Do you tattle on your co-workers when you find something missed?

  1. 8 I work in an environment where everyone smiles to your face while they are stabbing you in the back. With nurses who will lie and exaggerate the truth telling the NM on you in emails and phone calls, then smile and joke to your face. How can you work like this? When you're constantly looking over your shoulder worried about what mistake will go in your permanent file? If I find something wrong, something missed by the previous nurse I fix the problem and move on. (the shift is WAY too busy to stop and write emails on what the previous nurse missed by accident) But, now that writing emails and vindictiveness is what the NM wants from his staff, I guess I will give him that.

    I learned something last week. Trust NO. ONE. EVER.

    Please give me your thoughts!
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  3. Visit  squatmunkie_RN profile page

    About squatmunkie_RN

    From 'united states'; Joined Jun '10; Posts: 182; Likes: 399.

    43 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Born_2BRN profile page
    1
    I'm in the same environment. The mean girls attitude bullying and criticism non stop. Yes, trust no one. It is extremely stressful and difficult to work in this type of environment. Not only you have to worry about customers satisfaction but also what else you didn't do or doing incorrectly in your shift. It is mentally and physically challenging. I now learning to disconnect myself from them. I go to work do my job and leave at the end of day. I have my family to worry about then power struggle or gossiping about others.
    squatmunkie_RN likes this.
  5. Visit  eatmysoxRN profile page
    6
    The only time I tell my manager about missed things or incorrect things is when it is a pretty major issue. Example: a float nurse hung integrillin as a piggyback (no...) and then didn't unclamp it so 5 hours after she hung it when I came on duty I find a full bottle. That's a safety issue and that nurse needs more education then I could provide.

    The only other thing I email about is when a patient is very distressed over an experience and I cannot correct it. Letting management handle those problems seems most fitting. I'm glad I overall work in a facility that is less about punishment and gossiping and more about patient safety and facilitating learning.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
    not.done.yet, tigerlogic, pmabraham, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  realnursealso/LPN profile page
    8
    The longer this is allowed to go on by the NM/supervisor, the longer it will continue. See that kind of environment can only exist if management encourages it. Yes, management is responsible if your workplace is like that. That attitude can only thrive if it's encouraged.
    Dazglue, joanna73, BSNbeDONE, and 5 others like this.
  7. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    6
    If this is supported by the management......you have limited options. But I have learned that in the last few years of nursing that it is a better policy to trust no one .....EVER.
    jmll1765, BSNbeDONE, nrsang97, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  HouTx profile page
    1
    Wow - seems like the manager is a Catch 22... unable to take necessary corrective actions (re: 'bad' nurses) due to lack of information, but trying to get more information has created an adversarial environment.

    Maybe you could approach the NM and ask for clarification. Surely those simple, just-ran-out-of-time things can go unreported, but the major stuff should be written up. NM could provide guidelines as to what 'major' means in order to clarify.
    nrsang97 likes this.
  9. Visit  Ntheboat2 profile page
    2
    This seems to be the norm at my semi-new job as well. I could tell there was a "shift war" type environment when I started and there's a pretty crazy history between some of the employees. I've picked up on things by some of the attitudes of the on-coming shift. For example, a nurse interrupted during report one morning and said to my preceptor, "Did the EKG get done?" She stuttered a little and said No. I could tell that #1. The nurse who was asking knew that the EKG wasn't done and #2. The nurse was only "asking" in an attempt to voice their frustration that it wasn't done without coming out and saying, "The EKG on Mr. Smith wasn't done. Why not?"

    In an ideal world, my preceptor would have known the EKG needed to be done by our shift and made me aware of that expectation so that I could do my job well in the future. Unfortunately, I have to interpret snotty attitudes and snide remarks in order to make sure I'm not missing things that will make me the target of said attitudes and remarks.

    As a fairly new employee who has no part in the shift war history at this point, I make an effort to comment on things I have done that I've noticed has caused tension in the past. For example, after that "episode" I knew that the EKG's put in for a certain time (which is a few minutes after our shift technically ends) were expected to be done by us. So, during report I will say, "Mr. Smith had an EKG ordered and I've already done that and put the results in."

