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Dealing with difficult situations

January 5, 2015
by Kathleen Mears
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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.




Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy your blogs

It is sad that you had to endure this situation. As a Director of Nursing, I would want to know about any staff that acted in this manner. They would not be here long. I think your efforts to be more in control of your situation are admirable and hope your days and nights there are more pleasant and peacful.

Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...