Charge Nurse issue

  1. I'm pretty new to med surg. I've been on my own for about two months. I'm a new grad RN with 10 years as an LPN in LTC.
    We take 6 patients and right now we generally only have one or two aides and end up priming ( nurse does ALL the cares) at least one or two.
    I'm not doing too bad. I have more good days than bad, it seems lately.
    I have one charge nurse that is REALLY giving me a hard time. She talks about me to others if I'm running behind. She publicly criticizes me and tells me I have no reason to be behind and has even told me that Ilook like I'm having to mental breakdown. Which, that day, with the admits and discharges I was getting from her.. maybe I did look like that. She'll bypass the other nurses and give me two admissions in a row.
    Im trying to maintain my composure and not let her get to me, but my fear is that she's going to pressure me so much or overwhelm me so much that it might compromise patient safety.
    I don't know how to deal with her. She'll LITERALLY roll her eyes when I ask her a question. She's withheld vital information from me and then told others that she told me (making me look like an IDIOT).
    I'm a good nurse. Not the best, but I'm good. When I work with her, bad stuff happens. I have sent an email to my nurse manager about all of this, but how do I handle this lady when the manager isn't around? I'm scared she's going to "cause" me to make a big mistake.
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   riverlands
    Give no emotional ammunition to this person. If she offers constructive criticism, take it professionally regardless of how it was delivered to you, say OK thanks for your feedback I will work on that, and work on it. In my view, they hired you because they saw that you had something to offer the unit. None of us are perfect and the new grad learning curve is a very steep curve, I have less than a years experience and I started in med-surg so I know! Our unit's nickname in the hospital was the 7th level of hell and no one wanted to float there.

    I always think to myself, well (nasty mean coworker) if you are so awesome, then my new-grad fumbling shouldnt hamper you at all, you should be able to ace your shift no matter if I am slow as a mule.

    What I observed to be important to my managers was 1. are you providing safe patient care and keeping patients safe 2. are you showing progress and improvement, not that you have to be super nurse, but are you advancing 3. are PATIENTS complaining about you. If you feel like some area of your care is unsafe, work on that ASAP. Otherwise just keep your head down and give this person enough rope to hang herself, so to speak. No manager wants to lose a safe nurse who has good patient rapport, even if they are slow at first. I do my best, practice safe, give the best care I can, help other nurses as much as I can, be a true team player, if someone decide not to "like" me...That person is free to go complain to the boss and they will either look dumb for whining about nothing or the boss will address their concerns with me.

    chances are that person will end up making themselves look stupid to management. Often management will say, OK so they are struggling what are you doing to help this new person Managers want the unit to run smooth. They dont want unnecessary turnover and they dont want tenured staff running off new staff that they just went to the trouble of hiring and orienting. This makes them look bad.

    I was blessed with awesome co-workers when I was on my own out of orientation but there was one night shift nurse I hated to give report to. She rolled her eyes at me, picked me apart, tried to find everything wrong that I did. She had been a nurse for at least 15 years. I had been on the floor 6 months. I just smiled and said "thanks so much for your tips and advice I always learn a lot from you". Cheerfully ignoring the nasty overtones was what enabled me to subvert this unprofessional nurse. She gave up when I kept being positive...she got no emotional reward for trying to elicit distress from me! I flattered her and I even meant some of it. She never liked me but she stopped being such a witch.

    Killing with kindness is a real thing. Play the long game with your chin up and you will win!.....best of luck to you!

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