Unfair Discipline at Work...What do you Think? - page 5

:eek: Last week I was sick...major headache, puking my guts out, diarrhea, cough, fever, congestion, etc. So...I went to our hospital's urgent care. While I was on my way to the bathroom so I could... Read More

  1. by   barefootlady
    I would start looking for another job as soon as possible. You were caught in an unfortunate situation, but just because the CEO and HN supported you this time, does not mean the support will be there in the future. I have a feeling that the next time you are placed in a no win situation, and as a working nurse it is bound to happen again, you will get a double dose of discipline. I would make a change if it is at all possible. I know I may sound dramatic, but this DON is not someone I would want circling my sphere of employment.
  2. by   warrior woman
    [QUOTE=barefootlady]I would start looking for another job as soon as possible. You were caught in an unfortunate situation, but just because the CEO and HN supported you this time, does not mean the support will be there in the future. I have a feeling that the next time you are placed in a no win situation, and as a working nurse it is bound to happen again, you will get a double dose of discipline. I would make a change if it is at all possible. I know I may sound dramatic, but this DON is not someone I would want circling my sphere of employment.[/QUOTE That s so true Barefoot. Cotjockey, Barefoot speaks the truth, because even though you got out of this; (It was a total crock that you were even in this to begin with) :angryfire You've got a bright red juicy TARGET on your back just for sticking up for your self. Update your resume' try to get a recommendation, and RUN LIKE HELL!!
  3. by   Ex130Load
    I am flabbergasted by the some responses. The alleged incident occurred while the OP was off-duty. That should be the crux of the entire issue. Though the OP may be wearing clothing identifying her employer, that fact is profoundly irrelevant to the discussion--she was off-duty. Typically, the only time off-duty conduct becomes an issue is if the employee is caught engaging in some sort of illicit, unethical, immoral, or other questionable behavior that somehow reflects badly upon the employer or the employee engages in behavior contrary to some sort of publicly known code of conduct. The military is an exception to the rule as they have regulations addressing off-duty conduct that have the effect of law. There is case law addressing the issue to varying degrees in every state to my knowledge. An employee, for example, can often be discharged/fired if he/she were arrested for shoplifting while wearing a company uniform and is awaiting trial. To punish or discharge an employee for off-duty conduct unrelated to company business can be the basis or set the stage for a hostile work atmosphere or wrongful termination lawsuit.

    Having said those things, I realize something may be gained by putting one's tail between his/her legs and writing a letter to the DON detailing the incident, but definitely not the offended patient/visitor. Writing a letter to the offended party potentially opens up another whole of worms for the OP and is best avoided. Tact, discretion, and deference (respect?) can sometimes yield maximum benefits. A mountain of logical may lead to an equal amount of grief over a protracted period if a supervisor or manager reacts adversely and believes a power play is being initiated. Battles have to be chosen only after the potential consequences and yields have been carefully evaluated.
  4. by   KRVRN
    The OP was wearing a hospital gown!
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I'd be half-tempted to write an apology saying "I'm sorry that i was so busy with my own dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, fever, congestion, that i wasn't able to violate HIPAA regulations to tell this person where her granddaughter was".

    I'd fight it. I would not apologize for something i didn't do, just to get that person off of the DONs back.
    This was very good...

    I'd have a very difficult time NOT writing a letter like this myself. I'd also like to add something to the effect of "I'm sorry if you've never had the lifetime opportunity of being everything to everyone if you were ever in my position." Nah, it'd probably be reviewed by administration and I'd be fired on the spot, even if the pt never read it.

    The funny thing is, the corporations scream so much about HIPAA, but when HIPAA policy does not come off as good PR, it seems like the nurses, etc. are not defended. I wish that your hospital would at least met you half way, you could write a two lined letter and the hospital would followup saying that you did the right thing in not violating HIPAA policy.

    I do agree with other people who said that writing a letter is an admission of guilt. If this woman is a frequent flyer as you described, I wish that would be taken into consideration as well.

    If you were not as recognizable to this woman, I think that "Huh? No way, I don't work here. You have me confused with someone else... sorry" might have worked quite well.

