Friday, July 24, 2015
I was on one of the wards when a frantic new nurse asked me for help.
Supervisor from Hell had told her to send half her staff to another ward. Every staff member refused to budge. The nurse reported this to the supervisor, who told her that she would be written up for insubordination- not sending staff to another ward as directed; and inability to manage staff. In addition, if anything happened on the other ward, she would be held responsible because it was her fault that the other ward was short.
I guessed which supervisor the first try. I asked if the nurse in charge of the ward was present. The nurse said, "She had just left on lunch when the supervisor called." I explained that this was all part of the game that they play.
"Supervisor is best buddies with the charge nurse. Neither goes anywhere without telling the other so that they can meet up. Both of them planned this to mess with you. It's no coincidence that hell breaks out as soon as the charge nurse leaves the floor, all caused by this supervisor," I explained.
I felt really bad for her. I recognized the same stressful, mean tricks being played on her that were done to me for so long.
"So what should I do?" the nurse pleaded.
The phone rang- supervisor calling to ask why the nurse had not yet followed the simple instructions she was given. I know these phonecalls. The best solution? I don't know. But I offered one method that has worked, simply because the supervisor is lazy.
"Hang up," I instructed. The nurse slammed down the phone out of frustration, then immediately regretted it.
"I just hung up on the boss!" she blurted.
"Deny it if ever asked," I advised. They taught me well.
Supervisor has nothing better to do, so she kept calling back. We let the phone ring and ring, stop, then start again.
"What if she comes here?" the nurse feared.
"She won't walk this far," I assured her. There was also no chance that another staff member would answer the phone. They don't answer the phone on a good day, nevermind when they are angry with the nurse.
And it worked, the nurse told me later. No mention of the situation again.
Next time, supervisor will try harder, so she better be prepared.