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Unprofessional Clinical Educator.. What would you do?

Updated | Posted
by hama1111 hama1111, RN (New) New Nurse

Specializes in ICU. Has 1 years experience.

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I’ve been a RN for a year in the ICU. Our clinical educator is a woman in her 60’s who generally seems to be well liked and gets along with everyone, although being the clinical educator she can be seen as annoying sometimes - I suppose that comes with the job. But she doesn’t seem to like me.

There have been two occasions where she has inappropriately approached me about an unrelated topic while I’m doing my morning assessment on a patient. The first time she was in a panic asking me if my BLS had expired because she didn’t have it on file, in a patient’s doorway. Today she came up behind me while I was suctioning a vented patient and asked me, “What the hell happened to you yesterday?” in regards to me not showing up to an optional class I had forgotten about. She was almost sort of grilling me and told me myself and another person hadn’t shown and she was livid. 

I think this is inappropriate and I’m almost tempted to speak up because this is the second time she’s done something similar, but curious to know everyone’s thoughts.

Thank you!

While you're at the bedside (or if you can go to the doorway), say to her, "I'll be with you as soon as I can." Then, when in private, tell her in a neutral but straightforward manner, "Do not approach me with things like this while I am with a patient."

Keep it simple. The rest of it (your problems with her and her problems with you) can be worked out over time. Don't go too crazy; remember, she has some arguably legitimate gripes against you, too.

👍🏽

Oh, PS: Her age is irrelevant.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

She sounds a bit flighty.  I agree with JKL - remind her those are inappropriate comments when you are engaged in patient care.

Beyond that, address her concerns with minimal fanfare.  Show her your BCLS card;  apologize for missing her class but you were unavoidably detained.  

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

She's only an educator, not your manager. She should not be interrupting your care. Tell her,in the future... communicate with me via email.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I had expected something more dramatic and out of bounds. These are misdemeanor offenses in my opinion. 

A simple, "hey Barb, I'll get back to you when I am done" usually works. I have learned as a nurse, that not everyone is going to like you and that is how it is; we do need to learn to work with them. 

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

And NO! You're NOT being 'bullied' nor 'NETYed'.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

EXCELLENT responses!

10 hours ago, hama1111 said:

 Our clinical educator is a woman in her 60’s who generally seems to be well liked and gets along with everyone, although being the clinical educator she can be seen as annoying sometimes - I suppose that comes with the job. But she doesn’t seem to like me.

This type of employee has a reputation for getting the job done, has blinders on and has been allowed to function this way.

And just because I like and respect JKL, I'm going to debate her premise that her age is irrelevant, as I said, this type of behavior has allowed. Too many times in my career, I've witnessed this type of behavior in seasoned employees when their behavior goes unchecked.

I've dealt with this type by being objectively and factually confrontive leaving no area for argument or debate. Whereas, my medical nurse wife Belinda usually stoically and totally ignores the inappropriate party until they approach her appropriately.

Belinda's silence is very loud. I know- she uses it on me!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

51 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

And NO! You're NOT being 'bullied' nor 'NETYed'.

Experiencing hallucinations, amo?

Or just acid flashbacks?

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Nah. Just not feeling gracious since I've had to wake up early for an early phlebotomy draw. And am still waiting.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

11 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

Nah. Just not feeling gracious since I've had to wake up early for an early phlebotomy draw. And am still waiting.

We all have those times. 🙂

 

RN-to- BSN, ADN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

She seems like she has no regard of your time, her time matters more.

I encounter people like that at work, too, the ones who will come in to the patient's room from behind the curtain when they hear me talk, and start talking about things unrelated to this patient. Doctors, social workers, registration, etc.

One registration lady interrupted the med pass (door was closed), I literally was spoon feeding pills with apple sauce. She came in, and proceeded to talk to the patient about Medicare form, and then asked me : " Are you finished with the patient yet?" I politely asked her to wait until we finish, so she did, tapping her foot. In the hallway she made a remark about how I am here all day, and she is not, so I should have let her have some time with the patient right there. Again, her time is more important, I guess.

Keep the educator in line by asking to not discuss non-patient matters in a patient room.

 

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

To be honest, neither of those things seem all that big to me, I've had people come into patient rooms to discuss way less important stuff. Sometimes you just think of something and find the person at that time. You could feel free to just ask her to finish the conversation at another time. 

There are far worse behaviors out there. But coming to a patient doorway and suggesting that (what could sound to a lay person like) the nurse's qualifications could be expired (because someone can't currently find a piece of paper)? Not cool. "Hey Barb..." is okay if she's at the door asking whether I got my piece of candy for attending her morning inservice. But I prefer to start with "Do not..." when someone has a habit of haughtily trying to conduct non-urgent nursing business in front of a patient, whether they do it to be aggressive/authoritative or just because they're a dingbat. This goes for everyone, not just someone who happens to be an educator.

I think it is very unprofessional to conduct any of this at/near a patient's bedside, even random low-key business. Even stuff like, "hey, you can go to lunch when you're done there..." --- meh, it all adds up to the picture the patient gets of what we are focusing on.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

it all adds up to the picture the patient gets of what we are focusing on.

Yeah! The patient could be made part of the interaction by asking the patient a passive-aggressive question directed at the culprit, like, "May I put your care on hold for a moment while I deal with this rude staff member?"

hama1111, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks all. I suppose there are worse offenses and maybe I’m being overly sensitive but her tone and approach just rubs me the wrong way. I agree it influences the patient’s perspective of their care.

14 minutes ago, Davey Do said:

Yeah! The patient could be made part of the interaction by asking the patient a passive-aggressive question directed at the culprit, like, "May I put your care on hold for a moment while I deal with this rude staff member?"

Not gonna lie, there have been days well in the past where I would've rolled my eyes and said something to the patient about her competency after she left as a means of defending/justifying myself to the patient. I've long since recognized that kind of behavior is not only unprofessional but the feelings it stems from will cause decay from the inside out. Since I don't actually desire to be part of the problem, now I'm much better at recognizing the fact that other people's problems belong to them and I don't need to rush to defend/restore my reputation just because someone else has an idiosyncrasy.

It's good to remember that if someone behaves in a way that most people wouldn't exactly appreciate, others can see that just as well as the one on the receiving end. No need to take personal offense when the fact is that they just clearly look like a goofball (or a jerk or whatever).

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

On 5/27/2021 at 7:50 PM, JKL33 said:

👍🏽

Oh, PS: Her age is irrelevant.

I agree. OP why did you mention her age?

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

7 hours ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

I agree. OP why did you mention her age?

Probably because she is a mean, old biddy who reminds her of bossy Aunt Bertha. She probably has chin hairs too, and a cheap dye job on her hair, plus saggy upper arms. 😉