I wanted to explain what happened to me... - page 8

Hey everyone... I want to thank everyone for the prayers. I'm sorry I haven't been able to explain why I needed them and what I meant by saying I was in trouble, but I have recovered enough... Read More

  1. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    I really hope I can find another job...

    I appreciate the support, but I DID do something wrong. I made a stupid mistake and I admitted to it (even though I didn't have to since they don't test for Ambien). What makes me feel worse is knowing that there will be residents who expect me to be there and I won't be. That breaks my heart. I have always felt honored to be able to take care of our elderly population. I have learned so much from them, and I have been so happy to know that I am improving their lives. I just hope to find another job where I can make a difference again.

    Wow... how long does a crying jag last before it becomes a nervous breakdown... I can't stop beating myself up over this...
    Maybe you did, but I still don't think it justified them in terminating you outright. I've seen nurses do much worse things than you were fired for with no repercussions at all. I think what makes me so angry about this is that I was fired four weeks ago today from my job, too, and it hurts. I cried for days, and it put my already bad financial situation right smack down in the toilet.

    Just allow yourself to grieve. You've lost something which meant a great deal to you. We all love and care for you. :kiss

    Pam
  2. by   Mulan
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    I forgot to ask, what do I say when I am asked why I left my last job?? I can't say "because I was impaired on duty"...

    Does anyone have any experience with title loans?
    Gee, I dunno, impaired on duty due to self medication, I don't know how to put a positive spin on that one.
  3. by   leslie :-D
    lori,

    are you going to use them as a reference?
    i seriously wouldn't, just in case you were going to, hoping for something neutral.

    try and find others to use as a reference, i.e., doctors, or other staff perhaps?
    i personally would not disclose the real reasons.
    if possible, don't even tell anyone you were fired.
    you do not want to incriminate yourself or have anyone judge you.
    i'm sure you'll be able to think of a legitimate reason for 'quitting'.
    who gives a damn if you're not being completely honest?
    that would be shooting yourself in the foot.
    and you need to protect your honor as well as your livelihood.
    so brainstorm and see who you can come up with.
    if i think of anything genius, i'll pm you.

    leslie
  4. by   Elisheva
    Quote from earle58
    lori,

    are you going to use them as a reference?
    i seriously wouldn't, just in case you were going to, hoping for something neutral.

    try and find others to use as a reference, i.e., doctors, or other staff perhaps?
    i personally would not disclose the real reasons.
    if possible, don't even tell anyone you were fired.
    you do not want to incriminate yourself or have anyone judge you.
    i'm sure you'll be able to think of a legitimate reason for 'quitting'.
    who gives a damn if you're not being completely honest?
    that would be shooting yourself in the foot.
    and you need to protect your honor as well as your livelihood.
    so brainstorm and see who you can come up with.
    if i think of anything genius, i'll pm you.

    leslie
    Even if she doesn't use them for a reference, she's going to have to list her last few places of employment. I don't think you can leave that out.

    This is exactly why I would have hired a lawyer. I know that money is an issue but this is your career and your ability to make future monies. I would have him demand a full accounting of the facilities decision making process, all their paperwork, notes, how they have handled other employees in the same similar cirumstances. THEN I could tell potential future employers that I was terminated but that the legitimacy of my termination was under review by my attorney. While no employer may want to hear that, it's still more positive than being let go for being under the influence of a drug while on duty.
  5. by   amygooch
    If they do a background check on her, (and they most likely will, since she will have access to meds), then her employment history will show up! It actually shows up on credit bureau reports! So, she pretty well is going to have to use them.

    But, before she decides what to put down as her reason for leaving, she needs to find out what her former employer is going to say. (Yes, I know it is illegal to give anything but the dates of employment, but you would be astonished at how often people say more!!) So, the only way Lori will find this out is to have a friend call and pretend to be a potential employer and question the former employer. Have the friend ask the Formeremployer why Lori left and see what they say. Then, when Lori finds out, she can tell us, and we can think of how to put the right spin in it. With all of the educated minds here and so many caring folk, we will come up with something!!!!

