I'm not entirely sure how to deal with this situation. On Saturday, I was in charge of shift on our orthopaedic ward. We were adequately staffed for the heavy patient load. No problem there. One of my colleagues started her shift at 0930 and I asked her if she would like to take a patient load of two or to help out around the ward. She chose to take the patient load, one independent and one on bed rest. Had she chosen to help out around the ward, the first thing I would have asked her to do would be attend to the same patients anyway and then take care of any admissions. Here I am thinking I'm doing her a favour by giving her an easy load. The unit manager shows up on Sunday to do some "paperwork" and spends a good part of 7 hours in her office, popping out to the floor several times for forms etc. She said hello to me and we had a brief conversation about the weather, xmas etc. At about 6pm, manager comes out to the desk, puts a pile of letters in the out box and then wishes us a merry xmas. Says she is on holidays for two weeks, see you all when I get back. Later in the shift, I check the IN tray and find a letter addressed to me from the manager. I was absolutely disgusted at what I read. She wanted to clarify why on Saturday morning I allocated patients to a staff member when that person was "supposed" to be help. She could have asked me herself, I was right there! The letter went on to ask was I aware that two pateints did not have a shower on that Saturday morning (ummm yes they did, I helped them both myself!!!) and apparently there was feces on the floor in one of the 10 bathrooms at the end of my shift ( am I supposed to check!!!!!!!!!!!!!We do have cleaners!!)
The only way she could have learnt any of this would be for my colleague to have rung her at home on Saturday night to inform her. My colleague has been ever so pleasant to me, and remember she chose to take the patients!! This letter has left me feeling angry and betrayed and I feel my manager and colleague are gutless in not approaching me about these things themselves!
With my manager going on holidays two minutes after dropping that letter in the in tray, I feel that she is trying to make me squirm! When she gets back, I would like to say "letter? What letter?" I want her to open her mouth and tell me if there is a problem! As for my colleague, welll, I don't know what to do!
Had to vent and get this out in the open. The more I read this letter, the more I realise there is no issue to answer and I'm being harrassed!
Dec 24, '02
Sit on the letter but in your defense cover everything that the letter had in it and back it up so if she does have the testicles to ask you about it have an answer for everything that she has a question about.
If someone is there to help, and you know thier a back bitting knife whelding heffer that this one sounds like to be , keep her so busy that shes thankful that the shift is coming to an end so she can sit her butt down and her mouth is too tired to open.
Its a shame that you have run into this, even when you do everything possible to satisfy the needs of all. Im not one for charging Im too hard on myself because Im too easy on others, so I work myself to death. You on the other hand sounded as if you meant only the very best for the staff. Your supervisor however sounds like a guttless wonder, if they dont have the testicles to confront you right off, but yet will take the word of another and not ask you themselves then You my dear are working for a Yes Man and a head shaker. To leave you a note and then run off to vacation, I worked for one of those, it was as glorious as a chemotherapy enema on a daily basis. Needless to say I got tired of the colonics and went down the hall and worked for someone that had a set of brass cahonnas.
Dec 24, '02
Not a nice situation, RNJames.
I've always felt that face-to-face is the best way of dealing with these, but in my experience this can sometimes degenerate into a battle of wits. Your manager has elected (for her own reasons) to address this complaint in writing so you can respond in the same way.
Investigate the complaint and put some thought into a reply.