How do you handle an unprofessional nurse?

  1. I just recently started in LTC and love it. My only issue with staff is this. I started out on days and recently moved to nights. I met some of the daytime nurses and for the most part they are all professional with the exception of two. Make that one. These 2 were friends and both walked around like they owned the place. One is as new a nurse as I am (I'll call her Joan) and the other I'm not sure about (I'll call her Anne). I noticed on my first few days that Joan and Ann talked non stop, seemingly about everyone. While Ann was busy telling me how much better than me she was Joan was busy "ignoring" me (avoiding eye contact, not a word spoken, rolling the eyes, etc). After Anne I talked, she lowered her guard and acted a little more professionally. Joan on the other hand still does the same thing. This morning she wouldn't even listen to report or count narcotics with me because she was too busy "ignoring" me. How do I handle this? It is precisely attitudes like this why I don't like working days. I've never had any issue with attitude problems on nightshift, and certainly never from any nurses over 35 (Joan is early 20s). I don't need to make Joan or Anne my friends but I do need to know that my notes in report are being listened to and thatI 'm passing off a correctly counted narc box. Any advice? Thanks.
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    About JavaMama98, LVN

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 45; Likes: 20
    Dialysis Nurse; from US
    Specialty: LTC, Rehab, hemodialysis

    15 Comments

  3. by   CoffeeRTC
    You might not be able to change them, but just keep doing things that you are doing. Try to give a good verbal report, insist on counting narcs and the rest is up to them. If they don't listen, it is their fault. Do you have a place for written report too? We have a 24/hr sheet that we also document on and I note everything on it, so if the next nurse doesn't listen or mises it....it is their bad.
  4. by   snowyRN
    Dont EVER leave the facility without counting narcs, if she refuses to count with you after politely asking her then you need to speak to the supervisor or DON!
  5. by   ®Nurse
    I would throw the biggest hissy fit you've every seen in your life if you tried to depart without counting them narcs with me!

    If there is even one ml of narcotic missing during the next shift count and you haven't counted with the previous shift and made a notation of it, YOU and you alone are accountable for it.

    That is YOUR LICENSE on the line. If you don't believe me, call up the pharmacist and ask the pharm what will transpire if there is a missing narc at the end of your shift when you taken over the med cart without counting narcs with the previous nurse.
  6. by   missyd1991
    I encountered something similar to this and I even to a therapist and this is the advice he gave me, you can't change how they act but you can change the way you react to them. Sounds like you have a good attitude and keep trying to change how things are but they have to meet you half way, so make one of them count with you or call the DON down to count and let her know why you called her. No one has the right to treat others with disrespect. They way I look at things these days is I don't have to be friends with every one I work with but I do expect them to treat me with the same respect that I show them. Hope things get better, good luck.
  7. by   Lovely_RN
    The woman is a fool is she doesn't count the narcotics. Doesn't she understand that once she takes those narc keys that she is the one who is going to go down in flames if something is missing? As far as report goes we have a written report if the nurse doesn't want to listen to it then she can read it and try to figure out the rest. I really don't have the patience to deal with some of the antics of my co-workers. A popular one where I work is nurses clocking in and leaving the floor to look for parking. People are just simple-minded. They don't seem to realize that there is an electronic record that they are present on the unit. Once the clock in and leave the floor there is nothing to stop me from clocking out and leaving. What are they going to say if something happens that they clocked in and left?
  8. by   shannieliz
    I had a situation where I did count narcs with the offgoing nurse, but being on night shift I was the only nurse in the building (2 floors) there is a Q downstairs but I am still responsible for both floors, I had a situation where I had to go downstairs for an extended period of time to care for a gravely ill resident, I left my med carts open, and my narc drawer was closed, although not locked. I never realized that I did this until time to count with day shift, and was devestated when there was 2 duragesic patches missing!! I was very upset and the day shift nurse wasn't helping, stating that the police could be involved, etc. Fortunately the ADON and DON both knew me very well, and knew that I did not take the patches, eventually both of those cna's got fired for other things, because they could not prove that they took the patches. SO, needless to say I learned a valuable lesson, ALWAYS count narcs, and ALWAYS lock your narc drawers!!!
  9. by   achot chavi
    Needless to say, an unprofessional nurse rubs off on everyone else, so stick to the basics, insist on doing things professionally, write to the DON if you dont get cooperation, invite theDON or ADON to make rounds with you and count off narcotics till Anne or Joan wakes up, Dont risk ur license for them
  10. by   achot chavi
    Quote from shannieliz
    , I had a situation where I had to go downstairs for an extended period of time to care for a gravely ill resident, I left my med carts open, and my narc drawer was closed, although not locked. I never realized that I did this until time to count with day shift, and was devestated when there was 2 duragesic patches missing!! I was very upset and the day shift nurse wasn't helping, stating that the police could be involved, etc. Fortunately the ADON and DON both knew me very well, and knew that I did not take the patches, eventually both of those cna's got fired for other things, because they could not prove that they took the patches. SO, needless to say I learned a valuable lesson, ALWAYS count narcs, and ALWAYS lock your narc drawers!!!
    You must be more careful in the future, I would have held you responsible for the patches if you were one of my nurses- even if the CNA;s took the patches, and were wrong, you allowed it to happen.
    This is why i wont leave a nurse in charge of 2 units on seperate floors...What would youdo if an emergency happens simultaneously on 2 floors!!!
    You are lucky to have such an understanding DON!!
  11. by   bluegeegoo2
    I worked 3rds on a unit that had 2 I-own-the-building-you're-nothing-to-me types that relieved me on days. They would not pay a bit of attention to a word I said, would walk away when I was giving report, NEVER anything remotely close to eye contact, etc. Sooooo, it became a game to me. I would follow them around like I was attached to their butt going on and on with report until I was done. I found it to be rather amusing, really. They had to try really hard to get away from me, and the harder they tried, the funnier it was. They could never say they didn't get report! Next, I absolutely insisted they count carts. That I was dead serious about. If they poke-butted around and acted like they didn't have time, I would call the supervisor down to count. I didn't care who, but somebody with a license was going to count those carts before I left. It didn't take too long for them to see that the easiest way to rid themselves of me was to sit and listen to report, then count the cart. (They also did really annoying things like call back a MD and have orders cancelled that I had obtained for a res. I guess d/t they didn't think of it first? Who knows...). Anyway, it worked for me, but I'm pretty hard-headed like that.
  12. by   BoopetteRN
    Unfortunately sometimes we have to work with unprofessional people. I have had the same experience with not counting narcs with me, so, I would have the nurse who worked on the other side count with me. I always write report, so if they do not listen to me while I am giving report there is a written record in case something happens and they did not listen to me. I leave notes everywhere which really upsets them, but at least they can not say they did not know
  13. by   shannieliz
    Quote from achot chavi
    You must be more careful in the future, I would have held you responsible for the patches if you were one of my nurses- even if the CNA;s took the patches, and were wrong, you allowed it to happen.
    This is why i wont leave a nurse in charge of 2 units on seperate floors...What would youdo if an emergency happens simultaneously on 2 floors!!!
    You are lucky to have such an understanding DON!!

    Believe me, it's not my choice to be the charge nurse on 2 units, seperate floors. And, yes I am very lucky to work with the DON and ADON that I have
  14. by   vincrawford
    I actually work inpatient psych and my count was off by one this am. We have a paper system which is horrible, all the lines...lol...Anyways, I have been there for about a month now, new grad since May and I have never had a problem with the Narcs until today. I worked 3rd shift, it was a quiet night and the only time I was even in the Narc drawer was to count at the start of my shift! Well, I PHYSICALLY put my hands on every-single med, inspected them for color and shape...while the off-going nurse called out her change of shift numbers...sounds good right?? Well, when we counted, the numbers matched flawlessly....Time to leave my shift the next morning, and the next to last Narc was off by one!! I was looking at the on-coming nurse who had just counted with me, her hands currenlty in my Narc drawer telling me one is missing (don't be judgemental!!)......SCARY.....I thought to myself....I haven't been in the drawer all night...it's impossbile....then we had to notify the Nursing Supervisor.....while waiting like a criminal waiting to be executed I frantically searched the old MAR's for the missing dose....5 minutes of agonizing fright and I found it.....the previous nurse had documented in two seperate places as our policy stipulates (thanks GOD!) that she gave the drug, she just did not document/subtract the dose from the Narc count. Who's to blame??? Both of us......I am just as guilty for only looking at the pills themselves and not observing the number that the off-going nurse is recording on the Narc sheet....LESSON LEARNED.....the scariest feeling in the world to have a missing Narc and a brand new license! BE CAREFUL.....I will in the future slow the turn-over process down a bit and ensure that what I physcially count, the number recorded on the Narc sheet and what the off-going nurse says all match...because once I accepted the keys it became my problem. I HOPE SOMEONE ELSE CAN LEARN FROM MY MISFORTUNE. I was lucky in the fact that the nursing supervisor was very supportive, they never accused me of being a Narc-Thief......but it felt like the whole world was pointing the finger at me......horrible feeling....don't let it happen to you! Because I did not observe the written number, I could have jeopordized my career. If I would have looked at the number with the off-going nurse I could have caught the error and saved myself a lot of problems. By the way the off-going nurse is a Great Nurse, she's just happens to be human like the rest of us! Once the person you counted with is gone...it's truely up to you to defend your license!!!! On the way home I was thinking to myself....what if I could not have found where the med was dispensed....I would have provided a urine sample which would clearly exonerate me right?? Well, of couse my UDS would be clean...I don't even take any prescription drugs, barely Tylenol...I should be good right? Not exactly, if they could not have found the drug...just because I my UDS would have been clean would only have proven that I did not ingest the Narc....that still would not without a shadow of a doubt prove that I did not remove the Narc with intent to commit a crime!!!
    PEACE, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE AND MAY GOD BLESS!

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