What do I tell her?

  1. Today my girlfriend confided in me regarding a situation she recently went through. I just don't know what to tell her.

    We are both relatively new nurses (2 years on the job). We work together at a fantastic rehab facility. To supplement her income, she started a position at another facility on her off days. She told me that her first day of orientation at the new facility, her preceptor had another orientee with her. One preceptor and two orientees. The other orientee was on her last shift of orientation, so the facility justified to her that she would still get most of the preceptors attention. Well, apparently it wasn't so, and my friend felt like she didn't get any orientation at all. Ok, so 3:00 rolls around and my girlfriend is fed up. They gave her an admission to do basically by herself since her preceptor was no where to be found. She told me that she wrote out the patients meds and faxed them to the pharmacy, did as much of the paperwork as she could figure out on her own, and then told her preceptor she was going on lunch break (they got off at 7:30pm). Well, she never went back after lunch. Now the DON is threatening to call the state because they say she abandoned her assignment. My friend feels like she didn't have an assigment to abandon. She did not receive report, and did not count the narcotics. Her only responsibility that entire shift was to do the admission.

    I have a hard time believing they can revoke her license for job abandonment, since she hadn't taken report on any patients and had no real responsibilities other than to do as much of the admission as she could. But, I haven't been a nurse all that long either and haven't known anyone to be in this situation.

    We are in Michigan. I sure could use some guidance. My friend is torn up over this. She's afraid that she could lose the job that she currently has and loves.

    Any feedback?

    Thanks a bunch,
    HisHands
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  2. 54 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Even though she was being precepted, she accepted an assignment when she agreed to admit the pt. She didn't go back after lunch, didn't hand off the pt to anyone, so technically, yes, it is abandonment.
  4. by   HisHands
    If she loses her license, is there anyway of getting it back, or will she never be eligible to work as a nurse again?
  5. by   Jules A
    Quote from HisHands
    Well, apparently it wasn't so, and my friend felt like she didn't get any orientation at all. Ok, so 3:00 rolls around and my girlfriend is fed up. They gave her an admission to do basically by herself since her preceptor was no where to be found. She told me that she wrote out the patients meds and faxed them to the pharmacy, did as much of the paperwork as she could figure out on her own, and then told her preceptor she was going on lunch break (they got off at 7:30pm). Well, she never went back after lunch.
    I would also say that just walking away like that is abandonment. Is your girlfriend really young? Hopefully the DON is just trying to scare some sense into her and won't actually report her.
  6. by   TazziRN
    Quote from HisHands
    If she loses her license, is there anyway of getting it back, or will she never be eligible to work as a nurse again?
    Depends on the board. She may not lose her license, she may just be disciplined. She may also have nothing happen. All depends on their investigation. If she's that worried about it (as she should be), she should contact an attorney.
  7. by   gr8rnpjt
    It wouldn't hurt for her to be proactive and call the DON and explain her side of the situation, that she felt "abandoned" herself by having to do an admission on her first day with no real orientation and her preceptor was not available to help. I don't really know if this would help, because she did truly abandon this pt. She could just as easily told the preceptor when she told her she was going to lunch that she was not coming back and explain what she got done, and effectively, "hand over" the pt to the preceptor. It seems like a sneaky way to get away with this and does not reflect well on your friend. There are ways of dealing with situations such as this in an adult way, and leaving like that was not the best way.
  8. by   hope3456
    I live in CO. I dont know how this state differs from MI but on the (CO) state BON site, it states that in 2005, there were 1005 complaints against nurses made to the BON. 600+ of those were dropped. Only like 20 licences were revoked, there were some suspensions, letters of discipline written, ect. But obviously the majority of cases were dropped. I think they look at each situation on a case by case basis. Check your states BON website for yourself and see what they say about discipline, abandonment, ect. and their stats. but just b/c she gets reported doesnt mean she'll be in trouble. At worst she would get a letter of discipline - esp if no harm came to the pt - that is my prediction.

    If she was on orientation, the 'orientee' also shared some responsibility.

    Look on the bright side - she still has her other job!

    i
  9. by   JaxiaKiley
    What a rough spot to be in. I will keep her in my thoughts.
  10. by   pvjerrys
    your friend needs to get legal advice.
  11. by   GardenDove
    I hope she learns from this. It was very immature of her to deal with the situation like that.
  12. by   nursesaideBen
    I agree with the poster that suggested she speak with her DON, I understand she that she must have felt lost but she must realize that once she's there performing patient care of some sort, she can't just leave. Hopefully if she can work it out with the DON and get back in her good graces, and not walk out anymore, she won't be reported to the BON. Best of luck to you both, and keep us posted!
  13. by   MelRN13
    Have you referred to the BON website? Check the Nursing Scope of Practice.

    www.michigan.gov/bhser
  14. by   HisHands
    I appreciate everyone's input in this. It's scarry to think that she is a brand new nurse and already put her license in jeopardy. But, think about what most 23 year olds are doing these days.... working in bars, or still in college, partying and probably not making the best judgement calls. She's really young. Hypothetically, is it worse if some damage occurs to the patient? I agree that the orientator should hold some responsibility here.

    Thanks again...
    HisHands

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