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kakamegamama 14,147 Views

Joined: Feb 20, '07; Posts: 956 (62% Liked) ; Likes: 2,241

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  • Apr 19

    What exactly would you be trying to accomplish by doing any of your proposed actions?

  • Apr 19

    Quote from sugarmagnolia3
    I was at a leadership conference recently with my manager and several other supervisors (1 manager, 4 supervisors total). During the conference, we were asked to simulate how we would communicate with a housekeeper that went above and beyond by doing something outside of their normal job duties to help a patient.

    One of my fellow supervisors says, "I'll be the housekeeper."
    My manager says, "I wanna be the housekeeper!"
    I say, "----- said it first, she can be the housekeeper."
    My manager says to my fellow supervisor, "------, you're name is NOT Juanita Lopez" ****I have changed this name*****

    To the best of my knowledge, Juanita Lopez is not a real person who works at my organization, but has a very common sounding Hispanic name. I believe she was insinuating that housekeepers are generally Hispanic. The rest of us supervisors were kind of shocked and looked at each other for a minute, felt uncomfortable, and then went on with the exercise.

    What makes it even worse, is that one of my peers IS Hispanic. She is also my friend.

    I feel this should be reported to HR, however here is my hesitation: In the past I have gone round and round with HR reporting bullying and inappropriate behaviors, along with MANY fellow employees including other supervisors, doctors and staff. My manager has a long history of bullying and incivility and retaliation, and there is a long history of HR not doing anything about it. It's a "Good ole' boys network." Everyone who feels her wrath just eventually winds up leaving the organization.

    Out of the the 3 other supervisors:

    My Hispanic friend does not want to make a big deal out of it, and absolutely hates confrontation, and actively avoids it. She does not want to say anything, nor be dragged into anything. She said she is used to these sorts of incidences and just lets it roll off her back.

    The other two kind of just do their own thing, and have had the chance to stand up in the past, and/or support others who have been bullied, but they just don't.

    I don't know if I have the energy to deal with this again, out of need for self-preservation, and also knowing that I will not have any back up, and knowing HR likely won't do anything. My plan is to find something else by the end of the year.


    Here are my options:

    *Confront my manager - she does not do well with confrontation, becoming extremely defensive and wrathful

    *Report to HR openly - this did not go well for my last fellow supervisor who reported bullying, and she went through months of stress and heartache, and finally resigned.

    *Report to HR anonymously - this did not go well for myself and about a dozen other people I know over the years, and I don't believe my anonymity was actually protected.

    *Send an anonymous letter.

    *Go to the news.

    *Do nothing.

    Regardless of what I pursue, if any investigation is opened, my friend will be dragged into it. None of my options feel good or right.

    Has anything dealt with anything similar?
    Hispanic is not a race, it's an ethnicity. A lot of housekeepers are Hispanic. There's nothing wrong with being a housekeeper. There is no need to create offense on your friend's behalf.
    If the imaginary housekeeper had been named "Jane Smith", how would you feel about your friend running to the boss/HR/media?

  • Apr 19

    Quote from psu_213
    I would speak directly to the person who said it, but I would not look at it as "confronting" her. More like "I know you were just trying to make a joke, but I have several friends who are Hispanic, and I found the comment offensive." You can leave the specifics of your friend out of it.
    I'd recommend a slight wording change. I'd say something like ... "I know you were just trying to make a joke, but I have friends who are Hispanic ... and that made me uncomfortable."

    That way, you are less likely to escalate the bad feelings. Experts often recommend that we tell people how their bad behavior makes us feel rather than accuse them of being a racist or bully or whatever. Saying you found it "offensive" sounds a bit like an accusation -- which may elicit a defensive (or offensive) response from the manager. By saying the remark made your feel "uncomfortable," you are more likely to open a productive dialog. She might apologize or say something like, "Oh, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable" ... which might promote a health conversation that will help her learn not to do that again.

    Also, when that sort of thing happens, it's best to say something right away. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. Eventually, the "appropriate moment" passes.

  • Apr 19

    Kudos to you for recognizing the racism and feeling uncomfortable (for yourself and your friend).

    I think the moment to have said "Hey, you might not have meant it this way but that sounds really racist" was immediately after the statement was made. I think your opportunity to actually make a difference lessens with the amount of time that passes. So if it was yesterday, probably still OK.

    Retraining someone to NOT utter every racist thought in their head is like training a puppy. If you don't provide an immediate consequence, the person doesn't learn. If the person is provided immediate and consistent feedback - and it can be confrontational or it can be friendly - then perhaps s/he will eventually learn what s/he can and cannot say on the job.

