Verbal, Written warnings and Termination - page 13

by madwife2002 72,124 Views | 162 Comments Senior Moderator

i know a lot of health care employees are worried or concerned they may be on the ladder from verbal warning to written warnings and then fired. for many this is not an unrealistic fear it is something which is affecting their... Read More


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    Since many (too many) of us are/have experienced such abuse, maybe we need to find our voice and direct our boards of nursing to our problems in this matter? If everyone of us sent a letter or called, maybe they would be forced to listen? When I was going thru my ordeal, I did want to dare my supervisor to report me if she thought I was so bad. I really wasn't feeling emotionally strong enough to call such a bluff (not sure I could even if I was stronger) but the thought crossed my mind a few times. I certainly wanted to call them myself regarding some of the tactics my fellow nurses were using to build a case to force me out. Again, I didn't feel strong enough to subject myself thru an investigation.
    However, after a few months of unemployment I filed for unemployment benefits and chronicled everything to the state. After their investigation, I was granted unemployment benefits. I had taken steps to report my situation to HR and verification by my personal physician (I had numerous dr visits r/t physical & emotional symptoms r/t job stress) which validated my case. Document everything & take steps to try to improve your performance at work. If you are forced out, then you will have a leg to stand on if another job doesn't roll around in a timely manner. Use your extended sick leave/FMLA to get some emotional downtime to get well. A person going thru bullying has a legit reason to take sick leave.
    wondern likes this.
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    The joint commission issued a sentinel warning in Nov '08 (I think the date is close. Ck. their web site) on behaviors that threaten pt. safety. It addresses bullying. Not all hospitals are involved w/ JCOAOH, tho. The one I worked at changed to a different accrediting organization.
    wondern likes this.
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    Ahhhh, yes, the life of a nurse. And..... the good news folks.... it's only going to get worse. Why - because the media (fed by the hospitals) flooded the market with nurses for the past 10 years. There are still years-long waiting lists to get in to nursing school. How come they aren't doing news stories about all the nurses who can't find jobs???? When the supply is so much larger than the demand, it creates a poor working environment. You are easily disposable. And for the icing on the cake - there is nothing you can do about it.
    wondern likes this.
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    Wow Losbozos. It sounds like your pain was extenive, I mean, it reached long after you were a goner. Gone are the good ole JCHO days when administrators actually had their toes to the fire once every 2 years. They used to suck up to staff for their compliance. I think the administrators now see floor staff as the enemy who can mess it all up for them. I have said it before, if they could run the place without nurses (or complaining patients and family members) they would!!!!
    This atmosphere has little to do with healing. Are you satisfied with the results you got when you followed the chain of command?
    My advice to those who are considering stepping out of the zoo is to look around and get some names of new references before you're a vague memory.
    wondern and sissykim like this.
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    Quote from losbozos
    Since many (too many) of us are/have experienced such abuse, maybe we need to find our voice and direct our boards of nursing to our problems in this matter? If everyone of us sent a letter or called, maybe they would be forced to listen? When I was going thru my ordeal, I did want to dare my supervisor to report me if she thought I was so bad. I really wasn't feeling emotionally strong enough to call such a bluff (not sure I could even if I was stronger) but the thought crossed my mind a few times. I certainly wanted to call them myself regarding some of the tactics my fellow nurses were using to build a case to force me out. Again, I didn't feel strong enough to subject myself thru an investigation.
    However, after a few months of unemployment I filed for unemployment benefits and chronicled everything to the state. After their investigation, I was granted unemployment benefits. I had taken steps to report my situation to HR and verification by my personal physician (I had numerous dr visits r/t physical & emotional symptoms r/t job stress) which validated my case. Document everything & take steps to try to improve your performance at work. If you are forced out, then you will have a leg to stand on if another job doesn't roll around in a timely manner. Use your extended sick leave/FMLA to get some emotional downtime to get well. A person going thru bullying has a legit reason to take sick leave.
    I believe we have a case for a supportive, spokes person, an advocate to speak for nurses who believe they were disenfranchised. It happens often enough. Administrators are cleaver enough to know nurse individually have nothing in place (policies) to fight this monster. The boards are not accountable and will not have administrators take responsibility for this behavior. We should brain storm and come up with a solution or some ideas to begin an organization for handling our concerns. It can be done. We are not imagining this stink, harassment, bulling, write-ups, forced to resign.
    trixie333, wondern, cosmicsun, and 1 other like this.
