Q. I need to vent some frustration and I thought your column might be a good place. I am a health care worker, a frustrated, tired health care worker. I don’t know what to do about some of the deadbeat co-workers that I find myself working with. Is quitting the only option?

A. Well quitting might be an option but you are going to find “deadbeat co-workers” everywhere. They are like a virus that has no vaccine. And it does seem that they multiply and divide very quickly.
There are many people who work in health care that are extremely dedicated, very involved in the care of their patients and do not have to be told what to do. Thank goodness!!!
But the ones who “just show up” and put in only the minimum, the ones who must be “policed” throughout their shift are totally a drain. And I’m not sure who came up with the belief that just having a body sitting in a chair is a good thing, might have been smoking crack.
When you have people working with patients who do not understand the value of oral hygiene, the dangerous effects of dehydration or the need to toilet often should not be in health care.
This is a serious situation. I totally understand your concern. You are doing your best to provide quality care and serve as a great role model. There are many health care workers like you.
It is also difficult to give quality care if there are not enough quality care givers available. Sometimes just having a body to meet the staffing requirement can mean more work for you and create more frustration and fatigue.
If you follow the chain of command you can report these situations to your manager both verbally and in writing. If you have a strong manager they should have a conversation with the employee who is not pulling their weight. It is so important to address the issue promptly. Waiting too long removes the importance of corrective action.
The lack of communication is a big hurdle to overcome. I hear people doing a lot of complaining but don’t see as much proactive intervention.
What we must remember is the health of the patient is our number one priority. The behavior of deadbeat employees must be promptly dealt with or everyone suffers and the health care facility will lose quality people who just can’t take it anymore AND that will be a travesty.