abandonment issue

  1. can somebody fill me in with info regarding about being fired with abandonment issue? what can you consider an abandoment???
    actually my boss told me that if i left my workplace that day she will terminate me for abandonment and will notify the licensing office. any info would be gladly appreciated!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Erbs, first of all, call your State Board of Nursing and ask for a copy of the Mi State Nurse Practice Act and read it.
    Secondly, we need more info to help you figure this out. Had you accepted an assignment knowing that it was too many patients, or did your boss force you to do mandatory overtime with that statement? If you had picked up an impossible assignment and then left, that is abandonment. In the second senario, if you were forced to do mandatory overtime after you had completed your shift, that is not abandonment; especially if you felt that your judgement was impaired due to fatigue.
    Thirdly, only the Board of Nursing can charge you with abandonment; you may have been terminated for leaving that day, but I wonder why you would want to stay and work in a place that uses such strong-arm methods as that.
    Michigan just had a court ruling against mandatory overtime; go to the "nurse activism" area of this web site and find either -jt's or NurseKarenRN's posting about it.
    And last, don't ever let someone bully you like that again!!!!!!!! You are a valuable commodity today: a nurse at the bedside; and if your boss would have fired you, you would probably have a new job in less than 2 weeks; and your boss would be short a nurse for a long time to come (especially using those tactics!).
  4. by   -jt
    If you were refusing mandatory OT, hes just blowing hot air. Certain conditions must be met for your leaving work is considered pt abandonment so unless you were walking off the unit AFTER having taken report but before the end of your scheduled shift & no one was coming to relieve you , then I dont know how your employer can threaten this, especially in view of recent events that have happened regarding this issue in your state. Also & most importantly, every RN in your state should know about those recent events. It was very big news & a major coup for all nurses. RNs have to be more involved & keep up on whats happening in their profession.....for their own sake.......

    After reading this, print it, post it at work & send a copy to your threatening boss.......

    BIG news - the Michigan State Board of Nursing has ruled that refusal of mandatory over time itself DOES NOT constitute patient abandonment.

    The attorney general's opinion was asked for by the Michigan State Nurses Assoc. to cement the Boards ruling & pave the way for the defense of any Michigan nurse who in the future is charged by her employer with pt abandonment for refusing to work forced OT...
    It was about covering all bases & strengthening the ruling. Maybe you missed the press release. It was in June........

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Nurses Celebrate Attorney General's Opinion on Mandatory Overtime

    Lansing - A nurse's refusal to work overtime does not constitute grounds for discipline, according to Attorney General Jennifer Granholm's opinion issued today.

    The AG opinion strengthens the MNA-supported resolution unanimously passed by the Michigan Board of Nursing early this year, stating the refusal of mandatory overtime does not, in and of itself, constitute patient abandonment.

    "This opinion is a victory for the thousands of nurses who provide health care to Michigan's citizens," says Marylee Pakieser, Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) President. "Coupled with the Board of Nursing resolution, this opinion strengthens nurses' rights in the workplace and affirms their ability to speak up and refuse to work additional hours."

    At issue is the pervasive practice of regularly requiring nurses to continue working after their scheduled shift has ended. Many nurses work a 12-hour shift and are then mandated to work an additional four-hour shift, for example.

    "The use of mandatory overtime comes up with each contract we negotiate for our members," says MNA Chief Labor Officer John Karebian. "Rather than increase wages and benefits, and improve the work environment to attract additional nurses, employers use overtime as a staffing mechanism."

    "Obviously nurses are the core of patient care in our health systems. Forcing nurses to work beyond what they know is safe jeopardizes both the nurse and the patients," says Tom Renkes, MNA CEO. "We are unwilling to let this practice continue. This is part of our continuing push toward the elimination of mandatory overtime."

    Flint Senator Bob Emerson (D) asked for the AG opinion at the request of the Michigan Nurses Association.

    "We appreciate Senator Emerson's efforts and concern for nurses and the patient for whom they care," says Renkes.

    To read the opinion, go to: http://www.ag.state.mi.us/; double click on "AG Opinions," located on the bar on the left side; scroll down until you see "Locate Opinion No."; type in 7084, which will bring up the header; then double click on 7084, which will bring up the opinion.

    The Michigan Nurses Association, a constituent of the American Nurses Association, is the largest professional association and labor union for registered nurses in Michigan. MNA fosters high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, and lobbying the legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and their patients.

    http://www.minurses.org/whatsnew.shtml
  5. by   erbs
    THANKS A LOT FOR THE INFO !!! THIS WILL REALLY HELP A LOT! ILL PRINT THIS ARTICLE AND WILL GIVE THIS TO MY FORMER CO WORKERS ! (I RESIGNED YESTERDAY!) AGAIN, THANKS!!!!!
  6. by   NicuGal
    You shouldn't have quit...you could have made a stand!!!! They can't charge anyone with abandonment unless they have already accepted and taken report on that assignment. Otherwise, you are just refusing mandatory OT!! And even there, firing for that is an iffy thing!
  7. by   Kikumaru
    I can totally feel for you in this situation. It is frightening to be made to feel powerless, as I can imagine you may have. I have been reading, for the last few days, the postings pertaining to lawsuits, unprofessional conduct, misconduct, etc. because I too have been faced with being reported to the board for what I can imagine is issues of abandonment. About one year ago, after accepting a registry shift to go to a hospital, I arrived, signed in, received my assignment and DURING taking report, was paged (on my personal pager) from my daughter. She is handicapped, disabled with mental health issues. The page included a 9-1-1. After calling home and noticing that she was delusional, hallucinating and determining that she had not taken her medication because she lost it, I informed the charge nurse that I needed to go home. I tried looking for the supervisor, whom I couldn't find and after being paged again, went back to the charge nurse, who at this point wasn't very happy with me, and said I had to go. On the way out to this parking lot the supervisor chased me, commented to me that they were very short staffed and did I know what leaving them was doing to them...... AGAIN, I was paged, then I told her I cannot comment on what is happening except that I am having a family emergency and must go home. Now, just this week I get paperwork from the bureau of investigations claiming that the hospital and agency, who I terminated with, accused me of "something" which may affect my license. I meet with an attorney next week. Can anyone comment on this?
  8. by   fiestynurse
    For patient abandonment to occur, the nurse must:

    A. Have first accepted the patient assignment, thus enabling a nurse-patient relationship, and then

    B. Severed the nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice to the appropriate person (e.g., supervisor, patient) so that arrangements can be made for continuation of nursing care by others.

    A nurse-patient relationship begins when responsibility for nursing care of a patient is accepted by the nurse.

    Refusal to accept an assignment or a nurse-patient relationship is not considered patient abandonment by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Failure to notify the employing agency that the nurse will not appear to work an assign shift, and refusal to work additional hours or shifts would also not be considered patient abandonment by the BRN. Once the nurse has accepted responsibility for nursing care of a patient, severing of the nurse-patient relationship may lead to discipline of a nurses licenses.

    In regards to Kikumaru's situation, she had not finished listening to report and had not accepted the patient assignment. In addition, you had a legitimate personal emergency and had notified the charge nurse of your situation. I feel that they had adequate and reasonable notice in this case. Did they really expect you to ignore the pages from your daughter!! I am glad that you have consulted an attorney. I am sure that everything will work out fine. Good Luck!
  9. by   arabstarRN
    I have a question, in regards to patient abandonment - if you come to work, and are assigned to one unit ALWAYS, and were only trained on that unit (I am a new nurse), and then you come in to work and find you are a assigned to a unit you have no training on, with more acute patients (it was a LTC facility with a rehab unit) and other patients with dxs that you have no clue about it and treatments you aren't sure how to monitor/complete, if you already punched in then found out your assignment, if you were to punch back out and leave, without ever having received report or the unit keys, is that patient abandonment? Could it be considered patient abandonment simply because you punched in then went to find out your assignment, even though you hadn't received report yet?
  10. by   linearthinker
    No. I'd still fire you, but you can't be reported to the BON for abandonment.
  11. by   arabstarRN
    it was my last day and I had already put in my two weeks notice, so if I had walked out, wouldn't have mattered to me if this place wanted to say they fired me or not... I did work the shift, even though I wasn't properly trained for it only because I wasn't sure if it would be abandonment or not, that is the only reason I stayed - which still put my license on the line by staying and working a unit I didn't have proper training for and no support because the other nurses in the facility that night didn't have the training for that unit and it's issues either.
  12. by   xtxrn
    Quote from arabstarRN
    I have a question, in regards to patient abandonment - if you come to work, and are assigned to one unit ALWAYS, and were only trained on that unit (I am a new nurse), and then you come in to work and find you are a assigned to a unit you have no training on, with more acute patients (it was a LTC facility with a rehab unit) and other patients with dxs that you have no clue about it and treatments you aren't sure how to monitor/complete, if you already punched in then found out your assignment, if you were to punch back out and leave, without ever having received report or the unit keys, is that patient abandonment? Could it be considered patient abandonment simply because you punched in then went to find out your assignment, even though you hadn't received report yet?
    The patients were still not acute patients. If you don't know the diagnoses, look them up. You will be expected to float periodically at most any job (some departments have agreements within a finite group of units- peds & PICU and NICU (get patients that are stable), the various ICUs, etc)..... but 'regular' floors float amongst themselves all the time.

    Floating between LTC and rehab in an LTC will happen. Nobody likes it. But it's part of nursing to be sure the patents get taken care of....not make nurses comfortable. No matter what the diagnosis is, you still assess them head to toe. You check incisions. You monitor healing.

    You're always going to come across a new diagnoses... what are you going to do? Maybe learn something about it, and add to your skill sets. When you get a job in a LTC facility, you're not being hired to a floor- but to the facility. Yes, most of the time nurses work on the same floor. But when stuff happens, and a wing/floor needs to be covered, everyone has to take turns floating.
    You have a license, so not being prepared to take care of rehab patients in an LTC won't fly The rehab folks at least have issues that are identifiable !! The regular LTC residents can crap out at any time with no warning !

    You're selling yourself short. You will never know how to do something until you do it. If you have to call the on-call nurse to clarify treatments, then call him/her. They'd rather you do that then do it wrong- but treatment orders should be written so that anybody walking in can follow them and get them done.

    Try working med-surg/ortho, and being asked to go to GYN surgery because they had an influx of pregnant folks taking up the OB-GYN nurses... an incision is an incision. Work charge on the same med-surg unit, and get asked by the sup to go to tele (monitor techs and nurse know the protocols)- but they need an RN (and if any problems, a back-up ICU nurse was available). Work adolescent psych and get called to the children's floor to time contractions on a 12 year old (her father had raped her). It's uncomfortable, but basic assessment skills are just that- they're basic to everyone. You may need to emphasize some things more than others with various patients, but you'll know dud vital signs or hemorrhaging no matter where you go
  13. by   egglady
    the original post is from 10 years ago.

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