, I con't/start my meds. 20 minutes later one of the EMT's comes back - they don't have all the paperwork, they're missing a copy of the medications. But naturally she tells ME this because again, there's no charge nurse around to tell. So I stop my meds, get the paperwork & make copies. So I mention this to him & he tells me "I cannot be everywhere. I'm VERY busy. And you should've copied this, not this." Excuse me, I can't be everywhere either, I'm also very busy & I should've copied NOTHING, that's your responsibility, I should be doing the 8 million other things I'm responsible for. He did not like this so he cried to the DON. We were both (me & my co-worker)called in with the unit manager who knows all our complaints, knows he does not do his job & will admit to us that she feels he is incompetant also & wants us to "write down everything we tell him to follow up on so she can make sure it's done" (like I need more writing to do - how about he just does his @#*@%* job?!). Anyhow, the DON didn't want to hear about anything other then today's events. The she basically said that his job is to assess the residents & do what he feels is warranted. His almighty RN license allows him the ability to thoroughly assess & prioritize & he's quite capable of handling all concerns we bring to him. Futhermore, we (as LPNs) do not totally understand what consistutes an emergency, he'll decide what needs to be handled & in what order. Lastly, perhaps my co-worker & I are "a little hormonal" & everyone on the unit needs to sit down & resolve this as the team players we are. Did not care when we said he was off the unit (said we should call the supervisior or page him) "from an administration point of view you must understand how this sounds, this sounds like neglect, and it's your job because you both also hold a nursing license to make sure that your resident's needs are met." Our unit manager totally faded into the background, we did at least get her to admit that we have been complaining of his lack of responsibility but that was it. I'm so upset from management's lack of support & working like a DOG that I'm ready to just throw in the towel & quit. I feel like I'm putting my license on the line because he accepts no responsibilities & denies everything. I only sit down at about 2PM to start my paperwork (yes, my med passes & treatments are that heavy) & we were recently told NO MORE OVERTIME, off the unit by 3:15PM (you could easily stay until 4:30PM everyday with all the work). Where's the teamwork? What's my liability? Well, thanks for listening & any advice to offer would be great! Thank God he is off tomorrow & I'm off this weekend...won't have to deal with him until Monday...
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from dbsn00
    I've never started a thread before but I'm so angry after work today & need to vent (also want to hear some opinions). Warning - it's a long one!!
    What was your unit manager doing at this time?

    Doesn't sound like a very efficient use of your charge nurse's time!

    If you are doing meds and treatments I should think that that's enough! YIKES! And rounds .. you got way too much to do, hon!
  4. by   angelwings44
    Hi,

    You are indeed in such a stressful situation. I will pray for you an the entire staff. Teamwork is such a big part of keeping everything running smoothly. Strife an confusion in any place is not good. It sounds like the facility needs to hire another nurse but we all realize how that goes. You have way too much on your hands, but your reward awaits you. God sees your hard work and dedication.

    Psalm 119: 1, 2 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.




    Quote from dbsn00
    I've never started a thread before but I'm so angry after work today & need to vent (also want to hear some opinions). Warning - it's a long one!!

    I work in a LTC facility, recently was switched to new unit because previous nurse had conflicts with the charge nurse & CNA's. The unit is divided into 2 sides, 24 residents on the north (mine) 23 on the south (another LPN, went to school together & are friends outside of work). Our residents are primarily sub acute care with some very active & ambulating Alzheimer's patients thrown in. So as you know, it's pretty busy. My problem is our charge nurse. This man pretty much does nothing all day besides care plans (excuse me, that's 1 care plan per day - a 8 hour day). He does not pick up any MD orders. He does not assist with treatments (& we have QUITE a few because he also does not follow up that the CNA's do afternoon rounds). He conveniently assumes that we will do admissions (& as LPN's we are only supposed to assess their vitals & skin integrity) and then LIES by telling our unit manager that we either said we did the whole assessment or "never let him know that the admission came in" (pulled 2x this week). If you show him, for example, a skin tear (when you can find him or get him to come down to the resident's room) he'll say that it's not really open (as if you're BLIND) & "we'll watch it". Most of the MD's do not want to deal with him so we also get stuck doing rounds, calling the MD, etc. I cannot go into enough detail so everyone understands just how useless he is. My friend & I do not mind working hard but where does it end???? When I do charge (on weekends & when he's off during the week) I do all the treatments, MD rounds & orders, answer the misc. call bells, a gizzillion questions from families & just about everything else so the med nurses can give their meds & do their charting, follow up on the CNA's (who are a whole other story, from same country as charge nurse & they worship him, they've had 3 nurses removed from the unit & one unit manager who was there for 15 years fired - don't know where they get their power from) oh, & manage to do that day's care plan & go over the others that (SURPRISE) he never got to. If we complain that a CNA has not completed rounds, left dirty linen in the room, etc. - I don't know what he says to them (because it's NEVER in English) but holy crap, you cannot beleive the attitude you get!!

