Falsely accused of abuse

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    hie everyone,i work at a LTCF night shift as a house float.3days ago i was floated on a different floor and they had just admitted a new resident,i asked my nurse if i could get a report on the lady but he said he couldnt give me one because he knew nothing about her and noone had given him a report even when they changed shift with the other nurse.So i basically knew nothing abt the lady,i went ahead and did my rounds as usual and introduced myself to her,she didnt seem a+o x3 because she was very incoherent and wasnt making any sense when she spoke,i reported my observation to the nurse.The next day the DON calls me at home and tells me that the resident said i was rough with her ,i vehemently denied the accusation but she told me i would need to write a statement and in the mean time i am being suspended pending investigation.On monday i turned in my statement to the supervisor and she walked me to the residents room to see if she would recognize me,she wasnt sure i was the one who "pushed her off the bed"(story changed to i pushed her off the bed!).They had a line up of the staff pictures to show her and she was unable to identify me.I am very stressed and distraught over this,it has turned into a waiting game i have family to take care off and i am not making money by just sitting on my bottom,i pick up extra shifts and do escorts sometimes but becoz of this i cant do anything.Do they have a case against me?
    BTW: the DON even admitted to me that they knew nothing abt the new resident and nobody had done an evaluation on her!
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I've seen this happen when I was LTC on several occasions. The DON has no choice but to suspend you until it is cleared up. I have never seen the false accusations come to anything. I wouldn't worry about it. Enjoy a couple of days off, and it will work itself out.
    KimberlyRN89 likes this.
  4. 1
    If you haven't yet, get a lawyer for your own protection.
    Esme12 likes this.
  5. 2
    I am sorry you are experiencing this......I think males need to be particular cautious of this especially with the elderly as they are unaccustomed with males in the nursing role "historically/generational" speaking. Administrators are obligated to investigate every complaint until found to be without cause with you being removed from the environment.

    We can't give legal advice here on AN.....That being said I would contact a lawyer and your malpractice insurance just in case this goes further.

    Good Luck.
    KimberlyRN89 and Merlyn like this.
  6. 0
    I tried to reply to your post. I don't know why it doesn't appear, maybe as was said in the last post, it was construed as giving legal advice. But let me try again and I'll rephrase without giving any legal advice. To preface I have a lot of attorneys in my family. I'm only going to speak for myself here. The only time I would contact an attorney is if I was really concerned about being sued or actually being sued. For myself, if I were put on administrative leave, I would not hire an attorney. Under the described circumstances, I would only hire an attorney if I were being sued or in my opinion wrongfully terminated & this kept me from finding employment elsewhere. Some lawyers offer free consultation. Again, I'm not offering you any legal advice, rather only stating what I would do.

    I hope your problem is resolved to your satisfaction.
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    This is why I dont think I will ever go back to working in LTC if I can help it. I did it for a couple years and never had any abuse investigations against me, but its something that is always hanging over every aides head. Ive seen other aides go through this, in just about every case it was fairly obvious there was nothing to the allegations, but they were still treated as if they were guilty, and when they were finally cleared, it was as if there was a stigma attached to them. The job is hard enough without having to deal with that kind of crap.

    Some of them were really great aides prior to the allegations, but afterward they developed an I dont give a crap attitude. I remember one male aide, who had been an aide for years and was loved by all the residents and family members, until a resident accused him of physical abuse. The allegations seemed pretty far fetched, and although he was suspended, it turned out there was evidence that totally cleared him(something which probably rarely happens), but he was totally changed by the experience and became bitter and short tempered with the residents to the point we had to report him for verbal abuse, and he was reported to the state and fired.

    Im not sure what the answer is. Id never want to work in a place where abuse is tolerated, but Ive also heard people who have been aides a long time say the pendulum has swung too far the other direction. Either way this is part of the reason why as a male I decided to go to school to be a Respiratory Therapist rather than an RN.
  8. 0
    Quote from northernguy
    This is why I dont think I will ever go back to working in LTC if I can help it. I did it for a couple years and never had any abuse investigations against me, but its something that is always hanging over every aides head. Ive seen other aides go through this, in just about every case it was fairly obvious there was nothing to the allegations, but they were still treated as if they were guilty, and when they were finally cleared, it was as if there was a stigma attached to them. The job is hard enough without having to deal with that kind of crap.

