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Reasons for inhumane managerial behaviour

Nurses   (3,350 Views | 15 Replies)

pedicurn is a LPN, RN and specializes in CVICU, Obs/Gyn, Derm, NICU.

8,810 Profile Views; 696 Posts

Have read several posts here detailing some very inhumane behaviour by managers / DON's.

Really quite shocking. As I am from Australia - there may be some cultural difference here which I don't understand.

Or perhaps it's the corporate environment that's the big difference.

Why do people behave like that?

What happens to managers when they have to find a replacement for a sick nurse?

- Do they have to literally work it themselves and is that why some of them get so snippy?

- If they hire an agency nurse ... does that place so much pressure on the budget, the manager is in trouble? Surely some agency use should be ok ...I would understand if this got out excessive.

- Are the persons above the manager not nurses; therefore don't understand significance certain illnesses. The recent post about a nurse in ?SVT was particularly poignant

And lastly ... surely, as cycles come around; they will be begging again. It probably wont be across-the-board begging but certainly they will be desperate for experienced nurses again soon.

With certain facilities who treat nurses so poorly ..... surely massive retention issue looming?

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CathyLew has 17 years experience and specializes in MSP, Informatics.

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I have seen horrible treatment by management...and to management from upper management. vicious cycle. and crap rolls downhill.

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arelle68 has 3 years experience and specializes in Mental and Behavioral Health.

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There are so many job-hungry nurses right now that the profession, if you can still call it that, is like a meat grinder. If they don't retain you, no big deal to them. There are plenty of nurses who want your job, however abusive the situation may be. That is why my last manager felt free to call my house and scream at me for calling in sick while I laid in bed in terrible pain with a sprained back. Absolutely horrendous. This in the USA. God help us all!

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Platypus has 8 years experience and specializes in BSc, ASN- RN, MBA.

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I am a night nursing supervisor and generally a happy go lucky person who enjoys my job for the most part. I run the building and also a small locked unit for alzheimers patients. I also am in charge of making sure staff is adequate for the day shift. Sometimes this is difficult when multiple people call out due to sickness or weather, ect. I don't feel the need to yell at anyone, but I do know it gets really stressful when I have to pass meds, deal with incoming calls of people calling out and having to call in replacement staff. I feel really bad to have to start calling people at 4:30 in the morning. When I have to short one floor to fill a job on another, I hear it from the nurses and aides alike. Top it off with the aides being union and do not have to stay past their shift time, it can get hairy! I had to report an aide that was repeatedly caught sleeping on the night shift which resulted in her losing a job. The DON said that I shouldn't feel bad - she has a 2 foot stack of applications for aides on her desk, there are plenty of people to replace that aide. Apparently the same for nurses. Management is not going to suffer inept employees and they have become kind of callous about it. I don't think they need to be nasty, but the stress does takes its toll. I count on the night staff and for the most part they are good people. I try to be patient with them when they complain and do what I can to create a win-win situation...but some days the stress gets to me and I snap back with a deal with it attitude, letting them know that their complaints are not at the top of my priority list at the moment.

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621 Posts; 5,505 Profile Views

to answer the op's question, it's all about money/budgets in the states.

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MouseMichelle has 16 years experience and specializes in Home Health/Hospice.

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Okay I understand being a don or nurse manager is hard work, but does that give them the right to yell at you for not coming in because you are truly sick? Yes, if there is NO ONE to cover a shift the nurse manager has to do it, that is what I believe, if no one could cover a shift the DON has to do it, or if she's not a nice person she would make the night nurse for 4 hours overtime handing out meds (which in my opinion is dangerous because by the end of nights your'e just brain dead).

Pedi it's all about disrespect and nurses not sticking up for themselves. As nurses we have to put our foot down, but I know I don't at times because I want to keep my job. Nurse managers do not respect their workers. It's sick it's bad it's unhealthy and very unfair but sometimes I feel it's the nature of the job.

Mouse.

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MouseMichelle has 16 years experience and specializes in Home Health/Hospice.

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And true from the above post it's all about MONEY and BUDGET...lets get away with doing as much bad or as little as we possibly can.........sad but very true.

That's why I don't think I could be DON etc, because yes you have to look at the budget I can't do that I can't make money off sick people.

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Scrubby has 6 years experience and specializes in Operating Room Nursing.

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pedicurn-I'm glad you brought this up. My hypothesis is that it's not because of cultural differences, rather it's due to the differences in legislation in the US. Call me cynical but if we had the same legislation here in Australia I'm sure that we would be getting screamed at by our boss because we had the gall to have a heart issue 30 minutes before our shift. Although our system is far from perfect we at least have some level of protection and cannot be 'fired at will' and if I were screamed at by my boss I'd be screaming right back at them.

