Retaliation for voicing concern over unsafe pratices - page 11

Hi, I am looking for some insight into retaliation acts by employers.I am a RN in a ICU setting at a major teaching hospital.I have been a resource to my entire unit.I received a promotion only... Read More

  1. by   Keysnurse2008
    Case Manager 1,
    ...yes....I saved all my evaluations. On my last eval I scored perfect scores on many many items......had no deficiencies and was in the high performer range.I probably scored in the top 3-5% of my work area. I have all my evaluations...from all the years I worked there.On all my evaluations I have always been an overacheiver/high performer there.So...my work ethic is well documented.My unit managers have always encouraged me to make copy of my evaluations...which I did.
    I cant tell you what a sad learning expereience this has been for me. I am extremely....just sad. They waited months to even interview me re: what happened. If they had of investigated this immediately afterward....they would have found many many nurses who were outraged . Now...my former coworkers...have had months to see the cause and effect rule in reality.Speak out and you get fired. Now...many are scared they will get fired if they tell what was really happening .I cant blame them.I know first hand the emotional and finicial burdens it causes when you are terminated for speaking out about the events surrounding this. However,..there are still many there...that if asked ...will tell the truth.
    Do I regret what I did? No...no I do not. I stand behind my decision. It is unethical to allow a nurse to gain competency thru trial and error.Will he/she eventually gain competency thru trial and error? Yes...probably so...but it isnt the "right" thing to do...to sit there and allow that to happen. These are patients lives here.Not peices of equipment. They have families.They are "someone"...to "somebody".If this were your husband/wife/child/mother...would you want to be the one she said "oops...gee I guess Id better make a mental note NOT to do that again...this one was an error".Its wrong...they can turn it...and twist it....but in the end ...it is wrong.I still am looking over all my options on how to proceed...bc...I have quite a few. It is just sad....when there are even cases out there like Barry adams...and alllllll the others. I feel so niave.I have been a nurse many a year...and never had really been aware that this is happening all across the country. I have heard so many stories from so many people...other nurses....other physicians...pharmaceutical reps...who have similar tales.This is wrong. These patients are people.
  2. by   Keysnurse2008
    TsunamiKim...Thanks.I have concrete proof..so..if they want to wait....thats ok. My audiotapes can be dusted off anytime for a judge.As far as I am concerned....I can play them in court...in front of a judge or jury....and that HC Institution can stand in front of that judge or jury ...and say " well Judge...you see our stance is that this NM lied on her hand written termination letter to this nurse......or they can opt to say..."well Judge/Jury...our stance is that our NM lied when she said that this alledged event occured on this date".....bc....thats concrete.They coflict...one says the event happened like on a Monday...the other says it alledgedly happened on a Thursday. Numerous other items are in there that they will be left having to decide what lie they want to go with.That's concrete.time....TsunamiKim...wont change that.A liar is a liar.Whats that old phrase "oh what a tangled web we weave when we pratice to decieve.".I cant help but wonder.....what wouldve happened to me...if I had not been such a good record keeper..if I hadnt had that "feeling" that something was wrong bad enough to make me want to record that meeting...etc etc.
  3. by   katfishLPN
    Quote from tnnurse
    hi,
    i am looking for some insight into retaliation acts by employers.i am a rn in a icu setting at a major teaching hospital.i have been a resource to my entire unit.i received a promotion only weeks ago.i received a email from my unit manager only hours before she fired me "thanking me" for my dedication to the new nursing staff. i have never been written up, never a verbal warning.my evaluations have been excellent in all my years at this hospital. until this past month....
    i voiced my concerns over some incompetency acts performed by a coworker-nurse. these were acts that were not merely mistakes...they were acts that could have resulted in patient death. i tried to set a meeting with my nurse manager to discuss this nurses incompetent level of function...and i was met with a date to come in for a termination meeting...mine!
    this nurse was the nurse managers best friend and recently was her assistant manager.she had done office work for years and had not taken care of any actual patient in years. when she opted to go back into staffing she "refused " to "accept" any orientation....and so she was left to learn by trial and error.in a icu setting...thats just wrong!othernurses had complained to the nurse manager to no avail...but i am a lil different.i have a history of being a strong patient advocate and i had told the nurse who was functioning incompetently that i was left with no choice but to go to our risk management dept re: her unsafe pratices.hours later....i was "fired" for an alledged documentation error. this same kind of documentation error has resulted in no disciplinary action for other employees.secondly ...my chart had been altered after i left...so i actually never had a documentation error.i dont know what to do. i have been a model employee for years.i have asked for dispute resolution....but they keep postphoning the dispute resolution hearing. what actually happens in a dispute resolution hearing? are they a sham?do you have any advice? i feel like i have been incredibly niave.like i should have seenit coming...but didnt.
