nurses who self injure - page 4

hello i am a RN who works part time in geropsych and part time at another hospital on general surgical ward. i have scars on my upper arms from previous years when i used to cut myself.... Read More

  1. by   gwenith
    Quote from sax_journey
    i did join nsw union after being fired from ngp. but u r right i should have joined ACT as well, it is certainly not worth working without legal protection. Thanx 4 the suggestions. The reg board is the last place i'd go for fear it would be turned around on me somehow. i know people who have lost their reg due to hx mental health issues and that is the last thing i'd want.
    I was surprised when I read about you being fired as well - There are so many legal avenues for unfair dismissal. You seem to have a clear case to take before the industrial relations commission


    • whether there was a valid reason for the termination related to the capacity or conduct of the employee or the operational requirements of the business



    • whether the employee was notified of that reason



    • whether the employee was given an opportunity to respond to any reason related to their capacity or conduct



    • if the termination related to unsatisfactory work performance, whether the employee had been warned about that unsatisfactory performance before the termination



    • the degree to which the size of the employer's business would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination



    • the degree to which an absence of dedicated human resource management specialists or expertise in the business would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination.



    http://www.wagenet.gov.au/WageNet/te...Dismissal.html

    http://www.apesma.asn.au/adviceonlin..._dismissal.htm

    Even what is happening to you now, by the sounds of it could be grounds for action under the unfair dismissal act. As for the registration board - there is no way that they would act without good and sufficient reason - not since the Queensland Council got it's fingers burnt over this.

    I think we should copy and post this thread in the Australian forum as I am sure there are many with more intimate knowledge of NSW legislation who could help you.
    Last edit by gwenith on Mar 16, '05
  2. by   Psi
    Quote from soleilpie
    i agree. everyone has a personality disorder then. i eat when i'm depressed. that in and of itself is very destructive because being overweight is not a healthy state to be in. smoking is a form of self injuring and so is drinking and we could go on and on. cutting oneself seems extreme and that's why people probably make a big deal out of it but like someone else had mentioned before, it's not a suicidal tendency. just because someone does or has done self-destructive things, doesn't mean that they'll eventually turn it onto others. i don't think that has been found in any case studies but i could be wrong. i'm not saying it can't happen but i don't think it's the norm. if only people who have perfect self-esteem can work as a health care provider, then the health care system is going to be virtually nonexistent.
    everyone doesn't have a personality disorder. there are a number of criteria that need to be met to get this diagnosis. overeating does not qualify on its own. neither does dsh, although it is a strong indicator, particularly when it is habitual.

    the issue is not that pds are likely to kill patients. the issue is that to meet the criteria of pd an individual has to have an inability to cope with life and patterns of extreme behaviour. a nurse, particularly in mental health has to have a number of attributes to their personality in order to be able to function safely and effectively. the existence of a pd indicates that one or more of these attributes are not present.
  3. by   sax_journey
    Perhaps i could have had a case after being fired. i was only a new grad and i didnt know much about the union, or unfair dismissal etc. it was devestating to my self esteem to be fired from a new grad prog, and i just walked away, i really didnt want to think about it. In hindsight i was miserable in that hospital, and am much better off now in my current position (one of them anyhow)...and this time i will not walk away when i am treated unfairly.


    i would love to hear from anyone with any knowledge/advice in Australia. How am i able to copy this post to the Australian forum? i am desperate for some solution to this problem...but at the same time i am frightened of losing my registration as i do have a mental health hx.....and with all these allegations flying around, i just cant seem to convince anyone that i am innocent, mentally stable.....


    i went to the meeting today with the DON and ADON. It was a nightmare, and very very bizarre.

    They sayd it was not a "disciplinary matter" and yet i am still suspended until further notice.

    They deny speaking to my other employer, state that they didnt even realise i was working elsewhere, and THEN state they have spoken TWICE to my other employer about this matter????

