Fired for expressing concerns about patient safety and care! - page 3

by hkrntobe 18,746 Views | 104 Comments

I need help please. Just not sure what to do now. Getting right to the particulars. I was working in a So Cal Hospital in a Psychiatric unit. I was assigned a set schedule. 1) I was suddenly assigned to work 8 days... Read More


  1. 8
    Oh no!! We can't criticize Dear Leader!! Off with your head! I will remind you that Obamacare was passed against the will of the people and will destroy the quality of our health care system.
  2. 3
    LOl. I typed the "off" next to the colon Mon: off and it made smileys
  3. 5
    Quote from lorilulu
    Oh no!! We can't criticize Dear Leader!! Off with your head! I will remind you that Obamacare was passed against the will of the people and will destroy the quality of our health care system.
    SMH & LOL
  4. 8
    Quote from nursingpower

    Fly under the radar, keep your mouth closed, avoid attention, PRETEND TO BE GRATEFUL, don't complain or irritate management??? Sounds like SLAVERY to me. Nursing is too good of an occupation to even be compared to something like slavery. So so sad if anyone believes that that is what nursing is about.

    Sadly, that is often the game a nurse must play on orientation--almost to the letter, actually. It's like being under arrest. "Anything you do or say can be used against you." If a nurse comes in and has an intelligent perspective that may be in the pt's best interest, within reasonable perspectives of safety, people can go the extreme and turn what the nurse was saying into something far from what she or he meant. Next thing you know, they are buzzing all kinds of stuff about the nurse to other nurses and mgt. Mgt decides to listen to these people and their misrepresentations, and then they send the nurse out the door.

    So, it may not be what nursing is supposed to be about, but it's the game you have to play until you are in the system for a while. Unfortunately there are those that aren't rooting for the nurse coming in to the new environment many times. There are many insecure people that will weed as soon as they can because they feel threatened by the new nurse for some reason--usually if the nurse that is new to the area is a female or someone that is a threat somehow.

    If you notice, the nurses that are newer to the place that are men are usually NOT weeded out. There have been some exceptions. But then there are nurses that are men that start playing the same game the "mean" girls (translation, sadly insecure females) play. I've seen some do that, b/c it gives them the edge in moving up within the group. OTOH, there are the guys that are cool, and they rise above it all, b/c it's just how they roll. Same thing with the females that are like this. It's all about people stepping on others in order to fit in or have influence versus those that don't step on others and have some integrity. The more of the staff that are like the latter, the better and more healthier the work environment.

    If you advocated for you patients, you have your integrity, and although it doesn't pay the bills, you can't be bought by fear, influence, or anything else. In that respect, you will probably always be a strong nurse advocate, and you will have gotten even stronger b/c of such experiences. These things test your true integrity in my view.

    Listen, here's the thing that some folks just don't get. Good and even great nurses are fired more than anyone really knows. They are simply weeded out b/c of politics or someone feeling threatened somehow.

    Especially in your case, it's better to find somewhere else to work. Yes, I know it sucks b/c you have bills to pay. This is why I tell people to always have another job in nursing as a back-up--specifically b/c this kind of thing happens so much more than is told.

    Having more than one position is about job security. I mean the unions can be good or bad--it really depends. But are kidding themselves it they think that aren't people within them that can be bought off? People have to open there eyes to the real world.

    Just know that you held your integrity and maintained true advocacy.

    At the very least, pick up a per diem position ASAP while you are looking for something FT, then, hold on to the per diem or PT job and keep hours and known at the place. This is one sound way to fight against a questionable reference, and yes, some places do want you name all relevant places. You may be able to drop a few off your resume, but it can get tricky.

    Nurses have to protect their practice and mitigate their losses (or potential losses) by planning in advance. I wish it wasn't like this, but it really is. It has to do primarily with always being able to work as a nurse if you need or want to do so. When you at the mercy of one environment, you can get screwed--you are more vulnerable.

    Many of my nurse colleagues that have been in nursing for a long time have more than one position, even if the other is per diem or agency. The thing is, you have to put the time in the other position on a regular basis.

    You have to work to protect yourself, your resume, and your ability to work and keep working. This is the best protection you can have in this field--I think better than a union, b/c a union could turn sour.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Sep 25, '12
    catlvr, sharpeimom, neverbethesame, and 5 others like this.
  5. 6
    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    Really? You're going to bring politics into this and blame the President?
    Call it what you want (ACA or Obama Care), healthcare is in more turmoil than has been seen in 20+ years. With the Supreme Court upholding the "tax" argument, the government (I don't blame this only on Mr.Obama, but Congress as well) has taken steps that have made every health care facility and insurance company put it's spending practices under a microscope and encouraged shortcuts that strain everyone (short staffing that allows a company to show a profit this quarter only to hire many new staff the next bouncing off those "profits").

    Also, I think you mean "advice" instead of "advise" in the two places you've used it so far.
    Yes, spelling is very important when you are upset/frustrated and calling out for help.
    Last edit by bstullis on Sep 25, '12
  6. 3
    Sadly, flying low and under the radar is the way to go especially during orientation. That is my opinion. I too work Psych and have seen staff assaulted as well as pt on pt assaults. It can be very dangerous. Working within an ever tightening budget means that safety can be quite lacking.

