Keeping records to protect my reputation

  1. I'm in kind of a bind. I recently got written up and some of the things that were said were not true. I asked for dates and times, but I was seen as being defensive. Some of the things said were from a particular person who works with me. She claimed that I didn't help her when she needed it and described an incident where I wouldn't help her perform a procedure or a patient care activity. I honestly don't recall the incident. And it's not because my memory is failing me, it's because I don't think it happened, at least not the way that the person reported it.

    The problem is, she was very convincing to the person that she reported it to and made me look like I'm lazy. She brags to others about how she can get what she wants from the supervisor and that she "has the touch". It just irritates me to know that she is a master manipulator and the person she reported me to has been duped again. Unfortunately, my supervisor caught me online in my email sending a note to a sibling (she accused me of being on another social network, which I wasn't). That incident made me look like I wasn't giving 100%. I haven't received any complaint from patients that I'm working with that I'm aware of, or at least that wasn't mentioned in the write-up. And in reality, there are days that I don't sit down for many hours to chart, relax, eat, etc.

    I'm considering keeping a little notebook with dates and times in it detailing my activities during the shift without names. Is this something that would be frowned on by most organizations or by risk management? I'm not naming names, but I would like to keep some details of what I'm doing to verify to my employer that I am indeed not guilty of being unhelpful with my team members. I don't think this would be considered anything related to HIPAA, but I'm trying to figure out how to preserve my reputation at work, which has always been excellent. I would be willing to wear a tracking device at this point.

    Has anyone else had this type of problem and how did you handle it? I really don't want to start over anywhere else.
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    About weesyanne

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 84; Likes: 39
    Staff Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 28 year(s) of experience in rehab, antepartum, med-surg, cardiac


  3. by   FutureFLRN2014
    I know it is in a different field but when I had something like this happen to me when I worked in an office I would make sure that someone else would hear the conversation between me and the person who usually liked to cause problems. I.e. if a CNA or another employee is around when Nurse A asks for assistance just turn to the CNA and say "I'm going to help Nurse A for a second if you need me I'll be in room 1" or if you can't help her maybe walk to the nursing station and say to the secretary or someone "Nurse A needs assistance but I can't because I have an issue with patient XYZ at the moment, do you know of anyone available?". I don't know if this can help you but in my circumstance it was able to quickly show who was telling the truth and who wasn't.
  4. by   BellaInBlueScrubsRN
    Sadly, there are coworkers like that everywhere. I don't think that a notebook would be violating anything as long as you don't have patients names in it, but it seems like a lot of work for not much result... and just one more thing to add on to the never-ending lists of things to do. The above poster has a great point about if you don't have time to help someone, maybe offering to do it after you finish the task you are on or helping find a CNA to assist instead. Otherwise, its already a write up, can't do much about it now. Its ridiculous if your supervisor wasn't going to give you date/time/circumstance. Also, maybe think about WHY she would have said it... a little self-reflection to see if there is anything you can do better to make it a better environment and team friendly
  5. by   classicdame
    I do not know how a notebook will help as it will still be your word against hers. The written word does not make it more truthful. It would be better to approach your manager in a calm manner and explain how you feel and ask that person how to handle the situation.
  6. by   weesyanne
    Thanks everyone. I just thought a notebook so that I knew dates and times and could prove what I did would maybe help, if only jogging my memory of events. I'm not keeping it for anyone but myself, in the event that I am called into the office again and accused of the same behavior.

    The person complained that I didn't help her feed patients (not true) or get them out of bed (also not true). Other procedures I assist with as I can find time to help, but I have the responsibility for assessments, IV's, meds, intervening when there is a need to call a physician, etc. I probably have 10 times the documentation duties that she has, but unless I'm up doing half of her work, I guess I'm a terrible nurse, lazy, etc. I've always helped my tech out and I don't understand this attack on me. In the past when I've done things that are normally tech duties, I've given my data to the tech to chart, such as something under I&O, but I'm not going to do that anymore. If I did it, I'm charting it. If I turn someone, I'm charting it. If I get someone out of bed, I'm charting it. In the past, I've been asked by the tech when I've done stuff like this and they've charted it as if they've done it. No more.

    I'm concerned about the legality of having a notebook in my workplace. If I don't put identifying information about patients in the notebook, I don't think it will be an issue, but I don't know how my supervisor would see it. She might not like that I'm documenting stuff on my own. Before this, I never paid attention to anyone else and what they were doing. I kind of did my own thing with my patients, asked for help if I needed it, or offered help when I wasn't busy. Now I'm super vigilant. The other day, I saw the last coworker start to walk away from the desk. I got up and walked away as well. I was accused of sitting at the desk too much, so I want to avoid that. If I'm never there by myself, I don't see how anyone could say that about me. I know that perception is reality, especially when it comes to the boss. I have told the secretary that I can't sit at the desk to cover while she goes to the bathroom, gets something from another unit, etc. anymore. I would sometimes do that, but no more.

    This whole situation has made me very self-conscious and keeps me on edge.
  7. by   weesyanne
    I forgot to say that my manager is the one who wrote me up, so I have already spoken to her about the issue. I'm concerned with what to do for future issues that I may have with this tech or my colleagues. I have looked at my behavior and I can see where she may have gotten the impression that I wasn't helping my tech or being a team player. If I keep notes on what I help with or what I do for the tech, I don't see how something untrue could possibly be used against me.

    Thanks again.
  8. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    If it makes you feel better go for it, but I agree with classic dame, I don't think it is going to help. I have been in managment, and I wouldn't give something like that any credence. My advice is to leave your cell phone at home, stay off the internet at work, demonstrate exemplary team building skills, do your best, keep your word in all things, and ignore your troublesome coworker. Eventually, the truth will out. Good luck.
  9. by   HouTx
    I think I understand the OPs need to find a way to prevent being caught in the same type of situation in the future - but I don't see that keeping parallel records is a good answer. This is a very slippery slope in terms of personal liability & I am certain that it would not be sanctioned by your organization's legal/risk management policies. Lets say that there is a problem with a patient that must be fed. OP produces her notebook to prove that she did this... but in order to do this, she would also have to open up everything else that is in that (unofficial, unsanctioned) record. Worst case scenario - plantiff's attorney learns of the existence of the notebook and subpoenas it so it has to be turned over as 'evidence'. It's just too risky.

    OP, I agree that you need to document/chart all of these things that you are doing rather than handing it off to the tech. You also need to just put the phone away. Don't take it out for any reason unless you are outside of the patient care area.. so no one can accuse you of 'social networking'. If you find that you have any extra time on your hands, rather than sitting at the desk, take that chart to the bedside - more patient education, comfort measures, updating the DC plan - your patients will love you!

    It's unfortunate, but a fact of life... you'll have to deal with toxic co-workers. If you feel that your manager is not treating you fairly do not hesitate to utilize your organization's grievance procedure.
  10. by   weesyanne
    I was not on the cell phone. It was in my locker. I was online at the desk for about 5 minutes, sending my brother a quick, short email. Our mom is not doing well, so I try to stay in touch. His cell phone is on the fritz, so I sent email.

    Maybe my timing wasn't the best, although I had just rounded.

    Anyhow, thanks for the advice.