The family member insists that I called her a bitch during report.
Okay. (Nods head.) A reasonable assumption.
Except I didn't. I see no point in prejudicing another nurse against a patient's family member, or using profanity during report. As opposed to the rest of the workday, when I'll happily use profanity whenever.
But this particular family member? The one who threatened to sue because the room wasn't big enough? The one who tried to get her aunt arrested for simply visiting the patient? I wouldn't call her a bitch, even in an undertone, because that would get me in trouble. I still have some self-preservation instincts left, even after more than a dozen years. Besides all that, she was worried, but not necessarily a bitch. I took the reports of her calling out security and all the other crazy behavior with a grain of salt; a lot can happen when you're stressed.
My boss, who is a thoughtful, reasonable woman, heard the news with a mild snurk and let it go on past. My explanation to her was "I got no defense; I can't help you on this one," and she took it as read and filed the complaint in the round-file.
But still. Why on earth would you say that about somebody who's wiping your father's butt, not to put too fine a point on it? Why would you try to turn all the other nurses against one nurse with an alleged (admitted) foul mouth? Are you truly that mentally ill, that you need to have an adversary in every single interaction you have with the outside world?
If people ask me what my least favorite aspect of my job is, I tell them this: it's folks who have a habit of conflict making up conflict where it doesn't exist. It bothers me, not on a personal level--because my conscience is clear--but on an existential level. What makes some people nuts? I don't get it.
I seriously don't get it.
But I'm not going to call you a bitch just 'cause I don't understand you.