LTCangel 4,241 Views
Joined Nov 8, '05.
Posts: 85 (49% Liked)
I can understand how you feel. I am only 41 years old and became ill with Fibromyalgia about 4-5 years ago although I did not get an actual diagnosis until 2009. I have been a nurse for almost 15 years. started as an LPN, then earned my ADN while working full time and then obtained my BSN. I was a night-shifter for 10 years and when I first started feeling bad I thought that this was due to night shift, so when a position became available I was able to go to dayshift. Big mistake! It was so hard to get up at 5 am and get to work and then work 12 hours non-stop with hardly a lunch or bathroom break. I worked on Orthopedics/Joint Replacement, which I had grown to love but it requires constantly lifting, assisting, turning, and repositioning patients who are broken or fresh post-op. My fibromyalgia worsened and so did my tardies and abscenses. I had a very caring and compassionate Nurse Manager who really wanted to help me and advised me to file for FMLA so that my absences would be covered. I did this and it was granted. I could take up to 16 hrs a week of intermittent leave due to fibromyalgia. Soon after my Nurse Manager(who is in the National Gaurd) was called to active duty and we were given a new Nurse Manager. I swear that her main agenda seemed to be watching me with a magnifying glass. So began the write-ups for tardies-1-2 minutes was considered late at this facility, no grace period. I tried to work with her and promised to do better. I even went back to night shift and it was easier. Each quarter my tardies were less and less but she still wrote me up. Now mind you, I am a good nurse, never have had a pt complaint, excellent charge nurse and people skills, excellent critical thinking skills, and considered an "expert" on my unit in Orthopedics. I'm not tooting my own horn here, this was written on my evals.
So in March, I was terminated. I had 5 tardies of no more than 5 minutes. As she fired me she said you are a wonderful nurse but this is the policy. Since my termination, I have been contacted by several former employees who were either fired or "pushed out" after either getting injured on the job or admitting to being sick, ie FMLA. The hospital also fought me for my unemployment and I did not get a dime except my last check. We had to apply for emergency food stamps. I am the major breadwinner in my family and help to support my daughter in college and still have a teenager at home. It took 4 weeks to even get an interview and was at a LTC facility owned by a large corporation, they are hiring more RNs instead of relying on LPNs only.(Probably because they can get by with in these days and times with the economy and job market the way it is). I am very grateful to say that I am now finishing my 3rd week of orientation. I will be on night shift(sigh!), but I took a huge paycut and I will have to pay some pretty expensive health insurance premiums. We did not pay insurance premiums at my former job mostly due to the union in the facility that fights for that stipulation every 3 years.
I gave this hospital 14 years of the best years of my life and I am still mourning the complete lack of empathy shown to me. I am so excited to get my first paycheck tomorrow after 2 months, although it won't be much it will be something. I am also working on my MSN-ed but am on a break from it right now because I knew I wouldn't be able to do floor nursing much longer. I worked in LTC as my first job and really came to love my residents and I am sure I will again. This company offers a very generous Tuition Assistance Program and encourages upward movement in the company, so I can see myself working a job such as CNA instructor, RN Education Cooridinatoe, MDS and Care Planning... the list goes on. I asked God to show me where I needed to be now. When I interviewed for this position, I told the DON the whole story from beginning to end and she looked at me and said" sounds like someone was picking on you." She also shared that she has fibromyalgia so she understood all of the symptoms that go along with it- insomnia, pain, fatigue,etc. I felt this was my sign! So I am making an effort each day to close the book on my hospital career and let go of bitter feelings and open the book on my new career so I can be the best nurse I can be. I live in Southern WV in a tristate area that is absolutely saturated with Nursing Schools and I consider myself blessed to have gotten an interview and to be hired on the first interview. By the way, this facility has a 7 minute grace period when clocking in for your shift:heartbeat
Hang in there and remeber that Nursing has many avenues. Some of them we never see ourselves traveling but it just may turn out to be for the best!! God bless you. Lisa
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