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Nursula_rn's Latest Activity

  1. Nursula_rn

    How To Spot a Workplace Bully, Part Three

    Getting the he** out of here now. The supervisor is indeed the bully and while it seemed paranoid at the time, I made notes regarding what and when. What to do with this information? Not much. However- manager is aware, is bullied herself it would seem and has become tainted by the situation and is of no use when it comes to fixing the situation. She has encouraged me to leave. I might have wanted to stay, but the 10 years the bully has dedicated to the cause in this office have tainted the whole place and nobody is particularly untouched. This office has become poisoned. Everyone is just happy its not their turn today/this week/this month. Identifying someone new for her to bother is self preservation and a team sport. I look forward to leaving quickly, with whatever reference I have. With no serious reports of misconduct (unless you count just not being her best friend, and not handing out trophies for simply showing up to baby clinic), I am well prepared. What to do with the experience? The take-away message? Pick better lottery numbers.
  2. Nursula_rn

    My manager went off on me!

    Ah yes. The subjective Interpersonal Communication. This one gets us all. Its not what you do- its how you made other people feel about what you did and how you did it. Is this fair? Maybe. Finding a deficiency that cannot be measured with objecive tools is a good technique for ensuring that you are either attempting to improve, or attempting to leave. Are you perceived as deficient by your patients? Maybe- if you conduct business like you are doing calculus online and not working with people. But that might be measured by some kind of stats (mail-in reviews perhaps?). So its right back to how someone thinks you are doing or saying something, and the perceived motives you might have. Is this vague? Yes! Can you fix it? Yes! Yes? you say. Of course. We all nurse and chart like we are going to court. (Cover my *ss). Some of us work like there are cameras EVERYWHERE. (And maybe the walls are bugged). And now some of us are speaking to EVERYONE EVERYWHERE like we may be tipped. (Anyone remember waiting tables? Everyone got a smile, some good cheer, even that loudmouth with the picky palate).) So, now we are all on reality TV, at least in our minds. A little fake? Yes. But I have a sneaky suspicion that not even MY boss has all happy thoughts about this organization, and even she talks and acts like this is all one big nice place. We all must now pretend that its a combination Reality Television-Restaurant. Thats not so hard. I do dither. No kudos required.
  3. Nursula_rn

    Diversity.. at what price?

    I have also worked with a wide variety of colleagues- with varying degrees of accents. It is not racist or inappropriate to be concerned with how easy it is to communicate with one another. I am living in a cultural mosaic- no melting pot here. However- I have worked with nurses that were impossible to understand on taped report, telephone, and face-to-face verbal report. They spoke their mother tongue, to eachother, during shift, and sometimes on report. I was an agency nurse who would work the odd evening shift and I would have to call management of both facility and agency to get clarificiation. In the end, the facility was taken over by the government for various infractions (including difficulty communicating with staff). There were lessons to be learned by all: 1. These nurses were not supported to learn better english; their employer was required to offer classes (free of charge) to all nurses 2. The licensing body required appropriate language skills, and no longer allowed Graduate License to be held for as long as these nurses were allowed. As it turned out, the employer found a loophole to allow these nurses to work for a very long time with only a graduate license and not a full RN license. 3. The health region was much more stringent in their interviewing of foreign trained nurses, and would often panel them to ensure that they were understood by a group of managers (subjective, but arent all interviews?) As nurse, we must uphold ALL of our requirements and ethical standards. We cannot decide that thick accents and questionable functional English skills are okay as long as we EVENTUALLY figure out the situatin and the actions that need to be taken. I for one prefer to work with colleages who are able to share their knowledge freely and easily. It allows them the respect and dignity that we all want. Its amazing how unprofessional one can sound if they are always searching for words and repeating themselves. If your colleages do not want to give or take report from you, or if you are afraid to call a physician because you do not want to have to guess what he said, then there is no way this system is working. If you do not want to give report or get paged for the same reasons, you have a problem. I do not care if you are Quebecois in British Columbia or a Saskatooner in rural Moncton, if you are not understood or cannot understand- you have a problem. Let us not pretend that foreign trained nurses and doctors and allied health professionals are not helping with staffing shortages- but let us not forget that clear and concise communication is the cornerstone of any professional relationship. Bottom line? Its not racist. Its wanting to work on a level playing field where communication barriers are smaller due to our professoinalism, not larger due to our political correctness.
  4. Nursula_rn

