How to deal with this type of co-worker/Advice


Hello everyone-

I have been working at this floor for 3 months, I am an new grad, but previously worked as a medic for 4 years.

This co-worker in my floor [night shift] has been there a year and a half. He seems to be a good guy for the most part, but a professional brown nose; which doesnt bother me at all because each to his own.

The issue comes when he interferes with care I am doing. This is a critical care floor; we have a lot of rapid responses and as a close group we are, we all go and help the nurse having this rapid response in anything we want.

He likes to question a lot of things I do which I know I right because I have done them in the paramedic field for a long time! example: Place an OPA, bag a pt when they are unresponsive and having funny weird breathing patterns.

I was talking to my team lead the other night about a certain pt whose SBP runs on the low 80s and its normal for her; she kept maintained a MAP over 60. This dude comes in between me and the team lead and asks me, "do you have an order for that? show it to me?

I was having a pt having runs of svt, this dude runs into my room and starts asking me questions and wanting to take over..

I know when its time to ask for help and there is ways to offer help; this co-worker simply seems to play the cool part with me,but at certain time loves to try and make me look bad. I always keep doing what I think is best for my pt and if something arises that is questionable, I ask my team lead or other nurses in the floor with much more experience that always give their space to others.

This co-worker has asked me what I want to do in the future, asked me about my gpa and when I told him my plans, I had a high gpa, etc he just kind of smiled and gave me like a jealous/sarcastic look..

I am not sure if you guys know what I am talking about with this dude's behavior; but I dont want to create issues between me and him, especially how he is a brown noser, but I also want him to know where the line is and that I know what I am doing and that if I need help, I will ask as I have done in the past...

Any advice?



4,104 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

I would ask your team lead and the other nurses to give you a non-sugarcoated opinion of your skills. If they don't see any glaring problems with your nursing care then tell the guy to mind his own business. More than likely he is one of those types that feels superior by pointing out to others what they are doing wrong, especially new grads (3 months vs. 1 1/2 yrs) that he feels don't know anything despite your experience in the field.

Besides it takes at least 2 yrs in a job to start to become proficient in a job and 5 yrs to become an expert. At a 1 1/2 yrs he is still learning the job.


216 Posts

I actually asked my 3 different team leads because I started feeling insecure; they said that I was doing very well as I always ask questions if in doubt. I know I know nothing when it comes to the realm of experience, but pt safety is always my priority and love to be taught things, but just dislike this dudes attitude and the way he comes at.

Thanks again


10 Posts

Try and sit down and tell him how you feel? Maybe that's just how he is. But let him know your place and that you appreciate his help but in the future you would appreciate him working with you and not making it seem like he has the authority to question your every move. Hope it all works out :)

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

Kill him with kindness. I would sit down with him and give him a dose of his own medicine. Brown nose him, a little. You need an objective 3rd party around to witness this interaction, but it should be informal, such as in the break room over lunch. You need a casual interaction; wait for your perfect opportunity, then pounce. Tell him how much you look up to him since he has obviously learned so much in just 18 months, and that you really respect him/his knowledge/his skills. Tell him that you hope to come as far as he has in that much time, but that his coaching style makes you uncomfortable, and that you need some space. Then -and this part is critical- tell him how you would like him to coach you instead.

"Joe, during the next rapid response could yo help me with interpreting the ABG and anticipating the next move? Your knowledge and experience there would be helpful to me."

I just made something up, perhaps you already know how to interpret ABGs perfectly well. The point is to give him a specific task that you do want help with. Don't let him run roughshod, set limits by asking him to do targeted teaching on areas you have identified as weaknesses. From your description, his ego will lead him straight into your trap.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

Just as a thought, being both an EMT and a nurse--

With you being a medic for so long, sometimes with rapid responses, we can go into "pre-hospital" mode. Meaning, placing an OPA as opposed to tubing, etc. I would follow your facility policy, however, perhaps this co-worker has never worked in the pre-hospital emergency genre, therefore, some of your interventions are foreign to him. Not incorrect, just foreign.

Also as a medic, your cardiac interpretations and interventions are well tuned, focused, and your training and experience is such that you are learned in subtle changes. You had to be. You are responsible for practice in a small, limited enviroment.

The discussion I would have is with your charge regarding correct interventions for your unit. Read your policies regarding RR. If it is appropriate to put in an OPA until whomever can tube the patient can, then I would think that well within your scope. I would certainly take direction from the team leader of the RRT. If they want an OPA, want you to ambu, then you need to do that. If you are directed to gain IV access....whatever the leader tasks you to do.

If you were discussing the patient with the low SBP with me, and some other nurse said something to the effect of "do you have an order for that" UHM, for WHAT exactly???? So in other words, some of the comments and questions he is making are absurd. And perhaps sound so to others as well.

For 4 years you worked independent of a hospital within protocols that you needed to partake interventions that would stabilize a patient on the field. It is a difficult transition sometimes to then stabilize a patient in the hospital setting, as when a RR is called, you go on autopilot, start your interventions as you have for 4 years, all's good. However, this may or may not be protocol (policy) within your unit. But I would ask.

I know for me, one of the hardest parts of going on EMT runs is to not have my nursing hat on. I would think that as a nurse, one of the hardest things for you in a RR is to not have your paramedic hat on.

You are highly conditioned in cardiac. You are highly conditioned in emergency response. Your brown-nosing co-worker, however, is perhaps not. What he says makes no sense. To you, nor perhaps anyone else. So he is just making himself look foolish. I would turn this around a bit. When he questions you, I would make some blanket statement about "I need to maintain an airway". Do NOT engage any further. When things have passed, and the RR is over, I would be the first one to say "our policy states that we are to maintain an airway, bag a patient who's RR is less than blah, blah. One of the easiest ways to do that is with an OPA. Have you ever used an OPA? They are pretty cool, and in my experience work well to maintain an airway". As far as the SBP order question--again, makes no sense to me, however, I would re-state that this is the patient's baseline, and "yes, it does seem low, however, she is monitored, and with patients who are classically low, we really do need to monitor that it doesn't go lower, do a strip every hour, and be sure to document any interventions" I would treat his questioning you as his burning desire to learn from you.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Don't play games - as suggested by some of the PPs. This will always come back to bite you. The straightforward approach outlined by jadelpn is the way to go.

By your description, your colleague appears to be a passive-aggressive game player. He enjoys it. You don't. Don't let him force you into becoming a player.


216 Posts

Thank you very much everyone, I really appreciate your responses! I will put some of these interventions if his behavior keeps getting too "bossy" like.

Again, thanks for such great advice everyone!

Specializes in ED. Has 20 years experience.

Hes just worried that the new person will show him up. I'm willing to bet there aren't too many hired between him and you that work the same shift. Personally, I would ignore him, you do not answer to him and I would let him know that. If he was quizzing me about the care I was doing, I would probable give some snarky remark such as "Are you writing a book?". Of course, this is coming from someone who has been out there for awhile, so maybe I am not the best person to offer advice.