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    These threads should be sent to the media. We have new nursing classes coming through our unit ever few weeks wanting our jobs. Some of them are going to get them because they are cheap labor. The cheaper ones are treated well for awhile because the hospitals want to keep them (for awhile). After a few years and they get their .25 cent raises (if any raise at all), the new nurses begin to get dissatisfied and start to show some attitude. Then they are also replaced with the newer cheap new grads. I know the stink has been going on forever, there are always bullies, but overall, it was a little more pleasant when there actually was a nursing shortage and :bowingpurnot a nursing abundance.
    wondern, nursemarion, losbozos, and 1 other like this.
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    I share your thoughts, I too have been in this forced resignation and termination spot in my 32 yrs. Just reading some of the posts. Look at how many pages there are to this complaint of bullying, bamboozling in a job that is supposed to be a profession. One thing I have come to realize is Watch out for those coworkers who "bait" you- those who deliberately ruffle your feathers, deliberately say something in the hopes of provoking you- this is another game that is played. They will say something just to see what your response is or just to get your opinnion. And go merrily off the the nurse manager. I understand that as nurse we have "eaten our young" but never like this. I remember as a new nurse and have seen over the yrs new nurses given a hard time- but it never involved or ended up in the termination or professional character assination, the threats of BON action as it has now a days. Nursing management was different. Today these managers are not Nurses. I wouldn't trust them to give me a band aid!! This is a bizzare, sick trend we are seeing today. Hospital's are not hospitals anymore. I believe they are guilty of greater crimes, With the fox(corporate america MBA's) running the hen house(the hospital) people have been made more acutely ill. The come in for chest pain, chest pain is only addressed, they are discharged and readmitted because one of their many other chronic health problems are now dominoeing. Readmissions bring more revenue( whether it be insurance company or state funds/charity care) - they are corporate america, no different than Walmart. How many CEO, CNO have taken salary reductions in the past 2-3 yrs with this "Health care crisis" Answer= 0, Zero, none, !!! How many nursing staff have been lost-resignations, terminations,(CONSENTUAL DISCHARGE) burn-out,forced retirement( here's your retirement package take it and leave quietly or stay and be fired and loose it- by law no one can be forced to retire? or can they?) AND we still have these institutions of nursing pushing for BSN?? I find too many perplexing, conflicting questions going on in this world of nursing. I really am hoping the "doo doo hits the fan" big time. I would like to see administration_ including HR rounded up and prosecuted and convicted for the criminals they really are.!!
    Putting nurses out of work in this economy! Then intimidating them into not going to unemployment. I'm glad to see there are nurse willing to stand up to this and not be ashamed to go to unemployment. Tell your story to the Dept of Labor. I darn well told mine!!(I also kept notes- Pages and pages of photocopy documentation). If enough of us make complaints, some one has got to listen on the state level. Unemployment is an insurance premium that the employer( the hospital) pays to the state. If the hospital can have very few nurses to no nurses filing unemployment claims, then the hospital's unemployment premiums stay LOW. If nurses file unemployment claims then the hospital's unemployment insurance rates rise- just like if you have too many speeding tickets, your car insurance rates rise. The HR dept is the hangman for the hospital- they do the brow beating, the intimidation"if you don't resign and we terminate you, this will follow you everywhere!!"This is consentual discharge. This is forced resignation. This is why the general public doesn't know nurses have been put out of work. If you don't go to unemployment- how do our(nursing) unemployment numbers get included into the state and federal unemployment statistics- they don't!! So the true count of the unemployed is NOT correct. Isn't that fraud to the Dept of Labor. The state can't include/ report what it has been deliberately kept from them. Then these hospitals have the nerve to cry poor/charity care- we need more government funding- boo hooo!! Get rid of staffnurses positions, CEO keep their extravagant salaries with out one penny lost, and patient's don't get care. Who is the benefactor?? Good way for little johnnie who wasn't smart enough to conquer the sciences needed for Medical or Nursing school to make as good as the doctors and nurses in his/her fluffy business courses. Healthcare the " silent profitable frontier"- Johnnie didn't have what it took to compete against the Donald Trumps or Bill Gates either. So Johnnie got his /her MBA and started to scalp and gouge healthcare- cutting corner, cutting staff, turning a profit-- (on our licenses both Doctors and Nurses) And the fool nurse managers following right along like a bunch of dumb wanabees. JMHO
    trixie333 and wondern like this.
