Hey, Managers! What's up with the "weeding out" of good nurses? - page 3

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   rehab nurse
    Quote from SadAngryNurse
    I am experiencing the same problem at work right now. It has gotten me so paranoid and afraid that I even got a new username to even reply to this thread.

    I have been with this hospital for almost 2 years. I was working PRN for a while and was asked by the DON to come back to work Full Time. She really believed that I was a great nurse, did an excelent job, and really wanted me to be there full time again. I was working PRN at a different job at the time and she got HR to almost match my PRN pay so that I would be able to come back to work. I also had to have 1 specific day a week off and was told that would be no problem. (We work 12's so I only have to work 3 days/week. 1 day off leaves 6 days to pick from). Shortly after that the DON left and a new DON was brought in. Then the trouble began.

    Here is pretty much what was said and what has happened:

    "I have read each and every one of your personel files before I ever came. If your old DON gave you a good review, I know that you are really only average, because my standarts are higher."

    "I want to let each and every one of you know that you can be replaced. I have lots of nurses applying and just waiting to come and take your place."

    "Any agreement you had with your old DON is meaningless. There is nothing on paper, so I can make you work whatever I want to."

    When I informed her that I need to have my 1 specific day off. "You will work whatever we schedule you. THIS is your full time job." We basically have to be avaliable 7 days a week to work.

    Lots of Bogus write ups. People written up for "x # of patients have complained about this." or "x # of coworkers have complained about this." No paper record of any kind about the complaint. But a paper trail in your file for when they want to fire you.

    On my shift of about 30 people that worked before the DON there is only about 10 people left that worked there 3 months ago.

    The new competent nurses that are just waiting to take our jobs are brand new grads with no experience, nurses from other areas with no hospital experience. Some of them are eager to learn and are quick to pick up. Others have been told over and over again how to not make the same mistake, and get angry and defensive when you try to correct them.

    If you mention any complaints or concerns to management than there is another piece added to your personel-file paper trail regarding your 'Bad Additude and unwillingness to work with others.'

    Experienced competent nurses are send home when the census is low, but the cheaper nurses who have only worked there 1 month are allowed to stay.

    People get written up for calling in twice due to family being sick, but they have no problem canceling your shift 1/2 the time. Not showing up for work is ok if it benefits the company.

    Nurses who have been there longer are written up for the same things that are going unoticed when the newer nurses make the same mistake.

    Patient care has gone down the drain in this hospital. We have been told that it is perfectely fine for us to take care of 7-8 patients by ourselfes with one tech for a total of 32 patients, because thats how they do it at x hospital.

    Policies are randomly replaced, often on a whim by management.

    Substandart equipment is being rented, because it saves the company money.

    And the person that suffers the most is the patient.

    I am pretty sure I cannot put up with this much longer.

    The "nursing shortage" is a direct result of nurses being driven away from the bedside not because of having to deal with patients, but having to deal with management.
    SadAngry,

    Are you one of my coworkers?! What you just described is my workplace. The new DON is slowly bringing new aides in and new nurses in, all the ones she used to work with. And she's making life so miserable at work, that everyone is planning on leaving, or being shoved ever-so-slightly out the door. I am on medical leave/disability right now, but I still have a couple good friends there that tell me what going on. And i still talk to the docs there. It's really sad how things turned out under the new admin. They lost a lot of really great nurses.
    I hope things get better for you.
  2. by   mydesygn
    I am (was) a nursing manager for a pediatric unit. Most good managers recognize that their units run smoother and patients are safer with experienced staff. I had several highly - paid, long term nurses on my unit which was unique for night shift. The reason is because the facility had a good VP of nursing and the facility valued it's nursing staff (we were paid an additional differential for charge--not practiced at any of the three previous hospitals I worked at).

    In general, nurses are not "pushed" out the door for financial reasons-my guess is that other staff nurses have brought minor complaints to the nurse manager and she choose to take punitive as opposed to balanced action (that is a thread in itself), long term nurses tend not to be guilted or pressured into certain behaiviors where younger staff will so the manager is more likely to see them as more dispensble (ie a nuisance to be gotten rid of), or the manager may have felt threatened by the senior nurses due to their experience and assertiveness.

