Tips for Nurses: Dealing with annoying coworkers - page 2

For me, the hardest type of nurse to deal with is a "free" charge who sits at the desk, reading, talking or knitting while her coworkers run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not only... Read More

  1. by   betchay327
    i would like to thank you for letting us know your tips in how to deal with annoying coworkers, coz i do experienced that kind of behavior, its really a big help for others to read your article, thanks again
  2. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Quote from Bugaloo
    One thing they don't teach you in nursing school is how to deal with annoying coworkers. If you work in a hospital, you probably work 12-hour shifts. Those 12 hours can zip right by or drag on FOREVER depending on many factors, one of which is the type of nurses that you work with.

    For me, the hardest type of nurse to deal with is a "free" charge who sits at the desk, reading, talking or knitting while her coworkers run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not only are they not helping out, they are getting "charge pay" to sit there and do nothing. In my years of nursing, I have worked with many nurses like this. And this what I have learned. It will not do any good to address this issue with your floor manager. She is the one who schedules this nurse as charge nurse and she is fully aware of how she behaves. To complain about her will only make you look like a troublemaker. The way that I now deal with this issue is to simply do my job, ignoring the fact that the charge nurse is not helping out. If something happens during the shift that warrants notifying the charge nurse, let her know what the problem is and what you are going to do about it. Then document in your notes that the charge nurse has been made aware of the situation. If the situation escalates without the charge nurse giving you some guidance, then let the house supervisor know what is going on, and document that as well. Avoid complaining to the house supervisor about the charge nurse. Just inform him/her that the charge nurse is aware of the situation. It can be very frustrating, but as long as you keep your cool, document well and continue to care for your patients, you will have the upper hand. If you end up overwhelmed and there are too many things going on at one time, nicely ask your coworkers for their assistance. Most of them are more than willing to help you out if they are caught up, knowing that you would do the same for them.

    Another annoying coworker is the nurse who talks constantly. She will tell you her whole life history, share personal information that you would really not hear and disrupt your train of thought entirely. If you must, move to another area to gather your thoughts, document in your nurses notes or call doctors. If you cannot do that, continue to do your charting and answer her with "Uh-huh" without making eye contact. Hopefully, she will see that you are busy and eventually stop talking. Another tactic I have used is to look up, and sweetly ask, "Are you already done with your charting? You must really be on the ball!". Most of the time, they have not started their charting and that snaps them back to reality.

    Lastly, we have all worked with "The Complainer". Every unit has one. They complain about their assignment, the nurse aides, the weather and anything else that comes to mind. Another trait that "The Complainer" has is chronic grumpiness. I usually try to distract them with humor or jokes. When that does not work, I distance myself from them as much as possible. Negativity is catching. It can sneak right up on you before you know it. Never join them in their complaint tirades because it will reflect poorly on you. If you think that they are generally unhappy, you might ask them if there is something that you can do to help them out. But beware, sometimes these types of people use these complaints to solicit sympathy so that they can borrow money, or ask for inappropriate favors. Usually the best way to deal with this coworker is to keep to yourself, avoid excessive conversation with them and stay positive.

