hostility in the OR

  1. I know there have been threads previous to this one regarding the hostility found in some of our OR's, but I have a new little situation that has been heating up my neck for some time now.

    My boss (nursing supervisor) and I have very distinct personality differences. Really the only people she likes are those nurses who dont think or talk much. She's really got it bad for myself and a couple of PACU nurses (one of which is an ex ER supervisor, the other currently a PT NICU nurse). We are all strong individuals, and while we are respectful and courteous, we generally don't let people walk all over us.

    There has been increasing hostility in the OR due to a hundred reasons I wont bore you with; you'll just have to trust me. I am constantly hounded by her nitpicking, called to the "office" to get my a** reamed for trivial reasons, and I'm to the point now where I go to work to get my job done, try to avoid her at all ******* costs, and usually I get by with maybe one incident a week anymore. It honestly feels harrassing.

    Last week was it for me though. The thermostats in the rooms are screwy right now due to the climate change, and we were doing a total hip. It was ungawdly hot in the room, so the scrub asked if i could turn the thermostat down. I told him it was already turned down to 10 o'clock (no temperatures marked on the dial, nor a temperature reading), so he told me to get the supervisor. I tried to get her attention, but she wouldn't enter the room, so i turned and instead opted to turn the thermostat off. (which we are asked to do often with this particular orthoped.) Within a minute she was in the door, grabbed me by the arm, dragged me to the thermostat and loudly tore me a "new one" in everyones earshot- for several minutes. (Including patient who only had a spinal, anesthesia, the other assistant, and the scrub.

    I was so suprised that she would touch me that i thought she was kidding- She has previously hit me (hard) in joking situations that I felt were her actual way of getting her feelings out on me, but never said anything because I'm so tired of her defensive attitude, I'm sure I would be written up for questioning her. Ugh. So after mauling the situation the rest of the case, and the weekend, I decided to take it to HR. After, I found out shes been suspended for 2 weeks for the same thing.

    Everyone quits because of her, no one really reports her for anything, and the other half stay and deal with her crap. I am staying AND reporting her, which I'm sure will make for a wonderful working relationship. What are your thoughts on this? Anyone have any other ideas for me??? I'm stressing and tired of going to work now, the morale is poor and it is a very high stress situation.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   SFCardiacRN
    Good grief, what an awful situation. You have to stand up for yourself and document thru HR. I worked with people like this before so watch yourself. She will find ways to mess no matter what you do so keep HR involved. Requesting conflict management will show her you mean business. ANY touching is an assault. Tone of voice can be job harrasment. And look out for her friends too!!! These "wolf packs" like to gang up but will back away when threatened. Unfortunately, you may have to change hospitals if she is in charge of your evaluation.
  4. by   SFCardiacRN
    Good grief, what an awful situation. You have to stand up for yourself and document thru HR. I worked with people like this before so watch yourself. She will find ways to mess no matter what you do so keep HR involved. Requesting conflict management will show her you mean business. ANY touching is an assault. Tone of voice can be job harrasment. And look out for her friends too!!! These "wolf packs" like to gang up but will back away when threatened. Unfortunately, you may have to change hospitals if she is in charge of your evaluation.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It sounds like she NEEDS reported, heaven help the supervisor who grabs me like that.

    She has no reason to talk like that and certain has no reason to grab you.
  6. by   DNRme
    Clearly, HR knows about her history. If she was already suspended once for this and was not fired for a repeat I would think you have a strong case to seek legal advice.

    You will probably want to tread lightly, though, if for some reason you don't want to leave you place of employment. I bet a consult with an attorney would get some appropriate attention. I really wonder why the hospital would set themselves up with a situation like this.

    Good luck, you shouldn't have to deal with this nonsense.
  7. by   JimS
    Grabbing you was not a smart maneuver. This could be justification enough (considering her past) for the hospital to cut its losses. I admire you for taking a stand for yourself and every other nurse in that O.R.
  8. by   laughnsmile
    Well, as a followup, I incidentally reported her to HR... The very next week we had an inservice about intimidation in the hospital workplace (what in the where???!!! never!) Because of that I talked with HR about what i should do. Apparently they have to report stuff like that, no room for confidentiality, which I understand. I figured no one else witnessed it, since everyone was very preoccupied setting up for a total knee, and I told HR that. An investigation ensued, and, of course, no witnesses, and then HR actually almost accused me of making it up! I said, "I told you before the investigation that you may have a hard time finding witnesses if you pursued it, giving the circumstances, but you chose to pursue it. I just needed to report it for myself."

    Anyways, my manager stayed away from me for 2 whole weeks, but then the "stuff" hit the fan. I was pulled into office after office, trying to say I had been fouling up my narcotic wastage, giving me the worse evaluation ever received by any employee EVER (had to be in front of the hospital's nursing supervisor it was so bad!) and IN that evaluation (IN WRITING) accused me of screwing one of our orthopeds and leaving all the turnovers to my coworkers!!!! GARBAGE!!! All this with nothing to back it up!! I discussed it with my coworkers, and they all agreed I was being basically sabatoged, and that I should leave before they forced me out. Against my every fiber of a strong woman, I conceeded defeat, had surgery and had a different job before my sick leave was over!! HAHA Take that! Just as an added perk, i found out a tech also quit 2 days before me. Meaning she lost 2 out of 7 OR employees that week! He mentioned all her craziness in his exit interview, so they know it's not only me!

