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Is he shirking a crap job or am I just in a bad mood?

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by redheadrn86 redheadrn86 (New) New

This is perhaps the most trivial issue I've had these past few weeks but its the one that's bugging me most- perhaps because I can't decide whether I'm justified in being annoyed or whether I'm feeling guilty for having an issue with it but here goes, fancy being my sounding board?

I work on what is usually a very busy large general ICU, but has lately, bafflingly, been an overstaffed overflow of the step-down unit. I was covering a break for another nurse when he gave me a job for while he was gone. Infusion running out? Turn due? IVABX? Nope- phosphate enema prescribed 4 hours previously. I actually thought he was joking, and said as much but no he was deadly serious and he walked away. Just a little gobsmacked the female student he had working at this bedside with him and I got on with it. When he came back we politely (read: passive aggressively) discussed my issue, we didn't come to an agreement.

His view- his patient was female. He is male. I wasn't busy, therefore I should do his enema.

My view- all nursing care in the ICU is intimate, would he have another nurse do his checks and washes, catheter care and enemas for every female patient?

He had a female student working with him, he could have used that as a teaching opportunity.

It is a 'crap job' and handing it over is impolite, just not what you do if you give a rats about your colleagues.

Should I ask a male nurse to do every enema on my male patients?

And I'd have probably responded to the whole thing much better if he'd have asked me would I mind, or could you please rather than "I have a job for you..".

I don't know whether I'd have reacted differently if another nurse had asked me to do this- one I know to be conscientious and respect. I wonder if my opinion on this nurse in general is colouring my opinion. I asked two very good nurse friends one male one female their opinions and got two completely opposite responses.

Is this a gender issue I've never considered before? Am I just tired and in need of a good meal, good sleep and an interesting level 3 patient?

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

You should have done the enema right before his return so he could personally evaluate the 'results'. ;)

AJJKRN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience.

Sometimes people's reasonings just don't match our own regardless of gender but in this case gender was used as the excuse/scapegoat.

I was working the other night and a peer assigned to an airborne patient needed to wear a respirator hood (Papper...I just don't know the true spelling of it) Either way, they wanted a peer to take the patient instead because that peer only had to "put a mask on". Ummmmm...no, I don't think that's a valid reason to switch.

It probably would have been fine if the switch was amicable but they were pretty much like "I refuse" and "make them". Not happening.

I don't think you're in the wrong, your peer was using flawed reasoning. Now if the said patient had refused care from him then the story would make more sense.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

It sounds like he was taking advantage of the situation. Even if it was a gender issue the student could have done the enema. I would have told him no, just no, that's not the kind of task you pass on to your coworker for a break, do it before or after. Some people will walk all over you if you let them.

I would never think of doing this to a colleague, no matter which gender.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

No, you're not overreacting. Your coworker is totally obnoxious.

If someone asked me to give an enema for them, I would laugh at them. Really. And if they continued to be insistent, since I don't actually mind giving enemas, I'd just insist they were the other person in the room holding the patient on his/her side, so they wouldn't miss out on the fun.

And then, since I'm charge a lot, I would make sure to give that nurse all of the c. diff patients I possibly could on his next shift just to make sure he could get the full enjoyment out of cleaning all of the poop that ever existed. ;)

I'm actually kind of legendary for disimpacting/giving enemas on my unit, so people frequently come get me for these things, but that's different. I hate continuous poopers. I will give an enema just to try and get all of that constipated mess out in a short period of time so I don't have to clean the patient up fifteen times per shift when the dam finally breaks loose and the almighty poopageddon begins.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

No way in Hades would I perform ANY task that had been ordered 4 hours ago.

The gender issue here is male privilege. You were bossed right into it.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

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

From a nurse manager perspective - I'd really want to know if I hired a nurse who could not fulfill all job requirements. While it's OK to accommodate staff's religious/ethical beliefs or patient wishes, it is absolutely unacceptable to enable one staff member to feel that s/he can pawn off any undesirable tasks to coworkers. GRRR.

So, I'd advise having a very blunt conversation with Golden Boy. Let him know that this behavior is not OK & you're not going to tolerate it. If he tries it again, be sure to include your manager in the discussion.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Agree with the above. Don't let him get over on you. It's not ok and let him know it.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

The only justification I could see is if the patient had requested a female nurse do the procedure.

The poop mess wouldn't be an issue for me, it would be the non urgent time consuming aspect that would pull me away too long from my own assignment.

There is a big difference between helping and being used don't let anyone fool U .

I agree with the previous posters. I would also point out that I don't particularly care to grab a mans penis when inserting a catheter (especially the first few times I had to do it) but I do it because it's my job.

Also I LOVE your title "a crap job."

However listening to me might not be in your best interests. When I get in trouble it's almost always because of my mouth. The filter between my mouth and my brain never formed properly. I think it's a congenital deformity.

