Me and my big mouth!!!!!

  1. Normally at work, I am a passive person, not too disagreeable and do most of what is expected on me. I help my staff constantly, am more than happy to do CNA work to help, they have a very hard job and I try to make it easier on them if I can. Well last night, Duckie blew a major fuse, and I openly admit my response was not professional, but with the many things that are happening my my personal life, my lack of sleep due to nightly mightmares, most likely due to nerves, I just lost it, opened my mouth and inserted my foot, though only a 6 1/2, me thinks it will have BIG negative feedback. I am not proud of what I said, especially of how I said it, I openly admit, I was so very wrong. By the way this was not said in the earshot of any residents, only a couple of staff members heard it. The long and short of it is that when I work the Skilled unit, I only have one CNA to assist me. This makes is necessary for me to answer call lights, pass trays and feed, assist with HS cares, potty folks, etc. Plus my duties are extensive and I have feeder tubes, 8 breathig treatments, 6 IDDMS with finger sticks, routine insulins and coverages twice shiftly, multiple treatments that are not your petty skin tears, etc. The med load is not real heavy but most everyone on the unit gets supplements which I must assist them to drink due to the seriousness of their illness. I have no spare time, never get breaks and taking time to go to the bathroom is a luxery that I have long given up on. I eat while I chart, yes, I know it's a no no but I'm not working 10 hour shifts with no food, especially since I am on medications that would zap me on an empty stomach. Let me first start out by saying that I am the only nurse that must work this hall with only one CNA, all other nurses have 2 and if an admit comes in, usually another nurse is sent up to cover the admission. Not me, I do my own everything, including admits, even 2 in one night sometimes. I rotate between the Skilled unit and one other hall. Last night we had so many call offs that there was no nurse for the other unit I usually work. So, the day shift dayshift LN from that unit came over and said since there was 2 QMA's, I would have to cover that hall also. She is an excellent nurse but, she is not my boss, although she likes to think she rules the show and when she made this comment to me, my immedaite response was, "F*** NO, I won't do it! They can fire me first!" Okay, I'm not proud of my response but knowing her she is will make a mad dash to "blow the whistle" so me has the feeling me feathered rump is gonna be halled into the administrators office on Monday. I have lodged multiple complaints about me always only having one CNA, no changes have been made. The reasoning behind the other nurse getting more help is that she won't help the CNA's, which personally I think instead of rewarding her, they should kick her lazy azz to the curb. Her reasons is that she is in a lot of pain. Well, so am I....not complaining, just trying to state if I can work in pain and I do daily, what makes her so much better than me. She won't answer call lights, pass trays, toilet anyone and I am finding more and more evidence that her job is not being done as it should be. EXAMPLE: One lady has a decub on her coccyx you could easily put a golf ball into. If she gives this lady anything for her bowels, even MOM which takes hours to works, she circles the TX, because, "I ain't doing that treament twice in one night." (she said that to me) EXCUSE ME????? Another example.... same resident had a special supplement order. She told the resident, , "Oh the doctor said you really don't need it so I'm not giving it to you tonight." This resident is totally alert and oriented and very ill. She has multiple health concerns and everything ordered is very necessay. I might also add she is dialysis 3 times weekly, very weak and a good possibilty that other complications might cause us to eventually loose her. This is only an example of how one of the residents have been treated, I could go into a long list of complaints of what other residents have stated. I have no excuse for my unprofessional response, so when I am confronted, how do you think I should handle it? I have never had a black mark against my record, rarely miss unless ill, work tons of OT, so I consider myself to be a good nurse. I love my residents and they feel the same about me. I constantly go way above the efforts of many of the other nurses, but I am feeling pretty ashamed of how I handled this. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Perhaps, "duck tape" for my mouth would be a good start! Duckie
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Hidi74
    Duckie.....I am so sorry about your horrible night at work. I have so many times said things like that and wished I could take it back. Not because I didn't mean it but because I knew I would probably have to have the " conversation" w/ the bosses. I hope everything turns out ok....you seem like a very hardworking and caring person and I will be sending good thoughts your way!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Duckie, what you have reported here is staffing that is unsafe at best, and probably illegal at worst. Get yourself the heck out of there before you lose your license---the job isn't worth it!!

    And once you're gone, you should call the ombudsman in your area and report these conditions to him or her. Those residents are NOT receiving the care they (and we) are paying for. I can't stress enough the importance of bringing poor care and unsafe staffing to the attention of those who can do something about it, and I don't mean your DON or your administrator, I mean the authorities. LTC will NEVER get better until enough people in power hear what actually goes on in facilities.

