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Co-workers doing your work behind your back?

Nurses   (2,720 Views 21 Comments)
by RachelRN25 RachelRN25 (Member)

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Ok, this is a part rant, part question. I work on a general medical floor where I am fairly new. My problem is that I often feel as though my co-workers will go behind my back and do my work! The nurses usually tell me about what they did for the patient after the fact and often times in passing. Like if they see an IV of mine beeping, they will fix it, disconnect the patient if it's done, etc. They will also give my patients water, food, etc. if the patients ask. Granted these are little things, but it drives me crazy! And I consider it a safety issue. Such as if the patient they had given food to was NPO, or they program my IV pump wrong. Does anyone else have this problem? It is really driving me crazy and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it.

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feisty_lpn is a LPN and specializes in HH, Psych, MR/DD, geriatric, agency.

2,481 Visitors; 106 Posts

I see your point re: safety with programming IV pumps, NPO status (does your facility have NPO signs on the doors or above the beds? Most facilities I agency to have that policy). But, IMO, your work environment seems to be the perfect picture of teamwork and communication. All the nurses pitching in to help each other and letting each other know "hey, don't worry about so-and-so's IV... it was finished, so I went ahead and disconnected it for you".

How to deal with it?... Smile and thank them. There will come a shift where you will be glad they "have your back" on the little things.

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6,021 Visitors; 645 Posts

I rather enjoyed it when I had a co-worker did things like that for me if I was busy. And in return for the favor, I also did it for her. It worked really well. There is almost nothing I hate more than a co-worker who refuses to do something if I am busy because "it is not their patient." Just thank them et go about your day.

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jnrsmommy specializes in LTC/Rehab,Med/Surg, OB/GYN, Ortho, Neuro.

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I know that it can seem a little annoying when that happens, but I would be really grateful. I've worked in places where co-workers will let a pump beep for 10 min while I'm doing something else. At least your co-workers let you know about it. Then go back in the room, check on the pt, check on the pump; say "Sorry I wasn't here for you a few minutes ago, but I see that one of my wonderful co-workers helped you. Is there anything I can do for you?"

As for giving a pt food/water, I never do that w/o checking the orders and w/ the nurse first. You never know if the doc has given the nurse a verbal order or heads up that something is going on w/ the pt that would require NPO status, even if there isn't an order in the chart.

To me, nursing is a team job. I've tried doing everything for my pts by myself, and it's overwhelming. I appreciate the extra set of hands, no matter how small the task may be.

What I can't stand is when I'm in a pt's room because they've called for something and another nurse will just jump right in and take over on my pt. :angryfire If I'm swamped, that's one thing, but I'M RIGHT THERE :angryfire

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457 Visitors; 5 Posts

I worked with a nurse who felt she should never assist a patient not hers. She came to me one night to tell me a patient needed the bed pan. I was in the middle of assisting an aid clean a C-diff patient who required a bedding change, bath...you get the picture. By the time we finished C-diff guy we got to go do a second bedding change/bath. Would have been way too dificult for her to had the patient the bed pan labled with her name from the bath room.

Teamwork makes everything run so much smoother, but if it really bothers you, let the other nurses know.

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1,771 Visitors; 69 Posts

Sounds to me like you should be very greatful. What wonderful co-workers.

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ShayRN has 18 years experience and specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice.

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Ok, this is a part rant, part question. I work on a general medical floor where I am fairly new. My problem is that I often feel as though my co-workers will go behind my back and do my work! The nurses usually tell me about what they did for the patient after the fact and often times in passing. Like if they see an IV of mine beeping, they will fix it, disconnect the patient if it's done, etc. They will also give my patients water, food, etc. if the patients ask. Granted these are little things, but it drives me crazy! And I consider it a safety issue. Such as if the patient they had given food to was NPO, or they program my IV pump wrong. Does anyone else have this problem? It is really driving me crazy and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it.

UH? This isn't doing your work, this is what TEAMWORK is all about! BE GREATFUL you have co-workers like this. As far as getting them something to drink, do you do group reports? I always made note of who was NPO at the hospital when I worked there. So if my co-worker was BUSY I could HELP.;) So, let me ask you this, do you help them?

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Ayvah has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Med Surg, Specialty.

11,378 Visitors; 722 Posts

I agree with the other posters. Be thankful that you have coworkers who are willing to help out your patients. Would you really rather that your patient sit with their IV beeping, keeping them up, for a half hour while you are in with another patient who is vomitting? Would you rather that your patient go without small comforts like a popsickle until you can finish up hanging blood on a different patient? On the flip side, would you rather that any other nurses' patients sit with empty PCA vials for a half hour while their primary nurse is occupied with another patient? Its all about doing what is best for our patients, and meeting their needs quickly.

I am curious though, would you also think that if you were to answer the call light of another person and replace an IV bag, fix a distal occlusion, give a patient a tylenol, etc, that you would be sneaking behind another nurse back if you did that? Or does this mean that you ignore call lights? Or that you answer them but then hunt down the nurse no matter what it is?

If you don't answer other patients call lights, Ill just point out the time that I answered someone else's patient's call light, even though I was busy, and it turned out I had to code the guy. Had I not answered the call light, who knows how worse things might have been by the time the nurse for that patient would have.

Nurses should have the knowledge to seek out answers to potential contraindications for patients other than their own, such as by checking on diet status before giving the patient anything to eat/drink. We also put NPO and other important stickers outside the door of our patient's room to help identify special conditions. If I have any sort of question, I will always ask their primary nurse if I can get their patient a pain pill, or if they are strong enough that I can 1-assist them to the commode, etc.

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2,531 Visitors; 100 Posts

I agree that this is all part of the teamwork, however, I think the OP has a legitimate concern. If there is anything that concerns you, anything that you feel uncomfortable not having done yourself, then ask them nicely if they remembered to chart that they did it. Otherwise, you have to have a certain amount of trust between co-workers. Over time, you will work it all out and be doing the same yourself. Good luck.

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jill48 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Geri, Ortho, Telemetry, Psych.

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This is the way a team is SUPPOSED to work. You're quite lucky. And even if you have reservations about another nurse doing any care on your patients, once she does it - it becomes her license. It's not that they are going behind your back to do this, they are just helping. ;)

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walk6miles specializes in ICU of all kinds, CVICU, Cath Lab, ER..

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What you are experiencing is TEAM WORK!!! And what you are having problems with is giving up some of your control..... get over it! Unless someone is giving your patients food or water or meds without checking first, you really have nothing to complain about.

All of the previous posters hit it on the head - say thanks, join the team and praise the Lord!!

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Dalzac is a RN and specializes in CCU,ICU,ER retired.

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:yeahthat: :yeahthat:

This is the way a team is SUPPOSED to work. You're quite lucky. And even if you have reservations about another nurse doing any care on your patients, once she does it - it becomes her license. It's not that they are going behind your back to do this, they are just helping. ;)

I love the fact that I have someone to help me out when I can't get to it. Co-workers like that make me want to go to work

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