Top 10 Reasons We Get Fired!

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    I have a huge interest in reasons we get fired, laid off or walk out of jobs. I believe we are more vulnerable than we can conceptualize, many years ago nurses were considered valuable assets and being a nurse meant we had a job for life. This is no longer true, the older we become the more expensive and the more volatile our position is! So this is a series of Articles where I explore my top 10 reasons.

    Top 10 Reasons We Get Fired!

    Unless you are wrapped in cotton wool and live in a fantasy world, we have all experienced or know somebody who has experienced problems at work. Sometimes the situation is self-made and sometimes the situation is pure and simple harassment or bullying. No matter what part of the country you work, if they want to get rid of you they will. You cannot imagine how easy it is to find mistakes and reasons to fire somebody, or to place people in situations where they shoot themselves in the foot or they volunteer to step down or move on.

    How do I know, it is simple really ... I was once in a position where it was expected of me to find a reason to fire somebody, if I was told to do it.

    If companies want to save money quickly, there is no quicker way to save money than by laying off staff! It is instant and their bottom line sees an immediate result.

    10) Constantly Berating Employees

    As we all know management can wear people down by constantly berating employees, this can be accomplished in various ways. A very successful example of this is when your manager begins finding every fault that you have made, then calls you out on these mistakes until you start second guessing yourself, once you start second guessing yourself, this is when the huge mistakes happen and management have won!

    There is no better way to 'get rid' of an employee, than to cause the worker to become self conscious and paranoid, they begin to start constantly questioning their working practices. Looking over their shoulders, and majority of the time will start looking for a new job, before they are fired.

    This kind of harassment can work on all types of employees, we are nearly all vulnerable to our inner voice!

    This takes the responsibility off the shoulders off the managers, they don't have to fire or lay off the employee because the employee removes themselves from the situation. Nice and tidy. Game, set and match.

    How it can begin!

    Many of us due to time restraints do not document or communicate as accurately as we would like to or we are just plain lazy, it doesn't really matter for this scenario, majority of the time we verbally hand over our patients to the next shift, we also will rely on good handover from the previous RN, which can lead to a trail similar to 'Chinese Whispers'.

    'Chinese Whispers' is a childhood game where a group of people stand in line, the first person whispers a message to the person next to her, that person relays the message to the next and so on, when you get to the end of the line that person will tell you what the first person said, 9 times out of 10 there is no resemblance to the message which started out! I can honestly say I have played that game many times, it is hilarious, In all the times I have played this game I have never know the correct message to get to the end, and sometimes it is hard to believe that somebody along the way didn't deliberately change all the wording! Unfortunately it is not hilarious if you are at the end of the chain at work and it all lands at your feet, to pick up and scramble together.

    What I am really getting at here is we are only as good as the original message and if it is not communicated to us correctly then potentially we could be in big trouble. If you work on a busy floor you do not always have time to review the previous days orders on a patient until later on, and sometimes even then it can be difficult due to emergencies which may occur on your shift.

    I guarantee that if they are watching you that they will find the one thing you didn't do!

    They won't listen to excuses, because they are just not interested.

    (Disclaimer this is meant to be series of articles, and should not be considered a stand alone one off, please read all of them over the next few weeks. I know some people have to be fired for poor performance and I will get there.)
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 16, '18
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    About madwife2002, BSN, RN

    Author has been in healthcare for over 24 years. Has been a manager in two different countries, but has chosen to step out of the management role, the further you get up the ladder the more you have no say

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 10,271; Likes: 6,112
    Director of Nursing Services; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in RN, BSN, CHDN

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  3. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    I'm in about as secure a position as I could be... strong union, public university hospital, busy ED with high staff turnover...

    and yet, if they decide they want to get rid of me... I've no doubt that they could find the justification without too much difficulty... it is IMPOSSIBLE to follow the 'letter of the law' 100% of the time, at least in our workplace.

    Getting on well with as many people as I can - and with all of the right people - is probably more important to staying gainfully employed than is being good at what I do (at which, at least, I don't suck).
  4. by   joemomma35
    It is more important to get along with your coworkers for your own well-being than it is to actually be a good nurse who is a "patient advocate" and whatnot. This is because coworkers can cause problems by complaining about any little thing you have done, true or not, which can set up the employer up in a situation where they can either fire you or potentially risk getting sued. It comes down the money, and the way money gets distributed (see the legal system, human resources departments, etc) is affected by the system that we work in. If you truly work in a place where these situations are not the norm, then I envy you.
  5. by   Concerto_in_C
    Every unit has opportunistic snitches who will get you in trouble and possibly fired if they have an opportunity. I don't think there is an exception to this. However, snitches generally they don't mess with people in good standing with the management. I guess the first step to job security is having a manager who feels comfortable with having you in the unit. If she is, stay as long as you can/want and do the best job you can. If the manger isn't comfortable with you then the rest of the staff finds out you have a bad reputation. At that points, the opportunistic snitches move in for the kill to finish you off. Getting out of such a situation is difficult, if not impossible, and may require changing employers before you have a termination on your record.
    Last edit by Concerto_in_C on Nov 12, '13
  6. by   jadelpn
    And be careful you don't transfer yourself out of a job. I am all for transfers to units that are one's goals. However, (and it is not just exclusive to LPNs) when one transfers to a different unit expecting alternate results, it is not always wine and roses.

