Wednesday, November 30, 2016

She who is not to be Trusted

My supervisor left the office for an off-site meeting.  Another nurse was sent in her place.  (Keep in mind that I am constantly asked to justify my existence in this office.  The office could run for a few hours without pulling a nurse from a floor to fill in for my supervisor.)

The substitute arrived right after my supervisor left.  One of the witches (not a nurse) who occupies the area called out to the sub and hustled her into an exam room.  I hurried to the door to listen.

"Here are the keys," the witch said to the substitute.  "At the end of the day, DON'T give them to Enid.  Give them back to me."

For the rest of the shift, I pretended that nothing was amiss.  I made small chat with the substitute nurse and was very careful to not say anything of substance.  I hoped to give her the impression that my supervisor's suspicions of me were baseless.

It didn't work.  While helping a doctor with a confused and resistant patient, I laughed along with the patient to distract him and make him more cooperative.  The substitute nurse just stood there, not helping.  She said, "You see, Enid, this is why people don't like you.  When you laugh, you sound evil."

I looked at her with no laugh or smile.

"It's true!" she continued.  As if her opinion was a fact that could be true.

I said nothing.  The orderly who escorted the patient was supposed to be inside the room to control the patient.  Where was he?  Down the hall on his phone, oblivious to the circus caused by the patient.  Two people who were supposed to be helping the patient were not; instead, one thought it was okay to criticize me personally.  It didn't matter that I got the patient through the procedure.  The nurse won't mention that part of the day, only that she doesn't like working with me.

On the inside, I was a swirl of negative emotions.  I felt stupid for staying in the job, stupid for not being able to find another position, stupid for not being able to fix this.  I am stagnate in this job.  This halts not only my professional growth, but it is so emotionally draining that I have no energy left for personal growth and development.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Passing the Pills to Pay the Bills

This picture captures how I felt working in nursing homes.

Most of my time was spent gathering medications.  So little time was available for slowly administering them in a kind, understanding manner.

From a medical viewpoint, this many pills are bad for anyone, never mind someone who is elderly and sick.  They interact with one another and cannot be fully absorbed.  Sometimes a patient would vomit intact pills hours after receiving medications.

This system must be changed.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Dragon Attacks, Part Four

I was seeing patients with the wound care doctor when Nurse Wilma burst in and chewed out the doctor and me for HIPAA violations, poor infection control procedures, and violating myriad other hospital policies.

(Months ago Wilma had done something similar when I was with this doctor.  Wilma entered the exam room and threw a stack of papers at me.  As they floated through the air and fell to the floor, Wilma said, "I'm saving you the time and trouble of claiming that you are too dense to locate the new forms.  Here they are.")

This latest tirade was performed in front of the patient and was loud enough that a group formed in the doorway to listen.

The doctor finished with the patient and then announced to me, "I'm done.  I don't have to take this."  I followed her off the ward.

Nurse Wilma called after the doctor, "You'll be reported!"

The doctor sent me back for the charts of the patients she saw, plus the ones that she could not see because of Wilma.

In each chart, the doctor wrote that Nurse Wilma prevented her from assessing patients and providing care.  She then called the director of the hospital, reported Wilma's behavior, and said that she expects the incident to be addressed and that if it happens again, she will quit on the spot and that the hospital will never find another specialist to work for such low pay.

I thanked her.

But what will Wilma do for revenge now?

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Dragon Attacks, Part Three

Wilma struck again.

One of my (many) jobs is to coordinate transfers into the psych ward from a medical floor.  (An overriding medical problem will prevent a patient from being directly admitted to psych.)

I don't make the actual decision.  That is the job of a doctor ("Doctor X") who oversees these transfers.  I gather information, present to him, and make phone calls to facilitate or deny the transfer.

Wilma, the administrative nurse who has been harassing me, admitted a medically compromised patient to the psych ward in the evening after I left.  I found out the next day when people called to complain about not having necessary supplies and staff trained to deal with the patient's medical issues.

To clarify, Wilma has never had any involvement with this process.  She also does not work evenings.

Doctor X in charge had reviewed the case and denied the transfer to psych, to reevaluate after resolution of medical issues.  He believed me when I explained that I did not have the patient transferred.

Later, the director of the hospital forwarded me an email chain in which Wilma claimed that she had to "step in" because "Nurse Enid once again failed to perform her assigned duties."

I needed a simple, written defense.  "I presented the referral to Dr X, who declined transfer as of yesterday because of the medical problems detailed in previous emails."