    any advice/insights on what to do?
    i am so sorry to hear this. unfortunately i think this happens alot because this exact thing (but in a different setting) happened to me. i ended up being pretty much forced to leave and the nurse who was a danger to the patients (and good friends with the dns) got to stay and continue her very subpar and dangerous practices. i had been there 8 years as a charge nurse with 15 years experience behind me. she was a new grad when she started and had been there about 2 years when i left. the point being i really did try to help her and show her the correct way to do things. she just didn't care and finally there was the straw that broke this nurse's back and i took my concerns up with the dns. she told me i should talk to the other nurse about it. i informed her i have been working with her for as long as she had been employed there and she just continued to make mistakes. i also informed the dns that i am not one to go "tattle tale" on someones first mistake. i believe in letting someone know if they made a (not dangerous) mistake and helping that nurse especially since i had 15 years experience and she was a new grad. but i told her these same kind of mistakes had been ongoing and called for her (dns) intervention at that time. so, the dns did not talk to her and as a matter of fact i then was branded as a trouble maker. i had put my concerns in writing and the dns gave the paper to the nurse i was concerned about. that nurse then went and told everyone about it and so there you go. nothing was done to remedy the situation and i was then the bad guy. i am sorry that this was so long but i so understand your frustration and i don't have any good answers. i will look forward to reading from others about this subject. just remember you did what you thought was right! keep your head up!!!
    oh p.s. this dns was there about 8 months when this happened. the dns found out about the dns position there through the nurse i complained about's best friend (also a nurse who worked there). so all 3 of them were friends, but like you guess maybe i was naive and thought professionalism would take precedent...guess not!!! learned a big lesson...life's not fair! i also went to the administrator also to no avail.
    oh and there is one more twist. the nurse i complained about had started an agency and the dns agreed to use that nurse's agency exclusively. we had never had to use agency then all the sudden we had more agency then our own staff and she(the nurse i complained about) was their boss...seemed quite unethical to me. i did by the way report them to the state board of nursing and i heard from a friend that was still there that things changed quite quickly after that.
    Last edit by katfishLPN on Dec 22, '05
  4. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from TNNURSE
    Case Manager 1,
    ...yes....I saved all my evaluations. On my last eval I scored perfect scores on many many items......had no deficiencies and was in the high performer range.I probably scored in the top 3-5% of my work area. I have all my evaluations...from all the years I worked there.On all my evaluations I have always been an overacheiver/high performer there.So...my work ethic is well documented.My unit managers have always encouraged me to make copy of my evaluations...which I did.
    All you need to do now is to turn over all these documents to your attorney and let him/her make those folks who WRONGFULLY terminated you pay for it PUBLICLY in court. THEY are DEAD MEAT.
  5. by   Keysnurse2008
    case manager1,
    i have already turned the past evals to my attorney. i still feel like i have been such a huge trusting idiot! when this happened...i was in shock. i have always been such a huge patient safety advocate.ex:at this hc institution i had a post op patient who fainted on me. want to know what i did? i actually stepped in and tried to shoulder this collapsed ladys body with mine to keep her from slamming into the concrete floor.she was fine.i ended up with screws and plates in my spine.do i regret it?no..no i dont. bc of the way the room was...i had 2 choices.try and catch her and shoulder her until help arrived...or let her slam into the concrete floor and probably end up with a huge subdural hematome...or worse..dead. so...when i say i am ahuge pt safety advocate...i dont just "talk the talk".i have a strong ethical core that will not allow me to "not" do the right thing.that...i can not change.i wasnt happy that i was placed in the position of having to report this nurse and my nm's actions and inactions. i didnt ask to "see" what i saw.but...when placed in that position...i had little choice. i am still just kicking myself over this for being so niave.i feel like an idiot...bc....even though i had this "feeling" that something wasnt right at that last meeting with this nm. i never saw it coming.i didnt even know what hit me.i have been a nurse a while...have seen alot of really strange things but nothing compares to this.i am just saddened to hear how frequently this occurs.does it make it right? no..no it doesnt.these patients have to be soooo sick to even meet admit criteria nowadays.and when you have the sickest most vulnerable icu population...and you "see" things and events as i did. you have a duty to report it.i think the position of nurses and physicians and all hc team members are placed in when the witness events occur as i did are now begining to come to the public eye. hence..pres bush's last patient safety act.if..if...hc team memebers are not afforded retaliatory protection how many are going to do as i did? whats going to happen to your mother/brother/father/sister/child/spouse the next time they enter a hc setting.????i still just feel like niave idiot.i never saw it coming.to make matters worse i am still so idiotic i still feel bad for placing the hc institution in a position of having to defend this nurse and nm.i know that old phrase "what is it??/respondent de superior???let the master answer.....but i cant help but think the "master" didnt know what the h**l was going on in my icu.
