Grounds for termination

  1. 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 trying to save face but I didn't do anything wrong to deserve the cussing and the CNA just misunderstood something somewhere along our shift. She admitted to the DON that she did this and wanted to confront me in the DON's office, which she (DON )did not allow d/t the CNA being irrate when confronted from management. I refuse to work with her and she says she refuses to work with me. I do have to say I'm probably one of the most easy going, eager to help nurse that anyone including CNA's could possibly work with. I worked as a CNA and I know the hard work they do so I'm always willing to help if time allows. What would you guys do? Am I wrong to think this is ground for immediate termination and am I wrong to be in fear of retaliation, because this CNA was beyond ticked off when she got into trouble. Any advice? Oh and by the way I apologized numerous times to the CNA for her misunderstanding me and causing her to cuss at me. I do not like confrontation, so I tried to smooth it over, even though me reporting kind of made my apology null and void. Help, I'm worried she may do something, what I don't know......
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   Valerie Salva
    Why are you apologizing? You apologized (over and over!) for causing the CNA to cuss at you? Girl, to put it bluntly, you need to grown a back bone.

    Yes the CNA should have terminated immediately. Any other course of action is a failure of mgmt.

    I would quit- that's the only thing I'd do in the situation you describe- or talk to a lawyer and file a suit against your employer for promoting a hostile work environment.
  4. by   ERjodiRN
    i don't think cussing in front of patients is grounds for immediate termination. i think that is quite drastic if it's a first offense. people are going to get angry, for whatever reasons....and will do things like that. they should be warned and told to learn how to control their emotions, and if it happens again sure, maybe terminate. if repeated offenses, by all means. but just once? totally drastic. i'm sorry that this experience has made work so difficult for you, but you should try to grow a bit thicker skin. you could be the nicest person and still be one someone's SH&* list.
  5. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Quote from kstec
    If a CNA cusses at you (the nurse) in front of two residents, do you think that is ground for immediate termination?
    Not for a first offense. That doesn't mean she should get away with it; I would have written her up and sent her home. If it's not a first offense, she should be terminated.

    Am I wrong to think this is ground for immediate termination and am I wrong to be in fear of retaliation, because this CNA was beyond ticked off when she got into trouble. Any advice? Oh and by the way I apologized numerous times to the CNA for her misunderstanding me and causing her to cuss at me. I do not like confrontation, so I tried to smooth it over, even though me reporting kind of made my apology null and void. Help, I'm worried she may do something, what I don't know......
    She should be apologizing to you, not the other way around. Did the DON do anything? Are the aide and your DON friends? Since your DON is letting this slide, I wouldn't be surprised if aide tried to retaliate. I would watch my back, document everything, and start job-hunting.
  6. by   rngolfer53
    What you describe should result in immediate firing, but probably won't today. At the least, an unpaid suspension should be imposed. It's bad enough to cuss in a private situation, but doing so in front of Pts brings in another level of disruption to the workplace.

    And this is the home of the residents, so perhaps they should have a voice as well.

    As a society we have changed to accept more disruptive, abusive and selfish conduct than 30 or 40 years ago. Not just from employees, but customers, kids to teachers, etc. We accept all kinds of excuses--stress, grief, lousy home life, etc--for what is nothing more than childish behavior from adults. Well, purported adults, anyway.
  7. by   caliotter3
    If the DON allows this to slide, then it will occur again somewhere down the line. You can bet your next paycheck that several people will be interested in the outcome. You can't count on backup from your management. Your authority has been compromised. While I wouldn't resign tomorrow; if I were you, I would look for alternate employment and plan a move out of that facility.
  8. by   BradleyRN
    You should never apologize to a CNA for making her mad enough to curse you in front of patients. You didnt "make" her do anything, but somewhat substantiated her anger by apologizing. Be firm, and refuse to work with this pathetic CNA ever again! Patients in LTC are frightened enough without having wild, cursing CNA's who have so little respect for their job and the residents, that they could act so unprofessionally in front of them. I would have written her up immediately for insubordination, and likely sent her home that instant. If you are going to work in this atmosphere, then you are going to have to be a responsible charge nurse whether it is scary or not, because if you are intimidated, imagine how the poor, defenseless elderly people feel that are subject to such behavior!
    Last edit by BradleyRN on Mar 13, '09
  9. by   ANH_RN
    At the very least she should have been reprimanded for unprofessional display of behavior, perhaps written up or whatever. I work with someone that is constantly (CONSTANTLY) talking down to people, even the nurse manager. I have gone as far as to contemplate writing an anonymous letter. No one should have to work in this environment. Nursing is hard enough let alone having to deal with hateful people that show no respect for each other.
  10. by   lpnflorida
    It is wrong of the CNA to curse at you no matter the circumstances , no matter what you did or did not ask of her. I am appalled at the number of times I witness nursing personnel acting unprofessional. We all get mad at times, it does not give us license to vent inappropriately. For that matter I am equally appalled when I hear staff say NO, I won't do that . Either times have changed or we have a generation who were not taught what insubordination is.

