Being called "ignorant" by your boss- am I over-reacting?

Specialties Geriatric


Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatric, Hospice.

Long story (kind of) short, I have worked in this rehab facilty for over 3 years, I am one of their most loyal employees and I am required to orient all of the new nurses on my shift. I have never been disciplined for anything, never an issue, no complaints. (There is a point to my saying this; I am not just tooting my own horn;). Regardless of who is on, I usually get calls about if something happened with someone/something and a LOT of pressure is put on me, which is fine because I like nursing. My facility has an extraordinarily high turn-over rate. Most new nurses last on the floor less than 2 weeks and it has the reputation to be the most difficult of places to work in the area. The DON runs it like an absolute tyranny.

On the rehab floor we have 60 patients and 3 CNA's, one nurse for 38 patients and the other nurse takes the rest and floats upstairs to take some of the dementia patients. For a 120 bed facility thats 3 nurses and 6 CNAs. These patients are extremely demanding and the facility expects us to provide the utmost 'customer service' for them, of course.

Anyways, this morning, me and about 10 other people are at the nurse's station giving/getting report. A call bell is going off. (Call bells are always going off; that's what happens when you staff 3 CNA's for 60 medicare patients!). The manager in question approaches me and only me, to ask 'where my CNA's are". I tell her I don't know, but given the time they're probably in rooms finishing rounds. The other nurse for the majority of floor does not get questioned. She keeps ranting about the call light and I tell her I'll find someone to get it- all the while knowing since I'm in report, why can't she get it? She ignores the CNA's standing at the desk, who could have very well answered the damn light.

Anyways, later on, she pulls me into the office to tell me 'I'm ignorant' and that I should always know exactly where my CNA's are and that 'my pt could have been on the floor' etc etc etc. This pt wasn't even assigned to me!!! She conts on verbally belittling me in FRONT of another nurse. I keep my cool and remain polite and leave. I end up bawling my eyes out in anger all the way home.

I'm going to be putting my 2 weeks in. This incident is the icing on the cake to the chaotic hell that is my workplace. I am contemplating calling corporate. This manager I used to have a great rapport with, and today she suddenly has turned on me. Am I overreacting or is calling your employee 'ignorant' for such a small thing TOTALLY uncalled for? I would never dream of calling a CNA that.

tl:dr: Manager acts as if I am the only one who can do anything and should be responsible for everything and then calls me ignorant when I fail to rise to her unreasonable expectations.

Life is more than treating someone poorly over a call bell in a nursing home.

Wow this sounds like a facility that is totally under staffed for starters. I think IMHO I would have to speak with her one on one tomorrow. I would be very polite about it, but to the point. I would point out to her that you guys are under staffed and what was going on. She sounds like a prude. Giving your two weeks isn't just because of her I would assume. Do you like the job or are you wanting to go somewhere else. If you can take the abuse and be over worked then don't leave, but if not I would definately speak with her and then give my two weeks notice, but you don't want her to fire you be careful. If you don't speak with her, that will allow her the opportunity to continue to do it to you as well as others, it might not even make a difference to her, but at least you put her on notice. Good luck and hold your head up and continue to be a great nurse

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

No, you are not overreacting. The name-calling esp in front of the other nurse is abusive.

But, before you put in your notice, I'd let the emotion dissipate just a little only for the purposes of making clear (to yourself) that this is a "straw that broke the camel's back" incident or a "really ****** off at what she put you through on the day" question.

You can forget about getting an apology, most likely, but if the person who publicly humiliated you doesn't show up on the floor all that often, you'd be best off figuring a risk-benefit chart without adding the person in the mix, unless just the knowledge of her presence in the building makes for a bad day.

It's also possible her day was really horrible, she snapped and may feel remorseful. If there's any chance a talk could clear the air, it's probably worth trying that first. Best wishes!

It is hard to tell if the manager stated the term "ignorant" as a pejorative or as a matter of fact. However, belittling anyone in front of anyone else is a very unprofessional action, pretty much an unforgivable action.

Find better employment and make sure they know why.

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

Am I missing something? 120 residents and only 3 nurses on day shift?I can't imagine calling someone ignorant in public. No wonder your turnover is so high.

That's about 40 residents per nurse on days. Sounds normal to me for LTC. I have 49 on 3-11. Dayshifts has the same amount, but they have a RN unit coordinator, too. It's the CNA staffing at twos place that sounds really worrying....

Specializes in Geriatric, Oncology.

Wow! The first paragraph of your post could have been me describing the job I just left!! Amazing how skilled nursing facilities are so short staffed for taking care of such acute pt's! I think they must really value you as a nurse if they are ask for your opinion in sticky situations. However, she had no right to belittle you especially in front of another employee. If you can run things there, trust me you can run things anywhere! Maybe it's time for you to spread your wings and find another facility that will appreciate you.....good nurses are hard to keep and they should know that :-) Good Luck

First, let me say I am so sorry that happened to you. No matter how your supervisor felt at that particular time, calling you ignorant was inappropriate to say the very least. It sounds like you are a very dependable, hard-working, conscientious nurse/employee. I think any facility would be lucky to have you. I wish you all the best in your decision.

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care, pulmonary nursing.

Sounds exactly like the facility I used to work for. Run, don't walk. Run away. It will only get worse.

Specializes in Critical Care.

Perhaps this is just the 'guy' in me; but you are allowed to stick up for yourself in ANY situation/job.

If you can gather the courage in a situation like that, you can always call your nursing manager "unprofessional" after they call you "ignorant", especially with another nurse in the room. If the NM reacts (people who heavily criticize are historically bad at receiving criticism), you have basically manipulated them into doing or saying something even more dramatic than "ignorant". Then you remember everything you can, write a letter about exactly what was said, and it becomes an HR mess in which you did nothing wrong but call out your nursing manager for being unprofessional which he/she was in the first place.

(BS in psychology here)

This may not be 'good' advice. However, your NM clearly doesn't need to be in a position like that, belittling nurses. Save the manipulation for next time. The bigger your back bone, the more power you have in the work place

Specializes in Inpatient & family practice.

Find management that is above her and voice your complaint. If there is no one who is above her who you can voice your complaint to then tender your resignation with a full explanation of why you are doing so.

Save your tears.

You have a witness to the incident - make a complaint - she's a bully. No-one likes a bully!

+ Add a Comment