Got a nurse aide fired... did I do the right thing?

  1. Hi everyone, I'll just get right into it. I work as a LPN in a group home with a few individuals with intellectual disabilities. We also have a nurse aide who comes and helps out during daylight hours. This specific nurse aide has given the nurses multiple problems since she was hired. Essentially her job as the nurse aide is to make sure the house is kept clean, cook, laundry, plan activities with the residents, take them on outings, simple tasks. The job is fairly laid back, however the residents must be closely monitored by all staff due to behaviors. For weeks, this nurse aide has done nothing but lay on our couch and watch netflix for her entire shift. Does not clean, cook, and barely says a word to the residents. Me and a few other nurses have complained about her, but we were basically blown off with nothing done about it. Today I walked in for my shift to find her asleep on the couch and snoring. I had a hunch that she was sleeping on a few other shifts but never caught her until now. I immediately took a picture and sent it to my supervisor for proof. Long story short, the nurse aide was immediately fired for neglect. Sleeping is not tolerated. However, when I reported it to HR, they gave me the impression that I should have spoke to the nurse aide about it or simply woke her up instead of reporting it. So now, I am second guessing what I did. My intention was not for her to get fired, I just wanted the management to see what she was doing and possibly re-train her. I didn't like her, but I would never want anyone to lose their job. What would you have done?
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  2. 59 Comments

  3. by   macawake
    Quote from Live.Love.Nurse.♡
    For weeks, this nurse aide has done nothing but lay on our couch and watch netflix for her entire shift.
    If taking a picture of the sleeping aide and sending the picture to your supervisor was the first attempt you ever made to address her behavior, then no I don't think you did the right thing. If however you've addressed it previously with her during all the weeks that she spent her entire shifts on a couch watching Netflix, than I think sending the picture was okay. I have to assume that you and the other nurses had talked directly to her about her habit, and not just gone to the supervisor and complained about it? Personally I would have woken her up and told her what I was doing though. I just prefer a straightforward approach. Also, if it were me I think that I would have gone and talked to my supervisor in person though, rather than just sending the picture. I prefer speaking face-to-face I guess.

    I don't really understand why that behavior was tolerated for several weeks?
    Last edit by macawake on Aug 6
  4. by   canoehead
    They didn't correct her on your previous complaints, or if they did, it didn't work. I think that firing was coming for a long time, and you did a good thing.
  5. by   Live.Love.Nurse.♡
    Yes, it was addressed many times previously. Me and a few of the other nurses have spoken to her about what her duties are but she chose to ignore. She also is aware we are not allowed to sleep on shift, but chose to anyway. We also recently went to the supervisor about it who said she would address the behavior but never did. So it was tolerated for weeks because we were expecting something would be done about it. Today was just the last straw for me. I sent the picture so that the supervisor would have proof and not just my words.
  6. by   amoLucia
    You did what you thought was right. I understand that. But did you NOT have a thought that termination was a possibility for that CNA? It's most prob in your employee handbook so that should have been a given possibility. In as much as this seems to have been an ongoing behavior for the CNA, it sounds earned.

    I'm guessing HR might be upset because that CNA might be union - so the firing might be challenged by the union. And that's a whole other kettle of problems. And now there's an open job vacancy to boot.

    Where you might have trouble is that you used a camera for pix, and that could be against your facility's P&P. So there might be some further issue for you.

    That CNA will prob suffer NO negative backlash and will just float around to some other facility.

    Good for you for trying to do something.
  7. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    Quote from amoLucia
    You did what you thought was right. I understand that. But did you NOT have a thought that termination was a possibility for that CNA? It's most prob in your employee handbook so that should have been a given possibility. In as much as this seems to have been an ongoing behavior for the CNA, it sounds earned.
    Why would the OP need to think about the possibility of that CNA's termination? Someone who sleeps on the couch and watches TV on paid time is the person who should be thinking about that possibility. I'm confused by what your position is with regards to this matter.
  8. by   Emergent
    I want to get paid for my Netflix binging. Please send me a check immediately for the last ridiculous series I viewed. If you fire me for watching Netflix I will get a lawyer and sue you.
  9. by   middleagednurse
    She got herself fired. Everyone knows you can't sleep on duty.
  10. by   Davey Do
    Quote from Emergent
    I want to get paid for my Netflix binging... If you fire me for watching Netflix I will get a lawyer and sue you.
    malpracitice-insurance-caption-
  11. by   Rocknurse
    The aide was obviously in the wrong, however I think it could have been handled differently. Never, EVER take a picture of anyone at work, either patients or staff. That alone is one of the quickest ways for YOU to get fired. I just really advise people to stop taking pictures with their phone anywhere in the near vicinity of a facility. I've known several people lose their job that way. Even if it's not a picture of a patient, it's always possible that you might accidentally get a portion or a patient in the shot without realizing and I'll bet your facility has some kind of policy about use of phones and cameras at work. A simple well-composed email or well-worded verbal interaction would have sufficed. Don't put your own job at risk for the sake of someone else's behavior.
  12. by   xxstarrynitesxx
    While I would never want to get someone fired intentionally, I would have reported her as well. After multiple failed attempts, taking a picture may have been your last resort. She had been neglecting her duties and most importantly those under her care. It may not be the most exciting job for her, but a patient could have been seriously injured while she snoozed away or worse. She can sleep at her home now with all the free time she has.
  13. by   soutthpaw
    My thought is that employers are always fearful of being sued by people they fire or having the unemployment office investigate the firing. The picture gives the employer definitive proof that the employee was sleeping. Maybe it was something like this that the employer was waiting for.
  14. by   caliotter3
    The title of your thread states that you got the CNA fired, no, she got herself fired with her continued behavior. Give credit where credit is due.

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