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    Wow, that was a thoughtful post. I appreciate your insights as the same kind of thing happened to me except I was fired. I did go to unemployment and did collect my measly nothing for about 12 weeks. It was better than nothing though, and I did feel it meant my 'wannabe nurse' manager/administrator knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if it actually went to court. I actually had proof there was a witch hunt when a pharmacist at the very large medical center I worked told me that my manager had come to him seeking complaints about me being 'rude and unprofessional'. He refused telling her that he didn't," play those kind of games." Little did she know we had worked together in the hospital area and he knew I was neither of those. If they were ever short staffed in pharmacy as far as having drugs delivered I would voluntarily walk down to pick up my own patient meds when able. He knew I was helpful and not what the bully manager was trying to make me out as. You know she was actually a nurse but her superiors were not and they stood behind her. Talk about a back stabber. I am in a will to work state so when trying to find a lawyer they all said wrongful termination really didn't exist legally unless it was racial, or sexual discrimination, etc. I guess just plain ole workplace bullying is okay in our state of Tennessee.
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    My last manager used verbal/written warnings as a vendetta. She basically picked and choosed who she would/wouldn't write up. Nurses and techs who would just go with the flow could spend hours on the internet, be late for work, talk rude to patients, be on cell phones. Those of us who tried to make it a better place to work (needle safety, patient privacy, making it so ALL workers pulled their weight) were targeted.
    In the 4 years I was there, 9 nurses fled the unit because of how the nurses were treated..and the unit itself only has 6 nurse positions. I stayed, brought unit problems to the attention of my boss' boss as well as human resources. My boss got ticked off, managed to use the write ups as her weapon against me. In the end, she used three different write ups to justify firing me.
    Our ancillary staff was the laziest group of workers I have ever worked with. They were thisclose to management so they could get away with murder if they wanted. I was seen as a threat to their laziness so they would go to management to say "she was rude to me". Of course, how convenient for them, they always made sure it was a she-said she said situation. Management would side with them, write me up as if I was the instigator. Another write up: miscounting the number of vials of a non-narcotic drug in the med machine. It was caught right away and fixed. And, gee, then another one of the management pets saying I was "rude" to them.
    In the end, she ended up getting the facility to let me go. First time in 25 yrs for that to happen to me. I went and got copies of my employee file. Amazing how the last three employee evals had her praising my nursing skills, saying how much better I was at paying attention to details than my peers, labeled me as "fully successful" in my role as a nurse. All signed by her. I also printed off emails written a month before I was let go congratulating me on my assessment skills on a patient, saying that my immediate intervention got him into the system quickly and had he waited any longer, he would have died.
    Sure as heck didn't look like the file of someone who would be let go. I figure if I have to put down "yes" on any future applications about if I have ever been terminated, I will have paperwork to show how despite letting me go, my former boss sure had high praises for me in my last 3 evals. I don't know if it will do any good or not. I have managed to find per diem work for right now. Ideally I want to be contract somewhere so the hours are guaranteed.
    I feel for nurses who are targets of retaliation write ups. But in the end, I am a strong believer in karma and know the ones involved in letting me go will have to answer to their hateful ways sooner or later
    wondern likes this.
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    Ah, yes, workplace bullying. 2 yrs ago I was assaulted by a fellow nurse. We were in a room alone, she had asked me to come in and talk to her. She had tried to divert all the work to me at the end of our shift and I wouldn't fall for it. So while we were in the room, she used her torso to push me up against a wall, raised her fist to me, and when I tried to get out of the room, she blocked my way. I yelled, people came running, she denied everything. She made up a totally different scenario, and nothing happened to her at all. They said I had no proof. Ever since then, she has had her knives out for me. She has had muliple verbal sparring episodes with different nurses in the past but she never has any consequences. It is always the victims of this bully that just finally end up transferring to other units. It is if management is scared of the bully. She even made threatening comments to me in front of management and nothing was done. Imagine being have management witness a co worker say that she gets enraged at your mere presence in a room, not that you are doing anything, just you being in a room, is causing her to feel rageful. And this was said right in front of management. Nothing was done to her about the comments. Nothing. The woman is a pyscho. Which is probably why management lets her get away with stuff. Meanwhile, all the nurses who who could have made that unit a success, have left or been let go. One nurse who was the victim of her verbal bullying even went into managements office and said "this happens again, I go to YOUR boss to get this to stop". But in the end, that victim also transferred out. This was probably bad of me, but when I found out the bully was about to lose her house to foreclosure and was looking into whether she should declare bankruptcy, I kept thinking "karma, karma, karma". She hadn't told me directly about that stuff, I found out elsewhere.
    wondern likes this.


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