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

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... Read More

  1. by   Multicollinearity
    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
  2. by   wooh
    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.
  3. by   Jory
    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 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.
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    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.
  5. by   JMBnurse
    Quote from bstullis
    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").

    I have been a nurse for over 16 years and the issues you mention, such as short staffing d/t corporate greed have been going on since way before we ever knew who Obama was. The Affordable Healthcare Act was partially designed to remedy some of that. And in my opinion, none of these changes can be in any way blamed on the OP's unfortunate problems. The previous posters were correct, when you are in a new job during your probationary period, you cannot rock the boat or you will be an unemployed patient advocate.
  6. by   Blackcat99
    Yes, in today's world, I have seen great nurses getting fired because they wanted to do "The right thing." I think it is very honorable to do "The right thing." However, doing the right thing doesn't pay the bills. I am on orientation right now at a new job and I am keeping my mouth shut. I am being oriented right now by someone who doesn't know how to do things correctly. Now what would happen if I were to do "the right thing" and confront her with all the mistakes she is showing me to do? She would probably become angry and offended and report me to the supervisor and I would be kicked out and fired. No, I am keeping my mouth shut. I need my paycheck.
  7. by   BuckyBadgerRN
    I don't like when people point at one person and blame them for their lot in life. High gas prices? President's fault, he could lower them in a heartbeat but doesn't want to. I have to pay taxes on the income I earned? What a crock, the President needs to lower my taxes! Lost my job in healthcare? It's all that damned Obamacare! Puh-leaze

    Quote from hkrntobe
    Out of everything, that's what you got out of that?
  8. by   BuckyBadgerRN
    Grammar matters.

    Quote from bstullis
    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").

    Yes, spelling is very important when you are upset/frustrated and calling out for help.
  9. by   CrunchRN
    It sucks, your screwed, all you can really do is move on. That is just the reality. I hope you find something soon. It really blows to be punished for doing the right thing.
  10. by   KelRN215
    Why would your date of hire be anything other than your start date? That's pretty standard. If you're offered and accept a job in February but don't start until April, April is your hire date. What if you backed out before you actually started? Would you be able to say you worked for this place from Feb-March? No. Way more than 90 days passed between when I was offered my first job and when I started (actually, almost 6 months did). It would be ridiculous to assume that the 90 day probationary period could be over before one even set foot in the door as an RN. Your probationary period begins the day you begin working.

    I wouldn't be so quick to blame the union. Maybe the union rep was actually looking into your situation and not "stalling for 2 weeks".

    Your license is not at ask because psych patients are attacking each other and staff. Nurses lose their license for things like diverting narcotics or showing up to work drunk... not for something out of their control.

    Unfortunately, as it seems you've already realized, working Wed-Wed is not uncompensated overtime. The work week is Sunday to Saturday and 8 hr shifts Wed-Wed means you work 32 hrs in each week. Federal law does not mandate overtime until over 40 hrs in the work week. Different states have different laws on how many consecutive days one can work... my state mandates one "full day of rest" in every 7 day period but I don't believe there is any federal law mandating days off so, unless your state has such a law or your facility has policies against such, they CAN put you on 8 days in a row. (In my experience, facilities will ignore their own policies if it's to their benefit but union facilities are usually better about this.)
  11. by   hherrn
    Quote from hkrntobe
    I need help please. Just not sure what to do now. Getting right to the particulars.

    Should I really have to sacrifice patent care and POTENTIALLY MY LICENSE in order to provide for my child? Advice would be appreciated please. What are my options from here?
    To reinforce what some others have mentioned:

    The schedule they gave you is pretty lousy for many people. But- it's not overtime. Some of us really like blocking our shifts to get more continous time off. Sounds crappy for a mom, but works well for me.

    You are new, and don't have much perspective on safety standards. You may well be 100 per cent correct on your assesment. Don't expect your managers to think you know better than the experienced nurses running the place. Even if you do.

    Sounds like an unsafe environment. Do you really want to work there?

    It is unsafe. I have worked many jobs that most would consider high risk. Construction, climbing towers, leading expeditions in crocodile and hippo infested water to name a few. The environment in which I have felt most at risk was during a 6 week rotaion in a state psych hospital.

    Probation is a period in which the hospital and the nurse figture out if they are a good match. They thought you were a bad match, and it sounds like you agree.

    To your question about options:

    Option 1:
    Hold out for a job that:

    Takes you your needs into account in scheduling.
    Meets your safety standards.
    Values the opinion of a brand new, inexperienced nurse.

    Option 2:

    Take a job that appears reasonable.
    Be as flexible and accomodating as possible regarding scheduling, especially during probation.
    If you have concerns about safety, watch how the more experienced urses deal with it.
    If you believe changes should be made, wait until you have experience and credibility. Then offer realistic solutions.

    Option 3:

    Take any job you can, and do your best to keep it in order to best provide for your kid.
  12. by   NursesRmofun
    Sounds like the world of nursing, for sure. Sorry that happened to you. I think I learned later in my career that you need to lay low at most jobs. Squeaky wheels never get oiled in this profession....quite the opposite.

    Good luck!
  13. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    Your child should (if old enough) be very proud of you. You stood up for yourself and your patients. Unfortunately, it came with a price. I have been in your shoes. I have voiced my complaints, contacted the BON, obudsman, and etc. to do what was right for the patients, and I landed a target on my back and had to quit.

    This is the unfortunate part about nursing. We have two choices: To keep our mouths shut and fly under the radar to keep a job or to be proactive, raise concern/awarness and get fired or be forced to quit.

    Commuter is unfortunately right. You have to determine what is most important to you. To have a job but fly under the radar or to be a great nurse who truly cares and be fired. Rarely there is an inbetween.

    I am terribly sorry this happened to you. I pray that you will be able to find a job where you don't have to choose between doing what is right and being fired.