    None of us are perfect, but in order to stay on good terms with your fellow coworkers, here are some tips:
    • Stay positive
    • Be willing to help out
    • Don't gossip
    • Don't be a tattle tale
    • Recognize when a fellow staffer is overwhelmed and offer assistance
    • Keep complaints to a minimum
    • Help out your nurse aides whenever possible
    • Be supportive of new nurses
    • Treat everyone with respect even if they don't deserve it.
    Good advise....Maybe I should read this daily before going into work....
  3. by   love_being_an_aide
    Bugaloo, I offer you a vast amount of gratitude. I came home from work this morning soooo fed up with the floor I work on I was prepared to call my supervisor and give her my notice. But after some thought, I decided to check out this site because I have always gotten excellent advice, and I came to this article. I have learned in the short time i've worked healthcare that the shortage of workers essentially "grandfathers" in those that do not do their work, simply because who can they find to hire? It's an unfortunate truth, and one that should be examined, but we'll leave that for the philosophers. I am now being targeted because I went to my NM the other day about my co-workers leaving a patient in fecal matter so long it dried to his skin. This was left for me to clean when I started my shift. For my efforts, she sent out an email, and everyone knew I was the person who went to managment and complained. Now i'm the big joke, so to speak. I will definitely take your article to heart, because I can see this advice working for me on my unit. Thank you again!
  4. by   oramar
    I on the other hand, agree with you and I totally get where you are coming from. At the end of the article I would say, "speaking from the real world here".
  5. by   stand1982
    hooray to interleulin,i have worked as a nurse for 25 years im very tired of the saying dont make waves. If we are to provide are patients with qualitiy care it is going to take every nurse on the floor to pull her/his weight as ours number get fewer. we do not have the luxury of being silent anymore.
  6. by   Keren Huang
    :chuckle
    Quote from Bugaloo
    One thing they don't teach you in nursing school is how to deal with annoying coworkers. If you work in a hospital, you probably work 12-hour shifts. Those 12 hours can zip right by or drag on FOREVER depending on many factors, one of which is the type of nurses that you work with.

    For me, the hardest type of nurse to deal with is a "free" charge who sits at the desk, reading, talking or knitting while her coworkers run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not only are they not helping out, they are getting "charge pay" to sit there and do nothing. In my years of nursing, I have worked with many nurses like this. And this what I have learned. It will not do any good to address this issue with your floor manager. She is the one who schedules this nurse as charge nurse and she is fully aware of how she behaves. To complain about her will only make you look like a troublemaker. The way that I now deal with this issue is to simply do my job, ignoring the fact that the charge nurse is not helping out. If something happens during the shift that warrants notifying the charge nurse, let her know what the problem is and what you are going to do about it. Then document in your notes that the charge nurse has been made aware of the situation. If the situation escalates without the charge nurse giving you some guidance, then let the house supervisor know what is going on, and document that as well. Avoid complaining to the house supervisor about the charge nurse. Just inform him/her that the charge nurse is aware of the situation. It can be very frustrating, but as long as you keep your cool, document well and continue to care for your patients, you will have the upper hand. If you end up overwhelmed and there are too many things going on at one time, nicely ask your coworkers for their assistance. Most of them are more than willing to help you out if they are caught up, knowing that you would do the same for them.

    Another annoying coworker is the nurse who talks constantly. She will tell you her whole life history, share personal information that you would really not hear and disrupt your train of thought entirely. If you must, move to another area to gather your thoughts, document in your nurses notes or call doctors. If you cannot do that, continue to do your charting and answer her with "Uh-huh" without making eye contact. Hopefully, she will see that you are busy and eventually stop talking. Another tactic I have used is to look up, and sweetly ask, "Are you already done with your charting? You must really be on the ball!". Most of the time, they have not started their charting and that snaps them back to reality.

    Lastly, we have all worked with "The Complainer". Every unit has one. They complain about their assignment, the nurse aides, the weather and anything else that comes to mind. Another trait that "The Complainer" has is chronic grumpiness. I usually try to distract them with humor or jokes. When that does not work, I distance myself from them as much as possible. Negativity is catching. It can sneak right up on you before you know it. Never join them in their complaint tirades because it will reflect poorly on you. If you think that they are generally unhappy, you might ask them if there is something that you can do to help them out. But beware, sometimes these types of people use these complaints to solicit sympathy so that they can borrow money, or ask for inappropriate favors. Usually the best way to deal with this coworker is to keep to yourself, avoid excessive conversation with them and stay positive.

