in need of advice after getting fired - page 4

My situation is as follows: I have only been an RN for a year; up until today I had been employed on the MR/autism floor of a large psychiatric hospital. I will make no bones about it, I am not a... Read More

  1. by   meluhn
    Quote from matt59
    Wow, Fire Starter & Even Star!! Thanks!!!!
    But I already did the Gary Gilmoure line -- I said, "let's do it."
    It's done.
    & at this place, i was always told this is how they fire, they take your keys, body button, & ID badge & suspend you pending investigation, then they send you your termination letter.

    I typed earlier that I am too honest for my own good; do you guys also feel I should just allude to "issues" on my ensuing job search?

    & BTW, Hockey Mom, I spent most of my time, when I wasn't getting the pills ready, on the unit & not in the nsg station. I ALWAYS knew what was going on when it was "my" unit.

    Hey, thanks again/Matt
    Matt,
    I think if you do tend to be a litle rough around the edges you might be better off in a place that is more structured and not so dysfunctional. If you are already not "Nancy Nurse", it is easy to let your hair down when you are in a "cesspool" environment. Also, I think you should think about getting help for your own issues. Psych nurses need to be extra stable because they are dealing with people who are unstable and it takes alot of mental energy.
    Also, I wouldnt go into detail about why you got fired, the more vague you are the better. Just say something like you had different philosophy on pt care then the management or something like that. If the place is as bad as you say, it might have a bad rep and may not reflect poorly on you.
  2. by   loricatus
    Quote from meluhn
    Matt,
    I think if you do tend to be a litle rough around the edges you might be better off in a place that is more structured and not so dysfunctional. If you are already not "Nancy Nurse", it is easy to let your hair down when you are in a "cesspool" environment. Also, I think you should think about getting help for your own issues. Psych nurses need to be extra stable because they are dealing with people who are unstable and it takes alot of mental energy.
    Also, I wouldnt go into detail about why you got fired, the more vague you are the better. Just say something like you had different philosophy on pt care then the management or something like that. If the place is as bad as you say, it might have a bad rep and may not reflect poorly on you.
    You make some very good points the OP should find helpful.

    As for stating why he left, he could also just say that 'the undertaffing of security, patient care technicians and nurses made too much of a challenge to grow as a nurse in the psychiatric environment and provide optimum patient care to the residents.' There are many ways to say the truth, without having to lie. Administration, management, and even politicians do it all the time.
    Last edit by loricatus on Jun 7, '09 : Reason: didn't have my cup of coffee before the post
  3. by   matt59
    Thanks, Live To Learn; you are right, I need to stop using words that most people find profane as an integral part of my working vocabulary. It does give the impression of unprofessionality. I don't think it is automatically nontherapeutic, depending upon how it's done (& I always did it quite naturally & nonthreataningly), but it does set a horrible example, so there goes my role-modeling right out the window. As far as the ED & ICU, I always thought I was not wired right for that; I think my first choice should have been the OR interview I turned down fresh out of nsg school. Thanks for your advice.

    Sweet Sunshine & Lady, I'm appreciative of your advice. My up-front wide-open approach at being honest has always been one of my worst enemies. I worked as an airline mechanic way-long enough to know that. I will probably continue to slash my own wrists with it. It is a shame, however, that honesty is not always the best policy.

    Loritacus & Batman: thankyou so much for seeing both sides of the issue. This floor has the worst reputation in the hospital, & this is the biggest psych hospital in the area, so you know what that means. I am one of the few RNs that tries to spend as much time as he can on the unit assisting staff. The hands-on approach ingratiated me with the ancillary staff, did nothing to impress most of management (with the exception of a couple of immediate ex-management people, both of whom I feel will give me a decent reference), & also had me sharing assaults with the ancillary staff (moreso, I believe, than the other RNs). But I figured this is what I am good for, I am about as strong as I am dumb, & pain & scars don't really bother me. I've been bitten a few times, & a fecal digging ex-patient left fingernail shaped scars up & down both arms over the course of me restraining & medicating him (I will wear his claw marks the rest of my life), kicked, punched, & what have you. Two weeks ago I sustained a lower back injury on the adult side as a result of a tussle getting someone into seclusion (that I did file an incident report on). No, I did not file an incident report on this one (I elected to finish the 2P pill-pass), but I know that the two staff who took the boy down, do like & respect me, & will lay out exactly what happened, not that I expect anyone will care. Not accepting the offer of a union rep probably wasn't a good idea, but I've already fessed up to being as dumb as I am strong. My immediate instinct is to approach any interviews I can get, basically the way I've approached this paragraph (with the exception of the admission of being dumb) & just look at this as an experience. The (pre-termination) suspension letter states that I am not allowed on the property (unless I turn into a pt.), & honestly, in the 8 monthes I worked there, I've not once been contacted by the union, & I wouldn't know how to get a-hold of them. When I said, "let's do it," I guess I just was feeling to hell with it, if that's the way they feel. I think you offer a valid point, I could certainly claim that the trauma of the attack clouded my thinking, but truth be known, I've been assaulted so many times it was just another day in the office. It was the behavioral specialist reading me the riot act that had me most shook up. refusal of union representation was just a result of my own slow thinking. Thanks again, I really & truly appreciate your seeing my POV!

