after 6 years at my last job, being voted "nurse of the month" in my unit two months prior, having the respect of the physicians i worked with and also most of the nurses and aides, a new don came into town. her target? any nurse there before her, or at the top of the pay scale. i was in both categories, and had so many things done to me to make me quit. i hesitate to post them here in case there are colleagues (former) on here.
however, i needed lots of time off for surgery and treatment for my back and after i asked for modifications to my schedule and to my environment due to my disability under the americans with disabilities act, and also due to physician restriction, i was denied all of them. i was harassed continuously. my co-workers on my shift knew and helped me out so i did "meet" my restrictions.
then i was diagnosed with cancer at christmas-time last year. i started treatment, had surgery, and when i called my boss to tell her i would need some time off. she asked why, and i started to cry, saying "i have cancer". her response? "there's no reason for you to return. you're fired". click. i can't tell you how upset her careless response made me feel.
i gave 110% to that employer, worked extra, came in when they were short, helped institute a new type of "rapid response" team with the physicians, tried to help everyone despite the toxic environment caused by other shift nurses who refused to do their work. refused to do admits that came in 4 hours before shift change!!! refused to do orders after doctor's rounds...left them for next shift. ridiculous. when this new don came strolling in...i was targeted. i worked harder with a painful disability than some of the nurses there (i don't want to sound like a snob, but hey, we all know when other's aren't pulling their weight). i wasn't the only one let go either.
a nurse in her late 60's had a mi at work, was sent to er and admitted. she was written up for attendance!!!! "leaving work before end of shift". i'm not kidding. a few weeks later, her very ill husband on hospice passed away. she came back to work really fast, but it wasn't until later that i found out it was because the don told her she'd be fired if she took more than three days off, and to bring in a copy of the death certificate as proof of death!!!! she was so ill sometimes at work, but needed the insurance desperately. she was a very kind nurse, and was a good worker before she got sick. she was let go not long after me. fired for "excessive absenteeism".
there are no more "old timers" there. it's all new grads now. many mistakes were being made, state in to investigate complaints, etc. the new management ruined that place. it used to be a great place to work, very flexible, caring managers (not easy to find!!!), good co-workers (even harder to find!!), and decent staffing. until the witches flew in on their broomsticks and cast their spell.
i am pretty disgusted by nursing right now, too. fired for cancer??? where is the caring and compassion for the nurses who do all the caring for the patients??? we are supposed to care for everybody, except ourselves. oh, don't ever get sick, or need surgery, because you're not allowed to care for yourself, unless you want to get thrown to the wolves. especially all nurses out there with long-term disabilities like mine (back injury, chronic intractable pain), who could still contribute to nursing with our minds, are turned away simply because our bodies are worn out.