I'm so upset.. just walked in the door from working a night shift at a skilled long term care facility. I had a CNA working under me who had left a patient in a bed with urine until the urine had a yellow ring a round it. I instructed her to change the bedding and let her know that tolerate patients being I consider this kind of care unacceptable. I am brand new to the night shift. The CNA immediately accused me of being racist and "you're treating me like a black woman!"
I let my DNS know this morning... of the lack of care that the CNA provided, of things not done during the shift, etc. The DNS told me that she is very nervous about the possibilty of an EEO suit and that I should "cover yourself really well".
HELP!! This is a terrifing situation to me. I've worked as a nurse for over 2 decades and never been accused of racism. I don't think that there was anything in this situation that could have been construed as racism... but... what do I need to do to protect myself. What a nasty situation! What makes it even more frustrating is that this CNA frequently does very poor quality work and I've been trying to keep everything up beat and cheerful in the workplace. Now I don't know what to do!
May 31, '05
by Tweety, BSN
You went up the chain of command after the event. That's your best defense right now. If you are 100% sure you made no racist statements and it can't be shown you treat this CNA any different than the others, then you're o.k.
Rather than be afraid administration needs to stand up to this invidual and address her work-related issues. If there is no documentation, such as verbal warnings and write ups, then the case is weaker. You say she frequently does poor quality work, there should be warnings and write ups.
Her response is racist and unacceptable. I hope things work out for you, and I'm sure they will. Providing your administration has backbone.
Last edit by Tweety on May 31, '05
Well, now, be honest and tell us about your work environment (demographics of the people that work there, the area this place is located, the majority of the people that live in the area and etc). Is she the only African American employed at this facility. Who are your coworker's likely to side with or defend if this matter goes to court? why do you think she would accuse you of racism out of the blues? Did you ever slur or make any slight racial comments while joking with some of your other colleagues that this person could have overheard via rumor's? How often do you work with this employee and was she like this every time you worked with her? Did you make her chores that were not in her assignment? Did you ever confront her infront of everyone, which unprofessional? Are there other cna's who are not of African American descent's or origin that perform as poorly at work as well?
I think the last question will be hard to escape because I know out of every 5 CNA's, two or three will perform poorly. Accusations are hard to prove and most of the time there are communication barrier's. Perhaps, the way you addressed this incident to the CNA could have been offensive. So, to avoid the chaos, if you are allowed to speak to this employee ask her what it's that made you look or sound racism towards her? You never know what it could be. You might realize that you said something, and there goes the "ohhh." so that could be your apology target or maybe not. Whatever you do, don't make the situation worse by arguing with this coworker because that will just make her despise you more.
Last edit by traumaRUs on May 31, '05
: Reason: TOS