Published Apr 17, 2004
I am working in a unit with only one regular tech in our shift who is efficient and hardworking, but she has a hell of an attitude. I am barely new to the unit but I think I can't take it anymore. I've discussed about it with my other colleagues who has been working with her for a long time and they would just say that "she's just like that but she's a very efficient one" or "she has a very sad personal life that's why she became like that, but she's a hardworking one". I saw how she treated the old timer nurses, if they asked her to do something and she's in a bad mood, she would just say "NO, that's not my job!" or she would just give them a blank stare as if she heard nothing. I even learned that there was one nurse who left the unit and she's one of the reason. They even told me the reason why she always gets away with that is because the previous NM is her buddy and she has also a great shoe polishing ability skills, which she's starting to do to our new NM now. Imagine how worst she can be with the new nurses.
I could've barely tolerated her attitude since she's been a big help to me with my heavy pt's. Everytime she's helping me with my pt's she would always brag about her technical ability skills like, "How come you nurses don't know how to take the pt's EKG?" Or when we were transferring pt's OOB to chair and I didn't do it the way she does it, she would say, "You don't know how to transfer pt?"
One day while there was a volunteer student nurse observing us, we were cleaning my total care pt. when we noticed that her buttocks were red.. then she blatantly told the student.."Look the nurses don't know how to take care of the pt's skin. Then we have to transfer the pt to a medi-chair, as I was pulling my pt towards me from the sliding board, we noticed that the HOB was a little bit higher than the chair, with her sharp tongue, she sarcastically made a remark, "SMART, WHAT A SMART NURSE! Look the head of the bed is higher". Then she talked to the student in their own language.
I was so furious at that time and I felt that if I confronted her I might loose my composure and that I might shout, cry or even curse her... it was almost the end of her shift. She was off the next day and I did gave ny NM my written report and told her everything this tech has been doing to me. She told me that we will discuss it with the tech the next time we are all on the unit.
I don't know what's going to happen...That tech might retaliate to me by not helping me at all with my pt's. I don't know if my colleagues would support me. But I'm decided that I will give that tech a taste of her own medicine.. No more insulting side comments for me. I am no longer comfortable in my unit because of the fact that me and that tech would have already grudges with each other. I don't intend to work in my unit for long but I just don't want to leave there with them in mind that it's because of that tech. I want to give back that tech all the insults and sarcasm she had on me...I just don't care anymore. It's not right for my colleagues just to tolerate her. Not because she is the only tech in a certain shift and that's because she's very efficient and hardworking that she has the right to be the way she is. I know I will have to endure the days I will be working with her... If you were in my position what would you be doing?
First of all, I would not respond to her with insults and sarcasm. That will only escalate the situation. It seems like she is trying to elicit a response like this from you. She is probably enjoying the power she has over the unit. Don't give her any more power. I would confront her, but would remain calm and professional. The next time she says something that upsets you tell her "That was a very unproffessional thing to say." If she makes a remark in front of a patient, do not say anything at all. Wait till you are away from the patient and tell her "When you make remarks about my nursing skills in front of patients, it undermines their confidence and affects their care." Maybe you can get some of the other staff who are tired of her antics to start responding in the same manner. And make sure your NM is aware of what is going on. You cannot control how others behave, you can only control how you react to their behavior. If she is not getting the reaction she wants, maybe she will stop making the unproffessional comments
sue, well said.
Effencincy is not an issue here. A CNA takes direction from the nurse in charge or team leader. This be true even if the nurse is an LPN. As an RN I would not stand for her mouth. She makes comments in front of patients about you or your care, you should right then and there (in front of the patient) stop and tell her that if you have comments you make them in private and not in front of the patient "consider this a counseling". "You are an aide NOT an RN (LPN)". Take her aside and make it perfectly clear that you will not take her crap and will counsel her in front of the patient if necessary. I know that you are not supposed to counsel in front of the patient but there are times when it really is needed. Talk to your NM and director of nursing you do not have to deal with that kind of rude insubordination. Just my thoughts. I hope you can leave that unit with your professionalism in tact.
