What The Doctor Needs To Order!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about new bossy nurse:

I have been working for a local Doctor’s office for about 3 yrs now. At first it was great even though I heard numerous complaints about the head doctor from the other nurses. About 4 or 5 months ago I was made head nurse only to have the 2 long time employees who are part timers threaten to quit because they were not made head nurse. So after one week of being in this position it was taken away from me. I have since tried to go on about my job of course not always being happy with what had taken place but doing my best and still continuing to do 110% of my job, performing the same job duties as before which is what a head nurse does.

Two weeks ago it was announced that the 2 part timers were to become more or less head nurses. These two nurses have done nothing but complain about each and every nurse there. Causing conflict in the office.

Upon being giving this position one of them proceeded to start checking everything that I was doing. Today she told me that there was a chart with my name on it and I needed to return the call right then. I explained to her that I was busy doing something and that that call was not an emergency and did not need to be returned right then and there.

She then threatened me that she would tell the head Dr. that I refused to make the phone call. I explained to her that I have not had to have anyone tell me what to do in the past 3 yrs and that I didn’t need her to tell me now.

Once again she threatened me. I ignored her and went about what I was doing. The other part time nurse decided to complain about one of our newer nurses not having the kitchen cleaned when she thought she should have had it done. I explained to her that this was the first time that this nurse had ever cleaned the kitchen and it would take some time remembering to clean the kitchen and that she would get better at it. She then started complaining stating that this nurse came back late from lunch and that I should not be putting her patient back because she didn’t have the kitchen cleaned. I simply responded by walking away stating that one of the doctors was still in the kitchen at that time with the rep and she could not clean the kitchen until now anyways.

She responded by telling me that I didn’t have to be rude. After putting back the patient I walked down the hallway only to be confronted by this nurse who proceeded to yell at me telling me that I didn’t have to yell down the hall in front of patients and that I was unprofessional. I explained to this nurse that what she was doing was unprofessional; she proceeded to call me Crazy and that I needed psychiatric evaluation. All the while the head Dr. was standing in the hall watching this. I did proceed to become angry and in a raised tone of voice told her that what I was about to say was a long time coming and that she and the other nurse should stop talking about all the nurses in the office. I was angry. I was angry that she is allowed to treat people this way. I told the head Dr. that this was inappropriate of allowing her to act this way and was about to walk out of the office for good.

The Dr. asked me if he could speak to me in his office. I obliged. Only to be told that this nurse obviously had strong feelings about what she said and that I should not have responded to her the way I did. I did of course get upset and asked him how it was that she was allowed to act this way. Only to be told that maybe she was inappropriate but that she had strong convictions as to what she was saying.There have been numerous other issues in this office and yes I am searching for a new job. However I feel that these are very unfair conditions that not only I but also the other nurses work under. I could go into a lot more detail of the operations of this office but it would be a book.I would appreciate your opinion. Thank you.

Signed, Head Nurse???

Dear Head Nurse???:

You have been through an upsetting series of events, and it is understandable that they culminated in burst of anger and your head doctor’s attempt to smooth them over. Whether the hostile turbulence within your office can be transformed to warm weather is doubtful. Too often repair after tornadoes takes great effort and those left in their wake do not have the heart to rebuild.

In your situation, you have decided to look for work elsewhere. What is needed in your office is for a big time out session–one in which all the office staff and doctors are present. During this session there will be venting about one another and complaints; however, these need not create more stormy weather if the goal is to learn to work together. Working together requires clear job descriptions and rules for who does what and who gives orders and how they are to be given. That is best achieved collaboratively, not dictatorially.

One such session is only a beginning because learning to work together effectively is an ongoing process. Each week such a meeting needs to answer two questions: What has been working well this week? and What might we do to work together more effectively and harmoniously? Answers to the first question should bring some applause and thank yous of one another. Answers to the second should lead to clarification of who does what and reasonable, even creative, solutions. Work is difficult enough without work group conflict. You are in a work group with a history of animosity. Changing the bad weather to summertime does not happen as easily as do the seasons change. You will have to decide to stick it out with hatefulness within and among your staff or take the initiative to engage head doctor in such time out sessions. if he truly wants an effectively operating staff, he will have to do more than tell you that you must respect each other. Rather he will need to engage all of you in skull sessions to diagnose the problems and prescribe. Office civility is not something that he can do solo. If you have any hope of continuing in this office in which you have invested so much of your working life, you will need to do more that bite your tongue and seek sympathy from your family and friends. Possibly, one way to initiate that is to share with your head doctor, what I have written in response to your request for an outside opinion. Working together with hands, heads, and hearts takes and makes big WEGOS. If your head doctor would like to contact my associates or me, please tell him that is welcome to do so.

William Gorden