    By the way, Lori, when you have the friend call, you can also have your friend use 3 way calling so that you can hear EXACTLY what they say about you. You can even record it. (Radio Shack has recording devices that attach to phones.) I would record it so if they say more than what is legally allowed, you can sue if you wish, or at the very least, call back and play it for them and scare the living daylights out of them by threatening a lawsuit if they dont give you a written letter of recomendation and adequate severence pay!!! Just a thought!!
    Quote from earle58
    lori,

    are you going to use them as a reference?
    i seriously wouldn't, just in case you were going to, hoping for something neutral.

    try and find others to use as a reference, i.e., doctors, or other staff perhaps?
    i personally would not disclose the real reasons.
    if possible, don't even tell anyone you were fired.
    you do not want to incriminate yourself or have anyone judge you.
    i'm sure you'll be able to think of a legitimate reason for 'quitting'.
    who gives a damn if you're not being completely honest?
    that would be shooting yourself in the foot.
    and you need to protect your honor as well as your livelihood.
    so brainstorm and see who you can come up with.
    if i think of anything genius, i'll pm you.

    leslie
    Last edit by amygooch on Sep 23, '06
  6. by   rach_nc_03
    I think your response to the 'why did you leave?' question will need to be tailored to the interview at hand. also, when I worked in staff development, I was allowed to disclose (if asked) whether or not the employee was deemed eligible for rehire. do you know who would be verifying your employment if a prospective employer calls this place? if it's your DON, you may need to go into a bit of detail in the interview, as she's obviously not going to have your best interests in mind if someone calls her- she could imply a lot just with the tone of voice she uses to say whether you worked there or not. I will, however, make a suggestion that some may disagree with....

    I would leave out the part about the ambien. here's my reasoning: the rest of the situation, when you explain it, will clearly show that your employer was completely unjust in firing you. Personally, I think that if you hadn't told them about the ambien, nothing would have been different, except they wouldn't have threatened to report you to the BON. It looks like they wanted to screw you over, period. But if you *do* mention the ambien, even the most reasonable person interviewing you is going to have a sliver of doubt about your explanation. that sucks, but i believe it would happen. and I'm pretty sure that no former employer, in our litigious society, would volunteer the entire scenario if called for employment verification. the bottom line is that you didn't do anything unsafe, anyway- you just got accused of looking like you were impaired. you could've just as easily taken benadryl, for instance, which zonks my husband out more than 3 beers- and, like ambien, it's not something that would show on a pee test.

    it's a crappy thing that nursing is this way- reading what people have said about not taking prescribed narcotics for legitimate medical reasons- even off-shift- because of the fear of negative repercussions- it absolutely infuriates me. that's a tangent, though....

    anyway, back to my original thought. you'll probably know, while you're interviewing, how you think the interviewer will react to your story. maybe the more conservative approach could be something like, 'there was an issue that arose between management and myself that could not be resolved, and I was asked to leave'. I guess I would refrain from telling the whole story to everyone you interview with- especially for jobs you don't think will be a good fit- because it's always possible that gossip could sabotage your next interview.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this, lori. you seem like an incredibly caring person, and it galls me that someone would be this cruel to you.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Elisheva
    Even if she doesn't use them for a reference, she's going to have to list her last few places of employment. I don't think you can leave that out.

    This is exactly why I would have hired a lawyer. I know that money is an issue but this is your career and your ability to make future monies. I would have him demand a full accounting of the facilities decision making process, all their paperwork, notes, how they have handled other employees in the same similar cirumstances. THEN I could tell potential future employers that I was terminated but that the legitimacy of my termination was under review by my attorney. While no employer may want to hear that, it's still more positive than being let go for being under the influence of a drug while on duty.
    i'm not saying she shouldn't list this facility on an application.
    but when it asks if they can contact this employer, she should check "no" for her supervisors, but possibly provide other names that know her work.
    i personally would try and skirt around the issue.

    if possible, it would be ideal to consult an atty for wrongful termination, to see if there is even a case.
    or even pay a few hundred dollars to get legal advice from a labor law atty.

    i was wrongfully terminated after working sev'l yrs for a facility, model employment history, but i had a strong case involving whistleblowing.
    my atty required a small retainer fee and did the rest on contingency.
    just a few prospective employers i shared it with, still perceived me as a potential problem employee, in spite of a favorable outcome.