    I'm sure there are probably other things that I haven't picked up on and that I'm supposed to be doing and don't even realize. Unfortunately, this is the most passive aggressive environment I've ever worked in. I wish I could just come out and say, "I'm trying to do a good job. Please let me know if you notice anything that I'm missing or if there's something you need to talk to me about." Unfortunately, that approach doesn't typically work. I'd probably get, "Oh, no. It's fine." Granted, I haven't tried that approach yet, but I probably will after thinking about it. Maybe if my "co-workers" realize that anything that isn't being done to their standards (or at all) is by pure ignorance and not ill-will (which seems to always be the assumption) then I can avoid becoming the target of hate mail. One can only hope!
    gonzo1 and netglow like this.
  10. Visit  beckster_01 profile page
    3
    If it is a patient safety issue I prefer using our online reporting system for "near misses." If necessary, I will mention it to the manager and let her decide if any corrective action should occur. The online reporting system is anonymous, doesn't require you to mention names if you don't want to, and it is a good way for administration to track events and prevent them from happening. The only times I have ever done that were for medication errors that could have caused significant patient harm. If I am going to talk to the manager, I tell the person about their mistake in a diplomatic way. As in- "I just wanted to let you know that I noticed this mistake yesterday. I fixed it and nothing bad happened, but I thought that you should know. I would like to let NM know so that she can think of a system to prevent this from happening." Of course, having rapport with your co-workers helps, and working in a relatively non-punitive environment helps as well.

    If it is a silly issue like not getting an EKG done in time, I like to highlight all of the things that I DID do for the oncoming shift in an attempt to make their shift easier. "I made sure to hang a new bag of lasix and replace your tube feed tubing, but I'm sorry I just didn't have time to finish XXX too. Please let me know if I missed anything, it will help me learn." It at least lets them know that they are trying, and that you will get better. Sometimes that can be enough.
  11. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    6
    Our unit is actually supportive and protective of each other.
    We have no problems approaching each other with concerns or corrections and I have not witnessed disrespect.
    I am very lucky and very grateful... and I hope it lasts!
    When I worked in LTC... well well well... that was quite a different story.
    I don't know what kind of jollies tattlers get out of it, but it is the most childish and unhelpful behavior I can think of.
    If the manager is smart, she/he knows who the chronic tattlers are and tunes out a lot of their noise.
    No one can fix a problem if they don't know about it, and someone tattling and you not hearing about it until 3 weeks later-- or whatever (whenever management decides to finally address it) is hardly helpful in the meanwhile.
    Honestly, my Borderline pts behave better than some of the coworkers I've read about on this site.
  12. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    9
    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    I work in an environment where everyone smiles to your face while they are stabbing you in the back. With nurses who will lie and exaggerate the truth telling the NM on you in emails and phone calls, then smile and joke to your face. How can you work like this? When you're constantly looking over your shoulder worried about what mistake will go in your permanent file? If I find something wrong, something missed by the previous nurse I fix the problem and move on. (the shift is WAY too busy to stop and write emails on what the previous nurse missed by accident) But, now that writing emails and vindictiveness is what the NM wants from his staff, I guess I will give him that.

    I learned something last week. Trust NO. ONE. EVER.

    Please give me your thoughts!
    All I can say is, unfortunately, there are many negative environments like this. Personally, I'm tired of trying to theorize about why they occur. The simplest sense of things to me is that people can be insecure, and/or they dump their junk on to others, and/or they want to get ahead my making others look inferior. They play all kinds of games--like looking like hero-mentors to some, while totally screwing someone else on the down-low. People are complicated.

    I pretty much look to the leadership--if they are discerning and have integrity that extends beyond what they do for their own advancement, and if they truly care about the good of the whole--and if they set that tone--also, if they call all staff to accountability, regardless of likeability, influence, or other subjective factors, then there is a good chance the ill behaviors can be stopped. True integrity in leadership IMHO is the key. If you don't see it on the floor or unit in the leadership, you will see all kinds of toxic, subversive, and backstabbing nonsense occur within the staff. They may cover it up well. It gets selective attention or just gets ignored by leadership. That's a bad situation and environment in which to work.

    It's like a bunch of kids in a high school class. If teacher lets them get away with the nonsense--if he or she is not discerning or looks the other way, or is selective in terms of fairness and integrity, you will have an unhealthy toxic environment. The leadership sets the tone. One of the most important things to assess in a new job-roll is the integrity of the leadership. Very few leaders are naive unless they want to be--although there are a few that may mean well but somehow seem clueless about the behavioral dynamics amongst certain staff members. More times than not, however, they are looking to get through their current role so to make some career advancement or change that they want for themselves. So they will turn the other way, especially with certain strong and influential problem children within the group. And those staff can go to directors and try to get some satisfaction for the NMs that overlook junk and are without have some true leadership integrity, but then you have to look at the directors and upper administration in general--to see where the wind blows with them. They may equally be focused on their career roles and advancement and are willing to sacrifice true integrity.

    I'm telling you, if the leadership clearly doesn't care that much, or is in some way is capricious with its use of justice, fairness, and integrity, the nonsense will go on. So, unless you are one of the players or favs, you will be miserable. People talk about reporting systems, but often that's a joke. It's as good as the overall leadership within the organization, period.

