Wrote up a CNA, but I was the one who got the boot!

  1. About two weeks ago, I had an unfamiliar CNA on my night shift. She was 'helping out' with a shortage apparently. I am new on the job as well. I had previously been instructed to ''hold accountable' the CNA's on my shift by 'writing them up' for every infraction (something I had chosen NOT to do) Not until the night I had this individual on my shift who would not provide vitals or answer call bell lights. When I witnessed her eating on the shift while charting and ignoring a light going off right next to her (her patient also) I asked if she was going to get that. I was asked in return if I was going to get that. From there, she just went off and proceeded to tell me to write her up because she was going to be just fine, that I was the one on thin ice and that they were always talking about me on the first shift. This behavior went on for the better part of an hour, despite my telling her I would have to write her up if she did not stop (I was professional about it), I tried to call the unit manager (she didn't answer), I finally called the DON (the one the CNA said would protect her). The DON didn't tell me to send her home, she didn't ask to talk to her, she said, "I'll take care of it in the morning." Well, when I go in with my documentation in the morning, the DON didn't give me the time of day. Everyone was looking at me sideways as well. I was told the CNA was out of town for a furneral and wouldn't be back all week. I was told my a fellow worker to take it to human resources, which I did. Long story short-girl was never out of town, she was at work the whole three days I tried to resolve this. She did not get in any trouble. They had her apologize. They said it was a clean slate. They said they wanted me there on the job (I offered to quit because as I told them how would I have any credibility on the job if a CNA was allowed to yell at me for an hour on the floor and still keep her job). I was ASSURED I was a desireable employee- blah, blah, blah.

    Fast forward to today, when I wake up to a human resource/DON speaker call telling me I am being 'let go' for poor performance and, get this, being 'disrespectful to a nurse' and the claim of a witness on that.

    Wow! REALLY??? I have this fellow RN, also new on the job, but been there a few months longer than me. When I take the shift from her, she gives me 'orders' as to what I am to do on my shift, without EVER being charge nurse. Meanwhile, she actively sabotages me to the DON and unit manager by tattle telling any imagined flaw from my shift (she's 7-3, I'm 3-11 lets also throw in there that an 11-7 shift exists) Basically, I got tired of her dumping her left over work on me so I chose not to do it. So, when I came in in the next day, she told me my assignment for the shift was to give 3 enemas!!!! Yeah, right. We didn't have 'words' but I did question her when she made the statement "I put Ms So n So on Sudafed". I asked her, "You put her on Sudafed? Or, you called the doctor and she put her on Sudafed?" This aggrevated her you see because my confused former classmate seems to not understand the scope of our nursing practice does not include up doing things like deciding on our own to say, do an Oxygen test and take away someone's O2 on our own initative while monitoring sats for 48 hours, and instructing all the other shifts to do the same, THEN taking the info back to the doctor to see if THEY would like to DC the order (instead of asking the Doctor simply if we can do it in the first place and following said order). She REPORTED me to DON for being disrespectful. The interesting thing is the claim of a witness when we were alone in the med room???

    I'm venting her because I'm really frustrated about how to deal with the social aspect of being a nurse. How do you survive the sabatour who has the ear of the managers when you work solo on the evening shift so they don't know you. How do you manage CNA's when the managers don't back you up, but punish you for trying to do your job? (I forgot to mention that after I wrote her up, I discovered I was NOT parttime as my unit manager had told me, but was still PRN. For a month, I had labored under the idea I was a parttime employee and stopped job hunting). Once I turned in that write up, my hours were cut from 15 shifts (three a week) to every other weekend only! Turns out the CNA was a long term day time employee. And did she ever LIE through her teeth. Claimed I said, "I'm an RN. I DON'T answer call bell lights!!" I'll also throw in there that I am the minority in the building and the DON the protector is of another race as is her posse of CNAs.

    SO it's back to the job junt. I'm just wondering if this will be the continual theme to nursing- back stabbing fellow nurses and lazy CNAs.