    i don't know.
    lori, do you have a copy of your employee manual?
    if so, go through it, see if there's anything that remotely applies to your situation and see if it was mishandled by tptb.
    from what you have shared, there doesn't appear to be anything so black and white where an absolulte right or wrong verdict could result.
    there was nothing intentionally malicious in your actions.
    there was no pt harm.
    it was a genuinely honest mistake.
    only an employment lawyer could answer the legalities.

    just think it through thoroughly and carefully.

    leslie
  8. by   Charity
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    I ended up being with her all day and getting home around 9pm. I had to be at work at 11, so I decided not to sleep since it would make me more groggy to get less than an hour of sleep than it would if I just stayed up. Despite my best efforts, I fell asleep around 9:30 and when my alarm went off at 10 I was in bad shape- disoriented and nauseous.... but I got ready and went to work. I felt weird- sort of detached and sluggish but I figured it was because of lack of sleep. I'd gone without sleep before so I thought I'd be fine.
    From an AORN position statement on Safe Work/On-Call Practices:
    It has been reported that 17 hours without sleep can adversely affect performance to the equivalent of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%.1 At 24 hours without sleep, performance degradation is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%.7 Definitions of intoxication are set by individual states and range from 0.08% to 0.10% blood alcohol concentration. Current research identifies a relationship between preexisting fatigue, total number of hours worked, task intensity, and extended work periods, which exacerbate fatigue and increase the potential for error.
    Lori, You should not have been fired. You should have been sent home to sleep. You were working while impaired...from lack of sleep. The Ambien episode was not your mistake. It was a predictable consequence...a med error. The mistake was in not calling in.

    You are obviously a dedicated nurse, and I have no doubt that you will be led to a place that needs your devotion and skills.
  9. by   busyernurse
    Hey, Lori -- I just got in and logged in, hoping for some good news for you. I am SO sorry to hear how your meeting turned out. I was saddened to see that your director wasn't any more understanding than mine was. As I said yesterday, please know that everyone has you in their prayers. I know that this is probably the worse possible news you could have gotten, with the exception of getting reported to BON.

    Please know that I don't feel as though you did anything wrong, with the possible exception of caring enough about your job, co workers and residents that you didn't call in sick that shift. You would think that a director woulf at least talk with you when she got there, to maybe find out what was up, like your grandmother being ill. I know we aren't supposed to bring "home problems to work, ect, but someone like you that one can tell just by her posts would go the extra mile for both her residents and her family.

    And as with my situation, my husband and I get that "oh, crap" feeling each time we check thje mail, since the powers that be threatened to report me to the BON, even with UDS coming back clean. I cried so many tears when it happened to me that I thought I would dehydrate. The facility I was working for was also the facility where my husband works as a nsg supervisor, and has worked with these same people that did that to me for 15 years. I was worried that they would consider him"guilty by association."

    Good luck with the job hunting, and keep your head held high. If I can help, or you need to vent, PM me. All the other posts have good ideas about job hunying, and how many details to divulge. We have you in our prayers. Remember to take some time for you, even if it isn't long. Any facility will be blessed to hire you!
  10. by   CritterLover
    [quote=rach_nc_03]i would leave out the part about the ambien. here's my reasoning: the rest of the situation, when you explain it, will clearly show that your employer was completely unjust in firing you. personally, i think that if you hadn't told them about the ambien, nothing would have been different, except they wouldn't have threatened to report you to the bon. it looks like they wanted to screw you over, period. but if you *do* mention the ambien, even the most reasonable person interviewing you is going to have a sliver of doubt about your explanation. that sucks, but i believe it would happen. and i'm pretty sure that no former employer, in our litigious society, would volunteer the entire scenario if called for employment verification. the bottom line is that you didn't do anything unsafe, anyway- you just got accused of looking like you were impaired. you could've just as easily taken benadryl, for instance, which zonks my husband out more than 3 beers- and, like ambien, it's not something that would show on a pee test.
    quote]





    [font="comic sans ms"]i agree, though maybe for a slightly different reason.

