Friday, June 07, 2013

How To Deal With A Hostile Work Environment

How to deal with a hostile work environment? This is a touchy subject in the medical world. Nurses are often subjected to harsh working environments of forced overtime and heavy patient ratios. More experienced nurses often "eat their young" in the hospital arena.

One way to improve this is to further your education and move out of those areas of practice into a realm that offers more autonomy like becoming a Nurse Practitioner. This is the track that I took to improve my nursing career almost 6 years ago. For the most part, I have enjoyed my job taking care of patients and their families and watching the children grow up in our practice. The only thing that I have found to be aggravating is the rather massive amount of paperwork involved with doing my job.

Until now....................

As we've gotten bigger over the last few years, we added another provider who is the complete polar opposite of my personality. At first, when I found this person a little remote, I attributed it to lack of experience and trying to fit into their new role in the practice. I let it slide and tried to make small talk. Occasionally, I thought that things were warming up. Then, I started hearing comments that my patients didn't like their attitude, that they weren't being listened to, and that they felt that the provider was "mad at them" for some reason unknown to them. During their visits with me, complaints were taking up a lot of our visit to which I explained that if they had an issue, they should write it up and send it to our boss. I tried to explain to them that the provider is very competent and that we just have different practice styles.

They are having none of that! The hope was that when a second provider came into the practice that it would give me a little bit of a break in the load but now that provider's patients are coming to me complaining about their own provider's care and so it is adding to my load rather than helping out.

I tried to explain to the provider, with tact, that patients were perceiving that they weren't liked by the provider and that they felt that the provider wasn't really listening to them, the provider got very defensive and said that I didn't have to defend them and that the patient should just write up a complaint themselves and send it up the chain. Duly noted.....

For a while, it was okay in the office. I am busy with my patients and we mostly pass in the halls but this provider has completely deadpanned me. Mostly won't meet my minor attempts at conversation beyond a few words. Doesn't say goodbye when they leave for the day and their nurse is also becoming more rude as well. This nurse has been reprimanded for their attitude, but the provider I have no control over. My earlier attempts at letting my bosses know that there has been an issue without going into details has not been very helpful.

What does one do in this situation? If I go above the provider with further complaints, it will just look like I'm being petty since the provider and I haven't really confronted each other about this issue. I have tried not to make a big deal of it because it is a very small office and I can't avoid them. I feel trapped in a hostile working environment.

What say you?


  1. Anonymous11:42 PM

    I am very curious as to what the outcomes are! This is a very sticky situation...

  2. Anonymous8:28 PM

    kill them with kindness, im not sure what else there is to do