Bossy Unit Clerks - page 3

Does anyone else here have a problem with bossy Unit Clerks? The unit clerks at my telemetry unit seem to add to the already unbearable stress levels. I don't know how to deal with them because... Read More

  1. by   Padawan-Nurse
    I work with one of those Bossy Unit clerks, and she is in charge of me! I am a male unit clerk in a Trauma ICU, and I have seen that she treats the RN with respect, but plays queen bee with the other Unit Clerks. I offer run to other side of the unit to work. And the bad thing is they know that she is a bad unit clerk, but they put up with her behavior due to the fact that she knows all...I have only one year to wait until Nursing School. Our jobs as unit clerks are stressful in a different way that our jobs and I think that I would rather be a Nurse than a unit clerk.
  2. by   KaraLea
    Originally posted by NancyRN
    "Your patients are all FINE! I had them YESTERDAY!"
    Oh, really? They were fine? What was pt #1's chest pain level yesterday? What was pt #2's respiratory rate yesterday? What was pt #3's Blood sugar yesterday? AND, just why do you not have the same assignment today that you had yesterday? Maybe we should switch assignments and you can take care of all of these "FINE" patients...
  3. by   ratchit
    Those patients were all fine yesterday? I think we've all had patients who were fine 30 seconds ago, they're seizing or in VT NOW. If you dealt with 15 pages of paperwork before seeing the patients who you took report on and are responsible for, would your management back you up if a patient died because you were checking boxes on forms? Doubt it. And was this a surprise transfer that was ordered within the last hour? If not, why wasn't that paperwork started the previous day by that nurse who gave you a hard time?

    This has some similarities to change of shift admits. A patient is sitting in the ER or in PACU with an RN assigned to him... Why does that patient have to come up at 6:45? That is great for the ER or PACU nurse but it really screws the receiving nurse, who now has 2-8 complete unknowns to walk into, one of them being brand new and with a whole set of admit stuff to do. (Unstable/crashing patients being a different story of course, and I've been an ICU and PACU nurse- and I never dumped change of shift admits on other units unless I had just no other choice.)

    You got dumped on, my dear. And your manager showed very poor judgement in using the meeting you asked for to intimidate you. You said you're new-ish. If you are a new nurse, have hope- there are better places to work out there. Good luck.
  4. by   ratchit
    Last edit by ratchit on Jul 14, '02
  5. by   h2ogoddess
    May I ask here, what do your Unit Clerks wear to work?
    I must dess like the Nursing Staff, which makes me look like Nursing Staff. As soon as a pt. or family see me, they need me answer questions or help mother to do whatever she needs to do. I refer all most all questions to the RN's as I should, but dressing like Nursing only makes for confusion for pts./visitors.

    What are your thoughts?
  6. by   AIS52
    I usually wore scrubs but once in a while I would wear regular clothes (maybe kahkis and a sweater, etc). Once for Halloween I dressed up really scary- that's right, I wore a tie to work. My costume? A 9-5 person!
    Actually, I found it really doesn't matter what you wear, the families will still be confused.

    Never was I bossy or rude. Sure its really annoying when a nurse would use my phone to take report with 3 open ones or lean over my shoulder to check labs with two other computers open but I generally took it all in stride- unless it was early July and found a new intern in my seat. Look out!

    I definately appreciate the Unit Coordinators and everything they do. I also think EVERY nurse should spend a week as a U.C. to see what they have to deal with on a daily basis. Sure the job isn't physically demanding (usually) but it definately is mentally!
  7. by   NancyRN
    Nobody ever said Unit Coordinators don't work hard, but a unit clerk should not add to the stress on an already stressful unit. Nobody should, but the unit clerk has no license to lose if a patient is neglected and something goes wrong.

    I can't understand why my venting about a bossy unit clerk would bring out superfluous comments about what a hard job THAT is.

