Employee Complaint - page 2

So I've been an RN for close to 2 years now and while the hospital I'm working at has a lot of faults, I genuinely like my coworkers and enjoy working with them. I get along with everyone and I... Read More

  1. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from FlyingFishofFury
    So I've been an RN for close to 2 years now and while the hospital I'm working at has a lot of faults, I genuinely like my coworkers and enjoy working with them. I get along with everyone and I always try my best to stay positive and helpful. I've always prided myself on never bringing a sour attitude to work. Thats why I was shocked and very surprised when the director of my unit contacted me stating that she had received a complaint concerning my attitude at work.

    The complaint hadn't even came from one of my fellow nursing coworkers, it had come from a phlebotomist. I was very upset by this because the phlebotomist who had complained was someone I had held in high regard and liked. She was always very cheerful and likable and I always initiated conversation with her since she was easy to approach with her bubbly personality. She was the very last person I had expected to complain about me so it sort of felt like a betrayal.

    The complaint itself was something so trivial it felt unjust. She had complained that when she asked me to draw from a PICC line that I had presented myself as annoyed and irritated and asked rude questions. I remember that day clearly and while it was busy, I didn't mind drawing from a PICC line. It was my patient after all. She was mostly offended when I asked why phlebotomists at our hospital weren't allow to draw from PICC lines and if other Phlebotomists at other hospitals could do it. Having never worked at another hospital I was genuinely curious regarding our hospital policies. She didn't seem to take offense and even answered me cheerfully stating that they weren't even allowed to carry NS flushes.

    I honestly meant no offense when said I thought it would be pretty cool if they started training the phlebotomists at our hospitals to draw from PICC lines. I just wanted her to know that I knew how inconvenient it must have been for her to have to hunt down an RN every time she had to draw from a PICC when were always so short staffed. I spoke from experience of the frustration I often had trying to find help changing a patient at busy times of the night when it was hard to locate another nurse for help. She even laughed and agreed that it would be easier. I just wish she would have gone to me with her problem and told me to my face about how I had offended her instead of going behind my back and taking it to the director.

    I can't change anything and what frustrates me the most is that the complaint was uncalled for. I had no negative feelings towards her, I wasn't annoyed at the situation, and all I wanted to do was initiate small talk like we always did when I saw her drawing blood. I never felt like I had deviated from a professional manner for after all, I was wondering aloud ways we could improve our hospital and the quality of our patient care. How are her feelings regarding the situation and genuine questions in any way my fault?

    My main question is, will this complaint be considered a write up and stay permanently on my record? The director did have me sign the copy of the email she received as evidence that I had received it and she had spoken to me about it. what happens next?
    What happens next is up to your facilities H.R. policies and procedures, but really you should be having this discussion with your Supervisor.

    I am not sure how appropriate it was to discuss lab/hospital practices in front of a patient, if that is what happened. Sometimes, when a discussion like that takes place, perception can be skewed in the middle of a busy time.

    I remember once something similar had happened to me when I was travel nursing. A bedridden patient's cath had blood in it and I asked the two caregivers how they were turning her and how they handled her foley when they did that.

    They showed me and neglected to be careful with her catheter tubing and bag even when they had been previously shown. I made the comment that "this catheter has been pulled during turning, which explains the blood in the tubing."

    They were mildly annoyed at me, but pretended to be cordial. I just kept working so I paid no attention to their body language. Later, I found out that the patient had stated: I can't believe she spoke to you that way." It later got blown all out of proportion. So perception does play a part.

    Still, it wouldn't hurt to smooth some ruffled feathers as you do have to work with this person. Perhaps you could invite her for coffee during break and clear the air in a quiet respectful way? I am not saying you did something bad, but she was somehow offended and it would be nice to clear that smoke away. Of course, it's up to you. Just a gentle suggestion from one who has also been taken by surprise.
  2. by   JKL33
    I wouldn't have any conversations with her about this unless your manager feels you should and wants to be present.

    Forget that. Next thing you'll know you'll be accused of bullying her and seeking her out and making her uncomfortable because she complained.

    Nope, no way. Similar to "fool me once...."
  3. by   canoehead
    Welcome to nursing, is about all I have to say.
  4. by   wondern
    Seems pretty ridunkulous to write you up over that. Maybe they're pals after work. Who knows? Who wants to work under an unsupportive manager like that? Not me that is fo sho!
  5. by   MilliePieRN
    At our hospital, even lpn's cant draw from a picc (which is preposterous). I would never consider any phlebotomist to be able to.
    Also, NS is considered a med.

