Deceptive firing practices

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    I am a Private Duty nurse with a home client who requires both an aide and a nurse 24/7. Both the client and her spouse have mood and temper fluctuations, and they are frequently requesting staff replacements. The company I work for replaces staff as asked, but they will lie to the current staff, saying that the client likes them and things are going well, at the same time they are looking for and training replacements. Once the replacement is ready to be added to the schedule, the current worker is let go. I think the company and the client and spouse are afraid to tell current workers that things aren't working out, for fear that the worker might react negatively towards the client. How do other companies handle replacing staff on a case? (Three people have been fired off the case within the past two months, and the company doesn't feel any responsibility to try to have other work to offer them).
    lindarn likes this.
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    Are you sure they are let go? Or just moved to another case? Personality conflicts are extremely common in private duty. Most agencies are aware of this. They will continue to keep people trained for a case that has a high turnover. But they will typically move the nurse to another case if that case doesn't work out. They would most likely only let them go if they did something wrong or repeated something wrong they had been warned about before.
    poppycat, NJRN33, Altra, and 1 other like this.
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    Moving people around is common, either at the drop of a hat, or with a reasonable notice. Being deceptive about the move is somewhat less common. If a person is removed from a case and not given new work within a few days, and this happens more than once or twice, then it is time to consider looking for a new agency. This is one of the reasons many people are signed on with more than one agency. By now, nurses on this case should have figured out the modus operandi and decided how much they want to invest in the case. Better to move on of your own accord than to always be wondering when the axe will drop.
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    The company is not worried about any negativity by the nurse (either is the customer) they are just using the nurse till they find a replacement. The agency wants the customers money
    and does not care if the accusations are true or not. They want to keep the business plane and simple. The agency nurse needs to forget it and sign up with someone else.
    poppycat, jtmarcy12, Bella'sMyBaby, and 1 other like this.
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    Lots of mind games and turnover in this field! Sometimes you feel like you're tip-toeing through a minefield! Although on the plus side you realize the reasons people don't want you to come back are sometimes so flimsy you cease to be bothered by it as much.

    I think supply and demand has a lot to do with it, too. Right now the agencies and families hold all the cards because there are so many available replacements. When I started this type of job in 2004 they needed me so treated me like royalty. I even got a raise without asking for a raise!

    I've also had the good fortune so far that my most long term cases are those with people who tell you what you need to improve on re: their care and work with you.
    Elektra6, poppycat, Katie13LPN, and 3 others like this.
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    Thanks to all for the wise words. I have been concerned too, because the client's husband came in to talk to the aide I was working with, and myself, re: another aide that was "let go"... the husband said he didn't understand why my company had gotten rid of the aide. He said he and the client had "loved" her and they were upset that she had been wrongfully fired... then a couple weeks later when he was talking to us, he sort of slipped his tongue and said "we" got rid of her, meaning him AND the company. So I asked the lead nurse on the case, and she said yes, the husband had been part of the decision to get rid of the aide. I can only conclude that the husband was intentionally trying to deceive us for some reason, into thinking he had nothing to do with it (we didn't bring it up- he did). Flippin' bizarre...
    NJRN33 and lindarn like this.
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    Just because the family "got rid" of a nurse doesn't mean they were fired.

    Lots of families play games and play nurses against each other. I've never understood why. Just accepted its part of the job. It works best when all the nurses are on the same page on the same case. But theres always that nurse that either doesn't get it or doesn't want to work with the rest of the nurses to keep the family from manipulating.

    Most agencies won't fire a nurse so they don't have to pay unemployment. Most agencies will just not have work available for the nurse until the nurse gets the point. Its a nasty way to make the nurse quit so they nurse doesn't get unemployment.
    Bella'sMyBaby and lindarn like this.
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    Based upon what you said in your last post, OP, I think it is now quite clear where all the nurses and aides stand. I can assure you that it was not a unilateral act of the agency to remove a perfectly "warm body" from the staffing lineup on that case. Agencies almost always only remove a nurse at the request of the family.
    lindarn likes this.
  11. 0
    Even in homecare "the customer is always right". When I first started doing homecare, over 20 years ago, families were so gracious and happy for help. Now they can tell your agency they don't want you there and poof, you are off the case. I've been doing homecare for so long that when I meet a new mom or dad, I can tell the vibes in the first five minutes. I've turned down cases where the vibes were bad, or where the parents thought you were a mini intensive care nurse, expecting you to be doing something for their child every second you are there. ( not even going to the bathroom, or sitting down to eat your lunch). Just be very wary of families like you described above OP.
  12. 0
    Private duty kind of sounds awful to me. Is it boring? What are the good aspects? I am just curious as this is something I have never experienced so I do not have a clue.....


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