Hey, Managers! What's up with the "weeding out" of good nurses? - page 12

Recently there's been a spate of write-ups I've heard about that are basically bogus. Minor infractions that no one else would get written up over. I'm furious. On the surface, it doesn't seem to... Read More

  1. by   obtriagern
    I think that a couple of things are going on with these situations. I had a similar one happen to me, and try to avoid having a victim mentality, but I'm fairly sure that there was some age discrimination involved. I was in a management position on the unit for 11 years. Without any warning, I was removed from my leadership position due to my "lack of leadership ability"....no prior problems and always top evaluations. My replacement has 6 years nursing experience, no management versus my 30 years with 11 in management. Rather than being an economic issue, I think that upper mgmt. wanted someone who was a little less independent and easier to mold. I was offered a staff position, but I think they thought I would leave. I was left at my mgmt salary and have continued to work on the unit, because it is best for me when considering benefits, retirement, wages etc. I now qualify for OT, work 3 twelve hour shifts instead of 50 hrs per week and hold my head high because I didn't do anything wrong. However, I do walk on eggshells everyday and it is difficult to not be shown respect. Initially staff were very supportive, but how soon they forget. The oldest and most senior nurses on are unit are probably treated the worst of anyone on the unit. Very sad.....
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Marla,

    I'd be honored to work with you. Perhaps I already have. Nurses like you are gems and really should be treated as such by ALL of us. It's difficult to find such commitment, integrity, and experience, so I'm truly at a loss to explain what happened to you.

    I see it happening to a few people that I know to be nurses of high caliber, and I have to ask why--my reason for starting this thread.

    A couple have decided, as you have, to turn that negative into a positive by moving on, and are in the process of changing jobs.

    A couple more are trying to stick it out. But it really breaks my heart to hear ANY GOOD, EXPERIENCED nurse say, with tears in her eyes and anguish in her voice, that she comes to work every day expecting that this will be the day that she is fired.

    It just breaks my heart.

    As Tweety said a few posts ago, we nurses who do chart checks and who follow the other nurses really know who are the best nurses on any particular unit, because we're reviewing those charts more frequently than any review committee or manager.

    If someone was written up for a mistake, I am sympathetic, but if they ask me if it was justified, they know they'll get support as long as they realize that most times, a writeup is a wakeup call to make some adjustments in an area where they're weak. If it's taken in that spirit, I feel that most of us could rise to the challenge and improve, given half a chance.

    I have no quibble with the manager who is fair, who is equitable. But if I make a mistake and you write me up for it, don't let SallyB get away with the same exact mistake, because we will see that as favoritism. Because it IS.
    Thank you, Angie. That means more to me than you could know.

    I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't a perfect employee, of course---I didn't go to all the staff meetings, and I WAS a little bit slower than, perhaps, the nurses who were 20 years younger and 100 pounds lighter. But thanks to having gotten sober almost 15 years ago, I have this thing about honesty---especially the kind you develop when you take a cold, hard look at yourself in the light of day---and I'm my own worst critic. But even after searching my soul fearlessly, I couldn't find a reason why that manager had it in for me, so it's been relatively easy to let myself off the hook.

    I have since heard some rumblings from people I used to work with, who never knew the reasons why I left so suddenly. Many of them thought I was fired, and it puzzled them as to why since I had a reputation for being an excellent nurse, and the vast majority of my co-workers liked me. I've never disclosed the real reasons to anyone, however, not only because many of them still work there, but because they have to answer to the same group of folks who made my life so difficult in that last year. The assistant manager was demoted to evening-shift supervisor soon after I left, which I'm not so egotistical as to believe had anything to do with her treatment of me personally (although I do believe in karmic retribution). The department manager, however, was apparently better at playing Martha Stewart and picking out fabrics and carpeting for the remodeling project than actually supervising the staff for whom she was responsible; I've heard that some of our better CNAs and nurses received horrible evaluations this year, and that several have, like me, left long-term positions to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

    Now, what possible good does this do? Trying to cure low morale by making nurses' lives miserable seems like the exact opposite of common sense to me, and I'm absolutely stunned to find out that this practice is so common in health care institutions as to almost be a given. It makes me feel just slightly better in terms of knowing I'm far from the only one who's ever experienced such a thing, but on the other hand I'm horrified, because there is a growing shortage of nurses PLUS a very large population of people who will need their assistance in the coming decades. Why in the name of all that is reasonable are administrators and nurse managers driving nurses AWAY at a time when we're starting to need more of them to take care of us???!!! It's madness, that's what it is........
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I will repeat what I said before in this thread.

