Coworker nurse trying to ruin my reputation... - Page 2Register Today!
- May 15, '12 by kakamegamamaDefinitely, contact a lawyer. And, don't put anything in writing. Follow the lawyer's advice. Document every single "nth" of a cc that you pull out of the narcotics boxes/pyxis/whatever it is at your agency. If you waste, waste with a witness--you don't have to say why, other than it's good practice to do so (in fact, I've never worked anywhere that we were ever allowed to waste unwitnessed). And, don't go talking about it to your "safe" fellow staff members either...that only serves to fan the flames, actually. Hang in there.
- May 15, '12 by Patti_RNLawyers create adversarial relationships; this isn't what you want to do. This isn't an easy situation, but it's not one where you want to pit an employee or groups of employees against each other. Nor do you want to have your manager feel you are going over her head or to the 'outside' for remedy before giving her the opportunity.
People spout off all kinds of legal advice that sounds perfectly reasonable--until you consider the practicalities, ramifications, or the legalities of doing so. First, in order for there to be slander there must be a loss--a loss is quantifiable in financial terms, only. The first questions a lawyer is going to ask are, "Did you lose your job?" "Did you lose income by demotion?" Even if you answered yes to either or both, now he (and you) must prove your financial loss was the direct result of that person defaming you. This is next to impossible to accomplish--unless your supervisor admits to firing you over hearsay comments.
As far as a 'cease and desist' letter, it has the value of toilet paper. The woman doing the talking will figure out (after she speaks to her own attorney) that this is an empty threat. There will be no federal inquest or FBI interviews into who said what, when they said it, and who they said it to. This might be one of the worst things you can do as far as escalating the situation: you will create more of an 'us and them' atmosphere, the gossiping woman will feel empowered that you pulled out a worthless cap gun and probably ridicule you for it, and your director will feel you went beyond her and she will believe that you see her as ineffective and impotent. (And, a lawyer will tell you that it's a great strategy because he's going to charge you $500 to write the letter. There goes your $500 and your credibility.)
Yes, this woman is making your life miserable and these people exist everywhere from junior high school cafeterias to kindergarten playgrounds to professional workplaces. It seems the 7th grade bully is now a nurse on your floor and you have to deal with her.
I stand by my previous comment that you consult your director and ask for her support and advice.
- May 15, '12 by psu_213If she is flat out saying that you are stealing narcs and using drugs, I don't think this can be totally ignored. You are not going to lose you license because she is running her mouth about this, but, on the other hand, she is defaming you by making these statements. If it is as easy and getting another job and moving on (yes, I know it can be very tough to get a new job in this economy), they go for that. If a new job is not easily had, then get some good legal advice on how to handle this--she may have a right to free speech, but she does not have the right to knowingly make false statements about you.
- May 15, '12 by Patti_RNThere are laws and there are realities. One of the reasons I don't practice law is that it's rarely clear cut, and people's expectations of what lawyers can and should do has nothing to do with the realities of life or the legal system.
When I was in law school, I interned for a large firm that handled a variety of civil cases. On occasion we had prospective clients come in who had issues that were more personality clashes and personal affronts than legal cases. They may have been wronged in some legal way, but had no idea the way the legal system works. They expected the lawyers would interview countless witnesses, take DNA samples, install eavesdropping devices and catch the culprit in lies. They 'knew' (probably from watching too much TV) that there would be some 'Ah ha!' moment where the guilty party would be stopped from continuing their illegal actions and they would be faced with some horrible penalty. Their friends told them, "They can't do that to you! Hire an attorney!" They would come armed with Wiki articles, Yahoo advice links, and magazine clippings. Sometimes an attorney would write a letter for them (Cha-ching! $500!), sometimes they would try to dissuade the prospective client--who would sit and argue with the lawyer, 'but, this isn't legal!' You can take your next three paychecks to an attorney's office and you'll get very little--if any--satisfaction for your money.
The reality of your situation is that you're not going to have the team from Law and Order show up to fight for your rights. No public defender is going to take your case. And, this isn't a criminal action.