    I think there's cultures within a unit, but there are also cultures within a corporate group. And although again not exclusive, mostly affecting long term employees---after they have you "teach" what you can to new employees...
  7. by   Concerto_in_C
    The most common Internet scam is the work at home scam. If my demented 90 year old grandma was alive, maybe she would fall for your $69/hr scam but we won't. Go somewhere else.
    Last edit by madwife2002 on Nov 13, '13 : Reason: Contains quote from deleted post
  8. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Here are my top reasons for firing someone:
    1. You are always late
    2. You call out at least 4 times a month
    3. You are mean/rude/condescending to the CNAs
    4. You are mean/rude/condescending to the patients
    5. You constantly leave work for other people to do even though you have time for 5 smoke breaks a day and then complain you don't have time for lunch
    6. You are insubordinate
    7. You say "I didn't know" even though you've been educated and re-educated about the topic at hand
  9. by   merrywhiterose
    Our DON has 2 drinking buddies/best friends that work with us. They are always causing trouble, snitching on the smallest things while they get away with anything.
  10. by   Gyane nurse
    Thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it and learned something from it. I had similar experience that you named "Chinese whispers", which ended up in me being terminated. But after reading your post, I look back and see so much of what you said in the post is what exactly happened to me. I wish I had known these subtle practices sooner, maybe I wouldn't ' t be unemployed now. It is a very traumatic situation because you feel like your co workers and manager pushed you to your grave. It's been 6 months ,I have been depressed and really started hating nursing all together. Right now I'm trying to pick myself up and move forward, hoping to put this episode behind.
  11. by   DLS62
    I to was fired but I truly am not sure why. They said I broke policy but never really explained. I forgot to scan some medications because I got busy with another patient. An other nurse( following me) said I didn't tell her when the patient had the medicine so she wrote me up which ended up me losing my job after 6 years and never had a write up. My manager had moved so she was no longer there to help me. This happen a year ago and I am still depressed and devastated. I am in nursing school to receive my BSN but not sure I need it anymore. They wanted me gone so I am gone.
  12. by   Marisette
    I was not fired, but I left after "berating" by several managers. Suddenly, after 24 years employment, I was no longer achieving quality outcomes for my department. I trained my replacement, who in fact, was only in nursing for about two years, but I did not know this. At the time, I was so hurt, and beaten. I felt the need to run away. I wish I had read this article before. Perhaps, knowing this, I could have fought harder to keep my job because now I realize I was the reason for the success of my department. And others in different management position were eager to make their mark by claiming they improved what I had started. Life, live and learn. Not easy to recover, though.
  13. by   Concerto_in_C
    Quote from merrywhiterose
    Our DON has 2 drinking buddies/best friends that work with us. They are always causing trouble, snitching on the smallest things while they get away with anything.
    Yep to avoid snitches stay away from nurses who are too close to the DON or unit manager and especially stay away from nurses who are socially involved with the management (friends, classmates, involved in the same advocacy group, neighbors, drinking buddies, members of the same church, etc.). This is how management learns not only about screw-ups in the unit, but also learns what is being said during lunch breaks and stuff. As a bonus, they will get to spy on your social life as well because everything your share in the break room (husbands, boyfriends, financial problems, legal problems, etc.) will be repeated to the director/unit manager.
    Last edit by Concerto_in_C on Nov 18, '13
  14. by   blueheaven
    I worked in a 400 bed hospital. I busted by butt for these people, worked OT when they "needed" me. Gave inservices, did nursing grand rounds a couple times and a plethora of other things. I had always received excellent evaluations up to the year I "resigned" aka got canned. This process of booting me out occurred over a period of 18 months after I was involved in attempting to organize the RNs at that facility. Write ups for absolutely stupid things but they could get by with it. I had 9 years seniority as if that meant a darn thing. Would have been content to have finished my career there. If a facility wants to get rid of you, they can and will. Nit picking everything you do until they get enough to boot you out the door. This happened to me 25 years ago and it changed my whole perspective as far as loyalty, doing anything over and above my position and a plethora of other things.