Nursing student lied about me to my manager, and I cannot prove it.

  1. 0
    I will try to make this short.

    I am an RN and have been working in a hospital med-surg unit for 4 years.

    Recently one of our nurses was precepting an RN student who is about to graduate. I was getting report from the student 2 times, and each time the student was handing me a chart with new orders saying she didnt have the time to look at them. She also did not follow the post-sedation protocol and did not do post-op vitals of a friesh post-surgical patient. She left a patient on the bedpan, and when a CNA and I went to change the patient, she had imprints on her skin from being on the bedpan for too long. Because it happened more than once, I said to her "This is something you need to know when you give the report". I understand that she probably did not like to hear that. However I felt that I addressed it in a neutral way, and did not go over board.

    Apparently the nurse who was precepting the student went to talk to the manager. I dont know what exactly she said to her.

    The manager called me at home and said she is conducting an "investigation" about my interaction with the student. I couldnt make sense how could me saying a single sentence "This is something you need to know when you give report" could warrant an investigation. Considering the big picture that as nurses we daily take care of critically ill patients, sometimes have to make critical decisions when faced with life and death situations, communicating with patients families during difficult situations, doctors, constantly changing policies etc. Every nurse who is working is such setting knows what I am talking about.

    I met with the manager. When she started reading to me the statements of the student and that nurse, my jaw dropped. Apparently the student told my manager that I was so "angry, raising the voice, tapping on the chart with my pen, and then said to her "You are never going to make it as a nurse". This was the most horrible lie I've heard in my whole life. Especially because it came from a person who is about to become an RN.

    I've always thought highly of nurses. This whole situation is totally unbelievable to me.
    Our union representative said to me "People will say anything to divert the attention".
    The manager is not willing to give me a benefit of the doubt. I said to her that I've been working for this organization for 4 years, and why is she giving more credibility to the student than me? I said I would like the student to be present at the meeting and I would like to see her repeating her statements to my face. The manager raised her voice at me and said "Lets not even go there". I dont see a way to prove to her that I never said those things.

    It really bothers me that the student is probably feeling happy that she lied so shamelesly and got away with it so easily, and I am the one being punished.
    I also started realizing that I am deeply disturbed by the way the manager talks to me such as showing her frustration and raising her voice at me. I feel that for the hard work that I do just as my colleges nurses I deserve better than that. Sure, I could have not said anything to the student, and there are number of ways to address the same situation, however I feel that this is a harsh punishment. What about thousands of things that I've done right, when I went above and beyond my duty, when I work without breaks and stay overtime unpaid, and never hear a word about that from the manager, but do one thing wrong, and will be immediately punished and treated as I am not a good person and a nurse.

    I am looking to apply to a different unit. I dont want to work under somebody who treats me like crap.

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  2. 48 Comments...

  3. 3
    Wow. Does your manager have a twin that also works as a NM at my hospital? I had an incident sort of like this where the NM believed another nurse over me without out giving me any benefit of the doubt. I can feel the anger starting to build just thinking about the lies that were told on me AND are in my permanent file. I was ambushed going into her office, with a write up that has lines supposedly said by me that are QUOTED ... and all taken out of context or flat out lies. This was based upon an interaction with a co-worker during shift report. I didn't have a chance to confront the accuser in her meeting...nothing. (Even though I asked for it formally in writing). The NM more like, "here is write up, now sign it." I was beyond furious.

    Be glad you work in a state where you have a union rep. I am not that lucky. I was totally on my own. My NM is a bully and threatens everyone with the "if you don't like it then leave" attitude. I can't stand her. Sorry, if I'm not giving any advice. I'm not totally sure what to do in my situation either. I don't think I can say that I hate anyone, but I'm getting really close to saying that now.
  4. 3
    All I can say is, "karma is a *****" Question: why wasn't the preceptor helping student rn? As a preceptor, you want to see how well a student can handle the load but if they are really behind and not completing orders, isn't it the preceptor's fault?
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Mar 4, '13 : Reason: Removing profanity
  5. 1
    Quote from RNewbie
    All I can say is, "karma is a *****" Question: why wasn't the preceptor helping student rn? As a preceptor, you want to see how well a student can handle the load but if they are really behind and not completing orders, isn't it the preceptor's fault?

