What to say? - page 2

Hi everyone--I need your advice. I have to confront a notoriously lazy tech about what she did wrong the last time I worked with her and what I expect of her in the future and need to streamline what... Read More

  1. by   mercyteapot
    No words of wisdom, but good luck. Where I work, HR is so leery of lawsuits, that all line staff has to do is say waah when they're written up and it magically goes away.
  2. by   ABQLNDRN
    Not to mention that our techs here also have their very own union...we have to write "communication reports" to our NM in order for her to be able to do anything. I am going to start writing them.

    6Miles--there is only an RN and a tech in the NBN each day, whether we have 2 patients or 11. When I am slammed with admits, I don't have time to be babysitting a grown woman and to be asking her if she's done her job all day. I don't have the time or desire to ask her why she's copping an attitude. I'm far more concerned about my patients than about her many, varied complaints. I'd rather not have her in there than pull dead weight. Bad help is no help at all.

    And yes, that list was only one shift's worth of problems.
    Last edit by ABQLNDRN on Apr 29, '07
  3. by   annmariern
    From recent experience, the trying to be nice and sit down and discuss it with her won't work. Been there, done it. You have a list of issues that need to be documented and addressed by your manager. Or it will just continue and get worse. Don't expect to be miss popular afterward though. I have the silent treatment/passive aggressive crap now, which I deal with by not having her take my patients; I don't have the time or energy for this nonsense at work. Who does?
  4. by   nitetimeobnurse
    Quote from crissrn27
    I find that techs (and nurses) like this are just in the way, tell her to go home if she doesn't want to do her job. I would print out the same list you have here and take it to the NM, tell NM you want to be there when these issues are addressed, also. That way, you can make sure all of this is out in the open and the NM doesn't just brush it off.
    I agree whole heartedly with this but it is also to tell her to go to nursing school before she starts trying to tell you or someone else (ie: physician) your job. She sounds more than just lazy she sounds dangerous.
  5. by   VegRN
    Quote from maralenn
    Hi everyone--I need your advice. I have to confront a notoriously lazy tech about what she did wrong the last time I worked with her and what I expect of her in the future and need to streamline what I am going to say.

    This tech has been written up before by one of our nurse educators. The reason she's still working in the Newborn Nursery (NBN) is a mystery to me. I was charge in the NBN a couple of days ago. Here's a list of the things she did that were a problem for me:
    • Took a 40-minute breakfast break (should've been 15 mins.)
    • Took a 40-minute lunch break (should've been 30 mins.)
    • Asked me for an afternoon break
    • Got mad and virtually slowed down to a near halt because she couldn't get that last break (a pt.'s acuity went up & there was work to do)
    • Was devising and discussing a pt's plan of care with the attending MD behind my back (I walked in on the conversation). The pt. was apneic and I was not going to let the pt. go out to breastfeed until I could see that the pt. could sat well on room air. She wanted to take the pt. to the mother. (Practicing nursing without a license?)
    • Did not do a routine blood test that must be done in a timely manner. I'd asked her twice to do it. I went to give report at shift change and realized that she hadn't done the blood test and there was only 12 minutes to get the test done. I had to find someone to do it because I had to give report to the NBN night shift charge RN.
    • She left without asking if there was anything else to be done (which would've included the above-mentioned blood test). One has to check out with the charge RN before leaving.
    • She left an infant warmer unit TRASHED for two hours. It didn't get cleaned until the night shift came in. (I didn't have time to do it; it was her responsibility. I was taking care of patients.)
    • She TOLD me to do one of our daily chores because "all the other nurses have been doing it, and frankly, the nurse SHOULD do it." If I ahdn't already been doing it in the interest of the fact that we were running out of time, I'd have told her to do it. I just told her that I was already in the process of doing it.
    This tech has been working on the unit for 8 years. I think she does what she does because she doesn't want to work for her paycheck. She pushes to see how much she can get away with. I have only been a nurse for a year, but I will be darned if I am going to allow her to do this to me. I am going to state my expectations to her and let her know that if she does not meet them, she will be written up. I know writing people up "makes waves," etc. , but her behavior is affecting staff morale and more importantly, patient care.

    Any advice is appreciated in how I should go about dealing with this.
    Maralenn-we must have the same co-worker. Geez, I feel for you.