  6. by   Keysnurse2008
    ok...I need to add spell check back to my computer.sorry for any typos!
  7. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from tnnurse
    case manager1,
    i have already turned the past evals to my attorney. i still feel like i have been such a huge trusting idiot! when this happened...i was in shock. i have always been such a huge patient safety advocate.ex:at this hc institution i had a post op patient who fainted on me. want to know what i did? i actually stepped in and tried to shoulder this collapsed ladys body with mine to keep her from slamming into the concrete floor.she was fine.i ended up with screws and plates in my spine.do i regret it?no..no i dont. bc of the way the room was...i had 2 choices.try and catch her and shoulder her until help arrived...or let her slam into the concrete floor and probably end up with a huge subdural hematome...or worse..dead. so...when i say i am ahuge pt safety advocate...i dont just "talk the talk".i have a strong ethical core that will not allow me to "not" do the right thing.that...i can not change.i wasnt happy that i was placed in the position of having to report this nurse and my nm's actions and inactions. i didnt ask to "see" what i saw.but...when placed in that position...i had little choice. i am still just kicking myself over this for being so niave.i feel like an idiot...bc....even though i had this "feeling" that something wasnt right at that last meeting with this nm. i never saw it coming.i didnt even know what hit me.i have been a nurse a while...have seen alot of really strange things but nothing compares to this.i am just saddened to hear how frequently this occurs.does it make it right? no..no it doesnt.these patients have to be soooo sick to even meet admit criteria nowadays.and when you have the sickest most vulnerable icu population...and you "see" things and events as i did. you have a duty to report it.i think the position of nurses and physicians and all hc team members are placed in when the witness events occur as i did are now begining to come to the public eye. hence..pres bush's last patient safety act.if..if...hc team memebers are not afforded retaliatory protection how many are going to do as i did? whats going to happen to your mother/brother/father/sister/child/spouse the next time they enter a hc setting.????i still just feel like niave idiot.i never saw it coming.to make matters worse i am still so idiotic i still feel bad for placing the hc institution in a position of having to defend this nurse and nm.i know that old phrase "what is it??/respondent de superior???let the master answer.....but i cant help but think the "master" didnt know what the h**l was going on in my icu.
    you've been through the ultimate betrayal, all right, and you have every right to be hurt and angry. but what you need to do now is to focus all this energy into action which will help to ensure that the same thing does not ever happen again, just because a decent, hard-working and ethical nurse like you committed corporate blasphemy in the eyes of your former employer. make it well known to your attorney that their misery is your mission in life..no matter what it takes! we are all rooting for you!
  8. by   jodyangel
    Yes but I'm beginning to think its all pitted against the nurse. Like we don't really have a voice in TRUTH. What can ever be done about this treatment?? :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
  9. by   TsunamiKim
    tnturse,

    sorry you had to experience that. i just endured another blow yesterday in my ongoing battle against my former hospital. i want to share it with you here to warn you of another major pitfall that lies ahead of you. a few years ago hospitals, like many employers throughout the us, were encouraged to create internal compliance lines to enable their employees to report negligence and fraud though a safe and confidential internal channel. it seems that the main reason government got behind this was to weed out fraud, like medicare fraud, that squandered public money. this undertaking was not embraced by hospitals for altruistic reasons to insure better, safer patient care and genuinely uncover wrongdoing so that it could be rectified, it was purely economic. if a business had one of these compliance lines in place and a public agency did charge them with negligence or fraud they could help to limit the financial damage in fines. this was based on the premise that they had acted in good faith to insure that they were doing everything within their power to prevent such goings on at their hospital or business.
