Think I am in trouble, maybe fired - page 2

I've been nursing for almost 2 decades, mostly med/surg and some tele. I was offered a position about 6 months in outpatient endo, it sort of came my way. I took it but the 5 days a week, on call all... Read More

  1. by   EmmaG
    Quote from sscathlab
    What I dont understand is why they QA'd you for being safe not just your back but your patients own safety. In Texas, there is something in with the state Not the nursing board about workplace safety and the availability of equipment to help save nurses. You need to check the state health and human services (that license the hospital); also I think CMS (center for medicare and medicaid services) have something in their requirements about having appropriate equipment available to assist with lifting.
    I'm sure the facility's workers' comp carrier would have something to say about this, too.
  2. by   Patient_Care_Asst
    I am a former health & safety rep for an accredited healthcare institution. I am a current member in good standing with the Association of Professional Industrial Hygenists.

    I am well versed in labor law legislation.

    I was also a former Patient Care Assistant (working on his RN) and I understand and agree with nursing models that promote the reasonable objective of meeting patient goals and outlined quality of life standards. However, it's important to outline that such requirements must also fall within the scope of equally ensuring nurse and patient safety is maintained at the workplace.

    Obviously there are limitations when moving or lifting 300lb. patients such as you describe without any lifting equipment available. This clearly demonstrates the potential for causing injury to nursing staff **AND** patients. A word of caution. You are responsible for ensuring patient safety when you are transferring them. You must ALWAYS be sure to use "approved" equipment and transfer methods when moving your patients. If you are a nurse, you obviously know what these approved transfer methods are, so I won't go onto another subject.

    You said the following and I quote:

    "My boss says that maybe I need to "change schools"

    Completely unacceptable wreckless behaviour and illegal response. At this point they cannot fire you for anything. You now fall under the protection of federal labor law.

    I would suggest your "boss" become familiar with the US Department of Labor's OSHA regulations and thier legal limitations. Incidently, firing employees for expressing thier safety concerns at the workplace isn't an option available to them.

    It is the responsibility of the employer (regardless of what field you are employed) to adequately ensure the continued safety of their employees.

    Your boss is also required by federal law to comply with your concerns and must conduct a safety evaluation and take immediate corrective action in any situation that might serve to compromise employee safety.

    Therefore, you may request your employer to conduct a safety evaluation of this situation you have described. Do this in writing. Include the lack of any approved lifing equipment that is not available on the nursing unit for this purpose. (MediLift, Hoyer lift etc.) Indicate a lack of any staff assistance (lift teams etc.) and describe how this has the potetial for compromising your personal **AND** patient safety. Be sure to include dates and outline any previous responses, action or lack of action on behalf of your employer.

    The "wrong school" comment clearly indicates the employers lack of any "seriousness" to correct the situation.

    Be sure to document any witnesses that have also heard these comments for later action.

    When the safety evaluation you requested is completed you are entitled (by law) to receive all documentation regarding any corrective action taken by your employer. They must submit you the final conclusion of any such safety evaluation conducted.

    If the evaluation is unacceptable according to OSHA standards and it does not meet your statisfaction, you may request an OSHA inspector to investigate your employer. It is illegal for them to fail to act on your complaints.

    They *MUST* honor your request for corrective action by federal law.

    You are entitled to a safe working environment and your employer has a legal obligation to provide it for you regardless of any patient quality of life issues, what "school" you attended or otherwise, end of story.

    In addition, employers are forbidden by law to make any attempt to fire you for voicing your concerns about safety in the workplace. Such requests made by employees are protected by federal law labor standards as follows as I quote:

    OSHA Federal Regulation:

    29 CFR 1903.11(d) Section 11(c)(1) of the Act provides:

    "No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or because of the exercise by such employee on behalf of himself or others of any right afforded by this Act."

    I hope this helps. Please indicate if you have any questions or if I can be of further assistance.

    My Best.
    Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Oct 12, '07
  3. by   nursey70
    Hi! I too was a Med-Surg nurse and ended up having to pick up one day a week in Rehab because my unit cut down on thier hours. Long story short, I felt like a fish out of water. I too worked in an "enchilada" type rehab which is a whole different world from Med-Surg nursing. In fact, I felt resented at times for "acting like a Med-Surg nurse." I gave my notice for that particuliar unit and feel SOOOO much better. My back, my spirit, etc. Now I am faced with looking for another position to supplement my income. I will say this, your departure may be a blessing in disguise whether by choice or not. I do feel for you as you wait to find out your fate. It's an awful feeling. Maybe you should talk to your DON to see about finding placement for you. Surely, you have seniority after working at this facility for some time. Rehab is not for everybody! Good luck.
  4. by   Patient_Care_Asst
    This entire nurse mentality that you have to "accept" unacceptable working standards as a basis for employment is similar to working in labor camps in Cambodia.

    This is America folks. Wake up.
    Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Oct 13, '07
  5. by   Furoffire
    The ending to my story. I flunked my eval and got an extention to my probation, HR was there, copies of all this will go to several people in high places, it was quite humbling. All my 2 decades of nursing skills meant nothing, everything was centered around not answering the phone, my lack of enagement, not being a team player (like mentioned I did not know I had to have a grand meeting just to use my judgement in getting the right bed for the right patient, and using the lift for the obese patient when my back had enough etc. etc.) I really do feel like a fish out of water and know when I return on Monday the microscopes will be all over me. I am glad to have a job and benefits but feel like I committed a crime and my reputation is at state. How I wish I could of known what was ahead of me before I got the job like starving animal. I wish I could somehow find another opening, but this place rules the county, it employs a high % of people. Since this is my 3rd job in one year (I left tele for endo and the oncall nights scared me right into hellish rehab), so I better cool my heels and learn those FIM scores. Thanks for all the advice, I do not have any strenght to start a fight, many challenges at home that need me. Hopefully some day soon I can be a travel nurse. I got wrote up too for floating to endo short stay because I got one call from rehab to come in and work as an aide, I could not that day so I am being made to feel guilty for doing something I like, in nursing that is a treasure. It's an easy job and keeps my IV skill level still intact. I fear losing all I have gained. But time will tell. If at the end of my felony probation I feel like the troop is not happy I will have to bail since for sure I will be terminated by the dept. or the entire healthcare system can prevent me from staying there. "Smiles everyone, smiles!"
  6. by   deeDawntee
    Get a lawyer and haul that bullcrap facility into court and the unsafe environment for its workers!!!:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire