"Fired for NO Reason"

  1. 287
    we often see threads with the title "fired for no reason," or "new grad harassed and fired" or something to that effect. and i always feel at least a little sympathy for the individual involved, if only because i can clearly see by reading between the lines of their self-justifying post that there was a reason for their termination, even if they just don't get it. (there are always a few posts every year from a new grad who is convinced that the reason she's not getting along with her co-workers is that she's just so beautiful they're all jealous, that crowds of mean people are following her around, that she's so wonderful she's going to rock the er or icu or nicu or or and no one sees her wonderfulness clearly, or that some mean, tired, old nurse who ought to retire and get out of the way is targeting her for no good reason.)

    i worked with a new grad who was recently terminated for, as she puts it, totally bogus reasons. evidently seeing mine as a sympathetic ear, she went on and on and on about how unfair it was that management expected her to get her act together and actually understand what was going on with her patients. "i've got the time management thing down pat," she said. "i don't know what else they want. they're just picking on me for no good reason." i liked sal, i really did. she was interesting and entertaining and really, really nice. she was also smart, hard-working (when she was at work) and well-educated. but she didn't study outside of work, and really didn't understand what was going on with her patients. i participated in several meetings with her in which it was pointed out that it's not enough to do the tasks, you have to understand why you're doing them. it's not enough to draw the labs. you have to understand what the results mean and then address them. for instance, if the inr is 9, it might explain the nosebleed, the cherry red urine and the fact that the hemoglobin is now 6. giving the coumadin at 6pm as scheduled is not a good thing, even if you gave it right on time and were able to explain to the patient that "it's a blood thinner." i could go on and on.

    i got a call from sal today, complaining that she knows she's blackballed for no good reason because she just can't get another job. she wanted me to give her a reference. did she just not get it?

    all you new grads out there who are convinced that you're being picked on for no reason, that your more experienced colleagues are just out to get you, and that you're being unfairly targeting, harassed, or picked on, hear this: it may be something you're doing (or not doing) and all those "mean people" are trying to explain it to you so you catch on, learn your job and succeed. we all tried over and over with sal, and she still doesn't get it. are you guilty of the same thing? if your preceptor says you lack critical thinking skills, do you take it to heart, think about it and learn from it? or are you convinced that the entire issue is that she's jealous of your extreme good looks? if your charge nurse charges you with a deficit in your time management skills do you spend time figuring out where you could speed things up a bit? or do you dismiss her as a tired old dog who can't learn a new trick and ought to retire anyway? are you taking to heart and benefitting from any negative feedback you're getting, however poorly given it is? or are you obsessing about how "mean" that nurse was to you and totally overlooking the message?

    i wish sal would have "gotten it." she would have been delightful to work with if she had. but right now she's focused on badmouthing her preceptors and the charge nurse, and she still doesn't understand what she did wrong. don't make the same mistakes.
    Kiro686, jelly221,RN, kids, and 284 others like this.

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  2. 540 Comments...

  3. 5
    Yes, good advice.

    But also, I did see, as an older student, absolutely ridiculous behavior, and simple cluelessness at my last clinical, to where I pulled a doc aside and updated him on signs and symptoms I noticed, when seasoned RNs were all, "what is up with this patient, why is she so agitated, what a PIA she is!" Some clinicals you learn something from and others, you throw in the towel. It can be hard to find people like you OP, who do want to teach and care at all.
    Marie13, mariposabella, Meriwhen, and 2 others like this.
  4. 17
    Interesting post. I think one of the best qualities a person can have is to be teachable in all things. It requires a certain amount of humility, however, and some folks just don't want to go down that road by virtue of holding on to pride or control or whatever.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm a new nurse and hope to always be open to the advice of others. I certainly need it, lol.
    Aurora77, Chin up, Marie13, and 14 others like this.
  5. 32
    I really needed to see this today. Thank you.

    At work today, a CNA was terminated and before she could be escorted from the building, she took off and immediately started telling everyone who would listen that it was my fault.

    One day earlier this week, I had asked her to get weights on the two new residents. The House Superviser heard her when she replied, "I'll put it in my busy schedule." End of shift comes, I asked her about the weights and she told me the residents said they had already been weighed so she didn't get them. Apparently, she thinks this incident is the entire reason she was fired. It must've had nothing to do with all the call-ins, the constant leaving early, never being able to find her, the inability to get along with her co-workers. Nope, none of those things factored in.
    canoehead, JPRloverNurse, Chin up, and 29 others like this.
  6. 11
    Ruby, it is a well written post. I can identify having seen it thankfully only a few times over the years.

