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Lazy, demanding staff

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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Originally posted by ChainedChaosRN

l.rae....in case you are not aware of it, lazy/bad nurses have to go through a "firing" process. Unless it's a grave offense many can not just be handed their "pink slip". Which is a good thing, because that process protects many from someone in management that might not just like someone's personality, the way they dress, look, speak etc. [/]

 

I don't know where you work - but it was common at my last non-travel assignment for the management to call you on the carpet for not wearing makeup to work (It makes you look so much nicer!). If the manager didn't like you - well, oops, your day off "just missed" being scheduled, and you were put on too many weekends "by accident". You got the really crappy pts over and over, and the short staffed shift, then told that the staff's perfectionist attitudes were running off "perfectly good nurses" (one of those very experienced hires made over a dozen narcotic med errors in less than one week - we told the manager that the nurse was dangerous - she said that she was older better nurse, and we were jealous - she finally made a very dangerous med error that could end up in court - before she took "a leave of absence" and another of her great hires refused to float one night, stormed off the unit in protest, and then threatened to kill himself with his gun the very same night).

 

Honey, in a right-to-work (right-to-be-s#$%^ed) state, you can and frequently will be let go for any piddling reason fathomable and if not, they will make your life so miserable you will want to leave.

 

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Bad management does not create workers with poor work ethics. With that illogical train of thought, everyone working under bad management would eventually be lazy.

 

Actually, since most of the good nurses these days can find another job - usually those left behind either need that specific job (pension, location,"dedication", hours, etc.- and I feel for them) - or are the lazy slackers that can't go elsewhere, or new staff to the facility and dropped in the middle of the sad situation.

 

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Maybe it's time we only point the finger at the person not doing their job.

 

Management needs to listen to staff and clean house ocasionally. It is part of their job..and they need to do it.

 

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I've used peer pressure in management when I've had another department start to slack because if we are a team, it will eventually affect my department. If the slacker doesn't eventually do the job, I speak to my supervisor.

Unfortunately, many managers (as previously noted above) treat their pets as gold that can do no wrong and let them slide in their work habits, and treat those of us that actually do the work as redheaded stepchildren. Then when the workers leave and stuff doesn't get done, It's the old I can't find dedicated nurses, where are all the good work ethics BS.

Check the clue phone - you ran the good employees off and rewarded the slackers.

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772 Posts; 7,485 Profile Views

Originally posted by ChainedChaosRN

l.rae....in case you are not aware of it, lazy/bad nurses have to go through a "firing" process. Unless it's a grave offense many can not just be handed their "pink slip". Which is a good thing, because that process protects many from someone in management that might not just like someone's personality, the way they dress, look, speak etc.

 

Most of us have had the unwelcome experience of working under bad management. Bad management does not create workers with poor work ethics. With that illogical train of thought, everyone working under bad management would eventually be lazy. Even the reverse of that train of thought, good management does not produce a good nurse. You either have the ability and the ethics or you don't.

 

Maybe it's time we only point the finger at the person not doing their job.

 

ZuchRN had a good point, what are the nurses not in management doing about the problem... peer pressure works wonders. Good nurses picking up the slack will eventally burn out any good worker.

 

I've used peer pressure in management when I've had another department start to slack because if we are a team, it will eventually affect my department. Direct approach is the best: Hey...I see this taking place, it's eventually causing this...and that won't work. What can WE do to fix it or what can I do to help you get back on track. If the slacker doesn't eventually do the job, I speak to my supervisor.

 

But do nothing and point fingers, nope...that's not good enough. Put those critical thinking skills to work.