    Please advise!!!
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    About MotherRN

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 234; Likes: 272


  3. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    It sounds like you had a personality conflict with at least one person on every shift. Maybe it's just as well you are moving on. I don't know how to tell you how to avoid it. If you are certain the problem is extrinsic, then surely you aren't going to encounter this same thing someplace else. The odds of this many people with this many personality disorders and in collusion to work against you in multiple work places seems remote, so I don't think you have to worry. Put this experience behind you and move on to brighter pastures.
  4. by   CloudySue
    I'm sorry this all happened to you and I'm elated that you are out of that toxic environment. I've certainly had my share of smart alec CNAs who like to get in your face and challenge you to "go ahead, write me up!" then are shocked and get even nastier when you do. It's like that sort of defensive intimidation can work in a social setting, ie: in a dance club or on the street, but when it's tried at work, it goes a whole different way. That being said, I had my supervisors back me up, although I still was in fear of getting my tires slashed or car scratched, like what had happened to other nurses in the past. Some people just never understand how to be professional at work, and take things way too personally when their behavior is not tolerated. The majority of CNAs I worked with were fantastic, professional, kind, and personable. Still, it's those few bad apples that ultimately make working in LTC not worth the aggravation.
  5. by   MotherRN
    ...yeah, I had a mysterious 'egging' of my car after the whole incident happened...so I guess they might know where I live.
  6. by   JDZ344
    Report the egging to the police, without mentioning any of the above, just report it so it's on record. And anything else that may happen.

    I hope you find a better job soon.
  7. by   CloudySue
    Not so mysterious... it's nearly Halloween. Let's hope it's just your neighbors' bratty kids.
  8. by   MotherRN
    The management staff works 7-3. There are five nurses on that shift-one for each half the patient load and 3 salaried administrators. They also have a unit secretary and 5 CNA's. With all that help, they still can't get their paperwork on assessments done in a timely manner or seem to complete tasks. So, when the 3-11 shift comes in, the stuff gets dumped on us. So, we are expected to finish their stuff and also ours and still manage to get off the clock when the 11-7 shift gets there. We have to referree family concerns/complaints, collect/send labs in, do and complete admissions, receive the pharmacy shipment and place/follow up on orders day shift didn't complete, handle the doctor, and still get the meds passed twice, do the lions share of treatments and body audits (and enemas now), chart on 19 medicare patients!!!!!(not to count the 25+ LTC patients) and still get off on time- with only two nurses. Oh, yes, and make sure all the O2 tanks the dayshift left empty are refilled. Forget about the 11-7 shift picking up any of that-it doesn't happen. So, the 3-11 shift is the dumping ground for all problems. This is a posh beach-size home where the residents pay nearly $10K a month to be there and they expect service!!! So, the nurses in addition to all that have to make up for the fact the CNA's have 9 patients who all want to be toileted and put to bed at the same time by pitching in and doing their job as well. And, there's always the phone that rings off the hook.."Could you put my mom's tv on her favorite show?" when it isn't your patient and your on the other side of the building dressing a wound. Plus, you wear a beeper and are expected to answer the calls withing minutes or get written up when she tracks it in the system.

    So, all that being said, the only thing I will miss IS the paycheck! Their pay was good, gotta give 'em that, but still can't be in more than one place at a time and there are only so many hours to go around.

    No, I didn't have a problem with every shift. I had a problem with ONE nurse on the day shift and ONE CNA from the day shift that filled in on my shift one night. Our crew was working okay. We openly discussed amongst ourselves the bad rap from the day shift towards anyone who worked 3-11. The would come in the morning after our shift (no matter who worked my shift, since I was PRN) and complain about what a bad job we had done. FOr example, the few wound dressings that were done day and evening, when I would get in there to do them, the supplies would be used up and there would be no one to refill it at night so I would have to scrounge around for supplies. Then in the morning, my favorite nurse would complain about the dressing I put on the night before. And, say something like, there was the proper supplies when we did her dressing. Little snarky sabatoge things that add up.