    I have made my own share of mistakes over the years also, they were some of my greatest learning tools.
    Last edit by lpnflorida on Feb 6, '09 : Reason: added
    GrnTea, Orange Tree, Penguin67, and 8 others like this.
  7. 10
    I think that this post is a great post for learning. We all need to be open to our mistakes and to learning from them, however there are a very, very few experienced nurses that will not help a new nurse and will be the first ones to report all errors to the charge nurse and anyone else who will listen. I highly doubt that the op in one of these type of nurses. So I will say that being a professional goes both ways with experienced and new nurses.

    So, I will say thank you to the op for the words of wisdom, as they are indeed a gift to the new nurse.
  8. 91
    Quote from ruby vee
    we often see threads with the title "fired for no reason," or "new grad harassed and fired" or something to that effect. and i always feel at least a little sympathy for the individual involved, if only because i can clearly see by reading between the lines of their self-justifying post that there was a reason for their termination, even if they just don't get it. (there are always a few posts every year from a new grad who is convinced that the reason she's not getting along with her co-workers is that she's just so beautiful they're all jealous, that crowds of mean people are following her around, that she's so wonderful she's going to rock the er or icu or nicu or or and no one sees her wonderfulness clearly, or that some mean, tired, old nurse who ought to retire and get out of the way is targeting her for no good reason.)

    i worked with a new grad who was recently terminated for, as she puts it, totally bogus reasons. evidently seeing mine as a sympathetic ear, she went on and on and on about how unfair it was that management expected her to get her act together and actually understand what was going on with her patients. "i've got the time management thing down pat," she said. "i don't know what else they want. they're just picking on me for no good reason." i liked sal, i really did. she was interesting and entertaining and really, really nice. she was also smart, hard-working (when she was at work) and well-educated. but she didn't study outside of work, and really didn't understand what was going on with her patients. i participated in several meetings with her in which it was pointed out that it's not enough to do the tasks, you have to understand why you're doing them. it's not enough to draw the labs. you have to understand what the results mean and then address them. for instance, if the inr is 9, it might explain the nosebleed, the cherry red urine and the fact that the hemoglobin is now 6. giving the coumadin at 6pm as scheduled is not a good thing, even if you gave it right on time and were able to explain to the patient that "it's a blood thinner." i could go on and on.

    i got a call from sal today, complaining that she knows she's blackballed for no good reason because she just can't get another job. she wanted me to give her a reference. did she just not get it?

    all you new grads out there who are convinced that you're being picked on for no reason, that your more experienced colleagues are just out to get you, and that you're being unfairly targeting, harassed, or picked on, hear this: it may be something you're doing (or not doing) and all those "mean people" are trying to explain it to you so you catch on, learn your job and succeed. we all tried over and over with sal, and she still doesn't get it. are you guilty of the same thing? if your preceptor says you lack critical thinking skills, do you take it to heart, think about it and learn from it? or are you convinced that the entire issue is that she's jealous of your extreme good looks? if your charge nurse charges you with a deficit in your time management skills do you spend time figuring out where you could speed things up a bit? or do you dismiss her as a tired old dog who can't learn a new trick and ought to retire anyway? are you taking to heart and benefitting from any negative feedback you're getting, however poorly given it is? or are you obsessing about how "mean" that nurse was to you and totally overlooking the message?

    i wish sal would have "gotten it." she would have been delightful to work with if she had. but right now she's focused on badmouthing her preceptors and the charge nurse, and she still doesn't understand what she did wrong. don't make the same mistakes.
    where to start?

    i remember once being on clinicals and we witnessed two nurses at change of shift argueing about what insuling a pt. was on. the nurse giving report said she gave reg. insulin, and the one getting report freaked out. the form filled out by physicians at this facility was complex to say the least, and they pulled it out and argued for awhile about what insulin the pt. should have been on. a student had that pt. too. after, oh, a good 15 minutes of going back and forth on the proper interpretation of the order sheet, it became clear the nurse giving report was right and all the other nurses had been giving the wrong insulin.