    Issues @ work with coworker

    Keep your nose out of it. No no no no. If we are professionals, with a duty to ourselves and our clients, we would not adopt a head in the sand approach. A coworker with potential substance abuse issues and boundary issues needs to be checked. These rules were not in place by the BON to only apply if the employer stumbled across the information. We are not being snitches by reporting it (we are not snitching, we are being accountable). To suggest a shut up and mind your own bees wax policy is detrimental to nursing and this woman's sense of fair play. No boundaries and substance issues? Bad combination. Best to anonymously pass along info to correct BON and hope for the best. And yes- even the employer, if only at the national level, outside of the local chapter. Put a little more objectivity on this situation. Certainly this company at least pays lip service to the idea of accountability and professionalism in nursing. Clip this policy to the information/factual account and send it along to the national nursing adivisor or whoever.
  5. Nursula_rn

    Unsupportive 'team' members

    Hi. I do not know if your employer conducts "exit interviews" with HR when you leave. One of my old employers did. It was conducted with an HR person, and went up the chain to be discussed regarding staffing, recruitment and retention to ensure that all was done to make the ward safe and well staffed. I know- sounds too good to be true. But that would be your chance to make a statement. The questions we were asked were the same for everyone, did not name names, and did not become part of your file. After that, I would have the urge to write a letter of truth when I was well into my next, better job. Anonymous to save my own name. Then name away. Then tell it like it is. And fire it at whomever is above those managers who did absolutely nothing for you. You can always clip a copy of the posting for the same job you are leaving with a copy of your complaint each time you think of it. (Hi Big Boss! I see that you have an opening in that crap hole again. I know why...) Oh- I know, petty. So this is half suggestion and half fantasy suggestion. Use your good judgement.
  6. Nursula_rn


