Quote from Bammy
Hi all, just looking for a little advice really.
I'm a new grad working night shift in a nursing home in the UK. I have done 2 night shifts so far and to be honest I'm less than impressed with the level of care I have seen. I have a real issue with the nursing assistant that seems to always be on my unit. She is much older than I am and has made it clear that she thinks she controls the unit. I have been told by her how she is 'always in matrons office in the morning, reporting people.' She has told me how she has 'got rid' of several staff members because of their poor levels of care and she constantly insults other staff members to me which makes me concerned what she is saying about me.
I do my best to do everything correctly and my patient's wellbeing is paramount so I'm confident she can have no valid reason for reporting me but I really feel that I am being dominated by her on a shift.
My main concerns are her lack of adherence to infection control. She refuses to wear gloves to perform personal care, claiming her skin condition (she has psoriasis) means she can't..I have seen her literally put her hand in faeces and then touch the patients face. I tried to put across that she MUST wear gloves but she refused to listen. She had a coughing fit into a patients towel and then used it to dry them...I have yet to see her wash her hands. She doesn't wear a uniform overnight, just a skimpy vest and hands full of rings which she takes off before the day staff come in...
She does turn the patients regularly and is always changing pads but her practice just isn't good enough in my opinion. I found a wet pad on someones table!
I feel I need to report her but worry that nobody else has yet..I'm also worried about reporting her to a matron who obviously uses her as a 'spy' on other staff, apparently promising her a senior assistant position for her hard work..
A difficult situation and I'm unsure of what to do...
We had a staff meeting last night and the matron was not happy to hear any issues people had even though she had asked for them. I told her that I thought there was a need for clinical waste bins in each room as dragging a bag around the corridors for each change isn't good enough and involves leaving your patient to dispose of the waste mid change. This wasn't well received...
How do you report poor levels of care about a staff member who seems to be in the pocket of the management? I feel other nurses have turned a blind eye because of the relationship with the matron but I can't do it..the patients wellbeing is at risk.
My first reaction was to say you should get a different job. I also wondered if you saw all of this on just 2 shifts. No matter, though, really.
I think you are probably right that the manager uses the aide to spy. I think it's really bad that she puts other peoples' stool on her hands and it then gets onto the patients, I think you have given lots of examples of really bad behavior, dirty and dangerous behavior.
Normally, I would say to write it all down, just as you have here, with dates, times, who the patients were (to pinpoint it in time), and turn it in to Management. The trouble is, you're a new graduate and a new employee. You will likely be fired if you try to do anything that Management doesn't want done - like expose this awful person. I guess you could try talking to her directly and from your heart, say you're concerned about her not wearing gloves, concerned about her coughing into the patient's towel and then using it on the patient, etc. However, she likely would not be happy to hear it and would proceed to crush you and she will succeed - at least, it sounds like your Manager would take her side and be against you. I guess you could report her to someone over the Manager's head, after the Manager does not receive your report well.
Take my next statement with a grain of salt. Try not to mind the patients' wellbeing so much. They have apparently been surviving her atrocious behavior for a while now. Or have you not told us the whole story?
I really don't know how to advise you. I do wish you well.