I want to quit....

  1. I knew what I was getting into.....a nurse residency program with a 2.5 yr contract at the busiest LD in the country. We average about 45 deliveries per day 95% of our patients are illegal immigrants who speak Spanish only. (I do not...but I am learning quickly). The penaltly for leaving the program before the contract is up...$10,000...that right 10K. Is this legal? I am so depressed about the situation...I come home crying from my 12hr...really 14hr shifts everyday. This was my "dream job". I am so disappointed from the stress mentally and physically. Yesterday...started my second day in surgery in a C/S....while still in surgery I am assigned two admissions. One for decels in triage, one with a seizure disorder, my third patient is 21 wks fetal demise. Delivers in the bathroom 5 minutes after taking my C/S to recovery. All four patients...Spanish only....I been an LD nurse for 3 months. Some of my precepors are like angels....some are like devils...management is okay so far...pay is good. Am I wrong to want to leave ASAP? Can they make me pay $10K.....I don't have it anyways....I have never quit at anything before. I am so sad. Did you know that the lady with the fetal demise was left only completely after her delivery in the bathroom...because I has 3 other patients....in the hallway by the way? Please help.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Sorry for what you are going thru. But you did sign a contract, and one that is legally binding. They did train you and invested time and money into doing that. You went in with no skills and were trained by them.

    It is your choice as to what to do, but as you said, you knew what you were getting into. And if they have a cancellation clause in their contract, then you are legally responsible to pay it to them.

    And this is the same for any nurse that signs any work contract. And Texas does not have any ratio laws, and we hear of med-surg nurses there having around 12-15 patients in some of the border towns.
  4. by   gr8rnpjt
    I don't have any answers for you. I would read through the contract again to see if there is any other out, perhaps a grace period that would allow you to leave without penalty.
    You said LD is your dream job. What was different at the other hospitals you worked at? Aren't they all busy? How did you deal with the IUFD pt? Did you do your best?
    What would happen at this busy hospital if you left? Wouldn't it still be busy?
    My suggestion would be to try to stick it out. We all have busy disastrous days that seem to never end. But we have good days too.
    Why don't you try to stick it out and see if things get better. You may find that every day is not this bad. It may get better, but maybe not. I don't think things could get any worse than having to pay $10,000 that I didn't have.
    Take care, and good luck whatever you decide.
  5. by   mitchsmom
    Wait wait wait... did I understand this corrrectly?:
    while still in surgery I am assigned two admissions. One for decels in triage, one with a seizure disorder, my third patient is 21 wks fetal demise. Delivers in the bathroom 5 minutes after taking my C/S to recovery
    Did you have three patients admitted and waiting to be cared for while you were in surgery??!!! As in, not even on the floor?!! Like in a room unattended?
    Or was it to begin after you got back on the floor (even still tho)? And, if so, were you to keep the fresh recovery patient, too?

    So, one fresh recovery, two unstable pts (what was seizure d/o person there for?), and one in second stage (even with a demise, still bleeding/instability/recovery possibilities with mom, not to mention emotional support needed; not to mention, did you have to do post-mortem stuff or someone else??? I don't think so! Maybe I'm the crazy one here but, there's no way.

    Just the second stage alone is a 1:1. Really, so is the decel person, at least for a time, unless it was minor and really recoverable and now behaving. And who's doing fundal checks and recovery vitals all this time (for c/s and/or demise lady?)? And who knows what's going on with seizure lady but she's being admitted so I assume something's going on with her ... is she a labor? Labors are 1:2.

    Lots of questions, but no, I don't really see how that scenario can be safe or adequate care anyway you put it. I think I would have had to refuse to accept one of the assignments (or probably more, depending on the timing and pt specifics).

    Was this general scenario a freak thing or an everyday occurance?