    I agree with the poster that said to document and then go to the manager with the specifics. And like they said, don't expect to be miss popular. These kind of people will act like they are still in middle school with their behavior. But, what's more important, that you feel like miss popular or that you have good pt care?
    Document, document, document. Do your job, report as needed, be persistent and hopefully things will work out.

    Good luck.
  6. by   walk6miles
    If I knew how to attach a video to this, I would show you a co-worker sound asleep on one of the beds. If they can't fix this problem, I wouldn't be surprised to see that it just gets ROOMBA'D (vacuumed)away.

    The level of professionalism has sunken to new low.
  7. by   vamedic4
    People like her make all of us "assistive staff" look bad, and I hate to see that.:angryfire
    She definitely needs to be told of the issues you've so eloquently listed, and I agree with others...it needs to be in front of someone else so that someone else is aware of exactly what was said by all parties involved.

    Don't get involved in a mud slinging contest, it's not worth it. In my experience, these people are experts at "justifying" their actions, or explaining things away...as if they've invented some fictional world inside their head where they are the only one's who are right and nothing you say makes any difference.:trout:

    Perhaps she needs a few days off without pay to think about how good of an employee she really wants to be?? Some people need a wakeup call, some just need to be hit with the phone.

    Good luck!
  8. by   canoehead
    Write her up and send the documentation to the NM.

    Make sure you keep on her about completing her duties, and document when she doesn't but a confrontation may give her reason to file a grievance against you.

    Request to meet with the NM and her to come up with a plan of action.

    Offer as part of the plan to make a list of your expectations- and have the NM approve it.

    Ask that there be immediate consequences if she is not doing her work (for the good of the patients you need an immediate response) whether that means calling the supervisor, or sending her home, calling another person in to help, whatever.

    Work the plan and document, document, so your manager has in writing the good and the bad, and how you have tried to work it out.
  9. by   Dalzac
    I had a tech just like that. one night we were smoking hot busy I had to have a tech with me on the floor we were so dang busy I asked the 3-11 tech if he could stay over and watch monitors so I could use our 11-7 tech to be a nurse tech and help me with pt care. He said sure no problem.every time I would come out of a room to ask for help my night tech was watching monitors and he was taking a litlle rest(nap) in the lounge. I was nice about it the first couple of times. Finnally i started getting mad about it. So when I found him for the umpteenth time laying on the couch I woke him up and told him to go home. He told me I didn't have the authority to send him any where. I called the nursing supervisor for help and told her the deal. She showed up and stood behind me and I told him to go home again with his attitude and not helping me. He went home. It was written up and he ended up getting smacked with 3 day suspend w/o pay.
  10. by   nursemike
    Quote from loricatus
    A checkoff sheet outlining duties and expectations may help. This way she has her job duties in writing and must come to the charge nurse to verify (co-sign) each timed checkoff, including giving report at the end of her shift. If she were to refuse this, have her document that also. Anything in writing supplies tangible proof on performance/nonperformance and provides you an objective way to initiate disciplinary action. If she, perhaps, tried to claim that she was being singled out/discriminated against, you could implement this checkoff sheet across the board to eliminate that possibility. Those that do their jobs well would welcome a way to prove it!

    Also, include scheduled break time in that sheet, with signatures required before leaving and when returning. Spaces for comments could be used to document deviances and other issues you mentioned (including positive comments to those who do their job well).
    While this seems reasonable enough, my experience has been that when such measures are implemented "across the board" those who actually are doing their jobs resent being "punished" along with the wrong-doer. It does often seem that those causing problems are a small minority, and I think it makes a lot more sense to get rid of them than to change the rules for those who are performing.

    As for whether the person can be sent home, I suppose that depends on your facility. However, I was recently saddled with an aide who was insubordinate and derelict in his duties. After a long night of just doing it myself if I needed to be sure it was done, I later realized that I really ought to have ordered him not to participate in the care of my patients and told the charge nurse I would just do primary nursing on my pts. The simple fact was, my license was riding on each of my patients, and it was unwise of me to put it at risk because someone wasn't doing or wasn't doing properly the tasks I had delegated--even though most of that "delegation" was indirect, in that the aides' duties are pretty much spelled out in their job description.

    Of course, the question arises as to whether I could have provided adequate care to my patients without assistance. However, with the exception of a few tasks like taking scheduled vitals, I already was.

    Fortunately, the aide in question left before I had to deal with him again, but in the future I'll be a lot less forebearing.