    my fellow students all hailed the nurse giving report........"what a great nurse, she read the order right. those other nurses are not up to snuff." i injected that who was right was not the issue at all. two rns argueing over what insulin was really ordered, people giving the wrong insulins.....seems to me the problem is the form is not reliable, and that is the problem. who cares who was "right" at the time about what insulin to give. lost in all the argueing and finger pointing was the fact that the form needed changed.

    my point is, like myself and my fellow students, people see the same thing and take different lessons from it. i read your story, and although i agree in principle that some gns have the wrong attitude, i have a different reaction than you.

    the first part i bolded........is that a true, literal example of something your gn did or is that just something to make a point? scary if its true.

    as i read on, i noticed a trend in your thought process. notice the part afterward that i bolded. these statements do not convey to me a supportive preceptor who promotes learning. as experienced nurses, we must be mindfull of giving out constructive criticism that encourages learning from mistakes. "negative feedback", "charges you with a defecit" dont fall into this category.

    being a preceptor is not an easy task. hospitals give this responsibility to the wrong people for the wrong reasons. a good preceptor nurtures learning by being a leader and a teacher, not by failing or passing their gns. it is important to point out the mistake, but at the same time helping the gn realize.........yes, this is stressfull and mistakes will be made, but the bridge that we must cross to go from "nurse" to "good nurse" is not impossible to cross. make the changes we are suggesting, and you will have crossed said bridge.

    when i was new, i was very fortunate to have a preceptor who understood these things. she often chuckled at how stressed i'd get over nothing. often told me "you are not nearly as behind as you are acting". i had to be told about mistakes i made, told how to deal with difficult people from other departments who inturupted my work (i lost it on a housekeeping individual who was being a pest about fluids being left on the pole from a pt. who was d/c'd..........while i was trying to console/work with a woman who had just found out the mass on her pancreas was malignant) and all sorts of things. i never once felt attacked, targeted or picked on. is that because i am more mature, smarter or just a better person than the avg. gn? i doubt it.

    see, you tell your story and, the lesson some may take from it is that the quality of gns coming out of schools needs to improve, or that gns just need to buckle up and get with the program. me, i see gns like the one you describe failing and i take it as a loss, a missed opportunity for us experienced rns. yes, you are right, there are gns who "just dont get it". from my point of view, there are just as many preceptors who "just dont get it".
    HMAmara, willowlove, GrnTea, and 88 others like this.
  9. 18
    If I were you..I would take her out to lunch one day, and tell her like it is.

    She may not listen, but she needs to hear it.

    Sometimes subtle doesn't work.
    GrnTea, babyRN0404, Jessy_RN, and 15 others like this.
  10. 38
    Quote from eriksoln

    See, you tell your story and, the lesson some may take from it is that the quality of GNs coming out of schools needs to improve, or that GNs just need to buckle up and get with the program. Me, I see GNs like the one you describe failing and I take it as a loss, a missed opportunity for us experienced RNs. Yes, you are right, there are GNs who "just dont get it". From my point of view, there are just as many preceptors who "just dont get it".
    i don't know if it's because you're relatively new to the boards or you are just misreading ruby's post, but either way, i find it a bit disrespectful...
    esp given the fact that ruby has 30-40 yrs experience, and is a very respected nurse and poster.

    she is telling a story.
    i didn't see anything that indicated she lacked preceptor skills/finesse and feel you are missing the point of her story.
    and, giving coumadin w/an inr of 9, honestly - what the hell WAS this nurse thinking???
    you think she should be coddled, treated w/kid gloves?
    this is icu, where pts are critically ill.
    there's a lot less slack on a unit such as this.

    and again, i find it presumptuous and offensive to imply that ruby could have handled it differently.
    while no one is beyond reproach, you simply do not know who you're talking to.
    ruby is a long time professional, as well as honest, w/integrity and accountability.
    and you are way off base on your post,.

    leslie
    Aurora77, GrnTea, funvirgoRN, and 35 others like this.
  11. 7
    I don't know how some of people get off orientation. I think it's quite scary. It comes down to just another body on the floor sometime. I find it when people come up under the microscope for their practice, it's everyone else's fault.
    Last edit by RN1982 on Mar 17, '09
    kids, JPRloverNurse, DesertwindRN, and 4 others like this.


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