Mother Hen

  1. 5
    have you ever worked with a nurse who thought she needed to be super sweet to get the aides to do their terribly hard work? who frequently brought them food and thanked them all the time for doing what they are paid to do?

    i believe in being as nice to everyone as possible, showing respect to all. and being a guy, i do a whole lot of helping the ladies with heavy patients. i don't quite understand the mindset of thanking someone for coming to work and doing what they're supposed to do, what they are hired to do. they are not children and they don't need me or anyone else to mother hen them. imho.

    that's not to say that i don't appreciate them or tell them i appreciate them or say things like, "we had a good day, yes? thanks, you guys." or even occasionally take in some bagels or donuts. but i think there's not a requirement for me to spend my hard-earned money on my coworkers. i think being courteous and helpful every day, thanking them as we go if they do something truly over and above, letting them know that i really do appreciate when they go the extra mile - these are enough. no one is thanking me for my everyday work. no red carpet is rolled out when i arrive. why must i do those things for the aides?

    i think that adults should come to work when scheduled, short of a true emergency. they should have a positive attitude on the job, leaving their personal woes at home. if they are too overwhelmed by a personal matter, it might be best for them to not come in. really. i don't have time to worry about them while i'm supposed to be taking care of patients. it's not that i don't care about my coworkers, although i probably don't care as much as i used to. it's just that, over the long years of my working life, i have learned that some people will suck you dry, given the chance. they will talk incessantly about their ex or whoever/whatever is going on in their lives. they will complain from now to next july about the assignment, lack of supplies, or whatever - but never talk to someone who can actually make needed changes - they want me or someone else to go to bat for them. i have enough of my own issues to try to change. i try to get them to see themselves as change agents and speak up, intelligently and professionally, of course, to the right party. they rarely do. so, they just go on moaning and complaining about management and insurers and the other shifts.

    i guess i'm not a good motivator. personally, it is fear (of not having an income or benefits) that motivates me. most people are probably seeking more from work than just the money and benefits. yes, i do enjoy helping people, solving problems, and knowing that i am a good nurse. but i am not looking to buy friendship with food or kudos.

    does it make me a bad nurse or a bad person if i choose to not mother hen the staff?

    of course, as a guy, it's a little hard to mother anyone. imagine if i were papa roostering them, though!
    Last edit by Kooky Korky on Jun 25, '11

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  2. 23 Comments...

  3. 17
    This topic is a topic that sometimes is a pet peeve of mine. Just the overall concept of rewarding behavior that is expected.

    I fully believe in praising those that go above and beyond and acknowledging that in whatever way you wish.

    But something that drives me nuts, Tip jars at fast food places. Not places where someone is serving you and depends on tips. But the person takes your order at a register and hands you the bag and there is a jar asking for tips. Seriously?!?!?

    Parents (usually dads) that get praised for taking care of their kids. Or when the wife has to ask the guy to babysit. Ummmmm he is the dad, why are you asking him to babysit. Why should this man be praised and swooned over because he spends time with his kids. HE IS SUPPOSED TO. Or all this praise for paying child support. Seriously?!?!?

    Again, I know it's not about aides but it's along the same concept.


    ETA: My kids will often come to me and say, "If I behave and listen can I do this or that or have this or that if I do my chores properly"

    My reply is always NEGATIVE that is how you SHOULD act. Now if you go above and beyond than let's talk about that thing you are wanting.
    dudette10, TheCommuter, nickos, and 14 others like this.
  4. 5
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Yes, I do enjoy helping people, solving problems, and knowing that I am a good nurse. But I am not looking to buy friendship with food or kudos.

    Does it make me a bad nurse or a bad person if I choose to not Mother Hen the staff?
    In no way does this make you a bad nurse or a person... I dislike people who are suck-ups, and even worse, feeling like I HAVE to suck up to others.. which I won't do

    People need to do the job they are paid for. Period. If they choose not to, time to move on. There are plenty of others who need jobs in this economy.
  5. 4
    Maybe this person likes to coddle people. I work with this older RN who loves, loves, loves to bake. She always comes to work with some goody for the staff.

    As for those that need kudos to come to work? They drive me nutty. Completely and utterly nutty. If you are old enough to wear big girl or boy panties, then act like an adult.

    I go to work sick. Haven't called in for almost a year. I'm on every committee under the sun and my manager thinks I'm the charge nurse that holds the floor together. He calls me for advice. I help on the floor and work OT and won't leave my shift until my work is done.
    Even with all of that, I have yet to win the quarterly award. It always goes to someone who just shows up, does her job and leaves. It really is a good thing I don't need stroking, or a cookie to do a good job.

