agency nurse to deal with difficult staff nurse

  1. What is best way to deal with a staff nurse that is increasingly becoming
    difficult. We each have assigned team. This nurse started friendly, extremely talkative on noc shift.
    Then began establishing her own policies and insisting I adhere to them. When I found out it was her thing ( adding more work and unnecessary) and not hospital policy I stopped doing it. My big mistake!! Now....she is on me about everything. Looks for mundane things, criticizes me in front of other staff - not in a productive way
    but demeaning. Interrupts when I am talking with my CNA's. When I was returning from lunch, she says she is giving my patient some tylenol because he has been in pain ( like I was neglecting). I said I just gave him some 20 minutes ago. Her reply is "well how am I suppose to know" and I remind her that is what MAR's are for...then she starts dissecting looking for my entry. Girl is a nightmare and has worked there for years. I had already accepted another month of work before her personality shift and now I am absolutely dreading going.

    I do not know if I should talk to her privately, tell her to stop it! because it does feel like harassment really. or bullying. its very stressful on top of already stress. the word is dread.
    I would like to know the most professional way to deal with this if anyone has ideas. my agency has policy once you accept shifts there is no turning back. Thanks
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    About Kashia

    Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 287; Likes: 196


  3. by   DixieRedHead
    I don't think you should talk to her privately. I think you should STOP talking to her. Remove yourself as far as possible from her drama. Convey only the information that you absolutely have to.

    When you are speaking with the nursing assistants and she interrupts, just stop, mid sentence preferably, look her dead in the eye. When she has finished, start exactly where you left off.

    Stay focused, do your job. And remain apart.
  4. by   Amanda.RN
    She doesn't sound like the kind of person who will be receptive to you pulling her aside. Doubling up on Tylenol dosing is a med error -- if you documented the dose you gave, she made a med error by administering another dose. This gives you the opportunity to go speak with the unit manager, which will be a perfect entry into your concerns about her attitude and toxic behaviors. What do others on the unit think of this person? Despite her being on that floor for many years, it could be that she's the "trouble-maker" of the unit and needs direction from management about improving her behavior.

    I would also recommend reading the book "Communicate with Confidence" by Dianna Booher; in particular chapter 12 "Taking the sting out of negative feedback or criticism leveled at you" and chapter 18 "Responding to insults, boasting, insensitivity, gossip, and other goofs hurled at you". This may give you some insight on things you can say or do to put her in her place. It's not okay to criticize a staff member in front of others, as she is doing to you. If she has constructive feedback, she should be pulling you aside.

    I definitely recommend speaking with the unit manager as soon as possible. And when your month is up, I'd get the heck outta there!

    Sorry you're having such a difficult time with this person. You'll come across people like this all the time throughout life though, so it's good to learn how to deal with them. Again, I definitely recommend the book above. Other good books for personal and professional growth are as follows:
    "Stop Workplace Drama" by Marlene Chism
    "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
    "Crucial Conversations" by Kerry Patterson (and multiple other authors)

    Good luck!
  5. by   gcupid
    You could just have a parking lot meeting and eliminate the cost of tuition & book fees...
  6. by   GamerNurse
    There's a book called 'Dealing With People You Can't Stand' that may help. Off the top of my head I can't remember the author, but it could work for you if you find it on Amazon or something. Good Luck!
  7. by   Vespertinas
    Quote from Amanda.RN
    I would also recommend reading the book "Communicate with Confidence" by Dianna Booher;
    "Stop Workplace Drama" by Marlene Chism
    "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
    "Crucial Conversations" by Kerry Patterson (and multiple other authors)
    Please tell me you're in a management position. Otherwise, your level of familiarity with self-help books scares me.
  8. by   DookieMeisterRN
    Quote from Vespertinas
    Please tell me you're in a management position. Otherwise, your level of familiarity with self-help books scares me.

    Is the type of attitude that is difficult to work with. Let's hear your great suggestion?
  9. by   Vespertinas
    I was hoping someone would say that.

    If you can't handle anything less than the most professional and polite conversation, then maybe you're the problem in some instances of communication breakdown.
  10. by   NDXUFan
    From a former police officer, tell her to mind her own damm business or ask her who died and left her as the boss or supervisor.
  11. by   Been there,done that
    Document.. document .. document with your recruiter.
    You should be in contact every 2 weeks.,,, even if everything is going well.

    You do NOT have to put up with this abuse, let your recruiter know. They will support you.
    I have broken a contract.. successfully.. because I documented that kind of bs before it became intolerable.
  12. by   Travelswithmutt
    Confront her the next time she does something. Imagine the scenarios playing out again and what you truly wish you could tell her in the most professional and assertive way possible (read don't be AGGRESSIVE, passive-aggressive is fine ). Reflect her overly-concerned inservice type demeanor right back to her. Tell her plainly, "Look Sally, I know you were probably trying to help with Mrs. B in 204 but now she has received double the dosage of acetaminophen and given her history of elevated liver enzymes I am concerned that she might develop hepatoxicy. I am going to have to write you up and you know how much I don't like doing that, especially since you were trying to help. How about in the future you let me take care of my own patients? I know you are worried because I am here on contract but I have plenty of experience and went through the same channels to receive my degree that you did." Step up your game by being prepared and make this woman fear that she might have over-reached her bounds.
  13. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS communicate what is going on at your hospital with your recruiter, tell her facts and examples, not I am dealing with this BXXCH at XXXXXXX, fact, examples, and you got some good ones,. . .

    Your recruiter is a lifeline in the fast running river, a floatation device on the ocean and so on. . .

    They should always be aware of this stuff, especially if you are the only nurse there from this agency. Then if this should bloom into something else, (ie something you can't stay and tolerate), you can get another contract and not be the BAD GUY.

    Wish you the best of luck!!!! Bullys Suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. by   momof2guys
    Talk with your clinical coordinator he/she will usually schedule a meeting with all parties to hash out problems. If diff ulities can not be solved then u should be able to break your contract w/o any serious consequences. Wishing u the best of luck.

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