Horizontal Violence in LTC

  1. Hello all!

    I have been working in LTC for 7 years now, 6 as a CNA and 1 as an LPN. I have seen a lot of management changes, and staff turnover. During the staffing and budget cuts we have lost a lot of really amazing CNAs and nurses.

    Over the past year I have worked as a nurse, I have felt a lot of hostility around me. The attitude, particularly on the floor I work on, is very negative. The nurses are out to get each other it seems, and dig fervently through MARS, TARS and documentation to find even your smallest error. They are also extremely passive aggressive, smiling to your face and then going around spreading rumors, gossip and just running their mouths. I've gotten yelled at and undermined by coworkers while counting at the med cart and even in front of family members and other staff. The person who yelled at me while counting said that if I had "anything to say, to say it to my face. Mind your own business." This same girl was the one that was sitting at the nurse's station the night before trashing all of the day shift nurses, myself included, with a large group of CNAs and another nurse. The CNAs are mostly new and partake very willingly in the gossiping/trash talking.

    Long story short, if I had to describe it here I would say that they smile genuinely to your face while they plant a knife in your back. I find myself becoming more hostile, and aggravated easily since entering this work environment. I even find myself beginning to take part in it a little (hence the med cart confrontation, I got flustered when I heard that she was talking so crudely about me and let a little of it slip, it's my own fault), which makes me very angry with myself because that has never been my philosophy. As an aide I was always happy, loved going to work and got along very well with my coworkers. Ever since becoming a nurse, and the staffing changes, I don't find that the case anymore..

    I am currently pursuing my RN and will graduate in Spring; another job is not an option at this time. I guess I was wondering if anyone else has had this experience? My plan is to move on to the hospital once I do graduate, is it any better in hospitals as a general rule?
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    About One Flew Over, BSN, RN

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 194; Likes: 152


  3. by   jadelpn
    It is really difficult not to get caught up in all of this--however, you need to stick it out until spring, so I would first go to whomever is in charge of the shift. Explain that the situation is not ideal, and confrontations are not only happening, but happening in front of patients and family members. Not cool. Then it is up to the charge to get her shift and her people under control.
    Should that not happen, I would then go to the DON.
    And if that person does nothing, as I have said in previous posts, your parent company has an ethics hotline. Use it.