    I don't need to spend a week in any other job to know how hard it is. I don't know anyone who has an easy job in health care these days. Having a hard job does not justify bullying coworkers. Ever.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    I was a very quiet, nice girl when I started nursing school...but life has a way of toughening us up fast or we become victims.

    Trouble is, people start sniping at each other and the workplace gets even many units today do not have strong leadership to curtail the bullies, and young nurses may not have good role models. The sniping gets turned on one another in our frustrations.

    Just another symptom of the dysfunctional health care system we love.
  9. by   MollyJ
    Unit Clerks: In their defense: they do work that is mighty accountable and their knowledge and time management skills can really change a unit (for better or worse). Usually rotten pay and lots of accountability.

    UC Humor: Especially if they've been their along time, they can be powers to be reckoned with. We had a great UC who could get pretty salty now and then. Everyone was busy; we were getting hammered with admits that had lots of "routine coronary care orders" which in the day of manual req's could really eat up a UC. Finally, one of us made one request too many and she snapped, "If you give me a broom, I'll put it up my butt and I can sweep the floor, too."

    Yes, ma'am.

    are you new to this unit? It seems like your getting some, "your not doing it our way" messages from your NM, other staff nurses and UC's. Now this doesn't mean you should drop it all and do it their way, but my rule of thumb is that it can take up to a year for new colleagues to notice you have a brain. I've had some really difficult people learn to put up with me after a year and then they even became my friends. The fact is you learn more about each other in that year and you learn to flex to what is important to them and vice versa.

    Let yourself get a little distance from this "ouch" situation. Sometimes, in these "we gotta move" situations, you have to deviate from your usual norm. Do head to toe assessment on your highest priority patients, vitals and a superficial assessment on lesser priorty patients, get your transfer gone, go back and do the rest. I know, I know. It takes you out of your routine, you risk forgetting things, you feel out of sync for a time. Sometimes it's what you have to do.

    I am sorry that your NM didn't say, Ah but Nancy, you arranged this discussion. What did you want to say to me? She missed a chance to do some relationship building with you. She dropped the ball.

    Sounds like a busy unit. I like Heather's reply about when one is busy, that usually means we are all busy. Rarely is there one right way to do a situation and so I would not venture to say you were right or wrong. Step back from the situation and in the future play with ways to do it. I'm a former ED nurse and we relentless rag on a unit when we're holding a patient. Guess who fields those calls? Your UC.

    Good luck Nancy. Time can be a great friend.
  10. by   NancyRN
    LOL about the broom! Thanks for the input, Molly.
  11. by   h2ogoddess
    Yep, I think my job is hard and full of stress!
    Would I want to do the RN's job? No thank-you, believe it or not I do understand that job is no pice of cake, no matter what they do someone is ready to pick it apart. (But sometimes that happens to me too!)
    I know the Nursing Staff where I work, works darn hard. I really do try to help, but I have my days when ONE MORE thing and I'm over the edge!!
  12. by   h2ogoddess
    Have to add this. Although I am not a nurse(was a CNA for about 26 years). I come to read the boards so that hopefully, I can always keep an open mind ( I try!) and be an asset to the unit and the staff, no matter what the title. As I said before I have my days, after all I was born under the sign of the Bull and sometimes I act like one!! But if I am wrong I will admit it.
  13. by   ceecel.dee
    Ward clerks accountable?

    In our hospital, the charge nurse must sign off orders after transcribed by the ward clerk, accepting all accountability. Most of ours are great! One very lazy one who moves at a snails pace and likes to question the doc's orders (why is she only on clear liquids? Hourly neuro's? What a waste of time!) It would save me time to do all the transcription and sign them off at the same time just to avoid conversing with her and catching her mistakes (and trust me....many, many mistakes).

    A good ward clerk is worth her weight in gold!

    Transfer before 9am? Paper work should have had a good start at the very least (night shift)! Maybe you could have handed that cheeky "they are all fine, I had them yesterday" nurse a pen!