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advice/help on my job situation

Discussion in 'careers & education' started by a_little_devil, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. a_little_devil

    a_little_devil Well-Known Member

    I work as a support worker in adult mental health, a hosptial for acute illness, and although I understand and appreciate that not every patient will like me and I will have challenging behaviour directed towards me. this week has been the worst in my life.

    Basically, the patient has an anger management issues and picks on people who are shy/quiet and he bullies them/intimidates them and I am one of his victims. he just doesnt do it to me, he assault a patient. He has been on the ward for about 2 months and he has always took the piss out of me and calls me by another name, but monday (yesterday) was the worst.

    He shouts in my face, he follows me out when I am going to the bathroom. He once slammed a door with the look of hate directed towards me. He does all these things that sort of bully me but he gets away with it because he does it in a subtle way. I spoke up about it on sunday to my supervisor and on monday it came too much for me and i burst out into tears. I had to be moved to another ward and when I left the ward and to go into a car he was there and I was shaking with fear.

    There is meant to be a management care plan put in place where I am shadowed on my shift, meaning I am with another support worker/nurse so they can be there if anything happens to me. The nurses may argue that its his illness that is making him like this but I also hear them say that its not his illness its because he is a nasty person. He has low self-esteem so he picks on me as he sees me as weaker and a bit of an idiot. he minicks everything I say. he calls me by another name, which isnt because he has a short-term memory deficit or a problem with names, its because he is being a cunt and trying to wind me up.

    I had today off and I am due in work tomorrow. I am dreading it because I know he is there. I phoned my work up this evening and to check who is on shift with me. When they read out the names of the nurses I just shaked because its one male and 5 women. when there is women on the ward he plays up more. if it men he wont because he knows that he wouldnt get away with it as much.

    But tomorrow, I am working and I would prefer to phone in sick for stress. But I dont want him to ruin me and rule my thoughts/fears. what to do? Im not sure. I know that in a psychiatric hospital I will get this, Ive worked there for 2 n half years and I know that things happen. But what I cant deal with is the fact that he is using me as a scapegoat and a test for his anger management and he also is doing it in a behavioural way and nothing regarding his illness.

    what would you do? Im seriously thinking of quitting but then I wont have any money and I will be screwed. :(
  2. Lucile

    Lucile je t'aime moi non plus

    you don't want him to ruin your life..
    i think for now, continue to go to work, even if it's very hard.
    if you stop going, it would be a victory for your nasty patient!
    and don't forget even if he's nasty, he is still your patient, and you have to act this way...:drool:
    i guess all your patients aren't that bad/nasty...
    i totally agree with you, you should go 2 or 3 nurses/people to visit that patient.
    ask your boss; explain what happened (even if you had explained it yet once), and if it's not you, that would be someone else, and it can not goes on like this.
    i hope i help a bit.
    :)
  3. Insomnia

    Insomnia Part-time narcoleptic

    God, he sounds like a right cock. I used just to work as a medical receptionist and some patients were so abusive to me it shook me up for a while afterwards. There was one patient who had been in jail for violent rape who wasn't allowed to be alone with any female member of staff and he used to not go through to the waiting room, he would just stand opposite the reception and STARE and me and one time, when I was standing up filing, he went in a really pervy way "Hello pretty girl in a skirt" (it was KNEE length, so it wasn't like I was dressed in any inappropriate way for work). It used to really freak me up because I worked til 7.30/8pm and then it was my job to lock up the surgery when everyone left. It was set back from the street and the exit was sort of hidden from the street and I used to get really freaked out he'd be out there waiting for me. Another patient, who used to see the counsellor when it was just her and me in the building, had been done for sexual and violent assault, so she had a panic button up there to press, and if it went off at my end, I was supposed to go up and help her and I was like, hmmmm, yeah right. The counsellor is at least old, she's lead a good life. I am being paid peanuts and I am a student. I am no way going to fight off a violent abuser on that. It will be all about calling the police and hiding til they come.

    I think though you HAVE to keep going in. Firstly because if you have been working there for two and a half years, it sounds like you are GOOD at your job and you should keep going in there for the other patients. Secondly if you quit, he will have won and he will have had his behaviour positively reinforced, so he will keep doing it and probably getting worse. Now you are being shadowed by other people on your shift, at least they can see it and understand and maybe can get him moved to another facility. Just treat him like his behaviour just really bores you, if you ignore it he will eventually stop doing it.
  4. a_little_devil

    a_little_devil Well-Known Member

    I went through my head about phoning in sick but Im going in. I phoned work this morning and they said they would be shadowing me. I just hope he leaves me alone today or fucks off somewhere else.
  5. Lucile

    Lucile je t'aime moi non plus

    tell us how your day was...i hope it was ok
  6. raeeka

    raeeka heartonsleeveweakatknees

    i'm sorry. it sounds like an awful & difficult thing to experience. its very hard, i think, when you're in a position where you're trying to help people & they are abusive to you. do you think maybe he is bothering you so much (the way he's behaving) because you internalise his comments/approach to you & feel your own self-worth decreasing?
  7. a_little_devil

    a_little_devil Well-Known Member

    yesterday, I went to work and survived and I went there today too. On my way into work (yesterday) I was sooo nervous. I ended up speaking to someone who had known the patient since he was 3, he said the guy had been bully/beaten up badly at school. so I guess through social learning theory its the way he knows how to behave. when you want something and you cant get your way, you must pick on someone who you view is weaker than you. Its been okay at work as I have been shadowed. but its also becoming annoying for me and the other staff. I want to be on the ward and interacting with the other patients but I cant unless I am shadowed by another staff member. I then see myself as in the way as I am stopping other staff members from doiing little tasks as they need to shadow me. its okay, but I also feel sorry for the patient. I know he has issues but at the same time I feel sympathy. But I dont want to be left alone with him. I fear the time he will catch me on my own and what he may say/do.

    thanks you for replying to my post. its good to feel like someone is listening to me.
  8. a_little_devil

    a_little_devil Well-Known Member

    yes I do. I am shy and insecure myself. I have depression/low self-esteem etc. so the way he is towards me makes me feel worthless. I know I am slightly intelligent as I went to uni and stuff (Im not saying if you didnt go to uni that you are dumb, no way do I mean that) and I am able to adapt to situations. He makes me really nervous so I am watching the way I pronounce words. he tried to minick the way I talked once and so I am always conscious of this.
  9. raeeka

    raeeka heartonsleeveweakatknees

    perhaps then if you were able to spend more time working on your own confidence difficult patients would be less of a problem for you because you won't internalise the negative attitudes they try to project onto you. you feel empathy for them but separate yourself from actually being worthy of the abuse they're throwing at you.

    i'm glad you've been able to go to work. it sounds like you are coping well. it's probably just beneficial to you in your work as a whole (& as a person!) to develop your confidence & work on that so that you don't end up feeling so upset that they are trying to hurt you, but more empathetic & sorry for them that they are hurting so much that they project onto you.

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