Accused of being too busy and not "social" enough?? (long)

  1. 0
    I work in a fairly busy ICU, in which it is not uncommon for us to get 3-6 sick admissions/transfers on the night shift alone.

    So tonight I was confronted by a fellow co-worker (who was charge on the night I am about to describe), who basically said that on a regular basis I am too busy, running around too much, not socializing with the rest of the staff enough...however she was especially referring to this one particular night in which I had a critical GI bleeder with a low BP, who was getting transfused as quickly as he was pooping the blood out.

    2 hours after my shift started, I got an unstable transfer from an outside hospital: a guy who was s/p PEA arrest, on vasopressors, unresponsive, with renal issues (K+ 6.0, Cr > 5), questionably about to start CVVHD (dialysis), and who recently developed a head bleed at this outside facility. He was being transferred to us for neuro-surg evaluation.

    To make things worse, on this night: we had no unit secretary, no CNA, lots of inexperienced staff, lots of inexperienced docs (July), and I had gotten no report on this new patient until literally 2 min before he rolled in the door.

    Needless to say, between this guy and my GIB patient, I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off !! LOL The rest of the staff enjoyed a relatively calm night of playing on the internet, flirting with each other, and talking on the phone. No one would step in to help me unless I specifically called out, and then they would only do the bare minimum, and give me disgusted looks for interrupting happy time. Finally, I reconciled that I'll just eat it alone and do the best I could.

    Anyway, to wrap it this up, tonight (a week later) my coworker told me that on this night I was rude, abrupt with people, wasn't using my resources enough, and generally wasn't much fun to be around. Well DUH...I had the heaviest assignment on the whole unit! And excuse me if shooting the breeze, walking slowly, and putting on a smiling face are a distant second to keeping my two sick patients alive. And all this coming from someone who has less experience in the ICU than I do.

    And then here comes day shift... "What, you didn't bathe your patients?" Whew!! Ok I'm done.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 28, '07 : Reason: if you have to use words with *** in them, they are not allowed. Thanks..........:)
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  4. 26 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Dont' you love it when the next shift arrives and passes judgements like that?

    When you are busy like be specific about the help you need and what exactly what you want them to do because they don't sound like the bunch that is going to step up to the plate. It sounds like they are willing to get up off their butts and help, you just might have to ask each and every time and be specific because they aren't going to go looking for things to do.

    At least you can rest easy that you did a good job with your patients.
  6. 1
    Quote from jbp0529
    ... And excuse me if shooting the breeze, walking slowly, and putting on a smiling face are a distant second to keeping my two sick patients alive. And all this coming from someone who has less experience in the ICU than I do.
    My philosophy has always been, if you are sitting on your duff and someone else is busting theirs, you ought to be asking what you can do to help. Unless you have a chronic slacker (sounds like you're not!), it should be understood that coworkers will make sure that EVERYone gets a break and that work is divided fairly. DEFINITELY you should not be getting attitude when you ask them to help you! Would they rather have an unexpected code at 6 a.m.?
    rizzle likes this.
  7. 0
    This sounds like guilt from lack of action is being passed onto your shoulders. Just let things role downhill. It will be their turn soon. I know the patients and their families appreciated your care.
  8. 1
    Sound to me like your unit is not very cohesive. In my unit we back each other up. There's something gravely wrong with the picture you painted.
    leslie :-D likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from jlsRN
    There's something gravely wrong with the picture you painted.
    i am genuinely appalled.
    to show such blatant disregard to the sickest of the sick, as well as to your fellow coworkers....i am flabbergasted.

    be damned grateful that you aren't social enough.
    these 'things' you're doing is called working.
    and you're doing what a (good) nurse does.
    screw them.

    leslie
    rizzle likes this.
  10. 0
    Your workmates sound like really supportive people to be around!!

    If this happens again you need to be assertive and say THIS IS NOT FAIR - GET OFF YOUR BACKSIDES AND HELP ME

    Refuse the patient load - it is not fair to your patients or to yourself. And remember - your license is at stake if anything goes wrong.
  11. 2
    You can't always predict which nurse's patients are going to start circling the drain. We need to back one another up in times such as described in the opening posting. Team members should not be online shopping while another team member is coping with a crisis.
  12. 0
    I agree! There is definitely something wrong with this picture!! When I was orienting on day shift, my preceptor accused me of not being social enough and said that no one knows me because I hardly talk to anyone. Um... lets see I was a new nurse and I was running my butt off trying to take care of my patients and figure out what I was doing! Then a few days later I had a slow day and my preceptor accused me of talking instead of working!! Needless to say I was furious! The people I work with now are great! Everyone is really good about jumping in and helping with things. If we have a nurse that is really busy with a patient, the rest of the staff jumps in and does turns, gives meds, etc to help the nurse out.
  13. 1
    My mom told me when I got my first job at age 15 that "They're paying you to work, not to socialize". This is true and I think that sometimes people forget it. It is important to get along with your co-workers, help them out, and use your strengths to contribute to the team. However, beyond being friendly and cordial, you have no obligation to "shoot the breeze" at work IMO. If you happen to become friends with some of your co-workers it is all the better, but the work and the patients come first. I think that you know that deep down, but nobody likes being given a hard time. Hang in there and good luck
    tcdtx likes this.


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