    Good luck, Duckie, and let us know what comes of this!
  5. by   hapeewendy
    yer human
    and because youre so nice and whatnot ppl will attempt to walk all over you
    you have to be assertive sometimes
    which is mighty hard for an easygoing gal like myself to admit
    I also blew a fuse the other night at work... at an RPN , who just got on my last nerve...
    there was a missing percocet, so I was trying to help one of the RN's a.locate the percocet and b. fill out the necessary incident report so along comes said RPN "wendy the IV pump in room blankity blank is beeping" Okay its beeping cuz it needs a new bag, and thats not as pressing at the moment as what im doing so i try to explain that it will run tkvo for the 20 seconds or so it will take me to finish what I'm doing and grab another bag, you know no harm done etc, well miss wonderful goes off on me , so I tell her how unprofessional she is and that she has one heck of a nerve calling me selfish when she wont even take vitals on your patient if your busy... she is notorious for this, we work in teams, and the team includes 8-9 patients, she chooses four and then god forbid one of your five needs something! sheesh, anyway a spunkier mouthier nurse (who I envied at this moment!) spoke up on my behalf and told the RPN that all the patients are in fact ALL of our patients, so if she is only gonna take care of four then she can give the meds for her four too while we focus on our five (RPN's cant pass meds where I work, so it was a big of a dig) anyway that shut her up
    but the point is , you're a great nurse, you are a patient advocate , you do the best you can with the awful constraint of time, and still someone has some valuable opinion or piece of wisdom or fantastic assessment about your abilities or lack thereof, so consider the source for what it is , rise above and carry on
    patients need nurses like you
  6. by   maggie7
    Duckie, I don't know how long you have been at your current facility and if this job is important to you.
    It might surprise them, if you get called in, to admit that you were wrong, no excuses. The end!
    However if you get written up for it, I would have a response written in advance that included the unsafe staffing issues (and of course extra copies) and ask them to please attach. Let that be on file as well as the write-up.
    They will continue to USE you as long as you let them. I doubt they want to lose such a valuable nurse.
  7. by   debRNo1
    Originally posted by maggie7
    Duckie,They will continue to USE you as long as you let them. I doubt they want to lose such a valuable nurse.
    Sorry for your horrible night too :kiss

    Been there and done that and YES they will use and and also ABUSE you too. :imbar Do they REALLY not want to lose valuable nurses like US ???? They lost me.......

    I spent 10 yrs in LTC being used/abused. I talked,pleaded, begged, ranted, and raved till I was blue in the face and most times hit a brick wall. I can easily see why you reacted the way you did. BUT why is there always a RAT waiting to run with what they "heard"
    I ALWAYS helped the CNA's and wound up staying long after they were gone to complete MY work. Im a firm beleiver in teamwork and its nice to have it but those times were too few and far between it seemed in my facility.

    Put your concerns in writing like suggested (every other
    word "unsafe") and I really hope they dont write you up because that is the ultimate kick in the butt for nurses like you and I.

    I felt like an asset to my facility, gave 150%, went the extra mile for my residents and staff BUT I was always the one to get in trouble,bumped, floated, do the extra shift (for straight time) ect ect. while all the others got to pee, got to eat/drink, left on time and did very little work while they were there.

    Without a hint or a job lined up I handed in my resignation letter, it was THE best feeling on earth I gave 3 weeks notice and was tortured and harrassed for the entire time. My last days there were the worst days ever and it did make it easier to leave. I dont have a single regret about leaving either. I love my new job in acute care (got DOZENS of calls+took my pick). I sure do miss my residents and (some) staff but thats the way it is.

    Not sure who I admire more-the nurses who stay in LTC or the ones who run away like me-will it ever change ????

    good luck
    deb
  8. by   warrior woman
    Hey Hon. I know that you feel sheepish right now about your response right now. That's only normal. If they know what's good for them they will listen to your concerns for a change instead of acting punitive for a reaction that IMHO was LONG OVERDUE. They should be ashamed putting patient AND STAFF safety at risk just because they don't want to hear the truth. YOU STICK TO YOUR GUNS GIRL!!!! You know and your residents know what a good nurse you are, and in the final analysis that's all that matters. It'll work out for the best no matter what. We've talked about this. Keep the faith, and don't let the flaming azz***** of the world get you down. Love ya!!! Warrior Woman.
  9. by   passing thru
    When you said, " **** No ! I won't do it , they can fire me first !"

    Did you then go ahead and do it?
    If you did, then administration will look at you as a troublemaker.
    Idle threats , etc.

    If you didn't, then it shows you have "the courage to back your
    convictions." Administration will treat you with respect.
  10. by   Tweety
    Gee working under those conditions, is it any wonder you're ill physically?

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I've opened my fat mouth many of times. When I've truly been unprofessional, it's up to me not to make excuses, but to own up to it and make amends when necessary.

    It sounds like you have many issues going on. Good luck.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't happen to think you are wrong. Iwould not work under such conditions unless starving.....you are amazing doing what you do but it's time people spoke up for change; not just for you but those residents that depend on you. Think, folks, if things are this bad in LTC now, how they will be when you and I may need it! Good grief. One can only pray to die before old age if that is how it ends.
  12. by   warrior woman
    originally posted by smilingblueyes
    i don't happen to think you are wrong. iwould not work under such conditions unless starving.....you are amazing doing what you do but it's time people spoke up for change; not just for you but those residents that depend on you. think, folks, if things are this bad in ltc now, how they will be when you and i may need it! good grief. one can only pray to die before old age if that is how it ends.
    amen sister!!! testify!! truer words were never said!!
  13. by   nursegoodguy
    administration in LTC...
    I don't even want to get started! Sorry about your work conditions Duckie but... it just sounds so typical. I thought it was just out here but obviously I was wrong???
  14. by   Sleepyeyes
    Duckie, nevernevernever beat yourself up over something that hasn't happened yet. --You are wasting precious energy worrying about what MIGHT happen. Don't bother. You said what you said. Let it go.

    If Admin brings you in, use it as an opportunity to draw the line and set your boundaries. You might inform them that you were shocked at your response and realize that it was because you were feeling very overworked and stressed out. You might now refuse to work OT. You might now refuse to go without your breaks. And you might remind them of your ability to refuse any unsafe assignments and that you will refuse that assignment again as it's apparently too much for you. Offer to "switch" with the other nurse===if they let you have the 2 CNAs.

    this is said with love from one who has been there and done that.... Playing the martyr won't get you anything but in trouble. So figure out a way to quit doing it before it costs you your living.

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