Shocked At Nurses Actions Tonight - page 15

I work part time at a local SNF / rehab faciliety. On PM and NOC shift it is staffed with 3 or 4 LPNs and one RN charge nurse (tonight it was me). One of our LPNs is a sweet young girl from a very... Read More

  1. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from franslagle
    I wish to speak to the issue of the DON being unpleasant and dismissive of her nurse's legitimate concern abour a staff member refusing a patient care assignment. Although retired now, I have been a DON for many years. I always told my staff to call me at any time about anything. I made sure that they had my phone numbers if I was to be away, and with the advent of cell phones I espercially stressed how hey could easily reach me.

    I got very few calls that I felt were not necessary, but the fact that my staff member felt the call to be necessary made me very glad that I had been called. It is hard enough being a charge nurse without having to worry about enraging the DON who is, incidently , enjoying the holiday off duty, unlike her staff.

    Patient care is seriously placed at risk, when staff are afraid to call the DON or other person on call, and attempt to manage situations that really need consultation. By encouraging my staff to call me with any concern, I had the opportunity to offer help early on, and not to have to intervene after the problem had become very grave and much more difficult to resolve.

    There was earlier discussion about the reasons so many nurses leave the profession. I believe that arrogant, insensitive DON's' are a major reason. I remember some of my colleagues and marvel that they could retain any nurses at all! Fran, RN, MSN

    I once had a situation where the DON did not want to be called. Understandably, as she did her time during the day all week. But, as you well know, stuff does happen after hours, all the time. I never called her about anything unless I needed to know what to do about a particular problem. Also, if the problem was expected, such as death of a known terminally hospice DNR patient, I saw no reason to call her. Short of not being able to get essential equipment, such as O2, or if we had a severe short staffing problem, I don't think I ever called her. I did email my concerns about lots of things, which she read later and addressed for future direction for me. But she had made it very clear that she did not want to be called, short of the building collapsing or something equally horrid. As I fairly new nurse, it was akin to being put in a boat and told to go sail it, as I felt I had no real backup or source of information and encouragement. I left pretty quickly.
  2. by   dream'n
    Just want to add my opinion before this thread gets shut down. The LPN was wrong, and no nurse should ever refuse a patient due to religion. BUT the other issue I want to address is a couple of comments that were made to a recent veteran. They were TOTALLY out of line and very much anger me!:angryfire We can not judge a returning veteran, we have not shared their PERSONAL experience in the hell known as WAR. These experiences are still very recent also. They need our compassion not 'holier than thou attitudes.'
    Last edit by dream'n on Nov 26, '06
  3. by   jojotoo
    Quote from P_RN
    Please don't take this as a hijack...but the OP said she is a part-timer at the LTC. I assume the LPN was a full staff member? Maybe not as she is a student. I have been a part-time and also a full time RN.

    I've been floated every way from Sunday, but I can only remember one patient I really "refused" (or rather asked to trade) and that was a patient who had kicked me in the face, broke my cheekbone, gave me a concussion and sent me to the ER. Turned out he was in DTs and lied about etoh consumption.

    Anyway that was bad enough, but when I returned to work I found he was telling everyone how funny it had been. Actually I really wanted to take a 2x4 to him, but asked to be reassigned. In 32 + years that's the only one I can recall.

    I would have called the DON that night on this young LPN. But I would have left the rest (BON etc) to her discretion. What I am afraid of is that the full-time employee might hold some sway over the DON if it is left to Monday morning quarterbacking.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread.........


    I hope you had this guy arrested. Being under the influence (or in withdrawal) is no excuse for this behavior. AND, you should have a civil suit filed for monetary damages.
  4. by   jojotoo
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    Excuse me??? Do you even understand what the discussion between Dutch and myself is about? You feel her pain, so do I. I understand a human holocaust as well as Dutchgirl, oh yes I do. If you don't understand my analogy, then say so and please stay out of it. Your remarks to me do not even make sense.


    To Dutch: it's obvious that you are not seeing eye to eye because we are not understanding each other. I understand that the swastika has a history other than Hitler and the Nazis. But you yourself admitted that people who use it "are supremacists who don't mind the terrible history most closely associated with it." And THAT is my point exactly.