    I was faced with a similar situation as a staff nurse (worked on a unit with some of the pettiest nurses I have ever known plus a brand new interim manager who lacked in any type of leadership skill). I was called in to be "counseled" for some really minor issues. As difficult as it was, I beleive that it made me a much better manager. I was very focused on "protecting" my staff and ensuring that issues were handled fairly.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from mydesygn

    I was faced with a similar situation as a staff nurse (worked on a unit with some of the pettiest nurses I have ever known plus a brand new interim manager who lacked in any type of leadership skill). I was called in to be "counseled" for some really minor issues. As difficult as it was, I beleive that it made me a much better manager. I was very focused on "protecting" my staff and ensuring that issues were handled fairly.
    Sounds like you worked at the same hospital I did.:yeahthat: It also sounds like your experience made you the same sort of manager it did me. The way I figure it now, that assistant-department manager who made my life hell actually did me a favor........not only was I so miserable that I had no choice but to quit, I carried the lessons I learned to my next job, where I have put them to good use for the benefit of my staff. No way would I EVER put anyone through that. I'm no pushover, but I see absolutely NO need to belittle, dump on, threaten, or throw around serious allegations against a staff member just because I'm on some power trip.
  4. by   grace90
    Do we all work at the same hospital? So much of this stuff sounds familiar.
  5. by   RN Randy
    Angie,

    To kinda steer back to the OP, I was just reading it and the first thought that sprang to my mind was the whole "new grad" issue.

    A passing thought could be the age/generation issue.
    At risk of offending folks [apologize in advance], I am a 39yr old new grad, and I have to say I can think of many an episode during school that left me feeling like I was in kindergarten hades.
    I remember my classmates as well as clinical experiences with new RN's while I was in school, and they all seemed to suffer from that power rush that comes from a sudden realization of "rank". Some nearing the realm of the dreaded RN-itis.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was everyone, but there were enough for it to be obvious.
    Maybe your issue isn't one of management, but one of this new generation of coddled kids? :-) [asbestos undies are on, so have at it!]

    Another thing could just be the witch issue.
    Working RT for years, I met plenty of witches that want to show others that they can make them miserable simply because they want to.
    Some get off on that as their power trip. As a traveler, I noticed the smaller, less acute facilities really suffered from at least one of these personalities.

    Lastly, on the management issue, it seems like lately managers have been near stripped of any real authority, and the whole firing someone thing takes a darn act of congress. This is especially true if said employee really needs to be fired based on poor work performance, personality issues and such.
    I just don't think [due to legal fears I suppose] that it's that simple to fire someone these days. Then again, I could be in a weird place. This is WV and it's a whole other planet sometimes.
    rb
  6. by   bethin
    Quote from Jolie
    I am absolutely certain that what Angie O'Plasty describes does happen, in nursing and every other field under the sun. It sickens me.

    I know of at least 2 people who have been terminated and/or denied advancement in their positions because their families "over-utilized" health care benefits. These family members weren't hypochondriacs, but needed legitimate treatment for serious health conditions. Neither case involved the actual employee, so absence from work wasn't the issue, either.

    There ought to be a special place in he** for those who terminate employment because a family member utilizes the very benefits the employee has EARNED.
    Where's HIPPA? Insurance is a benefit, you get it if you work the hours. I don't see how they can discipline/fire someone over a benefit. That's ridiculous and should be taken to a lawyer.
  7. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from bethin
    Where's HIPPA? Insurance is a benefit, you get it if you work the hours. I don't see how they can discipline/fire someone over a benefit. That's ridiculous and should be taken to a lawyer.

    But that's exactly my point, why this type of behavior makes me so angry. Here we are in one of the most difficult professions possible--and someone is messing with our LIVELIHOOD????

    Because she's in a snit, she's willing to risk the lives of patients to new grads and ruin the reputations of experienced, hardworking nurses?

    Is the manager totally untouchable? Does she not bear some responsibility for the poor care that patients get in a case like this?

    Talk about a lose/lose relationship.

    If we leave, we lose benefits, we take pay cuts, go through all kinds of hassle to get away from situations like this.

    If we don't leave, we wind up getting completely ruined.

    If we fight, we spend a lot of money and lose anyway.

    It just makes me sick to think about it. No wonder so many nurses leave the bedside, because the bedside nurse is frequently the most targeted for this kind of abuse.

    I'm so disappointed in my profession right now, I could cry.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from peachpie
    so... mind if i ask where these experienced nurses go? i'm always hearing about you vets getting chased out of workplaces in favor of cheap labor, but what happens afterwards. uh... am i threadjacking? should i be making a separate thread?
    [font="comic sans ms"]
    i for one moved to the opposite coast.
  9. by   Jolie
    Quote from bethin
    Where's HIPPA? Insurance is a benefit, you get it if you work the hours. I don't see how they can discipline/fire someone over a benefit. That's ridiculous and should be taken to a lawyer.

    They weren't "disciplined" for using their insurance benefits. One was dismissed on the final day of his probationary period with no explanation offered, and one was denied a higher position that had previously been approved. (That employee was even in the process of moving his family to a new city at the employer's request, to accomodate the new job!) Coincidentally, these events coincided with family members receiving serious medical diagnoses which were likely to result in significant insurance expenses. This particular employer self-insures for healthcare, so company officials have access to information regarding insurance utilization. The idea of HIPAA in this situation is a joke!

    The first employee was let go "just in time", on the last day of his probationary period, when the employer was not obligated to explain their action. Had his wife been diagnosed a week or two later, the company would have had to find some "explanation" for his dismissal. How fortunate for the company!

    The second employee had worked there long term, and couldn't be dismissed without cause, but no such protection exists where promotions are concerned. The employer made his life miserable, interrupting a transfer, and leaving him in the less desirable job, no doubt in the hopes that he would get fed up and quit. Didn't happen. His wife recovered. The irony of the situation is that she is experienced in case management, and was able to manage her own care in an incredibly efficient manner, probably saving the company a boatload of money in insurance costs.
  10. by   mydesygn
    Lastly, on the management issue, it seems like lately managers have been near stripped of any real authority, and the whole firing someone thing takes a darn act of congress. This is especially true if said employee really needs to be fired based on poor work performance, personality issues and such.
    I just don't think [due to legal fears I suppose] that it's that simple to fire someone these days. Then again, I could be in a weird place. This is WV and it's a whole other planet


    Oddly enough, I think it is relatively easy to fire someone (a little to easy in fact). I practice in a "at-will" state. What I have seen is good, competent nurses and nursing asst pushed out the door or fired behind staff (not patient) complaints. If the manager has done their job correctly (omitting any obvious firing offenses), the employee will (1) will have had more than ample time to improve, (2) know exactly what needs to be corrected and coached on how, (3) to some extent, they make the choice whether they will improve and stay or choose to resign. I think it is to easy to fire someone. A nursing asst was fired because "performance issues" by the manager. She had been placed on performance improvement plans. I implored her to quit because I knew that there was absolutely nothing she could do to change her situation. She was excellent with the families, had a good attitude, and always willing to help. Her only crime was that the charge nurse and her had a disagreement and since then the charge nurse made it a point of writing incident reports for every minor omission she could find. She was targeted and the manager did not have the appropiate leadership skills to understand how to stop it and refused to see the nursing asst's point of view. Every time she cried foul, she was labeled "disgruntled" or "a poor team player". What a crock!!! You should have to prove continued, serious performance issues before you can be fired. How can someone give 3 years of good service and be fired in less than 3 months after a new manager comes in.
  11. by   TopherSRN
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  12. by   workingforskies
    I hate to say this, but I wonder, would this be anywhere near the issue it is now if our profession was a male dominated profession? Look at it simply froma supply and demand standpoint. With this shortage, WE should be calling the shots. But we don't. We collectively get walked on almost at will. It makes me sad when I think about it from this perspective.

    Getting back to the topic, I notice that not one person in management who has been preassured from above to clear out the old nurses has had the guts to say something in defence of this practice. I guess silence is the ultimate refuge of the soulless coward.

    I always had a different, shoot off my mouth attitude. When our "dear friend" made the leap to management and within 3 months, was licking her former best friends blood off the knife she just stuck in her back, I wanted to slash her tires, stab her in the eye, let her know what a Judas she was. My co-workers would all nod in agreement yet fearfully smile to her face.
  13. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from workingforskies
    When our "dear friend" made the leap to management and within 3 months, was licking her former best friends blood off the knife she just stuck in her back, I wanted to slash her tires, stab her in the eye, let her know what a Judas she was. My co-workers would all nod in agreement yet fearfully smile to her face.

    1. Always remember: Success is the best revenge.

    2. I had someone threaten to mess up my car once. I shot back, "Honey, just take a look at what I'm driving. Isn't that punishment enough??" Made her laugh. I hoped she was jk, as I hope you are too.

    But frankly, it's dangerous to make threats like that because if someone's car does have any problem, guess who's the prime suspect? And our cameras are everywhere these days.

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