    however in the true spirit of maintaining the status quo on profiteering and corrupt practices it did not take long for the american business world to find a way round this. these compliance lines are now used to weed out those "trouble maker" whistleblowers and do a swift cover up job with the necessary damage control to secure their own interests and insure that their reputation remained untarnished. i was told by someone knowledgeable connected to one of the whistleblower organizations that they had a written warning on their web site to inform people of this potential corruption, but i haven't found that web page yet. the point is be warned, as my own experience certainly bears out this information. do not trust or attempt to contact a compliance line as they are probably 100% corrupt!
    they say that if you inform them of negligent unsafe practices or fraud they will do a very thorough internal investigation to correct the problem you have bought to their attention: not! they also say that they will protect you from retaliation for informing on these issues so that your job is not in danger: definitely, emphatically not! you will never receive anything from them in writing, zero paper trail. my former hospital calls this "transparency," they even won a fancy award for their "transparency." america's best hospital supposedly wrote the book on patient safety; they also came up with an award winning implementation program for quality care that they are marketing to other hospitals as they preach the gospel of honesty, integrity and transparency. meanwhile they still rely on their compliance line to protect dirty little secrets from the past leaking into the public domain or being accessed by public agencies who might expect real accountability.
    they will tell you that they cannot investigate your allegation of retaliation until you have gone through the entire hr process and every other avenue of recourse first. basically they cannot protect you from retaliation until you have completely finished enduring the very worst excesses of that retaliation; surely that makes sense right? in other words they are committed to protecting their corrupt hospital's right to continue unrelenting retaliation until they have completely removed all trace of your existence from within their system. these ongoing acts of serious retaliation, include managers lying under oath at hearings unimpeded and new "charges" inserted into your personnel file that you have zero access to and they can continuously tamper with at their leisure and with impunity. by doing this they can show their heavily doctored "evidence" to public agencies like eeoc behind your back to convince them you were legitimately fired for cause; since you have no access you cannot refute any of it. now that's really cunning and audacious. all of these corrupt practices go completely unmonitored and unhindered by this "compliance line" while the hospital stalls for time to avoid accountability; it all takes a very long time.
    in my case they were unable or unwilling to show just cause for firing me to maryland unemployment compensation to block my eligibility. perhaps they were more cautious about lying to deliberately defraud me out of unemployment payments because they risked criminal prosecution. "if employers provide false information for the purpose of disqualifying a claimant, they may be subject to criminal, as well as civil, penalties." this pertains to the state of maryland, but it may well be applicable in your state too. how about you tnnurse? did they attempt to block you from obtaining unemployment compensation by showing scrambled, wrong day documentation of the minor technicality they used to justify your removal?
    this was the only agency that my former hospital perhaps chose not to misrepresent and lie to about the reason for my termination. eeoc, the maryland commission on human relations and the board of nursing were all shown documents that i was expressly prohibited from seeing. this is obviously a rather warped example of the hospital's concept of "transparency." in contrast i willingly supplied an official signed waiver to enable the board of nursing unrestricted access to my employee files and even my short distance phone record. that was my definition of transparency! however i was sickened when the board of nursing continued to protect the interests of the hospital by prohibiting my access to my own files and the fake charges against me. i have to say as an english person i am simply stunned by this american interpretation of due process, justice and fair play.
    with careful maneuvering and deliberate stalling tactics this painful process of stalling may drag out for several years, but as a naive idiot you actually believe that if all else fails you can insist that they investigate: not! once they have allowed the corrupt hr process to complete the job of removing you from the system then you are no longer an employee and they do not have to bother investigating weather the retaliation used to remove you was legitimate or not. clever isn't it? that was the little gem that they dropped on me yesterday. they let me know that i had no right to justice because they had successfully "retaliated" me out of your right to an investigation of that retaliation! they will probably refuse your calls because they do not even have the guts to tell you they lied and tricked you into sabotaging your own recourse to protection. it is simple really: there is no recourse to protection.
    if you try to separate the negligence issues that originally prompted retaliation against you from the act of them firing you for coming forward, they will resist. my hospital wanted to continue risking patient's lives for another three years until my last recourse was exhausted; that made good business sense to them. however, even if they pretend they are actually doing an investigation it is likely to be a total farce. this is when they return to agenda number one: covering their tracks and making the real negligence issue go away. remember, most of the hospital negligence issues are financially motivated and skimming the big bucks cannot be disrupted by some pesky whistleblower! there are ways to get round everything and justify that negligence, the perennial "nursing crisis" is a good old standby.
