I currently work as a med/surg float pool RN in my hospital. I have worked there for 1 1/2 years. The powers that be have ocassionally attempted to give me assignments in the ICU's and the BMT (bone marrow transplant) units. I have until now refused to accept those assignments due to my lack of qualifications to work there with no problems from my supervisors.
This week, after again refusing assignments on the BMT unit and one of our many ICU's, I was given an assignment on a med/surg unit where they indeed needed me. I have never refused assignments on any of our 17 med/surg units.
After working a few hours on the med/surg unit, my immediate supervisor asked to speak with me, and he told me that not only was I now expected to work in critical areas, I have to set apart time to become oriented to these areas. I was never oriented to them before because I was told upon employment and orientation that I was not expected to work in those areas.
I fear for my license and the safety of the patients on the critical units, should I accept these assignments. I'm having trouble finding legal advice on this subject.
Does anyone here know whom I can turn to for advice? Am I right to refuse these assignments to critical care areas? Can they fire me for refusing to go to critical areas? What are MY rights?
This seems unfair to me, and my license I feel is in jeopardy if a accept an assignment I KNOW I'm not qualified to work. My supervisor is a RN, and I feel he's being unfair to me. He sited other med/surg RN's who have accepted such assignments, and stated my fears are unwarranted, since I would be assigned only stable patients. If these patients are stable, why aren't they on med/surg units instead of critical care units? And why should I risk my license just because there are other RN's who will risk theirs?
Can anyone give me some advice? I'm willing to lose my job to protect my license.