Since I have been a nurse on my own, I have always known that the consensus of my peers was that I have no idea what I am doing. So recently, when a few of my alleged colleagues were taking over my patient responsibilities and treating me like a patient liability I got well...a little snippy. I am very protective of letting people come into my room and get into my business. Only because when I do invite someone to participate in my special brand of nursing, it always results in someone going to the office to report me and then me getting into trouble. Most recently, a group of colleagues went into the nursing office to report me and got a huge surprise. Here's what happened.
A few nights ago, I was assigned to take care of a trauma. She was 28 weeks pregnant and her baby's heart rate was in the 100's. Not good given that it should have been in the 110-160 range. So I and the charge nurse go running to the emergency department preparing for a crash c-section in the trauma bay. By the time we arrived, the fetal heart rate was back to normal. The patient had multiple injuries. A broken arm, a broken nose. A few fingers were injured in addition to her back, ribs and a banged up head. She had on a c-collar which she was dying to take off, but she needed a MRI and various scans so that she could be cleared. The trauma doctors decided to clear the patient in our OB unit because I think that secretly, they hate having children or pregnant people in the ED. So I return to our unit.
Now, in our observation unit there were already four nurses. Very nosey nurses that can make you have a really bad night. I did not want to work with them because I knew what kind of night I was going to have. Of course the charge nurse assigns me to the trauma patient who was transferred to the observation unit. When I get over there, there are a few nurses in the room. There was nothing for me to do with regard to getting her settled in, but I refused to go and sit at the desk while they admit her because in my mind, she is my patient and the first thing that will be said is that I am incapable of managing my patient and that is why they took over. I was trying to organize her chart and one of the other nurses asked me for it. It was an hour before I ever even got to talk to my patient. It really pissed me off, but I let it slide.
One of the other patients in observation called out to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to take her out of bed because I didn't know her story. I went to ask one of the other nurses and she talked to me like a kid telling me to take her to the bathroom. So then the same nurse asked me to watch her patient while she transferred another and when she came back she asked me to watch her patient. While she was gone the patient came off of the monitor, so I went in to put her back on and she asked me to leave the room. She was really nasty and so I told her in my "back da F--kup" voice to let me finish what I was doing. When I returned she was giving report to another new nurse and told her that if she had a question to find her and ask. As if I am incapable of answering a question. We started at the same time! How could she possibly be in a better situation experience-wise than me? That sent me over the edge. I made it pretty clear that I was about to quit. No one said anything to me for the rest of the night. Good!
So when I came in to work yesterday, I heard that the nurse manager wanted to speak with me. It was no surprise that these bitches had gone to the office and reported what happened. My boss said that they came in and said that I was unapproachable and defensive and that someone should talk to me about my attitude. My manager said she asked them why and she said that they thought that I misunderstood that they were trying to employ aspects of "team nursing" and that I was overly sensitive. I wonder, does team nursing include sitting in the conference room talking about how stupid I am? No one keeps a secret on my unit. I know just about everything they say about me, and what they don't say, I can pretty much figure out by the way they watch my tracing from across the unit, or run into my room when the baby is having a harmless variable deceleration.
The nurse manager really didn't allow me to say too much. But I was able to slip in the fact that I am justified in my defensiveness and amazingly she agreed. She told me that she asked them if my actions created a patient safety issue. They said no. And she said she told them to leave me the hell alone. (Amazing....) She warned them that if they were to do that crap to a senior nurse they would get their feelings hurt and that they would be told to get the hell out of the room. The the nurse manager told me that both of the reporting nurses agreed that my performance had greatly improved. (WTF...?) I asked her why they have an opinion on my performance and why it counts. She explained that she cannot work every shift to observe each nurses performance so she relies on peer review as a monitoring tool. She went on to say that I could critique their performance as well. (No thanks!) I have no desire to nose around in another nurses business unless there is a patient safety issue.
I guess I was surprised that the nurse manager took up for me, (Finally!) but at the same time I am pissed off that those bitches actually thought they were doing something. How the heck am I supposed to know the difference between help and meddling? And the nerve of them to say that I am doing sooo much better now. What was I like before? I must have been a freakin' train wreck! I think that right now my boss will do almost anything to keep people from quitting since we've lost almost 10 nurses in the past six months. In a way I want to remain "unapproachable" so that maybe those heifers will check themselves before they step to me with dumb shit! They used to come in my room and take over, often times telling me to move out of the way and let them handle whatever was going on, or calling for a resident to assess my patient when the resident and I would already be in the room taking care of business. Maybe now they will at least ask me if I need help before they come barging in. Team nursing my butt, if I come in their room and offer help they politely ask me to leave, but when I do that I am being "unapproachable and defensive." I just want those jerks to leave me alone and let me do my job. Respect me the same way I respect you.
Just in case, I had an interview for a position in a hospital closer to home. So now, I might be a emergency room NurseDiva extraordinaire.
NurseDiva...just fakin' it until I am makin' it!