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Staff drama

Nurses   (1,043 Views | 19 Replies)

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Does anybody else feel like nursing is making them jaded? I am a pretty easy-going person and usually get along with everyone but I realize my role as charge nurse has made it very difficult to have relationships with staff. There are people that don’t like their assignments especially the new grads which furiates me because they expect their same assignment even when they have been off for days or they will look at the assignment board and question me on why they have the difficult patient on the floor or why they dont have their same patients. These new grads feel entitled for some reason or feel entitled to change assignments or other things. They honestly dont realize how good they have it. They have max 5 maybe 6 patients. I came from a unit of 9 patients. Also management does not want to give the new grads the difficult patients because they think the more experienced nurses can deal with it better which made me really mad the other day because I said the new grads are just as capable as I am to handle this patient and if they do not learn now when will they learn? So a patient was taken off of my assignment so the new grad could have it , it was someone with a CBI. if you are going to give me such a difficult patient then do not expect me to be charge on top of it with the floor of 38 patients, 5 including my own patients. Somebody has to have these patients and they seem to take it personal and then I start to take it personal because they start questioning me after I’ve had five years of experience and I am also charge. This has led people to not like me. I really try to give everybody their assignments back but our unit is so big that if I were to give everybody their assignment back they would be walking all over the unit and not be in blocks. There are also nursing assistants that give a lot of Push back whenever they are asked to do some thing. People are becoming lazy and do not do what is in their job description which leads to drama because it becomes talked about and work does not get done. I hate being charge nurse we don’t get paid extra for it and I don’t have time to deal with the drama of the nursing assistant and nurses when I have my own patients to handle especially if my assignment is heavy. The reason why our charge nurse has a patient assignment is because our nurse ratio Will go down a nurse so we all decided to keep the nurse and somebody will be charge. I don’t have time for the petty drama, like I did not get this room can you please change that assignment or give me this patient or why am I doing a clip and prep for this patient. We try to divide it up as evenly as possible but sometimes one of the people will get an extra clip and prep based on staffing. This has led me to have a very sour attitude and on edge all the time and I find myself always talking about the issues or complaining about the issues on the floor and this is not who I usually am but it has become too much and I don’t like the person I am becoming. How can I make these situations better? I am 27 and I feel like people do not respect me because I am not older. When people tell me how to do my job as charge nurse I take it personal because it makes me feel like I am not doing things correctly or doing things wrong so it makes me want to make them do the assignments Themselves or fix the other situations. If they want to be charge so bad then be charge I don’t want to be it. I don’t have time for the drama. What can I do? 
 

sincerely very frustrated nurse

Edited by freckles23

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1 hour ago, freckles23 said:

I hate being charge nurse we don’t get paid extra for it and I don’t have time to deal with the drama of the nursing assistant and nurses when I have my own patients to handle especially if my assignment is heavy.

 

1 hour ago, freckles23 said:

The reason why our charge nurse has a patient assignment is because our nurse ratio Will go down a nurse

 

1 hour ago, freckles23 said:

I don’t have time for the drama. What can I do? 

 

If you do not have management support for the situation you've described, the only thing you can do is change your own feelings about it because you are not going to get any sweeping improvements off the ground.

Also, who is providing mentorship to the newer RNs?

I would tell them you're not doing charge in this situation and if they don't like that then look for a new job.

For the immediate time being, stop responding to these people complaining about their assignments. Don't even entertain the discussions about why so-and-so can't take care of Mr. Jones like they did 5 days ago, or why they have so-and-so patient on their assignment. They can also call the manager/supervisor if they don't like their assignments, and can call the manager/supervisor if they need help during the shift since you will be busy changing out your CBI and taking care of your other patients.

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

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The whole "charge nurse" thing, i.e. doing management while you're also taking patients, is a farce. Nurse managers should manage, but hey, those oh-so-important meetings won't attend themselves...

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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Do the younger nurses complain to all of the people who take the Charge position or just when you are in Charge.   If they complain to/about all of the Charge Nurses, they you Charge Nurses need to get together and make a group strategy to deal with the complaints and drama.   Presenting a united front to the staff will be more effective than having some Charge Nurses respond one way and other Charge Nurses another way.

If they only complain when you are in Charge, then maybe, you need to get some mentoring help from the more senior Charge Nurses.   Ask them for some tips on how to handle the complaints and drama.   Maybe they don't get as much flak from the staff because they do/respond differently.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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1.  Paragraphs are your friend.  Even when you're venting.

2.  I second the response that taking a load while doing charge is a farce.  Expecially when there is no charge differential pay.  I call BS on that practice.

3.  Doing nurse/patient assignments is a skill in itself, with a lot of moving parts.  Don't tolerate any pushback and don't change assignments.  If they want to change with each other, that's between them.

4.  Aides refusing to do as they are told:  write them up.  Even though you don't have time, do it anyway.

5.  Worry less about your popularity and more about navigating a really crappy work situation.  When you stop jumping through hoops to appease everyone a funny thing happens.  They start to respect you more, and then they start to even like you.

6.  When management gets sucked in by the drama and tries to take you to task:  "Sorry.  I'm already working my butt off and can't do more than I'm doing.  Maybe I'm not cut out for charge."  Since there is no charge nurse differential, they have more to lose than you do if they take you out of the charge pool.  Watch how fast they back off.

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35 minutes ago, llg said:

 Presenting a united front to the staff will be more effective than having some Charge Nurses respond one way and other Charge Nurses another way.

 

36 minutes ago, llg said:

If they only complain when you are in Charge, then maybe, you need to get some mentoring help from the more senior Charge Nurses.   Ask them for some tips on how to handle the complaints and drama.   Maybe they don't get as much flak from the staff because they do/respond differently.

Good points.