    Anyhoo, no this doesn't make you a bad person. I have brought pastries in to staff, on occasion. I live near this excellent bakery and wanted to share. But to bribe the staff? Nope.
  6. 2
    I completely agree with the points made. At the end of a shift, I'll say something like, "we had a good night, thank you" or something like that, but that's about it. If someone during my shift goes above and beyond to help me if I'm behind, they of course will get a thank you. But to kiss arse when people do the jobs they are hired to do? Eh, no. No one thanks me for doing mine!

    I love the comparison to dads "baby-sitting," because it is spot on. That drives me nuts too! Fathers don't BABYSIT their OWN KIDS. I have never understood that way of thinking (or, the dad getting praise for a parenting duty).

    Nothing wrong with you, OP.
    Kooky Korky and VivaLasViejas like this.
  7. 1
    I agree with everything said here. The MHT had a fit the other night when I was trying to get one severly dehydrated, hypotensive psychotic patient to the medical floor, calling back and forth to the supervisor, talking with the doctor and the two nurses that came to help us when I didn't say please and thank you when I asked for the vital signs she had written on a peice of paper.
    Kooky Korky likes this.
  8. 1
    Right there with you. I came up from the floor as a CNA, and as a RN, I'm never above doing extra things for my patients when I "can". If i'm running around and have a admit from ER coming or someone crashing/etc....well, I'm doing the minimum with everybody else until I catch up!
    I work with one tech who constantly goes "I charted that bm." "I gave that bath" "I gave so and so some juice". "I cleaned the trash"...etc. My coworker and I always say to each other "would you like a bozo button or a gold star for your chart for doing your job?"
    Now, if you go above your duties by spending some extra time holding a hand or talking with a confused patient, or even giving visitors something to drink....great. But, don't expect me to go nuts cause you're doing the bare minimum.
    Kooky Korky likes this.
  9. 1
    I was on the flip side of this issue one day. It is common for the resident or the med student to get the stretcher from the hallway to bring into the OR when we are finished with a case. The resident/student then helps transfer the pt from OR bed to stretcher. I don't know exactly why this is the expected practice in our OR, but it has been that way for years.

    I saw that the resident was busy writing d/c orders in the chart and did not respond when the anesthesia care provider announced that they were ready for the stretcher. I was done with my charting, so I said to the resident, "I'll get the stretcher. You're welcome." I did it in a sort of kidding manner, but then the resident responded, "Oh. You expect me to thank you for doing your job?" At first I was angry but then after reflecting a bit, I completely agreed with him. I still think he is a jackwagon, but that's another issue entirely

    And as for asking the Dad to babysit? Right on target, y'all!
    Kooky Korky likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    I was done with my charting, so I said to the resident, "I'll get the stretcher. You're welcome." I did it in a sort of kidding manner, but then the resident responded, "Oh. You expect me to thank you for doing your job?" At first I was angry but then after reflecting a bit, I completely agreed with him. I still think he is a jackwagon, but that's another issue entirely
    I don't know, I think he was kind of being a snot. You were just acknowledging that you could see he was busy and that you wanted to pitch in, and making a joke about it. He could have responded in kind. But you sound like you have a good attitude about it so I'll just settle for being peeved on your behalf.
    nickos likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from tokmom
    Maybe this person likes to coddle people. I work with this older RN who loves, loves, loves to bake. She always comes to work with some goody for the staff.

    As for those that need kudos to come to work? They drive me nutty. Completely and utterly nutty. If you are old enough to wear big girl or boy panties, then act like an adult.

    I go to work sick. Haven't called in for almost a year. I'm on every committee under the sun and my manager thinks I'm the charge nurse that holds the floor together. He calls me for advice. I help on the floor and work OT and won't leave my shift until my work is done.
    Even with all of that, I have yet to win the quarterly award. It always goes to someone who just shows up, does her job and leaves. It really is a good thing I don't need stroking, or a cookie to do a good job.

    Anyhoo, no this doesn't make you a bad person. I have brought pastries in to staff, on occasion. I live near this excellent bakery and wanted to share. But to bribe the staff? Nope.
    I think you should make some gently inquiries about not getting the award. Or better yet - blow your own horn. Write down the things you wrote here, give concrete examples, dates, names, whatever will job the reader's memory. Then see how the boss compares you to the awardees. It might open Boss' eyes.


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