    Also, I have learned that the person uttering the statement is likely to say: "Well (insert the name of the Hispanic friend) was there and SHE didn't take offense." It's still an inappropriate comment, whether the person of the targeted group felt like waking that other employee up or not.

  • Apr 19

    I would speak directly to the person who said it, but I would not look at it as "confronting" her. More like "I know you were just trying to make a joke, but I have several friends who are Hispanic, and I found the comment offensive." You can leave the specifics of your friend out of it.

    The one thing I would definitely NOT do is go to the news. It would basically be career suicide to air your facilities dirty laundry to the media. Even if you wanted to be anonymous, I would trust the media to keep me anonymous about as much as I would trust HR to do the same--i.e., basically no trust in them at all.

  • Apr 16

    All that involvement may simply be that it wasn't the first time anymore. Regardless, I think assuming it is because you are "old" and the other nurse is "cute" is quite a leap in logic.

  • Apr 16

    I'm sorry that happened. I would be very angry too. It's quite likely there is more to the story as to why everyone got involved the second time that has nothing to do with you being "old" and her being "skinny and cute."

    In fact, if you say that the hospital board and HR got involved, I would say it's VERY likely there was more there than just a dispute about marking a surgical site.

  • Apr 16

    How was the enema bag labelled -- as in, what is in the solution? I ask because I have never seen an enema bag labelled 0.9% NaCl, LR, 0.45% NaCl, 3% NaCl, NS w/ 20 mEq KCL or the words "For Injection"...... This is because enema bags don't contain IV fluids. And anyway, the tubing isn't even IV tubing.

    And you assumed which vials contained heparin based on their size??? What if the vial contained vecuronium or adenosine or undiluted KCl?? (Look them up. I'll give you a hint: you would want your code button within arm's reach.)

    Academic "incompletes" are given when the student CHOOSES to cut his/her losses and withdraw from the class **prior to the school's predetermined deadline.** You didn't withdraw; you failed.

    Honestly if this instructor HADN'T failed you, I would be convinced that this instructor is incompetent. She was THAT right to do so.

  • Apr 16

    You repeatedly said you don't know what an enema is, which is one of the skills you were expected to complete, yet think it's unfair why you failed??? Did you even go to class? Or practise? You were given a second chance to re do this, and you go in not even knowing what one of the skills are. This can't be real!

  • Apr 16

    Quote from jbernardo
    Although somehow I think that the instructions by the professor was not clear and that's why I failed. The four skills I had to perform were (1) wound dressing (2) tap water enema (3) Intramuscular injection (4) hanging a primary and secondary IV bag. When I got inside the lab, all the instructor said was "these are the three things, all you're supplies are there (she gestured to a table which was against the nurse's station), you have 30 minutes, and you can not ask questions when the exam begins"
    No, her instructions were clear. She told you the skills that you need to perform, you have all the supplies that you need, you have 30 minutes to complete the skills, and you can not ask any questions once the exam starts.
    Quote from jbernardo
    On the table, there was some supplies, however, not everything was there, and a thin binder that was closed. During previous clinical exams that I took, I was always handed the MAR so I didn't think to look inside the binder. I also did not know what the enema was.
    The binder was you MAR/ doctor's orders, etc. Why did you not look in it prior to the start or at least ask where the MAR was? How can you be tested on a skill if you don't know what an enema is?