    this thorough "investigation" never produces any tangible result that might be shared with you. there is no plan for resolving the problems you raised, no course of action they agree to take, just a pathetic, totally incomprehensible, verbal excuse given to you to fob you off if you pester them with calls. verbally over the phone i was told that they had discovered there was some truth to my allegations, but they had decided to "just keep an eye on things." the total absence of documentation and zero written response is the clearest hallmark of a truly corrupt compliance line "investigation." if they did act on your concerns and there was genuine "transparency" there would be something to show for it following a "thorough investigation" so why can't they openly share their plan for correcting the negligence with you? simple they can't because they intend to do nothing as that would require tangible consequences like disciplining managers, it would need actual accountability and it might shut down the gravy train of easy cash from deliberately depleting staffing resources to maximize profits.
    in all probability the hospital management are secretly very grateful to you for alerting them to corrupt practices that they will need to obscure far more carefully in the future. because of your conscientious reporting they can create a back up plan to justify their negligent actions to any authorities who might come snooping. in some cases wronged employees are totally fooled by this inaction, they give up and disappear into obscurity. they are convinced that corrective measures were taken even when there is nothing to demonstrate this. they feel that they have done their duty to protect patients from harm. so called "risk management" functions this way too; the bottom line is you cannot trust the fox to guard the hen house! never trust anyone who says: "trust me!" if you listen to an internal, self interest group like "risk management" or a compliance line when they say "everything is ok" you have been duped.
    if you now go to external accreditation agencies the hospital has been forewarned of what they need to cover up to deceive these groups. their ignoring of the retaliation that removed you acts in their favor too: they can sabotage your credibility by portraying you as a "disgruntled former employee seeking revenge." even if you do manage to prompt a full external investigation from a public agency and they are found guilty of negligence or fraud the existence of that bogus compliance line will help to modify any fines they might be expected to pay. it will be used to demonstrate their corporate integrity and transparency in dealing with complaints and allegations raised by their employees. now you can understand how setting up a compliance line is a win, win situation for corrupt businesses.
    yesterday i had my call back to the so called "independent" compliance line company who were overseeing the handling of the case i tried, one more time, to reopen. the "independent" chief compliance line investigator that i had originally dealt with at the hospital was recently transferred to another cushy managerial promotion at one of their affiliate hospitals; how independent is that? he was the person who originally set up their compliance line and was undoubtedly a long time, well trusted hospital functionary. he created a terrific program to cover up their negligence and fraud and it certainly looks like the hospital has rewarded him well with his new post. there was no written reply from him or anyone else, after all how do you put: "we don't comply, we do not protect employees from retaliation, so we just lied to make you go away" in writing?
    the extent and sheer audacity of their con trick nauseates me when i read about their sanctimonious preaching with regard to patient safety, quality care, honesty, integrity and transparency: it is just so incredibly hypocritical i want to puke. it is the scope of this deception at this untouchable, iconic institution that makes me so determined to expose the truth. i owe it to the patients and i must do it to try and force the hospital to put proper whistleblower protections in place so that employees are no longer intimidated into silence. you have already seen how quickly "amnesia" set in after your colleges realize the consequences of speaking up; for me that was a really painful experience of loosing most of my former friends. please do not give up, your patients and those fellow employees need you to be strong and expose this negligence. but do not let them stall for time and: do not trust a compliance line or risk management. the fox cannot be trusted to guard the hen house! hang in there and stay strong,

    fair winds and following seas, kim.
  10. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from jodyangel
    yes but i'm beginning to think its all pitted against the nurse. like we don't really have a voice in truth. what can ever be done about this treatment?? :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
    jodyangel,.
