Grounds for termination - page 2

If a CNA cusses at you (the nurse) in front of two residents, do you think that is ground for immediate termination? I think so, but instead I have to continue to work with this CNA. Not that I'm... Read More

  1. by   kstec
    We as floor nurses are not allowed to write up anyone. If we had that type of authority, I would of sent her home that night. She is still employed there and her story is the same as mine, except due to her being so mad at me when written up she was allowed to go home the day of the supposed write up. Yes, I'm fearful she will retaliate, but I don't want to have to look for another job at this moment. I figure I'll just play it out and if something happens physically, 911 will be my new best friend and administration will be sorry they just didn't terminate her from the get go. Back to the original thread: She did this in front of two dementia patients, but my facility also has a rehab facility with perfectly coherent patients like you and I. What if she would of done it and had the patient go to administration? She got lucky on her part that the residents can't verify what she said. Well thanks for all the input. I'm glad that the majority of you agree with what I think should of happened. I guess with the nursing shortage all the way around it takes a lot to be fired d/t having noone to replace them.
  2. by   pagandeva2000
    While I certainly respect the responses of "write her up, send her home..." many times, facts are that these people remain in these positions and compromise the authority of the offended party. I am not sure, but I think I remember that kstec is an LPN (not that it means less-no one deserves to be cursed out); and (at least in my side of the woods), LPNs do not have the authority to send someone home independently; they have to report situations of insubordination to the nursing supervisors and DON. Even a charge RN would have to bump it up higher in order for an employee to be sent home in the majority of cases. When the supervisors do nothing, the vicious cycle continues. And, with the job market being the way that it is, it is easier said than done to up and leave if one resides in an area where jobs are just not there.

    Believe me, I am not saying that these responses are wrong! She needs to be at least sent home with no pay for the day. I guess I come from a place of employment where aggressive behavior is rewarded more than stamped out, which add more fuel to the fire of a hostile work environment. Happens every day, unfortunately.

    The situation has already happened and you apologized for what you perceived as your error in communication. There should be nothing else said by you to this person regarding this situation. Definitely keep your eye on the situation, write up future incidents and keep the powers that be abreast. And, of course, in the meantime, seek discretely for other options if you feel you are getting no respect or support from your superiors. Sorry to hear this happened.
  3. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from kstec
    We as floor nurses are not allowed to write up anyone. If we had that type of authority, I would of sent her home that night. She is still employed there and her story is the same as mine, except due to her being so mad at me when written up she was allowed to go home the day of the supposed write up. Yes, I'm fearful she will retaliate, but I don't want to have to look for another job at this moment. I figure I'll just play it out and if something happens physically, 911 will be my new best friend and administration will be sorry they just didn't terminate her from the get go. Back to the original thread: She did this in front of two dementia patients, but my facility also has a rehab facility with perfectly coherent patients like you and I. What if she would of done it and had the patient go to administration? She got lucky on her part that the residents can't verify what she said. Well thanks for all the input. I'm glad that the majority of you agree with what I think should of happened. I guess with the nursing shortage all the way around it takes a lot to be fired d/t having noone to replace them.
    I suspected as much...that you were not allowed to. And, for sure, I would have sent her home with no pay...if I had the authority. This is yet, another story of how this field is so abusive and non-supportive of each other. I am upset for you.
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    I once wrote someone up for blatant and public insubordination. I was told I'm too bossy. Um, I'm the boss?
  5. by   Atheos
    What did they do Sue?

    I once told a boss that she was an arse. Yeah, I shouldn't have. When she tried to write me up for insubordination I fought and won because that isn't insubordination....

    Insubordination has actually been defined by the court system...

    Insubordination - "A constant or continuing intentional refusal to obey a direct or implied order, reasonable in nature, and given by and with proper authority."

    USA - Garvin v. Chambers
    USA -Sims V.Board of Trustees, Holly Springs Municipal Separate School District
    Canada -Sauders Industries v IWA

    The only exception is if the employ contract specifically defines insubordination as something else.

    Young v. Mississippi State Tax Commission

    OF course, in my opinion swearing in front of a resident should be immediate dismissal. Whether swearing should be an immediate dismissal should be up to the company. I've had bosses where it was acceptable in certain instances to swear and some where I would never dream of doing so.

    Swearing, disrespect and any other act does not qualify as insubordination unless specifically outlined in an employee handbook or policy.
  6. by   rngolfer53
    Quote from MelodyRNurse
    I've been in a similar situation and nothing was done.

    The management at your workplace is weak just like mine.

    I can't believe they put you both back on the floor without having resolved this issue. That is a really uncomfortable situation and unfortunate for the patients.
    I'm pretty new in nursing, but with decades of business experience. One thing I've noticed in health care and nursing in particular is that people are given management responsibilities w/o much if any supervisory experience or training. So, they are often at sea when difficult situations arise. Training would help in so many instances.

    Most times, the level of hostility and insubordination the OP wrote about doesn't suddenly spring forth fully formed, like Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus. It likely grew out of what the CNA found she could get away with, and as other posters have aptly noted, you can bet all the employees will be watching what happens next.

    Tough as it is to look for a new job, its easier to start early.
  7. by   CoffeeRTC
    Over half of my facility would need to be fired. Sad Huh? The union would get them their job back tho. Again..sad.

    Seems like some LTCs will let this go on just so that staffing is okay.

