Quick! Blame the Nurse!

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 3 years experience.

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You have all been there before, no matter what decision you make it’s the wrong one. To give you perspective I am currently working geriatrics and lead a non-nursing team. For awhile it has been a struggle to get the team on board with following protocol, procedures, and general patient safety. Everything turns into an argument and there is no work ethic.

I am exhausted with trying to teach a group of people who don’t want to learn, nor are passionate about the group they care for. I end up working 16+ days with no day off because people don’t show up for their shifts or can’t function when I am not there. 

Don’t get me wrong, not painting the whole team with the same brush. It is just bothersome to me that people would enter this profession if they aren’t serious about it. I have tried to be nice, tried to be understanding, tried to be patient.

Nothing I do is working so should I pony up and be a jerk for once and require more of the team?

I promised myself I would not be *that* nurse.  To make matters worse, I have other areas such as dining, housekeeping, etc. always blaming me for issues I am not responsible for. Doesn’t matter what I do or say, it’s not good enough. Situations I have nothing to do with are always passed off to me. They are practically bullying me out the door. 

It seems as though EVERYTHING gets blamed on the nurse. I find myself integrating into other areas that I don’t belong in because if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. After patient care, answering phones, the door, and juggling administrative work I am at a loss as to why nobody is acting like a team player. Maybe they are used to me going above and beyond but at this point I am killing myself trying to do it all.

My team is not interested in helping me, even though I have always been there for them.  When they are falling short of expectation they turn it around on me instead of taking responsibility. I don’t know whether I should give up now and enter a new area of nursing or stick with it and pray it gets better.

I have tried everything short of being a nurse ratchet.

Advice welcome. 

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,015 Posts

1 hour ago, vintagegal said:

You have all been there before, no matter what decision you make it’s the wrong one. To give you perspective I am currently working geriatrics and lead a non-nursing team. For awhile it has been a struggle to get the team on board with following protocol, procedures, and general patient safety. Everything turns into an argument and there is no work ethic. I am exhausted with trying to teach a group of people who don’t want to learn, nor are passionate about the group they care for. I end up working 16+ days with no day off because people don’t show up for their shifts or can’t function when I am not there. Don’t get me wrong, not painting the whole team with the same brush. It is just bothersome to me that people would enter this profession if they aren’t serious about it. I have tried to be nice, tried to be understanding, tried to be patient. Nothing I do is working so should I pony up and be a jerk for once and require more of the team? I promised myself I would not be *that* nurse.  To make matters worse, I have other areas such as dining, housekeeping, etc. always blaming me for issues I am not responsible for. Doesn’t matter what I do or say, it’s not good enough. Situations I have nothing to do with are always passed off to me. They are practically bullying me out the door. It seems as though EVERYTHING gets blamed on the nurse. I find myself integrating into other areas that I don’t belong in because if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. After patient care, answering phones, the door, and juggling administrative work I am at a loss as to why nobody is acting like a team player. Maybe they are used to me going above and beyond but at this point I am killing myself trying to do it all. My team is not interested in helping me, even though I have always been there for them.  When they are falling short of expectation they turn it around on me instead of taking responsibility. I don’t know whether I should give up now and enter a new area of nursing or stick with it and pray it gets better. I have tried everything short of being a nurse ratchet. Advice welcome. 

What I get from this, is that staffing seems to be very poor. People are stressed and going into self preservation mode, but you see yourself as a martyr and want them to be martyrs with you. Is that anywhere near it? It's hard to tell as you've not provided many specifics.

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 771 Posts

I'm at a loss as to why you're still there?  How long has this been going on?  How many 16 hour days can you work without dropping? How much mental stress can you take before blowing up? 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,617 Posts

People can't treat you like a rug unless you lie down in front of them.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 16 years experience. 1,476 Posts

Sometimes when people try to help too much, they end up enabling the bad behaviors of others.

JKL33

6,088 Posts

12 hours ago, vintagegal said:

It is just bothersome to me that people would enter this profession if they aren’t serious about it.

It sounds like your team is not part of this profession, though? I promise I'm not trying to split hairs with your words, but that could be kind of important in terms of what they believe their obligations are and how they view these.

On the other hand, it's possible you are behaving in ways that even others in this profession would not see fit to join. It kind of sounds like your actions are a bit like some of those who believe that only they are trying, only they know right ways, only they care, only they are devoting the energy that should be devoted. When I have run across individuals who operate this way, part of my disagreement with them is that I see them as voluntarily taking on stress over problems for which someone else had the authority, means and obligation to mitigate long before it had a chance to become a problem at my level for me to deal with. And I prefer not to expend emotional energy on problems where responsible parties have already taken a pass. In other words, being a martyr just doesn't feel good. Some people derive something from it; I don't. 

Are you "the nurse" at an assisted living business, or what?

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

3 hours ago, JadedCPN said:

Sometimes when people try to help too much, they end up enabling the bad behaviors of others.

I quoted JadedCPN's post not because it was the be all and end all of answers, but because it was just a really really good truism.

Basically, all I was going to say, vintagegal, is without the support of those who run the train, you will forever be shoveling the coal and it will always merely be the sand against the tide.

"nursy", RN

Specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse. Has 40 years experience. 289 Posts

I was in the same type of position as you are.  When my husband started to complain about the effects my stress was having not just on me, but him as well, it was time to quit.  Best  decision I made, I feel like a new person.  I, like you, allowed this to happen.  I know it's just my personality to try to make everything run well, but at the end of the day.....NOBODY CARES!   You will not get an award, or a raise, or any special anything, people will just dump on you because they can.  

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,311 Posts

You say you are leading a non-nursing team, but that they shouldn't have entered the profession...if they are non-nursing, they didn't enter the profession. 

Without further specific details, like the work group type and in what leadership position you hold in relation to them, it will be hard to help you or give an answer

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 536 Posts

I do understand your frustration as I have been in similar situations. One thing I have finally learned to recognize though is that part of the issue is actually me.....I know I have talked about this in previous posts, but sometimes it’s necessary to set boundaries and draw lines. You can only what you can do at the end of the day, then you go home. If you allow the team to flounder a little, then they may figure out how to make ends meet.

DeeAngel

820 Posts

Stop it. Do your assigned duties and let everything else go.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,936 Posts

I am only guessing but I feel like maybe you see many things that you feel should be improved to help the patients that you're dealing with, but you're clearly frustrated that others don't see these same things as priorities. When everyone is working in parallel, it can be hard to determine what aspects will be the best to focus efforts. Sorry that you're feeling frustrated, if you lead this team maybe it's time to schedule some sort of meeting and present some of the most pressing issues? Or find out what others feel needs to be changed? When people feel like they are part of the process they are more likely to be willing to put forth some effort. Good luck!