5 Essential Tips for How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work

 
 We are continuing this discussion with  how to deal with difficult nurses at work

We are continuing this discussion with how to deal with difficult nurses at work

This article is the follow up to the blog post “How to deal with difficult coworkers the smart way.” In that post, we went over four tips to help navigate interactions with difficult coworkers. We are continuing this discussion with how to deal with difficult nurses at work because let's be real, we need all the help we can get when it comes to difficult co-workers!

How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work
#1- Minimize interactions

Minimizing interactions won’t work for all difficult nurses especially if you have to be around this individual for your work duties. If it’s someone you could decrease interactions with you should.  In a practical light, reduce the time you spend in common areas including med rooms and break rooms. You can even learn their particular schedule and avoid common areas during their usual break time and so on.  If you are in a position where you can delegate tasks that involve that person to someone who can tolerate being around them, even better.

 
 

How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work
#2- Ignore them

Sometimes minimizing interactions with difficult nurses at work is difficult. If reducing the interactions doesn’t work or is not possible you might need to ignore them. It is entirely possible that you have a nurse that for whatever reason (possibly long tenure) is difficult and everyone learns to deal with it. If the difficulty with the nurse is minor and you can tolerate it, then it might not be a battle worth fighting. If so, ignore them and try to focus on the more positive aspects of your job.

How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work
#3- Document the inappropriate interactions

If there is a pattern of abusive behavior, you need to keep notes.  Your notes need to include dates, times, locations, and direct quotes if at all possible. When the time comes to report the person, you want to be detailed and accurate. It doesn’t have to be long paragraphs but just quick couple sentences or bullet points.

How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work
#4- Report the difficult nurse using chain-of-command

Ideally, you would hope the conflict with the problematic nurse would resolve itself with time. That might not be the case. If the problem with the difficult nurse at work escalates, the next course of action might be to report the nurse using your employer's chain of command. You want to make sure that you follow the chain of command as listed in your employee handbook.

How to Deal with Difficult Nurses at Work
#5- Seek to transfer or find a new job

 
 

If nothing else seems to be working, it might be time to look for a new nursing job so you can quit your current nursing job. Before doing so make sure that you put in your resignation letter. Some coworkers complicate a work environment so much that they make it very toxic to be around. It can get to the point that you start dreading coming to work. Seeking a transfer or finding a new job is not the first option but its something to consider if you feel anxious every time you go to work. We spend too much time at work for such an awful feeling, and you don’t want patient care to be affected. 

What are other ways to deal with difficult nurses at work?

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