be silenced or speak out

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by avatar Amanda 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    Profile photo of K Mac
    K Mac

    I need some advice only another RN can give! I was recently voted to be chair of my units coordination council, I am happy to get the chance to work hard on topics that mean a lot to me with out even getting paid for most of it. The Problem?! One of my co-workers is horrible to other staff members, verbal abusive to her patients- took one of her patients Bi Pap away and made them wear a NC instead while telling the patient ” I don’t play games”-the patient was asking for his Bi Pap mask, it was 0300 @ the time. We have to change her assignments so that the patients who need TLC won’t get neglected or verbal mistreated. The rub is she got herself on a council that is involved with mine and her BF serves on a council that directs mine. She basically” poisons the well ” for every one. My manager listens to me but does not follow up an any thing I tell him – he doesn’t ask questions of other co-workers and patients or families to back up what I am telling him. He said she may need sympathy training.
    But I can tell you she cries tears when ever anything is too much stress for her.
    Do I have an obligation to keep going up the chain of command to protect patients from her or should I just keep my mouth closed and go about business as usual?
    Your reply will help my conscious greatly, I can’t stop thinking about this- It has been going on for 2 years- but then the Bi Pap incident made me worry about patient intimidation or neglect.

    Profile photo of NurseTrish24

    Best thing to do is to stay out of it If you want to continue to be on commitees and climb the ladder. The nurse who speaks out against other crappy nurses usually gets thrown under the bus at some point. As far as the patient goes just focus on your assignment. The way managers view these situations is this…The way another nurse takes care of their patient or doesn’t really is none of your concern unless there is suspicion of abuse or major risk to life or limb. Not all nurses are sweet and awesome. Some are down right aweful. In my experience with the same situation I talk with the patient. Without bashing the other nurse you can remind the patient of their rights to their care in that facility. You can give them and family the numbers to the charge nurse, house supervisor or even the Director of Quality management if they are unsatisfied with anything including nursing care. Every hospital has a grievance hotline. Put the power in the patients hand. Good luck, those situations are tough. Pick and choose your battles, you cant fight them all.

    Lisa Yocham

    Climb the ladder even if the ladder blocks your own success. The patients rights and safety are far more important then your ego. One day when you or your family are in the hospital you may thank yourself because you dont have her as a nurse. I would go to the board of nursing if your bosses wont listen.


    Something needs to be said immediately! Like yesterday! And not just to your administrators, but to your state board of nursing.

    As nurses, we have to deal with difficult coworkers frequently. Most of us are able to gracefully and tactfully stand our own ground. But patients cannot and should never sustain verbal abuse from a nurse! We are first and foremost advocates for our patients and this nurse is practicing the complete opposite!

    I cannot even put into words about how unethical withholding BIPAP/CPAP is. To me this is the most alarming part of the situation; withholding prescribed medical care and then verbally threatening the patient.

    It sounds like this nurse has been spoke to before by her peers. So if I were in your situation, I would submit a variance/Safety Tracking Tool or whatever your facility uses to report safety violations about that specific BIPAP incident. It creates a written paper trail that won’t be ignored by administration. I know you know you have to pack ALL of the facts into that baby surrounding the incident, including your other coworkers that witnessed it (I would tell them that I’m going to submit the variance first). I would also again consult your manager AND director AND possibly alert your Risk Management team in case a law suit arises from the patient.

    Also, the deciding factor for me would be our ‘duty to report’ clause. We have a duty to report malevolent/neglectful behavior. I know my state board of nursing allows anonymous reporting, but I’m not sure about other states.

    This is all opinion, but it also sounds like this nurse might retaliate and I have no advice for that, I don’t know what I would do . . . Usually the person writing the variance isn’t discussed with the person in question, so she may not know that you wrote it. But in the long run, you are doing nothing wrong, you’re upholding your duty as a registered nurse.

    Sorry for the long rant! I hope everything goes well =)

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