getting along with co-workers..

  1. any advice on how to deal with a co-worker(RN)..she was verbally abusive to me and the confused Geriatric patient that she was asked to assist with.. Which by the way took all of less than 5 minutes..this nurse found it more important to stand at the chart cart and look up something after being politely asked to assist two times. The patient ws combative and required assistance of 3 people..Should she be reported to the head nurse?..Or should I just let it go.. i have only worked there 6 months and I don't want to make waves.. she has several friends on our unit...and I work with all of them..she also abuses break times..And this is the second time I have had a problem with her regarding this same issue...I will say that in the past she has helped me with IVs and blood draws that were difficult and I did appreciate it very much..I also have helped her..Please advise.....
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    About Linda

    Joined: Aug '98; Posts: 3
    registered nurse


  3. by   Marcy Long
    No one should have to recieve verbal abuse, esp at work. After all aren't nurses supposed to be professional in their conduct? If you have a future problem, I would confront your co-worker in a nonjudgemental way and let her know you don't appreciate it. If the verbal abuse continues, I would definately report her to your head nurse. No one deserves to be treated like that, and you don't have to take it.
  4. by   Kim RNBSN
    You deserve the same respect that you give - I would advise you to speak to your co-worker in a non-threatening manner to discuss the situaiton(s). If this doesn't work, then you have no choice then to go to your supervisor. Hope this helps and good luck.
  5. by   LRichardson
    Linda... I have been in very similar situations... as I'm sure most of us have.. what's worked for me is to ask the person to lunch (no big deal.. just in the cafeteria.. in a quiet corner) and be up front with them WITHOUT placing blame... mmmm something like "you know i'm fairly new to the floor.. and you've been such a help to me in this instance.. and in that instance.. but something happened the other day that made me uncomfortable... " and outline how YOU felt not so much what she did... "when you said blah blah blah i felt belittled and abused which made me further interpret what you said as not caring for the patient.. since i have seen you in action and know you care for these people.. well.. i was wondering if i was misreading the situation or is something else going on??"

    9 out of 10 times this will open a conversation in which both people will learn something new about the other person.. maybe she's going through a divorce and didn't realize how it was impacting her care... maybe she's being pulled by all the new nurses on the unit for difficult blood sticks etc. and is getting worn out.. or maybe she's just a BAD NURSE.. in which case when something like this happens again your approach can be a bit different.. which would be telling her that you have no choice but to report her behavior to the head nurse.. but at least you've done the adult thing and tried to handle it face to face first!

    I have one rule for dealing with co-workers.. I always believe the best until proven wrong... it helps keep MY attitude in line.. and makes me much less judgemental about others... plus, I'd hope they'd pay me the same courtesy and believe the best about me!!

    Oh.. one more thing.. don't bring up every little thing at the lunch.. (or she will feel threatened and any good communication will stop instantly!)... zero in on the ONE BIG ISSUE and be timely.. don't let a week go by.. if possible do it the same day.. if not then the next day.. but don't wait too long or the memory and impact fades..
  6. by   JC74
    I remember in Nursing school, my instructors always told thier students that confronting a person with a problem you have with them was the best thing to do but recently I had a co-worker jump down my throat over something so insignifigant I found myself very irritated. I think my chin must have hit the floor and came back up to smack me because I didn't have any kind of come back. It was one of those situations where you can think of all kinds of things to say fifteen minutes or an hour after the situation occured and this really irritates me. Personally I have a problem with confronting co-workers in this kind of situation so I hope you have better luck than me. Maybe we just need to work on our people skills and if that does't work, maybe we just need to think of a few good come back lines. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. by   ecb
    I am of the opinion that if you have a problem decide if it warants a correction, if so speak to the person who INITIATES the problem, if that does not work go to the direct supervisor, quietly and ask if this is normal or out of line, if there is still no resolution I go to the DON (or assitant if I am more comfortable with them) and discuss it. Long standing problem behaviors get forgiven untill they stain the emotional walls of the facility, I like to change them, and I have yet to be fired for it since I became an RN (i did once as a CNA)

    ecb . @}--->-->-
    Patients above personalities
  8. by   ssscorpion
    I'm so sorry you are having a difficult time
    with your co-worker. We all have lazy co-workers who will have to be asked 2,3, 4 times before they will help. most of th previous posts say talk to the person and essentially put them on the spot with "sharing" your feelings about being abused verbally. Well I know what works for me when someone says something inappropriate I usually say "What did you say, It sounded like bla,bla..." This is if no visitors are around etc.,but that is when they act up,right.?Then Joke about it later with this person, and other"can you believe so and so called me a fat-a--?" The verbal abuse will stop this way, it did for me and if it didn't call the nursing supervisor immediately if she is abusive to the pt.
    The other posts make you the rug and frankly I'm sick of that role.Good luck!!
  9. by   Diane K.
    Many times staff can be more taxing than the patients we work with, however, patients go home so it's easier to brush it off. Being direct is most effective with me as it often clears the air by clarifying the impression I got or asking if there is some other problem they would like to clear up. There is so much division amongst nurses, we should strive for better and handle issues as they arise. It can strengthen the relationship or you could learn to accept that some people may not like you no matter what you say or do. I strongly believe that most people are offensive unknowingly and are relieved to be able to clear the air.