    My response to any request by my co-workers is " I would be happy to do that." If I am truly busy and unable to fullfil request at that moment . I then tell them what estimated time frame I can do it in. It does not matter who is doing the asking an RN, a fellow LPN or a CNA. If a co-worker needs something I will help.
  11. by   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.
  12. by   Vito Andolini
    No, not grounds for immediate termination, IMO.

    If you feel unsafe and if she has threatened your life or limb or other damage, like to your car or family, do a police report. Such a threat could be deemed disturbing the peace, making terrorist threats, or assault.

    Without knowing the whole story, it's hard to say who should be apologizing to whom but you say you apologized repeatedly. Did she not acknowledge or accept your apology? Did she not say she was also sorry for blowing up? No big surprise if she didn't. Typical.

    This type of behavior happens all too frequently in the Nursing field.

    You need to understand that you and she are coming from 2 different views of life and 2 different approaches to life. She seems to have learned that fighting is best, not calm discussion, and that nurses do not deserve respect or deference, that nurses are just team members like she is a team member (not team leaders or the ones with the most liability).

    Maybe she is overly tired, maybe she is not feeling well (pregnant, PMS or menses, other medical condition, whatever), maybe she's got sick kids and parents, a violent man in her life, too many bills, or whatever. You can feel somewhat sorry for her but she should not be bringing her troubles to work and taking it out on you or anyone else. I'm sure you and everyone else has troubles, too.

    Watch your back. At the very next opportunity and at every opportunity, write up her rude behavior, her cruelty to patients, whatever you catch her doing or saying amiss. Maybe you won't catch anything but you might. Report every instance.

    Pray for peace but be prepared for otherwise. Leave or ask to transfer or change shifts if you have to.

    I applaud you for reporting her. Most nurses look the other way and that is how these bad apples thrive. Of course, most managers look the other way, too, which pretty much cuts the legs off of the nurses.
  13. by   Vito Andolini
    Quote from BradleyRN
    You should never apologize to a CNA for making her mad enough to curse you in front of patients. You didnt "make" her do anything, but somewhat substantiated her anger by apologizing. Be firm, and refuse to work with this pathetic CNA ever again! Patients in LTC are frightened enough without having wild, cursing CNA's who have so little respect for their job and the residents, that they could act so umprofessionally in front of them. I would have written her up immediately for insubordination, and likely sent her home that instant. If you are going to work in this atmosphere, then you are going to have to be a responsible charge nurse whether it is scary or not, because if you are intimidated, imagine how the poor, defenseless elderly people feel that are subject to such behavior!
    If she did this behavior around the residents, you can report her to the facility licensing agency, to the elder abuse people, and to the committee that excludes abusive people from working with the elderly or children. Maybe you can do this anonymously. And report your incompetent manager as well for taking no action after this gal abused the residents. Play hardball. :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
  14. by   chevyv
    She disrespected you in a very inappropriate place, where people live and you both just happen to work. It is unacceptable! No question about it. I would have to see the facilities policy, but I would fire her if policy allowed.

    I worked as a cna for many years. I would never ever think of cussing out a nurse especially in front of residents. I wouldn't cuss anyone out. Poor anger management. Sounds like that cna may be ticking away and could blow at anytime.

    I wouldn't be working with her either. She had better not be in any hall where I'm working. If she says anything to you that makes you feel threatened, do not take the bait, but get a restraining order pronto!

    I hope you can find a better job that respects your safety!

    Oh, don't feel the need to apologize over and over for a misunderstanding. Sounds ridiculous and like this person is trying to empower themselves using others. Very negative and sad. I wish you the best.

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