How to handle lazy LPN's on the team

  1. 1
    We do team nursing on our floor with an aide, LPN, and RN as the team leader for up to 10 patients. I'm new to this. We have a few LPN's who will ignore call lights and ask other people to take care of some of their work. A lot of times we won't have an aide so it's up to the other two of us to take care of baths, vitals, etc as well. Last week this happened and my LPN took four breaks (not including her lunch) and the only time I sat down all day was at lunch. Everyone else noticed this and told me to document it all and give to our manager. However, someone else had told me to be careful because the manager will tell whoever you complained about who it was you who had an issue. However, even though she's the worst there are about four on our floor that will park their butts at the desk once their meds are passed and then complain or have a bad attitude if an RN dare asks them to answer a light or go help someone. A lot of times they'll come up with excuses why they can't do something. It's very frustrating! Is there a tactful way to deal with this or do I just need to go tattle which I really don't want to do esp being new? Thanks for any advice!!
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 83 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    This is a difficult subject to take care of. The RN must have a good relationship with her LPNs and Aides to run a smooth shift. A mutual respect of one another is also needed. If the LPN or Aides feel as though they are treated condescending they can make they whole shift run badly and your job twice as hard. Facts speak louder then words,so I would discretely write down every time they go to break and how long their gone to lunch along with other facts that can be proven. If the supervisor has a close relationship with the nurse then facts will be needed. If it's all the LPNs that are this way, then you might want to try to build a relationship with one them to find out why are they acting this way.A good way to start a friendship with any nurse is by a compliment regarding a procedure or maybe ask them a question about something your unfamiliar with. This will let them know you work as a team and their is no hieracry in positions. For example, in football, you never hear the quarterback alone winning the game by himself, right? No, it's a team that win the game. They must be team players or your life at work will end up getting more and more difficult.Hope this helps.

    sincerely,
    AJR
    cbsncmom, TJ'sMOM, itsmejuli, and 1 other like this.
  5. 13
    I'm an LPN and quite honestly I'm not "yours". It drives me and the rest of the staff crazy when we are spoken of like this.

    In my hospital, yes, an RN and I share 8 room but we are each assigned four beds. On a good day there might be a CNA for the entire unit.

    My priorities are the patients I am responsible for. I have to sit down to chart on those patients, I medicate them, assess them, do their am care, wound care, deal with their families, and then I have time to help a new grad RN deal with their workload. For some reason, our Charge Nurses give experienced LPNs the more complex patients before they give them to new RNs.

    Maybe you need to look at how the workload is being handled. Are you feeling overwhelmed by what you are expected to do and are looking for assitance that a more experienced nurse wouldn't.
    nursel56, gummi bear, ktwlpn, and 10 others like this.
  6. 2
    Sorry, I meant no disrespect. No one belongs to anyone on a team.I simply meant team work as the entire team. Everyone has due responsibilities and that is why I suggest becoming friends with your team and see what they are dealing with. You don't know if you don't ask.
    cbsncmom and TJ'sMOM like this.
  7. 5
    Quote from Fiona59
    I'm an LPN and quite honestly I'm not "yours". It drives me and the rest of the staff crazy when we are spoken of like this.

    In my hospital, yes, an RN and I share 8 room but we are each assigned four beds. On a good day there might be a CNA for the entire unit.

    My priorities are the patients I am responsible for. I have to sit down to chart on those patients, I medicate them, assess them, do their am care, wound care, deal with their families, and then I have time to help a new grad RN deal with their workload. For some reason, our Charge Nurses give experienced LPNs the more complex patients before they give them to new RNs.

    Maybe you need to look at how the workload is being handled. Are you feeling overwhelmed by what you are expected to do and are looking for assitance that a more experienced nurse wouldn't.
    I am the charge nurse responsible for a busy unit with a team model and I encounter this on almost a daily basis, as do many of the other RNs in charge. It really disgusts me how SOME of the LPN staff members can be so lazy and be grudge me because I have a pile of paper work and things to coordinate or otherwise over see in the nurses station, while still finding time to help many patients on the floor. These LPNs can't appreciate the level of stress and responsibility that goes onto the charge nurse, particularly after hours when we are the go to person for policy questions and issues. I would love for one day see these staff members just try and run the unit; they would crash and burn and panic in any emergency where they had to make decisions.
    ohmeowzer RN, TJ'sMOM, chevyv, and 2 others like this.
  8. 10
    Quote from giveface
    I am the charge nurse responsible for a busy unit with a team model and I encounter this on almost a daily basis, as do many of the other RNs in charge. It really disgusts me how SOME of the LPN staff members can be so lazy and be grudge me because I have a pile of paper work and things to coordinate or otherwise over see in the nurses station, while still finding time to help many patients on the floor. These LPNs can't appreciate the level of stress and responsibility that goes onto the charge nurse, particularly after hours when we are the go to person for policy questions and issues. I would love for one day see these staff members just try and run the unit; they would crash and burn and panic in any emergency where they had to make decisions.
    I imagine that "these LPNs" don't particularly care for your attitude. Most "people" wouldn't.
  9. 11
    There is laziness at all levels. It doesn't matter if you are Admin, DON, ADON, NM, Charge, RN, LPN, CMA'S, or CNA. When we use labels people get defensive. Regardless, your best bet is to try to encourage these nurses to be involved with care. Ask for their help outright. If they don't feel part of the team they may not want to go the extra mile. If may be that the lazy people will be lazy despite anything you do. Best of luck.
    Last edit by xoemmylouox on Sep 23, '12
  10. 6
    First off, I would like to say that I hope this doesn't become an "RN vs. LPN" thread. The fact of the matter is, RN, LPN, CNA, ect...if you have a problem dealing with that person, then you need to driectly address it. At my organization, if I have a conflict with a member of my team, then I would directly talk to them about it. If a CNA, not "My" CNA takes multiple breaks or does an inadequate job while on my team, then I will/do/have directly approach them and address it. Facts speak louder than words. If you have documented x # of breaks in y time, then the facts are what they are. If this approach doesn't work, then I follow my chain of command to the nurse manager.

    Frankly put, if you want to be the RN team leader, then you need to ack like it. People will get away with whatever you allow them to in this world. And it doesn't mean that you have to be agressive or hateful, either. Simply directly addressing situations before they escalate this level will do wonders. I despise dealing with passive-agressive nurses, and it seems that the world is full of them...
    flyingchange, catlvr, TJ'sMOM, and 3 others like this.
  11. 0
    While they are sitting down, ask them "Can you answer that call light in room so and so or should I go help them?" Don't give them a choice of their work or CNA's work because they will just push it on CNA. Give them a choice of either theirs or yours and make them say it to your face to take the call light while they are sitting down.
  12. 27
    Before I even read the first word of this post, I made a mental note that the title should probably have read "How to handle lazy lazy team members" rather than "How to handle lazy LPN's on the team."Lazy workers come in all shapes, sizes and titles.
    Miss Lizzie, caroladybelle, cbsncmom, and 24 others like this.


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