Accused of abandonement - page 3

During my shift, which I had not actually clocked in but had received report because I had done smething hospital ssociated prior to that day that I needed to fill out a form for, I went to go speak... Read More

  1. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from ingelein
    I agree that there may have been other issues, but why address the other issues under the heading of abandomment?Are we assuming this nurse was at fault here without knowing ALL the details? I guess everyone is going to have a theory here( me included), would be helpful to have more info.
    There are always at least 2 sides to a story and usually more than that, but I can't respond to the "other side" when I don't know what it is. I don't see the wisdom of pointing out to everyone else that "we don't know the whole story" and then proceeding to pass judgment on the OP as if I, personally, am privy to the "other side", just because I happen to be a manager myself (which I am).

    I'm not saying that you did that- I'm agreeing with you that it is inappropriate for us to assume the OP is at fault when we just don't know. Of course it is the OP's version of the story to which I responded because that's the one I was given! When I feel so strongly that the OP's story is missing some critical information, I keep my opinion to myself or ask for clarification.
  2. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Daytonite
    I think that writing you up for abandonment is a little harsh, but you did make a mistake and I sincerely hope that the write-up made it's point.

    You can't just go off to talk to your manager about some issue you have and not notify your preceptor or anyone else on the unit where you are going to be!!!! What if one of your patient's needed something? I don't care that you are in orientation and you think your preceptor is responsible. The staff needs to know your location on the unit at all times, including potty and lunch breaks. You are in training and supposed to conduct yourself like a staff nurse. You did something very irresponsible. And, I'll bet if you read your employee manual or your RN job description this is also clearly stated somewhere in there.
    Respectfully, I think that's a bit harsh. I tell the charge nurse, or if I'm in charge I tell the NM, whenever I leave the unit but not for a potty break... do you honestly tell the charge nurse everytime you use the bathroom? I think the preceptor is making a mountain out of a mole hill. When I was a preceptor I was still the nurse responsible for the patients.

    Quote from Daytonite
    If you can't be found, then, yes, in the broadest sense you are guilty of abandonment from your employer's point of view and if something serious happens to one of your patients while you are off galavanting around
    Being in the NM's office, which is on the unit, is not "off galavanting around". Lighten up

    Additional advice: Never ever take report on your patients without clocking in.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Dec 16, '07
  3. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Being in the NM's office, which is on the unit, is not "off galavanting around". Lighten up

    Additional advice: Never ever take report on your patients without clocking in.
    We just had a problem with a tech who "disappeared" for a couple of hours during an insanely busy shift. Even though his whereabouts were later accounted for, he was written up because he had turned off his cell phone and had failed to tell anyone that he was going to be unavailable for a time.

    To me, it doesn't matter where you're going; if you're not available for more than ten minutes, we need to know where you can be found. It's more than a simple courtesy; it's a patient safety issue.

    And thanks for the reminder to clock in before taking report, Dutchie, because we're told at my hospital that if you didn't clock in, you weren't there, and legally the hospital insurance doesn't have to cover you for anything. So it's very important to clock in. Taking report is the signal that you are ready to take care of your patients.
  4. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    And thanks for the reminder to clock in before taking report, Dutchie, because we're told at my hospital that if you didn't clock in, you weren't there, and legally the hospital insurance doesn't have to cover you for anything. So it's very important to clock in. Taking report is the signal that you are ready to take care of your patients.
    And thank you Angie for explaining that. I probably should have, but didn't, but you did it much better than I could have anyway. Thanks!
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    We just had a problem with a tech who "disappeared" for a couple of hours during an insanely busy shift. Even though his whereabouts were later accounted for, he was written up because he had turned off his cell phone and had failed to tell anyone that he was going to be unavailable for a time.
    I hope they in the ER with a concussion, valid amnesia, or whatever could account for doing what they did, leaving the unit for several hours with no means of contact. They would have been fired at my place of employment. Just curious...how did they account for such a disappearance?
  6. by   UM Review RN
    I'd rather not go into great detail but suffice to say, the tech was written up for abandonment.

    So you don't need a license to get into trouble for that at my workplace.
  7. by   nursemike
    Quote from marie-francoise
    Actually, I was talking about the tone of some of the responding posts here.
    Instances of nurses "eating their young" on these boards should be reported to staff. But I've looked the thread over, again, and I don't see any. There appears to be a general concensus that what was done a.) wasn't good and b.)wasn't patient abandonment. There does appear to be a range of opinions as to the seriousness of the error, but based on the original post, I think a pretty reasonable argument can be made for any of the posted opinions. It would be interesting, I think, if the OP cared to clarify exactly who wrote exactly what, and what, if any, action management took on it. But it's up to the OP whether they want to go into that much detail.

    It's normal, I think, that our views are influenced by our past experience. As a fairly new nurse who still makes mistakes from time to time, I don't find it hard at all to empathize with the OP. But I have also seen an occassional bad nurse who is always looking to lay the responsibility anywhere but on themselves. I don't think that's the case, here. But I don't think it's bad advice to anyone to take ownership of your actions and learn from them. As someone else observed, we are all adults here, and part of that is being able to take criticism. Criticism, on these boards or in real life, should be civil, but civil doesn't necessarily mean sugar-coated.