    as far as i understand i have numerous options-legally.but...beyond me....this thing is huge.it is a massive problem for all nurses.i am a memeber of my states nsg association, a member of the ana.but alot of nurses are not.so we as nurses need to get more involved in the ana. we need to look at the states where nurses have the most protection legally.see...what it is they are "doing right".it is all about strengthening our laws to allow more patient and public safety issues to "make it to the public"...on the law books...legal protections.when ...this happened to me i was in shock.i thought....omg....i cant believe this. i couldnt imagine that other nurses had gone thru the same thing.i had no idea what a "whistleblower statute" was....or what it meant. i didnt know words like "preemptive strike, commonlaw tort, retaliatory discharge etc etc.these words were blissfully missing from my vocabulary.i was clueless as to the magnitude of this problem. i have heard from physicians who are worried about bringing incompetency and impairment issues to the medical center & medical board bc they face very real chances of retaliation when it comes time for their peer review.their careers could be destroyed, families uprooted if they speak out about impaired &incompetent coworkers.these are your surgeons, your pediatricians, your icu nurses, your trauma docs, er nurses etc etc etc.if ..if they continue to face the very real fear that they will face retaliation.,..are they going to come forward and report this?its a risk. it shouldnt be. they should feel no sense of fear....these laws should be enforced.this is about protection.these laws need to be refined even more to detail....detail...what that hc facility is going to mandatorily face is they do not adhere strictly to these laws/statutes.as it is now....it is left up to a judge andjury....and unless you happened to record everything ...it is at times difficult to prove.my case...is kinda the exception.i have audiotapes, copies of evals, copies of letters from this nm and others requesting my promotion, letters stating i passed a very scrutinous internal review committee for my promotion that they all mutually agreed i was functioning at a very highly skilled level.i have this nm and nurses actions and inactions...concrete things that cant be misinterpreted.i have tapes of the nm admitting that she was aware this nurse made some alterations to my pts mr..so my case.....is not like alot of others. alot of these other cases are just the nurses or physicians word against the hc facility.unless these laws are strengthed in all states we will continue to face the fear of retaliation...and that pedicatrician, surgeon , anesthesiologist, or nurse, rr nurse,crna, ed nurse, trauma doc, icu nurse will continue to pratice unsafely under the haven of that hc facility.and they will care for you...and me...and our families.....and we as the general public will suffer because serious wrongs will continue to occur.we will be the ones left with the consequences of that practitioners errors.
    occur
  11. by   SallyRNCNOR
    Dear TNN:
    My thoughts and wishes are with you. What a terrible way to treat a long term dedicated employee. You didn't mention if your facility was represented by a union. If so you cannot be fired without probable cause. You have no other write-ups in your file to prove that you have been anything other than an exemplary employee. I would suggest that you speak to your union rep before making any decisions.
    If you are not represented by a union, may I suggest that you do contact a lawyer and give him all the pertinent information. If you have either documentation, or corroborative evidence that this other nurse has been behaving unsafely, I don't think that the hospital would be willing to undergo the public scrutiny of a trial.
    I don't know what state that you are from, but I don't think it would hurt to find out your state laws regarding whistleblowing. If you have participated in any political campaigns or if you are on friendly terms with your local legislator, it wouldn't be a bad idea to speak to him/her and get them in your corner. If you have any physicians that are willing to speak in your behalf, or have witnessed any of the unsafe behavior by this employee, now would be a good time to have them speak to the hospital administrator. Your hospital administrator is responsible to the local community, and it would be difficult to explain why a unsafe employee is allowed to continue in a critical care area.
  12. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from tsunamikim
    tnturse,

    sorry you had to experience that. i just endured another blow yesterday in my ongoing battle against my former hospital. i want to share it with you here to warn you of another major pitfall that lies ahead of you. a few years ago hospitals, like many employers throughout the us, were encouraged to create internal compliance lines to enable their employees to report negligence and fraud though a safe and confidential internal channel. it seems that the main reason government got behind this was to weed out fraud, like medicare fraud, that squandered public money. this undertaking was not embraced by hospitals for altruistic reasons to insure better, safer patient care and genuinely uncover wrongdoing so that it could be rectified, it was purely economic. if a business had one of these compliance lines in place and a public agency did charge them with negligence or fraud they could help to limit the financial damage in fines. this was based on the premise that they had acted in good faith to insure that they were doing everything within their power to prevent such goings on at their hospital or business.
    however in the true spirit of maintaining the status quo on profiteering and corrupt practices it did not take long for the american business world to find a way round this. these compliance lines are now used to weed out those "trouble maker" whistleblowers and do a swift cover up job with the necessary damage control to secure their own interests and insure that their reputation remained untarnished. i was told by someone knowledgeable connected to one of the whistleblower organizations that they had a written warning on their web site to inform people of this potential corruption, but i haven't found that web page yet. the point is be warned, as my own experience certainly bears out this information. do not trust or attempt to contact a compliance line as they are probably 100% corrupt!
    they say that if you inform them of negligent unsafe practices or fraud they will do a very thorough internal investigation to correct the problem you have bought to their attention: not! they also say that they will protect you from retaliation for informing on these issues so that your job is not in danger: definitely, emphatically not! you will never receive anything from them in writing, zero paper trail. my former hospital calls this "transparency," they even won a fancy award for their "transparency." america's best hospital supposedly wrote the book on patient safety; they also came up with an award winning implementation program for quality care that they are marketing to other hospitals as they preach the gospel of honesty, integrity and transparency. meanwhile they still rely on their compliance line to protect dirty little secrets from the past leaking into the public domain or being accessed by public agencies who might expect real accountability.
