Ethical WWYD


I was hired for a department, oriented on one shift, and now moved to the shift I was hired for. The staff on this shift are much less professional that the one I oriented on. It feels like a completly different hospital/department. This week a situation happened that I was uncomfortable with. A nurse's attitude and behaviors caused a patient to become aggitated and it escalated way, way, way out of hand. I truly believe that this did not have to happen and wouldn't have if my co-workers behaved in a more professional, less aggressive, less judgemental manner. I did not intervene at the time, as I was the new person and from what I could tell, the only one that disagreed with what was going on.

I would love to go to the other shift. I don't know when that will be an option. I can't work like this for long and will be looking for a new job if another shift isn't available for me soon. I don't want to be made miserable for the rest of my time on the current shift. If I report this to my manager and it comes out, I know that it will be obvious that I was the one that reported it. I think I know in my gut that this should not go unreported, I just don't know when.


240 Posts

Specializes in ER/ MEDICAL ICU / CCU/OB-GYN /CORRECTION. Has 14 years experience.

"I could tell, the only one that disagreed with what was going on"

check out the possibility of transfer otherwise resign-I am all for change but this sounds not a good situation to be in.

nowim clean

296 Posts

Sometimes it takes someone new or not to step up and thake charge to change a situation. Dont think of you or how others think of you think of what is right for the patient

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I remember reading that the new people are the ones that bring change into an environment. You're new--maybe you can be the one who brings positive change. I think it's worth a try, while you look for other opportunities at least...

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

I think you should go to your boss and tell them how uncomfortable you are on this shift and how you comfortable you are on the other shift.....tell your boss the other shift was a better fit and see what they say. But do tell them what happened......and what lead to your being uncomfortable.

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

IF that ever happens again, you could add your input to the (upset) pt, and try to deescalate the situation...

AND privately tell the nurse that you felt the situation could have been prevented.

and, what esme said.


Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

I agree w/ Leslie. Bide your time. Earn the respect of your new colleagues and try to lead by example, and intervene as she suggested when the situation necessitates it. If you see something totally egregious, speak to the unit manager, but be ready to lose the job or be made miserable in it.

Nurse Netty

10 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics.

I've been in a similar situation, only this involved life or death, literally. I was the new nurse in a long term care facility, and just coming on to my shift, no one was at the nurse's station, and I heard something going on down the hall, I ran down to see what it was and found a patient on the floor with 1 nurse that had been there at least 20 years (not exaggerating) and a nursing assistant that had been there almost as long doing CPR. right away I noticed they were doing it wrong. no kidding, positioning for compressions was WAYYY OFF, and they were not maintaining an airway open during breaths. there were several nurses and nursing assistants also in the room, and nobody was intervening, so I grabbed one and as respectfully as I could booted the two out of the way and resumed CPR until EMS arrived and took over. I brought it to the charge nurse, as well as nursing management in such a way as to request we enstated code drills in the facility, because of what happened. I hadn't heard anything for more than a week, so I brought it up again, and again and again and kept it up, for months. Still nothing. Eventually another job came available and I took it. A year or so down the road, I ran into who was the DON at the time of the incident, to find out she was no longer the DON, she didn't even work in the facility, she was a staff nurse at the local hospital now, since she had been replaced. Long story short, it's difficult, you want to be able to work in peace with your coworkers, a team effort is always best, but not at the risk of your patients. When ethical matters arise, always do what's right, even if you have to do it alone. You may inspire someone else to stand up for what's right as well. It could catch on. Go for it! :nurse:


60 Posts

Thanks for the input.