    None of us are perfect, but in order to stay on good terms with your fellow coworkers, here are some tips:
    • Stay positive
    • Be willing to help out
    • Don't gossip
    • Don't be a tattle tale
    • Recognize when a fellow staffer is overwhelmed and offer assistance
    • Keep complaints to a minimum
    • Help out your nurse aides whenever possible
    • Be supportive of new nurses
    • Treat everyone with respect even if they don't deserve it.
  7. by   Nurs R us
    Great message. I agree with what you said about being called a troublemaker. I use to work MRDD and one of the nurse aides that I use to work with said; if they told the supervisor about suspected patient abuse the supervisor would question him/her as if they were the one abusing the patient and alot of the workers stop reporting issues because supervisors would not do anything.
  8. by   DavidTorontoRPN
    Quote from Bugaloo
    One thing they don't teach you in nursing school is how to deal with annoying coworkers. If you work in a hospital, you probably work 12-hour shifts. Those 12 hours can zip right by or drag on FOREVER depending on many factors, one of which is the type of nurses that you work with.

    For me, the hardest type of nurse to deal with is a "free" charge who sits at the desk, reading, talking or knitting while her coworkers run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not only are they not helping out, they are getting "charge pay" to sit there and do nothing. In my years of nursing, I have worked with many nurses like this. And this what I have learned. It will not do any good to address this issue with your floor manager. She is the one who schedules this nurse as charge nurse and she is fully aware of how she behaves. To complain about her will only make you look like a troublemaker. The way that I now deal with this issue is to simply do my job, ignoring the fact that the charge nurse is not helping out. If something happens during the shift that warrants notifying the charge nurse, let her know what the problem is and what you are going to do about it. Then document in your notes that the charge nurse has been made aware of the situation. If the situation escalates without the charge nurse giving you some guidance, then let the house supervisor know what is going on, and document that as well. Avoid complaining to the house supervisor about the charge nurse. Just inform him/her that the charge nurse is aware of the situation. It can be very frustrating, but as long as you keep your cool, document well and continue to care for your patients, you will have the upper hand. If you end up overwhelmed and there are too many things going on at one time, nicely ask your coworkers for their assistance. Most of them are more than willing to help you out if they are caught up, knowing that you would do the same for them.

    Another annoying coworker is the nurse who talks constantly. She will tell you her whole life history, share personal information that you would really not hear and disrupt your train of thought entirely. If you must, move to another area to gather your thoughts, document in your nurses notes or call doctors. If you cannot do that, continue to do your charting and answer her with "Uh-huh" without making eye contact. Hopefully, she will see that you are busy and eventually stop talking. Another tactic I have used is to look up, and sweetly ask, "Are you already done with your charting? You must really be on the ball!". Most of the time, they have not started their charting and that snaps them back to reality.

    Lastly, we have all worked with "The Complainer". Every unit has one. They complain about their assignment, the nurse aides, the weather and anything else that comes to mind. Another trait that "The Complainer" has is chronic grumpiness. I usually try to distract them with humor or jokes. When that does not work, I distance myself from them as much as possible. Negativity is catching. It can sneak right up on you before you know it. Never join them in their complaint tirades because it will reflect poorly on you. If you think that they are generally unhappy, you might ask them if there is something that you can do to help them out. But beware, sometimes these types of people use these complaints to solicit sympathy so that they can borrow money, or ask for inappropriate favors. Usually the best way to deal with this coworker is to keep to yourself, avoid excessive conversation with them and stay positive.

    None of us are perfect, but in order to stay on good terms with your fellow coworkers, here are some tips:
    • Stay positive
    • Be willing to help out
    • Don't gossip
    • Don't be a tattle tale
    • Recognize when a fellow staffer is overwhelmed and offer assistance
    • Keep complaints to a minimum
    • Help out your nurse aides whenever possible
    • Be supportive of new nurses
    • Treat everyone with respect even if they don't deserve it.
    It is about professionalism! I have had my share of experiences in this career choice and I love my work Iam doing. People you think are your friends in this field are not. We are here for the patients whom are in great need. Slave to the grind I call it, make the most of it and we shall all get through what ever we choose. A co-worker commented on me gaining weight ... I confronted her in private and expressed I do not appreciate the comments and to keepp them to herself. She stated she was joking with me ... I question her comment. Psychologically she wishes to hit me below the belt to make herself feel better about herself. I see it and I have no time fo BS or games. You see it as well. The system has always been this way and will only get worse. Make the choice to participate or move on with your day upon u. I wish you all well in your careers. God bless

