Fired for expressing concerns about patient safety and care! - page 9

by hkrntobe

17,307 Unique 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. 3
    Quote from hkrntobe
    Obviously I did't realize that being a good nurse and trying to improve a bad situation would cost me my job! From what it sounds like, this conduct and behavior is common practice for administration. Lesson learned.... You may now continue with the bashing.
    These issues are present in any job. NOT ALWAYS LIFE AND DEATH. but still there. and in other realms of life. You have to know that you will not win most battles. Very few people do unless they are popular enough martyrs or wealthy/powerful people. You have to decide what do you value in life: a job/money/food/clothes/house or integrity. You will rarely , probably NEVER, be the only nurse in a facility who realizes something is wrong. Part of the moral distress in nursing.
    not.done.yet, wooh, and lindarn like this.
  2. 2
    First of file for Unemployment even if you don't think you will get it. File, bring your paper work that indicates when your hire date is. Really most policies for probation is usually from the date you started so they can evaluate you for a length of time.
    You did the right thing about the patient safety. I would have sucked up the hours until I had passed probation (lesson learned for all of us). However lesson learned again about probation and politics for all of us. File an unemployment complaint, then go above your union reps head for clarification, you may have to get a lawyer. I would also "grieve" this through your union and maybe see if it can go to arbitration if not settled at the table. You are dues paying union rep (I hope) and your contract should have a policy on terminations and how to grieve it.
    hkrntobe and lindarn like this.
  3. 3
    Unless it is something black and white an d immediate safety is a concern you don't make waves while on probation. This is a way they use to see if you will fit in or be a "problem" and make waves. If it is a threat to your license with unsafe conditions you wouldn't want to work there anyway.
    anotherone, wooh, and lindarn like this.
  4. 0
    Date of hire is not your start date. It has always been the first day of orientation. Date of hire as a start date and your first day as an employee can be months apart because you may have to wait for a spot in orientation.
  5. 1
    I am in NC and don't have the union, but if I was paying dues to an Union they would be helping me get this straight. I have always heard people talk about getting the union and I know someone invited them to our facility, but nothing ever came from it. How do you get a union?
    lindarn likes this.
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    I am really sorry that hkrntobe got fired from her job. Sadly, in today's world anyone can get fired for any reason. I am a new orientee at a nursing home and I am studying the paperwork they gave me about my job requirements. Almost everything they have written in this paperwork is always followed by threatening statements that say "You will do this or you will get terminated" Here I am trying to learn at a new job and already I am being threatened with getting fired!!!!! I guess this is the way they "Welcome the new people"
    hkrntobe, anotherone, and lindarn like this.
  7. 8
    Lemme see, here, this was a psych unit. The OP ("rntobe?") was a new grad. Psych by definition deals c behavioral issues; nobody learns that much about that in school, and if I remember correctly, you learn even less to make you competent in psych than you do in med/surg-- it takes some time to be competent in such a fraught area.

    But the OP, the new, specialty-incompetent (by definition, no matter who says she loves you), inexperienced nurse who may not get that this is how psych units often are, tells the experienced nurses that they are doing it all wrong and she, the new grad, knows better. Do I have that right?

    We hear this story often, and it comes from many different kinds of units. Considering the recent research that shows that people consistently overestimate their own competence, we can probably discount the new grad's self-assessment as being such a great nurse. Come to think of it, the people who did have more expertise in her psych ward did exactly that. They fired her for it. She was not a good fit for psych at this very early stage in her career, as she was unable to recognize how her inexperience with the psych milieu made her unable to function in it; she (pardon this expression, but I can't think of a better one; "spoke up" doesn't do it justice) shot off her mouth from a position of inexperience and ignorance.

    She will now know how to keep her peace until she knows the lay of the land. When she has acquired the knowledge and experience to understand how things are she will be in a much better position to suggest corrective action, or have the professional standing to implement some.

    Or did I miss something?
  8. 3
    Quote from GrnTea
    Lemme see, here, this was a psych unit. The OP ("rntobe?") was a new grad. Psych by definition deals c behavioral issues; nobody learns that much about that in school, and if I remember correctly, you learn even less to make you competent in psych than you do in med/surg-- it takes some time to be competent in such a fraught area.

    But the OP, the new, specialty-incompetent (by definition, no matter who says she loves you), inexperienced nurse who may not get that this is how psych units often are, tells the experienced nurses that they are doing it all wrong and she, the new grad, knows better. Do I have that right?

    We hear this story often, and it comes from many different kinds of units. Considering the recent research that shows that people consistently overestimate their own competence, we can probably discount the new grad's self-assessment as being such a great nurse. Come to think of it, the people who did have more expertise in her psych ward did exactly that. They fired her for it. She was not a good fit for psych at this very early stage in her career, as she was unable to recognize how her inexperience with the psych milieu made her unable to function in it; she (pardon this expression, but I can't think of a better one; "spoke up" doesn't do it justice) shot off her mouth from a position of inexperience and ignorance.

    She will now know how to keep her peace until she knows the lay of the land. When she has acquired the knowledge and experience to understand how things are she will be in a much better position to suggest corrective action, or have the professional standing to implement some.

    Or did I miss something?

    I feel this is an extreme response. There is no fair or objective way to draw the conclusions you have.

    Beyond that, that research has a number of serious limitations. I didn't at all get that this nurse was asserting an expertise over others that she has not yet gained. That wasn't the issue.

    Again, perhaps she has to learn to choose her battles wisely, with some wise strategies in place. OTOH, maybe she was the only one that had the gonads to speak up and address a seriously unsafe or unethical situation.

    Doing the right thing often means you have to take the lumps that go with it. And b/c people look out primarily for number ONE, they often don't stand when they should. In my book, survival or not, this shows a lack of integrity.

    NOW, I don't know if the latter is the case at all. Again, she just may need to learn how certain things roll and be careful in terms of how she problems solves in the future. But that indeed may not be the case. She wouldn't be the first to see red flags on orientation/probation. It's a learning experience and signal to get out of Dodge ASAP.

    It's hubris on anyone's part, experienced or not, to jump to conclusions about the OP's situation. We weren't there, period, end of story.

    But once again, some folks in this field can't bother to look at things in balance, and/or give the benefit of the doubt to a fellow nurse--"expert" or "novice."

    It makes me wonder why nurses post to vent here, or even attempt to get support online.

    No one wants to baby this new graduate. That really isn't the point.

    Balance, balance, balance and fairness in reasoning is the key. Wouldn't you want those things used on you? BTW, you can speak the truth with balance. It's not an either or kind of thing.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Sep 26, '12
    hkrntobe, Blackcat99, and anotherone like this.
  9. 2
    I agree with this response. With this economy, employers often take advantage of emplyees. It's not worth risking your license by working with a facility that doesn't comply to laws. I'm pretty sure that regardless of you being on a probationary period, this would be considered a whistle blower case. Lawyers take those cases on a contingency basis.
    hkrntobe and anotherone like this.
  10. 3
    ...everyone who isn't independently wealthy is a wage slave! Come on, I can't be the only nurse who has worked in other industries. Geez, a machine shop floor in the FL heat is no fun, either....but it paid my rent and let me eat.
    anotherone, wooh, and chevyv like this.


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