CC, where l work there are "at will" laws. and no one is disputing difficulty getting rid of lazy employees. fraknly, l had a middle mngmt job once in a place where there was no support from the top...l left and would NEVER consider that type of position again.....if you did a search on this sight, you would find that most mngmt complaints are aimed at upper mngmt...and rightly so IMO....this thread took on a "blame all the nurses who complain about anything" from the get-go and the author hasn't been heard from since.....l will give you this...you have maintained a dialog. most nurses are pt advocates and speak up boldly when the means to give safe effective pt care is lacking so woefully.....then to be dismissed as complaining is a slap in the face....l remember one day as l was returning for my 3d 12hr shift in a row....after an EXCRUCIATING nite prior in the ER....5hrs sleep after...a staff meeting was in progress as l stepped into the break room to hang up my coat.....first thing l heard was the NM c/o getting complaints from the secretary that call lights weren't being answered promptly...and on and on the list went......mind you, barely had time to pee the nite before.....it was all l could do not to put my coat on and just dissapear from there forever. l understand what you are saying about peer pressure.....but honestly, many NM think that should take the place of effective managing...some nites l have more than l can do just to take care of my pts....let alont babysit a lazy staff member

and l will answer AGAIN what l have done about this problem in the past....I LEFT.....byebye....gone....to many jobs to put up w/this BS.

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Wow- all this discussion stemming from the question of where did the work ethic go.

Even though there are at will laws... there really is no such thing. When someone is termed, you have to go through multiple scenarios. The last DON position I was at, I had to call the corporate office before terming anyone. They had the say in whether the person was termed or not. You term someone now a days and they go to EEOC, the labor board, they call state, they threaten union, they threaten to beat you and your family. Unfortunately, I have found no way in which to screen people to assure that we are hiring only the highest quality of person. We check reference (all the reference that anyone will give is dates of employment), you do criminal checks, you check certificates and licensure. After all this, you still do not know if you have hired a good person. People lie on apps. Even if you catch them lying on the app, you really can't term them.

Once you hire someone, they have the probationary period, which is a joke. You still can't term them without really good reason. I have started to hire only those people without a criminal history and people without gaps in employment and also people who have good spans at one job...I have also started to tell people that they are not allowed anymore than 2 abscences in the 90-days. This is unfortunate because I have to treat everyone equal and this hurts a lot of people that actually have valid reasons for the abscense. The people who have made us take the hard road with theses things ruin it for the quality employees.

I think that instaed of blaming upper management or corporate, maybe we should take a look at the lawyers and the frivolous employment claims that people make. Even when there is abuse/neglect...somebody will file a claim to say that they were termed for other various reasons. It is ridiculous.

l.rae: I understand how disheartening it is to hear that call lights were not answered quickly enough even when you worked so very hard. It is frustrating and angering. I understand completely. From my point of view, it is also disheartening and frustrating to hear people voice concerns that so-and-so isn't being fired or so-and-so did this--what are you going to do about it. I sometimes have to stop and say, "well, last week you did the same exact thing and what did I do about it then?" I have to assure that everyone is treated the same for the same offenses.

I always appreciate the nurses or cna's that go above and beyond. I recognize that and offer continuous praise and small rewards on a regular basis. I have also learned that I cannot fault the employees that "just" do their assignments. It is not in everyones nature to go above and beyond the call of duty. I just wish we had a facility full of employees that would at least give their all on just their assignments.

Anyways, I just wanted to emphasize again that it is a team effort-management and non-management-we all have to work together to create a better work environment. If a manager is a good manager, they should constantly be asking for feedback and ask for suggestions to make the work place better.

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Hellllllo Nurse has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Managers hire and retain poor workers who adversely affect pt care and the morale of the good workers. Managers are out of touch with what is really going on on the floor.

Most often the "pet" employee is the laziest, most scheming and trecherous one. Numerous times, I have seen "pet" nurses do nothing but sit on their a$$es, and falsely document that they did pt care that they did not do. Somehow, mgmt always ends up loving these "nurses".

Mgmt and adm created the problems in nursing (ever read "Engineering a Crisis"?).

Now they want to whine about it and blame others.

