angry coworker

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    I work with a traveling nurse. She is angry all the time. I don't know if it is a personal thing or a work thing. Not only that but some of her work habits are less than questionable. To say that she will walk in and out of an isolation room with the same pair of gloves on and wander the hospital floor looking for things and not think twice about the possibility of contamination. I try to be helpful and be nice to her but it is very hard when she is so snotty to you. I worry just for the sake of her patients and for the care that they are recieving. I have spent many hours doing service recovery so far, that I am not spending enough time with my patients. I don't want to rat her out so that I look like the bad guy, but... what else do I do? Any advice?
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    I would take her aside privately, before reporting her.

    Tell her 1) what you observed exactly and when. You are concerned for the safety of the other pt's, and staff.
    2) Tell you that find it difficult to work with her because of her anger. Try to have specific examples and quotes. People tend not to believe these kinds of things about themselves.
    3) Tell her if she continues to put other pt's at risk with her lack of isolation technique, or by not following policies, you will have to take it to your supervisor.

    I personally think it's always better to speak to the person as one adult to another before going to mngmnt, it is usually better received from a peer. If she is not willing to listen, or is extremely defensive, or threatens you, go to your supervisor.

    As far as being nice to her, it's always great to try to have a good rapport with people, but on occassional when you run into a plain old crab, I no longer try to "win them over", I am there to work, not worry about if people like me or not, and I will not kiss someone's a$$ who is just miserable. Maybe there is something going on in her life, we can all empathize with that, but if she is nasty to you, how does she treat the pt's? No matter what is going on in her life, she should be professional enough to limit her reactions, meaning, maybe she can not not have any conversation at all, fine, better than being rude. Communication is a necessary part of her job, and no one should be allowed to be rude.
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    If she violates isolation precautions, she doesn't care about ANY of the patients, herself, or her co-workers as she is putting all of you in jeopardy, and you can't let this go on. Try unemotionally stating a fact, such as, "You just came out of that MRSA room with your gloves on and without washing your hands." And I wouldn't take her aside for it, I'd say it to her right at the moment it happens, in front of other staff. If she blasts you, try calmly, "I'm concerned about everyone's safety and limiting the spread of infection". If she just 'forgot', give her another chance. If she truly doesn't give a darn, report her immediately.
    And you might venture asking her "Why are you so
    angry?" too
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    Gee, I would be on the phone to the ID nurse and the manager in a second. It's one thing to come out of a room and forget you are wearing gloves when the patient is not on precautions,but it is hard to forget when you ar in isolation garb. If she is a snot then maybe she should travel to another position, or find a new profession. I have a family and none of them need me to bring home any bugs!
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    One of the good things about hiring travelers is that the manager can always call her agency up and say, "So-and-so is just not working out." She may not realize it, but it is up to her whether your hospital uses her and/or her agency. She should be trying to sell herself, not make enemies! I'd set limits: I don't know what went on at your last assignment, but here, we are very careful about isolation technique; if there's anything we can do to make this more fun for you, let us know! and, of course, smile! Every time you deal with her, smile, speak calmly and softly, and if she's doing something that's bad for a patient, let her know.
    If that doesn't work--you can always just make her life an living hell!
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    I was a traveller...I can tell you from experience taht if you do anything qustionable, your contract can be terminated without even a second thought.

    I would talk to her first. btu if I didnt see marked improvement, I would notify my supervisor and ahave her contract terminated. I understand your unit needs help if they are using travellers, but no one needs ThAT kind of help good luck
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    isolation garb? She wasn't wearing any because she wasn't quite sure where the source was. When one of the aides stated that she was not going into the room without the appropriate attire on, this nurse told THE PATIENT that the aide was afraid of his disease.
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    I work for a traveling nurse placement agency and if the nurse is not following isolation procedures and telling patients that other nurses are afraid of their disease, then her agency needs to be notified. That behavior is totally inappropriate not only for the safety of coworkers but for every patient she cares for as well as her own family! You don't have to be the bad guy. You are simply caring for your coworkers and patients rights to have the best care available to them.
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    [i]Originally posted by moonshadeau
    When one of the aides stated that she was not going into the room without the appropriate attire on, this nurse told THE PATIENT that the aide was afraid of his disease. [/B]
    Okay, that would just about do it for me. I wouldn't care whose toes I stepped on, I would report her. Being crabby to other nurses is one thing, but telling a patient that the aide is afraid of his disease is going way over the line of professionalism. Repeatedly not dressing in the appropriate attire shouldn't be tolerated, either. This "nurse" has no business working at ANY hospital.
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    I agree with the other posters- but I don't understand the references to her being a traveller. ALL nurses need to comply with standard and isolation precautions. The issue isn't her travel nurse status, it's her poor technique and attitude.

    Travellers have an odd set of circumstances to deal with- we are expected to know how EVERY hospital does things- every one assumes they have the only right way. Seen about 17 "only right ways" so far. But at the same time we're expected to be up and running on that hospital's routines in a day or two, people assume we're idiots who can't cut it at a staff job.

    I agree with your points and the conclusions- this one is a problem. But not because she's a traveller. <grin>


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