    David Moffatt RPN Toronto
  9. by   josoknow
    Interleukin I agree totally with you! Nurses have been silent for way to long and it is time to stand up for ourselves and our patients. Just remember to have your ducks in a row when you go to the director and collect yourself first, calm down before speaking up. Clear and concise is right. And if all fells their is tons of nursing jobs out there just begging for a new nurse. NURSES ROCK!!!!
  10. by   josoknow
  11. by   Simpleplan
    Complainers: Sometimes, its a legitimate complaint. Sometimes people just need to blow off steam. I wouldn't let it get you down. Tattle tails: I think hospitals should get away from a punitive enviroment. Perhaps the problem is the system. If employees are afraid to report and worried about being told on or fear of punishment how can a faulty system ever be improved. Talk a Lots: Most likely anxiety about something. I would try to find out what is actually causing anxiety. Lazy Boss: It's hard to tell what the boss has going on. Some management books will tell you not to get too invovled with detail as a manager and lose site of the big picture. After all it is the charge nurses responsiblity to over see your entire station. If the charge nurse is too busy doing the staff nurses job they might not be able to give the needed attention to theirs.

    Other than that good article, thanks for the advise.
    Last edit by Simpleplan on Jun 29, '08
  12. by   queen777
    Wow. My first job sucked and it was totally because of the 2 charge nurses. They did nothing to help,but everything to try and mess with my mind. Finally another charge nurse from the floor above called me into the elevator one night and told me "if you don't quit or transfer Virginia will never leave you alone". I asked her why. Her response, "maybe it just how you look or how you dress." I also wore a lab coat. But it wasn't to look nice, I wore it for the pockets plus the little bit of protection it gave.
    Finally one night I had to leave the floor with a new pt and women died. I lost my job. I must not have done anything too wrong though because I didn't lost my license.
    Once I was really busy. A new practicing RN ask me to take baseline vitals before she started a transfusion. I came in the room to get them and she had already started the infusion. I got written up for tha! Another night it was because I let a man go to the restroom instead of using the bedside comode. He refused to use it! She said to when I got back to the desk, "Read this and sign it". I read it. But I didn't sign it. I told her what happened. She stated, "well you talked your way out of this one."
    I finally went to the head nurse. She said she would talk with her.
    But get this. After I lost my job one of the other nurses husband called my husband and filled him in how I was being treated and singled out.... that I was given the hardest pt's and the most pt's.
    I thought to myself, I thought nursing was a "team effort"!
    I would have done anything for those nurses. Why they were after me I have no idea.
    I am not practicing at the moment, but its things like this that make me not want to return to nursing.
    Even my dad used to call me his "little nurse." I loved nursing, but not at this price. It ruins and clutters the mind.
    My last supervisor praised me above his RNs. So I was charge nurse of a subacute floor. Loved it!
  13. by   queen777
    Quote from Simpleplan
    Complainers: Sometimes, its a legitimate complaint. Sometimes people just need to blow off steam. I wouldn't let it get you down. Tattle tails: I think hospitals should get away from a punitive enviroment. Perhaps the problem is the system. If employees are afraid to report and worried about being told on or fear of punishment how can a faulty system ever be improved. Talk a Lots: Most likely anxiety about something. I would try to find out what is actually causing anxiety. Lazy Boss: It's hard to tell what the boss has going on. Some management books will tell you not to get too invovled with detail as a manager and lose site of the big picture. After all it is the charge nurses responsiblity to over see your entire station. If the charge nurse is too busy doing the staff nurses job they might not be able to give the needed attention to theirs.

    Other than that good article, thanks for the advise.
    My theory of a lazy boss is being them being in their position for so long that they just don't care anymore, and further more don't realize how laxity they have become over the years. Its a chronic thing.

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