    I think it is at least a right up with a final warning.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from rngolfer53
    I'm pretty new in nursing, but with decades of business experience. One thing I've noticed in health care and nursing in particular is that people are given management responsibilities w/o much if any supervisory experience or training. So, they are often at sea when difficult situations arise. Training would help in so many instances.

    Most times, the level of hostility and insubordination the OP wrote about doesn't suddenly spring forth fully formed, like Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus. It likely grew out of what the CNA found she could get away with, and as other posters have aptly noted, you can bet all the employees will be watching what happens next.

    Tough as it is to look for a new job, its easier to start early.
    You are so right! This behavior is a symptom that has been festering for some time, I am sure. She witnessed and tried to see how far it would go-saw that it was okay and she went for it. People like this are either so intimidating to management that they are allowed to slide, favorite children or relatives to someone important who bullied the facility to hire their sorry bum relative. Either way, this leads to more stress and trouble for everyone else.
  9. by   nurseforlife
    Why can't you ask to be moved to another shift if uncomfortable with working with her. She is obviously not going to be terminated. Why are you so afraid of retaliation? What exactly are you afraid she's going to do to you?
  10. by   kstec
    The reason that I'm fearful is that she is known to be a CNA you don't mess with and is already walking on thin ice due to her attitude. When she was brought into my bosses office all she could do was demand to speak to me face to face and I guess her state of mind was so irrational that my boss said absolutely not. That is why I'm fearful. She's seems like someone who doesn't play by the rules which in turn makes me fearful of her setting me up at work, being a bully or whatever else. It is mutual that we do not work together per my bosses okay. But how sad, when the whole thing was over me asking her one to many times if she had so and so, and that if she did please let me know so I can come help her with the HS care and do my tx. whether it be a cream, oint, powder or dressing change. It's a lot easier doing it that way than asking her to go back to each room after she's done with them when we could of "killed two birds with one stone". But she took it as I was rushing her and riding her all night, which was not the case. I did not tell her to do anything. I asked her to tell me when and I would come in the room then. I even said if she wanted to she could turn on the light and I would come with my medications (oints, creams, drssgs, etc). Does that sound like I needed to be cussed at in front of two residents?
  11. by   nurseforlife
    No, it doesn't justify being cussed at. But, just take my advice and don't let her make you feel intimidated by her. All that does is feed into her atitude. My advice is to stand your ground. You shouldn't accept her behavior. I would have nipped her atitude in the butt. I always try to resolve things face to face first though. But that's just me. I don't take a lot of anything without speaking out. Stop apologizing to her please, you were just doing your job. Anyway, stay in nursing long enough and you grow "thick skin".
  12. by   firstyearstudent
    Frankly, it sounds like you are just hurt and humiliated, so want her fired. Unless she has a history of flying off the handle or is not doing a good job or is repeatedly hostile toward you, you should just put it down to having a bad day.
  13. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from nurseforlife
    Why can't you ask to be moved to another shift if uncomfortable with working with her. She is obviously not going to be terminated. Why are you so afraid of retaliation? What exactly are you afraid she's going to do to you?

    I don't believe it is fair that her entire life should be placed upside down to cater to this woman. This is what is so unfair...I have seen things escalate to the point of violence and nothing being done about it. We have an LPN that works with us who is along those lines. She was first introduced into this system as an agency nurse, who was supposed to be a replacement for some of us who were offered a full time leave with pay to become either LPNs or RNs. Her total intent was to get hired to be afforded this same opportunity to become an RN for free.

    Well, she got hired and became really close to a nursing administrator who caters to behaviors like this. Each time she was asked to do something, she would drop the name of this woman, report to this woman and the RNs would suddenly become harassed by the administrator. She got accepted into an RN program, graduated and has now passed the boards, but has not been hired as an RN yet. Upon returning to work, she has been asked by our charge nurse to float to other clinics. I knew the deal and asked to be crosstrained to get away from this girl. Sure enough, she started confronting this charge nurse, openly defying her, telling her what she is and is not going to do. She kicks doors in, screams, shouts, states to the charge nurse on several occasions "You don't know who you are messing with..., who do you think you are, who left you boss...I get my way because I am a princess and am favored", sending this woman to cry in a corner. What was the end result when she wrote this up in an email to the administrator? "Please, let's keep this quiet...she may not get her RN and I might lose the RN line". WHAT??? So...nothing has happened. The charge nurse's authority is now in jeopardy, everyone is intimidated from what I understand, and life goes on.

    What about when people's tires are flattened, followed off the grounds, threatened, and nothing happens? There is plenty to fear, in my opinion, when behaviors are allowed to escalate to the point where it is no longer taken seriously and no disciplinary actions are followed up. It sends up a wrong message, and it happens too often in nursing.

    Separating these two is only a temporary solution, because what about the poor other nurses that are stuck dealing with her? I am so disgusted by this, you have no idea!! I come to work with my game face on and while I am respectful, I pounce on the bullies at a moment's notice and am left alone. I have no problems because of this, but this is not what we come to work for. Some people do not have that sort of personality to do this. This may be what makes the OP so uncomfortable.

    Kstec, I don't say these things to fuel your imagination with worse. I do think that you should seek another place to work if this cannot be solved. It is just that I have seen this so much in various locations that it makes one wonder how often do we have to run? For this to be a career to care for others, I find it leaves us out in the dust when it really counts.

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