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Fight with pct

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So the last time I worked, one of the LPNs (they do CNA work at my hospital) got absolutely livid with me when I didn't have time to do a bed change with her the other night. I genuinely did not have time since I was in the middle of giving meds, and she started yelling at me, etc. This was the first time I have not been able to help her when asked. As long as I've worked with her, there is no "delegating" anything to her. I do my job, and then help her with hers. She seems very bitter about the fact that she's doing CNA work, so I think she already resents the RNs anyway. Anyone have any advice on how to smooth this over? I tried to talk to her about it already but she was way too angry to discuss anything.

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

It's never acceptable to fight with a coworker, EVEN if you were sitting at the desk and texting and just didn't want to help her. I obviously don't know the whole story, but I think you should try to talk to her when you are both calm. See if you can work it out between the two of you. Otherwise, does your HR offer mediation?

And i'd be kinda ****** at being stuck in a "CNA" position if I was an LPN. Not that it excuses her behavior, of course. I hope she gets paid commensurate to her experience at least.

Nonyvole, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

If her attitude is consistently negative, then there may be no talking with her.

However, yelling at a coworker is a great big "oh HEY no" in any environment and does need to be addressed.

One thing that you can try to do is see if you can find her in a moment when she seems a little less angry and see if she'd be willing to sit down with you. Use "I feel" statements and have a goal in mind. "I felt attacked the other night when I was unable to help you with the bed change. I would appreciate it if in the future I was given a chance to finish my duties before I help you with yours. How can we work out how we can best communicate in the future to avoid situations like the other night?"

Option two is to let it go. She's an angry person and not using the education that she has if all she's doing are CNA duties and not anything as a LPN, and may feel that she has no way out of her current situation.

Option three is a more nuclear option, but one to keep in mind, especially if you don't feel that she's receptive to a talk with you. Talk to your supervisor. "Hey, I had an issue the other day with a coworker. I was in the middle of med pass and was asked to go help with a bed change. I said I was busy, and she yelled at me for not helping her. I would like to address this with her, but I don't feel that she would be willing to talk to me. Do you have any suggestions?" Me, I'd start off by asking for advice instead of going and saying "X was a witch to me," because I'm just that type of person and in my opinion it shows you to be, well, an adult.

So the last time I worked, one of the LPNs (they do CNA work at my hospital) got absolutely livid with me when I didn't have time to do a bed change with her the other night. I genuinely did not have time since I was in the middle of giving meds, and she started yelling at me, etc. This was the first time I have not been able to help her when asked. As long as I've worked with her, there is no "delegating" anything to her. I do my job, and then help her with hers. She seems very bitter about the fact that she's doing CNA work, so I think she already resents the RNs anyway. Anyone have any advice on how to smooth this over? I tried to talk to her about it already but she was way too angry to discuss anything.

The CNA yelling at the RN is not acceptable.

If she will not accept delegation speak to her about that chain of care and then report her to your leadership. The both of you work as a part of a team and she must be able to accept delegation from other team members.

Do not assume anything about her feelings or assign supposed feelings to her (bitterness).

There is no need to "smooth this over". There is need for teamwork which requires TRUST and RESPECT.

It is not your job to change the attitude or behavior or this coworker.

If this person yelled at me during the course of our work there would be ramifications not a "smoothing over". In that moment I would help that person to understand that such behavior and tone of voice will NOT be tolerated and any repeat will result in a meeting with myself and our supervisor.

Need to understand more about what was going on. Why was she asking you for help with a bed change? Was it a code brown? Bariatric pt. about to fall off the bed? Did patient vomit? Was pt. agitated? Confused with tons of lines? Was it a patient with a hip fx lying in a puddle of stool?

While she had no right to yell at you, I can think of a lot of reasons why someone would ask for help and be frustrated when they were told "no" for whatever reason. In my experience most CNAs are completely capable of handling a bed change on their own and don't ask for help unless they REALLY need it.

I would be mad if a CNA yelled at me too, but I'm a grown-up and having been in both roles, I understand the frustration on both sides.

Instead of being angry at each other, try to see things from the other person's perspective for a moment. You are a team, and bottom line, need to work together and help each other out. I just don't see someone flying off the handle for no reason. I think there is more to the story like something might have been going on with the patient that put her at risk.

Was there someone else that was able to help her?

The patient was 150lbs at most. She didn't really need her whole bed changed, she just needed to have her brief changed. I got in the room right when the pct was finishing up. There were other RNs on the floor, but she was the only PCT. She could have asked someone else or she could have waited till I gave my patient his meds. Before she went in the patients room, I told her I had to give this pt his meds. I honestly think she was looking for a reason to blow up at me. The first thing she did was say to me (in front of the pt) was "where WERE you?!" I told her "I'm sorry but I have to do my job before I help you with yours".

The pt was confused but pleasant and cooperative. Not aggressive or IV or tubes. No vomit, no hip (or any) fractures.

I only wish that any of the nurses would ever help me when I worked as a CNA. That nurse accepted the circumstances when she accepted the job. You have no responsibility toward her unprofessional behavior. If that occurred in front of patients, then the next time it happens, it is your responsibility to address it as her supervisor. There is no smoothing over to be done.

I do help whenever I am able, and had already done a bed change and cleaned up a couple of patients that night. She obviously didn't know I had, because she wasn't there to witness it. I guess she thought I had been being lazy or something. I don't know. She said she was going to take this up with our supervisor, and I kind of hope she does.

Thank u for your responses. I was a little worried that I was looking at it wrong or something, because her level of anger seemed so disproportionate to the situation.

I would hazard a guess that her dissatisfaction has little, if anything, to do with you. It appears she needs to find better employment opportunities so she can improve her attitude.

I would also go speak to the supervisor and bring her attitude to their attention. This way you are able to give the full story without being called in and feeling "attacked" off the bat.

Just because one does "CNA work" doesn't make them any less of a nurse. Her scope may be whittled down to that of what a CNA would do, however, she is still a licensed nurse.

With that being said, no one goes to work to be yelled at. Inappropriate, rude, and disturbing to the patients. I would not hesitate to excuse myself from that situation, go directly to your charge nurse, explain that said LPN was being rude and yelling, and let your charge deal with it from there.

I would not say a thing to her directly. Doesn't matter what the role of the LPN is, she should know better. And if she doesn't, then there are other people who are higher on the payscale than you to deal with such behavior. Going forward, the MOMENT one begins to raise their voice and yell regardless of the content of the conversation, I would say, in a very low tone"excuse me, but you are inappropriate. You may discuss this with charge, and not with me". And go about your day.

Do NOT engage. I repeat, do NOT engage.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Why would you want to "smooth things over" ?

Interrupting your medication administration, raising her voice, and continuing the altercation in front of a patient are all inexcusable and unprofessional. Her current role and her problems with it is not an excuse to act that way.

She needs to be written up , not coddled.

This behavior is not acceptable in any work environment...I was in similar situation once with someone who consistently seemed resentful of her position and of being delegated tasks, took it out on nurses and once even a patient. It got to where I avoided asking her for any help, since it was so unpleasant to deal with the wrath. Brought it up with higher ups and she was let go. I felt bad, but there are plenty of people who do a great job, are willing to work together, minus the attitude and rudeness. I think an occasional slip for anyone is ok, there may be something going on at home or whatever, but if it is a pattern, they need find a job elsewhere.