Workplace bullies & weak management

World International


Okay so I work in aged care and to make a long story short we have alot of ECA's who think that their opinions are "the be all end all" you know the type I am talking about... They feel that they can talk to anyone including the DON anyway they want but the moment someone dishes it back to them they have a tanty and threaten to walk out on the job.

Then management coddles them and basically begs them to stay. ***

Today I had the distinct pleasure of working with the said loudmouth. She has been nipping at my ass for awhile now and trying to get me to bite, so this morning her and her offsider were giving a palliative resident a bedwash. I knocked and poked my head in to quickly tell them something and she pipes up and says " Oh while your here you can change so an so's illieostomy (might I add this is a job that the eca's feel is beneath them)

So straight away I replied and said " No not at the moment but you can do it as part of her care, besides you do everything else around here" ( whoops ) Well up come the hands and the tanty starts " thats it I dont need to be spoken to like this, thats it I'm going home and with that she walked out leaving this poor woman naked on the bed and her offsider alone.

normally this girl and I get on okay and I always play by the rules that I never ask my eca's to do something I wouldnt do first so it isnt like I dont perform this task or avoid it altogether like most RN's in our place do.

She did come back after 5 minutes,

So I said to her Um I thought you were going home ( no reply)

So in turn I thought hang on this isnt good enough and proceeded to tell her that if she is going to threaten to go home then by all means do it because I didnt need her services if her attitude was like that and that it wasnt to late for her to still do home, I'll also add that this ECA is also persuing her RN training.

I know that the management in our facility will try to smooth it over but now that I have had time to think about it she really did cross a few boundries here. So can anyone help me pinpoint some good points to bring up to her so that can possibly recognize that what she did was un-professionial and wrong. I will admit that my comment probably wasnt the best thing to say either but I do think she reacted in an overboard manner and if she is going to become an RN she really needs to behave with more decorum.

Please feel free to comment and feel free to give me some tips on how best to manage these workplace bullies because my mission to eliminate them one by one.

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

It is unprofessional to leave a patient in any position but especially if the patient is naked. It is unprofessional to disagree in front of a patient, if there are issues it should be dealt with away from the patient regardless on who you/they are.

There are always jobs you/they don't like but it is part of the role and needs to be done so others especially patients do not suffer

Just a couple of things of the top of my head.

I was bullied by a work member a few years ago and was lucky to have the support of my manager but it does help getting management involved and also keep records on what happened/when it happened and if any witnesses who they were


44 Posts

we have supportive management staff were i work at aged care and management does not put up with bullying.


79 Posts

unfortunately alot of the staff have been around for years and all they have to do is mention the word "union" and management puts their tails between their legs and tries to smooth things over.

I have since found out that this woman has been bagging me out and bragging to other staff about how She was the one to tell me off, somehow I think she probably forgot to mention to the same people that she totally disrespected the patient and left her naked.

The same resident passed away this morning while I was on shift, and normally I don't wish evil things on people but I hope the ECA in question feels like absolute crap when she hears about it. I also feel like confronting her in front of the staff she was bagging me out to and asking her if she told them how she left a palliative patient naked as she walked out on her to have a tanty.

Arrrgh I am so angry about this that I am almost in tears again, can any of you experienced nurse's give me some advice how to deal with this ECA???? I will say that it was very nice to hear the patients daughter tell me that she was glad that her mother passed away on my shift.


79 Posts

must be nice, because our DON seems really avoid conflict and we have alot of really good eca's but alot of them wont work when the Older more experienced staff are on because of the bullying and harassment.

Seriously whenever some of the staff get rung for an extra shift the first question they ask is who am I working with, and their answer pends on who their offsider is for the day. pathetic isn't it but management is to afraid to crack the whip.


132 Posts

Oh I would wait, Milenko, veeeery patiently, because someone as intelligent as this is bound to screw it up BIG time at one point.

Find her weak point...

I had someone really horrible like that, on a stroke unit, you know the 2h turns? I had the male bay, 4 out of 6 were obese, no way could i do the turns on my own. She was sitting chatting at the nurses' desk, I go and ask her to give me a hand with the turns, and she's telling me she can't be ***** to move (had no choice, she was assigned with me).

My response? Spent the rest of the night telling really spooky made up stories about old matrons that died in the linen cupboards/sluice, unexplained knocks on the door, how lights go off unexpectedly at night if you go past a certain bed.. etc...and when i left , I made sure I said good bye to her by gently tapping on her car window...

I know....., but she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, I tried to reason with her to no avail, like in your situation, the management was giving me the shrugging shoulders and I didn't have a good night, so there you have it.

I'm not encouraging you to do the same, I was mean.


412 Posts

Specializes in ..

I'm only at the beginning of my career (I'm a 2nd year student working as an AIN in an aged care facility) but I'm starting to get the feeling that this is very common in aged care. At the facility I work at, I'm very new. & it was my first clinical job, too. The RN on shift is abrasive and unhelpful (one actually made it MY fault when a non-weight bearing resident fell after she made me try and get this resident to stand from the commode chair and walk with a frame because the son was visiting) and the other AINs are generally cliquish and cruel (to some staff members and most residents.) One particular AIN was showing me how to change a cath bag for a particular resident was was DD and she was pushing his legs around in the bed, practically throwing the poor, frail old man around and yelling at him for not doing whatever it was she'd never asked, while begrudingly showing me what to do. Later the same shift I heard her gossiping about me to other staff members. I've also heard staff members (senior ones, too) gossiping in the team room about other staff members. It certainly doesn't foster a team atmosphere or a caring one for the residents.

Specializes in CAMHS, acute psych,.

Hi guys

I work in RAC too (as a PCW while I do my BN) and we have the same probs - under-trained PCWs thrown onto the floor after less than a week's orientation and otherwise totally untrained, untrainable and unbearable (that's another story). They're almost as bad to work with as the trolls who have been there a hundred years, turn up for their shifts regularly and have figured EVERYTHING out - like how to do as little as possible while appearing busy and far smarter and more knowledgable than the single RN per 60 rez. They call me names behind my back, too - because I am focussed on the rez not the goss - but guess what? I care zip for their opinion. And they leave me alone. My tips for doing their heads in:

1. Do your patient-centred work exceptionally well so that the rez applaud you to mgmt. This includes advocating to mgmt on the rez behalf - I won my mgmt's respect that way.

2. Be unfailingly polite to the trolls - completely ignoring their small petty ways with you. If you see them do the wrong thing with a rez be obvious that you have seen it. Give them 30secs to make good, then ask "are you going to cover Mrs Smith up?" (or wotever - she already proved she is full of hot air coz she came back, right?) (BTW I would take her aside next time she gives you a hard time and tell her privately that if she's not prepared to pull her weight she's welcome to p off - call her bluff - bullies usually cave when faced by someone as tough as them - it's the polite, unsure ones they like to torment)

3. Those who continue to bully you either a) ignore them completely - they are beneath you or b) dob them in - by then you will have established a relationship with mgmt.

4. Get on the right side of the good workers - they too hate these trolls, believe me.

5. Be strong - there are a shortage of nurses in aged care - if worse comes to worst and you get the boot or it doesn't get any better - walk!!! Get a job at the place next door or down the road.

Good luck.

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