    Editing: I've read the entire thread and I'm glad that everything worked out well for you cotjockey. Hope you don't have to run into her again.
    Last edit by BabyRN2Be on May 9, '05
  6. by   barefootlady
    Seems like experience and hard knocks have taught the two of us the same lesson. It all sounds so nice the way its written about wrongful termination and HIPPA, but a Target is still a Target. Have a good day, WW.
  7. by   warrior woman
    Quote from barefootlady
    Seems like experience and hard knocks have taught the two of us the same lesson. It all sounds so nice the way its written about wrongful termination and HIPPA, but a Target is still a Target. Have a good day, WW.
    Oh yeah for sure. Just goes to show that things are not always what they seem, and that we must be watchful at all times in order to protect ourselves. Sad but true. Have a good day Barefoot. :Melody:
  8. by   nursejill1943
    I think that you need to approach this problem from another point of view, and that is from customer service . When we are in the hospital of our employment ,and families, patients approach us , we need to always look upon them as our customers. When our loved ones are in the hsopital, who are the ones that are most critical of other nurses, and what are the issues.....its how are loved ones are treated, and we put ourselves in their position and say that we would never do that. Look at yoursellf outside of the box, and treat others the way you would wanat to be treated in a hospital setting.
  9. by   warrior woman
    Quote from nursejill1943
    I think that you need to approach this problem from another point of view, and that is from customer service . When we are in the hospital of our employment ,and families, patients approach us , we need to always look upon them as our customers. When our loved ones are in the hsopital, who are the ones that are most critical of other nurses, and what are the issues.....its how are loved ones are treated, and we put ourselves in their position and say that we would never do that. Look at yoursellf outside of the box, and treat others the way you would wanat to be treated in a hospital setting.
    I'm sorry but I beg to differ. The main problem with healthcare today is that it's been turned into a customer service cottage industry like WAL MART or Burger King where everybody thinks they are entitled to "Have it their way". Well, Healthcare, and nursing in particular is a lot more complicated than that. The patient can't always get what they want if it is to their detriment like the 400 lb brittle diabetic who wants brownies for a snack every night. Customer Service is NOT conducive to PROPER patient care, if it ends up doing more harm than good in the long run for the patient's health. Somebody forgot to tell the public "Hey! We're on YOUR side!" And we ARE. However we can only do so much.
  10. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from nursejill1943
    I think that you need to approach this problem from another point of view, and that is from customer service . When we are in the hospital of our employment ,and families, patients approach us , we need to always look upon them as our customers. When our loved ones are in the hsopital, who are the ones that are most critical of other nurses, and what are the issues.....its how are loved ones are treated, and we put ourselves in their position and say that we would never do that. Look at yoursellf outside of the box, and treat others the way you would wanat to be treated in a hospital setting.
    I disagree.

    If I am a patient in a hospital, I don't owe anybody anything. They are not my "customers" OR my patients at that point. The OP said she was in a hospital gown and sweats and that this person recognized her face. It was completely and totally obvious to anyone that she was a patient at the time(hosptial gowns are just not something I would wear if not a patient and I have never seen an on-duty staff member dressed that way either). What do you think about a visitor badgering a patient to try to get information on another patient (violates HIPAA, by the way...)? Because that is exactly what happened in this situation.
  11. by   karengr
    There is no reason to get this upset merely because I disagree with you. It's okay for me to disagree. Might even happen again someday so brace yourself. :chuckle

    A simple, "I don't know, (point to desk) ask them, they are working and I'm not. Excuse me," then turn and walk away... that would have been a whole lot easier and faster. I'm a person that prefers the path of least resistance. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to bring a slew of emotions into this, get everyone upset, and then watch it to being blown out of proportion as it turned out.

    I guess the million dollar question now is, was it worth it? Did the behavior/words in question bring about anything positive?

    >>IF SHE HAD BEEN IN UNIFORM. SHE WAS NOT!<<

    Feel better now?[/QUOTE]


    Pickles, what's up with telling her to point to the desk, when she obviously knew where the desk was? Your attitude and approach to this situation illustrates perfectly all that is wrong with management - you are determined to make the nurse into the bad guy, while overlooking/ignoring abusive behavior from the grandmother. Your posts were very offensive to me - and don't write that you have a right to your opinion (and to voice that opinion). It is your attitude toward this sick, off-duty nurse that is utterly vile to me, as well as your sarcastic question, ". . . was it worth it? . . . Did . . . bring . . . anything positive." You have NO business in management!
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from RN4NICU
    What do you think about a visitor badgering a patient to try to get information on another patient (violates HIPAA, by the way...)? Because that is exactly what happened in this situation.
    Yup...and this is exactly how it should have been approached.

    This visitor was likely pissed she wasn't getting enough attention in the ER, and decided to continue to pressure someone she 'recognized', even after an explanation. Then got angry this off duty nurse wouldn't dance to her tune, and chose to get vindictive...embellishing the story. There is waaay too much of this out there, as we all know.

    Lack of management support: a huge reason for nurse burnout.

    Be careful with this DON...I don't think I'd stay on with her in charge. These types have long memories in my experience.
  13. by   PicklesRN
    >>Pickles, what's up with telling her to point to the desk, when she obviously knew where the desk was? Your attitude and approach to this situation illustrates perfectly all that is wrong with management - you are determined to make the nurse into the bad guy, while overlooking/ignoring abusive behavior from the grandmother. Your posts were very offensive to me - and don't write that you have a right to your opinion (and to voice that opinion). It is your attitude toward this sick, off-duty nurse that is utterly vile to me, as well as your sarcastic question, ". . . was it worth it? . . . Did . . . bring . . . anything positive." You have NO business in management!<<

    I'm not in management, haven't been for a long time. I no longer want the BS and hassles.

    My question of whether or not it was worth it was not sarcastic, it was a literal question. Was it worth it? If so, kewl beans, let's stop the silly bickering and be on our way.

    I just don't think it is a bad thing to behave a step above others. And that IS my opinion and I WILL write it. You can call my attitude all the names you wish, it is still my opinion.

    As nurses we already battle public view, I see no value in adding to those views.

    I'm sorry that you find my views of appropriate behaviors vile, I feel sorry for you. But it doesn't change my stance.
    Last edit by PicklesRN on May 13, '05 : Reason: formatting

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