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!
    Lev <3, joanna73, Wise Woman RN, and 5 others like this.
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  3. 43 Comments so far...

  4. 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. 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. 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, BSNINTHEWORKS, and 5 others like this.
  7. 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, BSNINTHEWORKS, nrsang97, and 3 others like this.
  8. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.


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