Published Feb 20, 2001
I work with a RN in the ER. She is most senior nurse in our facility has been ther for >390 yrs. The last few years she has been difficult to work with especially the newer nurses, me I guess I ignore her quirks and kwams. She comes on and starts to stock, all hell can be breaking loose and she stocks. When she is your partner she does her own thing. She works hard she just doesn't prioritize anymore. I've talked to her about a job in OPD, (no disrespect OPD nurses I know you work hard but it isn't high acuity at least not at our hospital). She won't think about that because she feels she will loose she skills. The other day one of the new nurses asked her to assess a patient who required cardiac monitoring, nothing seriousweak and dizzy. Her reply was, is he dying? I'll get to it.....THe poor nurse was so upset with this she looked at her and said if that is how you feel then maybe you should look for another job. It is really brewing and our manager doesn't seem to be able to handle it. I feel for this Nurse she should be retired. I feel guilty in a way, as this nurse has worked very hard for many years and now that she is older we don't want her.....it is sad I just wish she would realize she needs a slower pace before something drastic happens.
Hi CathyRN. I don't know if it was a typo in your post, but working on the floor at 390 years old is quite old. In fact, I believe it predates Florence Nightinggale. Anyway, this nurse is probably working the area, because it is the most familiar to her and the doctors haven't complained. Am I correct? With the nursing shortage, I don't know if your manager will take a stand on this, especially if your manager is very reliant on this nurse.
As have been written many times before, document your concerns and keep a record. This is something that needs to be discussed with management if this nurse can't be reasoned with. It would probably be a good idea if as many of you as possible bring up the problem together although it would look like you're ganging on this nurse. The problem is that individually, you may not be taken as seriously. I'm sure others have many helpful pointers for you. Best wishes.
[This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited February 19, 2001).]
Hi Cathy. We have a nurse on my unit (I work L&D) who fits the same profile. She's been there since the late 1960's, and is totally unable to keep up with the pace any more. She gets all huffy and discombobulated if you ask her to take on more than ONE patient (heaven forbid!!). Most of the day shift staff (I don't work days mainly because of this) just work around her and lets her do her one-on-one nursing thing. But on nights, we make her pull her weight whether she wants to or not, and if she gets an attitude, we just tell her, "look, every one else is slammed too. it's not fair for you to have only one patient while we run our butts off...deal with it." I think that the only way to deal with people like that is to confront them about their behavior/attitude and let them know it WON'T be tolerated. Yes, it is sad that the RN you're talking about can't keep up any more, but that's just the way it is. When you're dealing with people's lives, you have to be able to keep up with the pace, period. You should continue standing up to her and pointing out her bad behavior/lack of teamwork and letting her know it isn't acceptable simply because she's been in nursing for 500 years. Don't be a crutch for her. She needs to either pull her weight or get out. Good luck.
Lynn Casey RN
Hi!I laughed when I read your article because I know that everyone has one of these gems!First of all shame on your manager for not addressing it ,period.You should use the nursing shortage as amunition because new blood is needed to keep a department alive.I get snarky behavior because I love students and new RN's and grab onto them and teach them all I can.The best idea is to learn from this social moron's behavior and commit yourself to never letting another nurse go through what you did!Secondly,I learned a few tricks on how to deal with this type.Never allow anyone to pick up her slack.We make a point on assignments to give them the busiest corner!As well,I always ask advice with a smile.Whether your answer is delivered with sarcasm or indifference always answer with"thanks!"You can't change that RN's obvious problem with changing times,you can only change your reaction to her.Be sure not to waste another minute on that.Consistantly report inappropriate behavior(that stocking fiasco!) to the manager and get all the others who complain to you about it to.Say"If you don't c/o to the manager don't c/o to me.I'd even go so far as to tell the support union(whoever stocks for a job).They'll freak!Good luck and ignore the best stocker you've ever met!
P.S.I'd even say"oh did somebody call a Code Stock?"when she starts!LOLPrint this and post it in your staff room!
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