Dealing with difficult situations

On a previous blog I wrote about the bedeviling treatment I received from two particular night shift aides. A commenter to that blog asked that I explain how I handled these situations.

When the night shift aides teased and harassed me, I reported it to the nurse manager, the administrator and, eventually, to the ombudsman. My sister and I attended several care conferences where it was discussed.

I always felt facility management might not have believed what I told them. After all, I had no evidence or corroboration. It was my word against those aides. When day shift aides experienced the behavior of these night shift aides, I encouraged them to report it and they said they did.

More than two years ago a meeting was held with two of the three night shift aides, the nurse manager and the ombudsman. One aide said I was irritable and easily upset. The other said I was ungrateful.

Since my irritability was a concern, I had my doctor take me off the antidepressant I had taken for three years and put me on another. My doctor also lowered my daily Valium dosage by half. It took time, but I have noticed a difference in my attitude and behavior.

I read about anger management, and tactics to improve interactions with people. I know not everyone will like me. Since some aides say I am a nitpicker, I try hard not to inflict that trait on them. I realized I would have to change and try to soften my hair-trigger reactions.

I tried not to feel rattled. If an incident occurred, I documented it and give a copy to the nurse manager.

Months ago one of those night shift aides dropped back to two shifts a week. The nights seemed quieter. A few weeks ago that aide was no longer on the schedule.

Since then things have been relatively quiet. Contentiousness has slowed. When the other night shift aide makes pointed comments, I try to remain quiet.

Although the future is unknown, I feel better since I am in more control of my emotions.


Topics: Clinical , Leadership , Staffing