    if i remember correctly, you arn't sure that you had taken the ambien, correct? you didn't discover that you may have taken ambien until the next day.

    it wouldn't be dishonest to leave out the part about the ambien, since you arn't sure that you actually took it. it is quite possible that you were just exhausted and emotionally drained from all that had gone on that day, rather than being chemically impaired.

    by the way, ambien can show up on a drug screen. it has to be specifically requseted, but it can be tested for with a urine screen.

    good luck.
  11. by   weetziebat
    {{{{{{{Lori}}}}}}} I'm soo sorry to hear how the meeting went today. Although I realize you loved your job, I'm actually glad you are out of that place. We all know that when a 'power happy' manager has it in for us, we may as well just turn around and leave, cause in 'at will' states, you'll be leaving anyway.

    The fact that you are an excellent, caring, loving nurse shines through your posts. And the mistake you innocently made should have been handled by a co-worker coming up to you and asking if you were feeling O.K. - not the way it was handled at all.

    Do take the week-end to cry, hide under the covers and feel miserable. Then, hold your head up high and go out to Monday's interview and shine. Anyone looking for a good nurse will grab you up in an instant! Good luck and take care. We're all rooting for you.
  12. by   amygooch
    Dear Lori,

    I am sorry I am so late joining this thread. I just discovered it today. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. It breaks my heart that you are having to go thru this. But, please dont be embarrassed or ashamed for being fired. I have been fired many times. I was fired from one place 3 differant times. Yup! That is right! 3 times just from 1 place!! I think that is a record! (It was before I was in nursing...I sold cars, but I was really bad at it, so they kept firing me. But, I what can I say? I am alot of fun to be around so they missed me and kept hiring me back!!! LOL! But, they kept telling me, YOU GOTTA find another occupation! You stink at this!!! You know we only hired you back b/c we like you!!)

    I was also fired from 1 job in nursing b/c my supervisor did NOT like me. So, I know the hurt, shame and embarrassment you are feeling. Let's deal with that first! What helped me more than any kind words of friends, was KNOWING that my coworkers knew my side of things and heard it from me. Whether they believed me or not, was up to them, but I was going to be damned if I didnt at least make them hear my side!! So, since I felt to awkward going in there, or even calling, I wrote each one a letter and told them that I felt I needed to explain, and needed that for closure for myself. I told them that I didnt expect or need for them to respond, but I just needed to know that I got my side heard. Then, I wrote it all out to each of them and mailed it. It was cathartic for me. Others may disagree, or think this is crazy, but I needed to do that. And you know what? Every single person called me and offered me words of hope and encouragement and some offered me references!! I personally got more from that than I could have gotten from years of therapy! But, maybe that is just me!

    The important thing is for you to deal with this in your own way. My way worked for me, but it might not be right for you. Do what feels right for you.

    Moving on, I know that your finances are extremely tight right now. Lord knows I have been there too! Here is some practical advice on dealing with this. First of all, you should absoltutely file for unemployment! I have no doubt you will get it, and I dont even think you will have to fight for it!

    Secondly, you need to call the Administrator, and explain what happened and tell them that you have an outstanding record there and you made one mistake, and you feel it would only be fair to give you severence pay. Ask for a months pay. If they say no, ask for 2 weeks pay. Ask for any unpaid vacation and sick days you acrued to be paid. All they can say is no, and if they do, you are no worse off then you are now. But, they might say yes! (It wouldnt hurt to remember, that you worked there for a LONG time and saw lots of things that the state board and patients families might not be real happy about! If necessary, I would remind him/her of this.

    While your at it, why not ask for a letter of recomendation? After all, you DO have a great record, and you ARE a good nurse! It would not hurt them to write something on your behalf saying so, and I wouldnt be surpised at all if they agree to, inspite of everything. Besides, once again, if they say no, you havent lost anything by asking!!