    I just don't have the time in life, or the inclination anymore, to deal with administrations or "reporting systems" that essentially don't care and ignore things--or that make mountains out of molehills for some strained or idiotic issue, but disregard the behavioral elephants in the room. If I see such things in the leadership, I have to make plans to move on.

    Does that approach help the environment to change? Perhaps not; but if the culture is set and it is allowed to persist as such by leadership, there really isn't a lot you can do about it. That's the very sad reality. Unfortunately things within and for the leadership will have to come to ahead, and that can take years.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Feb 6, '13
    subee, catlvr, mariebailey, and 6 others like this.
  13. Visit  netglow profile page
    1
    Quote from eatmysoxRN
    The only time I tell my manager about missed things or incorrect things is when it is a pretty major issue. Example: a float nurse hung integrillin as a piggyback (no...)
    Looking at Mircromedex ...compatible in the same line as NS or D5NS with up to 60 mEq/L potassium chloride ...when using an IV infusion pump, administer eptifibatide undiluted directly from the 100 mL vial; the vial should be spiked, within the circle on the stopper top, with a vented infusion set.
    siRNita likes this.
  14. Visit  nrsang97 profile page
    0
    Quote from eatmysoxRN
    The only time I tell my manager about missed things or incorrect things is when it is a pretty major issue. Example: a float nurse hung integrillin as a piggyback (no...) and then didn't unclamp it so 5 hours after she hung it when I came on duty I find a full bottle. That's a safety issue and that nurse needs more education then I could provide.

    The only other thing I email about is when a patient is very distressed over an experience and I cannot correct it. Letting management handle those problems seems most fitting. I'm glad I overall work in a facility that is less about punishment and gossiping and more about patient safety and facilitating learning.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~

    That is how I went about things. I only said something to management if it was crazy like hanging a drip as a piggy back or something that compromised patient safety.
  15. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    2
    Please excuse all my typos. Bottom line is if leadership does not or will not care, you could be stuck in a miserable environment for a long time. You might then be tempted to take on the old "If you can't beat them, join them" mentality. When that happens, these environments continue to flourish; b/c the negative cultural influences become pandemic.

    Sometimes for your own sanity and to make a point, you have to vote with your feet, so to speak. The problem in nursing is that people are hard-pressed not to do this; b/c they are thinking of their livelihood or career trajectory. And, to some degree, it's understandable.


    Problem is, it makes the problem worse for others and for the profession and for patients. I have read articles (can't access them now), where these kinds of toxic environments add to errors that negatively effect patient outcomes and progress.

    It's professional suicide on the whole to just say "Hooray for me and to hell with you." Yes, we all have to survive; but overall, at what cost?

    Of course, at this point in time, I feel a bit hypocritical, b/c I am back in school working to go into a whole different direction in health care. Part of it has to do with overall fit, and then another big piece of it has to do with the many toxic environments in nursing and nursing "leadership."

    Yes, toxic environments occur everywhere. But between the issue of fit and approach to treating patients, and the overall toxicity, the combination of these two things has pushed me over the edge. I would be miserable to stay in the field with the way it is generally run and the differences in how I think and function.

    But I can see people that love nursing (many aspects of it I have loved) just endure it b/c of income, or become part of the problem, or, eventually, they find a way to get out.

    All of this will eventually has/will have a tremendously negative impact on nursing now and in the years to come. You will have people in it that are toxic, who aren't necessarily as bright and dedicated, and/ot just tolerate it for a decent paycheck--along with an eventual shortage leading to not only a drop in quality and caliber of nurses, but also in quantity of nurses.

    Now, it's fine for some in a down market to say, "Hey, that will leave more room for me to get into the door." Just wait a second. When, however, you end up working like many of us nurses did in the 80's to early 2000's, short, and seeing patients suffer, and risking your license because of it, you will think differently about this when this comes back around again.

    No, the shortage may not be in all areas like it was. We shall see--b/c of the shift to out-patient services. But it will come again, and it's won't be something you will necessarily be excited about--even for many that just want a nursing job now. Again, those of us who worked short with very high acuity patients as well as very high numbers of patients, well, we knew exactly how burned out we became and how we feared for the loss of our licenses on a number of shifts. And I am speaking of seriously excellent nurses working under truly unsafe or ridiculously unsafe conditions.


    Nurses need to take a stand about toxic environments-- by NOT being a part of them and NOT tolerating leadership that allow or encourages them. First because it affects you as a nurse and your profession; but also because you and your loved ones will be patients in the future! That's where you really see the tragedy--when it rubs up against you, your family member, or your colleagues. I remember colleagues, nurses and others that ended up at the mercy of unsafe/bad situations. You see unnecessary incompetence, unsafe conditions for any decent nurse, you name, and you don't forget it.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Feb 6, '13
    gonzo1 and monkeybug like this.


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