Monday, March 11, 2013

when tattling isn't tattling

I hate tattling in the nursing world. Nurses seem to get a high/boost of self-righteousness by tattling on each other to management. I have had emails from management because other nurses felt I was "using the dictionary" too much in my spare time, or didn't change my ET tube tapes that night, or let my insulin drip expire, etc etc etc. I have learned that every watchful eye is trained upon the smallest detail here. A simple reminder from the nurse would've done the trick (it's ok to be reminded that you've forgotten something), but going to management about it is going too far.

There are times, though, when it's ok to go to management. Like, if you've noticed a problem with another nurse that affects patient care, and you have already reminded that nurse or let them know face-to-face and the problem continues. Or if it's something that really, truly is not good for the patient or dangerous.

I hate tattling. I hate going to management about another nurse. Even when it's totally legit. It just feels so sneaky and underhanded.

This last stretch, a comfort care's family complained to me that their nurse never came in. They announced to me that they were going to "talk to the doctor about it". I said that was ok, but they should also talk to the charge nurse if it's a nursing concern. (The intern doesn't have any authority over nurses, he'll just go talk to charge.) So I went and just told her that the patient's family needed to talk to her. That's it. I don't want to be involved. But... that nurse NEVER went in there. I constantly fixed his pumps and beeps. I know there isn't much to do in a comfort care patient's room, which is why I always make sure to just pop in once an hour to check on the family. I always, always, always fix the beeping drips right away. I try to find a way to make them feel like the impending death of their family member is very important to me. This other nurse didn't do that, and they got mad.

Still. I don't want to be involved.

Unfortunately, my manager found me today and wanted to know what had happened. So I told her the truth. But I felt awful about it. I felt awful for that family, I feel bad for the nurse who is going to be in trouble, and I wish I wasn't involved at all.

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