Accused of abandonement

Nurses New Nurse


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morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

Yes, we really haven't been told a few pertinent facts. Several posters have speculated this or that, but I really think we all should let it go, since the OP has chosen not to share those details with us. ;)

my speculation, and it is EXACTLY THAT, is that the preceptor knew what she was doing and where she was......

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.
i think that there are some things that need clarification. first off, i had zero previous disciplinary issues on the unit. the write up was a complete shock, especially considering this. i spoke to my manager because i felt that there were lines my preceptor had crossed with me, and tension was very high between us. she had continuously spoke to me in ways that were insulting and inappropriate, and i needed to speak to someone so i asked one of the managers if we could speak in private. i did not want to tell my preceptor that i was reporting her actions as i knew it might spark up a verbal altercation. she later told another manager that i had disappeared without telling her and without hearing my side of the story. i was still on the floor, i had not left it, nor the hospital. i was not "galavanting around". so that clears up anything daytonite may have have assumed with the information that was given. second, when i said ultimately my preceptor is responsible. i think it was extremely misinterpreted by a few responders. in saying that, i meant that my preceptor has primary responsibility of the patient. because i am new nurse, who just graduated, i am not in a place in my career position to assume complete responsibility of a patient's care. i never stated that my preceptor is responsible for my actions, i accept total responsibility for my actions. my concern was the extreme to which a mistake i made of not telling my preceptor that i was talking to one of the managers was addressed to such an extreme as a write up for patient abandonement by another manager. this is one of, if not the most serious charge to slap on a nurse, and i don't think that it should be given lightly. i wanted input on whether anyone though patient abandonement was an appropriate way to address this because, it seems far-fetched.

i do agree that to write you up for patient abandonment was overkill. but, i was a manager for some time and i am aware that these things are usually not done lightly. there is usually a reason behind them although the reasoning might not be as rational as one would like to think. then, again, i suppose it is always possible that these two people are conspiring against you.

can we assume that since it has been a little bit of time since you last responded to this thread that any attempts you made to contest being written up for this were thwarted? you didn't say.

i still am concerned over your contention that your preceptor has primary responsibility of the your patient assignment. i suspect that this might be the basis of your preceptor's primary disagreement with you. she probably disagrees with this. has your preceptor told you this? did your preceptor ever tell you that she was totally responsible for the patient assignment and that you were just tagging along? you never said. therefore, i would guess that this is a major disagreement between the two of you about who bears the responsibility for the patients here and it needs to be clarified. it needs to be talked about between you two.

a preceptor's purpose is to assist orientees in following the facility policies and procedures as well as to help you in becoming acclimated to your new working environment. my training in preceptorship was that we were to be very clear in telling the orientee exactly what their responsibilities were so there was no room for misunderstanding. when i precepted, i would have made it very clear to you what your responsibilities and accountabilities were. if i had to, i would have written them down for you so there was no ambiguity.

if this is a case of a bad preceptor, then request she be replaced. i have a powerpoint presentation on how a preceptor should perform their job. unfortunately, the only way i can get it to anyone is as an attachment on an e-mail. one should always know what the job responsibilities are of the various people they work with. if you want to see this powerpoint presentation, i can e-mail it to you, but i need to have an e-mail address to send it to--you would have to provide that to me by pm (private messaging). you can't post private e-mail addresses on the allnurses public forums. after viewing this powerpoint you can then make some kind of judgment as to whether or not your current preceptor is doing their precepting job well. it would also give you points of reason to bring up as to why you would like a change of preceptor.

i do understand some of the dilemma you find yourself in and i do sincerely wish you well.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.
I just find it interesting, no more, no less....

Perhaps not sharing all but not on purpose. When I get charged up and vent I leave alot out, I know what I mean doesn't always mean everyone else does.

Time was a factor in a few posters' minds. The OP never said how long she was gone even though this question was asked several times.

Seriously, if she was gone for less than 15 minutes, I don't see how the absence should have been an issue. Some of us spend more time than that in the bathroom.

However, if she was absent for a couple of hours....whole different story.


Just for funsies, I read over other posts by this poster and, while I am not judging anyone based on such skimpy information as is in the details of those posts, I think it is important to know that the OP is not completely new to that unit.

Based on that, and that alone, my opinion is that if she didn't know enough to tell her preceptor where she was going, she had grossly inadequate training and she should probably change hospitals.

If she did know better and failed to do so, a write-up is certainly indicated. But for "abandonment"? I think that's a little strong, but again, suppose she "disappeared" for over 1 hour? Two? Three?

This is why I feel that the length of time that her whereabouts were unknown is important.

nursemike, ASN, RN

1 Article; 2,362 Posts

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

I don't want to harp, but the matter of primary responsibility still concerns me. If the OP were merely shadowing, I guess I could buy that. But an orientee with a patient assignment is fully responsible for his/her care. I'm sure my preceptors were fully aware that their licenses could get dinged for my actions, too, but from the time I got a license, I was putting it on the line every time I went into a patient's room (or didn't). Receiving a nurse's license asserts that one is able to provide appropriate care in keeping with nursing ethics. Had the OP truly abandoned her patients--say, going to a nearby convenience store to buy cigarettes--she'd be subject to the same discipline as an experienced nurse, and probably exploring new career options. I think we all agree that was not the case, here, but that it would have been more correct to ensure that her patients--her patients--were covered before leaving the patient care area, even briefly. And I would imagine she understands that, too, at this point.

I don't think it would be reasonable, and I don't think it's customary, to report first year nurses to the BON over honest mistakes. Negligence, abuse, or gross incompetence, yes, but the frightening truth is that we do a lot of our learning from the mistakes we make, and it seems like a lot of what preceptors do is making sure we don't do any irreperable harm in the process.

Like others, I'm concerned and puzzled over the involvement of two managers. On my unit, I answer to a Nurse Manager and to her superior, a Nurse Director, but primarily to the Nurse Manager, and they are pretty conscientious about chain-of-command and making sure they are both on the same page. If the OP is getting different messages from two different supervisors, that would be confusing and, to me, reason enough to be looking to transfer at her earliest opportunity.

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

I think we reached an impasse :deadhorse

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