    Meluhn, you are absolutely right, I'm not nurse-nancy, & as I PMed someone yesterday, it got wayyyyy to easy to let my hair down. I guess that's what I found one of the few redeeming factors of the job. "Hey, I'll just pop a half-milagram-of-klonopin, park the car & walk the quarter mile to Hell-Hospital, sling a few pills (which I ALWAYS served with a glass of diet-soda, not tepid tap-water), break up a few fights, get assaulted once or twice, do reams & reams of mindless paperwork, maybe once a day or so have a conversation with a patient that I felt really mighta made a difference in that patients day, patch myself up, & call it a day. I guess I'm really not in a position to bargain right now, so I suppose I'll try my hand at what ever I'm offered.

    I still feel I was a good employee, whether anyone gives a crap or not. Right before last Christmas, in the middle of the 8P pill sling, my Rt ring finger got smashed (I mean SMASHED) by a heavy security door on the adult side. My ex-ACNM (who has already said she'd be a great reference) stopped the bleeding & patched it up. She then told me to go accross the street to the ED of the real hospital, I was like sure, but since it was my fault let me finish my pill-pass first. She looked at me, & basically said okay. I got across the street (by that time the pain had gone away & it was just numb) at 10P or so, the admitting nurse at the ED asked me what time it happened, I said 8 or so, she looked at me hard & said "well, it's 10P now," I said "I meant 8P," she said "what were you doing in the mean time (?)", I said, "finishing my pill-pass," she said, "you are either incredibly loyal or incredibly stupid," I could only smile sadly & tell her that it was the latter of the two options. The x-ray showed I had broke the tip of my finger, the nail-bed was lacerated, so the ED Docs said the best thing to do was remove the entire nail (that REALLY HURT, if I was getting tortured, I wouldn't stand up to THAT kinda pain for long, I'd sell a blood relative out), clean the laceration, sew a piece of dsg on in lieu of the nail, & then send me outa there w/ a hand wrapped up like Freddy Kruger. They were short at Christmas time, so I got a workman's comp doctor to lift ALL restrictions so I could go back to work WITHOUT a finger splint; they were all surprised (but happy because they were so short) to see me bee-bopping in on Christmas eve. I worked 12 for them that night & 12 again on Christmas.

    But you know what they say, "that was then & this is now."
    Hey, thanks for listening, it felt good to get some of that stuff off of my chest!
    Last edit by matt59 on Jun 7, '09
  4. by   twinmommy+2
    You know what, you sound like you would be a perfect fit for a Va Hospital psych ward. We need great psych people and as you know these people would love someone who is "rough around the edges". Its someone they can relate to. And as far as the firing part, I wonder if that is something the VA can look past during an interview. Actually part of the interview process is a long interview where they go through all of your strengths, weaknesses, and I think would just love you. I say definaly give it a try!
  5. by   matt59
    Quote from twinmommy+2
    You know what, you sound like you would be a perfect fit for a Va Hospital psych ward. We need great psych people and as you know these people would love someone who is "rough around the edges". Its someone they can relate to. And as far as the firing part, I wonder if that is something the VA can look past during an interview. Actually part of the interview process is a long interview where they go through all of your strengths, weaknesses, and I think would just love you. I say definaly give it a try!
    Thank you Twin Mommy, I intend to!! Actually, I had meant to do it before now, but I've just been so tired, lately, when not at work. One night, making the trudge to the pay-lot, an older gentleman suggested it to me. He had retired from the VA & now works at Hell-Hospital part time. He reminded me of my veteran preference status, my time in service as it R/T retirement, & vacation & sick time vs PTOs. I was planning on driving into the city tomorrow or tuesday to go to the fed bldg & find out what the procedure was. Thanks for your supportive voice!
    Matt
  6. by   island40
    I've been fired 3 times (asked to resign once) and it has caused some problems but not ruined my career. Anyway, did you know that Rush Limbaugh was fired 7 times and went to rehab for percocet and still makes millions just talking?? You shoudl know that if you get fired from the VA system that takes you out of the running for ANY VA job- you get dumped from the whole system not just a particular place. I would suggest that you take some time thinking about what you want from a nursing job and go after a better fit than your previous position. You've already learned that the people you work with (co- workers) make a much greating impact on the quality of the job than the people you work for (clients).
  7. by   matt59
    Quote from island40
    You've already learned that the people you work with (co- workers) make a much greating impact on the quality of the job than the people you work for (clients).
    Gosh, I guess I did, didn't I?
    I didn't mean to make that impression, but it's something to think about, because maybe that IS how I feel.
    I mean I was in the trenches with my co-workers.
    I did what I could to advocate for my patients, & after every scrap that I had to get into, no matter how bad I got clawed up, I always let know whoever it was that had to be manually restrained & taken to seclusion & shot in a glute with a ativan/haldol/cogentin cocktail that there were no hard feelings on my part & tomorrow was always a brand new day.
    But you are correct, it was my co-workers that made me feel like coming to work at a miserable job that didn't pay particularly well, not my patients; I agree with you -- that isn't right.

    I'm happy to hear that there is hope after termination.
    If you don't mind me asking, what were the circumstances like & how did you handle it?
    Thanks/Matt
  8. by   Lacie
    Quote from ladydee12
    since u only worked a year there, i would go into the next job acting like a new nurse with no experience. Dont list that job as a reference if they ask what u have been doing for the last year, say u were at home taking care of your new baby. Its worth a shot
    Keep in mind with this advice most nursing jobs do through background checks. I was surprised to see mine had my jobs and addresses I lived at over 25 years ago on it!!!! It was very accurate and detailed. Let alone the credit checks to boot lol. Even omission is seen as a lie in many employers eyesl.

close