    ((hugs))
  6. by   Idon'tcodgerdodge
    That floor is clearly unsafe and obviously run poorly. I'd get outta there ASAP. Hire a lawyer and see what your options are as far as getting out of the contract on the grounds of unsafe medical practice!
  7. by   RNTEX
    Thanks for all the input, yes this is everyday at this world renowned hospital. The recovery pt was handed after her c/s. Technically, the IUFD, and two admissions (back to back) were for when I returned to the floor. Was another nurse assigned until my return? One was supposed to be of course...in reality only one RN was watching the IUFD until I returned. The pt with a seizure history....26-27 weeks NIL, decel pt 38 weeks prior C/S...feeling contractions.....I always feel this overwhelmed...I am new granted...I do have 2 yrs exp in another area of nursing. They say the summer is the busiest. This worries me. We are doing over 17,000 deliveries a year maybe more. Women laboring in the hallway is an everyday occurence except when our clinics are closed on Sundays....now some good things...24/7 doc, anesthesia, midwives....we can have a stat c/s...baby delivered in <6-7 minutes.....level 3 NICU on site.....do I still feel safe? Almost never. Would I feel good with more time and experience? Maybe. Oh, by the way, my IUFD pt delivered but I was not able to spend quality supportive time with her. I was also trying to finish demise duties with the baby. (My first time by the way-no help). This needless to say got handed off to the next poor new nurse that came on that night). Thanks Mitchsmom for reading!
  8. by   mitchsmom
    You're welcome...

    I'm not sure if you'd feel much better with more experience... maybe able to handle it a little better as far as OB organization and prioritization but any human can only do so much, can only be one place at a time.

    Do you have to pay the money back if they fire you instead of you quitting? Would they fire you if you refused the unsafe assignments? Or do they need people too bad to do that?
    That wouldn't obviously be ideal, but if you've only been there three months you really wouldn't have a big gap of time to explain to other prospective employers. But then I guess you'd probably have to expain it if a new application asked if you'd ever been dismissed. ??? I feel for ya! (())
    Last edit by mitchsmom on May 9, '07
  9. by   Esther2007
    Just hang in there a little more. Before you know it, your time will be up. Maybe you can try to join a gym and exercise to help relief the stress associated with your job. I know it is going to be more painful to have to dish out $10,000 for breach of contract. If I were you, I would stick it out for the duration of the assignment. Good luck to you!
  10. by   lifejourney
    RNTEX-
    Who did you sign the contract with? A nurse recruiter? The manager of the unit? Nevertheless, have you attempted to talk with this person about your concerns? You may have more options than you think. Don't be afraid to talk to management. Obviously, things can't continue for you as they are. Before you decide to quit, and ultimately, leave a job you once thought you'd love, consider talking to the manager about the acuity of the patients, how assignments are made, and the lack of support you've experienced.
    Also, it sounds as though you may not be finished with the precepted part of the residency program. Sometimes these types of contracts do not require you to pay any money back if you have not completed the training portion of the program; rather, they only require compensation if you completed the training and didn't fulfill the work requirement.
    Just some food for thought.
    I hope you find a workable solution.
    -lifejourney
  11. by   RNTEX
    The contract is signed in Nurse Recruitment, but it is with the hospital itself. This is a huge hospital. I know one person who already left she said that nobody has asked her for any money yet...lots of people say that the contract is just a scare tactic. The management is fairly aggressive when you start to talk about leaving so I do not think talking to them will really matter. There are alot of employees here.....turn over is very high....this institution is used to that and its been operating this way for a very long time.....
  12. by   Nightinmale
    Check with your local labor board. Unless you received $10K as a sign on bonus that you must forfeit if you don't fulfill a certain employment period, i don't know how they can force you to pay them damages without due process, contract or no. Indentured servitude is illegal in the United States. Referece the 13th Amendment to the US Consitution to your HR Director:

    AMENDMENT XIII
    Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.
    Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.
    Section 1.
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
    Section 2.
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  13. by   ginger58
    Talk to a lawyer and tell them that you are extremely worried that you'll lose your license due to their unsafe assignments. Jeez I feel for you. What is happening to nurse management/hospital administration these days? How do they think they can continue treating nurses like this? I read a lot of threads here and I am sickened by the punitive nature of administration/managers.
  14. by   walk6miles
    The best advice is written: get out. Keep your license and your sanity.

    If you have a lawyer let them handle the contract. I never paid the money back - not after what they put me through, and they never bothered me.

    All the best!!!

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