How do you deal with staff members that don't seem to care?

  1. I work at a nursing home as a night shift charge nurse. I am on my staff through out the night to complete tasks and take care of the residents as needed not just every 2 hours. They are supposed to be stocking the rooms and extra stuff that can't be done on the other shifts. I am too busy myself to follow behind every tasks thats is asked of them, but have been noticing that not only night shift CNA's but all shifts are doing the bare minimum. The other charge nurses just go about their business with the attitude, i have my job to do, they have theirs. The residents are the ones suffering and no one is on the same page. When I see something being done thats not ok, I say something to the CNA's but everyone of them say "i know, i always do it, i never leave it, i make sure thats done..." but yet its never done. If they all do it like they say they are why am i finding it? When i bring up issues with my DON she says "what now" in a joking manner but it still makes me feel as if im being petty at times when all im trying to do is shed some light on the issues. How can I get the staff to see what their doing and how can i fix it, as a single staff member? I feel like im the only one who cares and everyone else just goes throgh the motions of their job, as if they were'nt taking care of human beings.
  2. Visit jmejo profile page

    About jmejo

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 12; Likes: 8
    Charge Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in geriatrics


  3. by   squeakykitty
    I think it's time to document the issues and go up the chain of command. And I think your boss and coworkers need to spend some quality time reading this article.
  4. by   locolorenzo22
    all you can do, is what you can do. I try to fulfill CNA jobs when I'm in giving meds as much as possible (quick change, quick trip to BR, water, etc.) But I can't do it I have to let some stuff slide. It sucks, but the way of the world.
  5. by   nrsgnerd
    It seems to me its the type of employees you have there meaning they either truly don't give enough or they are too overwhelmed to get it all done. Some employees are completely comfortable with doing the bare minimum and without the support of your DON, your fighting a war by yourself. If you are empowered with writing up those not doing their job, then you may have to take the stance as the "bad guy" to get your point across. Again, you need to be backed by your DON in doing so and you should discuss how he/she would feel/support if you did write employees up before you decide to do the first write up. Employees can be like children, if all you ever do is talk....wheres the consequence to what they are doing wrong. And you also want consistency so perhaps enlisting other charge nurses and asking what they are seeing will give you more leverage with your DON. Collaberation will help you gauge and pinpoint where the problems lie.

    It takes a team to make things happen but more than that it takes people who care enough to go the extra effort.

    If you do find that something is not done, take the person responsible to the scene of the crime and show them thats its not done so they can't come back with, "I always do that, or it wasn't me". For example, if Susan is responsible for stocking gloves in rooms 200-220 and the gloves aren't stocked, take Susan around to the rooms at the end of the shift and show her it wasn't done and ask why she feels it wasn't done. Explain to her that without gloves in the room, there is no way for a person to protect themself from being exposed and its takes time away from patient care when one person has to make 10 trips a night to the stock room so they can stock gloves in their room (give a rationale why it is important she stock the gloves). You may have to do some close observation and go behind people to see what was and was not done. A benefit to this is that they see that you are watching and that may be motivation enough for them to get the work done.

    If this works and you see that employees are doing better, you could try instituting a reward program, maybe a gift certificate to the person who goes the extra mile and use this to try and motivate the staff and show appreication for their hardwork. i would not try this first but perhaps if you see an improvement that warrants keeping morale high.

    Just don't give up, you are there to advocate for the patients and if that means you have to go the extra mile to be creative in an attmept to motivate people or you have to be the bad guy and write them up, then so be it.

    In my unit, we have gone thru 3 managers and our current manager, when he first started, seemed like a total butt! in our first employee meeting one of the nurses had said that it would be nice to hear a thank you once in a while or get a pat on the back. My manager replied, " your paycheck is your thank you"....the whole room got quiet and there were many scowling faces at the table. I know now that he meant that you were hired to do a job and if you want to keep that job....THEN DO YOUR JOB! I still think his choice of words were poor, and he did come in and start writing a bunch of people up but after that, attendance improved, tardiness got better and it was all because he let us know that if we want to be told thank you then we need to do our jobs consistently and give him a special reason to say thank you and take care of the current problems we had first. Now, he rewards us, jokes with us and above all has our respect.

    i wish you the best of luck, sorry so long....guess I'm full of it tonight...LOL!

    Good Luck to you!
    Last edit by nrsgnerd on Aug 24, '09
  6. by   jmejo
    Thank you very much for your response. It is much appriciated. I have only been a nurse for one year so im still trying to get into the "leadership" role. I try to put myself in the shoes of my residents and explain that to my CNA's. It seems like it gets through to them when we're talking but nothing ever changes. The other charge nurses there seem to just be going through the motion of their job and as long as their duties get done thats ok with them. I had a list of issues i was going to discuss with my DON and the day charge nurse said, "I dont know why, its not gonna change anything" and my response to her was "as long as i know im doing what i can to get the ball rolling thats better than not saying anything at all." But that seems to be everyones attitude there and my residents are too important to me to let the issues go. Thanks again for your response.
  7. by   BradleyRN
    All you need to do is write them up...If you ask them to perform their duties and they refuse, then that is insubordination. After you write people up a few times, word will spread like a ripple in a pond that you are a real charge nurse, and the people that show up to work your floor will know well in advance that they will have to work tonight! :wink2:
  8. by   RN1982
    I'm getting to the point where I just don't care about those people anymore. Just come into work and do my job the best I can and go home. I got my own license to think about. I'm not trying to protect anyone else's.