    I would not want to be a manager in today's business climate. You just can't seem to win.....between administation pushing almost-impossible and unreasonable policies at you, and very discontented, sometimes abused and/or burnt out employees, you have your hands full. I can't say I envy today's middle manager in any company and/or hospital. Often the pay they do get is woefully poor compensation for the difficulties and pains of the job. Many staff nurses make more than their managers do!

    Soooooo.....No thanks.

    Lest we wonder "where all the good managers have gone"....we might think, just like many NURSES, the answer is: on to greener, more peaceful pastures!


    I totally agree.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    when i pertain to 'those managers', i am using mgrs/administration interchangably.
    i am not talking about mgrs who have been caught in the middle of this slingfest.
    i truly empathize with their position, trying to placate both sides.
    no, i am only talking about those who personally make it their mission to browbeat an unsuspecting and innocent nurse until their final demise.
    i just needed to distinguish between the 2 very different types of mgmt.

    leslie
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from earle58
    when i pertain to 'those managers', i am using mgrs/administration interchangably.
    i am not talking about mgrs who have been caught in the middle of this slingfest.
    i truly empathize with their position, trying to placate both sides.
    no, i am only talking about those who personally make it their mission to browbeat an unsuspecting and innocent nurse until their final demise.
    i just needed to distinguish between the 2 very different types of mgmt.

    leslie

    I do understand that is who you're talking about.

    The question is how do these rotton managers make it to management and get to keep their jobs? The answer is found in Deb's post above. Good conscientious managers who promote their staff and advocate for their staff, and refuse to put their staff through any kind of hell run into such roadblocks that they leave. The leave behind managers with hearts of stone, or at the very least disillusioned. And thus these rotton ones can thrive.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Tweety
    I do understand that is who you're talking about.

    The question is how do these rotton managers make it to management and get to keep their jobs? The answer is found in Deb's post above. Good conscientious managers who promote their staff and advocate for their staff, and refuse to put their staff through any kind of hell run into such roadblocks that they leave. The leave behind managers with hearts of stone, or at the very least disillusioned. And thus these rotton ones can thrive.
    i understand tweety.
    i really do.
    i don't think anyone with an ounce of integrity could remain w/a clear conscience.
    thankfully most people do recognize the evil in these acts.

    leslie
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yes the evil is evident. The question remains:

    who will act upon it?

    Answer is hardly anyone who has a desire to keep his/her head or stay employed. It stinks, but it's the way it is. Healthcare is just big business and the winners are not the nurses, patients or even our managers.
  8. by   crystalcross1
    This also may be the root of the problem. New grad or not they are still treated without respect by older nurses and managers. I think we might want to look a little deeper at the problem. The managers started out on the floor as well.
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I think it would depend on the situation.

    If you are a new grad, mistakes are predictable, and write-ups will happen. A new grad's approach to a counseling or a write-up should be to show a willingness to take responsibility, learn, apologise, and move on.

    In fact, insofar as new grads are concerned, I would just file away this information, but it really cannot apply to you by virtue of the fact that you are too new.

    This thread is really directed to the more experienced nurses, ones who have proven themselves to be of good calibre, and who have worked for years in their specialty without a problem.

    Sorry if you new grads feel that by discussing this topic, you're going to be scared away from nursing--and I hope you please take this in the spirit in which it is intended, because I know it's going to sound pretty harsh--but if all it takes to scare you away from nursing is a thread on an Internet BB by someone you've never met before, well, I have to think that maybe you weren't too committed in the first place.
  9. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from crystalcross1
    This also may be the root of the problem. New grad or not they are still treated without respect by older nurses and managers. I think we might want to look a little deeper at the problem. The managers started out on the floor as well.

    Gee, Crys, I'm not sure I get what you're saying here. I hope my post didn't sound disrespectful to new nurses. Sometimes things don't come across on the Internet the way I want them to. I can only assure you that IRL (in real life), I'm one of the best nurses to be around for the new grads.

    If you're saying that this problem is merely an extension of the "nurses eat their young" thing, then I kinda get it. And again, referring to my post, this is another reason that new grads need to really be committed to nursing.

    I guess what really bugs me, watching all this from the sidelines for as many years as I have:

