what are my legal rights?

  1. HI EVERYONE,I NEED ADVICE.I STARTED MY CAREER NURSING IN SEPT.ON A MED-SURG-BUT WE REALLY HAVE EVERYTHING-FLOOR.LAST NIGHT I WORK 3-11,I CAME IN TO 7 PATIENTS AND THEN WAS TOLD-NOT ASKED THAT I WAS TO PICK UP ANOTHER PT.I TOLD THE MANAGER THAT I WAS NOT COMFORTABLE AND DID NOT WANT ANOTHER PT.WELL SHE SAID EVERYONE ELSE HAS 8-9.I SAID WELL MAYBE THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THAT,BUT I DO NOT.I WAS FORCED TO TAKE THIS PT.LATER THAT NIGHT I HAD A PT.FALL OUT OF BED-(MY FIRST ONE)WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS IN REFUSING PT THAT I DO NOT FEEL I CAN TAKE CARE OF?MOST OF THESE PT. ARE VERY SICK AND BED BOUND.PLEASE HELP.spitfire
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Tiara
    It depends on documentation. If you tell the charge nurse or supervisor that you are not comfortable with an assignment and then document on an incident report or an assignment-despite-objection form, if something should come up you have covered yourself to a degree with this documentation. If you accept an assignment and there is nothing in writing, then it appears you agreed to the assignment. Hopefully when you wrote an incident report about the fall, you covered this subject.
  4. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by Tiara:
    It depends on documentation. If you tell the charge nurse or supervisor that you are not comfortable with an assignment and then document on an incident report or an assignment-despite-objection form, if something should come up you have covered yourself to a degree with this documentation. If you accept an assignment and there is nothing in writing, then it appears you agreed to the assignment. Hopefully when you wrote an incident report about the fall, you covered this subject.
    I agree Tiara. Nurses need to get in a habit of writing incident reports not just regarding patient and employee incidents but for employer incidents. We need to keep copies for ourselves and turn one in to adminstration and risk management.

    Spitfire, congratulations for standing up to the manager telling this person your feelings about your patient assignment. Now, you need to take it a step further. Best wishes.
  5. by   nursejanedough
    I have a humorous reply. I think. I was telling my sister today about some of my horror stories of working short staffed in LTC. She said, "I would have called 911!" I laughed and then I thought maybe she's got something there.
  6. by   LLDPaRN
    Spitfire
    If you go to the website www.florenceproject.org, you will find a downloadable "Assignment despite objection" form. You can download and print it out for yourself to use when you come upon situations such as yours (and other incidences of short-staffing as well). Give copies to your manager and to her boss, as well as risk management (and a supervisor if its an off-shift). Good luck!

    Laurie
  7. by   Stargazer
    Congratulations, Spitfire, for standing up for yourself and your patients. If every nurse on every unit of every hospital started filling out unsafe-staffing forms each time this happened--and effectively covered their own behinds and put their employers on notice that the hospitals alone would be held liable in case of injury--all it would take is one or two big-number lawsuits to make the bean counters reassess that ol' cost-vs.-benefit ratio.
  8. by   nbcanuck
    Hey spitfire..(MRH??) I do hope you filled out unsafe staffing/objection to assignment forms. MSNA does have forms so I hope you have them at your facility.We have them where I work but only a few fill them out. Most nurses don't see the value in them("they aren't going to help me get extra help")We are required to verbally inforn mgmt. that we are filling out the form. It has 4 copies, one goes to our state nurses association,one to mgmt. one for you and one for the chief steward....we now have a rather large folder full....this can be useful . I know they don't help you complete your shift or make you feel better when someone falls but IF you were to be sued it would help you in court....I have to say congrats to sticking up for yourself, and if we stick together we will be heard(or dye trying BEST of luck!
  9. by   SUBQ
    Hey Spitfire:

    You have got to stand up for your self.

    I have vented my opinions about this same kinda crap. See the post: {THESE NURSES SUCK}

    What I did was I warned my charge nurse at the facility that I was working at that this was not an acceptible pt load and that I would not continue to comprimise pt. safety and risk loosing my license.

    Well, lo and behold, on the 25th of jan. I came to work and had a pt load that was 4 more than normal.