    We take any number of off-service patients. While we are a respiratory and infectious disease ward, we were known to be able to make a bed for anyone. Today is bipap, tomorrow is suicide protocol for a soldier from the local base. We could do it all. Sometimes, though, you wish it was just a little old lady with hankies up her sleeves. She arrived shortly after supper. She had the look of any new mother; tired but proud of her new son. Her bedside table held her favorite dog-eared books, including What to Expect When You're Expecting. Next to it, though, was a Holy Bible and pamphlets from our Palliative Care Team and local funeral parlors. The admission was brief. Postpartum would be supplying us a float nurse, as many of us were unaccustomed to postpartum patients. The nursery would be bringing the baby shortly, along with his own nurse. Mom identified herself as a Type-A lady. She had preferred to be in charge of everything. Until she received her diagnosis, at 32 weeks, that she had a large, aggressive breast tumour, she had been in charge of it all. She picked all the nursery furniture, purchased the new family-friendly car, and even put her tiny cottage up for sale so she could move her family to a new home closer to the park. Her husband was not only expected but encouraged to take a backseat in all things baby. Mom had it covered. Now, Dad was receiving a crash course in baby. Mom had waited until she had been given the report from the MRI that confirmed end-stage breast cancer with metastases to the lungs. bones and brain to give up. When Mom opted for a morphine PCA with a generous lock-out program, she chose to check out in a haze of narcotics. While Mom dozed in and out of consciousness, under the watchful eye of our nurses, Dad watched the in-house parenting class DVDs in our breakroom. He practiced holding and changing the baby with a borrowed teaching doll from the prenatal program. Dad was a mess. He cried some, smoked some, and contemplated his future. Our ward was great with all kinds of disasters. Patients from the federal prison who stabbed nurses with their own pens. Alcoholic patients who, despite massive doses of Librium, were able to fracture skulls and noses with their fists. Lousy managers who slept in their office while nurses sank in the mire of an understaffed ward. But this was different. We needed help. By day three, the baby had gone home with Dad. Mom wanted nothing to do with her baby, as she was never going to be able to raise him. No amount of emotional support from our social worker and palliative counselors would convince her to bond now while she could. Her husband was denied access as well, as Mom decided that he should stay with his son at home. (And it was a very nice home, situated next to the park, across from the large grassy playground of the elementary school, as pictures showed on her bedside table). The postpartum nurse returned to her ward, and the patient was signed off to us. No visitors came. The telephone never rang. The Mom layed in bed, pressing her PCA button like she was playing Jeopardy. By now, the books were gone from her bedside table- tossed in the garbage. The photos were turned over, except for the photo of the house. We wanted to be able to do something. Make her better so she could go home and start her new life as Super Mom, where she could grow organic vegetables for her baby as she had planned? That would have been wonderful. So many of our patients had been admitted at death's door but were returned home with a new, albeit short lease on life. We wanted that more than anything. Sadly, this 25-year-old new mother, with the shiny photos and the beautiful new baby that she had never held, was not that patient. Night shift started at 1900, as it always did. My partner and I arrived in The Pit as we called our observation unit to discover that Mom was our only patient. The other 3 had been moved to ward beds to allow for what was going to be a very memorable shift. At 1915, after report, a basinette arrived. A case of ready-to-serve formula accompanied it, along with tiny diapers and other baby items. Mom had agreed to have one night with her little family. Her high-flow oxygen kept her in the observation room for the night, with all the appropriate monitors, balances and checks. The two of us looked at each other. What was this? We had become resigned to a grieving mother, an absent father, and a feeling of misery in the room. We were not prepared for what happened that night. Football runs deep. Mom was a diehard fan of her home team, while dad was a local hometown boy. Tonight, though, everyone was on the same team. Baby arrived with Dad shortly after 1930. Full uniform of team jammies, little matching helmet and booties. Dad had on his own jersey. Both had the family's name on the back, to show family solidarity. Mom, who had not done more than play Jeopardy with her PCA and doze for most of our shifts with her, broke out in the biggest smile of all. Bigger than even the one in the fairy tale wedding photos we had seen when she first arrived. To top it off, Mom was given her own jersey, family name on the back. It was a very comfy, cozy jammy dress for Mom. I was about to help her put it on and feed the IV tubing through the sleeves. My partner asked her if she wanted to use her button as I would need to undo the PCA tubing briefly to prevent dislodging the saline lock. Mom surprised everyone, even herself. She smiled, said no. Just take it off not to hook it back up again for a while. Mom wanted to make some memories with her family, and wanted to be clear. We helped Mom into her team jersey, helped her pull her hair back out of her face. Dad looked hesitant. He had made this evening happen, and didn't want to jinx anything by pushing Mom too much. He held his infant son up to his wife to show her how beautiful he was. How much better he looked than the grainy ultrasound. He pointed out all the things that baby shared with Mom. Her chin, her forehead, her kissy lips. Then he sat down, in a nursing chair from the maternity, placing baby on the nursing pillow on his lap. It was the one Mom had picked out of a baby magazine. To match the rest of the nursery. Mom teared up. She called us over. That night, Mom held her baby for the very first time. We padded the siderails of her bed with blankets. We wrapped her saline lock to avoid any accidental scratching she was afraid of. We prepared the bottle just as she directed, even though it wasn't breast milk and wasn't what she would have fed the baby had she really been in charge. Then Dad placed the baby on her lap, on the pillow. Mom and Dad spent the next 3 hours with their little family, with their little boy. Baby cluster fed on and off. Dad showed his wife how to burp their son, showed her how he helped with the tummy gas. It was a magical end. By 2300, Dad and son had returned home. Mom's high-flow oxygen had stopped being enough, and she was now on bipap. Our magical moment was over and we were right back into respiratory nurse mode, with RTs and pre-code teams on the way. We directed traffic, started lines, gave meds. We moved furniture, took report and admitted 3 more patients. Business as usual. By next shift, Mom was gone. She had made it clear that she was to be a DNR. She passed away that morning in a private room. Her husband and son were not at the hospital, as she wanted. They were at the park, watching children play. Mom wanted to be in charge of that, too. We sent a photo to Dad from the previous shift, circumventing the computer rule. We uploaded a photo we took of his little family with the wound care digital camera. His one and only family photo for his little football fan. Being a nurse is hard. We can't always find the moral of the story, or the benefit of every situation, but we try.
  7. Nursula_rn

    What's wrong with kids today? (and I'm not even that old)

    Childhood now extends into the upper 20s. It is no longer the case where you are raised to move out and fend for yourself. Many parents are happy to assist in extending their child's childhood because life is hard, and they want to protect their chidren from the hardships of life- like adulthood. It is no coincidence that helicopter parents and hover mothers coexist with this over-aged children. Many of our offspring will be insulated from the reality that is their adulthood by living at home or greatly subsidized by their parents- if you are not busy being consumed by your adulthood (working, being responsible enough to remain in your chosen occupation on a consistent basis, paying your own rent/cell bill/student loan; having adult relationships with other adults) you are free to spend time being a child. Consumed by yourself. Facebook all about you and yours- your clothes, your makeup, your new car/gadgets. Narcisism, prolonged childhood, and hover parents with boomerang children who keep coming back well into what used to be adulthood. Thats what we have going on, imho.
  8. Nursula_rn

    Fitting in 101. Need Help.