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7 hours ago, JKL33 said:

 

 

 

If you do not have management support for the situation you've described, the only thing you can do is change your own feelings about it because you are not going to get any sweeping improvements off the ground.

Also, who is providing mentorship to the newer RNs?

I would tell them you're not doing charge in this situation and if they don't like that then look for a new job.

For the immediate time being, stop responding to these people complaining about their assignments. Don't even entertain the discussions about why so-and-so can't take care of Mr. Jones like they did 5 days ago, or why they have so-and-so patient on their assignment. They can also call the manager/supervisor if they don't like their assignments, and can call the manager/supervisor if they need help during the shift since you will be busy changing out your CBI and taking care of your other patients.

We are a brand new unit so they took us from our 17 bed unit to a 38 bed unit and we have maybe 7 experienced nurses and the majority are the new grads. We get pulled to help the new grads, answer their questions, deal w their patients and issues because they cant handle their assignments or dont know proper protocol. I dont mind helping at all but it all becomes too much when the secretary is calling u to tell u they put 3 patients on the books and to review their orders before we accept the patient, go help the new grad, get vocera’ed for every little thing and then im more prone to lose my train of thought w my patients making it risky for me to make a mistake. They hired all of these new grads and there is barely anyone with experience on the same shift because they try and spread us out throughout the week. It can never be a shift of people knowing what they are doing or handle their own. I have to be in 8 million places at once every shift and in exhaustedddd

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6 hours ago, llg said:

Do the younger nurses complain to all of the people who take the Charge position or just when you are in Charge.   If they complain to/about all of the Charge Nurses, they you Charge Nurses need to get together and make a group strategy to deal with the complaints and drama.   Presenting a united front to the staff will be more effective than having some Charge Nurses respond one way and other Charge Nurses another way.

If they only complain when you are in Charge, then maybe, you need to get some mentoring help from the more senior Charge Nurses.   Ask them for some tips on how to handle the complaints and drama.   Maybe they don't get as much flak from the staff because they do/respond differently.

They complain to all charges. Some might handle it better than others. I hate confrontation so alot of the time I throw my hands up like “i dont know, you figure it out if u want it changed so bad” because its alll the time. U can never make anyone happy. They need to realize nursing is always changing and you will never have the same patient load twice usually with all the admits and discharges daily, although we try our best.

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168 Posts; 5,810 Profile Views

I have also written several emails to management regarding certain coworkers not fulfilling their job needs and it seems like they want multiple emails before they even take action of anything. I try not to come off as complaining to management because I am sure they are sick of hearing all of the complaints but I do not feel supported when it comes to working as charge it becomes very difficult. Also many nurses will come to me to complain about somebody not doing their work but they do not want to write the emails to management so they come to me for a resolution but how do they expect me to resolve something that They don’t even want to send an email about? I tell them to write an email to management because nothing will get resolved otherwise. So do not come to me to resolve something if you do not want to resolve it yourself. I am not superwoman.

Edited by freckles23

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TheLastUnicorn has 4 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, ICU, Rehab.

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No one ever like their assignment. When I was new, I always hated the difficult patient, or the patient who had something I didn't have experience with. We were given care buddies, plus we had the charge nurse if we needed help. We never had the assignment changed just because of that. 

Unless there was some valid reason to change the assignment, it didn't change. Doesn't matter how many fits were thrown about it. The only legit claim to changing it was "I was here yesterday, why didn't I get bed B back?"   Oops, my bad, here you go. Or, two very high acuity patients on the same assignment, as sometimes there were assignments that needed to be broken up. 

What needs to happen is that the changing needs to stop. Someone needs to put their foot down. That people are allowed to come in, throw a fit, and get it changed is exactly why it keeps happening. If you toss your child a cookie to make them stop tantruming? What happens? They tantrum all the time knowing they are getting a cookie. You throwing your hands up and saying whatever, do what you want... is that cookie. Essentially you are part of the problem you are complaining about. You can't play part of management and not be confrontational. You're gonna need to find your spine and straighten it, and I'm not saying that to be mean. You make a fair assignment. Stick to it. If someone has a problem, they can take it up to the manager, but, this is your assignment. And frankly, if you don't agree with giving up or trading a patient. Don't. If you got there first, it's your patient. Let your manager handle it. 

Also, rather than an email. Have a face to face meeting. Try to get other nurses who are charge and fed up with this issue to be there.  Or, when you have a unit meeting (if you don't have these, start!) and bring this up. This is clearly a unit issue that needs to be solved. A staff meeting where everyone can voice their thoughts and a solution can be come up with would be best. 

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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Being charge can put you in a difficult place depending on management. Does your manager back you up, do you have Charge nurse meetings (where these issues are discussed and for continuity) etc. Agree with others that you need to be more assertive, stick to the pt assignment as written and they will stop asking, try to solve the differences in real time if possible, escalate up to manager when necessary, dont take anything personal and always remain professional. Over time you will earn the respect of most. Of course none of this will work if your manager doesn't back you up. I have been Charge in both situations and finally stepped down from a Charge position because of zero support and backup from the manager, (sad bc manager was a super nice person just a horrible manager.) Also, is there any training available to you for the Charge position. All that said I honestly dont even know how you can do charge with a pt list. The last one I did had so many tedious stupid non nursing work/paperwork it literally would have been impossible. 

Sorry you are having such a difficult time, wishing you well!

 

 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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I'm starting to get the feeling that OP  just works in a crappy place.  Managers refuse to manage and the staff sound incredibly immature.  Nice place to be stuck in the middle of, for no extra pay!

OP, all the advice in the world isn't going to help you in a place with weak, lazy management and whiny, lazy coworkers.  Can you toughen up as needed and still live with yourself, or is it time to look for the exits?

Good luck, whatever you end up doing.

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