    I'm not sure why some are having problems with what you have been writing. I have read all your posts for this thread. Your arguments have been linear and logical. I have not found your comments "snippy". Just wanted you to have the opinion of one "well educated woman".
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from Wish I was at Disney
    Just want to add my opinion before this thread gets shut down. The LPN was wrong, and no nurse should ever refuse a patient due to religion. BUT the other issue I want to address is a couple of comments that were made to a recent veteran. They were TOTALLY out of line and very much anger me!:angryfire We can not judge a returning veteran, we have not shared their PERSONAL experience in the hell known as WAR. These experiences are still very recent also. They need our compassion not 'holier than thou attitudes.'
    I hope we can continue to have civil discussions, even when we disagree.

    I disagree witht he rest of your post. It's not that I don't have compassion for the returning vets. My heart bleeds and aches because I grew up with a Vietnam Vet. My dad was wounded, with a Purple Heart medal as well as others, held dying men in his arms. He did not come back to America hating Asian-Americans or Buddhist-Americans. He understood the difference between an American citizen the the enemy overseas. I realize this is a process for many people. I would like to think we learned some lessons through out treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and after.

    No apologies from me and I hope I don't come across as "Holier than thou" when I disagree with this veteran on this thread, with the hopes that they get over their hatred of Muslims here in the states. I am a little more understanding of that attitude than of the one this LPN in the op's thread shown and obviously can't relate to coming home on looking at a face similar to the one that mained me or a loved one and not having some feelings about it. It's a process I know. It's still wrong in my opinion and I don't think I'm being disrespectful in saying so.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 26, '06
  6. by   rn/writer
    If this thread is going to remain open, there needs to be a general cooling down and backing off in the following areas:

    Let's table the discussion about whether or not the DON should have been called. The OP did not say he/she had been criticized for calling, only that the DON seemed annoyed. As has been pointed out by many posters, a DON's expectations about being contacted during their off hours is highly subjective and may not even be consistent for any particular DON from one day to the next. As Tweety so accurately pointed out, sometimes there is a "darned if you do, and darned if you don't" atmosphere that adds unnecessary tension to an already stressful job and situation. (Those of you who have approachable DONs are blessed.) In any charge/house sup. role, it's a good thing to scope out that DON's expectations and try to operate within them unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise. At any rate, tlhis is definitely a side issue which has been discussed at length. Time to let it go.

    Personal responses that criticize other posters by name or other thinly veiled references need to stop. If you believe that someone has crossed the line of civility, use the report post button and let the moderating staff know what's happening. Do NOT take matters into your own hands--this is how flame wars get started. It also undermines YOUR credibility when you go after them on your own. Then, instead of the
    staff dealing primarily with the original offender (editing or removing posts, issuing points, sending PMs, etc.), we have to sort out who said what to whom and the impact of the initial problem gets diluted or even lost in the shuffle. Please, tell us when there is a problem without becoming a part of it.

    Consider the idea that there probably isn't a "one size fits all" solution to this somewhat unusual situation. The OP's post was articulate and provided plenty of food for thought, but there is much we don't know. One hopes that those who are called upon to sort this out will bring wisdom to the table and find a sensible solution that derives as much good as is possible from this unfortunate event. Ethical dilemmas ARE dilemmas precisely because they don't present easy answers. The nurse who refused to care for the Muslim patient needs to decide if drawing such a line in the sand is worthy of jeopardizing her nursing career. At the very least, this situation ought to put her on notice that refusing to care for someone because of a personal prejudice will not be taken lightly.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Two observations:

    #1 It wasn't her thoughts or feelings or even her prejudices that got this nurse in trouble, nor should that ever be the case. It was her actions, pure and simple. Think what you like--whether noble or ignorant--so long as you can still behave in an ethical and respectful manner. And if you find yourself stuggling, or even unable, to render bias-free care, recognize that conflict as a need on your part, not a negative judgment of the patient.

    Even more distressing than this nurse's refusal to care for the Muslim patient was her attempt to justify her prejudices. This is far different from someone who says, "I'm sorry. I am trying to be objective, but for X reason, I'm not doing very well. I'm afraid my patient will pick up on my discomfort. Could we please trade assignments." With this approach there is at least the recognition that the patient is a human being deserving of proper care. And there is the admission that, for whatever reason, the nurse feels unable to give it. Her problem, not the patient's. As long as this isn't a frequent request, seems like it ought to be accommodated, as much for the patient's sake as for the nurse's. That is a far cry from what happened with the nurse in the OP's situation.

