Fired for expressing concerns about patient safety and care! - page 5

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   hkrntobe
    Quote from imintrouble
    I don't judge the OP for risking the security of her child for taking the high road.

    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.
    Last edit by hkrntobe on Sep 25, '12
  2. by   imintrouble
    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 behavior is common practice for administration. Lesson learned
    I wasn't bashing you. Not in a million years. I was completely honest when I said I've been in your shoes. More than once. Sometimes you have to decide who you can save and who you can't.
  3. by   CP2013
    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.
    I think was TheCommuter referencing the fact that you should keep your mouth shut at least until the probationary period is over, simply because you have already struggled to find your first job, and because you need the job, and the money to take care of your child. I definitely think that it wasn't an attempt to tell you to never speak up, but simply see how operations run within the facility. If you do this at your next job, and the next job, and the next job, it starts to look like a pattern. Something you certainly don't want.

    Try changing policies by example. How you are able to de-escalate an irate patient, or how you deal with the way things are run, and then say "You know, I've tried this, and it seems to work for me, perhaps you can try it?" and make it more of a suggestion and less of a "This is what I see is wrong."

    Obviously that's not exactly what you said, but I think sometimes when we see something is being done unsafely, or poorly, we can become protective of our rights, and our patient's rights. It all comes down to not what we say but HOW we say it.
  4. by   chevyv
    Op, you worked psych! It is very dangerous. I know as I walk into it everytime I punch in. What exactly did you expect? Bullet proof glass with residents on 24hr lockdown? They fight, manipulate, split staff, assault staff and each other both verbally and physically and you will not change that during your probation, period. I try to find a way to make the pts night easier whether that means 1:1 with me, prns, restrictions, etc. You have to be able to be therapeutic and many many healthcare workers and people in general aren't.

    It's so easy to complain about safety or lack there of, but you have to have a plan in place in your mind to keep your unit as safe as possible. I call several times a night for Security to do a walk through to maintain order. Doesn't always work, but I go from there. Psych is not easy and not safe, no matter what. Unless you can have all seperate rooms on 24hr lock down, you will always be in a certain amount of danger. Did you expect management to hire more employees or more security to be on the unit? I have to call if there is an issue and hope the football game isn't on. I know who doesn't seem quite right and try to intercede before violence sets in, may not always work, but management is aware of the safety issues. How did you want to improve a bad situation with so little experience? It's so easy to complain about safety and a bit more difficult to have feasable ideas to improve the conditions.
  5. by   evolvingrn
    Being a patient advocate is different than going to the union during your probation period. I would have gone a different route to address my scheduling concerns as mgt is not usually a huge fan of unions and you bringing them in would def be a red flag. sorry for your job loss, i hope you find a better fit.
  6. by   DSkelton711
    Your options from here are: Learn from this experience and find a new job. Your start date is always the day you actually clock in to work/orient. Not the day they said, "your hired". If you had a problem with the schedule you should have discussed this with the person that makes it out, not a union rep. Did you have days off before and after those 8 days? Many of us have had to work extra. In nursing, it is pretty much a given. As a new nurse you come with passion and feeling like you are going to be the next Florence Nightengale. Unfortunately, reality hits us square in the face! Your concerns with combative patients and having a small child make me think that Psych nursing, at least at that level, is not the best fit for you. Because violence is going to happen. No matter what you do. As a new nurse, your opinions on care and safety will come off as a know-it-all attitude to those that have been practising for years. This is the time when you do your job and learn. There is so much to learn. You are calling yourself a good nurse. You haven't had time to be a nurse yet, let alone a good one. You have got to humble yourself a bit, realize that you are still a work in progress, learn from your mistakes/or know that there was a better way, and go out and find a new job. Good Luck.
  7. by   Ginger's Mom
    Probationary period means you can leave for any reason. The fact they gave you their reason was a bonus. I have yet to find the perfect job, best of luck.
  8. by   brandy1017
    Unfortunately, nursing can be dangerous and psych and ER are especially dangerous with an increased risk of injury by a patient or family. You couldn't pay me enough to do psyche, but lol I have to deal with too many as it is on a medical floor! Plenty of psyche patients with medical problems who end up on the medical floors and not the psyche floor.
  9. by   Wet Noodle
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    Umm, it was drafted, voted and passed by a president, a house of representatives and the senate. All of whom were ELECTED by the people. And it was upheld by supreme court judges. All of whom are appointed by an ELECTED president(s). How is this "against the will" of the people? We can't feasibly have a national election to determine each new law. That is why we have a legislature. That is why we are a republic. We elect representatives to vote for/against new laws......
    Not only that, but one of Obama's campaign promises was to reform healthcare. He won by a mandate-worthy margin. People who say the President is violating the will of the voters who elected him are barking up the wrong tree.

    There are a lot of people who oppose the ACA because it doesn't go far enough, not because they're afraid of communists under their beds.