    They deny discussing it with other staff, but later admit to discussing it with two other staff but this was "only out of concern for my well being"

    And on and on it went full of strange things but i wont write them all out....but the weirdest most infuriating thing was this--

    They threatened that if i do not "confess" to being guilty of these allegations then 1. they will fire me and 2. they will report me to the reg board.......now it seems so odd that they want me to confess to threatenting residents among other things, and if i do not confess then i lose me job??? maybe it is a trick or something, i just cant understand.

    Obviously i refused to confess as i am innocent.....they stated that they believe the other people who reported these complaints and i am either 1. lying or 2. so mentally unstable that i completly forgot these events happened......

    They kept telling me to "trust them"......yeah right after they lied to me and about me, and are now trying to blackmail me into making a false confession???

    then they sayd what a great RN i am, that they have no concerns about my pt care (um but they want me to confess to threatening residents??), and that the person who reported me stated the same thing (so why did they report me then??).....then they basically sayd if i do not co operate with them (ie tell them what they want to hear) then my "nursing career is over"...

    i know this sounds bizarre, and i can hardly believe it either, i am stuck and dont know what to do now?? i think i will try the IRC like you suggested, particularly if they do terminate my employment. atm i am just "suspended until further notice" and who knows what that means???

    i can not understand any of this????





    Quote from gwenith
    I was surprised when I read about you being fired as well - There are so many legal avenues for unfair dismissal. You seem to have a clear case to take before the industrial relations commission

    http://www.wagenet.gov.au/WageNet/te...Dismissal.html

    http://www.apesma.asn.au/adviceonlin..._dismissal.htm

    Even what is happening to you now, by the sounds of it could be grounds for action under the unfair dismissal act. As for the registration board - there is no way that they would act without good and sufficient reason - not since the Queensland Council got it's fingers burnt over this.

    I think we should copy and post this thread in the Australian forum as I am sure there are many with more intimate knowledge of NSW legislation who could help you.
    Last edit by gwenith on Mar 16, '05 : Reason: fixed the link so that the screen was the right size
  4. by   gwenith
    Okay first - is this a Goverment institution because if it is you have a LOT of avenues through the greivance process. Regardless of whether it is though you have certain "rights" in Australia (not written into the constitution but as an inherent part of the legal system)

    It is called "natural justice". Under natural justice you have the right to know the exact charges against you, you have a right of defense. You also have the right to have another person in the room when facing the ADON and the DON - in fact you should definitely do so. That other person ideally is a union representative but any friend will do. Having a lawyer present, although legally ideal could escalate the problem.

    I have a feeling though that there is something you are not telling us as, from what I gather this is the second job where you have had difficulties.
  5. by   SusanJean
    Quote from sax_journey

    i went to the meeting today with the DON and ADON. It was a nightmare, and very very bizarre."

    .....
    "And on and on it went full of strange things but i wont write them all out....but the weirdest most infuriating thing was this--"

    ...

    "i know this sounds bizarre, and i can hardly believe it either, i am stuck and dont know what to do now?? i think i will try the IRC like you suggested, particularly if they do terminate my employment. atm i am just "suspended until further notice" and who knows what that means??? "

    i can not understand any of this????
    I don't understand why you went to this meeting alone.
    We strongly encouraged you to bring someone, (hopefully) legal or union, representation with you. Was there no one else to go with you to at least support you? Did you take notes?
  6. by   sax_journey
    Went alone as no one from union wanted to know about it, couldnt find anyone who was not at work who wanted to come along. I did take notes, and so did they....

    As for what i am not telling, i dont quite know what to say. yes this is the 2nd job i've had problems with. the 1st job they basically fired me because i refused to go see their psychologist (among other things), yes i was stressed and depressed at the time, and yes this was affecting my job performance and i prob should have gone to see their psych person....but i didnt, and that was that. if u want to know anything else just ask, i am not trying to hide anything.

    however this time i really do not know where these accusations have come from, i am good at my job, i am very capable and competant, and i really love my job. I work in a locked dementia wing in a private nursing home. Until this point have not had any problems or complaints made against me, nor have i had any problems at my other job on a general med/surg ward.
    Last edit by sax_journey on Mar 16, '05
  7. by   gwenith
    Since this is the second job where your mental health has been questioned I would go and see someone privately. It may be that you have a problem and may not have adequate insight to be able to define what that is. Seeing a private psychologist will help you gain that insight.
  8. by   sax_journey
    i did do that after being fired from the 1st job, and now take antidepressants, and have not had a problem since. but unfortuna6tly it is hard to convince people of that since i do have a history. i dont expect you to believe me since you don't know me, but FWIW there is absolutly no prob with my mental health at this current time, and no justification for the allegations made against me.