    #2 Once again, it is a thread concerning the need for tolerance and compassion that has, at times, become heated, angry, insensitive, and rude. I realize this happens because people have strong feelings, but that doesn't make it any less ironic.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the record, there have been many good and thought-provoking contributions to this thread. I hope there will be many more.
  7. by   nickola
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    I think we all agree that nurses should not be allowed to discriminate against patients because of their religion, but this situation seems to be one very good example of a charge nurse not knowing how to handle an emotional outburst from an employee under her and retaliating against the LPN because the situation made her feel inadequate.

    I am really surprised that nobody has suggested that the OP could use some more training in how to handle emotional problems like this to keep them from escalating.

    The most depressing fact that I see in this whole situation is the fact that there are so many holier-than-thou thought-police nurses who want to crucify this young LPN just because they think she has a bad attitude and they consider her beyond redemption. Sadly, I think that all too many nurses are all too willing to eat their young.
    I agree the OP needs more education in how she handles things, & the LPN needs education/sensitivity training.


    "There but for the grace of God go I"
    Last edit by nickola on Nov 26, '06
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    Why not? I think you CAN safely assume that a person with tattoos admired Hitler, I think that by wearing swastikas, that is exactly what they intend to convey.



    Unless the person was, let's say, in prison, and wrestled down, forced to get those tattoos (it happens, has happened).
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Wish I was at Disney
    Just want to add my opinion before this thread gets shut down. The LPN was wrong, and no nurse should ever refuse a patient due to religion. BUT the other issue I want to address is a couple of comments that were made to a recent veteran. They were TOTALLY out of line and very much anger me!:angryfire We can not judge a returning veteran, we have not shared their PERSONAL experience in the hell known as WAR. These experiences are still very recent also. They need our compassion not 'holier than thou attitudes.'
    I don't think it was flaming to have an exchange with this vet about the concept of prejudice, and both of us soon let it go, agreeing to disagree. I'm one of the biggest supporters of the military and a vet myself. But tell me this, what about being a vet gives them a free pass to express things that most here would disagree with?

    You've confused being supportive of our vets and being tolerant of intolerance. I'm never tolerant of that, and NOBODY gets a free pass there. That is NOT the same thing as disrepecting our vets, generally. They are heroes, to include the vet that posted and her DH - and my opinion on that is well vetted here at allnurses.

    BOTH of us had the respect for each other to quickly end that exchange. That vet ended with a traditional Arab blessing towards me, and in case any feel it wasn't reciprocated, I wish that vet and her DH vet nothing but happiness, good will and God's blessings.

    And I pray that her anger is abated by time, and comes to be rightly focused where it belongs.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 26, '06
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Unless the person was, let's say, in prison, and wrestled down, forced to get those tattoos (it happens, has happened).
    Not only forced, but many prisons are divided into three gangs: AA, hispanics, and whites. In order to get the protection of any particular gang, you have to get their branding.

    I would say that MOST swastika tattoos are the result of a prison sentence. And being branded for protection is NOT the same thing as belief.

    In many cases, it's just survival. I would think that in many instances, those swastikas point out the very sad shape of our prison system MORE than a belief in nazism.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  11. by   imenid37
    To Rach_nc, My daughter is going through this type of thing now at school. I showed her the Op's posting and she said "Yeah, that could be up where I am." In most respects, this is a great facility that she likes a lot. Some people puzzle her w/ how they talk about minorities, people w/ alternative lifestyles, and even how they think women should act. I was pretty naive in not knowing that there are still people in the world of healthcare that still think like this. Even though my hospital is in a small town, people are knowledgeable and sensitive about different groups of people. This doesn't mean they don't have their "opinions". It does mean they can behave in a professional manner. Having been educated in an urban area, I never went through this type of thing in my education or luckily in any of my work environments. Believe me, even in an urban area, there are lots of "opinions" too. It is very interesting to see different people's opinions about this topic. I agree w/ the person who said that "cultural sensitivity" education is usually silly. I know I used to think, heck it's common sense. Now I realize that is not the case for everyone.
  12. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Unless the person was, let's say, in prison, and wrestled down, forced to get those tattoos (it happens, has happened).

    Marie, once again my point is that it is not unreasonable to assume that a person who has a swastika has a belief in white supremacy. The fact that there is a possibility that they may have obtained the tattoo against their will in prison does not change that. The issue is whether or not someone is out of line to assume that someone wearing a swastika is a white supremacist. And if I run into someone like that, I play the odds and assume that person is just who they appear to be. If the person wearing the tattoo is not a white supremacist, then surely they understand the symbolism behind it and they understand the reaction to it.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I only posted about the swastika tattoos because i've seen different reasons that people have them, i didn't post it as a debate.

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