Has anyone ever refused an assignment?

  1. If you have ever refused an assignment, would you please relate what the circumstances were and what happened to you (repercussions) for refusing the assignment.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Nancy1
    I have never refused an assignment, but I will tell you that at my LTC facility if someone walks off (refuses an assignment) I would ask are you refusing to do as you are asked? And are you aware that you could lose your job?
    I hope that my staff can work together so one person does not feel that refusing is his/her only option.
    I would like to think that the team members could work it out.
    Hope that helps.
    NA
  4. by   Palpitations
    Originally posted by Nancy1:
    I have never refused an assignment, but I will tell you that at my LTC facility if someone walks off (refuses an assignment) I would ask are you refusing to do as you are asked? And are you aware that you could lose your job?
    I hope that my staff can work together so one person does not feel that refusing is his/her only option.
    I would like to think that the team members could work it out.
    Hope that helps.
    NA

    Interesting, you would tell them that they could be fired, but you would not tell them that they could lose their license for accepting an assignment that was beyond their scope of duties? That's rough!
  5. by   mcrow
    I have never actually refused an assignment, but at a legal inservice we were told a nurse could refuse an assignment if it was considered beyond their scope of practice or if the assignment was considered a danger to the nurse themselves. That could include a whole lot.
  6. by   Palpitations
    I've read that a supervisor/manager could be held accountable for delegating duties to a person that was not qualified to do the job.
  7. by   CANRN
    YES! I have refused an assignment and I did NOT get fired and I did NOT get a reprimand. The situation was 'personal' in nature. A man was admitted to the surgical floor I worked on. Prior to his admission, I had a very negative experience with this person at another facility I worked at. He was abusive and hostile to a patient of mine (he was her 'significant' other) and I was forced to call the sheriff to have him removed. He not only threatened bodily harm to my patient but to me as well.
    During report when I heard his name, I REFUSED To take him, not because it was beyond my scope of practice, but because my personal feelings got in the way and I could not objectively give this man the proper treatment he deserved. When I explained the situation, he was assigned to someone else, and for the eight days he was in our hospital, I never set foot in his room! I would have rather eaten nails than care for that creep! Sick or not!

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited April 24, 2000).]
  8. by   Blue11RN
    YES I have refused an assignment. When I was working as an LPN I got floated to a Medical floor. Of course I got dumped on with the most and hardest patients. ( A hold other topic there!!) I walked into the first patients room who had a CVP line, bleeding out and about to code. I said " You want me to do what with this patient??" It was over my head and not the type of patient for me. So, I said no way and you get the nursing supervisor here now!! I did not get in trouble for it either. Besides, he coded 15 minutes later a died in ICU. Oh yeah, that would have been fair. Don't be afraid to stick up for yourself.
  9. by   NurseRachet
    It depends on the assignment. At our hospital, a nurse can refuse an assignement if they have had a major conflict with the patient (patient hit them, spit on them, etc.), they feel incompetent to care for the patient clinically (Ped nurse floating to ICU and given a patient on a vent), but, they cannot refuse to float to an area they are competent in, if they are requested by the house supervisor to do so. They cannot refuse going based on RN versus LPN. The house supervisor determines what level of nurse floats, if the need arises. We have these policies and procedures in place. We rarely have a problem with this process at our hospital. Good luck
  10. by   ratchit
    I have also refused an assignment. I was about 6 months out of school working Med/Surg. I volunteered to float to ICU to be a "pair of hands", it was clearly understood I would not have an assignment. I get there and the doc starts telling me about this patient who drank rubbing alcohol. Fresh admit, seized and crashed in rehab. I thought "cool, some background info, sounds like they actually need me as a sitter for suicide precautions." Then the "your goals for the night are...." stuff started. I put a stop to that! We paged the house superviser who yelled at me on the phone while everyone in ICU rolled their eyes at me. It was awful and didn't get any better when someone from tele was pulled off their assignment to go to ICU and I went to take their place, over an hour into the shift. But hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. At that time, that patient would not have been safe in my care.

    I got called into the bosses office for that but no official or documented discipline. I quit a couple months later. I worked awfully hard for my license and no supervisor is going to jeopordize it.

    Stick to your guns! What looks good on paper is not always what is good for your patient.
    Ratchit
  11. by   ecb
    I have informed my employer I will not accept a tripple assignment, the position I hold entails taking 2 assignments, a short floor and cover the house, but they have begun adding on the second half of the whole floor (60 residents total) and I have done it 4 times, and so far nothing major has gone wrong, but a lot got missed. I have told them I will not do it, IF somting major happens elsewhere on the facility while I am supposed to be doing something on one of the wings of the floor, I would have to choose between basic care, and the chrisis and peoples FBSs and early am meds would be given significantly later.

    I am not willing to be in that possition again, and have put it in writting
    and my DON is not pleased
    oh well

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    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  12. by   Nancy1
    I admit that telling a nurse that she has to accept an assignment is rough, but as nursing administration it is my job to work out with the staff why the nurse is refusing to do something.
    In the case where the nurse had a previous incident occur with someone, I would expect the staff to work together and exchange a part of the assignment. That is where the TEAMWORK piece fits in.
    Our work is never just black and white. There are so many shades in between that we need to cooperate. Giving the person who floated over to help you should not be given all the heavy duty people, so that he or she is in over his/her head.
    Sometimes management needs to step in and help out, it is a quick fix, not a solution to the problem of why aren't there enough nurses.
    My cousin who is an RN left a hospital position because she felt her license was in jeopardy.
    I make sure that my staff realize that I am accountable for everything that goes on in the course of the day, I have 24 hour accountability, would I leave them in an unsafe situation. No, because I am ultimately responsible.
    Do others in management look at it this way? NA
  13. by   LM
    Originally posted by Palpitations:
    If you have ever refused an assignment, would you please relate what the circumstances were and what happened to you (repercussions) for refusing the assignment.
    I had been working in adult critical care for more than 10 years. I was told one day to float to the pediatric ICU (I had not seen or touched a peds patient since nursing school). I refused the assignment but stated I would float anywhere else where there were adult patients. I was suspended without pay for 3 days (too bad for them--I was suspended over a weekend so they had to find a replacement!).
  14. by   hag
    Yes I did once and I got such a bad reaction from the manager (a recently new manager) that I left 3 weeks later.
    I only refused it because I was afraid my license and my patients' safety were at stake. I would do it again in a heartbeat if the circumstances were the same.

    [This message has been edited by hag (edited April 15, 2000).]

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