    Quote from gwenith
    Since this is the second job where your mental health has been questioned I would go and see someone privately. It may be that you have a problem and may not have adequate insight to be able to define what that is. Seeing a private psychologist will help you gain that insight.
  9. by   gwenith
    Then you have nothing to worry about. The Council cannot tak action unless there is proof - not allegations. I still think too with the way the laws are in Australia that the DON is setting her/himslef up for a lawsuit if they are acting on rumour and innuendo. I am still surprised that they have taken these steps. You say you took notes??? Have you talked to the HRM department?? Often the HRM department can and will intervene in cases like this and act as mediators.

    Are you suspended on pay or without pay?
    Last edit by gwenith on Mar 16, '05
  10. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from gwenith
    Are you suspended on pay or without pay?
    That's what I was wondering. If they say they're not punishing you, then they should at least pay you. I would especially demand some kind of retroactive payment if none of the allegations against you are ever proven.
    It does look suspicious that you've had psych problems at your previous job. However, it would be wrong for your current employer to assume that this new situation is the same. That would be like saying no one can ever recover or get better. Does your current employer know about the situation with your last job? Unless there's some kind of absolute proof, I don't know how they can get away with trying to force you to admit any wrongdoing. Is it just one nurse making these allegations against you or are there others as well?
  11. by   humiliated
    I am against self mutilation in the sense that a person should not be harming herself/himself, however, mutilating oneself does not necessary mean someone is not able to perform their job. We all have battles we face in life, some mental others physical and do not believe you should be fired for hurting yourself. If you are hurting yourself you should get help, or do what you need to do to be stable (other than hurting yourself) and continue working. Sometimes abandoning everything you have can be devasting and worse on the mentally ill pt as opposed to trying to manage your illness while living a normal life. Face the problem at work and make sure you are stable and able to talk about the issue. Because in reality, this will be the true test of wether or not you are in fact ok to work.
    Good luck with your job.
  12. by   sax_journey
    what is HRM??

    suspended without pay i'm afraid. i rang the IRC about this today and apparantly the award we work under is silent about the matter of suspension.....so apparantly they can suspend me for as long as they feel like without pay while they are "investigating" the allegations....as for back pay if i am proven innocent apparantly this is up to the employer to decide if they back pay or not, so i'm taking a wild guess that it wont be happening.....but i dont see how is this not "disciplinary action"??? they rang today and sayd they cant re-instate me until they speak to mental health services....i told them to be my guest as i have nothing to hide....so i gave them the name of the person i was speaking to ....and they claim this person is on holidays for 2 weeks, and apparantly there is no one else they can ask about it, so i just have to wait til this person is getting back from holidays....

    current employer does not know about previous problem at other job as far as i know, but several other staff do.

    at one stage in our converstaion it was two people who complained, now they are saying 4 people complained. I dont know the exact nature of these complaints, and if all four ppl complianed about everything, or if they all put in different parts of it....the conversation where i allegedly threatened residents apparantly took place on a sun evening about 10pm and there are not even 4 staff on our wing at that time of night, so they cant all be claiming to have been there.........but i was not told very much. everytime i asked questions they would interrupt. i did find out the identity of 2 of the people and am so tempted to call them and ask them what is going on, but i think that would make it much worse.

    i have been on the phone to the unions again, and sent back and forth a few times between the two states, but finally explained the situation to someone, who has to discuss with her boss, and she sayd someone would contact me tomorrow, so hopefully i may get some advice at least....
  13. by   gwenith
    HRM = Human Resource Management

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