    Sounds pretty weird for her to complain about the situation, you probably really sounded annoyed. Maybe from her perspective, she's constantly feeling like nurses get annoyed when asked to do their job (maybe not even you at that time). I got secretly annoyed when I had to draw picc labs every morning for the lpns' patients (not at the lpn, but it might have seemed that way to them if the caught ever caught my annoyance vibe).

    I doubt any more will come of it
  6. by   inthecosmos
    Very odd exchange. Seems way too silly to be getting called into anyone's office over.
  7. by   sherrileec
    You should write up a rebuttal to the complaint and explain your side of the story. They should attach that to your personnel file as well and possibly remove the complaint as well. Good Luck to you.
  8. by   saskrn
    Quote from OldDude
    I think it's a pretty dumb thing for someone to complain about (next time you'll be accused of looking at the phlebotomist wrong) but if you're worried about it, ASK your supervisor if this is a "courtesy" conversation or a complaint which will end up as part of your employee record. If it's gonna stay in your file, write up your rebuttal and have that document signed by your supervisor and filed away too. Doing nothing shows you agree...
    This. Very important.
  9. by   middleagednurse
    Stupid stuff like this is why nurses get burned out.
  10. by   FolksBtrippin
    I think RNs sometimes forget that phlebotomists and other skilled techs work under us. So we need to be careful that what we're saying to them couldn't be construed as telling them to do something that is outside their scope. That puts them in a very difficult position. Especially if they like and respect us.

    It's complicated because usually techs have other supervisors and the dynamic can feel like an equal relationship. Also we don't always know what a tech can and can't do. But when push comes to shove, the RN's judgment call is always above the tech's judgment call.

    I think that's the takeaway. Be sure it never seems like you are telling a tech to do something she isn't allowed to do. If you are giving someone a task, make sure you know that they are comfortable doing it.

    I would talk the phlebotomist if I was the OP. I would just say, My sup showed me your email and I wanted to apologize for putting pressure on you. I was thinking out loud and I didn't realize how it could have made you feel. I like and respect you and want ro clear the air so we can get back to normal.
  11. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from middleagednurse
    Stupid stuff like this is why nurses get burned out.
    Exactly this. This can't be emphasized enough. We can roll with the real stuff. It's this constant diet of petty b******* that just gets. real. old.
  12. by   Daisy Joyce
    Are you usually good at reading and interpreting body language? Or was this a one-off misreading on your part?
    In either case, now you know who you can't trust.
    I personally despise that grin-to-your-face-complain-behind-your-back backstabbing crap. Especially because she ran to your supervisor to "tell".
    From now on keep your interactions with her to a bare minimum. She's especially dangerous because she doesn't give off accurate visual or verbal cues that you can assess your interactions with her by.
    The supervisor may have touched base with you because of facility policy.
    I worked in a facility where all employee complaints had to be followed up somehow.
    So the one day, Nurse Nancy comes in for report and the nurses station was very messy (it had been one of THOSE kind of shifts), I was trying to get the paperwork together so I could give her report, and she took it into her head to huff and puff and race around frantically cleaning the nurse desk. I knew she was trying to guilt me into frantically cleaning alongside her, but I wasn't going to be played like that, so I let her act the fool a few minutes, then she suddenly rushed out of the station and came back a few minutes later . She fumed all through report then grabbed the cart to start med pass. I cleaned up the nurse desk and headed towards the door.
    The day supervisor stopped me on the way out, half apologetically, half trying not to laugh and she tells me that by company policy says she had to relay to me the other nurses' complaint that I left a messy desk and *didnt even help her clean up!*
    This nurse was known to have violent mood swings.
    PS she got fired two weeks later for hollering at a resident...
  13. by   Oldmahubbard
    Quote from middleagednurse
    Stupid stuff like this is why nurses get burned out.
    I have such people to thank for my NP career!

    OK, been there, done that. Your question obviously pushed her buttons. And phlebotomists are not allowed to draw off PICC lines anywhere I ever worked. Pretty sure this is a no in every state.

    Nurses earn a lot more than phlebotomists. Much of life comes down to economic insecurity and jealousy.

    If this is "going in your file", I would request a sit down with the phlebotomist and the unit manager.

    Otherwise, let's say a year or two from now, someone else misunderstands something you say, and now suddenly you have a "a pattern of not getting along with other employees"

    Don't think things like that don't happen.

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