Wrongfully fired

  1. I'm a seasoned CNA and I was terminated this morning from my job at a ltc facility. The administrator told me I was fired for the confrontation I had with a dietary aide last week when they refused to make my resident an alternative for dinner. The gave my resident an egg salad sandwich on white bread which the resident refused because she doesn't like pickle and doesn't like white bread. She asked for a grill cheese sandwich on wheat bread instead which the kitchen did not want to provide. They argued that the sandwich was not made with pickle so they would not make the alternative. I told them the resident does not want the egg salad sandwich and does not like white bread and is alert and specifically asked for a grilled cheese sandwich. I told them that I would go to the administrator if they could not provide an alternative for my resident and that my resident could call the state or ombudsman and complain on the facility for this. They made the sandwich. Today the administrator said that I threatened the kitchen with calling the state on them and she was letting me go. She told me she would not fight me on unemployment and wished me best of luck. I feel enraged and heartbroken! I thought I was doing the right thing and I feel wrongfully fired. The administrator didn't even wait to hear my side of the story before deciding to fire me. She called me and left a voicemail on my phone stating they wouldn't be using me anymore and my check was ready to pick up. Am I just being sorry is does anyone else see this as u just??
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    About Tiffani3116

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 9; Likes: 7
    from CA , US

    12 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Power struggles rarely turn out well for the person lower on the totem pole. I would write a letter to the administrator stating your side of the story and request it be added to your employee file. Be ready to explain this when you seek work elsewhere and try to reflect on how you can avoid a similar situation. Maybe you were a tad too assertive? Who knows? Next time perhaps you should get your charge nurse involved. S/he could have resolved this with you keeping your job. Good luck.
  4. by   Wannabenurseneko
    If I was that patient, I would really miss the heck out of you, knowing that you cared for me.
    I agree with caliotter, as CNA we are the lowest on the totem pole and our side is not taken into consideration
    Next always document as well when something goes wrong.
  5. by   ArmaniX
    I don't know if your actions were worth being fired over, maybe a wrote up. But your "sticking up for the patient" was done entirely in an unprofessional manner. Your threatening, essentially bullying, behavior is not the proper way to go about these scenarios.

    It would be the equivalent of me telling a nurse that before they go home they better do a central line dressing otherwise I'll go to the manager or that the patients family could call the board of nursing for 'neglect'.
  6. by   Tiffani3116
    I don't see that as comparable at all. I don't see why an alert patient can't have a grilled cheese sandwich as an alternative for dinner. I shouldn't have to beg or argue with the kitchen. Ive been caregiver for almost 20 years and also a patient and I hold high standards when it comes to customer service. I agree that I should have went to the charge nurse and in similar future situations I will but I am the nicest and most compassionate person you could meet and I am in no way a bully. It really irks me when I work with lazy people and people who have no regard for customer service. Thanks for your input.
  7. by   jodispamodi
    Coming in late on this but the problem wasn't your trying to get your patient what she wanted for lunch, the problem as they see it was you threatening them with the ombudsman, and the state. You were basically threatening them with pretty severe consequences for the facility over a sandwich. Facilities whether they are good or bad ones do not like regulatory agencies paying them surprise visits, they like even less, regulatory agencies paying them surprise visits over a sandwich. I don't know if you are aware but the agencies you mentioned when they are called into a facility can open ANY chart, and fine them on ANYthing they find; they won't just stop at the kitchen and say why didnt you make the lady a sandwich and walkout. Your facility fired you to prevent you from making the same threat and carrying it out. They know firing you was a pretty severe consequence, thats why they said they won't fight unemployment, but they are not gojng to risk keeping you around. If you wort in an at will state they can fire you or you can quit anytime you wish.
  8. by   amoLucia
    Agreeing with others. You became upset at the situation and became 'threatening' in a way altho you don't see it that way. As an experienced CNA, you should have known to call your charge nurse and not to argue.

    Not being present, I have no way how the two of you were coming across in the dining room. Causing a scene by arguing is a NOT an option. There is prob something about employee arguing in your employee handbook which could be the grounds for your termination.

    What happened to the other employee in dietary?

    If you had other disciplinary actions in your file, this could have been the final straw to effect your dismissal.
  9. by   Tiffani3116
    I had no disciplary actions in my file. What was said was between the dietary and me in the kitchen and not around residents. The charge nurses the facility are not really motivated to help. They won't even answer a call light and there's a huge language barrier. I, Amon other cna's have had several run ins with the dietary department being uncooperative when it comes to providing alternative to alert patients. Alert patients who have themselves threatened to call state over these issues. I never told them I would call state, I told them I would go to the administrator and that the resident could call state. I'm glad I'm out of there. There was a lot of practices going on there that I did not like and several lessons were learned for me. I know now that I would never place a loved one there.
  10. by   amoLucia
    Sorry that you were pulled into such a sucky situation. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when the dietary aide talked about his/her side of the story to admin.

    Seems like it was a bit lopsided. Sounds like they only wanted to hear what they wanted to hear.

    You have other issues, unrelated to the grilled cheese, that you feel makes the facility an undesirable place to work. Sometimes you might not be able to work them out. So it then becomes time to move on.

    When one door closes, another one opens. Good luck to you.
  11. by   Yancyq
    LISENT don't feel bad or mad . It happen , you will find a better job don't worry . Just next time just tell the nurse .
  12. by   Orion81RN
    You advocated for your patient. I believe you did the right thing. If I were your nurse, I would have vouched for you. At my last facility, I loved our kitchen staff. They were just as overworked as those of us on the floor. Yes, it was extra work for them to make it, but really? They had the time to argue instead of just make the sandwhich.

    How about when patients threaten US on the floor with calling and reporting us, they kick those patients out. Would NEVER happen. Being verbally abused by patients and family is fine to them, but you ADVOCATING for your patient drew the line for them? Makes NO sense.
  13. by   It'sYaGirlK
    I had a similar thing happen to me....My approach wss different...I begged and pleaded and actually sung the kitchen aide a song of I ain't too proud to beg...we laughed and now I never have any problems with her! The resident, myself and work environment are at peace
  14. by   OpinionatedCNA
    It sounds like you were fired for not knowing when to pick your battles, honestly. I completely understand dealing with dietary feels like trying to pull teeth. But at the same time you have to realize they are essentially working min wage, usually understaffed, to feed 150ish residents. If they stop to make a grilled cheese sandwich for Mrs Smith the food for the residents in the other wing gets cold.

    They should have offered to make something else that doesn't require cooking time like a tuna salad sandwich or pb&j, but I believe you are in the wrong for telling them the resident is going to call the state on them. What you should have done is, "I'm sorry Mrs Smith, the kitchen isn't able to make you a grilled cheese right now, they can only make you x,y,z." In our facility, residents are only able to request meal alternatives up to 3ish hours before they start cooking the meal, if they want something else at dinner time it's whatever the kitchen can put together. If she is alert and this is an ongoing issue you can propose that dietary print out their meal plans a week in advance and let her pick what she wants, but it is unreasonable to demand something that specific at the last minute.

    I know that you are trying to stand up for your resident but just remember 1) resident's rights don't include being able to eat whatever whenever they want 2) pick your battles. Not getting a grilled sandwich is not violating anyone's right. It's your job to help them within reason get food they are okay with and ask management / dietary to work with them (in advanced) if they are extremely picky. I know we want it all for the residents, but it is not our job to cater to them. I'm sorry you were fired, it sounds like it was an overreaction from your management, but hey. You know better now and CNA jobs are a dime a dozen.

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