Fired from job - page 2

:( I must not know how to get started on this thing. I want to get some advice about a problem I am having as an LVN. I worked for hospice for only 6 weeks. One nite they sent me to a lady whose... Read More

  1. by   goingnuts
    Forgive me if I am just stupid but doesn't it come down to the word of the wife against me. There was not a mark on that man. And they were with hospice for such a short time only a week that not much going on there. Also I had only been with them 6weeks. That was my second week out alone. Wouldn't the Board take this into consideration. I am surprised they are even thinking of taking it to the Board when most places try to avoid this. In the letter they said they have several options and two of them involve not going to the board. I just can't bring myself to be humiliated in that place again. What does anyone think of that? thanks for all of your help.
  2. by   goingnuts
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    Wow! What a difficult situation you faced that night. Sounds like a wife who was at her wit's end and severely sleep deprived...suspect new Hospice client too. Had a family like that once so can emphasize with you.
    We often provided LPN's or HHA for overnight shifts when patient actively dying or family overwhelmed.

    As former hospice nurse here is my advice:

    1. Nurses have every right to defend themselves from accusers. Write up the events formally in professioanl tone as you have written them here. Explain each point you are being accused of. Remember, what ever you submit will be thourghly examined and could be sent to BON so review for hidden meaning phrases you use. Send this "rebutal" via mail certified return receipt requested and ask to have it included as part of your employment file.

    2. What type of report did you get from person who called you with assignment? What did you document in your nurses notes at the time? Did you discuss this situation with patient's Primary Nurse/clinical manager after your shift since unusual bevaior for a caregiver?
    Do you have a copy of doccumentation, if so attach to above statement and include in mailing.

    3.

    Having a license means we are accountable to the public AND other professionals for our actions at work. Worse thing you can do is NOT go to the peer review hearing and account for your actions. This would be viewed as admission of guilt and unprofessional behaviour and not looked on favorably if they decide to report you to board of nursing. By explaining your side of the story and justifying your actions, you are defending yourself and may even stave off that call to board of nursing.

    However, you should not go to the hearing ALONE. You need a witness who can objectionalbly recount what is said in meeting, even take notes for you. Ask a nursing colleague or friend to accompany you....spouse/parent if no one else is available to you. If you have malpractice insurance, call the carrier NOW. Since you state you were fired, I'd even consider hiring an attorney now as your nursing career is at stake.

    5. Role play with a trusted friend all the "negative" angles you can think of and come up with answers. Practice answering questions into tape recorder /video camera so you can hear how you sound/come across under "questioning". This way during peer review you won't be frazzled or feel as caught off guard.

    You feel you acted in professional manor in justifying giving all the prescribed meds together. I've not given both xanax and ativan together usually...one or the other... unless patient has HX of long term use and out of control behaviour. Think out rationale and write down in personal notes for yourself why you gave all the meds together.


    {{{{HUGS}}} to help you get through this situation. Hoping my colleagues will chime in with advice to help you.
    yes I did call the triag nurse and she said the wife had been calling all nite. And that she told her not to call her mam either. I haven't talked to anyone since that happened. I just hate to spend money on an attorney for nothing. What if the wife doesn't show up. THat is a big possibility. Unless she is going for money. I only have a week to decide since they want to know if I have an attorney two weeks prior.
  3. by   morte
    why do they want to know if you have an attorney two weeks prior to the review......frankly why would they want/need to know at all?? the fact that they asked, would obviate to me, the need for one.....call around and see what/who you can find at what price....even if it is only for that day (to start with)....good luck.....
  4. by   goingnuts
    yes I did call the triag nurse and she said the wife had been calling all nite. And that she told her not to call her mam either. I hven't talked to anyone since that happened. I just hate to spend money on an attorney ofr nothing. what if the wife doesn't show up. that is a big possibility. Unless wh is going for money. I only have a week to decide since they want to know if I have an attorney two weks prior.
  5. by   goingnuts
    They probably want to know so they can have one on hand. this is so crazy. I know I am not an attorney but I dont' see where they have a leg to stand on. There is one person there that would do anything to hurt me. She is an RN. Went to LVN school with me. that was 12yrs. ago. I have never been reported to the board before.
  6. by   oneLoneNurse
    I think you might want to get a lawyer. Perhaps at the preliminary stage you don't need one, BUT if they suggest they are going to take it to the BON then I would strongly think about getting one.

    Why they want to take this anywhere else seems absurd. They must be being sued by the family since they have already fired you.

    Your situation seems unfair to me.

