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  1. #1
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    Default How to be assertive in the workplace?

    I've been at my new job for about a month I absolutely love it. My boss is amazing and the patients are lovely. But a few things are starting to get me down...

    I'm an RN and over the weekends I'm in charge. This means I'm responsible for everything. The women I'm working with are AIN's and are very resistive to change which is one of the reasons why I've been brought in. They've been there for 10 years+ and the majority are a lot older than I am. I'm 25 and I think this is not helping the issues.

    Basically, when I ask ( very nicely) for something to be done its not happening. For example, every 2 hours the whereabouts of certain patients need to be checked and recorded. I ask them every shift to do it and its not happening. They respond with "we just mark them off at the end of the day". It's against policy and is driving me crazy! Especially because if anything was to go wrong it would be my responsibility. I feel like a nag asking them all the time especially when it's not helping. Yesterday I ended up writing in each page of the diary that it needed to be done. They came out told me that when they saw my notes they laughed! I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. There's a lot of similar issues and this is just one example. I ask them to do activities and they say they don't have time but then manage to find the time to have extended lunch breaks all at the same time leaving nobody on the floor which should not be happening.

    Any tips on how I can improve the situation?? I can't effectively do my job if nobody is willing to cooperate with me!

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    Is your supervisor able to come in and tell them that this is the way it will be, and if they don't like it, there's the door? They're not little things by the sound of it, and it can be hard to change deep set culture in a workplace. Good luck!

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    I found the best way was to just not ask. Nicely or otherwise. And delegate a task to a certain person example: Belinda at 5:45, 7:45 and 9:45, check on patient X in room 321.
    Pushed wrong button. Oops. Sorry.
    Then do that for every shift. Then there's no "But I thought so and so was doing it". So don't ask, tell them what they're doing. And if they tell you they laughed, don't blink or get flustered or anything. With a VERY disinterested voice just reply with "Interesting. So was patient x in room 321 at 9:45 or not?"
    Last edited by Jennaisme; 02-09-2013 at 11:18.

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    I agree with Jennie that it sounds like you need to tell them, not ask. You tried to be nice, it's not working, time to try something else. I worked in management for a long time before becoming a teacher. On the whole when working with women it is better to ask as they can get sensitive, but you're dealing with a unique situation.

    Also start making written records of things like the floor being unmanned, note when you spoke to the particular staff member about it etc. Talk to your supervisor about starting the formal warning process as quite frankly it sounds like at least one of the existing team needs to be fired for them to get the message that changes are essential.

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    Do you have many staff? I would suggest meeting with them individually to explain the changes you will be implementing & talk through any concerns. Record the meetings & discussion details.

    Unless you have a large number of staff, I would really try to avoid a group meeting in this instance as they are less likely to respond openly in front of their colleagues.

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    Tell them don't ask them. Being nice isn't working. Good luck.

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    I know the problem is partly mine as I like to avoid conflict which in my role really isn't possible. Thanks for the advice. I think I will just have to be more direct in my approach.

    Any tips on how I can approach the lunch break issue? They like to eat together and have been doing it for ages.

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    If you do the roster, schedual their lunch breaks as well.

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    Im an RN to and have been in situations similiar. Older nurses resistant to change etc. Ive also managed big staff loads ( not in hospital setting). You need to turn it around on them. Like hold a meeting and say some something like ' ok. Guys we're having a problem. This is the issue and ' some' people are finding it difficult to ' find the time cause they're "so busy," or they aren't remembering because so many things to do etc etc. Raise the issue while at the same time saying I assume you don't do it for valid reasons ( not that your lazy) now lets work togeather to make a plan so you do do it. What can I do to make it easier for you. ' They'll know you know the reasons but you approach it in a way that gives them nothing to complain about. It is a bit passive aggressive on your part but its a grest way to address a problem like this without putting people off side. I use this technique all the time.

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    I would be delegating tasks as previous posters have discussed.

    I would also be delegating lunch breaks at separate times.

    I would be keeping notes on when things aren't done.

    I would be arranging a meeting with your NUM this week to discuss your concerns about the staff.

    I would also be asking your NUM (and theoretically they should be checking in with you as to see how you're going with the new role....) about strategies and tips for when working in the team leader role and if there's any management/leadership course either internally or externally that you can do to assist you with your new role

    Also you're not there to be their friend, you're there to effectively manage and ensure patient safety and wellbeing. Chances are these woman are going to hate you and ***** about you behind your back. You just need to remember that it's nothing personal against you, and they would be treating anyone else in the position exactly the same.
    Last edited by wannawannabe; 03-09-2013 at 21:57.


 

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