I wasn't really sure where to post this, so hopefully this is an appropriate place.
I lost my job last month, and now have an interview with a BON investigator scheduled for next week. I was working at a LTC facility that had a lot of issues. I reported those issues to the DNS/DON because I was worried about the safety/wellbeing of my patients, but she declined to make any changes to improve the issues. At that point I reported my concerns to the state, they did an investigation on my unit, I am not sure what the outcome of that was. The complaints I made were pretty specific, and following the investigation I began to have issues with administration, with them cutting my hours, reducing my staffing, etc. I figured this was due to them knowing it was me that reported against them, but I kept doing my job to the best of my ability. They finally fired me last month, stating that I had falsified documentation to cover a med error, and they reported me to the BON. The situation they fired me over was: Someone reported a medication not given from a noon med pass, they photocopied the med card, filled out the med error paperwork, and I had not signed the MAR for that medication. What I know is: The following day I noticed I had not signed the MAR for the previous day, so I checked the medication card and the pill for that day had been punched out. I assumed I had given the medication and just forgotten to sign the MAR, since I had given the rest of the medications, and the medication was gone. I signed the MAR as given, which was per that facility's protocol (they print out audit sheets of meds that have not been signed and ask you to go back and sign for the ones that were given.) I have no recollection of missing the med the day before, and to my best knowledge it had been given. If it was indeed missed, then someone else must have punched it out after I missed it (there were a number of notoriously bad med aids/med nurses in the cart after my shift.)
In any case, I have to present my case to the interviewer on Tuesday and I am nervous. I can understand that I probably should not have signed the MAR late, even though the facility required us to do so. But I am frustrated because I feel like this was retaliation on their part for the report I made against them. I am a single mom and really can't afford to lose my license and/or have an encumbered license. I haven't been able to find a job so far, there are not many in my area, and having a termination on my work history is not helping at all. I will have a lawyer with me at my BON interview, but have not been able to meet with her yet.
Any thoughts? Experience with this kind of situation?
Oct 22, '12
Gamella-I wish you luck. All I can say is be honest!!! Also is there any way to prove to the board of nursing the retaliation against your complaint you made about them? Also if it is facility policy to sign for meds that weren't signed at the time/day of administration, is there a policy you can give the BON and explain your reasoning for why you signed. You may not want to "bash" the company In your BON interview because after all you continued to work there knowing there were issues. Just state your facts. I wish you luck. Hope all works out!
Oct 22, '12
If you have your own liability (malpractice) insurance, contact them ASAP and discuss the situation with them.
Oct 22, '12
I think they will understand. Good luck!
Oct 22, '12
If the facility policy is to go back and sign for meds that you gave, but forgot to sign for, I would make a copy of the policy, or e mail or whatever, and bring it to the meeting.
I would call a lawyer asap. I hope that you have insurance, it is expensive to defend your license to the BON. Good luck.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW
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