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I'm ready to start a paper trail.

Posted

This is long and could be considered a rant.

I will start by saying that I am not a new nurse and I have several years experience in my specialty. I feel like I am being bullied by a co-worker for most of the 10 months I have worked in this job. At first she seemed helpful while I was orienting to the unit, and she loved to teach. However I noticed she is difficult to communicate with and NOT because English is her second language.

I first approached her asking how we can communicate better with no resolution. Then I spoke to the manager after noticing no improvement. The manager agreed that this nurse does have communication difficulties and is not easy to get along with. She has had clashes with other staff and treats others similar to how she treats me. I just can't bring myself to confront her in front of patients.

Over the last several months I have had 2 sit down informal meetings with this nurse and the manager. I have sensed no effort on her part to improve our working relationship. At the end of the last meeting, the manager told us we were to work the issue out ourselves, and if she has to get involved, she would escalate the process.

The last straw was when this nurse came back from a vacation of 2 weeks and I couldn't believe the difference in the atmosphere in the unit while she was gone. The manager also noted the difference and commented on it to me. I was able to do my job and take care of my patients without her telling me what to do on a non-stop basis. I

was in heaven. So her first day back is the manager's first day of a 2 week vacation.

This nurse proceeded to once again interfere with my care, and begin telling me what I

should do. She criticized me in front of an awake alert patient, and insulted me in front

of the patient as well. I did not confront her in front of the patient, as I believe it is

unprofessional.

I had a private talk with her the next day we worked together and told her not to criticize me or insult me in front of patient's again. I told her my patient care was excellent and I did not need her to tell me what to do. If I need her help, I will ask for it. She disagreed with my way of caring for the patient, and the conversation quickly deteriorated into a verbal argument with no resolution. The manager and my evals state that my patient care is appropriate.

The next day we worked together, she again felt the need to tell me what to do step by step for my patient care as though she did not believe I could come up with the ideas

on my own. She would tell me to do things I had already done, or was in the process of doing.

So the E-mail to my manager and director is in my drafts folder at work; I am going to

edit it some more before I send. it. I don't want to write anyone up, or threaten anyone's job, I just want the bullying and incessant criticizing to stop.

What kind of unit?

Need to know the type of environment you're working in, type of patients. Team nursing?

Is this a supervisor/leader/charge?

It's a PACU in a small hospital. I am one of 5 RN's in the unit including the manager. She has no authority to reprimand anyone, but she does take a charge role with one other RN when the manager is not there. She takes care of staffing, scheduling, and the flow of patients through the unit. She is not my superior. We have 1 or 2 patients at a time in close quarters.

Edited by VAC

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

It's a PACU in a small hospital. I am one of 5 RN's in the unit including the manager. She has no authority to reprimand anyone, but she does take a charge role with one other RN when the manager is not there. She takes care of staffing, scheduling, and the flow of patients through the unit. She is not my superior. We have 1 or 2 patients at a time in close quarters.

Does the unit manager know she takes care of those duties?

Does the unit manager know she takes care of those duties?

Yes. Her duties do not include telling us how to do our patient care, however, though she and one other RN orient new staff. Those 3 have worked there 16+ years.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

Yes. Her duties do not include telling us how to do our patient care, however, though she and one other RN orient new staff. Those 3 have worked there 16+ years.

Then I would take it up with management. If you don't need help doing patient care, you have told her & she won't back off then you need to go up the chain of command.

Jensmom7, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 36 years experience.

Question: If she's so busy making sure you're doing YOUR job (her way, apparently), how does she find the time to do hers?

Question: If she's so busy making sure you're doing YOUR job (her way, apparently), how does she find the time to do hers?

Her way is the only right way, she is worse when I have the last patient, but 2 RNs have to stay until the last patient leaves. She says my problem is that I think I'm right, and I don't listen to her. I told her that SHE thinks she knows everything, to which she replied, "I do know everything". Any nurse that thinks they know everything is SCARY!

Dogen

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 1 years experience.

Does she do this to anyone else? How well documented is her behavior? Has she ever disparaged you in front of another staff member? Basically, if you run this up the chain, how much evidence do you have to support you? If she has 16+ years of experience and has managed to not be fired yet, this is either new, getting worse, or the manager doesn't want to fire her.*

* I had a tele tech try to get me fired from a previous job. She was condescending and viciously mean (she told another tele tech they should stop dating because they were destined to die miserable and alone), but she'd been with the hospital for some ridiculous amount of time and they never fired her because she was good at her job, worked night shift, and they couldn't find anyone to work nights if they let her go... so they put up with her making people miserable for years. Sadly, it's not all about who's right.

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU.

Find the behavioral guidelines of your organization. We use "Encore values". If your organization doesn't use them, investigate a source from a national nursing organization. Make a list of the characteristics, with specific examples and quotes, that violate the guidelines. For example, "Demonstrate courtesy and respect". Give examples. I would go to HR with your list. Your manager is being ineffective. Good luck.

Your manager is being ineffective. I would, without emotion, give very specific examples in your written request for assistance, especially that she continues to reprimand you in front of patients, which has the potential to cause patient harm. It most definitely makes for a very stressful environment for the patient.

In the meanwhile "thank you for your input, I will take it under advisement, now if you will excuse us, please, I need to do my assessment." If she declines to leave the area, that is another issue that needs to be addressed. Patients are attempting to recover and wake up from surgery. They need to be assessed for pain, they need to be in a place where they can go home, and they need to be given teaching. So this routine being interrupted is an issue. And interestingly, if the surveys start coming back with negative comments on them, THIS will be where an issue will be made, I am sure.

If you are part of a union, have this discussion with them as well. And go up the chain of command. I am not sure I would be "he said/she said/I did" But more that when you are recovering a patient, this nurse presents at bedside of patient, and assumes parts of care, directs, and otherwise undermines your plan of care. Which is distressing to the patient, as well as your nursing function. That you have tried many, many times to discuss this with said nurse in a professional manner, you have sought counseling with your direct manager, you are also an experienced nurse who has good patient outcome thus far, which you would like to have continue by not having any nurse undermine your practice, and in front of a patient.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Yup. Start the paper trail. From what you described, it is time to escalate things. You've done all the right things. Your manager is ineffectual. Time for some assertive action. Good luck!

I'm still a student, but we've had the Nursing Code of Ethics drilled in pretty hard and it sounds like she is violating them! As a profession for which you've all (and I will!) make a pledge to do things ethically she's non-compliant with that! Code of Ethics

Good luck! And to all who kindly (if not always readily) help us new nurses - THANK YOU!

So earlier this week I showed my manager my email before I sent it. I also detailed other incidents tha occurred while she was away. Before I started talking to her, out of the blue(?) she told me she thought I was doing a great job despite what some people have told me. After she read what I wrote, she said she concurred with what I wrote, then I sent it to her and my director, with whom I don't have much interaction. The manager told me that the director had stated in the past that this nurse was creating a hostile work environment for me. She has been spoken to by the director about this previously. I don't know if they spoke to her as yet. She hasn't been speaking to me much..... So now I wait and see what happens next. We do have a union but I never joined as I live in a right-to-work, employment-at-will state, and I don't know that they'd be much help. I got good advice from all of you. I think the code of ethics is pretty universal as posted above.