    they will tell you that they cannot investigate your allegation of retaliation until you have gone through the entire hr process and every other avenue of recourse first. basically they cannot protect you from retaliation until you have completely finished enduring the very worst excesses of that retaliation; surely that makes sense right? in other words they are committed to protecting their corrupt hospital's right to continue unrelenting retaliation until they have completely removed all trace of your existence from within their system. these ongoing acts of serious retaliation, include managers lying under oath at hearings unimpeded and new "charges" inserted into your personnel file that you have zero access to and they can continuously tamper with at their leisure and with impunity. by doing this they can show their heavily doctored "evidence" to public agencies like eeoc behind your back to convince them you were legitimately fired for cause; since you have no access you cannot refute any of it. now that's really cunning and audacious. all of these corrupt practices go completely unmonitored and unhindered by this "compliance line" while the hospital stalls for time to avoid accountability; it all takes a very long time.
    in my case they were unable or unwilling to show just cause for firing me to maryland unemployment compensation to block my eligibility. perhaps they were more cautious about lying to deliberately defraud me out of unemployment payments because they risked criminal prosecution. "if employers provide false information for the purpose of disqualifying a claimant, they may be subject to criminal, as well as civil, penalties." this pertains to the state of maryland, but it may well be applicable in your state too. how about you tnnurse? did they attempt to block you from obtaining unemployment compensation by showing scrambled, wrong day documentation of the minor technicality they used to justify your removal?
    this was the only agency that my former hospital perhaps chose not to misrepresent and lie to about the reason for my termination. eeoc, the maryland commission on human relations and the board of nursing were all shown documents that i was expressly prohibited from seeing. this is obviously a rather warped example of the hospital's concept of "transparency." in contrast i willingly supplied an official signed waiver to enable the board of nursing unrestricted access to my employee files and even my short distance phone record. that was my definition of transparency! however i was sickened when the board of nursing continued to protect the interests of the hospital by prohibiting my access to my own files and the fake charges against me. i have to say as an english person i am simply stunned by this american interpretation of due process, justice and fair play.
    with careful maneuvering and deliberate stalling tactics this painful process of stalling may drag out for several years, but as a naive idiot you actually believe that if all else fails you can insist that they investigate: not! once they have allowed the corrupt hr process to complete the job of removing you from the system then you are no longer an employee and they do not have to bother investigating weather the retaliation used to remove you was legitimate or not. clever isn't it? that was the little gem that they dropped on me yesterday. they let me know that i had no right to justice because they had successfully "retaliated" me out of your right to an investigation of that retaliation! they will probably refuse your calls because they do not even have the guts to tell you they lied and tricked you into sabotaging your own recourse to protection. it is simple really: there is no recourse to protection.
    if you try to separate the negligence issues that originally prompted retaliation against you from the act of them firing you for coming forward, they will resist. my hospital wanted to continue risking patient's lives for another three years until my last recourse was exhausted; that made good business sense to them. however, even if they pretend they are actually doing an investigation it is likely to be a total farce. this is when they return to agenda number one: covering their tracks and making the real negligence issue go away. remember, most of the hospital negligence issues are financially motivated and skimming the big bucks cannot be disrupted by some pesky whistleblower! there are ways to get round everything and justify that negligence, the perennial "nursing crisis" is a good old standby.
    this thorough "investigation" never produces any tangible result that might be shared with you. there is no plan for resolving the problems you raised, no course of action they agree to take, just a pathetic, totally incomprehensible, verbal excuse given to you to fob you off if you pester them with calls. verbally over the phone i was told that they had discovered there was some truth to my allegations, but they had decided to "just keep an eye on things." the total absence of documentation and zero written response is the clearest hallmark of a truly corrupt compliance line "investigation." if they did act on your concerns and there was genuine "transparency" there would be something to show for it following a "thorough investigation" so why can't they openly share their plan for correcting the negligence with you? simple they can't because they intend to do nothing as that would require tangible consequences like disciplining managers, it would need actual accountability and it might shut down the gravy train of easy cash from deliberately depleting staffing resources to maximize profits.
