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Seeking Your Opinions, Please - Coworker Stuff

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bigbub3000 bigbub3000 (Member)

I work in long-term care and have a stable client who has a condition that requires somewhat special care. Nothing exotic, just it requires that we be familiar with his equipment and the procedures to keep it running. We also must keep his supplies stocked. Should be no big deal.

However, no one said word 1 to me in Orientation about his special needs or where we obtain his supplies. I thought it was from the company whose name is emblazened on the equipment. Well, silly me. I've been there nearly 5 years and found out only last week that he actually owns the equipment, is not renting it and that the company name on the equipment does not mean we are to call them for questions, supplies, whatever.

This sort of thing has happened repeatedly with this patient and with others. Important information not being shared with all of us, only 1 nurse knowing about it and handling it. Then that nurse gets mad at the rest of us if we use the supplies.

I see this happen with broken equipment, too. It is left in its usual spot and one would think it's ok to use it. There's no note on it stating it's out of service and that a part has been ordered and it's expected to be back in service in a week, or whatever. Just there it is. you go to use it and boom, discover it's broken.

So you check with the boss and learn that you have wasted not only your time but your caring about providing good care. She actually chides you for worrying about it, saying Nurse Susie Q handles that. Well, gee, could you maybe have told me that 5 years ago?

Is it sloppiness to not inform all of us? Is it wrong for me to care? Is it asking too much to leave a broken item somewhere out of service, clearly marked as such, and say when it will be fixed and what to use in the interim?

Am I an anachronism? OCD? getting old? constipated? low on wine or chocolate? Is someone too possessive? She calls the patients "my guys". Another nurse thinks she keeps info to herself intentionally, possessively, and says she must feel threatened when anyone else tries to take care of stuff.

Well, there you are. What do you think? :jester: :smokin: :jester: Oh, and thanks.

communication is paramount in any type of relationship.

it's unfortunate that many don't understand this key concept.

all you can do is lead by example.

good luck!

leslie

MedSurgeMess

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I agree with Leslie. BTW, if you come across the equipment that's broken, make a note on it yourself, and state that for further info, contact SuzyQ and her number. Maybe after she sees it, she may possibly get the message~~probably not, but you may get lucky.....These types of people always think it makes them indespensible, where it really just leaves a mess for everyone else to work around! And shame on your boss for chiding you for wanting to share information. You never said you wanted to take SuzyQ's responsibilities--heck she could still order, make delivery arrangements and such--but she should still let everyone know what's going on.

Ruthiegal

Specializes in LTC, Disease Management, smoking Cessati. Has 28 years experience.

What happens if nurse Suzie Q is in an accident and is out on medical leave for a few months?????? hmmmmm? Really though... what happens to supplies and broken equipment then?

a good communication out there is a must so that everyone will understand each other and can fix any problem fast. It is good if every one knows what is happening in one's working environment. Anyway, to that broken equipment you should take a note about it and talk personally to Suzie Q first about it. Inform or warned other staff about the broken equipment because for sure some would be affected or this incidence can be repeated at least they are prepared too...

When supervisors reinforce environments where there are "special" characters who are in "charge" of too much, they are sabotaging team work and the smooth operation of the unit, not the other way around, as they might want you to believe. You can work around and in spite of this situation, or you can do something to change it. If me, I would take action on things as I see fit. I don't call going around hunting down SuzieQ, the "expert", as being the appropriate action. Some people just love leaving the status quo the way it is. After all, if SuzieQ handles everything then no one else has to lift a finger.

What happens if nurse Suzie Q is in an accident and is out on medical leave for a few months?????? hmmmmm? Really though... what happens to supplies and broken equipment then?

You are psychic! This actually did happen. She was involved in some personal situation and missed a lot of work. I guess the Manager must have kept up the supplies because we had enough.

Come to think of it, though, the patient whose supplies I'm referring to did have some problems and wound up going to ER a time or 2 during her absence. :eek:

It's flat out dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to happen. Shame on management for allowing it. The patient is at risk.

No i can completely understand your frustration in this kind of thing. I don't like it when i go to get a soda out of the machine and it is out of order chews up my money and no sign attached to warn me that it doesn't work, let alone if i had to deal with this when it comes to much more important things such as medical equipment at work. They should at the very least clearly mark that the equipment is broken and not to be used until repairs have been made, this is just common sense and basic courtesy. The fact that they can't even bother doing this is quite disturbing and one must wonder just how much they really care about their staff and patients. You on the other hand, obviously do care about your patients and for that i applaud you. Having just one or even two nurses know the parts etc needed for the equipement and where to order them from or who to contact for repairs is not good at all, there is nothing to guarantee that contact with them can always be made. Everyone should know who to contact and what to do in the case of the machinery having a malfunction and not just a specific nurse. Unfortunately it has happened at other places in the past and took the passing away of a patient for this to be changed as the nurse who knew how to fix the error in the equipment was not available, the fault went un noticed because not many were familiar with the equipment in the first place and it malfunctioned, ultimately failing to help the patient breathe as it was intended to do and failing to monitor the patients stats, It was not discovered until morning when noted that the patient did not rise for general checks. let's hope it doesn't get that far for you.

No i can completely understand your frustration in this kind of thing. I don't like it when i go to get a soda out of the machine and it is out of order chews up my money and no sign attached to warn me that it doesn't work, let alone if i had to deal with this when it comes to much more important things such as medical equipment at work. They should at the very least clearly mark that the equipment is broken and not to be used until repairs have been made, this is just common sense and basic courtesy. The fact that they can't even bother doing this is quite disturbing and one must wonder just how much they really care about their staff and patients. You on the other hand, obviously do care about your patients and for that i applaud you. Having just one or even two nurses know the parts etc needed for the equipement and where to order them from or who to contact for repairs is not good at all, there is nothing to guarantee that contact with them can always be made. Everyone should know who to contact and what to do in the case of the machinery having a malfunction and not just a specific nurse. Unfortunately it has happened at other places in the past and took the passing away of a patient for this to be changed as the nurse who knew how to fix the error in the equipment was not available, the fault went un noticed because not many were familiar with the equipment in the first place and it malfunctioned, ultimately failing to help the patient breathe as it was intended to do and failing to monitor the patients stats, It was not discovered until morning when noted that the patient did not rise for general checks. let's hope it doesn't get that far for you.

Sounds like a lawsuit. Very sloppy, so unnecessary.