Originally posted by oramar:
Brownie, I do not think this wording will help nurses in many situations. If you have had the assignment for 8 hours and there is no one to replace you how can you leave? Call your supervisor and tell her to take the assignment you say. Well the supervisor is all ready to cover the ER or ICU which is short. What do you do then? This is not a hypothetical question I went though this a couple of times. An assignment with protest sheet is an option but it does not get you out of the building.
First, let me say I'm sorry to hear, that this has happened to you. This is an awful thing to face after working your required 8hrs.
Next, the above wording is not mine, but the BRN is different states. I did not paraphase, I copied it word for word. I feel that the board has address the situation you encountered. This won't be a popular or considered a professional way. It will not get you in good with your employer either, but here it is, right from the BRN.
B. Severed the nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice to the appropriate person (e.g., supervisor, patient) so that arrangements can be made for continuation of nursing care by others.
Now back to my words...if the supervisor can't cover your shift, then your unit's head nurse, or nurse manager needs to come in, or find someone to give you relief.
I once was told I couldn't get ONE break for 10min during my entire 12hr shift!! Only 10 min...and the charge nurse had the nerve to tell me, that He saw me go to the bathroom earlier! So?? I stood up to him, and the supervisor came down to give me a break! She tried to make me feel guilty for asking for a break. I did, but I took it anyway!
I refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of me, when they feel that they can get away with something, just because everyone else allows them to do this! I do my job, provide caring patient care, excellent "customer service", but everyone needs time to regroup.
Many hospitals use the tactic of appealing to, your fear of lost of employment, your fear of losing your license, and your fear of your patients not getting good care, to get you to accept what should be unacceptable, and illegal. The above bill proposed is saying, that this should be illegal to require anyone to stay beyond their shift. It also proposes to address the problem of your being threatened because of your refusal to do so.
Most of my time as a nurse, has been as a single parent, when my children were little, with no relatives within 1,000 miles of us. I couldn't afford to allow these tactics to keep me from leaving at the end of my shift. Charity starts at home, and spreads abroad. My first responsiblity was to my family, and then to someone elses. I have seen Head Nurses come in to allow someone to go home, many times, without causing a problem. No reason it should anywhere else either.
But these are "my" solutions, and others will have to decide on their own, what they will, and won't allow! I have 5 different state licenses, and applying for my 6th. I (Thank God), have no sanctions on any of them, and have excellent references, as I have been told by many new employers. Yes, I do let some situations slide, if I see they're unavoidable, and have never abandoned a pt., in any sense of the word. I just speak up for myself, and will continue to do so!
I would also refer you to your BRN, and find out what they're position is on your particular situation. Once you receive this information, it will be up to you how you use it.