The goody two-shoes hero act

  1. One of my biggest pet peeves is the goody two shoes hero act. It's so unprofessional, it really degrades the sense of a team, and vilifying others to make yourself look good is just plain immature.

    The other day, I was called in by the PCT about a woman complaining of chest pain. She was AOx1, and needed to be redirected because she had a tendency to go off on tangents and needed things repeated. I started taking vitals, explaining what I was doing, and asking her about her chest pain. Another nurse came in, which distracted her. I really needed to know NOW about her pain, so I kept asking her, elaborating if she seemed confused. I also had to keep readjusting the blood pressure cuff, as she was skinny and kept trying to remove the uncomfortable thing. All this confusion made her annoyed, and she told the other nurse that I needed to stop crushing her arm (referrring to the BP cuff). The other nurse asked her, "Aww, that's okay, I'll protect you from her. You want me to fight her?" He was just joking, but that goody two-shoes act really made me lose the feel of teamwork that night. The PCT and the RT both told me that they thought his behavior was unacceptable. Thankfully, he is prn and only comes about once a month.

    Another example of this was a few years back when I was an aide in a nursing home. I was preparing to give one women a shower, and as I was taking off her clothes, she started screaming like she sometimes did. A goody two shoes hero aide stepped in, soothing the resident by telling her, "It's ok, I won't let her hurt you. I'm here, it's going to be all right. I won't do what she did." The resident did calm down, but that aide tended to jump in like that and vilify others to make herself look good.

    I understand that in some severe cases (aka dangerously delusional psychiatric patients) this may be necessary, but if used habitually, I think that this is so harmful to teamwork and turns patients against you. Yes, it may solve the immediate problem, but it turns staff and patients against each other, and is especially bad if the vilified one must attend to that patient after the incident.
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    About PeachPie

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 531; Likes: 526
    LTAC RN; from US
    Specialty: EC, IMU, LTAC


  3. by   nursemike
    You're absolutely right, and even aside from the effect on you, these people need to learn the difference between de-escalation and feeding into a delusion. I'd be tempted to forgive the other aide as possibly not knowing any better, but you'd have been within your rights to tell the other nurse to go attend to his own patients.

    As a male, I sometimes feel an impulse to protect "my" womenfolk. It's an instinct. And there have been times the womenfolk have been happy to be protected. More often, though, the womenfolk are the more experienced nurses, and backing them up means just that--stand back and follow their lead. I can always go pound my chest and grunt in the medroom, later.
  4. by   RainnRN
    That behavior is very unprofessional. I never experienced it at work, but my significant other does this with our children sometimes. It drives me crazy! I tend to try to avoid conflict, so I would have a hard time dealing with this behavior from a coworker. I think I would ignore it the first time, but if the behavior continues I would have to confront him.
  5. by   Pat_Pat RN
  6. by   deege58
    Quote from Pat_Pat RN
    I concur!!!
  7. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Anyone who vilifies a coworker to appease the patient, by playing the good guy bad guy in the patient's presence, has got to be spoken to directly by a manager immediately; tolerating this behavior by stating that "he's only prn" is in my view an attempt to take on more of the same at a later date.
  8. by   Perpetual Student
    That annoys me, too. I would've pulled the dude aside later and explained to him why it's a bad idea.
  9. by   iluvivt
    Nip it in the bud at the time of occurrence..I politely say in a no nonsense tone of voice " I have this under control". Once in a blue moon someone will not get it the first time and you will have to press the issue. It should be short and sweet and professional..anything else and you need to take the person aside. I like to live in the present and deal with it right then so I do not have to take it home
  10. by   Scrubby
    I saw a similar thing the other day where a surgeon was yelling at a nurse who was in the unlucky position of being the bringer of bad news....(he had to get a consent from a non English speaking patient the interpreter was going to leave in half an hour). The surgeon started carrying on at her, she argued back at him not to shoot the messenger...another nurse in the room decided to be the big hero and told the nurse that she needed to stop arguing back at the surgeon, she was out of much for nurses sticking together.

    Later on when I came back the nurse who stuck up for the surgeon told me in front of him that 'Dr so and so apologized' loud response was 'so be bloody well should of'. She was like shocked but I'm not having with nurses trying to suck up to surgeons by encouraging bad behavior.
  11. by   RN1982
    I had some CNA pull that stunt in front of the patient and the family. She said "If she doesn't take good care of you, I'll kick her butt"...She didn't last very long.
  12. by   Hygiene Queen
    We do indeed do the "Good Guy-Bad Guy" schtick in psych, but we have an agreement of sorts first... or give the wink... whatever. It can be a very very useful technique.
    If it's done just to make the other guy look stupid, then it's extraordinarily rude.
    Right time, right patient, right scenario and right attitude...
    Otherwise, thumbs down.
  13. by   oramar
    I haven't experienced that situation but something similar. I have had an aide, or a housekeeper come in room while I am with a patient and say, "you got the best nurse in the hospital there". Now you would think I would be flattered but I would prefer they not do that. First of all, there are many fine nurses in the hospital and I would be hard pressed to say who was the "BEST".(matter of fact that is what I said when that happened) Also, if the patient really thinks about it they might come to wonder if the rest of the people taking care of them are not quite up to snuff. Really it is not false modesty, I knew who the best nurses in the hospital were and I was not on the list. On somedays I was a good nurse, on others I was adequate, but I was never the best anywhere, my goal perhaps but never achieved. Interestingly, I never had a professional do that to me. I don't know if the support personal was trying to curry favor or what but it was never a nurse or a doctor or a respiratory tech that would say that.
  14. by   gmw1975
    I'd be ok with someone doing that to me if it was CLEARLY in a joking manner. Also, I think I'd expect some sort of an explanation afterwards. Something along the lines of "hey, I'm really sorry I did that, but I was only trying to calm the patient down and it seemed to be working." But, I'm also very thick skinned. I'm guessing you're somewhat thick skinned too, because I know a few people who would've put him in his place right then and there! =) Sorry you had a bad experience with this guy. Maybe he'll get on staff at another hospital or something.