Surviving a passive aggressive co-worker? - page 3

Just scanning through the forums I can see that all of us have at one time or another had to deal with a difficult personality at work. I wanted to put my situation out there and see if I could get... Read More

  1. by   DixieRedHead
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    I believe the OP was saying that this MA is HELPING the practice by calling patients and getting the to come for their appointments. Note the phrase: "With this girl on the clock, our no shows are at an all time low because she gets in there and gets the patients in by calling and following up with appointments." So bringing this to the attention of the boss would actually benefit the MA.
    I totally misread this. I had it in my head that the no shows were higher when she was there, not withstanding it says the exact opposite in plain English. Sorry.
  2. by   ProgressiveActivist
    Might be a good time to write an employee Code of Conduct which is something required by JCAH for hospitals to decrease lateral violence. Require everyone to sign a copy and if they violate it, (gossip, nasty comments, negativity, rudeness) then you have grounds for progressive disciplinary action.

    Is the CMA licensed by your state? I think not. Does she work under the supervision of an MD, an RN or both. Maybe you need to check with your BON for clarification.

    You have to be a role model of professional mature behavior and she will hate you for it. Eventually no one will feed her need to feel superior, believe a word that she says or talk to her and she will move on.

    I would try to touch base with every patient and let them know that everybody is going to be polite to you and if they're not, the doctor and I want to know about it.

    We just had a nasty character like her, a CNA, leave our unit and OMG she created horrible problems for every well qualified RN. I feel your pain, I really do.
  3. by   nursel56
    Oracle - The first thing that jumps out at me is that the two of you have a major personality clash - a separate issue from the other problems you detailed, but it's certain to aggravate them. Saying you were only "half surprised" to see your efforts fail is kind of a tip off. You mentioned that you work in a "managerial capacity"? Is there anyone, other than you and your boss who works in a managerial capacity? Sometimes a fresh approach can be effective, and you have nothing to lose by trying, as you've stated the boss likes her despite all the complaining by your co-workers.

    Since it appears that you will be working together for the foreseeable future, I'm just going to throw some thoughts out there . . .

    How long has she worked at this clinic? Were you two medical assistants working together at any time? It's almost a truism that when there is an in-house promotion the promoted person must deal with the "crab effect". Not crabby but the tendency for former peers to want to pull you back down.

    She's been a medical assistant for ~ ten years.

    You won't allow her to take vital signs or ask the patient why they are there (hx).

    I think I would be irritated by being told I was too abrasive to take vital signs, especially if I posessed enough social skills to convince no-shows to come in on time, a rather daunting task in my experience. In fact, that could be reason enough for the boss to keep her despite the malcontent attitude she displays.

    Do you hover over her more than the other MAs there? It sounds like she may resent your advice about nursing school, because it steps beyond your role at work. If she normally sighs, rolls her eyes, and intentionally avoids you it is not likely that she views you as a mentor, so I would not do that anymore. I'm sure she already knows how to alleviate what she feels is her over-qualification for the job (I agree with her btw - it surprised me that your state doesn't allow MAs to give injections).

    It seems that your only real choice would be to back off a bit, while documenting the negative interactions with others she displays and keeping your boss apprised at all times. Sorry you're having such a rough time. I think the bad apple- the boss loves is one of the most disruptive issues you can encounter, and every place seems to have one!

    Last, less than a week ago someone took a woman to task over the exact same thing, referring to CNAs as "the girls". So we're gender neutral on that anyway.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Nov 27, '11
  4. by   DixieRedHead
    Oracle, I am 64 years old and I can hide a can of cat food under each breast. Call me a girl, I will say "THANK YOU." Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh who cares? If your professional stature is so tenuous it rests on something this small, you probably are a girl.
  5. by   ProgressiveActivist
    I didn't read anything negative into him referring to the employees as girls
  6. by   Shazdalady
    Hi, I cama accross your post by accident, I am going for a Band 6 (sister) post and was looking for some tips lol.
    You sound like a very good manager and clearly this member of staff is in the minority. I think she is a narcissist from reading your post and if so she will be totally unaware of the trouble she is causing as it will allways be someone elses fault. I would suggest that you invite her for her performance appraisal and present some of the issues to her, set her an action plan addressing the problems, if she flies off the handle you have folllowed caapability procedure. Make a note of all conversations yoy have with this individual, form aggreed action plans together offer her study days etc.
    I dont think there is much more you can do to be honest, she is an obvious problem. Maybe stop trying to help her and find suitable policies and procedures to move her !.
  7. by   TheOracle
    Thanks guys! I appreciate the input. I don't hover over this MA any more than the others. My observation that she is abrasive with the patients is merely my own and hasn't been shared with her. I find it odd that she gets no shows into the clinic, but is very non-therapeutic once they're in.

    I finally had a serious sit down with my boss and she told me (as it has been advised here) to stop going out of my way to make this employee happier in her work. She told me that I do the evaluations and it is my call if "the girls" (her terminology) get raises or if they even keep their jobs. It is part of their job descriptions to meet the standards I set forth and I don't owe anybody an explanation for expecting the standards are met.

    I feel soooo much better and more prepared to handle this situation now. It helps knowing I'll be backed up. I've had bosses before who wouldn't back me up.

    Thanks again for all the awesome advice!
  8. by   jahra
    In my over 25 years in nursing, wish I had worked for a manager like you!


    Best wishes on your FNP studies...happy to hear you have
    autonomy as a manager.
  9. by   SHGR
    Quote from plasmatix
    -- Prepare a list of duties for the position that fit the needs of the clinic, and have it approved by clinic management. Do not include ANYTHING for which this woman is not qualified (by licensing agency standards) or in which she has not (a) received a measureable level of on-the-job training by YOUR clinic staff, or (b) academic credit for the requisite learning, and (c) demonstrated both proficiency and willingness to perform regularly. Above all, remember that the clinic's obligation, legally and ethically, is to the well-being and safety of their PATIENTS. This woman's dissatisfaction and her belief that she is overqualified do not enter into the equation.
    -- If she is does anything that violates legal or workplace guidelines/ rules, you need to address it in a timely and direct manner. Start keeping a file of your own for documentation of performance issue investigations/ discussions (or any encounter seemingly at odds with acceptable professional behavior). They don't have to be lengthy, but they do have to be able to stand on their own in a legal setting.
    This was a fabulous and long post. I just wanted to point out in addition to the above that the OP stated that in his state, MA's cannot administer medications. This is different than in my state. MA's can administer medications including some injections- but we have a policy at my facility that people of any licensure do not administer medications that they haven't drawn up unless the syringes are properly labeled, and even then rarely. I'd be insulted, personally, if another staff member insisted on drawing up my meds!