Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:
Apparently my options to you have caused some controversy. I do not apologize for the controversy. I believe stongly that the only way to handle this person is to do it honestly. Put yourself in the control seat and take him out of it. If you sit back and take what is dished out, you passively assert his right to hound you, as well as passively assert that he is correct! Why would anyone accept that behavior? If you continue to be passive, he is given the authority to continue this behavior with you and anyone else he does not like.
I do hope you think about taking a different course of action.
Hi Charles. I don't feel that your suggestions are controversial. Nor do I feel that my comments suggest passivity. There is always more than one approach to a situation. Sometimes there is a multiple approach. You're suggesting that moonshadeau apply a tried and true method in dealing with a difficult person. I agree with you that assertion is called for. In fact, I have taken several courses on assertion/conflict resolution and found them helpful in assisting me in venting and managing concerns in a thoughtful manner without venting uncontrolled anger. However, assertion, as you are aware, is not easily learned or demonstrated. You need a certain kind of finesse and confidence (not arrogance) when you are being assertive. This comes with practice and time.
My suggestions in my post only acknowledge that you can't change people. Change has to come from within before it go out. Establishing an inner peace, positiveness, and esteem I think are essential qualities in dealing with difficult people as well as the external boldness and confidence that you suggested.
Finally, we all know that shift issues, no matter how good the care is, are very common in nursing and will continue. As you indicated in your post, moonshadeau needs to assess whether she or her staff are in fact increasing the challenges faced by the shift that follows them. I can't tell you the number of times when I worked the hospitals that I came into a mess because the work was not prioritized properly. However, I just simply sat down and discussed this issues with the charge nurse and we came to an understanding.
Let there be no mistake, however, that it is up to management to set the tone for the practice of nursing care which encourages team work and collaboration and discourages peer to peer competition. Again, I feel that striving to be your best, in spite of, is more important than striving against someone else. I am learning this as I age. Moonshadeau, I do agree that you should not simply roll over and play dead. Just play very carefully. I still feel you want to record the details of each incident in the unfortunate event you have to go over your NM's head.