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linearthinker has 25 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in FNP.

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I think they are under enormous pressure, and some handle it better than others. I'd not opt to work with someone who didn't handle it well.

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Platypus has 8 years experience and specializes in BSc, ASN- RN, MBA.

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Scrubby,

I am not sure what state you work in, but in my state you can be fired-at-will. Having said that, as a supervisor you have to look at the bigger picture - if I tell this person they have to go home due to sleeping on the job, do I have the staff to safely provide care for the rest of the night. Whenever a business fires someone, they have to pay more into the unemployment insurance - which is why they typically are very happy if you prefer to quit on your own. You cannot collect unemployment if you quit on your own, unless it was for a just cause (like making you work evenings when you used to work days and you have children to take care of at home.) Also, there are some "protected classes" of employees that an employer has to have very good documentation of poor work performance before they can be let go, because it could result in a lawsuit for discrimination.

This may be another thread entirely, but at my company their "orientation" consists of learning company policy, making sure you can give medications safely and they throw you on a floor with 20-30 patients (Nursing and rehab. facility). Usually a 3-day to 1-week orientation at the most. They count on the other nurses to "school" a new nurse on the more specific details of the job. This is overwhelming and terrifying for a new grad. Unfortunately, most of the nurses are too busy to explain things to you and are resentful when you make a mistake or ask too many questions. You get on someones bad side, you can forget it! I was fortunate enough to know who I could ask and not ask on the night shift, but it seems the other shift nurses are not so forthcoming with information. I know other facilities are better at orienting and training, but I wonder if this "survival of the fittest" method is better. Any thoughts?

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pedicurn is a LPN, RN and specializes in CVICU, Obs/Gyn, Derm, NICU.

696 Posts; 8,810 Profile Views

pedicurn-I'm glad you brought this up. My hypothesis is that it's not because of cultural differences, rather it's due to the differences in legislation in the US. Call me cynical but if we had the same legislation here in Australia I'm sure that we would be getting screamed at by our boss because we had the gall to have a heart issue 30 minutes before our shift. Although our system is far from perfect we at least have some level of protection and cannot be 'fired at will' and if I were screamed at by my boss I'd be screaming right back at them.

It's a mixed bag to me when I compare Australia to the US.

I appreciate our public health system and unions in Australia. I like my sick time and annual leave and relative job security.

If we are sick, it's understood. I have never ever been pressured to come into work when I am sick.

But what I don't like about our system is our less educated management and also our fewer advancement opportunities in Australia.

We have a bunch of older and mid-career nurse leaders who haven't developed professional skills. They never move from their positions due to job security. I guess job security has its downside.

Also I have seen quite a lot of poor culture in Australia .. I guess our unions and public system make it harder to get rid of these people. While I haven't been yelled at for a long time, I've certainly seen a lot of less outwardly aggressive rude behaviour.

Overall our managers are generally humane and decent. I can't imagine a situation where a nurse is berated for having a rapid heart rate 30 mins prior to a shift

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pedicurn is a LPN, RN and specializes in CVICU, Obs/Gyn, Derm, NICU.

696 Posts; 8,810 Profile Views

Scrubby,

I am not sure what state you work in, but in my state you can be fired-at-will. Having said that, as a supervisor you have to look at the bigger picture - if I tell this person they have to go home due to sleeping on the job, do I have the staff to safely provide care for the rest of the night. Whenever a business fires someone, they have to pay more into the unemployment insurance - which is why they typically are very happy if you prefer to quit on your own. You cannot collect unemployment if you quit on your own, unless it was for a just cause (like making you work evenings when you used to work days and you have children to take care of at home.) Also, there are some "protected classes" of employees that an employer has to have very good documentation of poor work performance before they can be let go, because it could result in a lawsuit for discrimination.

This may be another thread entirely, but at my company their "orientation" consists of learning company policy, making sure you can give medications safely and they throw you on a floor with 20-30 patients (Nursing and rehab. facility). Usually a 3-day to 1-week orientation at the most. They count on the other nurses to "school" a new nurse on the more specific details of the job. This is overwhelming and terrifying for a new grad. Unfortunately, most of the nurses are too busy to explain things to you and are resentful when you make a mistake or ask too many questions. You get on someones bad side, you can forget it! I was fortunate enough to know who I could ask and not ask on the night shift, but it seems the other shift nurses are not so forthcoming with information. I know other facilities are better at orienting and training, but I wonder if this "survival of the fittest" method is better. Any thoughts?

Platty,

Scrubby and I are in Australia where have a large public system and much smaller private. We can't be fired 'at will'.

Re the orientation period - seems inappropriate for a new grad, but perhaps fine for an experienced nurse. 'Survival of the fittest' might work with a few .... however there will be lots of casualties IMHO

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