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What's the best way to deal with a collegue who is known for slacking off every shift?

Nurses   (1,162 Views 9 Comments)
by 1Jessie86 1Jessie86 (Member) Member

1Jessie86 specializes in Telemetry, correctional.

3,519 Profile Views; 52 Posts

We have a nurse who is well known by the other nurses to hide out and do as little work as possible. She is a casual employee and plans her schedule perfectly so she can do as little work as possible. Every shift there is at least one nurse upset with her performance and feels the need to vent about her. She does not work as part of our team. What's the best way to approach this? I would like to take a team of nurses with me with evidence to our leadership (nurse manager and department head) to discuss this problem. This has been an ongoing problem for years. Opinions?

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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When you have a problem with a colleague, the first thing to do is to talk to her directly and alone. State specifically what your problem is in factual and not emotional terms, and what she can do to fix it.

Like this:

Yesterday when it was time to do vitals, I couldn't find you. I asked Tom where you were and he said you were in the break room. I would like you to be available for vitals, so can you please take your break after or before that time?

Avoid judgmental and vague words like "slacking" and don't make any assumptions about why she does what she does. Do not generalize. For example, Don't say "Every time we do vitals you are no where to be found". Give one example only at first. If you have more than one specific thing irking you, then bring that thing up too, but don't overwhelm her with your disappointment. In the end, there needs to be three practical things or less she can do to make this better.

Depending on how she responds, give her a chance to improve. If she does improve, tell her that you really appreciate how she heard you out and made a change. For example, in private "Thanks for being there during vitals. I'm so glad that we worked this problem out together."

If she responds with arrogance or nastiness then you can bring it up with her supervisor BY YOURSELF. Don't rally up the other nurses and ask them to go with you. If they have a problem they can also go, but you should not be asking them to do it. If they complain to you, you can suggest they go to the supervisor, but again, you should not be trying to find people to get on your side about this. That could very easily turn into a bullying situation.

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

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I can assure you that if it has been going on for years, management is well aware and doesn't care. He/ she is doing the acceptable minimum in their eyes.

But I think the PP (with the BEST screen name) is under the impression that this person reports to you/ does delegated tasks for you. I did not read your post that way.

SO- if you are both RNs, I would not involve myself. It is not your place- it is the place of the charge/ manager.

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3 Followers; 36,950 Posts; 98,107 Profile Views

You can rest assured that management knows about this nurse, as MMJ said. Start on a campaign of reform, and the one who will suffer most likely will be you. Do your own job to the best of your ability, despite any influence by the nurse who has found a slacker's dream job.

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12 Followers; 3,688 Posts; 27,478 Profile Views

Well, let's break this down.

1Jessie86 said:
We have a nurse who is well known by the other nurses to hide out and do as little work as possible.

Do you all have your own assignments? Do your work. If her patients need something and she can't be found, CN can report to the supervisor. Each time. Other than that, she can take care of her patients and the rest of you take care of yours.

1Jessie86 said:
She is a casual employee and plans her schedule perfectly so she can do as little work as possible.

How she plans her schedule is not up for anyone's commentary. If you/they want a schedule like that, become a casual employee.

1Jessie86 said:
Every shift there is at least one nurse upset with her performance and feels the need to vent about her.

This fact could not be more meaningless these days.

1Jessie86 said:
This has been an ongoing problem for years.

Then management is already aware of how she works. Additionally, if she is casual she is working shifts that were not covered by regular staff for whatever reason.

1Jessie86 said:
Opinions?

Mostly, MYOB. As previously mentioned, if she is missing when her patients need something, the supervisor can be notified in an unemotional, professional manner. If other issues are witnessed that require reporting for patient safety, or harm/neglect, report.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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1Jessie86 said:
We have a nurse who is well known by the other nurses to hide out and do as little work as possible.
meanmaryjean said:
I can assure you that if it has been going on for years, management is well aware and doesn't care.

sleeping-nurse2.jpg.4b243cbf6aaba0d29e80954fb43d1227.jpg

I feel your pain, Jessie. It's frustrating having to deal with these slugs who work very hard at avoiding work.

At times like this, I remember something Edgar Cayce said: "You can't get someone into more trouble than they can get themselves into". This adage has proven true many times over in my experiences.

"With these oxen we must plow" and do our best to care for those we serve in spite of these albatrosses.

The best to you!

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

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I can assure you that if it has been going on for years, management is well aware and doesn't care. He/ she is doing the acceptable minimum in their eyes.

I agree. My guess is management is just happy to have a nurse who will fill in some gaps in the schedule. As long as she provides safe, adequate care to her patients, management probably isn't going to care much is she is not a great team player. Especially is she is "only" casual.

Also, think about the politics of this. You never know who she knows, who she is friends with, who in management is a fellow soccer mom, etc. Don't run the risk of hurting yourself by going after someone who might have connections.

It does stink to work with a slacker who seems to gets away with it. We have all been there, but it is probably best just to suck it up on this one.

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

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I agree with JKL33: her schedule is not your concern. She obviously is meeting whatever the minimum scheduling requirment is, so whenever she chooses a work is a non-issue.

Unless she is doing something illegal and/or patient safety is being compromised by her actions, then stay out of it. She has her own patient assignment and it's her call as how to manage it. She may not to choose to do it the same way as you or your other coworkers do. And if she's still being scheduled to work, then managment may not have issue with what she's doing and how she's doing it, even though the rest of you do. It may suck, but it is what it is.

It goes without saying that if you feel she is doing something illegal and/or compromising patient safety by her actions, then you have to talk to management. However, be careful about how you phrase it. You can go in and share your concerns, but don't make direct accusations against her unless you have proof--i.e., you witnessed it yourself and/or it's documented. Also, you can only speak for yourself--if other nurses have a problem with her, then it's on them to go to management. If you go in saying, "other nurses also feel this way..." well, that could be construed as hearsay on your part.

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology.

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Are her patients being taken care of, or are you guys having to take care of her patients? My response is dependent on that answer.

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