Another question about "abandonment."

  1. A friend of mine from the hospital also works PRN in a local nursing home. One night, he went to work at the nursing home and was told that he had been assigned to work on the alzheimer's unit. Since he had not received oritentation on the unit, he requested that the other nurse (who has expereince on the alzheimer's unit) change assiangments. The other nurse had come in early to cover 1/2 of the evening shift on the unit he was originally assignened to, so she refused.

    My friend stated that he was not comfortable working on a unit with no oreintation, no back up (except another nurse on another floor), and only a CNA who had just come off orientation (this was going to be her first night "on her own"). He had not clocked in, so he stated he was not able to work that night and left.

    The nursing home works with only one nurse in the building quite a bit, so while the nurse who stayed was inconvenienced, it was not something out of the ordinary and required nurse to patient ratios were still within legal limits.

    The next morning, he called the nursing supervisor and told her that until he received at least one shift of orientation with another nurse or had a more expereinced CNA to work with that he was not going to work on the alzheimer's unit. She said that part of being a PRN nurse was being able to be "thrown in" to unfamiliar situations and still be able to maintain minimum standards. She also felt that because he works full time in a hospital and has different and unfamiliar patients every shift, he should be able to handle a new unit without difficulty. He stated that he was not going to work under situations that put his license and his patients at risk and resigned on the spot.

    So...was it abandonment?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    So...was it abandonment?
    Absolutely not.

    The assignment was never accepted. You can't abandon something you never started.

    Good for your friend for standing his ground.
  4. by   flashpoint
    I was pretty proud of him for standing up for what was best for his and for his patients...just hope it doesn't bite him in the backside!

  5. by   HisHands
    I worked at a nursing home about an hour away in an on-call basis. I was scheduled two night shifts this past weekend, but ended up going to the local hospital (not affiliated with the nursing home) to have a friendly visit with the ER. I called as soon as I left for the hospital, but the message was never transferred to my immediate boss. Now, they think I was a no-call, no-show for two shifts. I talked to my boss, and she doesn't really believe that I called in. I just passed my NCLEX, and just received a job offer at another facility. My question is, is my license in jeopardy because someone didn't pass along the message appropriately?
  6. by   humglum
    This clearly is not an abandonment issue. I'd be curious to know who you spoke to. Do you have a designated person to speak with when you're calling out (nursing supervisor, staffing office, nurse manager)?
    I never leave messages with other staff members or on voicemails. Call until you get the right person, or even call ABOVE them (i.e. call the DON or ADON rather than your supervisor, if you're unable to get in touch with them) to be sure someone knows you're not available to work and has an opportunity to cover your shift.
  7. by   HisHands
    Well, when I was calling it was late at night. There wasn't anyone around but the charge nurses and aides. I was pretty new there, so I wasn't really familiar with most of the employees. I think that maybe the operator sent me to the wrong part of the hospital, but I'm not really positive. I'm not one of those people that calls in. I'm more responsible than that. I feel terrible that my reputation might be compromised.
  8. by   CapeCodMermaid
    I'm pretty sure you can't lose your license for calling out or even being a no-call no show. You weren't there so you didn't abandon anyone. IF you take the keys and then leave that's abandonment.
  9. by   Daytonite
    Interesting post and question. . .first of all, I'm on the side of the nursing supervisor. She said it all. This man had no basis to say he needed specialized training. An Alzheimer's Unit is just a round up and coralling of the confused patients. There are confused patients in all nursing homes whether they have Alzheimer's units or not! What's special about Alzheimer's Units is that the nurses take their time with the patients and do not hurry them along in order to keep beligerance down. Your friend obviously doesn't understand much about nursing homes or confused patients. Maybe he doesn't want to. Using the rationalization that he was not comfortable working on a unit in a nursing home with no orientation is the silliest thing I've ever heard. That's acute hospital mentality. If I were the DON I'd fire him--now. He's got a serious attitude problem and a very negative view of things. Nursing homes have enough problems without having to put up with a primadonna like this.

    But, was it abondonment? I'm not sure. It's one of those gray areas. It probably wasn't since he hadn't clocked in, but it sure wasn't very nice. The other nurse on the premises could have been a little more compromising, but if she wasn't bothered by working alone--hey, go for it. I can see her point of not wanting to work with your opinionated friend.
  10. by   Daytonite
    Quote from HisHands
    I called. . .but the message was never transferred to my immediate boss. Now, they think I was a no-call, no-show for two shifts. I talked to my boss, and she doesn't really believe that I called in.
    Note to self: always, always, always get the name of the person who took your call off. Anyone answering the phone at a facility should be giving their name as part of their greeting anyway, but don't hesitate to have them repeat it.

    One LTC I worked in had a log book for call offs because of something like this happening. All the employees knew that if they called off, they were to be given a number. It was the number in the log book next to their name and time they had called off. If there was ever a dispute, they merely had to say they were given number such-and-such. I would also still get the name of the person taking the call to be on the safe side.

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