    Sorry this is so long, needed to vent that frustration!! BTW, my new OR is awesome!! It's so refreshing to be in a real OR with normal problems, lol!
  9. by   SFCardiacRN
    Congratulations on your new job! There are good jobs out there if you keep looking. I had a feeling your manager would screw you on your evaluation. This kind of person is miserable to work for. Good luck and let us know what you hear on the grapevine about your old job.
  10. by   bethem
    I have to wonder where they get these nutters from? And how in the world do they keep getting promoted until they are in charge of people? My stars. I work in a call centre and also as an A.I.N (Assistant in Nursing - like a CNA), and in the call centre especially I have noticed that the most generally disliked, crazy people who have no management skills or people skills, and who have been known to enact their own personal revenges against people they feel have 'wronged' them somehow, get the promotions. It's absolutely bizarre.
    Congratulations on the new job. I too would have been the kind to want to stay and fight, but it sounds like this one will get herself well and truly buried before too long.
  11. by   nursembeth
    Congratulations on your new job and for getting out of a bad situation . I agree with Bethem and wonder who in the world thinks it's a good idea to promote some of these people? Sometimes in such situations you know that things won't get better unless that particular person in charge is no longer there and you don't see that happening anytime soon. Ultimately you put yourself in a better situation and you shouldn't feel defeated because you left-you should feel triumphant because you were smart enough to leave and now are better off. If that organization doesn't/won't see what kind of a person she is, then that's their fault-let them deal with it.
  12. by   EricTAMUCC-BSN
    Really the only people she likes are those nurses who dont think or talk much.

    Its called reflection, leads to a concept called insight.
  13. by   cinja
    Quote from laughnsmile
    I know there have been threads previous to this one regarding the hostility found in some of our OR's, but I have a new little situation that has been heating up my neck for some time now.

    My boss (nursing supervisor) and I have very distinct personality differences. Really the only people she likes are those nurses who dont think or talk much. She's really got it bad for myself and a couple of PACU nurses (one of which is an ex ER supervisor, the other currently a PT NICU nurse). We are all strong individuals, and while we are respectful and courteous, we generally don't let people walk all over us.

    There has been increasing hostility in the OR due to a hundred reasons I wont bore you with; you'll just have to trust me. I am constantly hounded by her nitpicking, called to the "office" to get my a** reamed for trivial reasons, and I'm to the point now where I go to work to get my job done, try to avoid her at all ******* costs, and usually I get by with maybe one incident a week anymore. It honestly feels harrassing.

    Last week was it for me though. The thermostats in the rooms are screwy right now due to the climate change, and we were doing a total hip. It was ungawdly hot in the room, so the scrub asked if i could turn the thermostat down. I told him it was already turned down to 10 o'clock (no temperatures marked on the dial, nor a temperature reading), so he told me to get the supervisor. I tried to get her attention, but she wouldn't enter the room, so i turned and instead opted to turn the thermostat off. (which we are asked to do often with this particular orthoped.) Within a minute she was in the door, grabbed me by the arm, dragged me to the thermostat and loudly tore me a "new one" in everyones earshot- for several minutes. (Including patient who only had a spinal, anesthesia, the other assistant, and the scrub.

    I was so suprised that she would touch me that i thought she was kidding- She has previously hit me (hard) in joking situations that I felt were her actual way of getting her feelings out on me, but never said anything because I'm so tired of her defensive attitude, I'm sure I would be written up for questioning her. Ugh. So after mauling the situation the rest of the case, and the weekend, I decided to take it to HR. After, I found out shes been suspended for 2 weeks for the same thing.

    Everyone quits because of her, no one really reports her for anything, and the other half stay and deal with her crap. I am staying AND reporting her, which I'm sure will make for a wonderful working relationship. What are your thoughts on this? Anyone have any other ideas for me??? I'm stressing and tired of going to work now, the morale is poor and it is a very high stress situation.
    Call me a badguy but I was a cop for too long to let this go. I would just call the police and charge her with assault/ battery (depending what state you are in) You don't have to give warnings or threats, you just do it, regardless what management would like you to do. That was a crime and I have arrested spouses for less in a domestic situation all of the time. This bad behavior will continue until you start arresting and sueing those that are to blame. It is too bad it has to come to this but that is how society is and please don't be that person that will get moral and say "I will not sue." Remember these unstable individuals count on this. I know this is an old post and I am just a nursing student but I am a student had been around the block more times than I would like to count. Even though I am a guy who is big and bad enough to take out the trash I will just let the law put down these wild dogs among us. You can believe if I feel assaulted by either PT, MD or co-worker/manager I will just dial 911 and report the crime. I'm not going to even mess with HR because its a criminal matter they can deal with it after the fact. Remember their are prosecutors fresh out of school looking to rip off someones pound of flesh to make a name for themselves, it might as well be your case they take up. Retaliation, Oh please, can you say windfall law suit. Any hospital that will let one of their dogs off the leash to harrass you is just asking to go BK. Hitting them in the wallet is the only way these people learn.

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