My don accused me of patient abandonment during a snowstorm - page 3

Today, I was accused of patient abandonment for leaving work during a snowstorm. Please enlighten me! I was working 7-3 last Tuesday, there was a snowstorm coming. I had asked my DON if I can do... Read More

  1. by   Katillac
    Flat out no, there is no case for abandonment here. You worked your scheduled shift then reported off to a nurse who accepted the assignment. It doesn't matter what your DON says, this is not abandonment. Of course, unless you are in a union, she can fire you for not doing what she wanted - in her head - you to do. Or maybe staffing went Dixie and she had to throw somebody under the bus, and you were the lucky one. Maybe she wanted to pull the nurse you reported off to and put her on another unit, and forgot to communicate it. Things get squirrely during weather emergencies.

    With that said, I'm going to differ from the crowd here and say it's premature to get a lawyer. You can't "get ahead" of this. BONs are aware that managers threaten to report abandonment all the time to get you to work. But if and when you ever do hear from the BON, IMMEDIATELY get a lawyer. And I agree with other posters here, don't communicate at all with your former employer. There's no point, your DON is never going to change her story, she's either going to try and report you or she isn't. And anything you communicate could be used against you if the BON ever did investigate. For example, your offering to work double suggests you knew there may be staffing issues. See what I mean?

    But what I WOULD do is right this minute sit down and write down every single detail about the incident. Who said what when, who you gave report to (including contact information if you can somehow get it), how many patients, who witnessed you giving report, where you were in the building, etc. Keep it somewhere super safe for your lawyer in case the BON does ever contact you.

    I especially like the part about how the DON says you abandoned your post because you left without telling her. Sorry, Miss DON, a nurse leaving at an inconvenient time and making YOU feel abandoned is not an issue the BON cares about.
  2. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from NurseScorpio88
    That's the thing that made me confused, which part did I abandoned the patient if I gave the report already.
    You're not confused. You didn't take assignment, therefore, no abandonment. Sorry this is happening to you.
  3. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    How about this for a compromise? The employer promises to drop this nonsense and give you a good reference and you promise to never darken the door of their establishment again. Seriously, you don't want to go back there. You are on the powers that be hit list now which rarely ends well. Go elsewhere and get a fresh start
  4. by   ThePsychWhisperer
    I agree with everyone else that this is NOT abandonment, as there was another nurse that took report and responsibility for your patient load before you left the premises. I also agree that this was probably an issue of inadequate staffing, so your DON decided to do the unethical thing and throw you under the bus, as it was easier than her admitting that she made a goof. Personally, I would let this ride while I (quietly) started looking for another job. If you do hear from the board (not likely, since this was most likely a bluff), retain a lawyer. If it is brought up again by your DON, you should simply "respectfully decline to discuss this further without your lawyer present," as true abandonment is a serious issue; don't risk saying something that could be used against you without representation.
  5. by   sallyrnrrt
    This is blatant bulkying, harbor in on passive aggression, you gave report to on coming nurse, she had already denied your request to do the double....bON not a case....I agree talk to a lawyer
  6. by   Neats
    And this is why I always say can you send me an email, have the schedule there so they may initial the date, or have a witness so these situations never get out of control.
    I once went into a very bad SNF as the LNHA-consult, After 10 days some staff told their corporate I was never there...fortunately I had my lap top and hubby is an IT nerd, he was able to print out all my login times and log out times location from the very same facility where several people said I was never there. Was so frustrated that I had to produce this when their own IT could have done this. It was not a major SNF chain rather a small 10 facility chain in a different state in which I lived.
    Lesson learned from that is I can believe but always get some sort of written confirmation on everything.
  7. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from caliotter3
    Have the attorney send the communication to the ex-employer.
    That is what I'm thinking right now.
  8. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    How about this for a compromise? The employer promises to drop this nonsense and give you a good reference and you promise to never darken the door of their establishment again. Seriously, you don't want to go back there. You are on the powers that be hit list now which rarely ends well. Go elsewhere and get a fresh start
    I forgot to mention I handed off my 2 weeks notice but they fired me instead.
  9. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from Katillac
    Flat out no, there is no case for abandonment here. You worked your scheduled shift then reported off to a nurse who accepted the assignment. It doesn't matter what your DON says, this is not abandonment. Of course, unless you are in a union, she can fire you for not doing what she wanted - in her head - you to do. Or maybe staffing went Dixie and she had to throw somebody under the bus, and you were the lucky one. Maybe she wanted to pull the nurse you reported off to and put her on another unit, and forgot to communicate it. Things get squirrely during weather emergencies.

    With that said, I'm going to differ from the crowd here and say it's premature to get a lawyer. You can't "get ahead" of this. BONs are aware that managers threaten to report abandonment all the time to get you to work. But if and when you ever do hear from the BON, IMMEDIATELY get a lawyer. And I agree with other posters here, don't communicate at all with your former employer. There's no point, your DON is never going to change her story, she's either going to try and report you or she isn't. And anything you communicate could be used against you if the BON ever did investigate. For example, your offering to work double suggests you knew there may be staffing issues. See what I mean?

    But what I WOULD do is right this minute sit down and write down every single detail about the incident. Who said what when, who you gave report to (including contact information if you can somehow get it), how many patients, who witnessed you giving report, where you were in the building, etc. Keep it somewhere super safe for your lawyer in case the BON does ever contact you.

    I especially like the part about how the DON says you abandoned your post because you left without telling her. Sorry, Miss DON, a nurse leaving at an inconvenient time and making YOU feel abandoned is not an issue the BON cares about.
    I forgot to mention ( so I edited my post) that I gave my 2 weeks notice last Wednesday. I'm writing everything right now like what you said. I have every information and witnesses that heard her say No. And yes I do not understand when she said it's abandonment when I left the building and I didn't say anything to her.
  10. by   Workitinurfava
    .. That DON sounds nutty.
  11. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from Leader25
    Get a lawyer , how dare they treat you like that,the DON was just covering her incompetent butt.Document everything ,you can send a letter certified return receipt to Human resources (although the name human is big on them)do not be afraid to fight for yourself.
    Unfortunately we do not have HR Dept that is why everything goes to her (DON)
  12. by   Here.I.Stand
    The only universe where that is abandonment is her fictional universe.

    She needs to woman up and own her decision. Not interfere with the livelihood of another person. I agree with the advice to get a lawyer. I would hope that a letter from an employment or nurse-attorney would set her straight
  13. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from NurseScorpio88
    I forgot to mention ( so I edited my post) that I gave my 2 weeks notice last Wednesday.
    Pretty sure you can get unemployment. Pretty sure that will cheese them off to no end. Pretty sure that's what I'd be doing.

close