Anyone can have a bad day. That’s understandable and even forgivable. But what isn’t forgivable is a nurse who displays lazy behavior on the job day after day. When that nurse is one of your coworkers, your resentment can build up over time, especially if you always feel you need to pick up the slack. Nursing is already a stressful job, but a lousy coworker experience can make it even worse. Here are five tips to help you deal with a lazy coworker in your nursing job.

Don’t Cover for Them

Coworkers who get away with not doing their share of work will keep doing it if other employees cover for them. As much as it might pain you to see something go undone, it will be the only way that management will know who isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.

Avoid Distractions

Don’t allow your lazy coworkers to distract you. You don’t want to allow someone else to cause you to make mistakes that could negatively impact your career and your patients. If coworkers are distracting you at the nurses’ station, find another place where you’ll be undisturbed to finished your work.

Provide Guidance, but Set Limits

It’s okay to help someone if they ask for it, but it’s not okay to spend so much of your time helping that you neglect your other work. You should set boundaries around when, where, and how much help you’ll provide to struggling coworkers. Provide guidance, but never do the work for someone else. You can give them tips to help them stay more organized or point them in the direction of other resources.

Don’t Take it Personally

It can be incredibly frustrating to watch someone make the same mistakes over and over again. But you can’t just jump in and fix it for them every time. Their laziness or lack of attention to detail is not about you, so don’t let yourself get caught up in it. And don’t let it change your attitude or become jaded. Instead, do your work as best you can and remain positive.

Know When to Say Something

While it may also be tempting to report your lazy coworker to management automatically, you may want to start with another tactic. Speaking to the coworker before bringing it to the attention of their supervisor may help you get a new perspective. They might not be lazy at all but lack pieces of the puzzle that can help them be more productive and organized.

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