I work as a medical assistant for a small and busy medical office. We recently hired a new part-time medical assistant. Actually, this is the third time we hired someone for the part-time position within the last 2 months; first hire quit after 2 days and the second hire displayed concerning behaviors and was let go on his fourth day. The third hire seemed to be a good match but she’s also has displayed concerning behaviors:
- I’ve found patient notes in her personal folder – which she takes home everyday. When I first noticed it, she was sitting next to me and I saw a patient’s note that I had been looking for. I asked her how it got mixed up with her personal items and she quickly denied any knowledge of how it got in her folder. I admit I looked through her folder when she got up and left and found another patient note in her folder.
- During her first week of getting to know her, she asked me if I believed in God. When I said that I was unsure (I identify as agnostic), she started ranting for a few minutes about how there must be a higher power. A co-worker saw that I was getting extremely uncomfortable and irritated and interrupted her rant. The new hire will still make religious comments directed towards me every once in a while.
- New hire will openly contradict and undermine me and other senior medical assistants in front of patients and providers. She has no prior experience in healthcare. I’m open to listening to better ways to do something but I don’t appreciate it when she will try to correct me on how to do something that she has never done. Also, she will never admit she’s wrong. In fact, she will double down and insist she’s correct when I know she is wrong and appropriately call her out on it.
- After being told that cell phones are not permitted in exam and procedure rooms, I found her with her cell phone in her pocket yesterday during a consultation. I told her she needed to step outside the room and put it away. She didn’t do so.
There are many more incidents I could list. And I have reported everything above to my direct supervisor and to the office manager. They thank me for letting them know and say they’ll handle it.
I’ve tried to be friendly and civil with her throughout the few weeks she has worked in the office. I try to point out the tips and tricks that help me and I tell her she’s always free to ask me questions or ask for help if needed. She’ll nod and smirk that she understands but still forgets even simple things.
I’m losing my patience. Another co-worker refuses to interact with her unless she absolutely needs to. I dread going into work and seeing her. Problem is, the office admin will probably keep her around since they don’t want to go through the hiring and training process again. I don’t want to leave just yet (I’m applying for an accelerated BSN program at the end of this year), especially since I like my other co-workers and patients.
What would you do in this situation? Another medical assistant and I want to see how she does next week before meeting with our supervisor and raising our concerns again.
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