    in all probability the hospital management are secretly very grateful to you for alerting them to corrupt practices that they will need to obscure far more carefully in the future. because of your conscientious reporting they can create a back up plan to justify their negligent actions to any authorities who might come snooping. in some cases wronged employees are totally fooled by this inaction, they give up and disappear into obscurity. they are convinced that corrective measures were taken even when there is nothing to demonstrate this. they feel that they have done their duty to protect patients from harm. so called "risk management" functions this way too; the bottom line is you cannot trust the fox to guard the hen house! never trust anyone who says: "trust me!" if you listen to an internal, self interest group like "risk management" or a compliance line when they say "everything is ok" you have been duped.
    if you now go to external accreditation agencies the hospital has been forewarned of what they need to cover up to deceive these groups. their ignoring of the retaliation that removed you acts in their favor too: they can sabotage your credibility by portraying you as a "disgruntled former employee seeking revenge." even if you do manage to prompt a full external investigation from a public agency and they are found guilty of negligence or fraud the existence of that bogus compliance line will help to modify any fines they might be expected to pay. it will be used to demonstrate their corporate integrity and transparency in dealing with complaints and allegations raised by their employees. now you can understand how setting up a compliance line is a win, win situation for corrupt businesses.
    yesterday i had my call back to the so called "independent" compliance line company who were overseeing the handling of the case i tried, one more time, to reopen. the "independent" chief compliance line investigator that i had originally dealt with at the hospital was recently transferred to another cushy managerial promotion at one of their affiliate hospitals; how independent is that? he was the person who originally set up their compliance line and was undoubtedly a long time, well trusted hospital functionary. he created a terrific program to cover up their negligence and fraud and it certainly looks like the hospital has rewarded him well with his new post. there was no written reply from him or anyone else, after all how do you put: "we don't comply, we do not protect employees from retaliation, so we just lied to make you go away" in writing?
    the extent and sheer audacity of their con trick nauseates me when i read about their sanctimonious preaching with regard to patient safety, quality care, honesty, integrity and transparency: it is just so incredibly hypocritical i want to puke. it is the scope of this deception at this untouchable, iconic institution that makes me so determined to expose the truth. i owe it to the patients and i must do it to try and force the hospital to put proper whistleblower protections in place so that employees are no longer intimidated into silence. you have already seen how quickly "amnesia" set in after your colleges realize the consequences of speaking up; for me that was a really painful experience of loosing most of my former friends. please do not give up, your patients and those fellow employees need you to be strong and expose this negligence. but do not let them stall for time and: do not trust a compliance line or risk management. the fox cannot be trusted to guard the hen house! hang in there and stay strong,

    fair winds and following seas, kim.
    [b]hmmm......ok......very interesting.i kinda feel like this....i have spoken to a great many of my former coworkers .....and there are a few that might get amnesia.....but there are many who will not.. and will be very open...if they ask.i went to this meeting last week....and as i said.....it appeared that 1 of the 2 parties was actively listening.so...even though i am getting more cynical by the day tsunamikim...i have to wait on their results from this internal investigation. did i get to tell them "all" that i felt they needed to know? no...no i didnt.i didnt. i am in a position of having to really wait on their results now.what i would love to be able to come back and say is that this employer did do the right thing.after all the negative stuff/info/stories i have heard...id love to be able to come back and put that post on here. i should know in the next day/so. like i said...its hard to dispute when you have audiotapes of them actually lying and admitting they altered mrs.its sad really....and i mean that.it is sad. sad or not...it still doesnt change the facts...what happened to me was very much unethical and against the law.i have copies of my evals, my work record, letters for promotion etc etc etc. so..even though i didnt get to give them all the info i wanted to or explain as much as i wanted....i will just have to wait and see what their next move is.
    they have 2 choices ..
    1.one- stand behind that nm and be prepared to stand in front of a judge/jury and choose which lie they want to go with...and admit that they either lied in their documentation or lied on the audiotapes.its a slippery slope that anybody can see.
    2.stand behind their compliance policy and be a hc facility that truly does want to ensure pt safety...get rid of that nm and that nurse and it will make a statement to their employees that they expect honesty,accountability, and top quality performance from them.which results in better /safer patient care and lowered riskmanagement "risks" so...the saga continues.
    tsunamikim,
    my heart breaks for you.i didnt apply for unemployment.i got multiple job offers the first day i applied. what excuse did your compliance officer give for his decision?i mean...i am definitely "new" to this ......but most compliance statements are pretty clear cut from what i have read . i want to know...to hear your story.what was the basis for your risk managements and compliance officers decisions? lack of substansiating evidence.....what exactly did they cite?b]
  13. by   bluestar
    I would think the incompetency issues should be reported to your state board of nursing, then I'd seriously pursue a good attorney. Sounds like you got the shaft.

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