New CNA needs to be fired, but is union.

  1. We got this new CNA on our unit. Given she is pretty good, not the BEST one but does her job. her attitude is the worst i have ever seen. I can't even talk about the stuff she says without fuming. She has had many many complaints by coworkers and even patients/families about her attitude.
    Our unit always pairs one nurse with one CNA. She was paired with me one day and i'm a pretty new nurse (she HATES new nurses the most). Anyway, i had a patient's whose heart rates were in the 180's, wasn't symptomatic. So i paged the doctor, i'm talking with the doctor on the phone writing down orders to put in. She is standing behind me in a very very loud voice "Lets Go Caitlyn. Off the phone now, our patient needs to get cleaned up. He "shat" everywhere" (Yes, she swore outloud) keep in mind her voice is INCREDIBLY loud. She is clapping her hands in my face, while i'm on the phone with the doctor taking orders. I held my finger up trying to tell her to wait until im done. She gets up in my face and goes "Oh no you didn't" YES im still on the phone trying to take orders. The doctor on the other end is furious because he heard all of this. He was like "Who is that? give me her name. i am talking to your manager."
    It isn't just me, she has done this countless number of times to everybody. She does it to doctors, she does it to ther CNA, she does it to nurses. She will get inches from your face and always clap "LETS GO!!! WE NEED TO DO THIS NOW." She talks crap about nurses all the time. She HATES nurses and she says it outloud. If you are a nurse, you are crap in her book. It doesn't matter how nice and how helpful you are. If you have an RN behind you're name, you are hated and she will let you know.
    "Why do you all complain about 'being so busy' all you do is pass medications. It doesn't take a genious to do that." She is very overweight and always says things like "You just didn't invite me to go with you guys cause you hate fat people."
    She swears CONSTANTLY. I once asked the CNA i was with to get a set of vitals while she was getting the patient up in the chair (set of orthos). This mean CNA i'm talking about goes "Are your legs broken Caitlyn? You are capable of doing it yourself" All i asked was for my CNA to get a blood pressure while she was planning on being in there anyway.

    She has been talked to many many many times, and it only fuels the fire in her. she will tell of my manager just as much as she does me or anyone else. My manager is at her wits end because there isn't anything she can do about it since the CNAs are union.
    Is it really that hard to fire her?? Is there something we can do to get rid of her?? She has GOT TO GO!!!! Seriously, it gets worse everytime you work with her. I can't work with her...i can't do it anymore.
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    About CaitlynRNBSN

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 102; Likes: 139


  3. by   CodeteamB
    Sweet Rainbow Sprinkles.

    If this person is behaving as you describe and your manager can't do anything about it then y'all have the world's best and scariest union in the mix. If, as I suspect, your manager for whatever reason does not wish to dismiss the employee that is another issue.

    Above all, keep your own behaviour impeccable. Do not allow her to speak to you or anyone else in a disrespectful manner, call her on her behaviour in a professional way.

    eg: If she is clapping in your face explain to her what your priority is at the moment and tell her politely but firmly that she needs to stop. Something to the effect of "right now I am trying to finish my charting. I will be able to help you change the bed in 5 minutes, but right now you are making me uncomfortable and I need you to stop so I can get my work done"

    Keep your behaviour professional while setting limits. Sooner or later it will catch up with her, but don't let her drag you down too.
    Last edit by CodeteamB on May 13, '13
  4. by   loriangel14
    You can still fire with a union but you need to do it properly. Usually there is a process.Verbal warning, written warning etc.You need to document behaviour and report it.
  5. by   CaitlynRNBSN
    It's like talking to a middle schooler. I try to get a word in, i'll try to say something polite like "I will help you when i can but right now this patient is my priority" She will cut you off with the first couple words and be like "I don't want to hear it." Either that, or she will go to the manager and say "Nurse X refused to help me clean our patient so i was forced to do it myself now my back hurts.", that isn't the whole story!
    I think my manager is intimitated by her to be honest. She is a good manager, not very confrontational. She will address issues but i think she is intimitated with this one. I feel like my manager just tells her there is an issue rather than doing something about it, like taking it to HR to see what can be done.

    Like, jsut today. She was assigned with the SWEETEST nurse in the world. She is just a gem, wonderful asset to our team!! So this nurse is in the middle of narc count with me, which is done every Monday. She sees her CNA walk by and goes "Hey___ Do you mind rechecking PatientX temperature? i had to give him some tylenol earlier" she looks at her strait in the eye and goes "Are your legs broken? You do it." and walks off.
  6. by   CaitlynRNBSN
    Oh, and to top it all off on Sunday, mothers day, my fiance wanted to come surprise me for lunch with our daughter. My daugher is only 6 months so she is in bed by the time i get home. i was sad i wasn't going to be able to spend my first mothers day with her. My fiance knows i'm busy at work, he told me to call home and tell him when a good time would be to come for lunch. So i called him around 11:30 and told him i could get a break in about an hour. I got reported from this CNA for "making personal calls from work."
    I knew it was her because she told me it was. It wasn't like i used my cell phone or anything. We didn't talk for more than a couple minutes.
  7. by   1feistymama
    I'm not in a union, but I do work for a large company with deep pockets and thanks to our litigious society, they are reluctant to fire anyone for fear of being sued. It's a running joke around here when someone gets placed on a "Special Project". The name would make one think that they're so good at what they do that they have been selected to participate on a special project, but if you work here a while you learn that no, special projects are created for those individuals who don't work well with others but it may be too costly to get rid of them.

    We also have something called a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). It is a written contract between employee, manager and HR (in your case, Union would likely need to be involved as well). It's a very detailed account of the expectations for the employee and must be written in a way that leaves little room for interpretation. It must be something that the employee is able to achieve as well. The manager must document as much as possible PIP review period (often 3 to 6 months) and at the end of the period, the group meets again to discuss whether or not the employee has made enough improvement to stay.

    Having never worked for a union, I don't know if this would fly, but given that we go through all of that when not in a union, I can only imagine what is required when you are in one so I can understand the manager's reservations. However, people have been let go while in a union before and if the employee is as difficult as you say she is, one rotten apple can spoil the whole bushel (or something like that). The manager would be upset to lose good nurses who refuse to work with her. Better to lose the rotten apple. Surely, she must be able to speak to the Union to inquire about what process must be followed.
  8. by   CodeteamB
    I am in a union, and it has a reputation for being very strong, and going to bat for employees. If I were behaving in the fashion described I have no doubt that my employer would discipline me in a flash and while my union would allow me to grieve the disciplinary action I would not expect to win. The NAs where I work are also part of a union and I have seen them be fired or transferred for far less than what is described here. I don't think the union is the problem here, it sounds as if the NM is ineffectual or uninterested in discipline in this situation.

    Bottom line, she is a nursing ASSISTANT, and she needs to get on board with your plan of care, especially if you are working in team mode. Be professional, be clear about what your expectations are for her behaviour, and her work. If she crosses the line, write her up. Hopefully if there are enough complaints your manager will get off her bum and do something.
  9. by   Blackcat99
    I work at a nursing home. The CNA'S are all in the union. They do whatever they want to do. Nobody does anything about it. Some of them are extremely rude, nasty and hateful to the nurses and to the patients too. Nobody counsels them. Nobody writes them up. They just do as they damn well please.
  10. by   CaitlynRNBSN
    I guess i'm a little confused as to what the union has capability of doing here. I feel like our CNAs do whatever they want and always use the excuse that "the union will back them up" and if my manager has any disciplinary actions, they threaten to go to the union. Like if a CNA is denied vacation, they threaten to get the union involved when they were denied vacation because of our policies (i.e. they don't have PTO to cover it, they don't have senority and someone else asked off).

    Yes, i agree my manager is ignoring what is going on with her. I think there is more that can be done, it just isn't getting done. We have PIP too (as someone described earlier), and she has yet to even be on that.
  11. by   Blackcat99
    The CNA's are in charge at my nursing home. The CNA's constantly call the administrator, corporate or the union over every little thing. And sure enough they always get their way. Management just ignores our "problem CNA's".
  12. by   KelRN215
    Quote from CaitlynRNBSN
    I guess i'm a little confused as to what the union has capability of doing here. I feel like our CNAs do whatever they want and always use the excuse that "the union will back them up" and if my manager has any disciplinary actions, they threaten to go to the union. Like if a CNA is denied vacation, they threaten to get the union involved when they were denied vacation because of our policies (i.e. they don't have PTO to cover it, they don't have senority and someone else asked off).