    We were called into the DON's office today because he complained that I was "hyper" with him (which I was & so was my co-worker but for her own reasons). I had to send a resident out at 7:30AM - SOB, temp 103.9, resp. 28, pulse 110, B/P 88/38, c/o crushing chest pain, n & v. I called the MD before even telling charge nurse (naturally not even around the unit, down in cafeteria getting his breakfast). When he came back onto the unit I told him what was going on, went to start paperwork because secretary was not in yet. He came to me & said resident has temp of 101 & vitals are normal. I said NO, the temp is 103.9, B/P 88/38, etc. & I'VE ALREADY CALLED THE MD. MD was already en route to the facility, arrived within 5 minutes so when he checked the resident he gave an order to call the ambulance & directly admit the resident. By the way, during this I'm suppossedly doing my med pass. Charge nurse accompanies MD to desk to start paperwork, I con't/start my meds. 20 minutes later one of the EMT's comes back - they don't have all the paperwork, they're missing a copy of the medications. But naturally she tells ME this because again, there's no charge nurse around to tell. So I stop my meds, get the paperwork & make copies. So I mention this to him & he tells me "I cannot be everywhere. I'm VERY busy. And you should've copied this, not this." Excuse me, I can't be everywhere either, I'm also very busy & I should've copied NOTHING, that's your responsibility, I should be doing the 8 million other things I'm responsible for. He did not like this so he cried to the DON. We were both (me & my co-worker)called in with the unit manager who knows all our complaints, knows he does not do his job & will admit to us that she feels he is incompetant also & wants us to "write down everything we tell him to follow up on so she can make sure it's done" (like I need more writing to do - how about he just does his @#*@%* job?!). Anyhow, the DON didn't want to hear about anything other then today's events. The she basically said that his job is to assess the residents & do what he feels is warranted. His almighty RN license allows him the ability to thoroughly assess & prioritize & he's quite capable of handling all concerns we bring to him. Futhermore, we (as LPNs) do not totally understand what consistutes an emergency, he'll decide what needs to be handled & in what order. Lastly, perhaps my co-worker & I are "a little hormonal" & everyone on the unit needs to sit down & resolve this as the team players we are. Did not care when we said he was off the unit (said we should call the supervisior or page him) "from an administration point of view you must understand how this sounds, this sounds like neglect, and it's your job because you both also hold a nursing license to make sure that your resident's needs are met." Our unit manager totally faded into the background, we did at least get her to admit that we have been complaining of his lack of responsibility but that was it. I'm so upset from management's lack of support & working like a DOG that I'm ready to just throw in the towel & quit. I feel like I'm putting my license on the line because he accepts no responsibilities & denies everything. I only sit down at about 2PM to start my paperwork (yes, my med passes & treatments are that heavy) & we were recently told NO MORE OVERTIME, off the unit by 3:15PM (you could easily stay until 4:30PM everyday with all the work). Where's the teamwork? What's my liability? Well, thanks for listening & any advice to offer would be great! Thank God he is off tomorrow & I'm off this weekend...won't have to deal with him until Monday...
  5. by   NancyJo
    If things weren't stressful enough then your DON says your a "little hormonal"? What a slap in the face. That would be enough to make me alot hormonal! Not sure what the answer is since you have no support, other than find something else and get out while you still have your sanity. Good luck!
  6. by   Roseyposey
    THe "little hormonal" remark is blatant sexual harassment.
  7. by   Pooh'sfriend
    I can honestly say that I am utterly reassured that I am not alone. I reported to the administrator a mass medication error(over 6 resident not recieving their narcotics but they were signed out and missing ) of our med techs this was her third, abuse of residents (never investigated) and falling through the floor of our residents dining room which was used for a PR purposes the same day that the floor bucked under and failure to provide adequate equipment (like accucheck strips). I too now am the hormonal and unbalanced one for repeatedly reporting on the neglects and abuses of residents to the administrator.
  8. by   happthearts
    Quote from JKCMom
    THe "little hormonal" remark is blatant sexual harassment.
    I would probably gone off at this point! It is a blantant sexual harassment!
    I would have told them right up front that I take that remark as being rude and sexual in nature.
    Hey what happened to engish only on the floor rule .I know staff here in Utah nurses and aides have been written up for talking in another languge Unless they were speaking with a PT .
    I would be making notes after the shift of what he has been doing for a week or so go in and confront him and the DON about it.To cover my backside . Just in-case they decide to fire you for complaining .Just follow that chain of command .Try to stay calm and have a back of plan if you can.