    I wouldn't voice any concerns until I knew I was off of probation, period. As you found out, they can get rid of you for anything. I may not feel it's fair but it is the way that it is. Even after 2yrs on the job, when I voice a negative, I try to have a solution or I question something 'fairly'. I've seen staff with 20 yrs in get walked out for little 'things' that added up.

    Employers don't care to hear about what's wrong. Most psychiatric facilities hold safety meetings daily so management knows exactly what's going on.

    I'm sorry this happened to you and wish you the best. Good luck,
  7. 3
    Quote from hkrntobe
    No, because Wednesday - Saturday is one week and Sunday- Wednesday is a second week it's not technically considered overtime. Highly manipulative and Unsafe but as its not over 40 hrs for each week, they don't have to pay overtime.
    In my short career as a nurse (3 years now) I have done this sort of schedule many times when staffing was screwed up for some reason, and we were short. I currently work 5 or 7 12-hour shifts in a row, and I like it because I have so many days off in a row. You learn to pace yourself like being on a military rotation. Nursing is not a 'normal' job. This thing of 8 days in a row wouldn't have been a deal-breaker for me if it wasn't all the time, especially since you said you are on 8 hour shifts. As a new person I would have done the 8 days in a row after politely clarifying with the nurse manager that I was happy to fill in, working that many days in a row, for a shortage or unexpected scheduling need. That would send the message that you are a team player but won't do it all the time.

    Sadly, we have to adjust to how working conditions are and not how they should be. Someday we will have a better economy and employers will have to adjust themselves to our wishes.

    As for the assaults, I'd have to know more information about that. As a new staff member I'd be in the gathering information stage about the place and seeing what the undercurrents of the place are and what was or was not being done. There may be a lot behind the scenes that you don't know about yet related to the assaults.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 25, '12
    anotherone, bbuerke, and wooh like this.
  8. 10
    Quote from nursingpower
    Fly under the radar, keep your mouth closed, avoid attention, PRETEND TO BE GRATEFUL, don't complain or irritate management??? Sounds like SLAVERY to me. Nursing is too good of an occupation to even be compared to something like slavery. So so sad if anyone believes that that is what nursing is about.
    Well, when you're working for the Nazis....

    At no point did anyone tell OP to not collect a paycheck. And she was free to quit at anytime without risk of being whipped. So really? Slavery?

    It's called workplace politics. Why on earth would an employer keep around someone that's causing them trouble if they don't have to? Heck, I have to play politics ALL THE TIME, not just until I get through a 90 day orientation because I don't have a union to protect me. In management's mind OP has whined about her schedule being changed and whined about working conditions. Why keep someone that can't make it 90 days without complaining when there's a world full of new grads looking for jobs?
    That has nothing to do with "Obamacare." That's the system of healthcare as it's been for a long time. Heck, that's the system of having any kind of job.
  9. 23
    Quote from hkrntobe
    While I understand that your advise is to keep my mouth shut frankly, several patients and staff have been attacked, including myself. I would rather uphold my standards of nursing care than run the risk of having my license revoked because of an unfortunate incident that could have been avoided but, went unaddressed simply because I was to afraid to deliver the same care to a patient that I would expect for my friends or family. I find it verry telling that a Nure should be told to Keep her mouth shut as opposed to identify and attempting to resolve a dangerous situation. I guess with all of the Medicare Medical and Oboma care, we've reached a point where it's acceptable to forgo Patient Care?! Seem questionable to me.
    Let's be reasonable and keep everything in perspective.

    You have to realize that you are working in a psychiatric ward. The patients were attacking each other before you came, they are still attacking each other after you left. Those patients are mentally ill...fear of being attacked is the #1 reason most nurses won't work in psych. It's one of the job risks.

    I'm not trying to be mean but you seem to have taken this job with the attitude that you were the only person there that was a "good nurse" and was there to protect and save everyone and it was your responsibility for telling the administration how to do their job...keep that up and you'll have a hard time keeping any job.

    The problem is you didn't seem to want to learn how things worked before you started to give advice...that isn't going to go over well with management or the staff in ANY nursing position.

    Your license was never at risk..."I'm going to lose my license!!!" is the biggest over-exaggeration on Allnurses.com. Look up on your state BON website and see why nurses are REALLY losing their license or getting suspended.

    This is what you WON'T find:

    1. Nurses that lost their licenses because they had too many patients.
    2. Nurses losing their licenses because of medication errors.
    3. Nurses losing their licenses because they followed the doctor's order and the patient was compromised...ever noticed how cheap our malpractice insurance is? There is a reason for that.

    They are losing their licenses for being impaired, committing crimes, not renewing their licenses, false charting, abandoning patients or patient abuse.

    Not because two mentally ill patients attacked each other and the nurse didn't want to get injured trying to stop it.

    Experienced nurses are trying to offer you advice...nobody can make you take it.
    not.done.yet, GrnTea, ohioSICUrn, and 20 others like this.
  10. 12
    You can go Norma Rae, or you can pay your bills. The honest truth is some of what we see and experience in our practice environments is suboptimal or below standards of practice. However, we have to adjust to reality, how things are, and the current job market. We have to pick our battles and choose the severe, big issues. I have a mortgage to pay, and fighting reality won't pay it. The OP might be having some reality shock. Or it could be a horrendous practice environment. We don't know. I will say this - it was a mistake to contact a union rep about the schedule.
    not.done.yet, Jory, ohioSICUrn, and 9 others like this.


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