    After completing the above, call the minister of your church and explain your situation. Ask the church to help you. If you do not attend anywhere, and you have family members who do, have them call their churches, and ask for help for help. You will be helped! My father is a minister, and our church helps people in these situations quite frequently. It is all confindential, and usually they will offer to pay several bills, or the rent, or both, or give you a check for a certain amount. But you will be helped. There is no need to be embarrassed to ask! This is what it is for!!! No one minds helping someone like you! We mind helping deadbeat, welfare moms who wont work and stay home making baby after baby! We mind helping the lazy, the drunks, and all of those. ( But, I digress!) NO ONE minds helping YOU! Everyone WANTS to help you!!

    If you do not get enough this way to pay your bills, ask your family for help. If they have it, they will help you. But, you must pay it back as quickly as you can!!

    If you have a 401K, borrow from it if you need to pay bills the next few months. I know you plan to be employed soon, but do the paperwork now, just in case! (And no, I dont think you will be unemployed for long, but we dont want to take any chances, do we?!!)

    Then, if there are any food pantries in your area, go and get groceries. They dont mind helping you either! That is what these places are for!! USe the resources that you have! IF you feel embarrassed, go to one out of town where no one knows you, but do go!! If you feel guilty, then just promise yourself that you will pay back whatever you use when you start workiing again, plus a little more. And do it!

    Also, dont forget to hint to friends with gardens about how much you LOVE home grown veggies, and would kill for any of their extras. I guarentee you they will load you down with whatever they have. I am a Southerner like you, and I grow a garden, and I can assure you that ALL Southerners who grow gardens are like this!! We are happy to share with friends!

    For more cash now, raise the deducables on your home owners and auto insurance. (You can always lower them again after you are employed again!) Then ask your ins agent, to refund you the differance in the overpayment for the last few months you have paid, if you paid 3-6m at a time)

    If you have a car pmt, call the bank, and explain dire necessity to them and ask to be able to pay interest only for the next month or two. (If you have good credit, most will happily oblige you for 1 month at least, and possibly 2).

    Cancel the cable or satellite if you dont have a contract with them. I know this one is HARD to do, but times are hard and this is money you need!! To compensate for the missing channels, go to the public library and rent movies there. You can rent 10 at a time at most. So can your husband and kids! (If they arent with you, you can do it for them if you take their library cards!) So with a family of 4, that means you can rent 40 movies a week!! That ought to give you plenty to watch!! But, if there are still certain shows you HAVE to see, then ask a friend to tape it for you! If there is a movie you want to see that your library doesnt have, it can borrow it from another library. All for free!!

    Ready for your next assignment yet?? Go to the area beauty shops and ask if you can have the magazines they plan to throw away when the new months arrive. Most will give them gladly, as they are pretty heavy in the trash. Then, enjoy reading them yourself while you lick your wounds. When you are reading to join the world again, take these mags to a care facility you hope to work in, and give them to the residents to enjoy. There are several reasons to do this: 1) It will give you free reading material. 2) It will give the residents free reading material. 3) You will be very noticable carrying a HUGE stack of mags into a nursing home, giving them away. Someone from the staff is sure to talk to you, which will get you talking about how you love old people and miss them, since you used to see them all the time where you used to work, etc. Then they will tell you how short staffed they are and how you should apply there.... blah, blah, blah!!! Then you have someone there who is SURE to tell someone how nice you are and how you brought the residents all those mags, etc!!! Doubt this will work? I got a job this very way!!

    Round up all the clothes that you have that are nice, but no longer fit, and take them to a consignment shop. This will bring in some more extra money while money is tight!

    For prescription meds you take regularly (like anti-depressants, birth control pills or whatever applies to you), ask your Dr for free samples. This one should be obvious to most of us here, but sometimes the obvious gets overlooked!

    If an unexpected expense comes up that you have to have, such as a plumber for a clogged pipe or a car repair, try to seek out an independant business instead of a chain. This way you can negotiate the price instead of paying list. Also, you may be able to barter services by doing a trade out. For example, you might see if they have an elderly parent that you could sit with for X number of hours following surgery or hospitlization. Most people would kill to have an experianced nurse watch over a family member in a time of need. If he cant use your services in your chosen field, perhaps he would be willing to fix your car in exchange for your cleaning his house? OR, Maybe you could set up a website for him in exchanbe for the repair? The point is to think outside the box and be creative! Dont forget you have many skills!!

