Different Types Of Coworkers

by TheCommuter 17,865 Views | 83 Comments Senior Moderator

Some of our coworkers are wonderful and, as a result, our shifts are great whenever we work with these people. Others are less than stellar. I have created a list of several types of healthcare coworkers, along with their behaviors.

  1. 17

    Different Types Of Coworkers

    Let’s face it: our colleagues are rather interesting people. Some of these individuals are awesome and, as a result, our workdays flow smoothly whenever we work with them. Other people are, well, not so awesome. I have assembled a list of several types of coworkers, along with their behaviors. Read on!

    Chicken-Little ’The Sky Is Falling’ Nurse

    This is the inefficient nurse who always refuses help, fails to delegate, and runs around all day like a chicken with her head cut off while never getting the job done. She causes you to fall behind when she delays giving change-of-shift report for 30 minutes or more to refill a water pitcher, administer a Reglan tablet late, change Mr. Doe‘s dressing, and complete other random tasks. This type of nurse is famous for poor time management and ’the sky is falling’ outlook on life.

    The Passive-Aggressive CNA

    Although he is always smiling and agreeable, he uses indirect methods to express his aggression and dislike of authority. He readily agreed to give the newly admitted patient a shower at 11 o’clock in the morning, but still has not showered anyone by the time shift change arrives. Whenever a messy code brown occurs, he is nowhere to be found.

    The Second-Career Nurse Who Hates Her Job

    She earned a BA degree in creative writing ten years ago, and after finding nothing but low-paying temp jobs, borrowed $90,000 to complete a direct-entry MSN program at a prestigious university because nursing is so ‘recession-proof.’ This nurse has $100,000+ worth of student loan debt, works a bedside nursing position when she expected to go straight to management, and struggles with the concept of the ‘worker bee.’ She gripes, “I didn’t go to nursing school to wipe butts!”

    The Workplace Snitch

    This person likes to portray himself as the super nurse and has the unit manager’s home phone number programmed into his cell phone to secretly report others. He spends less time on patient care and more time actively looking for issues with his coworkers’ work. This nurse reports people to deflect attention away from his shortcomings.

    The Nurse Who Chronically Complains

    This is the type of nurse who spends at least fifty percent of her shift complaining. She is the coworker who spends more time complaining about random things than actually dealing with the issues. For example, she griped for nearly an hour when a new admit arrived on the unit instead of using this precious time to get started on the assessment.

    The True Team Player

    The true team player is the competent coworker who is always willing to pitch in, lend a helping hand, and get the job done. This person knows the meaning of teamwork, displays professionalism at all times, and goes above and beyond.

    The Unselfish Nurse Manager

    She goes to bat for the nurses and knows how to effectively lead a team of healthcare workers. This is the type of leader who walks the political tightrope to achieve positive results such as increased staffing and abundant supplies.

    The Elevator

    This is the type of nurse who always ‘elevates’ colleagues in the presence of patients and families to put them at ease. When giving bedside report, he‘ll elevate you by telling the patient, “Jane is an excellent nurse and you will be in good hands tonight, Mr. Smith!” He never gossips or participates in trash talk.

    The Expert Nurse

    She has 20+ years of experience and is a wealth of information. This type of nurse readily shares her knowledge with the next generation of nurses, runs circles around coworkers, performs excellent patient care, and is a role model for all.

    So, are there any other types of coworkers? Feel free to add!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Oct 29, '12
    born2circulateRN, tnmarie, Esme12, and 14 others like this.
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  3. About TheCommuter

    TheCommuter is a moderator of allnurses.com and has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a registered nurse.

    TheCommuter joined Feb '05 - from 'Fort Worth, Texas, USA'. Age: 33 TheCommuter has '8' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'acute rehab, long term care, and psych'. Posts: 27,678 Likes: 39,942; Learn more about TheCommuter by visiting their allnursesPage Website

    83 Comments so far...

  4. 12
    Forgot the "allways kicked and picked on nurse" who can never do anything right no matter how hard she tries.
    kermitlady, MahzieLPN, dapc, and 9 others like this.
  5. 28
    The stealth bomber: Person who stays under the radar but gets the job done well
    SunDazed, ksdmom, dapc, and 25 others like this.
  6. 3
    then there is the nurse who labels his/her colleagues ...

    Does anyone play bridge? Victor Mollo does the same thing and characterizes bridge players. There's the Rueful Rabbit. There's the Hideous Hog. brilliant.
    mariebailey, anotherone, and roughmatch like this.
  7. 8
    I am definitely Chicken Little.
  8. 4
    I work with a Chicken Little and a Chronic Complainer.

    I'll add another one: The Purposely Inefficient to Get Overtime. I don't know why that one has been allowed to continue her intentionally bad habits.
    sleepdeprived1, dapc, joanna73, and 1 other like this.
  9. 3
    At my hospital, we called our workplace snitch "The Mole".
    Cessna172, KbmRN, and Sugarcoma like this.
  10. 2
    Don't forget "Princess", or the one who complains of staying an hr late or have not chart anything but sit around and talk or flirt with doctors (Grrr...can not stand those people because those who catch up because they bust their *** are the ones who get new admit.
    dapc and aileenve like this.
  11. 5
    Went to school with a person who I suspect ended up as the second-career type mentioned above.

    A subset/offshoot of the second career RN that *I* see more of is the new grad RN who is just putting in their time until they can get into NP/CRNA school. Same "I didn't go to nursing school to wipe butts" attitude.
    dapc, natnat122, joanna73, and 2 others like this.
  12. 7
    You forgot the nurse dipping into the narc box. Antsy at the beginning of the shift, doing the cold turkey dance and yelling at everybody, then remarkably calm, forgetful and sleepy by the end of the shift. You can also recognize them by the increasingly large number of patients with sudden pain control problems. Usually on NOCs.
    natnat122, gummi bear, joanna73, and 4 others like this.


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