As many of you know, I am the sole Occupational Health Nurse at an aluminum extrusion plant. We have been really working on trying to reduce our number of recordable injuries by increased safety training and awareness, PPE's, etc.
Yesterday morning when I arrived, a young man was waiting for me that had been cut on his left forearm approx. 4 inches proximal to the wrist. The cut was only about 1/2 in. wide, but was deep, and gaping. Bleeding was controlled. ROM was good in all fingers, and thumb. However, sensation to the dorsal aspect of the thumb was absent, and the top of the thumb was cold. The underside of the thumb had good sensation and warmth.
I sent the employee to the ER, with is Supv. I later heard from the employee, who said that the ER Dr. said that the "nerve in his thumb was severed" and that he had an appt. with a hand specialist today.
Bottom line, I was verbally reprimanded by the HR manager (who is also my manager) for sending this man to the ER!
She said that I should have "sat on this" for a couple of days, to see if he "really needed to go to the Dr." She further said that I was increasing recordables and dollar expenditures, and that I might be jeopardizing my job by doing so.
I told her that I would have been negligent, given the evidence my exam elicited, not to send the person for more definitive care, and that trying to tend an injury like that would have been practicing medicine without a license.
She said that I was hired to diminish the number of recordables (I have been here 2 1/2 years, and the numbers are definitely improved), and that if I didn't, they might have to decide if having a nurse was worth it.
I asked her if she was saying that I was more of a liability than an asset, and she quickly siad, no! Then I asked her if I should start packing my things, and she said no.
I told her, that given the situation that I had yesterday morning; I would do the exact same thing again, and again she cautioned me about the numbers, $$, and the job.
My question is this: I know I am right in this situation. However, I need this job, and the insurance. I work 32 hrs. in 3 days, and have full bene's. I have a bad knee and a bad ankle, which prohibit me from doing hospital work any longer. What would you do?
Thanks for your input... (....for Micro!)