    If the OP is being formally charged with abandonment, by all means, she should fight it. If the term is being bandied by her preceptor, or her manager, I can certainly see some value in stepping up and saying, "I agree, it was inappropriate, but it wasn't abandonment." In any case, it would seem prudent to clarify the situation with the manager, but I'd recommend a less defensive approach than some of what was said in the original post. The OP has an opportunity, here, to make a very good impression by reacting appropriately.
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    We just had a problem with a tech who "disappeared" for a couple of hours during an insanely busy shift. Even though his whereabouts were later accounted for, he was written up because he had turned off his cell phone and had failed to tell anyone that he was going to be unavailable for a time.

    To me, it doesn't matter where you're going; if you're not available for more than ten minutes, we need to know where you can be found. It's more than a simple courtesy; it's a patient safety issue.
    I wish the OP would say how long she was in the NM office, would clarify alot of things.
  9. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from nursemike
    Instances of nurses "eating their young" on these boards should be reported to staff. But I've looked the thread over, again, and I don't see any. There appears to be a general concensus that what was done a.) wasn't good and b.)wasn't patient abandonment. There does appear to be a range of opinions as to the seriousness of the error, but based on the original post, I think a pretty reasonable argument can be made for any of the posted opinions. It would be interesting, I think, if the OP cared to clarify exactly who wrote exactly what, and what, if any, action management took on it. But it's up to the OP whether they want to go into that much detail.

    It's normal, I think, that our views are influenced by our past experience. As a fairly new nurse who still makes mistakes from time to time, I don't find it hard at all to empathize with the OP. But I have also seen an occassional bad nurse who is always looking to lay the responsibility anywhere but on themselves. I don't think that's the case, here. But I don't think it's bad advice to anyone to take ownership of your actions and learn from them. As someone else observed, we are all adults here, and part of that is being able to take criticism. Criticism, on these boards or in real life, should be civil, but civil doesn't necessarily mean sugar-coated.

    If the OP is being formally charged with abandonment, by all means, she should fight it. If the term is being bandied by her preceptor, or her manager, I can certainly see some value in stepping up and saying, "I agree, it was inappropriate, but it wasn't abandonment." In any case, it would seem prudent to clarify the situation with the manager, but I'd recommend a less defensive approach than some of what was said in the original post. The OP has an opportunity, here, to make a very good impression by reacting appropriately.
    Being able to take criticism is indeed a fine skill to develop, but I think we should keep in mind that this is a new grad who came here to vent, not to have a lecture delivered about how irresponsible she was and to have her veracity questioned (as in the post that stated "I don't believe you"). I'm sorry, but IMHO, that's not a polite way to disagree with someone; it is a sanctimonious way to lecture them and it is not at all civil.
  10. by   marie-francoise
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Being able to take criticism is indeed a fine skill to develop, but I think we should keep in mind that this is a new grad who came here to vent, not to have a lecture delivered about how irresponsible she was and to have her veracity questioned (as in the post that stated "I don't believe you"). I'm sorry, but IMHO, that's not a polite way to disagree with someone; it is a sanctimonious way to lecture them and it is not at all civil.
    Agreed - it's about respectfully disagreeing.
  11. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I'd rather not go into great detail but suffice to say, the tech was written up for abandonment.
    When you said they could account for their whereabouts I was thinking gees...surely they didn't get away with doing that... knowing they did get written up for abondoment explains it.
  12. by   nursemike
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Being able to take criticism is indeed a fine skill to develop, but I think we should keep in mind that this is a new grad who came here to vent, not to have a lecture delivered about how irresponsible she was and to have her veracity questioned (as in the post that stated "I don't believe you"). I'm sorry, but IMHO, that's not a polite way to disagree with someone; it is a sanctimonious way to lecture them and it is not at all civil.
    I read it as a new nurse looking for advice: "Where should I take this?" The nurse is entirely free to evaluate the advice and take or dismiss as she/he sees fit. If I might paraphrase, one piece of advice was "Take it to yourself." and while blunt, it wasn't uncivil.

    I don't want to get too involved in arguing this, because it could pretty easily devolve into bashing posters, rather than debating ideas. But I do think there's an important distinction to consider. Going out of ones way to pounce on every error and exaggerate their significance does, indeed, seem like a bullying tactic. We can't know with any certainty, but it sounds entirely plausible that the preceptor might have been eating her young, to some extent, or at least perhaps not precepting very effectively. But a reminder--even a stern one--of the standards we nurses are expected to maintain, seems to me a service to the profession. As important as support and encouragement are, we need to recognize how important the commitment we undertake is. I just don't see that as rude, or even unkind. I might have chosen a "nicer" way of saying it, but, to me, the bottom line is that, if you heed the advice, you'll be a better nurse, and that's a gift that lasts a long time.
  13. by   nursemike
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I'd rather not go into great detail but suffice to say, the tech was written up for abandonment.

    So you don't need a license to get into trouble for that at my workplace.
    I was told in nursing school that unlicensed workers can't be charged with abandonment, since they can't be assigned patients. In our state, at least, aides are (theoretically) assigned to nurses, rather than patients. Of course, that's a bit of hair-splitting. They certainly can be fired or disciplined under the rules of the facility.

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