How do you deal with a unhelpful colleague?

  1. You are caring for a patient after his surgery and you also have 6 other patients one of whom is actively hemorrhaging. You ask for a colleage's to help by helping you hang a IV for one of your patients so you can deal with the one that is hemorrhaging. But she responds, "sorry I am busy too; you will have to deal with it yourself!". You note that she has been talking with her husband on the phone for the last 20 minutes.

    How can you respond in an assertive manner?
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    About aka_selina

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 10; Likes: 1

    18 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I would state, "I really need you to give me a hand. If you can't help me, please get the charge nurse to come here." If that can't be done, there is always the nursing supervisor to call.
  4. by   barbie90210
    [font=book antiqua]in an emergency situation she cannot refuse. this will need some serious discussion with your nursing manager. i would have told her to page the house supervisor for me if she was not going to help. that's like having your patient fall out of bed, being too heavy to lift, and the other nurse saying 'sorry, i can't help you". you are within your rights to complain because she is jeopardizing the safety of all the patients on the floor. perhaps you need to restate the fact that you have a patient that may become critical and for her to do it now or call someone else to the floor. you are also within your rights to write it up. howver, it depends upon how well managed the floor is. in my experience some people can get away with anything if they are well connected. if you feel the situation is dangerous (regarding your license) perhaps you should look for another position.
  5. by   mamason
    OHHHHH.....I really hated working with people like that!!! I can't type what I'd like to say to that person. It would go against the terms of use on this board. I'm not one to write people up, but, in this instance, it would infuriate me. I was always told, "The pts on this unit are EVERYONE'S pts. We do our best to help each other out." I think I would have to speak to the charge or manager of your unit. My question is, How does this co-worker respond to other emergancy situations? Does she help out? I would state< I have a situation here and I need assistance. If that doesn't work call the charge or manager down. That ought to get the ball rolling.
  6. by   vamedic4
    I agree with mamason...write her little butt up. There's no excuse for that type of behaviour in the environment in which you work. We're all there for the patients....ALL OF THEM, whether we're directly responsible for their care or not. She needs an attitude adjustment, pronto, before her inactions cause a patient harm.
    I also agree with barbie90210...if she IS well connected, you'd be amazed at how much she's allowed to get away with. But I'd giver her the verbal equivalent of a serious butt kicking...and soon, damn the consequences.

    vamedic4
    getting the monsters ready for school
  7. by   ceecel.dee
    You might drop a line like, "I suppose that is a patient-related call. No? Then you'll be off your lunch break in 10 minutes and hang that bag for me then?"
    Now, don't assume that she will hang the bag, but she will get off the phone and get busy.
    Serioiusly now, you must talk to a supervisor about this co-worker (and I use the term 'worker' loosely).
  8. by   Daytonite
    Quote from aka_selina
    How can you respond in an assertive manner?
    "Colleague, stop what you are doing for a few minutes and hang this IV for Mr. Smith for me, please."
  9. by   Pepper The Cat
    Honestly? Mutter nasty things under my breath and do the job myself! Confrontation was never my strong point and we don't have supervisors at our hospital. (although I think we should!)
  10. by   RNHawaii34
    i would call another co worker to help me out, and after all the bleeding and everything? i would approach my charge nurse about it. " im busy too" is not an acceptible answer. what if it happens to her? this is not good.this should be addressed immidiately.that co worker of yours is very inconsiderate..hanging an iv bag shouldn't take 10 mins. for crying out loud!
  11. by   TazziRN
    I would be callling the charge nurse (or, at my facility, the house supe) and asking her for help. When she asks why Nurse Lazy isn't helping, I would repeat the conversation.
  12. by   southern rn
    Is this a school related question? Or something that really happened?
  13. by   GatorRN
    I'd just flat out tell her to take 2 mins to hang the IV bag for me or call the charge nurse to help me and that I'd be sure to tell the charge how helpful she was. People like that infuriate me. She better hope she never needs your help, I'd sure throw that line back at her, if my conscience would allow me depending on the circumstances.
  14. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from TazziRN
    I would be callling the charge nurse (or, at my facility, the house supe) and asking her for help. When she asks why Nurse Lazy isn't helping, I would repeat the conversation.
    Same here.

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