    Absolutely. Just because a student is assigned to a patient, doesn't mean that patient does not have a Registered Nurse or LPN. Besides the whole lying aspect (which is aweful!) the school should reprimand the student and the hospital's nurse manager should reprimand the preceptor. And the TRUE comment OP made to the student was completely appropriate. The student should actually have been grateful to her for not having taken the issue to the instructor.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Mar 4, '13 : Reason: removing profanity
    Tortoiseshell likes this.
  6. 0
    We're there any witnesses? Can you have some witnesses come forward?
  7. 0
    Sounds like her preceptor needs some talking too. I remember being a student with my preceptor who was a male. One time another nurse other than my preceptor corrected me. It was stupid...I assisted a patient to the bathroom and noticed they were incontinent. So I stripped the linens and put them in the laundry basket. I noticed the laundry basket was full and I didn't want to set these dirty linens on the floor. Aorta I stuffed the linen basket as much as I could. I didn't know where the laundry shoot was so I left to go ask someone. When I was looking for my preceptor (the only person I felt comfortable with) this other nurse who was an awful awful person to me from the start walked out with the laundry in one hand. Marched down the hall to me and stated in a firm voice "THIS is unacceptable." Then she proceeded to say "come with me." Then she put it down the shoot (what I was looking for) and stated "it doesn't take a genious to do that." I burst out in tears and went in the locker room. My preceptor had a discussion with her. He pretty much told her that if she had a problem with me that she needs to go to him about it because my a goons reflected on his teaching. Yes, we have issues with students. They do stupid things and make mistakes. They are learning. So the only thing I can suggest is that you maybe should have gone to her preceptor. However in your defense what you said is not wrong. The story she made up is her perception on it. Its simply a.defense mechanism for how she felt at the time. The fact she is a scared student and probably only felt comfortable around her preceptor made her frightened.
    Like in the situation that happened to me, the only person I wanted to listen to and wasn't scared of was my preceptor. The charge nurse tried to console me but the only thing that helped was my preceptor. I swear these students cling to their preceptor like they do their mothers.

    We have a student on our unit. I was getting a fresh open heart. And as many of you know they are VERY busy with lots going on. So her preceptor asked if she could come with me to settle him in and have me go over things. They are a good learning experience! And this one was perfect to learn from. Complicated surgery and drips galore. Anyway she was so frightened of me...she stood in the doorway like I was going to bite. I did end up inviting her in and explaining everything. So my point with all that is another example of how they just would prefer to be with and hear things from their preceptor.

    I probably stated things like 3 times but I'm typing from my iphone so give me a break and ignore the typos and take them as autocorrects.
  8. 5
    Ahhh I had so many typos from my autocorrect. When I put "a goons" I meant "actions" stupid autocorrect makes me look illiterate.
    anotherone, rangerlil, Esme12, and 2 others like this.
  9. 1
    She yelled and said "let's not even go there" when you asked for all parties to be present to present their side? Wow.

    I don't know what-all will come of this, Tortoiseshell, but a couple of years ago I was in a situation where both a manager and a staffing person I'd worked with for 3 years lied, and lied again, looking me straight in the eyes.

    Lucky I guess, that prior to that nobody broke trust to such an egregious degree, and I was shocked. I'd previously agreed to some short-term pay delays while the state budget crunch was ironed out, went out of my way to be a good team player despite the difficulties I encountered, and then when it all came down I felt like I'd been looking at the world like a total noob in my 50s.

    It does shake you, so (((Tortoiseshell))), I'll pray your transfer to another unit comes through quickly. Your manager is a snake.
    Tina, RN likes this.
  10. 2
    I can remember two separate instances where a student nurse lied. Neither one was about me, but I did witness it both times. In one instance, the regular RN was fired. She had made a little joke about something~ we all knew she was joking~ but the student went running to her instructor and blew it all out of proportion. Good luck to you, dear, and I agree with the Karma remark.
    anotherone and lovelylady3 like this.
  11. 1
    ohhhhhhhhhhhh so THIS is how my ex-colleagues started out! it is staggering how any nurses and others in health care are conniving, manipulative, drama-making horror shows. staggering even more is how few people call them on it, how management defers to them, and how these awful human beings continue to thrive in the world.

    your manager sounds like she was similar to the RN when she was starting out. ugh. good luck transferring- even to another facility of you have to. it really sucks that this kind of behavior goes on and on and on when HR and all these workplaces talk about being polite to one another. you shouldn't have to fight fire with fire. nice people get beat up way too often and it just stinks. you have most sincere hugs and support!!!
    lovelylady3 likes this.

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