Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Unsupport Staff

Today was simply wild and out of control.

I was the only nurse.  My support staff argued with every single thing about their assignment.

I had mentally rehearsed this, but today I had to actually do it.  The details, the paperwork, the non-essential crap that administration wants to see-- it all had to be ignored so that I could just do patient care and end the shift with safe, breathing patients.

I ignored the phone.  No chance the "support" staff would answer it.  Few ventured onto the ward to inquire about their unanswered calls.  If they did, and managed to find me, they were quickly deterred by my exasperated, "You came to help me?  Great.  Here's what I need you to do first."  A few foolish people paged overhead and then sent really foolish people to see why I wasn't answering.  With the exception of the pharmacy, the person on the other end of the phone is not calling to help me in any way, but rather is calling to deposit more work on me- work that the caller could have done herself in the time it takes to repeatedly call the ward.

Document to defend yourself.  I know.  Here's what I have also learned in this snakepit:  your documentation disappears.  If something goes wrong, administration conducts an Official Investigation, and documentation screwing over The Fall Guy magically appears.


  1. Copy your documentation with pt names blackened out. Email and cc all supervisors with your issues when necessary. Document in your journal as soon as you get to your car with a play by play of the day. When they call you in bring your documentation and journal with dates and times of everything.

  2. Thank you.
    I had all of this for last year's investigation and it was all dismissed as being my fabrication.

    We also don't have email! We can communicate face-to-face and on the phone, which can all be denied; or we can communicate in writing, which can be lost or dismissed with, "She never gave me that letter."

    It's a messed up place.