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CNA 11 Years need your help

Posted

Specializes in CNA. Has 12 years experience.

Hello all of you courageous frontliners, I need to ask you guys a question. I was recently fired for violating company policy. My question is does anyone know if it's against any policy that you know of that you can't follow a patient to another facility, visit and run errands for them. Being that they are no longer in your facility.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

You’ve opened yourself up for all kinds of possible accusations from the patient and/or his/her family in doing so. Professional boundaries are a ‘thing’ and facilities can terminate any employee for violating their policies whether on or off duty.

L.P.CNA, CNA

Specializes in CNA. Has 12 years experience.

Thank you BSNbeDONE for your response. I would like to ask if you were unaware of this policy because the employer did not train you on such a policy, also there aren't any laws that restrain you from visiting and running errands for a former patient. The patient was no longer a resident at the facility for months. Do you think it was right to just fire me without warning me or writing me up first?

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

4 hours ago, L.P.CNA said:

Hello all of you courageous frontliners, I need to ask you guys a question. I was recently fired for violating company policy. My question is does anyone know if it's against any policy that you know of that you can't follow a patient to another facility, visit and run errands for them. Being that they are no longer in your facility.

Hi L.P.CNA,

Your employer's policy may say something very general about professional behavior, because it would be difficult to list every possible situation that might occur between an employee and a patient (or former patient). I'm not sure I could blame them for not training you, because this is the type of thing that should be covered in any basic CNA course. As for "no laws" existing, that's not really relevant.

If you're a long term employee with no prior issues, it does seem rather harsh that they would fire you with no warning. I do find myself wondering how they became aware of the situation, though.

Sounds like you have a good amount of experience and will hopefully find new work easily.

L.P.CNA, CNA

Specializes in CNA. Has 12 years experience.

Thank you Sour Lemon for taking the time to reply to my post. It's much appreciated. The answer to your question how did my employer find out. Actually the mother of the patient called the job and told them that she wanted a debit card of his that he had given me to hold for him until the next month, which his funds would be distributed on the card and he would ask me to go shopping for him.

26 minutes ago, L.P.CNA said:

Thank you Sour Lemon for taking the time to reply to my post. It's much appreciated. The answer to your question how did my employer find out. Actually the mother of the patient called the job and told them that she wanted a debit card of his that he had given me to hold for him until the next month, which his funds would be distributed on the card and he would ask me to go shopping for him.

yikes, no offense but "holding" a debit card for ANYONE let alone a patient (you are not assigned to) is out of bounds and totally unprofessional.

All you can do is learn and grow from this. Good luck!

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Nowadays, not only pretty much every health care facility, agency or organization has a policy prohibiting every and any contract, real or virtual, between clients and employees outside of workplace, but it became a baseline standard of professional behavior for health care workers of every level quite some time ago. "Training" in this behavior is not considered necessary because it is thought to be a thing as basic as saying "hi, good morning" with a smile. Doing anything for or with a client outside of work - however innocent it might sound - can place employer into legal trouble, and no one will stand even for a shadow of it. What you did was, frankly, way more than a shadow.

I am sorry that you've learned it as a harsh lesson but for now it is what it is. From now on, you just never, ever, do anything like that again. If another patient asks you to do anything with his money, tell that you can't do that and address his needs through your chain of commands.

Honestly, you were incredibly lucky. The mother of the patient could interpret the story in a very different way and it would be up to you to prove that you were not stealing the money and for your facility that they did not made it possible.

Edited by KatieMI

L.P.CNA, CNA

Specializes in CNA. Has 12 years experience.

Thanks to everyone who replied, like I said it's much appreciated. I understand what you guys are saying, but I honestly didn't know that I couldn't do it being that they were a former patient. From now on I need to keep my heart to myself and use this as a learning experience.

2 hours ago, L.P.CNA said:

Thank you Sour Lemon for taking the time to reply to my post. It's much appreciated. The answer to your question how did my employer find out. Actually the mother of the patient called the job and told them that she wanted a debit card of his that he had given me to hold for him until the next month, which his funds would be distributed on the card and he would ask me to go shopping for him.

YIKES😯!!

That could easily be interpreted as financial abuse of a senior. It doesn't matter if he or his mother asked you to hold on to the card. Why didn't she hold on to the card? Also even if he did ask you to, that could still be viewed as abuse.

