so eager to report coworkers!

  1. 5
    I am a prenursing student, hoping to gain admittance to a nursing school in my area this year.

    I have to say, that one of the "worst" things to me, about the field of nursing is the punitive culture and coworkers high tendency to report their fellow coworkers! I have worked other (less stressful) jobs before and this punitive culture isn't as rampant to say the least!

    Why are nurses/aides/caregivers so eager to report each other to supervisors? ''


    I mean look, if someone is INTENTIONALLY harming a patient then by all means report report report! But for things that can be changed, often by talking to the coworker directly, why report them? Why not give your coworker the benefit of the doubt?

    Case in point: I worked at a group home type facility where we had a new bed alarm thing for one of the patients . A coworker kept "setting" it wrong. It did have kind of a weird set up, and when my supervisor was explaining how to work it I had to have her show me three times before I could do it. A coworker kept setting it wrong. The repercussions of this could have been horrible: the patient could have gotten up and been severely injured. It was a serious issue. However, the coworker WAS NOT setting the bed alarm wrong on purpose . She didn't know she was doing it wrong and didn't know that it wasn't set right when she left the patient's room. I saw this happening one day, talked to her about it in private. She was shocked and genuinely seemed upset by what had happenned. I taught her how to set the bed alarm properly. She emailed our supervisor and at the next meeting our supervisor ran through how to set the bed alarm with everyone again. Many people were doing this wrong. Still, a fellow coworker who ALSO saw that coworker set the bed alarm wrong emailed our supervisor and reported her, resulting in a write-up. I felt bad for the mistaken coworker, and would not have reported her UNLESS even after I talked to her she continued to make the same mistake. I try to give my coworkers the benefit of the doubt.


    I am just curious. I was always nervous about being written up for things. Why are nurses/aides so eager to report their coworkers??
    Last edit by WANT2BANURSESOON on Dec 3, '09
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 3,461 Views
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 18 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I think that this what is referred to as "lateral violence". You can google the term and there are papers that have been written about the phenomenon. In the situation that you described, I'm sure that it's a "getting ahead by looking better than your co-workers" situation. I would have done what you did . . . anytime there are new policies or new equipment, it takes time for everyone to come up to speed.
    tewdles likes this.
  6. 7
    A Lot of these people doing this are insecure and do not have the courage to confront people on their own. So instead they become passive aggressive and report first. There could be a myriad of reasons including the 'Lateral violence' mentioned in the previous post to the fact that they are just selfish in general. Most hospitals have policies set that instruct coworkers on how to deal with one another first. However, managers are disregarding this and letting the 'disgruntled' employee come to them first. As managers they should promote the cohesion of the unit and encourage the employee to attempt to dissolve the situation before escalation. Hopefully with leadership setting the example.....Others will follow suit.
  7. 5
    Honestly, some of these people NEED reported. It isn't my job to cover for a lazy or incompetant co-worker, it is my job to advocate for the patient to have safe nursing care. I, personally have never had to report behavior but have supported those that do in cases that needed it. For example, Nurse was sleeping on night turn while her patients weren't getting taken care of properly. I have my own patient, can't take care of hers too. Another, Nurse was documenting Lovenox injections on a 36 year old with blood clot in her leg, but when the 4 day of the dose was due that nurse was off. Patient had no idea what her nurse was talking about "shots in the belly, no I never had that" On assessment there was no eccymotic area in the abdomen. Both nurses lost their jobs, as they should have!
  8. 5
    With all that has been said, I agree that each response has valid merit. But, I have to agree with the original poster that asked this question. Nursing will be a second career to me. I was a paralegal for 23 years and worked with lawyers who were mean and at the end of the day, that aggressiveness was expected. But, I have found that some nurses are so mean, rude, and cruel making it baffling to me why they are nurses in the first place. I agree that some (not all) health care facilities do breed environments where co-workers are punitive to the people that they are working for. I also find those people who breed that type of environment generally have OTHER issues in their personal lives and are not happy in any environment, not only work.
  9. 4
    I agree with the OP. I am a new grad and I have been advised to "report" someone. In fact, I have been ask to "write someone up". I explained that I tend to like to go to the person FIRST with an issue, maybe it was a misunderstanding or something. Hell, I'm new and I make mistakes everyday and I would rather someone come to me to show me how to correct it, rather than go straight to the supervisor and then gossip about it with the "clique".
    tokidoki7, WANT2BANURSESOON, kemkem, and 1 other like this.
  10. 4
    I am also feeling bad regarding your matter.I am also a nervous person.I have noticed that so many of my co-workers are done wrong things but i never reported it.I just corrected them.Some will accept it.you are not wrong anyway.She may have extra strength to withstand alone in a group.I cannot withstand without good support from other team members.So be patient and sincere towards your work ,avoid unnecessary discussions,be friendly to everyone.God will be with you.All the best
  11. 8
    Quote from ShayRN
    Honestly, some of these people NEED reported. It isn't my job to cover for a lazy or incompetant co-worker, it is my job to advocate for the patient to have safe nursing care. I, personally have never had to report behavior but have supported those that do in cases that needed it. For example, Nurse was sleeping on night turn while her patients weren't getting taken care of properly. I have my own patient, can't take care of hers too. Another, Nurse was documenting Lovenox injections on a 36 year old with blood clot in her leg, but when the 4 day of the dose was due that nurse was off. Patient had no idea what her nurse was talking about "shots in the belly, no I never had that" On assessment there was no eccymotic area in the abdomen. Both nurses lost their jobs, as they should have!
    I guess lack of ecchymosis might be proof of no shots. Do anticoag shots always have to bruise? Maybe some nurses have found a way to give these shots without bruising the patient. Don't know, just wondering. Does anyone know? Why did both nurses get fired? I could see the one who was not really giving the shots being fired. But why the other one?


    Yes, I agree that some offenses are intolerable but I know just what the OP is saying. So very many people seem so suspicious of others, so jealous. They seem to resent their own lot in life and are just so glad when someone else messes up and gets punished. If we could eliminate jealousy, we would have less backbiting.


    It's better to try to educate and counsel, better to develop the staff, rather than punish the staff. If someone seems incompetent, that person should be educated and given another chance, if the incompetence did not result in harm. We all could be deemed incompetent in some ways, I imagine. We all are wrong or lacking skill or information at some times. Working together is necessary for patient safety, for job satisfaction. Teamwork.

    I get discouraged when I see someone trying to destroy another person, or trying to clawtheir way to the top by stepping on coworkers. I dislike it when workers spend their time buttering up the boss instead of doing their work. I recall a supervisor I once had who wanted a promotion. He didn't do his work, dumped it on me, spent lots of hours shmoozing with the boss, got the boss to write a recommendation in which it was stated that he belonged to a particular church and to a fraternal organization. It was hypocritical and off point. Who cares if you go to church or are a "brother" if you are not doing your work? Plus, he was "fraternizing" with 2 women on the job - while married. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He got his promotion, I got disillusioned and angry - but wiser.

    Some people are very unhappy in their personal lives and they bring it to work and make the workplace unpleasant. While we should try to care about and help our coworkers, the job is the job. I wish people would leave home at home. Hard to do, though, when your heart is breaking or you are ill or watching your loved one mess up. So, we have to be more compassionate, more gentle with each other.

    Let's try to be slower to condemn and let's not jump to conclusions. Let's use true scientific standards to determine fact.
  12. 3
    I find some colleagues are more eager than others to write up incidence reports, yes. I like to speak to that nurse personally to give them a heads up and if it was serious then write up a report. I would appreciate the same consideration. Because there nothing like the feeling of being called into see the supervisor and she goes over the report with you and you clearly see the name of the person who reported you, and didn't have the guts to speak to you face to face. Usually something minor anyway that didn't even cross my mind. It breaks that trust factor. It should be a learning experience not an opportunity to "punish" someone.
    Last edit by meadow85 on Dec 3, '09
    WANT2BANURSESOON, tokidoki7, and kemkem like this.
  13. 0
    I think giving your coworkers the benefit of the doubt is an excellent strategy. But what happens when every single time you follow a particular nurse, you find all kinds of things done improperly or not at all? How many times have you spent your entire shift cleaning up someone else's mess? How many times have you tried to talk to the nurse about these things only to have him/her completely ignore your feedback and just continue with business as usual?

    I agree that if a nurse makes an honest mistake or overlooks something, or is so busy that they have to pass the buck to you every now and then, that's one thing. We've all done it, and I think we can cut each other a little slack. But if the nurse is always leaving you a big stinkin pile of poop, and talking to him/her has done nothing to change their ways, then what?


Top