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Harrassment in the Work Place


Wanted to share an experience I had to day with you guys to see what yall's opinion might be. I work full time agency and have for quite some time. I go to the same 5 hospitals. Was at work today and was severely harrassed. It all started when I was about to do a blood sugar, had the machine set up with strip in glucometer but forgot to get refill on albumin and pt was on contact precaution so I had to do everything at once. Was just about done with getting the bottle when a nurse shouted were is the accucheck, I said I am about to use it, she ran to my cart, grabbed it, took out my strip and kicked me out of the glucometer. I said " I can't believe you just did that!" She ran off and never returned the glucometer after I asked her to do so. I was having a rough day, my assignment was from hell. I caught the nurse I was suppose to give report to and some other nurse tried to steal her away. At this point I lost it. " First the glucometer gets ripped out of my hands, then I can't give report, no wonder no one wants to work here." The nurse let me start giving my report, then the glucometer nurse comes in ranting and raving, using profanity, pointing her finger at me, yelling in the middle of the nurse's station. I kept telling her to stop talking to me and if she had anything to say to direct it at the charge nurse. She wouldn't let me give report, basically kept harrassing me until I had to call the supervisor and even then she kept on. Much to her surprise the supervisor came immediately and caught her, walked straight up to her without saying a word to me and told her to basically quit it and took her to the side. I don't know what transpired between the supervisor and her but she never said another word. He came over and said " I don't know what transpired here but why don't we just try to give report and go home." I agreed and went about my business. Should I inform the agency of what this nurse did? Could I have done anything different? Would really appreciate some advice.

Sorry you had an awful assignement; I can not think of a much you could have done differently.

I learned a long time ago, you can not "really" change people; but you can change your situation. The beauty of Agency Nursing (and there are many wonderful things about it) is, you NEVER HAVE TO go back...

Hang in there!


Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.

I know you said you have been FT Agency for quite some time and that you go to the same 5 hospitals but you did not say how long you have been working Agency at this particular hospital, so I would ask: Is this the first time that this has happened?

I would have said, excuse me but I was just going to use this now, I had no idea that you needed this sooner or I would have gladly let you take it while I did something else. Usually a very chipper response (said with a friendly smile) throws them off and that's that. However, seeing that you were having a hellacious day (and we all get those) and the hospital-staff-nurse-from-hell morphed before your eyes, I would have let her finish her tyraid and when she was all through, verified that she was indeed done and then tell her in a firm, professional voice that this is a matter that is best discussed behind a closed door and perhapse with a moderator present. At that point, I would have walked away and calmly called the nursing supervisor.

As to whether or not you notify the Agency on your experience, I think I would put it in writing and to cover your behind (the CYA policy), call your agency or better yet if you have a local branch office that you can go to, go in and talk to whom ever it is that you deal with at the agency and tell them that you want them to be aware of the incident and give them a copy of your written statement, that way if some genius chooses to make something bigger out of it, your side of the incident is clearly documented. Just make sure that your documentation is all factual with as little subjective input as possible.

It seems to me that there was a breakdown in communication on the part of staff nurse by not communicating that she needed to use the glucometer. As far as someone trying to steal the nurse you were trying to give report to, well........usually a, "someone needs to decide who is taking my report or I am leaving my written, detailed report sheet here and I will let the nursing supervisor know that someone is refusing to take my report and I'll leave...it's your choice" will get someone to take report so fast it will make your head spin.....no one likes the inability to ask questions of the previous shift.

And as Nightngale said, if it was that bad the beauty of agency nursing is that you NEVER have to go back!

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