For example: he allows it and tells you "go buy something for yourself" . You do and been doing so for a while. Well his guardian/POA looks at his account (they have the legal right) sees the extra transactions and thinks WOW!!?!?! They go after you for taking advantage of him.

Another thing is that as a CNA you are working under the license of someone else. Say you visit, not as a "family/friend" but as a CNA that works under the license of your employer. If he falls or gets hurt while you are helping him, whose is responsible? The place that he is at or the place you are working at?

____

I sat with a 1:1 nice old lady at a hospital. While there her PCA came in to get her credit card. She tells me "Oh yes, Mrs. SOandSo let's me use her card to pay some of my bills."

Mrs. SOandSo oh yes I've know her for years.

I wasn't buying it. The patient had some confusion and a little dementia. I reported it to the RN. Not sure if anything happened, but it seemed fishy to me.

SaltineQueen

Specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

You’ll be lucky if getting fired is all that you have to deal with. They could have accused you of stealing that bank card!

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Uff da... this could have gone much worse for you, eg accusations of stealing, exploitation of a vulnerable adult etc. I’m suspecting that this boundary violation was so egregious and opened the facility up to such liability that they didn’t see room for re-education or whatever. They couldn’t risk it.

I’d highly recommend doing some nursing CEUs or even just some reading on “professional boundaries.” Not only to help you avoid similar situations in the future, but to show potential employers your willingness to learn/grow from your mistakes.

All the best! 💓

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Also... and you may see this in your boundaries learning. But having boundaries is good for you. That’s great that you have such a big heart... and as one who’s frequently told I have a big heart I get it. BUT. The flip side is a big heart can be vulnerable to hurt. This work can emotionally wreck you if it permeates your entire life. For your own mental/emotional well being you need to learn to leave your work AT work.

Edited by Here.I.Stand

This is true for RNs, LPNs, and CNAs, you will have patients/family who will 💕praise💕 you in your face, but once you leave they will tell the next person who comes in you were the 😡worst person🤬 they had.

15 hours ago, DesiDani said:

Another thing is that as a CNA you are working under the license of someone else. Say you visit, not as a "family/friend" but as a CNA that works under the license of your employer. If he falls or gets hurt while you are helping him, whose is responsible? The place that he is at or the place you are working at?

This is not correct regarding this scenario. I know a lot of us have heard or been lead to believe that the employer would have some legal liability for a scenario such as the OP, but oftentimes these claims of liability are used more as an excuse for the employer's stance on something or are conveyed in overly-broad terms (again for the employer's own purposes/benefit).

The activity described in the OP was not done in the course of employment and was strictly the OP's private activity. It could be argued that it wasn't even specifically CNA activity; you don't need a CNA certificate to check on/visit someone and do their shopping. Employers are generally not liable for the individual actions and choices of employees not on the clock who are not engaged in anything having to do with their status as an employee of that employer. The OP most definitely was not doing any CNA work under the license of his/her employer (or anyone else) with regard to the scenario presented.

54 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

This is not correct regarding this scenario. I know a lot of us have heard or been lead to believe that the employer would have some legal liability for a scenario such as the OP, but oftentimes these claims of liability are used more as an excuse for the employer's stance on something or are conveyed in overly-broad terms (again for the employer's own purposes/benefit).

The activity described in the OP was not done in the course of employment and was strictly the OP's private activity. It could be argued that it wasn't even specifically CNA activity; you don't need a CNA certificate to check on/visit someone and do their shopping. Employers are generally not liable for the individual actions and choices of employees not on the clock who are not engaged in anything having to do with their status as an employee of that employer. The OP most definitely was not doing any CNA work under the license of his/her employer (or anyone else) with regard to the scenario presented.

I get it, but why was the OP terminated then, If her employers wasn't liable for her. If they are not liable if she held to his debit card and if she was going in to help a prior patient at another facility, How can many others mention "boundaries" if her employer is not liable or could be held liable? Even if you are off the clock, you are still representing your job, especially in the era of social media.

Also I argue the OP was doing work under her license since the OP initially agreed to hold on the card while she was working. It was just a continuation of that agreement.

Any old way, what is done is done. Everything is a learning experience. It is good that the OP didn't get a violation slapped on her CNA license.

20 minutes ago, DesiDani said:

I get it, but why was the OP terminated then, If her employers wasn't liable for her.

