Was I wrong to refuse to help?

  1. This is sort of long, so please forgive me in advance!

    I was recently asked to resign from my job...not fired, but asked to resign. My manager felt that I am "not a good fit for the team" and that I don't have enough caring or compassion to make a good nurse. She said that clinically, I am outstanding, but that I am "really just not a nice person" and that I was "dragging down the entire team." This was the first I had heard about any of this. I have probably had 15 phone calls from coworkers askign what happened and expressing how surprised they were when they heard...they could be sincere or just trying to say something to make me feel better...I don't know.

    To get to the point of my post...I am good at interpreting EKG strips...not an expert by any means, but I know what I am doing...and I have a lot of practice. More often than not when I was working, doing the interpretation on EKG strips was one of my assignments. This morning at about 0200, the ambulance brought a patient to the ER (I am a volunteer paramedic). As we were finishing paperwork, one of the nurses from the floor brought a strip to the ER and aksed me what I thought...this was a nurse that I have a bit of a history with...we had a personality conflict from day one. More than once when I was working she would argue with me about what the EKG strips were showing...most of the time I was right and she was wrong (at least according to the doctor). Anyway, I have a lot of resentment about my termination and I really have no desire to help any of the nurses who work there...especially her. The strip looked pretty benign to me, so I told her that I thought she should either consult another RN or call her nurse manager at home if she had any doubts. I added that I do not work there any more and that I will nto do her work for her. If I had seen anything on the strip that looked even a little abnormal, I would have told her...no matter how much I don't like her, I wouldn't put a patient in jeopardy because I am still on a pity potty. She called me a lazy f****** b**** and told me she was going to report me to my EMS captain....I gave her the captain's name and phone number.

    My former nurse manger called me this morning and wanted to know why I refused to help. She said that if something would have gone wrong with the patient that I could have been held partially responsible. I told her that I don't work for her any more and that any problems need to be addressed with one of my superior officers. I also said that if I saw anything wrong on the strip I would have said so.

    I know it really would have been better for me to just work the strip for her...I know that I still need to get along with the people at the hospital since our rescue service takes so many patients there. But...I also know that she wouldn't have even thought of asking one of the other medics to interpret the strip...she thinks paramedics are just well trained monkeys...she has said so more than once.

    When I worked there, I had frequent conflicts about my role when I was there with EMS. Personally, I felt that if I was with EMS, I was only with EMS...I shouldn't have been asked to do anything that other EMTs were not asked to do. I was often asked to stay for a few hours to help the floor get caught up, clean to clean rooms in the ER, go to central supply and get things they were out of, put orders in the computer, page doctors, etc...it got to be pretty frustrating. I was told in no uncertain terms that when I was working I was NOT to assist EMS with "EMS things" like cleaning their backboards, getting equipment for them to restock their ambulance, or helping them when they were confused on the new computer charting system.

    So...my rescue captain told me not to worry about it and is going to talk to the hospital to make sure the nurses no longer expect the things from me that they expected when I was staff. She is also going to make sure that management is aware that if they have a problem with me that they take it to her or the chief and not to take it directly to me.

    I finally got over being nervous about going into the hospital for anything...and now this. I am really frustrated about being told that I am not a "good fit" any more, yet being expected to help when they need a second opinion.

    I really don't know what the point of this point is...I guess I am just blowing off steam...thaks for reading.
    •  
  2. 49 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    I don't think you did anything wrong in not helping the nurse with her strip. It's her responsibility to know what she's looking at. If she's unsure she should go to a coworker, not someone who does not work there.

    When I worked ED we had a lot of staff who also worked EMS. It never once ocurred to any of us to ask our staff members to come work when they were on EMS duty, no matter how swamped we were.

    When you are working EMS, that's your role and responsibility. You are not on the hospital's clock at that time. I doubt you'd even be covered if something went wrong and you were doing the staff's work when you were not clocked in as staff.

    I know I put this all badly, but I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I agree, that was not your responsibility at all.
  5. by   llg
    I am in total agreement with the posts above. Blurring the lines of different employers and different roles is almost always a terrible mistake. There are too many legal and financial issues involved.

    BTW, I would also report anyone who called me a f****** b****. I wouldn't stand for that.

    llg
  6. by   GooeyRN
    I don't think you did anything wrong.
  7. by   Bipley
    Quote from cotjockey
    She called me a lazy f****** b**** and told me she was going to report me to my EMS captain....I gave her the captain's name and phone number.
    I want to know what is going to happen to the nurse that called you such a vile name. Had I done such a thing to ANY EMS person I would have been fired on the spot, and rightfully so.
  8. by   Judee Smudee
    I agree with the poster that objected to this person calling you bad names. It is possible that if you report it she will deny. However, just the fact you did should make her stop and think the next time. As for the circumstances under which the name calling occured, I am just flabbergasted that it happened. The stuff that I hear around here gets wierder everyday. A manager takes it upon themselves to call and chastise a person not under their direction????
  9. by   Jessy_RN
    That behavior was uncalled for. Good luck
  10. by   flashpoint
    Quote from Judee Smudee
    I agree with the poster that objected to this person calling you bad names. It is possible that if you report it she will deny. However, just the fact you did should make her stop and think the next time. As for the circumstances under which the name calling occured, I am just flabbergasted that it happened. The stuff that I hear around here gets wierder everyday. A manager takes it upon themselves to call and chastise a person not under their direction????
    Yup...when I worked there, they used to call me in to talk to me about things that I did when I was working with the ambulance service...weird stuff like missing something in documentation, patient complaining that we let their dog out or didn't lock their door...all sorts of things that they would have talked to the rescue captian about if it had been any other EMT...
  11. by   Gompers
    I think it would have been wrong if you HAD helped. If you're not currently employed by them, then you have no legal right to do or say anything about one of their inpatients! And once you bring them in the door with the EMS and transfer responsibility to the ER staff, that's it. It is wrong for them to ask you to do ANYTHING in that ER after that point. They are taking advantage of you, and also taking you away from time that should be spent with the EMS.

    I agree that you should report that nurse for unprofessional, hositle behavior. You are no longer an employee there, so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

    Good luck, and I hope you find a new nursing position somewhere soon.
  12. by   BabyRN2Be
    I don't believe that you did anything wrong. I believe you in that if you saw any problems with the strip that you would have said something. I believe that this nurse does not know what she's doing.

    She really had a lot of gall coming to you for help, and THEN reporting you when you said something along the lines of "I'm not going to do your job."

    That's really a lot of nerve.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Contrary to what your NM said, if you HAD read the strip and something had gone wrong, there would have been nothing but trouble for the lot of you. It wasn't your responsibility, and she was way out of line for reading you the riot act. I would have made sure to tell her so, and I hope you did, too.
  14. by   Jolie
    I agree with Gompers and mercyteapot that you did the RIGHT thing by refusing to get involved. You would carry the legal liability if your interpretation had been incorrect. It was completely inappropriate for the nurse to ask for your assistance. She should have gone up her chain of command if she had any doubts. You had no more obligation to give her a consult than any other "guest" in the facility.

close