    It seems to me that a doc has to kill a few people before he's considered dangerous, but all a nurse has to do is tick off the wrong people.
  10. by   nightnurse47
    Just thought I would jump in with my 2 cents... I am another one of those long time nurses being weeded out..I have been in this position in a mid size hospital for 13 years, long time manager retired and new manager from out of state came a year ago...we on night shift did our jobs well and were expected to be autonomous. For the life of me, no matter what I have tried I can't seem to escape the hatchet. I have been disciplined for absenteeism, written up for the same incident (4 days in a 2 month period where I was battling pneumonia) 3 times, when I go to human resources I was blasted by them too, defending "whatever the manager did, it is her call". The new manager interprets the policy differently than anyone else in the hospital, but human resources is backing her up...I am a preceptor and team leader and well respected among my peers. My practice is unimpeachable, so this is where they are going for the "paper trail" and all I can think of is its the $$ 'cause now I am maxed out too. I love my job and my co-workers and now I go to work in tears every day, dreading what will happen next. I just completed an education degree program so now I have a 2 year contract to work out or pay 10,000$. I ask myself every day if it is worth the 10,000$ to quit and pay it back, and I finally decided it was. I now have several very nice job offers on the table that give me back some sense of confidence again, but I think it is such a shame that this is allowed to happen anywhere. I am not the only one targeted here, there are 2 more long timers with good records, so good with the patients. Never thought this actually happened.
  11. by   celeste7767
    God, I am so glad that someone has brought up what I suspected but felt I was being too paranoid to bring up. I have been a RN since 1975. NEVER had a write up. NEVER had a bad eval; NEVER made ANY errors that resulted in an incident report being written up. Early in my career I made the decision to make certain that I would always be marketable by becoming knowledgeable in a variety of areas in nursing.
    My experience with being weeded out was devastating to me emotionally and professionally. I worked for a total of seven years at a prestigious university med. center where I initially worked in their CVICU and was promoted to Clinical Leader; then I cross trained to the ED, the PICU, the Trauma ICU and was working in their Critical Care Resource Pool in 2000 when I got my first write up for not having a current CPR card; I had submitted a copy of my new BCLS care dated March 2, 2000 to my manager the same day I got it but it must have been misplaced because when she obtained a computer listing in August of people who supposedly were not current my name came up. Nevertheless, because SHE DID NOT HAVE A COPY, I WAS WRITTEN UP. After I cleared that up I ASSUMED that the write up was removed; it was not removed but I did not know it until I received a SECOND write up for excessive absenteeism. I had the flu at the begining of October and missed 2 days; I came back for one shift even though I still felt badly because they were extremely short staffed due to the flu. I then suffered a relapse which caused me to miss another day. Because 3 months earlier I had sprained my ankle and was out for that, I was not in compliance with their absenteeism policy and was written up for that. I was told that since that was my SECOND write up in one year, if I received a third for ANY REASON, I COULD or MIGHT be terminated. When I reminded my manager that the first write up was in error, she showed me where it is written on the bottom of the write up forms that an employee has 15 days to contest the validity of a write up and request a review and/or removal of it. Because I didn't do that the write up stayed even though it was inaccurate and erroneous to begin with which made no sense to me whatsoever. I received my third write up which resulted in my immediate termination on November 12,2000; I was caring for a 2 year old in the PICU who had a ventriculostomy tube to drainage and was ventilated and the resident in charge that night refused to change the sedation while the child was thrashing about, obviously extremely uncomfortable and I was fearful of complications in light of his tenuous condition. I used the "B" word regarding this female resident and contacted the attending MD of the unit who changed and added medication to calm and comfort my patient. Apparently the resident overheard my comment, however, and reported me to administration. I was written up for using profanity on the unit (there were NO PARENTS ON THE UNIT AT THE TIME I MADE MY COMMENT, JUST ME AND THE OTHER STAFF.)

    What is interesting is the following:
    1. My manager was not COMPELLED by policy to terminate me; it was her decision in spite of my otherwise unblemished record regarding patient care, etc.

    2. On November 9,2000 I had applied for a "Staff" or "Core Staff" position as an Infusion Nurse and also had submitted one to work in the EGD dept. My Resource Pool position had no benefits; the staff positions I had applied for would have FULL BENEFITS AND BECAUSE I HAD 25 YEARS OF NURSING EXPERIENCE, MY SALARY WOULD NEARLY BE AS MUCH AS I HAD BEEN MAKING IN THE RESOURCE POOL WITHOUT BENEFITS!!!!

    I did not work for 6 weeks after being terminated; I filed a wrongful termination claim to our state Dept of Economic Security to receive unemployment benefits.. I WON MY CASE AND RECEIVED BENEFITS UNTIL I SECURED ANOTHER JOB. THE TRIBUNAL WHO HEARD MY CASE SAID THAT I WAS WRONGFULLY TERMINATED. I could have requested to go back to work at the facility but I just couldn't do it.

    I have not worked since November 29, 2004; I am physically disabled with carpal tunnel syndrome both hands, compression fractures of my vertebrae and suffer constant pain. I receive Social Security Disability and know I will never be able to utilize my nursing skills again but that's OK.