    Thank you for the support. Sadly, am in need of that mid-career change that makes me more palatable to conservative, quieter places everywhere. I have 30+ more years of this and it difficult to not at least try to fly under the radar. Will take up boat rocking, ******** identifying, got your back no matter what stuff closer to retirement. At this time, who knows if that hubby of mine is going to get transferred again and require me to get a reference from this joint.
  9. Nursula_rn

    Fitting in 101. Need Help.

    As a nurse who has moved more than my fair share, (spouse career), I have been the new nurse more than I ever want to. I have coped with the bullies, the bullied, and the cliques. I thought I came up with a great way to deal, but that has only made me not fit in, no way, no how. I am now officially the weird nurse in a quiet conservative office. I thought I was a resilient, friendly, energetic nurse. Turns out I am not. I am always friendly. Perhaps too friendly, but I afraid of being disliked for being snobby. Too chatty? Likely. Help. Tell me how to fix this like I am stupid. Really. I share my oppinion. Just writing that reminds me that nobody really wants to hear it. But now that I have likely overshared my oppionion about nursing, nursing standards, etcetera, how do I undo this? I get all my work done, take on any extra work asked of me- to avoid being seen as a non-team player, but then have nothing left to do when I am done. I clearly need more duties, or need to slow down (the work is not hard, there is not a lot of it). How do I look as busy as my coworkers (who have their own specialty projects, while I am used a workload with one small specialty area that does not require any extra work due to lack of clients)? I run the risk of looking bored. This office is funny. I KNOW there is not much more work to be done, cannot even imagine what else anyone else could do (and clearly, due to the online surfing, shopping and gossiping, they have time on their hands, too). I have accomplished all duties assigned to me, including overhauling a program that had staffing issues- with no support from my manager. She was happy when it was done, but now, not so much. I speak up at meetings. I have out of the box ideas and often implement all of my unique (and likely detrimental, obnoxious, useless personality quirks) traits. My manager has decided that I am just not right. She has no problems with my work, just no longer in love with my energy and personality. Come to think of it, neither am I. I am ready to not be me. Please give me completely brutal step by step instructions how to fix it. I have never felt so unwanted in my entire career. My manager has brutally torn me apart, and I no longer have the energy to find the valuable part of my personality. I am not depressed (yet), have no history of mental imbalance. I am still energetic, optomistic, but sick of being this nurse. My coworkers have all had runins with this manager, others have left for being bullied. They now snitch on anyone they can, avoid her like a plague. They are not to be trusted with much for fear they will use it when needed to defend themselves or throw someone else under the bus. That aside, I am clearly in the wrong. I am certain she wouldnt have torn a strip off of me and told me that I am of little value to her office, and am only a distruptive entity. (no, there have been no complaints or evidence of such, but it is her impression and opinion.) Help me overhaul so I can fly under the radar and NEVER have this issue again.
  10. Nursula_rn

    Complaints Department

    I work in a public health office, offering assessment of infants/children as well as vaccinations. I have been in my current position for just over a year. I have had a comlaint to my manager regarding issues I would have never imagined would be issues. I am embarrassed, but would like to be able to fix them. I have my own ideas about how to avoid this. My town is very small, and everyone seems to know one another. I am new. This gives my colleages a special view of the clients and allows them to tailor their care. As it turns out, it is out of vogue to discuss anything remotely controversial. No mention is made to parents of newborns/infants regarding safety issues regarding safe sleeping surfaces, back-to-sleep, car seat safety. There are some new guidelines from our employer that I have been employing. The most recent complaint was regarding child safety and after market items that are not considered safe. The complaint was that I frightened the mother, despite simply using the provided educational material. As it turns out, no one else uses this material (despite this being the expected standard). They simply offer the material, as an aside, with no teaching. This is the norm in the office. I am now considering not discussing these issues, and just slip the material in with any other pamphlets we do discuss (nutrition, recreation). My manager is convinced that the client is right, and that I was belittling the client. In the future, I plan to seek NO teachable moments that would be perceived as suggesting poor parenting or negligent parenting. It appears that all parents in this office are not in need of education so much as reinforcement of fabulous parenting, no matter what the situation. My counterpart has admitted that she never suggests improvements, and just hands the material in hopes that it will be read at a later date. Seems like a sad but brilliant way to avoid future meetings with my manager. I have worked other urban offices where it was expected that education would be provided, and complaints regarding safety would be taken in context. The standard included corrective education regarding obvious concerns (Kool-aid in bottles, loosely buckled infants in bucket carseats) and anticipatory education. This is a change. I was not a friend in my previous position, but a supportive nurse in an education/treatment role. Any thoughts?