I'm being very careful not to give legal advice. My advice is from management's perspective and as an RN. Whatever you decide, I'd be very interested in hearing the outcome.
- May 15, '12 by tara1961There r a few out there that want to do bad things to fellow nurses because they r so insecure. If I were u I would talk to a lawyer about it. Had somewhat the same happen to me< I first went to management they did NOTHING. The job was toxic, very clicky,be careful who u r talking to. hoping to be in a more supportive enviroment now. Good luck to u!
- May 15, '12 by YMCMBQuote from HM7380whao! that is a very serious situation!I've been a nurse for 5 years, and at my present facility for 2. I've come to find out in the last 2 weeks, that another nurse (same position as me - floor nurse) has been spreading lies about me throughout the facility, as well as to other nurses in the area. She is saying I'm 'on drugs' and 'stealing narcotics'. This is a SERIOUS allegation, and I am NOT!! She's basing her entire theory on the fact I give OUT more PRN meds than she does, but this is because I'm actually on the floor, interacting with the patients, who ask me for meds, whereas she sits behind the desk and ignores the call lights. She also used to be an ADON elsewhere, and has the mentality that getting other people in trouble makes HER look better, so she constantly does it.
What should I do? I'm terrified I'm going to be canned for something I haven't done. According to another nurse, shes already gone to the DON with these accusations a while back, but nobody in management has said anything to me. My 2 closest nurse friends have conflicting opinions over what I should do. One says to confront the girl with a witness, then let it blow over. The other says I should go to the DON/Administrator and make a huge deal over it. I'm uncomfortable with the latter, as the upper management and I don't really get along, and I don't want to bring up anything that would give them a reason to terminate me. (I work in a den of snakes. Seriously.)
Fiancee says quit immediately and find another job, because this one is so stressful on multiple levels, and I've been wanting to leave anyway.
Please help! My career/license is at stake here...
if i were you i would talk to her in private and be like " if you don't stop i will take my time off work and sue you for defamation of character and emotional distress"
you can do that!
i remember watching an episode of judge Pirro where these 2 Drug dealers sued each other!
the buyer didn't like the stuff he bought from the dealer and couldn't get his money back so he went around the area telling me people that the other guy drug is no good making him lose business. The dealer went on judge Pirro and sued the guy for defamation of character and won the case! got rewarded $2000.
you work hard to get degree and build up your career and someone trying to take that away from you.
i would definitely open up a case and let co-worker know who's boss!Last edit by YMCMB on May 15, '12
- May 15, '12 by SparrowhawkDrug dealers suing each other? Really? That's your example for this? ooook then.
- May 15, '12 by Bklyn_RNDo you realize that you live in the real world and you have no control over other people's actions? Only control over your reaction to them. Why would you need lawyers (employers get really nervous at the mention of them), appointments with the director, confrontations with witnesses, urine tests etc. If you are in fact without guilt. You give these rumors credence when you become neurotic about them. The fact that we are talking about narcotics, which are under strict controls, should be enough of a defense for you. It would be different if you were being accused of stealing cans of ensure. Because it is very easy to do if you want to.
- May 15, '12 by zenmanQuote from Patti_RNHaving been in management and having to deal with a lot of HR problems, I like this solution the best.Not to challenge another person's good intentioned advice, but do not put anything in writing no matter how polite, true, or what your motivations are. These documents can come back and bite you when you least expect it, and in spite of how carefully worded or intentioned they were.
If these rumors are known to many of the staff and this person has gone to the DON with her allegations, you need to be proactive in your response. Make an appointment with your director--you may wish to do this on your own time, and when the accuser is not on the floor. Tell the director that you've heard that 'someone' has been talking about you, making false allegations and you need her advice for your response. You can say, "I hear there are rumors circulating that I'm diverting meds, or that I have a chemical addiction, and I want to give you my word that that is completely baseless and unfounded." But, don't mention names, don't react emotionally, don't sound threatening, and don't mention quitting or that you work with snakes.
The best course is asking her advice and guidance, "What should I do?" This will put the ball in her court, allow her to be your advocate, and hopefully she will address this issue with the person spreading rumors.