    I LOVED NURSING; I LOVED MY WORK. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE ALIVE TODAY BECAUSE I WAS THERE WHEN THEY NEEDED MY CONSIDERABLE SKILLS AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO DIED COMFORTABLY BECAUSE OF MY COMPASSIONATE CARE AND MY WILLINGNESS TO GO THE EXTRA MILE AND BE A TRUE PATIENT ADVOCATE NO MATTER WHAT.

    It is truly unfortunate that Hospitals particularly are willing to settle for having one or two highly skilled, seasoned nurses on each shift and fill the remainder of the staffing needs with new grads or nurses whose skills are inadequate to meet the needs of their patients. BE CERTAIN THAT I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH NEW NURSES; THANK GOD FOR THEIR ENERGY AND ENTHUSIAM!!!! But ideally, I think that a ratio of 50% experienced nurses to 50% inexperienced is a necessity on any unit. Anything less and the new nurses are overwhelmed and robbed of the opportunity to learn from their more experienced colleagues; furthermore, the experienced nurses may feel more stress due to a moral obligation to assist their new grad coworkers with questions and clinical decisions and still provide competent care to their own patients.

    The solution?? I don't have one and I don't know that there is one. I do want to thank all of the new nurses out there who are taking the places of people like myself who have given all that we can give and now have to bow out of the nursing profession and to all of you who are still out there in the trenches I have two things to say:

    TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE!!!! and SOMETIMES JUST SAY, "NO THANKS, I'M SORRY BUT I JUST CANNOT WORK THAT EXTRA SHIFT".

    Celeste7767
  12. by   celeste7767
    Quote from nightnurse47
    Just thought I would jump in with my 2 cents... I am another one of those long time nurses being weeded out..I have been in this position in a mid size hospital for 13 years, long time manager retired and new manager from out of state came a year ago...we on night shift did our jobs well and were expected to be autonomous. For the life of me, no matter what I have tried I can't seem to escape the hatchet. I have been disciplined for absenteeism, written up for the same incident (4 days in a 2 month period where I was battling pneumonia) 3 times, when I go to human resources I was blasted by them too, defending "whatever the manager did, it is her call". The new manager interprets the policy differently than anyone else in the hospital, but human resources is backing her up...I am a preceptor and team leader and well respected among my peers. My practice is unimpeachable, so this is where they are going for the "paper trail" and all I can think of is its the $$ 'cause now I am maxed out too. I love my job and my co-workers and now I go to work in tears every day, dreading what will happen next. I just completed an education degree program so now I have a 2 year contract to work out or pay 10,000$. I ask myself every day if it is worth the 10,000$ to quit and pay it back, and I finally decided it was. I now have several very nice job offers on the table that give me back some sense of confidence again, but I think it is such a shame that this is allowed to happen anywhere. I am not the only one targeted here, there are 2 more long timers with good records, so good with the patients. Never thought this actually happened.

    To Nightnurse47:

    Good for you!! I am so glad you got out before it got to you! What management is doing so rampantly is not only unethical but indefensible and yet there is no stopping them; , importing foreign nurses who come from countries where they may be accustomed to putting up with anything goes in the workplace I fear will simply make the rest of us a troubling minority and will make it that much easier for hospitals to get rid of us.
    I wish the very best for you as you start working where you will be valued as you should be. Please read my post which I believe is directly below yours.

    Celeste7767
  13. by   crystalcross1
    I apologize Angie. It just really bothers me when I hear about older nurses knocking on new grads. Don't get me wrong I have seen a few newbies that makes me wonder how they made it out of the first semester, yet I've seen older nurses that made me think if they can have a licenses than I know I'll be ok. What I was talking about earlier was how the nursing instructors act the same as nurse managers. They decided who they like and who they don't and God help you if you get on their bad side. I worked in the medical feild for ten years before I went to be a nurse. I told myself I needed a full understanding of what I was getting in to. I knew from the time I was 8 yrs old I was going to be a nurse. I don't think new grads are quite because they let people run all over them. I myself try to be respectfull of a more seasoned nurse because that is what I was taught. I believe the exact words from my instructor to the class was keep you mouth shut and don't rock the boat. Olny second quess if it's going to kill your Pt. They managers are there for a reason and that reason is that they know more than you.
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Gee, Crys, I'm not sure I get what you're saying here. I hope my post didn't sound disrespectful to new nurses. Sometimes things don't come across on the Internet the way I want them to. I can only assure you that IRL (in real life), I'm one of the best nurses to be around for the new grads.

    If you're saying that this problem is merely an extension of the "nurses eat their young" thing, then I kinda get it. And again, referring to my post, this is another reason that new grads need to really be committed to nursing.

    I guess what really bugs me, watching all this from the sidelines for as many years as I have:

    It seems to me that a doc has to kill a few people before he's considered dangerous, but all a nurse has to do is tick off the wrong people.

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