I'll apologize up front to all of those that are looking to see what I've been up to and what new adventure or new friend that I have found....today I need to vent.
Where to start? How about the beginning... When I started this job, I was the only traveler on my shift. I was somewhat dismayed by the lack of direction that the facility and staff showed. However, the job proved to be exciting and challenging and the staff friendly. Shortly after, two more travelers joined me on the night shift....we became instant "buddies". We all saw the same shortfalls in the staff and would share our frustrations with each other. Then....one of us became "charge nurse". My initial thoughts were that this would provide us (travelers) an opportunity to show by example the way to lead and work in a group that works together and helps each other...a true team. I was proven wrong.
Upon taking the postion as "charge" this nurse almost instantly became something other than what I would have ever expected by the comments/shared thoughts prior to the job change. The nurse that previously had commented that "the charge nurse should be doing all of our chart checks", soon became the charge nurse that said "dont think I'm going to do your chart checks...you have to just do them yourself". The nurse that had promoted himself as a team player suddenly became the nurse that tells you "I just dont have time to deal with that". The same nurse that one day told me how the charge nurse is "lazy and never does anything" became the charge nurse that sits at the desk and tells jokes to the unit clerk while the rest of us are running our assess off. The nurse that I could once go to for any question or assistance became short tempered and rude when asked even the simplest of questions. I have watched as this nurse has become angry, vendictive, rude, and lazy. I ask myself if this was always the case?
Last night was the end all be all...... A patient under the care of one of our LPN's became severely hypotensive. Myself, along with the charge nurse mentioned above and another LPN were in the patients room trying to assess the situation. We were working together well as a team, each contributing ideas and assistance. The charge nurse left the room when we were unable to obtain a blood pressure on the patient, to call the physician. I remembered how once, when working with a former navy corpman....we had the same problem and how she had taught me to palpate a BP. I placed the patient in trendelenburg (head down) position and palpated for a BP. I was able to palpate a BP and immediately went to the desk to tell the charge nurse my findings for him to report to the MD. When he arrived back in the room, following more assessment and patient care...he looked at me and rudely said "dont you have patients?" I replied "yes" and he told me to "get out of here and go take care of them". Mind you, this was at the end of the shift and my patients had just been checked and were all fine. I left the room without further word with this charge nurse. The two LPN's remained in the room, and no comments were made to them regarding other obligations.
I consulted with one of the LPN's after our shift was over in regards to the rudeness that I felt was directed toward me in this situation and we discussed ways in which I could handle the situation. We both feel that I can't approach this person, it would fall on deaf ears. I dont feel as though I can tell the director of nursing because when I discussed issues with staff previously regarding tardiness and not wanting to take report, her response was "you have to remember that we are on "valley time" and you have to pick your fights here or we wont have any staff left". As the old saying goes, "I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place".
All of this comes one day after a confrontation with the day shift charge nurse in regards to him not wanting to take report from me on my patients. There was finger pointing (at me) and plenty of tension.
I am finding myself dreading going to work....I dont want to be there, I am getting headaches before I even leave for work. I know that I only have four weeks left here and although I was considering extending the assignment here...this is no longer an option. I can't work with this charge nurse any longer than I have to. If I could have walked out today to never go back I would have been estatic...that isn't an option. I really like the work and the patients are great...such a wonderful mix of people from all over the US. I am even learning a little spanish. I will do my best at this point to avoid the charge nurse at all costs and do my job and help my co-workers, I'm just not sure how long I can take the rudeness and crask attitude that I'm getting.