    Some of them were really great aides prior to the allegations, but afterward they developed an I dont give a crap attitude. I remember one male aide, who had been an aide for years and was loved by all the residents and family members, until a resident accused him of physical abuse. The allegations seemed pretty far fetched, and although he was suspended, it turned out there was evidence that totally cleared him(something which probably rarely happens), but he was totally changed by the experience and became bitter and short tempered with the residents to the point we had to report him for verbal abuse, and he was reported to the state and fired.

    Im not sure what the answer is. Id never want to work in a place where abuse is tolerated, but Ive also heard people who have been aides a long time say the pendulum has swung too far the other direction. Either way this is part of the reason why as a male I decided to go to school to be a Respiratory Therapist rather than an RN.
    I know that facilities are required to follow certain courses of action when abuse is suspected and I absolutely understand and support the idea that vulnerable residents must be protected. It just seems that the staff member is almost always the one who gets the short end of the stick. How on earth does a good carer or nurse recover personally and professionally from a false allegation of abuse?? They are presumed guilty until proven otherwise and there doesn't need to be any evidence at all. A passing comment is enough to trigger this whole suspension, investigation, and reporting ordeal.

    I can completely understand how staff would become bitter, suspicious and distrustful after going through something like that. I don't know what the answer is either, I can see both sides of this all too clearly. I worked with an aide who was accused of abuse and was cleared after an investigation. I don't believe there was any basis at all to the allegations, but even so, there is always a haunting question at the back of my mind..... maybe it really was true...... I hate thinking like that because I know all too well that it could be any of us at any time.

    I'm sorry this happened to the OP, I don't have any great advice but I wish him/her all the best and hope for a speedy resolution.
  9. 0
    Quote from northernguy
    This is why I dont think I will ever go back to working in LTC if I can help it. I did it for a couple years and never had any abuse investigations against me, but its something that is always hanging over every aides head. Ive seen other aides go through this, in just about every case it was fairly obvious there was nothing to the allegations, but they were still treated as if they were guilty, and when they were finally cleared, it was as if there was a stigma attached to them. The job is hard enough without having to deal with that kind of crap.
    I had the exact same experience in LTC. Nothing against me, but some of my aids were accused. They would be put off for a couple of days, the State would come in and investigate, then everything would go back to normal. Of course all the allegations were always false, and often really wild. But I just wanted to add it doesn't just happen in LTC. We recently had the family of an ICU pt accuse one of our nurses of dragging their Mother out of bed by the hair and beating her, because Mother told them it happened. Of course it was completely false and the accusation went nowhere, but it does happen in other settings beside LTC.
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    *uPDATE*
    So after being suspended for 5days,State cleared me and found her claims unsubstanciated however the DON,ADON and HR called me into the office and said well"we r going to write u up for being rough with the resident",im like if state found me not guilty how exactly did u come up with this new allegation coz it seems to me the story keeps changing,i tried to explain to them that their own investigation seemed shody and one sided and no matter how i try to defend myself they had already made up their minds and i was gonna pay.So my union rep said i should file a grievance,another part of me just doesnt want to deal with the place anymore i requested to go prn,i am so disheartened i even told them that apart from this incident they had no idea who i was or what i even looked like,they never even bothered to ask my colleagues what kind of worker i am.Like someone mentioned,u start off as a good worker but when things like this happen u develop an i-dont-care attitude!I am beginning to think maybe this isnt for me.
    Thank u all for your responses
  11. 1
    You should have had a lawyer talk to them. You have nothing to loose now. You can't be nice in this business. They made you sweat, now it's their turn. That's what I would do. but then again, I am a very vindictive person because I have been screwed more than once by meatballs like these. I am very happy that you have been cleared but writing you up for nothing, I think it's still lawyer time. Deformation of Character
    mikeicurn likes this.


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