    Hugs
  9. by   Tweety
    I know you're just venting, but sounds like when the dust settles you need to sit down and communicate with these people. Good luck.

    BTW, I'm a little unclear, were you accused of being a little hormonal or were you just saying that about yourself?
  10. by   dbsn00
    Quote from Tweety
    I know you're just venting, but sounds like when the dust settles you need to sit down and communicate with these people. Good luck.

    BTW, I'm a little unclear, were you accused of being a little hormonal or were you just saying that about yourself?
    We are supposed to sit down Monday (tomorrow :angryfire ) to talk so we'll see what happens. My co-worker & I are going to ask for an outline of our job descriptions including the charge nurse's in writing so we all have on paper what our responsibilities are.

    As for the hormonal bit, my DON said "I think we're being a bit hormonal & since we all like our jobs & working here you're going to have to sit down as a team & work this out". :chuckle (yes, I can laugh now, it's Sunday & I'm off. Got a call earlier @ 8AM, charge nurse REALLY needs me to come in because floor is short... )
  11. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from NancyJo
    If things weren't stressful enough then your DON says your a "little hormonal"? What a slap in the face. That would be enough to make me alot hormonal! Not sure what the answer is since you have no support, other than find something else and get out while you still have your sanity. Good luck!


    Yeah, when anyone suggests that to me (other than a VERY close friend) I go just about postal inside, LOL!
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from dbsn00
    We are supposed to sit down Monday (tomorrow :angryfire ) to talk so we'll see what happens. My co-worker & I are going to ask for an outline of our job descriptions including the charge nurse's in writing so we all have on paper what our responsibilities are.

    As for the hormonal bit, my DON said "I think we're being a bit hormonal & since we all like our jobs & working here you're going to have to sit down as a team & work this out". :chuckle (yes, I can laugh now, it's Sunday & I'm off. Got a call earlier @ 8AM, charge nurse REALLY needs me to come in because floor is short... )

    Good luck with that meeting. Sounds like the hormonal thing was meant in good spirits, but we have to be careful who and what we joke about in a profressional setting. Many have learned that lesson the hard way.

    Let us know how it goes tomorrow.
  13. by   UM Review RN
    I cannot believe what you have been putting up with, and I agree with you completely--the one that has time for breakfast and who can't be found during a patient crisis is definitely in need of another job, somewhere else--somewhere far, far away.......

    I hope your complaints don't fall on deaf ears, but just in case, you might want to go to your meeting with your resignation in hand.

    Three days without you on that unit, I'll bet they'd be begging you to come back. :chuckle
  14. by   alintanurse
    Sorry to hear about the difficult time you've been having. I agree that nursing staff should speak in english unless it's to communicate with a patient or family. Not doing so just adds to the stress and makes you distrustful. I would start looking for another job because it just sounds like you're fighting overwhelming forces--possibly at the risk of your health.

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