Oncology RN Forced to Resign - page 4

by Done

10,174 Visits | 46 Comments

For my second year of nursing, I was hired to become an Oncology Nurse. It was not my first choice because of the multiple cancer stricken family members I have in my life right now. Eventually, I made peace with it since I... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from applewhitern
    I hope this doesn't make oncology nurses afraid to give narcotics. My son suffered cancer for 8 years before he passed away 2 years ago. We had to beg and beg and beg for pain meds. Cancer was in his colon, liver and both lungs, then finally in his brain, but everyone looked at him like he was just a drug-seeker.
    This is terrible. I'm sorry for your loss and experience. I hope oncology nurses at my old workplace gets more support so that nobody will be placed at my unfortunate spot making all fearful. There are system errors that I presented to affect my documentation -hopefully, they get addressed after my terrible experience.

    For the past year that I worked there, most nurses didn't care to work more than our regular 24 hours/week despite opportunities, were burdened by every 2 hour pain med needs ( I think affecting the attitudes or even care ).
  2. 0
    It sounds like you are saying some of your personality traits caused them to suspect you of diversion in combination with the errors in documentation?

    I would seek legal counsel. I take you at your word, so you were terminated for something you didn't do. In order to get through it emotionally, you will need to be proactive, it's very hard to bounce back just waiting for the bad news to roll in. Get some professional perspective. I wish you the best in getting through this and in your career going forward.
  3. 0
    Quote from 79Tango
    I am confused too.. I am not sure what your "outgoing, bubbly personality" has to do with documentation or lack therof. Typically if they have a suspicion, you get pulled off the floor and made to Pee in a cup on the spot. Once they determine what you are
    Hi: well,this apparently isn't the culture. There is an ethical line that I was told they consider -- having me test for drugs right away compromises my dignity, and nursing is all about preserving human dignity.

    Also, I went to a federally approved drug testing clinic. Same clinic as companies and coroorations use for background checks. I will edit my post now.
  4. 0
    Quote from nursel56
    It sounds like you are saying some of your personality traits caused them to suspect you of diversion in combination with the errors in documentation?

    I would seek legal counsel. I take you at your word, so you were terminated for something you didn't do. In order to get through it emotionally, you will need to be proactive, it's very hard to bounce back just waiting for the bad news to roll in. Get some professional perspective. I wish you the best in getting through this and in your career going forward.
    Thanks for your kind words.

    Well, surely the basis of my resignation was the lack of narcotic documentation. i brought my personality into light because the allnurses posts touching narcotic diverters mention this ( surely in lieu of drug-seekers manipulative characteristic per psychiatric nursing lessons )
  5. 1
    EVERY nurse I saw come through drug and alcohol rehab, or who were former co-workers were outstanding nurses. Department was irrelevant. They were simply really good nurses, aside from the addiction. Access to narcs is pretty easy on post-op floors & med-surg.
    Done likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My workplace requires that nurses document each instance of narcotic administration in three different places: the MAR, the flow sheet, and a narrative in the nurses notes. Any person who repeatedly fails to document narcotic administration in all three places runs the risk of being investigated and/or reported.

    The bottom line is that any caregivers who work after you may sometimes depend on your accurate (or inaccurate) documentation before making their next clinical moves. Omitted documentation of giving narcotics can have gravely serious consequences.
    We use electronic MAR and the next nurse doesn't have to care.
  7. 0
    [QUOTE=merlee;5914261]I am somewhat confused - - are you saying that your forced resignation is due only to poor documentation? Weren't you made aware of the issues with your documentation prior to your resignation?

    If you aren't diverting meds then simple documentation issues can usually be resolved.

    Please get legal representation - preferably from a nurse-lawyer - to help you through this, as well as
    Of course I only know the truth ( that I do not divert )but it's not simple corrections for me because these technicalities Are part of my challenges as a new nurse. Besides, there is nothing for me to correct if my main documentation problem is not scanning it into the electronic MAR ( for system error reasons and of course, the interruptions and distractions ).

    Thanks for your reply. I Got my union involved but they weren't successful. Lawyers are not allowed in our work ( or state, not sure ) -- califorinia.
    Last edit by Done on Nov 23, '11 : Reason: I think i missed her message
  8. 2
    You are ALWAYS allowed a lawyer. I would still consult with an attorney who is specialized in administrative law and who has experience in dealing with board of nursing hearings.
    dishes and wintersantanaRN like this.
  9. 1
    "Also, I went to a federally approved drug testing clinic. Same clinic as companies and coroorations use for background checks"

    Unless someone from your work drove you to this place and monitored you the entire time this is irrevelvant.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  10. 3
    I see a pretty straightforward case of an employee who had received remediation/counseling/discipline related to faulty performance, but was unable to correct the problem, and therefore given a choice to resign or be terminated.

    And the particular error - repeatedly failing to document narcotic meds administered - opens the hospital to liability as they do not have sufficient documentation of where those narcotics went. It isn't just nurses that bear responsibility for the accounting of narcotics -- hospitals and pharmacies are also subject to DEA audits, and rightfully so.

    OP, whether or not they suspected you were diverting -- I can't say, and it's really not the core issue. The core issue is repeated failure to document narcotic med administration. Your personality, compassion for cancer patients, and all the rest ... that's all superflous fluff.

    I think it's important for you to understand that so that you can move on successfully. Good luck to you.


Top