Am I Irresponsible?

  1. I was called irresponsible by my manager in an email to myself and two others. I am a student nurse at a local hospital and by MY mistake, I wrote my shift down wrong. I have been there for a little over a month.
    Had a conversation with my manager over the phone regarding the missed shift. Convo turned to the schedule book. During my orientation or lack thereof on the unit, I had no idea of what the schedule book looked like. My schedule has always been emailed to me by the shift coordinator who makes the schedule. ALso had no idea that there was a book in which we write our contact info in. Preceptor never discussed with me. Then there was the orientation checklist, that wasn't complete, preceptor placed me with another student nurse and was not able to complete the list and was never checked off on items by the preceptor. I did not turn in my CPR card after taking the class in late August. I had to change my scheduled dates and the shift coordinator emailed me with the only day that she could accomodate me, however, she wrote in the 'schedule book' a list of different dates.
    I will accept responsibility and have for everything. It is, for me anyway, as a new student nurse difficult to assert myself. I never want to make the wrong impression in the beginning. I realize now that that was a huge mistake. I should have asserted myself and insisted that my preceptor go over the entire list (6 pages) with me and check off items so that I could turn the doc in. My question is should I take ALL of the responsibility? My manager never gave me the benefit of the doubt and said 'maybe you weren't oriented properly to the unit.' That is what I would have done due to this being the first incident. NOw if this were to happen again, I would expect to hear the words irresponsible. In additon, she called me, I paged her back and bever recieved a call back from her. She states that I should have assumed she didn't recieve the page (which she states she didn't) and should have paged again. The shift coordinator never responded to my email regarding my acceptance of the changed shift and I should have assumed she did not get the message and email her again.
    SHould I be at all concerned that I have not been given the benefit of the doubt regarding this situation or should I just roll with the punches? I am taking all of the responsibility as well as all of the fault.

    Thanks, I asked in this forum because I know that the responders will be completely honest with me!!
  2. Visit my_purpose profile page

    About my_purpose

    Joined: Sep '08; Posts: 106; Likes: 37
    New Grad ICU - RN, BSN; from US
    Specialty: med surge


  3. by   my_purpose
    Also, had I looked in the schedule book, I would have noted that the schedule written was not what was indicated to me in the email. Again, only MY lack of responsibility.
  4. by   RNperdiem
    I am a little confused. Are you a nursing student under the management of your school and teachers, or are you a new nurse on orientation managed by the unit manager?
    Where I work, a "now show, no call" is a big deal; it is almost taboo.
    Try to put this behind you.
    Plan for the future to avoid this happening again. Get to know the schedule book. Check it every time you work to make sure you need to come to work when you are scheduled.
    I know it is not always your fault, and your preceptor sounds weak, but you will pay the price.
    Best of luck in the future.
  5. by   iluvivt
    Scheduling can be confusing at first so I would not go as far as saying you are irresponsible. Now.... from now on you must remember that it is YOUR responsibility to make certain you know your schedule and you either show up on time OR follow the procedure for calling in sick. So make sure you know the policy for calling in sick..make sure you see it in writing..... if you requested a schedule change you should have made 100 % sure it was accepted and changed.

    Yes! take responsibility for your actions...tell the powers that be you have learned a valuable lesson and tell them the corrective action you will take so it does not happen again. As far as being assertive I suggest you learn..take a good communication class as this skill is so valuable in nursing. Remember that when you are aggressive are violating someone's right...when you are assertive... you are are trying to get needs met. You are entering a profession that requires you to be responsible for your actions and your inaction both legally and start now...then move on and focus on learning on all levels.
  6. by   my_purpose
    Thanks, I'm a patient care intern. This is not my clinical rotation. I appreciate your comments.
  7. by   my_purpose
    Thanks, I have corresponded with the shift coordinator regarding the way in which I will receive my schedule and I also asked her about how she makes changed to the schedule and how I am notified. First semester we had a class in communication, but putting it into practice as a new employee is difficult, so I must learn fast! My concern was that she wasn't concerned about my orientation to the unit or the fact the I was emailed one schedule and another appeared in the book. So I should talk to the teaching nurse on the unit to go over some items with me and don't bother with the schedule change fiasco? I really want to move and my unit manager indicated that to me as well but I just want to make sure I'm addressing my concerns as well.
  8. by   Jory
    This is what I would do:

    1. Set up a meeting with your manager face-to-face.
    2. This is what you say, "I am terribly sorry that there was some confusion over my schedule. When you have worked with me longer you will find that I am a very responsible employee and being here for my scheduled shifts is my #1 priority as I do not wish to be on the bad side of the hospital when I graduate from nursing school. However, unfortunately, my preceptor never went over the scheduling with me, I didn't know about the book (explain everything else). So the reason I have come to you TODAY is to get a clear picture of where to find my scheduled shifts on my own, what procedures I need to follow if I need a change and what you suggest I do to confirm everyone is on the same page...that way, going forward, this does not happen again.
    3. Walk in with a note pad so she knows you will write it down.

