My don accused me of patient abandonment during a snowstorm

  1. Today, I was accused of patient abandonment for leaving work during a snowstorm. Please enlighten me!


    I was working 7-3 last Tuesday, there was a snowstorm coming. I had asked my DON if I can do a double shift for that day and have a day off the next day. She told me no and that can't happen because there will be probably more call outs the next day because of the storm. So I gave the status report of my patient to next incoming nurse, did our narcotics count and went home thinking that I have to come back the next day since they're not allowing me to do double and have the day off. I went home and help my husband shovel, I never even paid attention to my Phone because I was worried of my Husband going to work ( we were getting 18 inches of snow that day and he is a nurse as well)

    When I checked my Phone my DON left me 2 messages, she told me that I was supposed to do a double today and have my day off the next day. Apparently I didn't know about this until 7pm, so I called her and shes not there anymore. Called her the next day and she said to come see her on Monday and that she won't discuss anything over the phone. (Called her on a Wednesday and I have 4 days off, Monday is my next duty sched)

    I talked to her today (Monday) and she said she is going to report me to the BON for abandoning of posts, patient abandonment. Her reason was I left the building without saying anything to her, but my question is

    1. Can it be abandonment if I did my status report with the incoming nurse?
    2. Can it be abandonment if my other colleagues saw me left the building?

    Please enlighten me because this is my First Job.


    ADDITIONAL INFO:
    Sorry for the edit but I forgot to mention that I gave my 2 weeks last Wednesday ( the day they took me off the schedule-- and made it look like they gave me a day off). After the DON told me that I was abandoning my post for leaving last Tuesday, DON asked me when is supposed to be my last day, told them March 28, they said no Today (Monday 3/19/18) is your last day, you are done. Get your things and do not say anything to anyone on your floor.

    then this happened...

    My Senior Nurse just called me after her shift today and told me that they've been telling everyone that I resigned effective immediately today. My senior nurse was surprised, she then told the DON that, it is not my character to do that. And that it does not make any sense at all that I went to work just to tell them I resigned.

    I was just trying to help out, since I was there already. All I want is a day off the next day.

    Also this Nursing Home has no HR Department so you don't really know who to ask.
    Last edit by NurseScorpio88 on Mar 20
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    About NurseScorpio88, BSN, RN Pro

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 23; Likes: 48

    76 Comments

  3. by   JKL33
    No ma'am, that is not abandonment. She is a crazy blankety-blank.

    Forget talking about why you didn't look at your phone until 7 p.m. or anything else that is immaterial. She rejected your suggestion and then tried to change her mind after your shift was over. End of story.
  4. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from JKL33
    No ma'am, that is not abandonment. She is a crazy blankety-blank.

    Forget talking about why you didn't look at your phone until 7 p.m. or anything else that is immaterial. She rejected your suggestion and then tried to change her mind after your shift was over. End of story.
    That is why I'm confused. They fired me, and now told me that they are going to report me to the BON for this. I was the one who wanted to stay that day and have at least a day off the next day which they denied. :/
  5. by   JKL33
    I am totally guessing here, but it sounds like they ended up without proper staffing and it looks better for them to paint a picture where that was anyone's fault but their own.

    I hope our fellow nurses will weigh in on how you should handle this.

    I'm sorry you've been treated this way.
  6. by   kp2016
    This is not abandonment! You really don't want to have to deal with the board of nursing. I would draft an email and send it to the Director of nursing and CC Human Resources and your immediate supervisor if you have one. Detail what your scheduled shift was, the fact that you ask to change it due to the storm and that the DON verbally refused your request, that you handed over your patients to an RN and left as per your assigned schedule.
    The next paragraph should be that given that you worked your assigned shift and handed over care of your patients to the next assigned RN you are incredibly upset to be falsely accused of patient abandonment and that you demand an apology for this inaccurate and slanderous allegation.
    Last edit by kp2016 on Mar 19
  7. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from kp2016
    This is not abandonment! You really don't want to have have to deal with the board of nursing. I would draft an email and send it to the manager and CC Human Resources and the Director of Nursing . Detail what your scheduled shift was, the fact that you ask to change it due to the storm and that your manager verbally refused your request, that you handed over your patients to an RN and left as per your assigned schedule.
    The next paragraph should be that given that you worked your assigned shift and handed over care of your patients to the next assigned RN you are incredibly upset to be falsely accused of patient abandonment and that you demand an apology for this inaccurate and slanderous allegation.
    It was the DON who accused me of the abandonment, she was also the same person whom I asked if I can do a double bec of the snowstorm and have the next day off which she refused.
  8. by   Wuzzie
    Get a lawyer. That will put a stop to this nonsense.
  9. by   kp2016
    Quote from NurseScorpio88
    It was the DON who accused me of the abandonment, she was also the same person whom I asked if I can do a double bec of the snowstorm and have the next day off which she refused.
    Sorry, I edited my reply. It doesn't change the fact that this isn't abandonment. Your DON is trying to bully you, probably because she messed up the staffing levels and is looking for someone to blame. Get ahead of this by sending an email to her and HR pointing out that you in fact did not abadon your patients. You worked your assigned shift and handed over appropriately.
  10. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from kp2016
    Sorry, I edited my reply. It doesn't change the fact that this isn't abandonment. Your DON is trying to bully you, probably because she messed up the staffing levels and is looking for someone to blame. Get ahead of this by sending an email to her and HR pointing out that you in fact did not abadon your patients. You worked your assigned shift and handed over appropriately.
    The problem is, this Nursing Home does not have a proper HR Department so I do not really know who to talked to.
  11. by   NurseScorpio88
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Get a lawyer. That will put a stop to this nonsense.
    Worse comes to worse I will probably do that.
  12. by   caliotter3
    Have the attorney send the communication to the ex-employer.
  13. by   JKL33
    Don't communicate with these people. Never faced this but I have to think I would have a lawyer send them whatever kind of letter is appropriate regarding their malicious and defamatory false allegations. ASAP.
  14. by   kp2016
    Quote from caliotter3
    Have the attorney send the communication to the ex-employer.
    Very good idea. Having a lawyer draft a letter for you outlining the facts as you see them and demanding that they stop their slanderous allegations against you really shouldn't be too expensive and I would personally rather find a few hundred dollars in my budget than have this hanging over my head for years wondering if you have heard nothing because they didn't report you or if the BON just hasn't gotten around too it yet.

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