Dr X will not respond to anything in writing.  The only person who answered was Wilma.  In an email to me only, she wrote, "You are not permitted to send email" and "This matter does not concern you."  That is her pattern.  She accuses me and then tells me that I am not allowed to speak.

I forwarded her response to me to the director of the hospital.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Dragon Attacks, Part Two

And Wilma struck again.

I need the head medical doctor to sign off on certain things.  He is impossible to track down and he doesn't answer his phone.  When I venture out of my little area, I always carry a folder of stuff for his signature in case I bump into him.

I saw him early one morning and followed him into the daily nursing meeting.  I've attended this meeting before.  It's a boring waste of time.  The shift supervisors read aloud the shift report, stumbling over words, as if they were not the author.

I sat behind the head doctor and handed him paper after paper to sign.  As we finished, the meeting was over, so everyone filed out.

Nurse Wilma was lurking outside the door.  She followed one of the shift supervisors and a screaming match quickly started.

"She has no business being in that meeting!  Why didn't you kick her out?" Wilma screamed at the supervisor.

"She's attended the meeting before.  It's not a big deal.  She was doing something with the doctor."

"You can't let her do whatever she wants to do.  She is out of control!  Who does she report to?" Wilma screamed.

The shift supervisor informed Wilma that my immediate supervisor has been out for the last six weeks for a medical problem.  (It has been wonderful.)  Wilma lost it, screaming, "So she is allowed to run all over this hospital, doing whatever she wants, with nobody saying anything to her?  This is unheard of.  I want this problem addressed immediately and I am holding you responsible.  As far as the hospital is concerned, her behavior will come back on you, so you better take a stand now."

With those words, I realized how Wilma would convince my immediate supervisor to add to my responsibilities and get me in trouble.  Wilma threatened her, saying that we would both be in trouble if she did not take Wilma's side against me.

Later the shift supervisor called me.  "Listen, Wilma was wrong, but she has a point.  You shouldn't attend meetings because you are not important.  And to be on the safe side, I'm not including you in any emails or any other sharing of patient information.  Wilma is after you, and I'm not going to get in the middle of whatever you two are fighting about.  Just leave me out of it."

"But you are taking her side by cutting me off," I explained.

"No, I'm getting away from both of you," she insisted.

"That's not the power dynamic here," I explained.  "You and Wilma are both over me.  When she commands that an action be taken against me, and you go along with her, you are not neutral.  You are undermining me and limiting my ability to carry out the functions of my job."

The supervisor could not follow.

"Listen, just don't speak to her.  She's not really in charge of anybody, and frankly, I'm sick of her yelling at me too," the supervisor added, as if to invoke my sympathy.  "And another thing.  I heard that you are unhappy with the emergency policy.  If you want to change it, go to the committee on policy.  I have no idea why you would get Wilma involved in that."

"Wilma heads the policy committee.  I didn't bring her into it.  She brought me into it," I explained.  Exasperated.

"Oh, well, I didn't know that," the supervisor fumbled.  "Either way, just say nothing to Wilma."

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Dragon Attacks, Part One

After I clarified that administrative nurse Wilma dictates inventory as well as my job duties, she attacked.  And repeated.

The first attack was in email.  At least I have a record.  One of my many duties is to assist the wound care doctor.  The shift supervisor wanted wound measurements on a certain patient to put in her report.  Instead of holding the patient's nurse responsible for this information, the supervisor called me.  Like all the supervisors, she is an idiot.  One of her weaknesses is that she does not understand numbers.  These were especially difficult numbers because decimals were involved.

So I typed the measurements into an email and sent them to her.  Only her.  She could copy and paste them into her report.  More likely, she printed the email and then attempted to transcribe the numbers into her report.  Inaccurately.

The next day, Wilma, the evil administrative nurse, sent me an email, accusing me of withholding clinical information.  Yesterday's shift supervisor, for no logical reason, forwarded my email of wound measurements to a bunch of people, including Wilma.

Later Wilma and I crossed paths.  In front of staff, patients, visitors, and whoever else was in the vicinity, Wilma sternly admonished me for not reporting patient information to her.  I replied, "All information is in the chart."

She ranted to herself:  "You give her very simple, clear directions that a child could follow, yet she doesn't do it.  And when you try to help her, correct her, so that we can take care of the patient, she argues with you and insists that she gets to do whatever she wants to do.  She is out of control."

I walked away.  I knew there would be fall-out because I defended myself about the emergency gone wrong.  I don't know how far she will take this and how many others will follow her.  I doubt that she is in any trouble for the emergency problem, so her attacks on me are pure harassment.