    Quote from jbernardo
    Immediately after opening the tray I realized that I did not have the saline, but when I looked at the table, it wasn't there. In the tray there was hydrogen peroxide swabs so I used that thinking that since the saline was not on the table, the swabs must be the alternative thing to use to clean the wound.
    If you practiced the skill, you would have known that the saline wasn't included. You should of asked where the saline was before the test started. This is a skills test. There is no substituting (unless the instructor has stated "We are out of saline. Pretend the peroxide is Saline".)
    Quote from jbernardo
    After, I went back to the table and since I didn't see the primary bag, and I had no idea what the enema looked like, I assumed the enema bag is what I should use because it the only thing that looked similar to the primary bag. I obviously couldn't do it because there are no ports, so I just hung the secondary bag. However, I kept saying that there no primary bag and the instructor did not say anything.
    You are performing a Primary bag skill, why would you think that you can perform a skill without the bag. Once again, if you did not see the bag prior to starting, why did you not say something BEFORE you started? The instructor didn't respond to you because she stated "You can't ask any questions ONCE the test starts."
    Quote from jbernardo
    After, I proceeded to give the IM injection and there was three vials that were there so I chose the Heparin since the other two vials seemed very small. Later I she told told me that Heparin is given SC, so it may have been the other two, but I'm not sure. Also, I didn't know how much to give since I was not given the MAR so I just gave 3cc.
    First, you did not understand that Heparin is not given IM. Second, you never guess what you are giving a patient and the amount. Even in a skills test you need this basic information.
    Quote from jbernardo
    In my opinion, the instructions were so unclear from the start because all the supplies were not on the table and she implied that "everything I need is there." The sterile gloves were even in the closet which I asked for at the beginning and the mannequin did not even have a wound, she had to put a bandage on it in the middle of the exam. At the start she also kept referring to her sheet which had the three skills, instead of handing me the binder so I didn't think to look inside the binder.
    The primary bag and the saline was on purpose and part of the test. You were to be able to recognize that you did not have the primary bag and saline. That is why they were close to the nurses station, but not on the table. Because she did not hand you the binder, instead it was on the table, it was her fault you failed??? Why did you not ask for the MAR prior to the start?
    Quote from jbernardo
    Do you think it's right for her to fail me, or do you agree with me that the instructions were so miss leading and confusing, almost like a setup so I can fail again.
    Yes, it was correct for her to fail you. It seems that every nurse that has responded to you agrees.

  • Apr 16

    Refund or incomplete? Neither. You deserved to fail. Own up to it and stop trying to find excuses or you will fail again. This is coming from someone who failed a class.

  • Apr 16

    I remember how stressful skills check-offs are and I remember rehearsing over and over for them to be sure all the little details were in my head. However, skills themselves aside, your errors were of the most egregious sort, given that you didn't perform safety checks, check orders or take stock of your equipment prior to starting. These are baseline things that underline you just aren't getting it. As an educator, the skills are something I can teach. However, if you aren't getting the critical thinking, baseline safety, sense-of-responsibility to the patient portion....that is a huge red flag. I would have serious misgivings about you being near patients.

    You won't get a refund and you won't get an incomplete. I am sure this feels very harsh to you, but it is honestly both fair and just. You had the same opportunity as all the other students - those who passed and those who did not pass. Once you reach the testing portion of skills lab, you have been taught already about baseline things that got skipped here.

    If you get another chance at this in the future, always take a few seconds before beginning your skills to assess your situation. Remember, the first step in any nursing process is always assessment. If you don't see orders, start moving things around until you figure it out and find them. Then look at what you need to do and cluster together what you will need for each skill so you can inventory whether you have everything. Remember, you don't touch the patient until all these baseline things are in order, you have checked patient identifiers and your brain is settled enough to safely proceed.

    A skills check is a mock-up of safe patient care. It is done on mannequins because you are a novice. You have to prove you won't harm the patient prior to getting a chance to perform the skills on a live one. These baseline things matter greatly and will be part of any skill check-off you do. Over time they become something that can settle your mind instead of make you nervous, because they should become completely habitual, knowing if you fail to perform even one of them, you fail the skill test period. In the school I attended, if you began a skill without checking your orders and patient identifiers you'd have been stopped and failed then and there with no opportunity to even show the skill itself. This is important. These things are such that your mind should have known, critically thinking, that you would not be performing a skill in which you have no orders, so they must be there somewhere and to keep investigating until they are found.

  • Apr 16

    Your test experience reads to me like an experience someone with no nursing school experience at all would have trying to demonstrate those skills flying by the seat of their pants. Did you go to class? Study? Practice these skills? At all before the test? Usually for skills tests they give you an idea of what skills you need to demonstrate. Have you started caring for real live people yet?

    If you think skills testing is stressful just wait until you have a sick patient counting on you to help them get better. And their physician/nurse/lawyer relative next to them in the room.

  • Apr 16

    You didn't fail because the instructions were unclear, you failed because you made multiple serious errors and clearly didn't know what you were doing. You failed the class, so you're not eligible for an "incomplete" (you did complete the class), and people don't get refunds on tuition because they failed a course. I'm afraid you're just out of luck on this. If you choose to try to continue on into nursing, you need to look long and hard at your own responsibility in this situation and figure out how to avoid the errors that you made this time. Best wishes for your journey!

  • Apr 16

    That you would even consider asking for a refund or incomplete based on this scenario makes me wonder if this post is for real, or if you are bored and jerking our collective chains.


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