Looking For Insight

  1. Hello,

    I work in an outpatient clinic with oncology patients. Currently there is one nurse on vacation which has left two of us to cover her patients. Today I found out the other nurse I am working with is not coming in to work tomorrow to attend a meeting that is all day. This is not a mandatory meeting. This nurse had a private conversation with our manager to express her interest in going to this meeting. Our manager did not inform me that this nurse has been approved to attend this meeting, mind you I will be the only nurse working. My manager did this few months ago where she gave this nurse a day off when I would be by myself and did not check to see how I felt working alone. I had a conversation with my manager about this and thought that we came to the understanding that staffing issues would be discussed as a unit; not one on one. Where is the concern for quality patient care and safety? I feel this manager is giving this nurse "special" treatment because she keeps her updated with whats going on in the front office. I have asked my manager before that I would like to know when she is approving time off for other nurses and I would be working alone. Now I am trying to find what my next course of action should be? Contacting my union rep? I'm really upset right now and seeking advice in case I am taking things too personal and being emotional.

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. Visit SmilesHeal101 profile page

    About SmilesHeal101

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 109; Likes: 48
    Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Medical-Surgical/Oncology


  3. by   TriciaJ
    If you have a union rep then you should also have a form for insufficient staffing. If there is no preprinted form, you can write your own on a sheet of paper. You document that you asked for the help you need and what was the outcome. If you did not receive the help you asked for, state that you are accepting the assignment under protest because you are not adequately staffed to provide optimal patient care. You add that you will do your best but cannot be held responsible for situations out of your control.

    One copy goes to your manager, one to your union rep and keep one for yourself. This is a CYA measure; if you are named in a lawsuit the short-staffing will be a defense only if you asked for help and documented that you did so. It also holds management's feet to the fire that she can't just drop you in it without consequences. Be prepared to face a tribunal for generating this document. But make eye contact and stay firm. You'll become a less-easy target to dump on like this.

    Good luck.
  4. by   kisianik
    Quote from TriciaJ
    If you have a union rep then you should also have a form for insufficient staffing.
    I am late to the party, but there is another form or it also can be written - objection to assignment, which need to be filled before that day and given to all mangers, HR and union, where you state that you are taking this assignment under duress and you state that it is impossible to provide patient's safety at those condition, you can actually threaten manager about submitting this form to DHS, my managers did not like this name, but it could backfire. I know things about Hospitals, but not about outpatient (looks like your situation), but there should be some kind of patient to nurse staffing rules or guidelines.

    Just another 2 cents.