    You are fortunate that this is one of the cheapest months of the year for the electric bill, since most people dont run the A/C or the heat in Sept or the Oct. However, on those cool nights, use the electric blanket instead of turning on the heat. It will save several dollars on your bill!!

    The biggest electricity waster is the hot water heater. Put a timer on it for 30 min before the 1st person gets up, and for it to quit heating at whatever time the last person goes to bed. No need to pay for it to heat all night when no one will be using it!! This will save 30% on the cost of running it, which will translate to a huge chunk on your bill!!

    Also, make use of the crock pot instead of the stove. Why? 1) It costs about 2% of what a stove does to operate. 2) It is quick and easy...you can put in meats frozen, and have them cooked by dinner! 3) They make great Soups/Stews. These are some of the least expensive meals, and also some of the healthiest. 4) You can put it on in the am, go job hunting, and come home to a hot dinner, which will make you less likely to order a pizza just b/c you are tired!

    To save more on the electric bill, line dry clothes instead of tossing in the dryer. Dont have a clothes line? Layer shower curtain rods over your tub. For example, mine has the outside rod, (which holds the decorative shower curtain.) Then, behind that, is the rod that holds the shower curtain liner. Then, behind THAT, there is another rod. This one is used to hang towels that have been used to dry off after showers. (Each family member has a different color so, they dont get confused, and the towels get washed once a week.) This saves on water, detergent, wear and tear on the towels (incl. shrinking) and the irritation of seeing towels everywhere, not to mention the labor of the laundry!! But best of all, it is all hidden behind the shower curtain!! I also use this rod to drip dry undies, stockings, lingerie, etc. But, then I have ANOTHER rod behind that one. (This makes 4 rods, for anyone who is still following this!) The last rod is used to hang clothes to dry when it is too cold or rainy to use the clothesline, and also for things that cant be dried in the dryer (such as comforters that are too big!). By the way, in case you are wondering, those mini "hair claw" things are what I use as "clothes pins" for the shower rods.

    We have 3 bathrooms, and I have this same set up in 2 of them. It is quite handy!! (The other bath has a garden, whirlpool tub, so I couldnt do it in there )

    I have TONS more, but I dont want to overload you (or anyone else here.) If you want to hear any more, let me know, and I will post them or pm them to you. I just want to help. I really do.

    I am not saying that all of these tips are for you. Or that any of this advice is for you. I just hope that some of it helps somehow. I have told you all of this b/c I know what it is like to be worried about money, and as upset as you are about being fired, I am sure the money is a hugs stresser. That is why I wanted to focus on telling you the tips that got me thru.

    I am sure many of you think I am crazy to go to some of these frugal extremes, but I actually honest to goodness dont mind them now! I thought I would DIE when I had to cancel the satellite, but you know what? We actually have become closer as a family and as a couple, since we dont have it! We still have the library videos when we want to zone out, but once I got employed again, I didnt miss this enough to add it back! (Which was HUGE for me!!!) It is funny, but I actually ENJOY trying to save money now!

    I hope some of my tips have helped you. (As you can see, I am worried about you.! :icon_hug: I wish I lived nearby so I could come over with chocolate, Margarita mix, a massusse, and good comedy to cheer you up!) But, unfortunately my cyber hugs will have to do! But please pm me anytime if I can help!

    Lots of hugs,
    Amy Gooch
    Last edit by amygooch on Sep 23, '06 : Reason: spelling
  13. by   amygooch
    Quote from weetziebat
    {{{{{{{Lori}}}}}}} I'm soo sorry to hear how the meeting went today. Although I realize you loved your job, I'm actually glad you are out of that place. We all know that when a 'power happy' manager has it in for us, we may as well just turn around and leave, cause in 'at will' states, you'll be leaving anyway.

    The fact that you are an excellent, caring, loving nurse shines through your posts. And the mistake you innocently made should have been handled by a co-worker coming up to you and asking if you were feeling O.K. - not the way it was handled at all.

    Do take the week-end to cry, hide under the covers and feel miserable. Then, hold your head up high and go out to Monday's interview and shine. Anyone looking for a good nurse will grab you up in an instant! Good luck and take care. We're all rooting for you.
    :yeahthat:

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