As an earlier poster said, remember her behavior and never do it to another nurse because we all have days like that. While working on the progressive care unit at my hospital I've had plenty of nightmare shifts (largely because they want it to be ICU/PCU acuity with med/surg nurse to patient ratios and on top of that they allow 24/7 visiting hours). In life there will be no shortage of people who want to yell/lecture/demean/criticize you just because they can (or think they can) and there will be coworkers who get away with murder.
I was recently treated to one of these "because we can lectures". I was starting an IV on an old lady with dementia and was trying to keep her from falling out of her bed but while doing this one of my other 4 patient's IVs started beeping and the secretary who can be less than helpful in the best of times just overhead paged a dozen times rather than taking some initiative when I didn't respond (because I couldn't respond) and asking someone else to check on it for me. So I did not respond fast enough and was rude when I got to the room (I am sorry to admit that I was indeed a rude because after dealing with a difficult situation I walk up to a room and hear a b****y no it's STILL BEEPING! then find they've buried the IV pole behind so much clutter that I can't possibly reach it without rearranging all of the furniture). The patient wanted another nurse and so I swapped patients with someone. This has happened to other nurses before and typically that's where it ends. Not today, not with this charge nurse and so I was called into the office by her AND the nurse manager and got an earful (while I was on duty mind you).
But not about that incident, not really. No basically under the guise of concern and constructive criticism I was told that because of three recent "complaints" they wanted to talk to me. Right of the bat I admitted that I had been rude and shouldn't have but that wasn't where this conversation was heading. No, it seemed they were concerned that perhaps there was something deeper at the heart of this incident. They applauded my "technical" nursing abilities BUT thought that maybe I'm having difficulty with the more subtle skills that are encompassed by the art of nursing, the caring/nurturing aspect because after all I WAS a paramedic BEFORE I was a nurse (a rather insulting insinuation about paramedics). I was told I need to be more responsive to those needs because this is a customer service industry and people won't remember that you were a great technical nurse so I needed to concentrate on those things. This made me very upset (I think mostly because I was having a bad mental health day but also this was an attack on my character). I do try and do those touchy feel-y basic needs things myself, if I can, but often times I have to rely on the nurse tech because I can't do all of my nursing tasks and delegatable tasks myself.
So now that I'm all worked up, I was told I seemed overwhelmed and that if I need help I should just ask for it (unless of course it involves a task that I can delegate to the nurse tech I guess). I then pointed out that my fellow nurses as wonderful and helpful as they are (and they are) are as busy if not busier than me and I can't just ask them to do my work because I'm drowning when they are too. Then, going back to the original matter at hand, I also pointed out had the secretary shown an ounce of initiative this whole IV situation would not have happened and their answer was something to the effect of "pshaw! You know how ... is!" like it's cute when she's lazy or doesn't do her job (and IVs aside I mean her basic job, like entering orders).
Now some might read this and say well maybe you're not warm and fuzzy and I wouldn't blame you for taking it with a grain of salt. But I will add that I had worked on this unit for a year and nothing like this ever happened. I had never heard any complaints to this effect, I was never called in to the office for anything negative related to my job performance, and had a stellar yearly review. I should also add, coincidentally (or not...), this "problem" developed very soon after I put in a transfer to another unit (which I graciously agreed to put off for 4 months because the unit's staffing was horrible and I figured I'd be a team player. That'll teach me!). Although I like to think that people are inherently good, part of me can't help but think it was done out of spite for transferring because they went way overboard with this meeting and there was no obvious purpose to this talk other than to tell me I'm uncaring paramedic who doesn't "get" what nursing is about. There were no suggestions made on how I could have dealt with this problem or how to prevent it in the future, they had no intention of speaking with the secretary about doing something differently, so why did this happen? BECAUSE THEY COULD, plain and simple.
Sorry if my ranting went off topic a bit but abuse of power and intimidation really grinds my gears.
Unfortunately doing the right or "ethical" thing is never easy and almost always gives you more grief than not doing anything about it. You become a "narc" or the people you had a problem with may become more hostile because let's face it, we knew nothing was going to happen, at best maybe a verbal warning that doesn't go in their personnel file. Now as far as being yelled at, I would just turn around and walk away and if she wants to chase you down and continue making a spectacle of herself that's her business. You can't stop her from yelling at you but you sure as hell don't have to listen. When you don't listen, she doesn't have any power over you and will most likely quit trying to intimidate you. Other times you just have to grin and bear it. Try not to let her ruin this experience for you but if you're really miserable you can always look elsewhere because unfortunately problem people don't go away. They stay and scare off a lot of good people. It's really sad and sounds cynical but that's often the way things are.