Feeling undermined by co-worker

  1. 1
    Hi guys this is a bit of a contuination from an old thread I posted called 'I know I know'.

    I'm the CN in charge of a clinical specialty in the OR. Recently I've been out of my OR having to do the floor co-ordinators role (not by choice) but I'm still in charge of Gen Surgery. This nurse who I've worked alongside for a few years has had to run the OR for a while but when I have days where I go back she's been constantly undermining me to the point where I'm ready to have her removed from my specialty area. If I'm asked a question by another nurse or a surgeon on something she always has to get in first even though they are directing their questions at me. Half she time she's completely wrong.

    Yesterday we get an additional Urology case. This isn't' my specialty area but I know my basics. I said 'I think we'll need to order a cystoscopy tray, TURP pack etc'. Her reply to me was 'Well I'm not going to go by what you THINK we need' in front of my colleagues. She must have seen smoke coming out of my ears because she said that she wasn't trying to be rude. I was too angry to reply and being scrubbed at the time didn't want to escalate this to an argument during patient care.

    She constantly boasts at every opportunity how she's been a DON at this hospital, charge nurse at that hospital, knows every surgeon blah blah blah. She walked up to an intern in the OR an said 'I'll have you know that I've known Dr so and so since 1976'. It's not only me who is fed up with this sort of odd behaviour and to be honest we really don't care anyway. Her clinical skills are really not that fantastic, she doesnt' practice bowel technique during colo-rectal procedures and when this was pointed out to her she said 'I'm too old for this new practice'.

    If she was actually an expert at Gen Surg I might be happy letting her take charge. But she's not. Her teaching skills are atrocious, she just teaches tasks not the WHY we do things. Despite being in one area for almost two years she still doesn't know the difference between surgical staplers. She puts heavy instruments on top of delicate equipment because her scrub set up is disorganised. When people start at my work they usually rotate through all specialties but she didnt' do them all because she just wanted to do Gen Surg. So if there was a vascular or airway emergency she really woudln't know where the right equipment is, she'd just expect other people to do it all for her.

    Should I sit her down and tell her she needs to stop the behaviour or take it up the chain and speak to my direct line manager? I'm considering telling them that she needs to rotate through other specialties because her clinical skills need updating.

    Any advice would be appreciated because I've been really angry and upset about all of this. Thankyou.
    lindarn likes this.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Quote from Scrubby
    Should I sit her down and tell her she needs to stop the behaviour or take it up the chain and speak to my direct line manager? I'm considering telling them that she needs to rotate through other specialties because her clinical skills need updating.

    Any advice would be appreciated because I've been really angry and upset about all of this. Thankyou.

    In itallics above, the answer is no.


    In bold, the answer is yes.


    Dinosaur-brains are not delt with by rational discourse between colleagues.
    Scrubby and iteachob like this.
  5. 4
    I would talk to her first. She won't be receptive (just my guess). Then when you go to management and they ask if you addressed it with her you can say yes and pass along her response. If you I were the manager and you came to me first I would have you go back and talk to her directly. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
    Scrubby, Not_A_Hat_Person, Raviepoo, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm going to attempt to speak to her tomorrow because our management expects us to try to resolve issues first.

    I'll say to her that I felt uncomfortable with the way she spoke to me in front of others with regards to the Urology equipment that I felt it was undermining and that it's important that we can work together. If we can't work together then that is a problem that will need to be addressed. If she tries to interrupt like she does whenever I try to show her anything with 'I know, I know' I will tell her to please let me speak uninterrupted. If she tries to make excuses to me like "You weren't clear on what equipment to get because you said I think" I will keep going back to her behaviour and remind her that it wasn't a professional way to speak to me.

    If I get nowhere I will take my complaints to my boss and ask that she is to not always work in that OR because she lacks in clinical skills and is becoming unbearable to work with. I know that I can get other CN's to back me up on this one because they too have noticed she doesn't know how to do things properly and always makes excuses like 'I'm too old for this new stuff' or 'I was just about to do this' when she really wasn't.

    Anyway wish me luck, I hate having these conversations particularly with people who think they are above everyone else.


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