Nurses With Disabilities: Getting What You Need So You Can Give Your Best - page 4

It was the nightmare every long-term care nurse manager dreads: the exit interview with a state survey team that has just inspected every inch of the building and every piece of nursing documentation... Read More

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    Quote from Ginger's Mom
    I think you are missing my point, Viva took a bold move posting her shortcomings is a service to all. Viva is the one who post her short comings here not me. I don't have the details and not familiar with state law, but in my state have this number of issues could cause a place to loose their license. She is lucky her employer is not reporting to the Board of Nursing, which personally I don't think is indicated but not all employers are as generous or proactive as her employer. I don't need, don't want any more details not needed . But I am assuming Viva posted this to educate all on disabilities visible or not, in that light I have posted my comments since her premise is to educate that this situation could have had a very different outcome. I am not being critical but trying to add to her conversation. I am not a perfect person, but common sense tells me Viva did not get the support she needed to over come her situation and her employer suffered.

    Mental Health is an illness, it sounds to me this incident is result on more than one bad day. It sounds like her illness was not in good control, shame on her employer for not noticing sooner, if someone had a visible issue it would have been dealt with ( someone with a weeping wound, chest pain, or vomiting) and been mandated to get medical attention.
    Actually, I think you are missing my point. Your profile doesn't list what your role is in Nursing. Are you familiar with exactly what can happen when the State Inspectors walk in a do a survey of your facility? They are usually there for the week, and the exit interview takes place on Friday afternoon, of course, I guess it kind of depends on how big your facility is, but rest assured they will leave no stone unturned. They pour over charts, they check personnel records for completeness, they check individual licenses, and they make sure the facilities individual city operating licenses are up to date; they insure fire codes are being met, absolutely everything is scrutinized. Then they pick a few of the staff to talk to and shadow to make certain they know what they are doing. Failing to meet standards on any one of these areas earns you a citation, and it isn’t exactly like the State calls ahead and tells you they are coming in for a visit. You look up from your work and they are there, and suddenly the inspection is underway. Sometimes if you are fortunate, you can surmise it is about time for an inspection and be somewhat prepared, but you are never 100% ready, you just have to stay on top of your game all of the time. I think that’s where Viva meant she was lacking her attention to detail, things simply slipped her mind. It’s easy enough to do. I’m certain you’ve heard the old saying, “It’s hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp, when you’re up to you’re a$$ in alligators.” Especially in an LTC, you can never be fully prepared. You are always going to have holes in MARs; you are liable to have a med cart unattended, if just for a second, it was still unattended. You might have the treatment cart unlocked; God knows there could be a thousand little things and for the Inspector to come away with only 16 is actually pretty damn good. For Viva to say she was responsible for six, likely meant she was covering her staff for those six, not that they were her own cross to bare. Yet you came down on her like she had personally set fire to the LTC and locked the doors while everyone else was still inside, not like this was a learning experience and she had an opportunity teach other about her disability. Her employer has nothing to report her to the BON for, these are not personal faults, as part of the survey, she now has to write a Plan of Corrections and submit it, which I am certain will be concise and direct. This clearly demonstrates you don’t have a working knowledge of State Inspections and you really shouldn’t have interceded where you didn’t know what you were talking about. Maybe her staff wasn’t as “on the ball” as they could have been, maybe she let a few things slide, and her attention to detail waned a bit, these things happen. Perhaps we could review your performance evaluation next?
    pyriticsilence likes this.

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    Thank you Viva for sharing. Finding this article has been a bit of a miracle to me. Do you mind if I contact you privately ? I have bipolar disorder just recently diagnosed and for the most part I am functional but owe a lot of that to the fact that I work from home telephonically . My meds are still being tweaked and I find I can't function too well until 9 am. I made my boss aware and she seemed supportive but at the same time I was being heaped with more work because I have excellent time management skills. I stood my ground and asked for a decrease but I'm always fearful that my dx will lead to being fired instead of the real reason being that I was unfairly overloaded . I had even considered taking medical leave until medication symptoms smoothed out but again I'm afraid of the problems this would cause.
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    I'm glad you found this helpful. You and I are wandering around in somewhat dangerous territory, but so are a great many other nurses with physical and mental disorders, and sometimes we simply have to throw down the gauntlet and say, "This is me---the same person you knew before the diagnosis. Take me as I am, or let me go so I can move on with my life." For me, that has included multiple med adjustments and a couple of breakthrough mood episodes; but my boss is accommodating, and he's even helped me structure my days and given me support in order to have fewer interruptions/distractions.

    The way I look at it now---and as a director myself, I can see it from both sides---our employers can't possibly know what we need to do our best work if we never tell them. That's not on's up to us to make that happen. And yes, some employers won't get it, and we have to fight tooth-and-nails for everything, or find ourselves suddenly and mysteriously out of work. But we really want to work for employers who would discriminate against us based on a treatable medical condition?

    Didn't think so.

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