Refusing an assignment

  1. I have been reading with interest the thread about the CNA that is facing 60 years in prison. My question is ..... if you refuse and assignment because it may compromise patient safety is that grounds to be fired?
  2. Visit essarge profile page

    About essarge

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 1,345; Likes: 12
    student nurse extern


  3. by   rjlrn95
    I'm sure they could figure out a way to fire you for it.

    I refused an assign one night, my fourth 12hr, I had not clocked in, had not taken report, etc. I was put on suspension, then it was extended for a week without calling all parties in so I took that as a sign from the good Lord above that it was time for me to move on. It has been the best thing I've done for me as a rn and for my well being and confidence. as a side bar---I was hired during my week of suspension by agency--love it, love my manager. She knew the horror stories of mgmt at my old job, took my tests, walked out the same day w/badge. Praise God!!
  4. by   pixxel
    Essarge, which thread is that? I've tried snooping around to find it, but have had no luck...
  5. by   fergus51
    Once we've taken report we can't refuse the assignment at our facility. However, I have refused to take report on a patient when emerg wanted to send her up and I was already over my limit.
  6. by   thisnurse
    this is something that really ticks me off.
    you KNOW what you can and can not handle. you KNOW your limit. so administration forces you into a situation that you KNOW is unsafe not only for the pts but for you as well. the safety of ALL your patients is at risk.
    and if something happens YOU are held liable. not
    we were told that if we refused a pt we would be dismissed.
    if i am faced with the choice of putting my patients at risk or being fired, ill take the latter.
    my pts trust me. they have confidence that i am able to care for them. this is important to not going to break that trust. and my job is not worth risking someones life. ive worked too long and too hard to get where i am and i am not going to comprimise myself for the greed of the facility.
  7. by   Ellen in Ont
    For the first time in our ICU, last month we signed a workload grievance. When we recognize the conditions are unsafe, and we have gone through all the channels to correct this, the workload grievance shifts the blame back to the hospital. The staff who signed it now have to have a meeting with the union and administration to deal with the issue. We still haven't had this meeting however. This doesn't fix the workload that shift or result in any immediate fix, but it is the only way to move for change that the hospital will sometimes listen to. That night we had 6 patients, five of whom were vented and the sixth was a fresh post-op who was extubated after just a couple of hours to put the ventilator on someone else - we only have 5 vents in the hospital. We only had three staff after 11:00 pm (the RT also leaves at 11:00). The only way we made it through the shift uneventfully was that WE WERE LUCKY! If any of the patients had started crashing, it would tie up at least two of the three staff leaving the other one to handle the whole unit. Luckily it was an unusually quiet night and everyone was stable.
  8. by   PhantomRN
    You can refuse what you consider an unsafe assignment. If you have recieved report on people you cannot walk out, that would be abandonment. However, IF when you come to work and find you will have say 12 patients and you consider that unsafe you can refuse to accept that assignment---PRIOR to taking report.

    How many nurses out there have actually refused an assignment? I know I refused to accept an assignment until I was guarenteed there would be no admits to my floor during the shift.
  9. by   thisnurse
    i have not refused an assignment but i have refused a patient. just as you said...i had 12, would have made it 13. no way could i handle that. i was really struggling with 12. the charge nurse that night was a hyperactive dits who really gave me hell...YOU HAVE TO ..ER..IS BACKED UP!!!!!
    like thats my problem. i stood my ground. i was waiting for one of my pts to be transferred. i told her, very professionally, that i would take another pt after the transfer. until then absolutely not. i told her i would call her after the pt left and i hung up.
    i immediately called our supervisor to cover myself and guess who was on the other line with
    the supervisor actually backed me up...first and ONLY time.
    this whole thing is all about saving face and looking bad to your superiors. the supervisors dont want to look bad to the administration, the charge nurses (some of them) dont want to look bad to the supervisors and the nurses dont want to look bad to either. but i think being a sheep and taking on an assignment you know you cant handle looks worse, especially if you make a mistake.

    i like the idea of being able to write unsafe conditions up. we dont have a union, but even if we did i doubt we could get the staff to put their names on that paper. most of them enjoy being sheep.
  10. by   essarge
    The thread about the CNA facing 60 years is in the nursing activism is totally unbelievabe!!! Can't believe that the administration and staff is letting this person hang out to dry!!
  11. by   SharonH, RN
    I could be wrong, but aren't we required to refuse an assignment we may think is unsafe according to the Nurse Practice Act?
  12. by   canoehead
    Just for everyone's information- the Maine Board of Nursing said at a recent conference that After taking report if the acuity of your assignment changes you must give adequate notice to your supervisor or the attending MD before leaving/stopping care of your patients. They deemed that 2 hours was adequate notice, even in the middle of a shift, because the supervisor would have time to call around for a replacement.
  13. by   prmenrs
    You can also do the "Assignment Despite Objection" thing--a form you fill out stating why the assignment is bad, and let's the union and administration know IN ADVANCE it's inappropriate. It's esp. good for floating and then getting dumped on.
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    check the discussion taking place on the nursing activism forumn about this topic. karen

    original news story:
    nurses aide charged in patient's drowning
    felony accuses her of negligent abuse in death

    bb reponses:
    60 years in prison!!!

    have you ever refused to accept a patient d/t too many already?

    refusing an assignment