Psycho DON's

  1. I've got a question - just curious.....How do you handle a psycho DON?????
    It seems that there are many nurses out there that are in positions of authority and have no management skills whatsoever. I wonder how these people get put in these jobs?
    For example: Picture your DON yelling and cursing at you in front of patients and staff? Picture your DON speaking negatively about your coworkers on a daily basis? Picture your DON blaming you for her failures?????
    What's a girl to do????? Does anyone else have a nut for a boss or am I the only lucky one.???
  2. Visit gambroRN profile page

    About gambroRN

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 48; Likes: 2
    dialysis RN - chronic hemodialysis


  3. by   spineCNOR
    Trust me, Gambro, you are NOT alone. Sadly though I have no explanation for your question. Many nurse managers have neither the people skills, experience or education for their positions. Facilities employing these managers are partly to blame-where I work new managers recieve no formal training in dealing with workplace issues. I think these facilities have a responsiblity to their managers and staff to give these people the training they need.

    Another thing is that many times when nurses move into management they no longer have any involvement in direct patient care. Look at doctors who are involved in eduction, administration, research, etc.-for the most part they still see patients and stay current in their practice. The further away nurse managers and educators get away from the bedside the less they understand the issues of direct caregivers.

    In my observation, we all have different needs for power-people with a strong desire for power tend to gravitate to management. These are often the people that have no reservations about using other people to get where they want to be. This is the person that will focus and "sucking up" to their administration and the doctors to get ahead, and have no interest in addressing the concerns of their employees.

    In all fairness, many mid-level managers are in impossible positions-they are charged by their bosses with keeping costs down regardless of the cost to patients and staff, and then on the other end they can't satify their staff.

    Getting back to your question-how to you handle those people- it beats the heck out of me! Doing things to help advance your DON's objectives, such as helping her with special projects, etc. would probably be one way to boost your status somewhat, at least in her eyes, and she would be less likely to hassle you at least.

    Sorry I'm no help, but I wish you the best.
  4. by   nicubabe
    How they get therir jobs could be the old " if it's not who you know, it's who you bl***." Your DON's actions are totally out of line . My only suggestion would be to follow your chain of command and speak to his/her supervisor about the inappropriate behavior. But make sure you have documentation of dates and times of these occurrences. I keep a running diary of incidences that occur so that if anything ever comes up I have some type of written proof. Although , if it doesn't happen with other staff members then it is just your word against hers.
  5. by   CATHYW
    is this in a hospital, ltc, or what? this is totally and absolutely uncalled for! if it is a hospital, have you spoken with your manager about this? if so, you, your manager, and any other nurses affected by this woman need to approach her higher-up, whatever position that might be, en masse. i would suggest that you write a letter outlining the dates, times, and unprofessional remarks this woman has made. then, make an appt. for several of the affected nurses to see the don's vice-president, or whomever is over her. present the letter, signed by all concerned. this should get the ball rolling! :spin:
  6. by   deespoohbear
    There should be a policy in the policy book dealing with this problem. Sounds like abuse to me, verbal at the least. I would document down everytime it happens, names, what was said, witnesses, every little detail... Then, I would take it up the chain of command and don't stop until this issue is addressed. I think your psycho DON is creating what the law says is a hostile work place and you do not have to tolerate it. Period. Good luck and let us know how it turns out......
  7. by   Youda
    When I saw the title of this thread, I just started laughing! Psycho DONs, let me count the ways . . .
    My favorite response is, "I can see that you're upset. Can we discuss this later when your judgment is better?" Yeah, it's a verbal slap in the face, but I figure I'm entitled. I'd also start a grievance procedure, however your facility does them, for her disrespectful and inappropriate behavior. This is really abusive behavior; how or why it happens isn't for you to deal with because it's a management problem. But, don't allow it to continue, either. You owe it to yourself to be treated professionally and with respect.
  8. by   Youda
    Here's a good article on Nurse Abuse. Why do you put up with it? Why don't you recognize it? And why does it happen?

    Are you a victim of workplace bullying or abuse? And what does it do to you?

    Is your boss, DON, management a Toxic Boss? How can you tell?

    Is there anything you can do about it? YES!
  9. by   cactus wren
    A nd.if all the above great advice doesn`t can always let your feet do the talking......lots of jobs out there........
  10. by   MHN
    Gambro People like that DON usually get to positions like that by being promoted above their incompetence in the hope that they will be found out quicker.MHN
  11. by   Pamelita
    YEP, we just "lost" our DON, turns to be beside the fact that she did not even how to do an IV push, that she didn't have a Masters and that she sexually accused an employee!! WOW!
    She lasted about 8 months I think. The administrator felt like an idiot because he interviewed her, can you believe they didn't check her credentials????
    good luck
  12. by   Youda
    Pamelita, that's terrible!
    I had a DON recently who decided that my flush orders for a central line were wrong. So, she rewrote it (without calling the doctor by the way), to use full-strength heparin (not heplock solution) at 3cc q 4 hours. Since the patient was on coumadin . . . well, the heplock wouldn't have affected her PT, but full 3cc of full strength heparin q 4 hours sure would have. When I saw the order, I just about came unglued. And me and that DON had to have a little chat. Of course, since she was psycho, she never forgave me for pointing out her stupidity (and saving her rear-end, I might add). I have never been good at the slave-master relationship, so she gave me trouble until the day they promoted her.
  13. by   colleen10
    Hi gambro RN,

    I just wanted to say that these Psycho's are in all types of management positions in all types of industries. You wondered about how these people get hired? Don't know for sure but I'm sure it has something with them being Psycho in the first place. I really think these people have dual personalities and I'm sure they seem like competent, nice managers to their superiors but you and the rest of the people that have to work with them know better.

    The company I used to work for actually hired a person to be a CEO of one of our subsidiary companes. He lasted almost a year until it was discovered that 1) he had lied about the financial stability and profitability of the company 2) got most of the managers to like him and support him because he doubled their salaries 3) put his wife on the payroll making $300,000.00 a year. Mind you, his wife is a flight attendant in another state.

    After they got rid of him they found out that he had done the same exact thing to 2 other companies that he had worked at before coming to ours.

    So, you see, it takes all kinds.

    I don't know what the answer is, but you are by no means alone.

    Take care and keep your chin up,
  14. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    In all these years I have been very lucki apparently and have workrd with nothing but topmotche proffesional DONs
    no complaints here

    doo wah ditty