    Yes, i agree my manager is ignoring what is going on with her. I think there is more that can be done, it just isn't getting done. We have PIP too (as someone described earlier), and she has yet to even be on that.
    The Union can only do as much as their contract allows them to. If the CNAs are represented by a union, all it means is that they have representation that has negotiated them a contract with the employer. A union does NOT mean that a bad employee cannot be fired. It is harder than firing an at-will employee because they have a contract but in the situation you describe, it sounds like it would be easy enough. Sounds like the NM just doesn't want to deal with it.
  13. by   MatrixRn
    My answer is to Document, Document and Document some more. Generally these types of individuals get away with this type of behavior because they can. Maybe the manager does not want to deal with it and just lets it pass or whatever. I do not know the story.

    However I do know if you take the time to document each incident you will get traction. Do not document emotions, just document the facts. For example do not say she flew off the handle say. On 12\26 I asked Missy to help with a patient who had soiled himself. She replied "what are your legs broke, why should I help." Make no judgments just give facts.

    Giving facts is very hard for HR to refute. Union or not. So moving forward consider keeping a little notebook in your pocket for documentation.

    Have I done this. Yes. I kept a file on my desk top from an aggressive peer who was determined to undermine and insult me and everyone around her. I updated the file almost daily with this peers bad behavior towards me and others. When I went to HR with it, they said things like 'she said that to you' or 'she did that" and then with 'we are taking care of this right away.'

    No nurse should be a victim to this kind of abuse.
    Last edit by MatrixRn on May 15, '13
  14. by   Esme12
    They can be fired. need a manager that needs to step up and deal with the Union. Depending on the Union...a grievance hearing are a real pain in the derriere! They shout and bluster to get their way acting like petulant children with intimidation tactics. They have that great show of aggression like a charging elephant all puffed for a good show. It may also be that this employee has already taken action against the company and they ARE afraid of her.

    I had a unit secretary years ago that walked the tightrope of getting fired for over 20 years. She would get to the point that the next step is termination....she would suddenly sprout wings and a halo and become the model employee never stepping over that "immediate termination" line. She would always play her "ace in the hole" that she was being discriminated against because of....blah, blah, blah...I told her once that it didn't matter if she had pink elephants coming out of her ears or was be beamed down from space with antennas....the bottom line was that she did not perform her job properly (late, sick calls, missing doing every other one on long page) and therefore she is on her progressive discipline/behavioral/improvement plan.

    We ended up being on good terms and she kept her a minimum.

    You ALL need to call a meeting with your manager and tell her that this is impossible to work with and something has to be done. Tell her that you ALL are at the end of your ropes with her. See what she says...tell her you will have to soon go to HR to try to stop her aggressive behavior for you all are done being bullied.

    In the not put up with her antics. Document, Document, Document. ALL unions have progressive discipline plans. Always maintain professionalism to a fault. A distant superiority, you are the licensed personnel. Always remain the one in charge. Be sure she understands that you are keeping book. For example...when she refused to take that patients temp who was medicated with Tylenol...state in hearing range...on 05/14/2013 @ 1230 while counting narcs with Mary...Jane refuse to retake repeat temp on 304...stating quote...."get it yourself, is your arm broke?" .

    I would find out if there is a documentation form to fill out from HR and document document be ready for retaliation...but if you give someone enough rope they will hang themselves.

    I will be difficult I will not can also be nonsense. Inform this aid that while you are happy to help you have responsibilities that require your attention as you are the one with the license and you are delegating this important task to her capable hands and you are sure that she would not want you to write her up for insubordination. You will all have to be on board. People like this thrive on intimidation and being the biggest junkyard dog with the loudest bark....but they always don't have the biggest bite.

    Without your managers assistance the odds of getting her fired is slim. You may have to make peace with yourself....ignore this person and not be a push over......learn to ignore this.....person as much as possible and make sure she isn't with the same nurse everyday. These people usually only engage those they feel they can intimidate....because it's easy and they are inherently lazy. Stand up for yourself in a calm commanding manner.