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Coworker was fired yesterday.

Posted

Has 23 years experience.

One of my coworkers was fired yesterday. She had been put on suspension a few times and she had been sent to counseling because she has a tendancy to make rude comments to patients. She once told a patient who had been incontinent of stool several times that she was making baby like messes. The patient started to cry and she then told the patient that not only did she poop like a baby, but she cried like one too. The patient died the nest day and the family was devastated that her comment was one of the last things said to their loved one before she became unconscious and went dramatically downhill. She'd had several patients complain about her attitude and that they felt like they were troubling her every time they put their call light on. She also had a habit of pushing a lot of her work off on the CNAs, while she sat and read the newspaper, etc. She'd been talked to about that habit several times. Saturday, she had another patient who had been up to the commode several times. This 98 year old woman had never been in the hospital in her entire life and she'd only been sick enough to see a doctor a few times. The nurse told the patient that if she needed the commode one more time she was going to "stick a plug in her hole so the nurses could get some real work done." The patient was devastated by the comment and the patient's son was ready to kill the nurse. The patient didn't put her call light on for the rest of the shift and the next shift found her in tears with stool and urine everywhere. I don't really know why the family didn't report this to the charge nurse or request another nurse or something. Yesterday, the family called the nurse manager to complain and the nurse was fired soon after. She'd been warned a few weeks ago that if she had any more patient complaints that she would be terminated.

So, here's my dilemma. This nurse called me today and asked me if she could use me as a reference when she applied for other jobs. I told her that I couldn't give her a good reference with a clear conscience. I feel sort of guilty about that. When she does a good job, she does a very good job, but when she doesn't she is nothing short of horrible. I still hate the idea that she is out of work and is probably going to have a tough time finding another job. I know have no reason to feel guilty, but...sigh! Should I call her and tell her I changed my mind and focus on her positive attributes if someone calls or should I stick to my guns? Thanks for reading my vent!

Cotjockey, after what I've read in your post about this nurse...I would NEVER want her taking care of one of my loved ones and saying any of those things to them...

Would you???

I think you ABSOLUTELY did the right thing, and I hope you explained to her why.

It made me SICK to read how she treated those patients...

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

there is no dilemma

you know the right thing is NOT to help this individual work in any capacity as a nurse ever again.

i see no dilemma.

well, in my humble opinion, this nurse got what she deserved. You shouldn't feel guilty...? Would you like her to take care of your family?...you've got your answer...

Take care!!!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

In fact, I would take it one step further and REPORT her to the board of nursing for patient abuse! Frankly, I'm surprised that your employer hasn't done it, as they can be held at least partly responsible for any damages she may have inflicted on pts. in your facility. This woman doesn't have any business taking care of animals, let alone people who are sick and vulnerable. For the sake of future patients, I hope you decline to recommend her for any nursing position.......no one deserves to be treated like that!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

The October issue of Good Housekeeping had a tip on how to handle this situation. If it were me, she could put me own as a reference, but she wouldn't have control over what i said when i was called up.

But unfortunately not every job will call all the references.

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

Has 15 years experience.

Please do not give this person a reference. If you do, you will be indirectly responsible for contributing to the pain and humiliation she causes to any pts she takes "care" of at a job, if your reference helps her to get that job.

flashpoint

Has 23 years experience.

Wow...after reading my post, I don't think I'd want her taking care on my plants! I think her problems built up so slowly and over so much time that we sort of either didn't notice or we overlooked them. A part of me wondrs what we could have done to "save" her. She's one of theose people who never really fit it...was never quite "one of the gang." There are a few of us that run around together outside of work quite a bit....we go to movies or to the bar or things like that after our shift quite often. Everyone was always invited and everyone but her tagged along at least once or twice. She always declined, based on not having enough money or something silmilar. I know we offered a few times to pick up the tab for her and we let her know if she was the designated driver, she could have all of the soda and food (like pineapple and olives and lime slices) she wanted for free or $1 depending on the bartender. She never ordered out with us when we got take out at work. She never went along when we went to out of town conferences, etc together either. Don't know if she didn't feel like she belonged or if she'd just a loner or what. I do kind of wonder if we weren't a part of the reason her attitude was so bad...

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

put the blame squarely where it belongs

on her.

she chose to abuse these people....her attitude is HER responsibility...not YOURS!!!

moonchild20002000

Specializes in OB/GYN,L&D,FP office,LTC. Has 36 years experience.

I agree with all the above posters,NO REFERENCE!

I really think she should be reported to the BON. You really don't

know the extent of her abuse. If she would speak to patients that

way who knows what else she has done or omitted.

I may seem harsh, but abuse of any kind, Including verbal, just ticks me off.

To get respect, you have show respect...she showed these patients NO respect and ..what about their dignity?

shame on her.

I wouldn't give her the time of day never mind a reference.

I could not read past the hateful words to that dying pt.

That makes me very sad! She needs to find another occupation like digging ditches or something really exhausting to help her vent off that horrible attitude!

Family members get reported for elderly abuse here for those kinds of things, she should be as well!!!!

Sounds to me like your former coworker needs professional help. Yes, her actions and words were completely horrible, but did anyone ever wonder what was happening in her personal life. Was she married, kids? When I've personally felt horrible inside because of personal problems/issues, I still went to work with a smile and told others that I was doing just great.

I don't condone her behavior but it sounds to me that she was taking out her own insecurities and lack of control in her personal life out on unsuspecting patients.

I hope she gets help but I can definitely understand why you told her that you could not provide a reference for her.

You know you have made the right decision....its just the carer in you raising its head ssying " give her another chance" ..not on anyone I know or love..Same guilt the kids give you when you punish/ restrict them when they have done wrong...the difference...there is hope for your kids if you stick by your guns....she on the other hand...no hope...

Originally posted by cotjockey

Wow...after reading my post, I don't think I'd want her taking care on my plants! I think her problems built up so slowly and over so much time that we sort of either didn't notice or we overlooked them. A part of me wondrs what we could have done to "save" her. She's one of theose people who never really fit it...was never quite "one of the gang." There are a few of us that run around together outside of work quite a bit....we go to movies or to the bar or things like that after our shift quite often. Everyone was always invited and everyone but her tagged along at least once or twice. She always declined, based on not having enough money or something silmilar. I know we offered a few times to pick up the tab for her and we let her know if she was the designated driver, she could have all of the soda and food (like pineapple and olives and lime slices) she wanted for free or $1 depending on the bartender. She never ordered out with us when we got take out at work. She never went along when we went to out of town conferences, etc together either. Don't know if she didn't feel like she belonged or if she'd just a loner or what. I do kind of wonder if we weren't a part of the reason her attitude was so bad...

Cotjockey, I can't help but sit here a bit bewildered and disturbed that you are more concerned for your "poor co-worker" than you seem to be about the poor patients and families that had to deal w/ her unforgivable behavior. I'm not flaming, it's just disturbing to me...

Just wanted to add that I think it's great that you're doing some self-reflection about how you and your co-workers treated her socially, but it's still no excuse for her cruel behavior.

Noney

Specializes in Critical Care.

You made the right decision. Don't worry she'll get another job, they always do.... Just hope she does some soul searching and makes some changes.

Noney

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

Originally posted by Noney

You made the right decision. Don't worry she'll get another job, they always do.... Noney

yea too bad. but this statement is indeed accurate. but the likes of her best not be around my family when they are dying. disgusting.

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