I'm posting this on the general discussion board to get a wide variety of opinions, sorry it's so long!!
I work at a residential psych facility and of course care for a number of borderlines. I work with one other nurse who is normally charge. Every member of the staff is expected to follow care plans regarding behaviors. This one nurse in particular (who I happen to like a lot as a person) is very hard to work with.
She consistently sides with residents when other staff tries to redirect them and rewards negative behaviors. Residents tend to be very very abusive to staff when she's on and when you try to redirect them they all know to just throw a fit and yell things like "why are you even talking to me? I hate you! I only like Ann!" then of course Ann runs in all protective of the resident and throws me under the bus in front of them.
She also touches residents a lot, holds their hands and hugs them and stuff which we’re not supposed to do, but I do understand she means well. People really do like Ann but some people don’t want to work with her because she allows and often rewards abuse towards the staff. She is desperate to be liked by the residents and won’t really let anyone else handle anything.
I once grabbed a drink for a resident with a dangerously low blood sugar and warned her we were out of her favorite, the resident said that was fine but the nurse said “no, she doesn’t LIKE that kind!” and sent her outside alone to smoke while we waited on more juice to be delivered.
I think it’s become too important to her to know the residents the best and be the favorite, and good nursing care is getting put second. Last week one resident who manipulates this nurse very well was yelling in the hall and I asked her to stop, she became verbally abusive. I asked her to go into her room for 10 minutes of quiet as her care plan states and she kept screaming. Ann allowed this to continue until the resident was getting out of control and I had to go tell Ann quietly that she needed to back me up.
All she did was ask the resident why she was yelling at me, let the resident scream and yell at me some more, and start in on other staff, all ignored by the nurse. UNTIL she decided the best plan of action was to take this borderline out on a special one on one smoke with her (reward?) and disregard that I had asked her more than once to please go into her room. While they were outside there were two assaults, one on staff and one on a resident. She wanted only to “remind” the resident who assaulted staff of appropriate behavior, and allowed the resident who had assaulted another resident to go outside alone to smoke immediately after, which is not what her care plan states.
Ann later agreed with the resident that I may not have understood the situation and maybe thought it was an assault when it wasn’t, she held this conversation right in front of me. Most of the rest of the night was dominated by the first resident who had to keep upping her behavior to keep the attention on her, until, as borderlines do, she saw we were busy, and proclaimed she was going to kill herself. She was laughing and joking and smiling all night with all the attention she got for that. (I know I sound negative about this resident but I really like her, I don’t think any of this would have happened if her care plan had been followed to begin with).
The thing that worries me the most is that this resident started proclaiming her love for Ann, which she’ll do sometimes jokingly, but she seemed so serious and really was getting kind of romantic about it. I’m starting to wonder if she’s confused about the relationship they have and thinks that the nurse dotes on her because she has romantic feelings for her, when really the nurse just dotes on her because staff splitting works exceptionally well on her.
I don’t want to get Ann into trouble, and it will only get harder to work with her if she thinks I reported something, but this staff splitting is going so far that the unit is unsafe. Should I report it or maybe try and talk to the other nurse? Or am I just wrong altogether and I should just stay out of it?
Last edit by rn/writer on Jun 9, '12