Stop the drama


stopping the drama at work among nurses, doctors, and other staff members. with that said, does anyone has suggestions on how they deal with such "drama"? or situations that they can share regarding this issue.

madwife2002, BSN, RN

74 Articles; 4,777 Posts

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

Drama! I absolutely hate drama at work yet it is a common as breathing! Everything is a drama and I have spent 2 years of my life managing a facility where I have tried to stop the drama.

Some months I am fortunate and there is no drama the next month it is like the whole place has exploded into a soap opera!

Sometimes it is a lethal combination of staff which increases the chance of drama, sometimes it is gossiping about another member of staff and sometimes it is just the 'full moon syndrome'

I too am interested to hear how places dissolve the drama?

Lovely_RN, MSN

1,122 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

How about not allowing yourself to be sucked into it? As far as interactions with my co-workers go I have on horseblinders. I know they talk about me behind my back but I pretend not to notice. I was taking report one day and another nurse was standing right behind my back talking about me to another nurse. I heard her but I didn't acknowledge her. Getting through the shift sucks enough out of me. I don't need to add to my stress by giving my precious energy to losers who make the job the center of their lives. It's too bad that I don't like the people I work with more than I do but hey I just work there. I don't live there and I don't really know or care about them anyway. I show up do my best and go home...that is all. I'm grateful I have a good job and my bills are paid. That's what really matters.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

It is very difficult to be affected by workplace drama if one has developed some emotional detachment from their overly dramatic coworkers.

People tend to stop dramatizing things when they do not have an audience for their crazy-making. Do not react as if you are interested in the drama, and do not be an audience member.

Ignore it. Not saying, ignoring them because they are our co-workers. But, I just prefer to not get involved in such drama. Unless someone is asking me for some advice about something, I just prefer to stay out of it. If it isn't my problem or if it doesn't concern myself, why worry about it. Most times, there is nothing that I could say or do that would solve the problem or change anyone's minds. Its not that I don't care, because I do. But, why risk getting involved and getting in trouble over something that may or may not be trivial. To me, its just not worth it. If people can work it out for themselves and with each other, more power to them.

Poi Dog

1,134 Posts

I have perfected an "Are you kidding me/an idiot?" look whenever someone tries to pull me into the soap opera loving life. They see that I have zero interest in their theatrics and move on to someone who does get off on it.


50 Posts

I have a coworker who is a drama queen! She loves to pick on the weekend staff and tell us how everything is done better during the weekdays. LOL I walk away and do my job as it should be done. She has just been promoted to a managerial position. I wish my employer the best of luck with that! Haha. She should get her own reality show. She definitely can't go without enormous amounts of attention!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

As a manager I realized that there are going to be those who will be your drama queens/kings. There are those who love to stir the pot. There are those who are your anchors and those who anchor you down....and then there are those that you can't get motivated/involved for anything but lunch or payday. Kind of like AN.....;)

The real key is getting them to play nice in the sand box. I had a "female dog" complaint box. I had a drama complaint box. I had a real concern/patient safety box and a whining box for the employees to voice their opinions and feelings. But I had bigger prettier kudos box. I made it very clear that I tolerated NO pettiness or back stabbing and if they had nothing nice to say they were to say nothing at all. All complaints had to be written to the box first....then if it was still important they had to submit, in writing, to schedule their session...I mean discussion at a later date, when rational thought returns.

I had a strict DO NOT ENGAGE/RETAILIATE POLICY under the umbrella of professional conduct. I made it very clear that you don't have to like someone to work with them. Working a shift is NOT having them over to your house for dinner. If they were good to their patients , practiced safe nursing/ doesn't matter that you don't like their hair or the way they chew gum. I made a physical presence on ALL shifts regularly and participated actively in patient care when possible/needed so I could witness/stop drama in it's track. AND I had a case of "put your big girl/boy paties on" in my office.

It's exhausting at first but worth it in the end.

After making them actually confront each other and calling them out in front of their peers......they finally decided that if it wasn't going to matter in a hundred years. It doesn't matter long as the patients are safe and cared for. I always believed that a department that plays together stays together and got the doc's to belly up some cash so we could do booze, I mean dinner cruises and let our hair down. Cook outs and summer games on the back deck worked wonders.

But somewhere along the way you have to acknowledge that what they are feeling while may seem isn't a matter of life or death. When you are surrounded by, death, illness, loss.....drama is as much apart of daily life as brushing your teeth or breathing air. It's what you do with that energy that counts.

I think that in today's economy there are additional stresses. "Senior management" are brow beat.......I mean pressuring the managers and staff with unrealistic expectations. Insurance companies are squeezing the MD's. This tinkles right down to the staff and the sniping begins so I think it is more difficult right now. Bring the offending parties together in a neutral area and let them hash it out and then let them all know ......this ends today and will not be tolerated during work hours.

Ahhh...the good ole days....I'm going to take a nap I'm exhausted:lol2: .Good luck Gitano!!!:hug:

Specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR. Has 55 years experience.

at this level, i have given serious thought on handling the situation like esme12 has posted, just let them go at it and let it all come out in the wash and let be bygones be bygones. for example today the first thing @ 5:30am i receive a call that two night nurses and a female doctor got into an altercation in front of the pt. and their family. in addition, 5 nurses call out sick and one declines to come in if so & so is in-charge. in addition, one cna & an lpn in med/surg. haven't been able to hatch their differences since they had a few words several months ago, plus the cna won't take any orders from the lpn. furthermore, i have to deal with 3 prima-donna's nm that don't seem to realize that the good old days are gone and we have to move forward, so they have decided to do their own thing when it comes to managing their staff after several personal counseling. oh! let's not forget one of the evening pharmacist has a retraining order on one of my nurses because she claims that the nurse is having an affair with her husband, and calls the nm's every day to find out if the nurse in question is scheduled to work when her husband is on duty at the out/pt. pharmacy. needless to say, i felt like calling in myself :madface:. however, i went on my daily jog, and the palms swaying plus the sounds of the beach calmed me and gave me a new perspective on the matter. unquestionably, now you know what brought up this post. wishing all the drama queens/kings the best wherever their facility may be.....aloha~


7,046 Posts

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 47 years experience.

Esme and Gitano, I'd love to have either of you as manager. "Whining box" :lol2:

How about not allowing yourself to be sucked into it? As far as interactions with my co-workers go I have on horseblinders. I know they talk about me behind my back but I pretend not to notice.

I do this, too. I also learned to never repeat any of the drama stories I heard from others, no matter how juicy they were or how much I disliked the person who was the star of the day. I know the next day it will be me, and the concept of loyalty doesn't seem to apply to the workplace. I've had to think or say, "I thought you were my friend!" too many times to avoid being cynical about that.

But -- I don't scold or frown at the tale-tellers. I just don't add anything and try to continue with whatever I'm doing. Doing the finger wagging won't change anything anyway. Hats off to all the nurse managers!

Scarlette Wings

358 Posts

Specializes in M/S, ICU, ICP. Has 27 years experience.

I stayed so busy with the patients or charting that I could never figure out why there were so many nurses/aids/whatevers sitting at the nurses station chatting. They figured I was a loner, stuck up,or just plain odd. I figured I was there to tend to my patients and not them. I spoke if I had to and didn't really talk to anyone except my patients until after my first med pass. I am there to do my job, not socialize and backstab.

Specializes in Emergency. Has 13 years experience.

Drama...It exists everywhere humans interact. I do as someone very wise once my job and keep my mouth shut. Let the weeds weed themselves out. They always do. Sooner or later people interacting on a middle school level cannot survive the reality of adult human interaction. So let them have their little petty games and move on to the business of helping people.