What to do about disruptive behavior? - page 2

by Mudwoman 8,118 Views | 36 Comments

I have been a med-surg nurse since 1994. In January of this year, I left my beloved med-surg floor and moved over to ICU. Even with my experience, I knew that this would be like starting over. I don't know if the other nurses... Read More


  1. 2
    The Head Nurse (Nurse Manager of the unit)should be addressing the patient assignment issue. If there were more ICU experienced nurses present during the shift then one of your patients should have been assigned to them and a less acute patient be given to you with the other critical assignment. It sounds like a few issues have to be addresses here including the bullying issue.
  2. 2
    i am so sorry you had such a difficult time. as a new nurse i will take one thing from your post; follow up on tasks that are delegated. i have a question for you, you seemed to listen to her yell at you for some time, should you have walked away inviting her to talk to you when she could do so in a professional way? as i said i am a new grad and i am trying to learn from the post as well as reply. i would put any complaints about this nurse in writing in a professional tone, maybe in a third party voice. that way you and the person you give it to have it in writing. hope you have better days ahead.
    Last edit by PrayeRNurse on Jul 25, '12 : Reason: spacing
    CrufflerJJ and gypsyd8 like this.
  3. 0
    There's is no excuse for that behavior. It really doesn't matter what you did, it's never appropriate to handle anything by screaming at somebody.
  4. 0
    Things like this should ALWAYS be handled in private - I told an MD once that when he could address me politely we would talk. He was shocked into silence. I don't think anyone had ever called him on his behavior before, but he never did that again.
  5. 0
    How courageous of you, Mudwoman! You do not need to tolerate this abuse by anyone, especially a co-worker. After all, we're in nursing to help others. If anything, the nasty nurse should be written up and taken to task. There is never any excuse for this type of aggressive hostility.

    Keep your chin up; you can come through this and will certainly, most assuredly be the better person - and ultimately, the better-best nurse.
  6. 0
    edited for brevity:
    Quote from Mudwoman
    I gave report first to the nurse taking my older patient. She had him on the night of 7/19-7/20. I have never met or worked with this nurse prior to this.

    The nurse for my older patient comes out of his room and started screaming at me in my face in front of everyone "You didn't turn this patient all day....he is in the same position he was when I left this morning...." She was right. I had not turned him. I had assumed that he had been turned by the nurses that were so generous to help me.

    The next 15 minutes, I spent with her yelling and calling me names and telling me what a pathetic nurse I was and how the care I gave this patient was totally unacceptable and would not be tolerated in ICU. "We give excellent care around here, not poor, substandard care around here, and you are NOT up to our standard for a nurse"...."They say nurses eat their young, well I guess we do to weed out the undesirables".

    So, we have an "EVENT REPORTER" that we are supposed to fill out if there is a nursing error, or disruptive behavior etc. I have already reported that I did not turn the patient all shift and I did not follow up and make sure someone else did when I could not.

    Should I also write a complaint of disruptive behavior on this nurse?

    Write a short note to my unit manager about what happened?....,or

    I don't consider leaving an option. It is a wonderful unit. I'm learning lots. I have been at this hospital many years. There are lots of other nurses that do not agree with this particular nurse's opion.

    Thanks for any input....good or bad.

    Charlee
    #1: that nurse is full of feces. after working in the ICU, I can tell you, A LOT of patients do not get turned. Sometimes there are other priorities.

    #2: Report this behavior ASAP. It is unacceptable.

    #3: I am sorry you had to deal with this unspayed female canine in heat. Every ICU (I am sure) has at least one holier than thou bully with too much time on her/his hands. I have been written up for mixing "butt cream" * for use after hygiene. The person who wrote me up is a stupid old anus who is upset about her sagging bottom. She does have a lot of experience and knowledge, but that is overshadowed by her two faced gossip, backstabbing and desire to feel superior to her peers. Lets just say she has not aged gracefully. Instead of a fine wine, she is all vinegar and EVERYONE on the unit knows this. We are all nice to her face because she makes our lives hell if we are not.

    Hope this helps.....


    *its basically the thick stuff (whatever you have on the unit that is mostly zinc oxide) thinned with the thin stuff (whatever you have on the unit that is mostly dimethicone) and some triple abx or mupirocin. It works, will eliminate pressure ulcers (obviously not stage IV but you get my drift). I have personally seen this and have used the stuff for over 8 years. Old CNA trick, but its not standard procedure.
  7. 0
    Quote from Sugarcoma
    Yes, you need to inform someone of this nurses behavior. This is unacceptable in a professional environment (or should be). How embarrassing for you. I really hope family/visitors were not around to hear this nurses tirade. You did the best you could. That is absolutely all anyone can do. You had a challenging assignment and you had to PRIORITIZE your care. A good nurse knows how to do that. You asked for help when you needed it and you made sure the most important interventions for your patient's were completed. I say good job!

    Admitting that "you're right" probably made this person feel justified in their anger and fueled the fire. This nurse was not "right." You are not an "undesirable" or a nurse who provides "substandard" care. You are a nurse who is new in an area where rushing around to check off tasks can kill people. It is o.k. to not be perfect and you need time and experience to grow into your role.

    You need to set boundaries for yourself on how you allow others to treat you. Should you ever experience an angry coworker screeching at you again it is perfectly acceptable to say something along the lines of "We can have a professional and private discussion regarding this matter when you regain control of your emotions" Then WALK away! Or you can just walk away. Much easier said then done I know! It took me a long time to learn to be more assertive but the payoff in the end is soo worth it!
    I would have just "liked" this but this really is such fabulous advice I have to comment (and thank the poster). Sugarcoma brings up a VITAL point. This nurses behavior, if overheard, could lead to liability for the hospital. Be sure to describe any onlookers in your incident report.
    Last edit by gypsyd8 on Jul 26, '12 : Reason: stuff
  8. 0
    I do agree that nobody should be treated that way, under no circunstances.
    However, as an ICU nurse, I can't get past the fact that you did not turn/touch an ICU patient under your care for 12 hrs!!
    I am curious, how did you completed your documetation/charting if you did not assess/touch your patient??
  9. 2
    One: Learn from this and NEVER do it to another nurse.

    Option A: Go to the offending nurse, state that her behavior was against policy and inconsistent with professional behavior, however, let her know you understand and appreciate her passion for the role of an ICU nurse in the protection of vulnerable patients. Do not try to describe or defend what happened, but rather let her know you "wrote yourself up" for the incident and that you want to learn from it and move on. Let her know that she is welcome to mentor your, offer constructive advice, but that if she ever displays that kind of aggressive behavior towards you again that you will take action in accordance with company policy. If she is amenable, forgive and move on.

    Option B: Go straight to reporting her behavior. If everyone already agrees that this person is a witch that needs to be fired, you might not suffer too much backlash. However, if for some odd reason she is well-liked you risk alienation.

    You are in a tough spot, but ask yourself, what can I learn from this? There is no excuse for the behavior, but if you handle it right, the nurse will respect you and hopefully learn that you are formidable.
    SpEdtacular and gypsyd8 like this.
  10. 0
    That was how I thought it should be handled, would have been scared to say that to a doc. Did you have reprocussions from doing it that way? Thanks for posting how you handled this.


Top