False accusations. - page 2

I work as an LPN at an assisted living facility while I'm in school to be an RN. I got a call over the radio Sunday that a grumpy family member wanted to complain to someone about his father's... Read More

  1. by   wmisaacharris
    You did what any nurse would do. Personally (being a ward clerk at a LTC facility), I would have reported to the DON/Administrator if you would had stayed and listened to someone complain while you had a resident with two broken legs in the next room.
  2. by   Nascar nurse
    I had a resident in LTC make some false accusations about me once....to a state surveyor no less! Per our policy I was suspended pending investigtion. The investigation was done by my facility as well as with the surveyors sitting in on the interviews. Luckily for me the guy was so excited to have an audience that he just went on and on - to the point he said I kept him chained in the basement, brought his food down there, etc The building was on a concrete slab! It was later reported to me that even the surveyors were amazed at the elaboration the guy went into just in an attempt to get me fired. Bonus for me....I got to sit home, and was eventually paid for sitting at home in the middle of state survey! The guy actually did me a great favor.

    In your case the truth is very likely to win too. You did the right thing by going to the guy with the broken legs first.
  3. by   Ruas61
    Quote from tyvin
    A simple phone call would have (maybe) averted all that. As RNs we need to multitask and that means consider everything at once and act accordingly. Once I received the emergency call I would have radioed and told whoever to tell the family member that an emergency happened and you would be with them as soon as possible.

    Your attitude is extremely unprofessional. Hopefully if you become an RN you will have a better outlook. You're going to be working with a lot more then just a grumpy man and you need to be ready.
    Wow, you sound like judge and jury here. It's always easy to second guess someone else. You ever fumbled?
  4. by   nursel56
    Quote from Capp
    . . .The next day my supervisor tells me that the grumpy family member complained to someone that it took me a half hour to arrive to help the resident with the broken legs.

    I don't even know if this will get me in trouble, but it has me pretty angry and upset. What are everyone's thoughts on this situation? Especially if I get fired over this can I sue the scumbag for damages? I have witnesses who can say I was there in a minute.
    I'd be angry, too - because this person is simply vindictive and maybe not all there since his concern for the resident with the broken legs only came after he felt his need to complain took priority - when he was first made aware of why you were delayed. I just hope your supervisor is a rational and fair person. In days gone by I would have said, "of course you won't be fired!" but I've read so many accounts of managers taking the side of even the most irrational family members I just don't know anymore. Next time something like this happens you can dispatch someone to explain your delay while you deal with the priority need. Hope it all works out for the best for you.
  5. by   psu_213
    Quote from Capp
    How is my attitude unprofessional?
    I was wondering that too. It sounds like you handled the situation appropriately. It also sounds like the other family was bitter that they had to wait a few moments so they decided to torpedo you. I agree that it is best to write down all the information so you can have the facts straight for when you talk with your supervisor about this.

    Also, in the future, don't give people definite time frames for when you might be in...you are setting yourself up for failure. Just tell them that you will be in shortly when you are done with you other tasks.
    Last edit by psu_213 on Jan 8, '13
  6. by   PeepnBiscuitsRN
    My first thought was "welcome to nursing, where we kiss your *** now, instead of saving it." Your witnesses, I imagine, would trump the whiner. But know that your manager is probably nicely whipped by corporate higher up's into taking the "the customer/patient/client is ALWAYS right" attitude, that gets nurses fired for restraining a combative patient or family member who might, oh, say, take a baseball bat to said nurse's skull...see where I'm going with this? And it's only going to get worse when you're an RN. It's not unprofessional- sure it may seem cold and uncaring to a bright eyed and busy tailed new nurse or nursing student (not every new nurse or nursing student is bright eyed and busy tailed...I know this...calm down everyone...)