Edited by Cat365
Addition

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

This is perhaps the most trivial issue I've had these past few weeks but its the one that's bugging me most- perhaps because I can't decide whether I'm justified in being annoyed or whether I'm feeling guilty for having an issue with it but here goes, fancy being my sounding board?

I work on what is usually a very busy large general ICU, but has lately, bafflingly, been an overstaffed overflow of the step-down unit. I was covering a break for another nurse when he gave me a job for while he was gone. Infusion running out? Turn due? IVABX? Nope- phosphate enema prescribed 4 hours previously. I actually thought he was joking, and said as much but no he was deadly serious and he walked away. Just a little gobsmacked the female student he had working at this bedside with him and I got on with it. When he came back we politely (read: passive aggressively) discussed my issue, we didn't come to an agreement.

His view- his patient was female. He is male. I wasn't busy, therefore I should do his enema.

My view- all nursing care in the ICU is intimate, would he have another nurse do his checks and washes, catheter care and enemas for every female patient?

He had a female student working with him, he could have used that as a teaching opportunity.

It is a 'crap job' and handing it over is impolite, just not what you do if you give a rats about your colleagues.

Should I ask a male nurse to do every enema on my male patients?

And I'd have probably responded to the whole thing much better if he'd have asked me would I mind, or could you please rather than "I have a job for you..".

I don't know whether I'd have reacted differently if another nurse had asked me to do this- one I know to be conscientious and respect. I wonder if my opinion on this nurse in general is colouring my opinion. I asked two very good nurse friends one male one female their opinions and got two completely opposite responses.

Is this a gender issue I've never considered before? Am I just tired and in need of a good meal, good sleep and an interesting level 3 patient?

He's shirking. The enema was ordered four hours ago -- it probably took him that long to figure out how to get out of doing it.

I once walked in at 7 pm to have a male colleague tell me that a tap water enema was ordered for the patient I was picking up and he'd been "trying all day, but CS never delivered the equipment." The order was written at noon. I put down my pencil, called CS and ordered the "equipment." It arrived before he was through giving me report. I then offered him the choice of holding the patient on his side or administering the enema. Male nurse elected to go home instead.

The charge nurse, in going through the charts, noticed the order for the enema, but no charting about the patient having received the enema or any results. I explained the situation. Male nurse didn't come to take report from me at 7am. Charge nurse came and took report, stating that the male nurse was in the manager's office explaining his difficulty in "carrying out doctor's orders in a timely fashion." That isn't the worst of it for him -- he also had to issue a public apology to me and the physician who ordered the enema.

He's shirking. The enema was ordered four hours ago -- it probably took him that long to figure out how to get out of doing it.

I once walked in at 7 pm to have a male colleague tell me that a tap water enema was ordered for the patient I was picking up and he'd been "trying all day, but CS never delivered the equipment." The order was written at noon. I put down my pencil, called CS and ordered the "equipment." It arrived before he was through giving me report. I then offered him the choice of holding the patient on his side or administering the enema. Male nurse elected to go home instead.

The charge nurse, in going through the charts, noticed the order for the enema, but no charting about the patient having received the enema or any results. I explained the situation. Male nurse didn't come to take report from me at 7am. Charge nurse came and took report, stating that the male nurse was in the manager's office explaining his difficulty in "carrying out doctor's orders in a timely fashion." That isn't the worst of it for him -- he also had to issue a public apology to me and the physician who ordered the enema.

Wonderful outcome for this situation and Ruby, your approach was perfect.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

He's shirking. The enema was ordered four hours ago -- it probably took him that long to figure out how to get out of doing it.

I once walked in at 7 pm to have a male colleague tell me that a tap water enema was ordered for the patient I was picking up and he'd been "trying all day, but CS never delivered the equipment." The order was written at noon. I put down my pencil, called CS and ordered the "equipment." It arrived before he was through giving me report. I then offered him the choice of holding the patient on his side or administering the enema. Male nurse elected to go home instead.

The charge nurse, in going through the charts, noticed the order for the enema, but no charting about the patient having received the enema or any results. I explained the situation. Male nurse didn't come to take report from me at 7am. Charge nurse came and took report, stating that the male nurse was in the manager's office explaining his difficulty in "carrying out doctor's orders in a timely fashion." That isn't the worst of it for him -- he also had to issue a public apology to me and the physician who ordered the enema.

I just LOVE this and YOU Ruby!!!

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

Ruby - reading your posts make me wish that

a. I had the temperament for critical care (I don't), and

b. I worked with you.

TriciaJ, RN

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

It would have been one thing if the coworker had approached you and asked as a favour. And offered to do something unpleasant for you in return. His behaviour was manipulative and arrogant. Next time you can just say no.