    I REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT AND THEN WALKED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OF COURSE, I'M NOW UNEMPLOYED; HOWEVER, I MADE MY POINT. I ALSO WROTE A 5 PAGE LETTER TO VARIOUS PEOPLE WHO ARE EMPLOYED AT THAT FACILITY. I BASICALLY INFORMED THEM THAT IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE THEIR PTS. W/ ADEQUATE AND SAFE NURSE TO PT WORK LOADS, AND THAT WE AS NURSES ARE SUPOSSED TO BE THE PT ADVOCATE; AND THAT IF WE ARE ACTUALLY THE PT ADVOCATE THAT WE SAY THAT WE ARE...WE DO NOT ACCEPT THE UNACCEPTABLE, THAT WE DON'T COMPRIMISE PT HEALTH, SO SOME SMUCK CAN KEEP THEIR BENZ NICE AND SHINY.

    GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK. ITS A$$WIPES WHO HAVE THE B.A.'S THAT ARE CALLIN ALL THE SHOTS. THEY HAVE NO LICENSE TO LOSE. THEY ARE THE A$$WIPES THAT BASICALLY ARE THE ROOT OF ALL THE NURSING SHORTAGES AND COPMRIMISES.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: COVER YOUR A$$!!!
    ITS EASIER TO FIND ANOTHER JOB THAN IT IS TO TRY GETTING YOUR NURSING LICENSE BACK FROM SUSPENSION OR BEING REVOKED.

    THINK I'M KIDDING? A LOT OF GOOD NURSES LOOSE THEIR LICENSE EVERY YEAR FROM THIS KIND OF ABUSE. WHAT HAPPENS IS: THE HOSPITAL KEEPS ASKING YOU TO TAKE ON MORE THAN YOU CAN SAFELY MANAGE, THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW, PTS START TO CODE, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE AND WHO IS GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?

    THE MD? NOPE...WRONG ANSWER!

    CHARGE NURSE?...nope, wrong again...

    IT WILL BE YOU............YES YOU.....AFTER ALL, YOU ACCEPTED THE PT LOAD..............

    THE BEST THING TO DO IS,***** , RAISE HELL, AND MAKE AN ISSUE OUT OF IT, AND DON'T BACK DOWN.

    TELL THEM THAT YOU WILL WALK IF YOU ARE CRAPPED ON AGAIN. AND THEN BACK IT UP!!!!!

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THESE HOSPITALS CAN AFFORD PRN AGENCY NURSES TO COME IN AND HELP THEM OUT; HOWEVER, THAT MEANS SPENDING A FEW EXTRA BUCKS, THAT MEANS THAT SOME OVER PAID ADMINISTATOR WILL MISS OUT ON A QUARTELY BONUS. AND THAT KINDA STUFF DOES NOT FLY WITH THEM.

    BUT, YOU CAN NOT BE HELD LIABLE IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.

    HOWEVER, IF YOU RECEIVE A PT LOAD THAT YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH AND THEN WALK OUT. YOU CAN LOSE YOUR LICENSE DUE TO NURSE ABONDONMENT.

    ME PERSONALLY, I'M FED UP W/ NSG. I WOULD NOT RECCOMEND IT AS A PROFESSION TO ANYONE.

    I'M 38/M AND I ASK MYSELF WHY I EVEN GOT INTO THIS PROFESSION.

    NURSES: ***** CUZ THEY DON'T HAVE HELP; BUT WHEN THEY GET HELP, THEY RUN IT OFF....

    NURSES CONSPIRE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. KINDA LIKE CANNABLES....

    THEY DON'T STICK UP FOR ONE ANOTHER.

    IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST SPINELESS PROFESSION THAT I HAVE EVER WORKED IN ............

    NURSES PUT UP W/ WAY TOO MUCH b.s

    AND THEN TAKE IT OUT ON EACH OTHER...

    BUT DON'T LISTEN TO ME....YOU'LL FIND THIS OUT FOR YOURSELF..........
  10. by   susanmary
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by susanmary:
    [B] spitfire: It's so sad that this is what is happening in hospitals. Good for you for standing up for yourself, and, ultimately your patient's safety. I'm sorry to hear about the fall, but you clearly predicted an unsafe working environment -- too bad management didn't listen. Fill out that incident report and document who/when/what time you notified your supervisor about unsafe staffing ratios.

    It's difficult to comprehend that when nurses refuse an assignment we deem unsafe, we can be charged with patient abandonment. Last week, management began forcing nurses from my floor to float to a different med-surg unit with varying patient populations. There is no orientation given, different paperwork, some varying competencies to complete, cell phones (we don't use them), etc. I'm concerned about floating to a floor with patient populations I have no experience with. The resource on that unit and other nurses on that unit are busy, and not a great help. We're to carry a full patient load. Talk about legal rights -- patient abandonment/disciplinary action if we don't accept the assignment! It's very one way -- my floor is left short to fill holes for the other floor. We have been told that we have no choice. Does this sound right? Calling 911 sounds like a great idea.
  11. by   NorthNurse
    Dear SubQ, Just had to write, and say if more nurses would stick to their convictions and really advocate for patients like you did, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now!! YOU GO GIRL, Don't give up on nursing, not all of us are cannibals. And we need outspoken, in your face leaders, so step up!
    Originally posted by SUBQ:
    Hey Spitfire:

    You have got to stand up for your self.