    Anyone who thinks the U.S. healthcare system is (or has been in recent history) exemplary has no knowledge of how it's done elsewhere.
  10. by   BrandonLPN
    Quote from hkrntobe
    Perhaps I should have allowed mistreatment and unsafe care to continue for a bit longer before trying to prevent another assault? It's not as though I expressed concerns they hadn't heard in fact, The RN's and LVN's attempted to gather the union reps for a meeting with HR. This was to discuss safety and ethics concurs. Fact of the matter is that I was NOT the only one who has expressed concerns or whom had been attacked. I don't know about anyone else but I certainly don't getpaid enough for the privilege of going to work and being asulted. PERIOD! I have a child I have an obligation to come home to. Period! If you are a nurse whom chooses to take more patients than the State of CA deems is safe out of fear that you will be fired, (believing that management is going to protect you if something goes wrong) or conduct yourself in an unethical manner, then that is a decision youchoose to make. I firmly believe in God and Karma. You get out of this world what you put in. While I did not look at going to work as if I was "going to war" I will say No GOOD General will ask his/hersoldiers to do anything they wouldn't to themselves. ********* I would hope that every Nurse would practice in a manner that would be consistent with the care that he/she would want for theirown Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Child ********* I seems as though there are those whom would label me as silly or bash me for that. Go right on ahead. One day someone you love will be in a hospital with anurse whom has to choose between doing what he/she feels is the best Nursing care for your loved one or "keeping his/her mouth shut" to avoid getting caught in the cross hairs. Sad Really
    Being a "good" nurse does not mean you necessarily have to throw yourself on the sword and risk your job. Did your speaking out and subsequent firing change anything? Did it result in better patient care at that facility? Did it have any positive result whatsoever? I work with crazy ratios, too. 1:49 sometimes. If I get fired for constant complaining or quit in protest, it's not like anything will change. The facility will still be there. The residents will still need nursing care. It will still be understaffed. Sometimes the most noble thing to do is to do the best you can with the resources you have. If you're holding out for the perfect facility where you can provide the kind of care we learned in nursing school..... well be ready for a long wait.
  11. by   samadams8
    Quote from TheCommuter
    With all due respect, it doesn't sound like slavery to me. It sounds more like a linear transaction between two freely consenting entities (employer and employee).

    Employees who dislike their jobs are free to resign at any time and for any reason; likewise, the entities that employ us are free to terminate our employment at any time and for any reason. Slavery would likely involve a master who sends the dogs/posse after their unpaid human chattels who escape from the cotton field, and this simply would not happen in this day and age.
    Yes, but it could be viewed as a kind of wage slavery.

    I don't know all the gory details, so I cannot say the OP's judgment was wrong necessarily. A person has to live and die by their conscience, and nurses especially have to keep this in mind. What is safe and ethical MUST matter.

    It just requires some critical thinking on the nurse's part. If I do this, what may happen? Am I prepared to live with the consequences? While many may not not want to live with the consequences, I applaud those that will for the sake of the patients, safety, ethics, and just plain ole doing what is right. Integrity matters. The 'stand,' however, has little impact for change very often when one is on probation. Of course that could continue even after probation.

    There's a lot of unfairness in this world. Nurses have an advantage over other fields, in that once they get solid experience, they can hook themselves up with per diem or secondary jobs. If any nurse does this, he or she is looking out for his/her practice and the potential to mitigate losses and limit the control one facility or employment group may have over them.

    I'm not one to play political games or manipulate people or situations. That has put me at a bit of a loss within certain work-group dynamics. I am also not likely to subtly kiss up or hang with cliques or form factions within groups. I prefer working toward coalition development. But this can be tough within certain groups. I am very sociable and can be personable, but I just don't stomach political games very well. I have this almost anaphylactic type of aversion to political gaming among groups in the workplace. My experience is that those that like the game or are good at playing it go further--at least for a while--until, at last, Karma or reciprocity limits them or tries to teach them a sound lesson.

    In the future, try to keep the locus of control for your professional well-being in your own hands as much as possible. If you known you must make a stand, be prepared in advance; b/c there is usually fall-out.

    The numbers were against you. You still could stand your ground, but in a different way. Make sure you have an exit strategy or escape route--meaning another position or an agency or per diem job.

    If you see that you will probably need to jump ship, make sure you have a lifeboat.

    If you know that you spoke out for what is right, think strategy. How could you have done this differently--in a way that may have helped everyone? Maybe there was another way, and maybe there wasn't. The situation, as bad as it sounds, may not have been your fault, but as far as you working there--b/c you agreed to do so--in as much as that affects your life, it became your problem.

    After it's all said and done, listen, you will be able to find another nursing position. It may take some time, but spin the thing in the positive as much as possible. For me, I wouldn't want to keep working in a house of horrors and work with those that don't care about safety and ethics.

    To some degree, the truth is, nurses are wage slaves. The good news is that after you get some experience, you can get a back-up position somewhere. Yes, it's extra time you have to schedule with another employer, but it's valuable insurance.
  12. by   tiltgirl
    Send me a private msg....but is this place in los feliz????
  13. by   alodocios
    i am a new nurse looking for her first position and the three fields i won't even apply to are psych, ed and peds. I know as a newbie i have way too much to learn. As i am having a hard job search i have decided to take a non nursing job while i continue my hunt so as not to feel like i have to take a position that i am not ready for. I know i have been tempted to apply to positions but i have had to check myself and say, "do you think you are ready for that?" If the answer was no, then I didn't apply. I know there will be so much to take in that having to learn in a hectic environment would be detrimental to my learning curve.

    OP my heart goes out to you because no one tells the new nurse, " don't advocate," until it is too late. Remember all you experienced guys and dolls,don't eat the young, all we know is what we were taught in school and if we weren't taught real world then we don't know real world until we get hit by real world. Unfortunately for OP and fortunately for me, I have learned a lesson from this thread: the squeaky probationary nurse gets fired and then treated like a dummy for not knowing what she was not taught.

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