    The real issue is that she is unable to complete her job without going into overtime. So, she dumps her stuff on me. Then, I can't get my stuff and her stuff done on time, but I'm the one who gets in trouble, not her because I don't have the relationship with management. I'm the night guy.

    This isn't an intrinsic problem of me being unable to get along with people. I am fine with my fellow nurses (I drove over to say goodbye to them to night). This facility is run by a woman with a publically known reputation for chewing people up and spitting them out. In my short time there, two others were fired from the 3-11 shift. I make number 3 in two months!

    I'm happy to go, as I said. It will be nice to be off for the holidays. But, I do need some money coming in so I will need to start looking again soon.

    Being able to vent here is helpful. Hopefully I won't receive posts that just turn it around into a personal attack and make it all about me. It's too bad when that "Stop whinning and admit it's just your fault" stuff gets dumped on people who just need a safe place to vent.

    Thanks in advance for any constructive advice. I know there is a problem in nursing with back-biting behavior or else we wouldn't have studied about it in school. I also know there is a problem with CNA's and insubordination. I know the fix for that is management has to back you up. If I were allowed to say, "Clock out and go home" a few times, those who wanted their jobs would be working to keep them and not messing around. But, it keeps happening here because the DON won't punish the CNA's. The last nurse before me who wrote someone up found that both him and the CNA got suspended! What message does that send! Then, we have a huddle where she calls us in and threatens to write up nurses who don't write up CNA's for not answering call bell lights (because someone complained no one came) and all this happened AFTER I did write someone up for that and look what it got me- immediately my hours were cut and within two weeks, a reason found to send me packing.

    Truly a toxic environment!!!
  9. by   MotherRN
    Quote from CloudySue
    Not so mysterious... it's nearly Halloween. Let's hope it's just your neighbors' bratty kids.
    The egging was on October 3rd, right after the incident. The really sad thing is I had been borrowing my son's car to drive to work, and of the four in our drive way, only his was the one egged.

    Maybe it's kids. Maybe it's Halloween. But I know there is no grudge against him, he just got back from deployment to Kuwait.

    Whatever it was, it didn't happen again. But, then again, nothing happened to the CNA either.
  10. by   MotherRN
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    It sounds like you had a personality conflict with at least one person on every shift. Maybe it's just as well you are moving on. I don't know how to tell you how to avoid it. If you are certain the problem is extrinsic, then surely you aren't going to encounter this same thing someplace else. The odds of this many people with this many personality disorders and in collusion to work against you in multiple work places seems remote, so I don't think you have to worry. Put this experience behind you and move on to brighter pastures.

    Hey BlueDevil! I remember you from our difference of opinions on the DNP thread. Geez, you make me sound paranoid! Not the case, I assure you. But, I am taking your advice and moving on to brighter pastures just the same.

    A good thing about moving on is that as a new nurse I need more opportunity to practice procedures and not just dress the same wounds or give the same meds over and over. Hopefully, I will find someone willing to train a new grad. The local hospitals just aren't biting around here! For now, it's back to volunteering. I had to stop until my schedule evened out. Now it looks like I'm wide open in that department!!
  11. by   monkeybug
    I hate being put in that position. Management tells you that you must do something (usually something unpleasant). When you try to do it, they absolutely won't back you, making you look like an ineffective a&&h*(( and a joke. Danged if you do, danged if you don't. I did move on to greener pastures, and while I desperately miss my coworkers and patients, I do NOT miss the stress, the games, and the feeling like every move was being watched.
  12. by   Sparrowhawk
    This is why I don't want to go back to a nursing job.
  13. by   not.done.yet
    I think any time one issues an ultimatum one has to be prepared for the response not to be the one they wanted.

    It sounds like you are better off not being there. I hope you find something else soon.
  14. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Just a quick question, what were you doing when the call light was going off? When I worked 3-11, or 11-7, I answered call lights. Maybe you were passing meds, or doing something else. I was just curious.