Because they didn't like the appearance of what she did, given the fact that she is still employed by them. That doesn't mean her actions in this case had anything to do with them. Haven't you heard of anyone getting canned for something completely unrelated to their work? It's related to the employer's concern about their image, not related to their in-fact liability.

20 minutes ago, DesiDani said:

How can many others mention "boundaries" if her employer is not liable or could be held liable?

Ethical boundaries, run-of-the-mill bad ideas, and legal liability are all completely different (distinct) things. This situation was 1) a bad idea 2) maybe ethically questionable 3) not illegal whatsoever on the face of it, unless the OP did something illegal with the card or was otherwise abusing the individual in some way.

20 minutes ago, DesiDani said:

Even if you are off the clock, you are still representing your job, especially in the era of social media.

"Representing" refers to appearances and public reputation. Not legal liability.

20 minutes ago, DesiDani said:

Also I argue the OP was doing work under her license since the OP initially agreed to hold on the card while she was working. It was just a continuation of that agreement.

I didn't see that anywhere. OP wrote that the patient hadn't been at the OP's employer's facility for "months"...and that she was holding the card "until the next month..." which would seem to indicate that she began visiting the patient sometime after he left the facility months ago, and recently he had given her the card to hold til next month.

21 hours ago, L.P.CNA said:

The patient was no longer a resident at the facility for months.

19 hours ago, L.P.CNA said:

Actually the mother of the patient called the job and told them that she wanted a debit card of his that he had given me to hold for him until the next month...

Sounds like the mother called the OP's work not because the employer had anything to do with this but because she knew the OP still continued to be employed there.

There's no question the employer didn't like the appearance of the OP's activity and feel that it reflected upon them (reputation-wise) since the OP is still employed by them completely separately from this other activity. Also, (sorry OP), the thing with agreeing to hold onto the card was a very bad judgment call, and perhaps the employer simply doesn't wish to employ someone demonstrating this type of poor judgment.

However, we haven't heard anything to indicate legal liability related to the OP scenario. We haven't even heard that anything illegal has happened at all.

L.P.CNA, CNA

Specializes in CNA. Has 12 years experience.

I did nothing with the card but hold onto it, no funds were on the card. I most definitely didn't do anything illegal, that's not the type of person I am nor am I a predator who looks for easy targets. I truly care and have deep feelings and compassion for everyone I come in contact with. My character have never been questioned. I made a bad judgment call but really didn't think that I was doing anything wrong or I wouldn't have done it. I've been a CNA for 11 years and I've never heard anything about this kind of thing. I was off duty, on my own time, he had not been at the facility for months and I went to visit him as a friend that was concerned about his well being. Never ever had I asked for a dime to do anything for him.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

2 hours ago, JKL33 said:

This is not correct regarding this scenario. I know a lot of us have heard or been lead to believe that the employer would have some legal liability for a scenario such as the OP, but oftentimes these claims of liability are used more as an excuse for the employer's stance on something or are conveyed in overly-broad terms (again for the employer's own purposes/benefit).

The activity described in the OP was not done in the course of employment and was strictly the OP's private activity. It could be argued that it wasn't even specifically CNA activity; you don't need a CNA certificate to check on/visit someone and do their shopping. Employers are generally not liable for the individual actions and choices of employees not on the clock who are not engaged in anything having to do with their status as an employee of that employer. The OP most definitely was not doing any CNA work under the license of his/her employer (or anyone else) with regard to the scenario presented.

I witnessed a case when I was covering SNFs. The patient had independent income and was an avid collector. As it happens in SNFs, patient grew closer with some staff members and gave them his card to buy things for him, including expensive collectables, sometimes staff members were driving to local antiques fairs and stores when off work to get them. Everybody saw it as a harmless folly of an elderly gentleman. When family found it out, they sued the facility and tried to prove that the Psychiatry provider tried to drug the patient out of his mind and facility was paving his way by allowing staff access to money at the time when patient was "under influence" of meds in order to keep those collectibles. That was laughable by itself, but during the discovery phase they found multiple little inconsistencies in assessments and psychotropic meds prescriptions and administration, so it was not possible to prove that nothing evil and malignant at all was really going on.The lawsuit was settled out of Court somehow but there was mass termination of everyone involved and Psychiatry office (with excellent physician) losing privileges in that SNF. As far I understand, it was just a little slap on the finger and only the Lord knows what would happen if family had got a stronger legal team.

Edited by KatieMI