I was called irresponsible by my manager in an email to myself and two others. I am a student nurse at a local hospital and by MY mistake, I wrote my shift down wrong. I have been there for a little over a month.
Had a conversation with my manager over the phone regarding the missed shift. Convo turned to the schedule book. During my orientation or lack thereof on the unit, I had no idea of what the schedule book looked like. My schedule has always been emailed to me by the shift coordinator who makes the schedule. ALso had no idea that there was a book in which we write our contact info in. Preceptor never discussed with me. Then there was the orientation checklist, that wasn't complete, preceptor placed me with another student nurse and was not able to complete the list and was never checked off on items by the preceptor. I did not turn in my CPR card after taking the class in late August. I had to change my scheduled dates and the shift coordinator emailed me with the only day that she could accomodate me, however, she wrote in the 'schedule book' a list of different dates.
I will accept responsibility and have for everything. It is, for me anyway, as a new student nurse difficult to assert myself. I never want to make the wrong impression in the beginning. I realize now that that was a huge mistake. I should have asserted myself and insisted that my preceptor go over the entire list (6 pages) with me and check off items so that I could turn the doc in. My question is should I take ALL of the responsibility? My manager never gave me the benefit of the doubt and said 'maybe you weren't oriented properly to the unit.' That is what I would have done due to this being the first incident. NOw if this were to happen again, I would expect to hear the words irresponsible. In additon, she called me, I paged her back and bever recieved a call back from her. She states that I should have assumed she didn't recieve the page (which she states she didn't) and should have paged again. The shift coordinator never responded to my email regarding my acceptance of the changed shift and I should have assumed she did not get the message and email her again.
SHould I be at all concerned that I have not been given the benefit of the doubt regarding this situation or should I just roll with the punches? I am taking all of the responsibility as well as all of the fault.
Thanks, I asked in this forum because I know that the responders will be completely honest with me!!
Listen as an FYI for the future, do your best to get a hard copy or an electronic copy of your schedule with all dates verified. Then copy it back--reply with the schedule your were given, and write that you are confirming the dates, and that if any changes are to be made to it, it must be sent electronically or in writing ASAP--for school reasons or child care reasons or whatever. Why do this?
Let me tell you that I have had a number of dates changed at a few places where I have worked over the years--without proper notice or anything previous to the write-in on the schedule given to me. I have gone into work (some of those places were quite a distance) and found that someone switched my dates on the schedule, or I have had a few people call me up and tell me to get my butt into work, or I will be considered a "no show." A no show? Huh? I am on the schedule for blah, blah. No you aren't. It says today or tonight or whatever. ??????? I have never been a true "no show." I am reliable. If I agree to do something, unless a close family member or I am truly sick, I don't call out.
Also note that although the change had nothing to do with you, it can be written down somewhere in your records--even to HR records, and it can be used against you, even if you prove to the unit team and mgt that there was an unconfirmed, unnotified change in the schedule.
You have to go further if someone does this purposely or somehow by accident and switches things up, b/c it can go on your record. You have to make sure this kind of things does not go down on your record anywhere. This may be hard to do, b/c mid-mgt can keep their own "undeclared" notes and records on you--so, if it goes on the "undeclared" mgt records, even a lawyer may not be able to help you find it, should you ever need to do so. But at the very least, check all records through HR.
So just make sure you check that the error isn't used against you somewhere. This is the kind of thing that makes me support unions for nurses, and I am NOT a BIG union person. I have just seen people get screwed A LOT--especially nurses. Lessons learned so to speak.
So while it is true that it is your responsibility to know your schedule, make sure you have a copy, and send the same copy, with your notification that those dates are confirmed, back to the appropriate people.
I wish work could have more lollipops and roses, but after you have been in the field for a long time and have seen a lot of just WRONG stuff, you get wise. Go in with your eyes open, and back up everything---just do it in the coolest possible way, so they don't think you are paranoid, or that they don't perpetuate that you are somehow paranoid. I think the saying, as I have shared before is something like, "be a gentle as a lamb, but as wise as a wolf. . .or be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves."
This is the challenge--to be very careful about everything--and I do mean EVERYTHING, but do it in such a way that you are not viewed as aggressive or defensive.
In nursing, it is important not to draw too much attention to yourself, b/c select others will resent it or feel some loss of control. Wise but circumspect is the name of the game.
Last edit by samadams8 on Sep 9, '12