    Quote from goingnuts
    They probably want to know so they can have one on hand. this is so crazy. I know I am not an attorney but I dont' see where they have a leg to stand on. There is one person there that would do anything to hurt me. She is an RN. Went to LVN school with me. that was 12yrs. ago. I have never been reported to the board before.
    Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Sep 29, '06
  7. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from goingnuts
    Forgive me if I am just stupid but doesn't it come down to the word of the wife against me. There was not a mark on that man. And they were with hospice for such a short time only a week that not much going on there. Also I had only been with them 6weeks. That was my second week out alone. Wouldn't the Board take this into consideration. I am surprised they are even thinking of taking it to the Board when most places try to avoid this. In the letter they said they have several options and two of them involve not going to the board. I just can't bring myself to be humiliated in that place again. What does anyone think of that? thanks for all of your help.
    In one sense, it will be ''her word against your's'' in that there isn't any physical evidence to back up her charges against you.

    Having said that, though, I really encourage you to at least consult with an attorney. Here's why: When it comes time to one person's word against another, people still have to decide who they believe, or whether they just don't have the information they need to make that decision. If you don't go to the peer review, that is going to factor into the ultimate disposition of this case. I can understand why the prospect of facing those people upsets you, but think about what your failure to appear may say to them. You will be conspicous in your absence. I don't think you should count on this woman not showing up. Maybe she will, maybe she won't, and maybe she is ''in it for the money''. I don't imagine she has much of a case, but I think we've all seen and heard of cases that have been settled for their nuisance value, and you don't want to get sucked into one of those situations.

    An attorney will help you prepare for peer review. S/he can help you prepare your written and oral statements so that they are organized in the most effective way possible. S/he will step in if the questions cross the line and become badgering, or if you are asked leading or intimidating questions. Look at it this way. If you were being charged with a crime, even a minor one that carried little jail time, you'd want an attorney present. What will be discussed at the peer review and, should it come to that, the BON, will have a much longer lasting impact on your life. You really need some guidance here, IMHO.

    As far as why your facility is trying to pin you down as to whether or not you're bringing an attorney to peer review, I imagine that they want to know whether they should bring one... I can't emphasize strongly enough what a mistake I believe it would be to proceed without one. While each of us who has posted a response are sincere in the input we offer you, when it comes right down to it, it isn't our career on the line. You need to safeguard your rights, and none of us can do that for you.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Sep 29, '06
  8. by   Mulan
    I agree with everyone else, consult an attorney. It probably won't cost you that much and it will be money well spent.
  9. by   Demonsthenes
    The sort of abuse by patients and their families that you noted is common in nursing. Also, it is common for nursing agencies to punish nurses for just doing their job, as you did, for the purpose of attracting patients and avoiding the threat of a law suit.
    The nurse, therefore, is abused unjustly by the patient, the patients family, and their own nursing agency.
    This is a reason why there is a developing nursing shortage.
    Please remember that bad things happen to good people like yourself.
    Best of luck!
  10. by   leslie :-D
    since hospice is about treating pts and their families, my nsg notes have always, always, always noted pt's overall condition, as well as family coping, anxieties, mental status, etc, with recommendations noted.

    if you haven't done so, please start noting on pt and participating family members.

    if this were me, i would contact an atty, preferably a nurse atty, for a consult.

    although this woman is acutely presenting w/displaced anger/grief, justice and truth do not always prevail.
    talk with an atty.
    from hereonin, keep immaculate notes;
    and best of luck to you.

    leslie
  11. by   swanganz
    I too feel bad for you. You should write down everything that happened while it is still fresh in you mind including the quotes and behavoirs of the wife. Also try to find out if other nurses who cared for him had similar experiences and the suggestion to talk to the physician is good. Keep in mind though with HIPPA he/she won't be able to disuss anything with you so better idea...let your attorney do that. Hope all goes well for you.
  12. by   IMustBeCrazy
    I agree, attend the peer review.

    However, since you are no longer employed, you have no duty to report to them whether or not you intend to be present with counsel. It is a courtesy only, and do you really feel like playing nice? Frankly, I would send back a short but sweet message to them "Yes, I will be there and I will participate in the peer review." I would send this via letter or fax, do not talk to them on the phone, this limits the follow up questions that you know they will ask. I would hire an attorney and take them with you to the review and not let the hospice agency know beforehand. It is none of their business - you are protecting your reputation/livelihood with whatever means you legally have available, as do they. Who knows...they may elect not to have counsel present and then you have a leg up. At this point, it's all about strategy. Outplay them at their own game.
  13. by   medsurgnurse
    Did you document every word of what you told us here? We hate to say something bad about soemone but if you put it in a factual way, its appropriate. I'm talking about the wife's behavior. ex. giving po medications to patient, using small sips of water with staw. Pt's wife stated "do not touch his nose." The patient nose was not touched during this nursing procedure. Patient took medications without difficulty.

    I am very fortunate to FINALLY have a supervisor who listens to the nurse side of the story before jumping to conclusions.

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