I've seen those CNA's great at the technical part. Put on a great firm diaper however might as well be loading potatoes. Don't even talk to the resident or treat them gently and kindly as one would a person or animal. The talking in another language in front of the resident is abuse.
meownsmile, BSN, RN
This sounds so familiar,, i had a co-worker that was very similar although she didnt have a second language to verbalize with that i didnt know. I finally had enough,, called her into the conference room and looked her straight in the eye and told her "if WE have a problem in our working relationship that needs discussed i would meet her in the NM office and WE can discuss it with her". I had enough and was calling her out. I no longer get the blank stares, dont get told NO, and i dont get the rude attitude or comments any longer, and we didnt have to take it to the NM. I think she realized that i ment what i said and i was not going to put up with it any longer. She would have continued to treat me like that had i not put her on the spot,, she knew who would lose that battle if she intended to continue her attitude.
I was fairly new to my position although not new to the facility. I hadnt worked with her much as i had been perdiem and hadnt worked much while i was in school. We have a very different working relationship now and i work with her regularly. She may not like me but im not there to be liked.
Dont worry about retaliation, that is a mechanism that is grounds for dismissal and she knows it. You have a license behind you to back you up and noone in administration worth anything would let non licensed personal put a licensed professional in that position. You and the facility have to much to lose and they know it.
- Isn't this CNA creating a "hostile work environment."
- Definitely bring the "hostile work environment" up with management. Of course,
document everything. Certainly would have to believe there would/could be
legal rammifications for the facility.
- Also, if you are an older nurse - and the CNA is younger - I would have to
believe that you could hit up an age discrimination lawsuit. Granted, you
probably won't end up going that far - but just those words strike fear in
Just my ramblings for today,
Evansville (town of no cows), Indiana, USA
I worked with a surgical tech like this. She belittled and berated everyone, including the doctors, all doctors. If everyone I work with is to believed then there was at least one letter from every nurse who ever worked with her in the OR in her personnal file. She finally retired after 30+ years. She never got the fact that she was working under the auspice of MY nursing license, since she was an unlicensed tech. We had one shouting match (totally unplanned and unprofessional on my part) at the desk and from then on, we only spoke when we needed to communicate in the OR concerning the patient or physician needs. When she left, peace fell over the entire unit and remains until this day. She is still scorned by most if not all.
I too recommend you pull this lady aside and talk about the facts of life. It's hard but YOU are the RN. She works under your direction, not the other way around.
My suggestion is that you request in writing a meeting with this CNA and the nurse manager . In your request, cite one or two examples of the CNA's behavior and comments. Do not make any statements about your feelings! Simply give observations. End your letter with the comment that this CNA is 'creating a hostile work environment', and you want it to be resolved.
CC your letter to your unit manager and hospital nursing director, and human resource department. (And union rep if you are unionized.)
I'd be very surprised if you get no results from this due to the potential legal ramifications.
NursesRmofun, ASN, RN
I am working in a unit with only one regular tech in our shift who is efficient and hardworking, but she has a hell of an attitude. I am barely new to the unit but I think I can't take it anymore. I've discussed about it with my other colleagues who has been working with her for a long time and they would just say that "she's just like that but she's a very efficient one" or "she has a very sad personal life that's why she became like that, but she's a hardworking one". I saw how she treated the old timer nurses, if they asked her to do something and she's in a bad mood, she would just say "NO, that's not my job!" or she would just give them a blank stare as if she heard nothing...................Age old story. It happens almost everywhere. There is always at least one where I have worked...usually more than one. They sometimes work hard for little money (*IF* they are doing their job properly), and have to do more physical labor....they are jealous, in a nutshell. To be fair, some are treated poorly. But I find, on average, it is jealousy and resentment that makes them act the way they do. A friend told me years ago that she had a CNA on the nighshift with her on a stepdown unit that did vitals and then sat for hrs. knitting! LMAO. She said the CNA had been there a long time and just refused to do much. I could go on and on about personal stories and stories I have heard!
Age old story. It happens almost everywhere. There is always at least one where I have worked...usually more than one. They sometimes work hard for little money (*IF* they are doing their job properly), and have to do more physical labor....they are jealous, in a nutshell. To be fair, some are treated poorly. But I find, on average, it is jealousy and resentment that makes them act the way they do. A friend told me years ago that she had a CNA on the nighshift with her on a stepdown unit that did vitals and then sat for hrs. knitting! LMAO. She said the CNA had been there a long time and just refused to do much. I could go on and on about personal stories and stories I have heard!
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
As an RN I would not stand for her mouth.
With ANY job title, no one should stand for it!
To the OP: take it to the DON or NM. Your co-workers, by allowing this to go on, are condoning it.
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