    Bottom line is that it all comes down to the almighty dollah, and the patient, or the family are footing the bill for the stay or for the residence and if they don't get what they want, they'll have a little hissy fit and might just take their business elsewhere. Then the corporate business suits, disguised as cheerleaders will only make $749,000 per year as opposed to $750,000.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jan 9, '13 : Reason: TOS/profanity/use of letters and symbols
  7. by   Riseupandnurse
    Capp---you did the right thing. Please don't listen to people bashing you about your attitude. We are human and can think whatever we want to as long as we don't act out all of our thoughts or verbalize them to patients/families etc. Thank goodness for allnurses where the majority of the people who we vent to understand how very trying and impossible a situation like this is. The ability to control your actions is what makes you a professional, not the ability to control all your thoughts. We would all need lobotomies to be able to do that. And I don't want one.
  8. by   NurseDirtyBird
    tyvin, my main issue with what you said is your condescention. You sound like you think LPNs who work in ALFs don't know how to multitask, prioritize, or be professional. I'm sorry a nurse juggling meds, treatments, care planning and coordination, families, complaints, hospice patients, supervising caregivers and charting for 40+ residents didn't handle a family complaint during an emergency to your satisfaction. Perhaps you should check your attitude.
  9. by   Capp
    Thanks, guys. I know I did the right thing. I just wish the guy's complaint was that it took me a half hour to listen to his complaints, but he said it took me a half hour to visit the patient with the broken legs.

    Anyway, if I get fired over this, do you think I could sue or something with a couple statements from caregivers?
  10. by   iluvivt
    Well anyone can sue but since all states but one are work "at will" they can fire you for almost anything. Is this in the US? Most employers will try to protect themselves nonetheless and slowly build a case against you unless the offense is so egregious it speaks for itself. Also if you are in a protected class the employer seems to be a bit more cautious.

    I thought your response was totally reasonable and human. It is normal to be upset and angry when someone lies about you trys to destroy your reputation and make your life difficult. Are you supposed just take it...I think not. Any manager that cannot really gather the facts and see what really happened here and then do the right thing is a coward. Had you taken care of the man complaints first then you really would have violated the standard of care in this situation. If possible give families as little information as possible. I would have just said I was busy with an emergency. I know that in close quarters this can be impossible sometimes but the less information they have the less they can try and twist and use against you.
  11. by   DeBerham
    The other night I had a patient come in, bagged by EMS who we intubated immediately upon arrival. I didn't leave that patients side for almost 90 minutes while we attempted to bring her pressures up and maintain her airway. Had you suggested that I stop what I was doing to go let my other patients know what was going on I would have kindly suggested that you'd lost your everloving mind. RNs (and LPNs) multitask and there is no indication that the OP has any issue doing so. We also (wait for it...) PRIORITIZE. The patient with bilateral broken legs was a priority over a patient care complaint. From my limited point of view the poster did what he/she could in a difficult situation and attended the non urgent issue in due course. I would be LIVID if it was my father or mother who you would have delayed treatment for while discussing the finer points of patient care with his neighbors family. That you believe that the opposite is the case (and called someone on it besides) more calls your professionalism than the OP in this case.

    Calling someone grumpy in an forum does not mean he/she treated that family member with anything less than the respect that was due. It's a subjective assessment, you know, that thing we do from time to time as nurses? As stated in the original post, the family member confronted the OP as the injured patient was being transported out. This, in my humble opinion, is EXTREMELY telling of the family member's frame of mind, lack of empathy for a fellow human being, and ultimate disconnect from reality. Certainly, it suggests a narcissistic personality and I could definitely see the nurse getting sucked into an conversation with the family member who had the mistaken belief that he was the center of the universe. By delaying first contact you avoid that altogether. In my situation above, every one of my patients could see how busy I was and when I was ultimately able to get back with them they were understanding of my delay.
    Last edit by DeBerham on Jan 9, '13
  12. by   NDXUFan
    Having worked Security and as a former police officer, I would have told the whiner, "Get Over It!!!! When someone was very sick or injured, I took care of them, first, end of discussion. No, I did not care about crybabies or whiners. I would document every thing that happened and inform management, as soon as possible, before the whiner could say one word. The CEO of the company could have been at the door and I was going to help the sick or injured resident, end of discussion. The sick or injured were paying thousands per month for help. I was helping a very sick resident, she was burning up with pneumonia and the drug delivery person was mad that I was not at the door. He was rude and I told him, "CRY ME A RIVER."
  13. by   NDXUFan
    I have absolutely no patience, whatsoever, for someone who thinks they are the center of the universe over a very sick or really hurt elderly resident. Those people really tick me off. I will tell them nicely what happened the first few times. If they are still rude, they get the facts of life, like it or not.