    That is going to serve as your record of what she told you to sure to date it.
  9. by   my_purpose
    Jory, you are awesome. Thanks and that is exactly what I will do!
  10. by   FLArn
    If you are emailed your schedule be sure to print out the email so you have documented proof of discrepancies between the email and the schedule book. That way you have some back up in case you miss a shift due to changes you were unaware of. Although as others have said ALWAYS check the schedule book to verify that your emailed schedule matches the book.
  11. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Basically, do what Jory said.

    I had a no call/no show early into my current (and first) RN job. Basically, I was on the paper schedule (which I didn't have) but not on the online/electronic schedule (which I was checking). I'm extremely lucky that I had a manager that approached the situation completely differently than yours has. I nearly had a nervous break down, assuming that I'd be fired or at the very least majorly chewed out, but she sat me down and said "Mistakes happen. If this happens again, or if you had some history of being late to work or calling in, we'd be having an official meeting."

    Even WITH my manager's attitude, you better bet that I was (and still am) early for every shift, attend and am on time for every unit meeting no matter how trivial, etc. Really, while words and approaching your unit manager to straighten misconceptions out help, the only true way to "own up" is by action.
  12. by   samadams8
    Listen as an FYI for the future, do your best to get a hard copy or an electronic copy of your schedule with all dates verified. Then copy it back--reply with the schedule your were given, and write that you are confirming the dates, and that if any changes are to be made to it, it must be sent electronically or in writing ASAP--for school reasons or child care reasons or whatever. Why do this?

    Let me tell you that I have had a number of dates changed at a few places where I have worked over the years--without proper notice or anything previous to the write-in on the schedule given to me. I have gone into work (some of those places were quite a distance) and found that someone switched my dates on the schedule, or I have had a few people call me up and tell me to get my butt into work, or I will be considered a "no show." A no show? Huh? I am on the schedule for blah, blah. No you aren't. It says today or tonight or whatever. ??????? I have never been a true "no show." I am reliable. If I agree to do something, unless a close family member or I am truly sick, I don't call out.

    Also note that although the change had nothing to do with you, it can be written down somewhere in your records--even to HR records, and it can be used against you, even if you prove to the unit team and mgt that there was an unconfirmed, unnotified change in the schedule.

    You have to go further if someone does this purposely or somehow by accident and switches things up, b/c it can go on your record. You have to make sure this kind of things does not go down on your record anywhere. This may be hard to do, b/c mid-mgt can keep their own "undeclared" notes and records on you--so, if it goes on the "undeclared" mgt records, even a lawyer may not be able to help you find it, should you ever need to do so. But at the very least, check all records through HR.

    So just make sure you check that the error isn't used against you somewhere. This is the kind of thing that makes me support unions for nurses, and I am NOT a BIG union person. I have just seen people get screwed A LOT--especially nurses. Lessons learned so to speak.

    So while it is true that it is your responsibility to know your schedule, make sure you have a copy, and send the same copy, with your notification that those dates are confirmed, back to the appropriate people.

    I wish work could have more lollipops and roses, but after you have been in the field for a long time and have seen a lot of just WRONG stuff, you get wise. Go in with your eyes open, and back up everything---just do it in the coolest possible way, so they don't think you are paranoid, or that they don't perpetuate that you are somehow paranoid. I think the saying, as I have shared before is something like, "be a gentle as a lamb, but as wise as a wolf. . .or be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves."

    This is the challenge--to be very careful about everything--and I do mean EVERYTHING, but do it in such a way that you are not viewed as aggressive or defensive.

    In nursing, it is important not to draw too much attention to yourself, b/c select others will resent it or feel some loss of control. Wise but circumspect is the name of the game.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Sep 9, '12
  13. by   my_purpose
    You guys are all amazing for your comments and suggestions. I will take all of them as I have a new outlook on the situation. I truly want to be a great employee and the bottom line is its my thinking that needs to change (from previous employment) that's going to make this the experience that I want it to be. Thanks again ALL!
  14. by   HouTx
    Based on the facts presented by the OP - the root cause for the scheduling error lies with the manager/supervisor. She/he should ensure that all new personnel are oriented correctly and provided with accurate information about all important processes for the unit. The only way the OP could be judged responsible for this "mistake" is she/he failed to consult the crystal ball (which must have been issued during orientation because that is the only way the information could have been delivered).

    The manager in question should know better than to be disrespectful to staff - using derogatory terms such as 'irresponsible' is a personal attack and has no place in a professional communication. I hope the OP hangs on to that message in case HR needs to be informed about the quality of this manager's judgement.