    I have vented my opinions about this same kinda crap. See the post: {THESE NURSES SUCK}

    What I did was I warned my charge nurse at the facility that I was working at that this was not an acceptible pt load and that I would not continue to comprimise pt. safety and risk loosing my license.

    Well, lo and behold, on the 25th of jan. I came to work and had a pt load that was 4 more than normal.

    I REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT AND THEN WALKED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OF COURSE, I'M NOW UNEMPLOYED; HOWEVER, I MADE MY POINT. I ALSO WROTE A 5 PAGE LETTER TO VARIOUS PEOPLE WHO ARE EMPLOYED AT THAT FACILITY. I BASICALLY INFORMED THEM THAT IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE THEIR PTS. W/ ADEQUATE AND SAFE NURSE TO PT WORK LOADS, AND THAT WE AS NURSES ARE SUPOSSED TO BE THE PT ADVOCATE; AND THAT IF WE ARE ACTUALLY THE PT ADVOCATE THAT WE SAY THAT WE ARE...WE DO NOT ACCEPT THE UNACCEPTABLE, THAT WE DON'T COMPRIMISE PT HEALTH, SO SOME SMUCK CAN KEEP THEIR BENZ NICE AND SHINY.

    GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK. ITS A$$WIPES WHO HAVE THE B.A.'S THAT ARE CALLIN ALL THE SHOTS. THEY HAVE NO LICENSE TO LOSE. THEY ARE THE A$$WIPES THAT BASICALLY ARE THE ROOT OF ALL THE NURSING SHORTAGES AND COPMRIMISES.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: COVER YOUR A$$!!!
    ITS EASIER TO FIND ANOTHER JOB THAN IT IS TO TRY GETTING YOUR NURSING LICENSE BACK FROM SUSPENSION OR BEING REVOKED.

    THINK I'M KIDDING? A LOT OF GOOD NURSES LOOSE THEIR LICENSE EVERY YEAR FROM THIS KIND OF ABUSE. WHAT HAPPENS IS: THE HOSPITAL KEEPS ASKING YOU TO TAKE ON MORE THAN YOU CAN SAFELY MANAGE, THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW, PTS START TO CODE, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE AND WHO IS GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?

    THE MD? NOPE...WRONG ANSWER!

    CHARGE NURSE?...nope, wrong again...

    IT WILL BE YOU............YES YOU.....AFTER ALL, YOU ACCEPTED THE PT LOAD..............

    THE BEST THING TO DO IS,***** , RAISE HELL, AND MAKE AN ISSUE OUT OF IT, AND DON'T BACK DOWN.

    TELL THEM THAT YOU WILL WALK IF YOU ARE CRAPPED ON AGAIN. AND THEN BACK IT UP!!!!!

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THESE HOSPITALS CAN AFFORD PRN AGENCY NURSES TO COME IN AND HELP THEM OUT; HOWEVER, THAT MEANS SPENDING A FEW EXTRA BUCKS, THAT MEANS THAT SOME OVER PAID ADMINISTATOR WILL MISS OUT ON A QUARTELY BONUS. AND THAT KINDA STUFF DOES NOT FLY WITH THEM.

    BUT, YOU CAN NOT BE HELD LIABLE IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.

    HOWEVER, IF YOU RECEIVE A PT LOAD THAT YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH AND THEN WALK OUT. YOU CAN LOSE YOUR LICENSE DUE TO NURSE ABONDONMENT.

    ME PERSONALLY, I'M FED UP W/ NSG. I WOULD NOT RECCOMEND IT AS A PROFESSION TO ANYONE.

    I'M 38/M AND I ASK MYSELF WHY I EVEN GOT INTO THIS PROFESSION.

    NURSES: ***** CUZ THEY DON'T HAVE HELP; BUT WHEN THEY GET HELP, THEY RUN IT OFF....

    NURSES CONSPIRE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. KINDA LIKE CANNABLES....

    THEY DON'T STICK UP FOR ONE ANOTHER.

    IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST SPINELESS PROFESSION THAT I HAVE EVER WORKED IN ............

    NURSES PUT UP W/ WAY TOO MUCH b.s

    AND THEN TAKE IT OUT ON EACH OTHER...

    BUT DON'T LISTEN TO ME....YOU'LL FIND THIS OUT FOR YOURSELF..........

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