Another crazy question..need input


  • Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.
  1. When a coworker breaks the rules, I typically:

    • Get very upset and say something to the person
    • Get very upset about it but say nothing
    • Get somewhat upset about it but "let it go"
    • As long as I am not affected, it doesn't bother me
    • I have no previous work experience

400 members have participated

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RN403, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,068 Posts

Yes, I found this question very frustrating while taking pre-employment assessments. By saying ''I would get very upset and say something." It almost sounds as if you would "freak out" on the person. All of the other answers make it seem like you would just ignore the person breaking the rules and do nothing. Argh. :mad:

I always pick the first answer, though, because I figure at least it indicates that I would do something about it...but, I still feel like it could essentially be taken the wrong way...

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

It depends on what rule they broke. Some are serious, some I would just let go.

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VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I HATE that question. It doesn't have a "none of the above" option. Nor does it have a "I'd be somewhat upset, but handle it professionally by speaking calmly with the person who broke the rule". Or a "It depends on the seriousness of the situation". Or.....well, the possibilities are endless. :rolleyes:

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.
It depends on what rule they broke. Some are serious, some I would just let go.

That's what I feel like too. Very angry would never be my response, unless it was very serious.

Cricket183, BSN, RN

1 Article; 237 Posts

Specializes in Oncology (OCN). Has 20 years experience.

I agree that it all depends on the rule. If the rule is something with minor consequences when broken, it might annoy me but I generally will keep my thoughts to myself. Let's say the rule is no food or drink at the nurses's station and someone has bottled water next to them while charting or giving report, I'm likely to just let it go. On the other hand, if the broken rule has major consequence when broken, I will likely be angry and confront you. Let's say the rule is no diverting narcotics and I catch you injecting a patient's dose of morphine, we are gonna have a problem. I'm going to be really angry that the patient is harmed and that you put me (and yourself) in that situation. I will definitely call you on it.

My guess is they are either looking to weed out people who are black and white type thinkers, those that feel every rule should always be followed. Or maybe they are trying to weed out confrontational types? Or it could be the exact opposite, they are looking to weed out people who won't act when they see the rules being broken. Who knows. It's a bad question with poor options.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

There are no good answers listed.

I hate those kinds of multiple guess questions!

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

I didn't vote. Depends on the offense. If it's mild and doesn't affect patient care, I won't say anything. If it's minor and affects patient care I'll usually fix it myself and then act like they just forgot, "Hey, i remember room 16 needs to be NPO for her u/s in two hours, but when I walked past her room I saw her drinking water. I moved it and reeducated her for you." If it's significant I'll talk to the person involved directly then go to management if it's very grave or direct confrontation didn't resolve the issue.

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.

Thanks for your input. I think I'm going to pick the 3rd choice. In most cases people I experience breaking rules are breaking "minor" rules like using their cell phone in the hall or eating outside the breakroom. I am not the police. My work environment is not one where people are constantly making huge errors that would make me "very angry" and feel the need to confront them. I guess your answer has to speak to your personal experiences. My typical response to people breaking rules is #3 if breaking that rule is getting in the way of them doing their job (such as using cell phone). I use my cell phone in the hall sometimes. But I'm not on my phone if there are incomplete tasks to do.


1 Post

I just encountered this question while applying at a hospital. It is a horrible question, because getting "very upset" is completely unprofessional. But, in healthcare, rules are there for a reason... The most important being patient safety and privacy. Even something as benign as sending a text could be misinterpreted as a potential HIPPA violation. Answer A, "Get very upset and say something", is the only answer where any correct action is taken, and that is to say something. No hospital wants to think that an employee is going to turn a blind on the safety of their patients by "letting it go" or because the action may not "affect you". And definitely getting "very angry and saying nothing" makes you sound like a loaded gun. If somebody breaks a rule, they want to know that the right thing will be done.

Has 23 years experience.

I picked the 'let it go' option because 99% of the time, it is things like sneaking a peek at the cell phone at the front desk, snarfing a donut outside the staff room, or talking a bit loudly using a patient's first name. The latter is easy to deal with, bug your eyes out at the nurse and put your finger to your lips. There isn't a nurse alive who doesn't understand HIPAA, and a yearly computer competency that doesn't make us "promise" to tattle on someone. A brand new staff might need the mini lecture but after that, NO ONE does. I don't lecture people, I assume they are adults.

One of my difficult co-workers anointed herself as the unit cop when it came to various, common 'no nos' like cell phones. She used to drive herself crazy. She payed more attention to the conduct of the staff than to her patient care, writing loooong emails to the manager, making series of phone calls up the chain of command to complain about the tone of voice of the Blood Bank personell, etc. I wondered if she took these incidences personally, as suddenly they were her petard for the night. Like Sue checked her cell phone AT this nurse. Honestly, our staff was excellent, had high personal standards for all aspects of good care, AND sat in patient's rooms to shout at the Seahawk's game along with the family. And devoured a bag of cookies at the nurse's station, AND got a bit loud discussing a patient's foley in the hallway.

Maybe my amygdala is just turned way down, and some folks have it turned way up? I tolerate the tattle tales along with the cell phone peekers and cookie crammers :)