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As a nurse I work with says every night..."It's an unregulated gang that flourish in the absence of authority." They are the slackers, the sleepers, the ones who lie about their pts conditions, (ie) temp is 99.9 when it was 101 all night long and gave tylenol just to get by so the next shift can handle the problem, the ones who leave the units for an hour or two at a time, the ones who actually leave the grounds in their car to go get something to eat, the ones who name call other nurses, and the list goes on. They never get disciplined but get rewarded. These are the workers who do all the overtime when staffing is low and the managers love them to death. They'll work 10 and 12 days in a row if need be. Managers don't want to see these people get in trouble afterall, they are the ones who get the managers out of a bind, so they cover up for them. If you complain about it, you're considered a troublemaker and your life is miserable from then on. Seems that management doesn't want to deal with it because it'll make them look like they can't run the show properly, hence their job...so nothing ever happens to those so called bad nurses. The good, hard working ones are the ones who suffer because of the lack of management, the ones who do not follow up with a problem worker. The problems continue and nothing is solved. Maybe it is time to point the finger at the person who is not doing their job........finally! But I've learned to just shut-up and do my job because complaining gets you nowhere but in trouble.

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ZuchRN you said alot. But I do get rid of any employee if they lie on their application. If you have to lie about selling yourself you will lie anywhere.

For the last 4 1/2 years I've done nothing but go into bad LTC facilities and turn them around, it's what I'm hired to do. To turn a facility around it takes upto 2 years. The current facility I am at, in the 3 years before I came, they had 16 administrators and 22 DON's.

There was a core group of lazy staff that literally ran the building...and ran managers who could of been excellent, right out the door. You are right HellllloNurse...who the heck needs it. The majority of the good staff had ran for the hills. So no one is around to look at the lazy staff. Free ride for them, and the patients suffer. That's the part that sickens me and keeps me focused.

Anyway...to cut to the chase SingingNurse, there are some very good facilities and excellent nurses working in them. Bad apples come along....and while you are working to get them removed, they leave a stink on things. Takes awhile to clear out the goo and the odor. Sometimes those bad apples can be corporate and management. When you work with one it makes it hard to enjoy your work.

I think this thread has been good for charge nurses and nurses in management, some insight into both sides.

Peace.

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Originally posted by zuchRN

...I have started to hire only those people without a criminal history and people without gaps in employment and also people who have good spans at one job...

I have to ask...do you discuss any of these issues with the applicant or do you dismiss them because of what you see on paper? If so you might be costing yourself some good, qualified nurses who want to work. I'm not sure but I also think it could be an EEOC issue.

I have 2 misdemeanors on my record, both 5 years old, one a non-drug/non-ETOH reckless driving the other a no-contest plea to disorderly conduct...for both of which I have a copies of the plea agreement indicating it was a domestic violence issue and in exchange for my plea they were able to charge (and convict) my ex for both felony assault and vehicular assault. In 12 years as an RN I have 2 18 month gaps in my employment, one is for health reasons, the other is to care for my son following a CHI...to avoid institutionalizing him.

By your methods you wouldn't hire me.

I have had squeaky clean *perfect* applicants turn out to be the employee from Hades and I would have know it if I had asked the current staff if they knew 'so-n-so' (amazing how small the nursing community can be) another valuable tool is the personal references a person lists on the application.

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We do not check personal references as this is a "fluff" reference. who in the world is going to list a personal reference that is going to say negative things?

It is not an EEOC violation to choose who I inteview based on the application. The number one things that I look at is felonies...that is the big thing. I am ok with some misdemeanors, however, as the administrator tells me--what does having a criminal record say about a persons character? I am also talking about people witha list a misdemeanors 2-5 pages long...(not that some things aren't explainable and some people have just not been caught). I am also not intending to imply that you do not have a good character!

I tend to listen to applicants reasons for gaps in employment history. I guess what I run into most frequently is the nursing assistant who has worked in every facility in town and has walked out or been a no-call no-show at all but 3-4. People tend to only list the jobs that they know they left on good terms.

I guess there are no good answers...no good solutions to hiring the right people for the jobs. I have hired people that I think are going to be absolutely wonderful and they turn out to be horrible. I have also had reservations about hiring people and they turn out to be great. As I previously said...an interview is a crap shoot. I wish there was a good answer...a magic way to motivate staff (aids and nurses) to want to come to work and give the residents their all during their eight-hour shift. I wish that I knew the magic formula to get people to realize that they hurt the residents and their co-workers when they call-in or don't pull their weight.

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ZuchRN - nurses can and have been fired on the spot, without incident at my hospital. Things are not always equal, I suppose.

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