Was reprimanded and told to resign. Advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

  1. Hi there, I work on a general medical/surgical floor and had an incident come up the other day. I was given a large patient load without a nurse tech for help. Usually on our unit we have a tech assigned to a nurse if that nurse is looking after more than five patients. Anyways, several hours into the shift I was already drowning. I told my supervisor that I was having troubles and she told me to try and handle it and if I needed help to ask for it. I had a patient who soiled the bed and took some time to clean him up and the mess. As soon as I got him back in bed he soiled it again almost immediately. I stepped out of the room for a moment to ask my supervisor if she could check on my other patients and she said she would. I finished cleaning up my patient, went down the hall, and they were doing a rapid response on one of my patients. A rapid response is called when a patient is having chest pain. I went in and helped and afterwards I thanked my supervisor for the help. The patient was fine. He was having some indigestion.

    Yesterday I was called to have a meeting with my director and chief nursing officer. The patient that had the rapid response told my supervisor and the rapid response team that he had been having the chest pain for almost an hour. I was then told that I was neglecting my patient and that I "knowingly put the patient in harm" because a rapid response was not called sooner. I responded by telling them about my day and how I was drowning but it had no effect. The chief nursing officer then said that the papers would be passed up the chain of command and that this is very very serious and she doesn't think the turnout will be good for me or my future. She then recommended that I resign. I was terrified and so I resigned.

    What are your thoughts on these events? I feel like the whole situation was extremely unfair. Or am I just a terrible nurse? Will this effect me in the future in any way? I'm terribly worried and depressed about all of this. Any advice or thoughts would be really appreciated.

    Thank you
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    About nurse20011

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Don't sign anything and speak with an attorney. Nothing may happen, and you go on to another better job, but the best advice you can get here that is within the Forums Terms of Service is to seek legal aid. I am so sorry you have lost your job, I hope your future is brighter with better working conditions!!
  4. by   nurse20011
    I didn't have to sign anything since I resigned. I wasn't sure if I needed to get legal aid or not.
  5. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    That's a GOOD thing, and I totally believe your story. I just don't want you railroaded, however it sounds like that place may not be a healthy work environment anyway. I personally would at least consult with an attorney (usually free for consultation), and know my rights. I'm just afraid no one here can give you the right advice you need, but we are good for a vent. We just aren't allowed to dispense advice on legal issues- and I would want you to have well informed, credible advice if she threatened your future. I just want the best possible outcome for you
  6. by   rick.s.lpn
    I have also been told I should resign from a nursing rehab and like you,I resigned. In my case I just didn't fit into the click , and also I probably didn't have enough experience. It was a 7-3 position , and very demanding. For me ,when they let me know I wasn't wanted, I no longer wanted to be there.I was very depressed after this happened also, and even considered getting out of nursing , but persevered and went back to a previous employer (less pay) but I am now happy and feel like i fit in. My advice to you if you do not choose legal action is to look for another nursing job , and don't give up! Not all places are the same.
  7. by   classicdame
    sounds like they did OP a favor. No support means potential disaster at some point
  8. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Quote from classicdame
    sounds like they did OP a favor. No support means potential disaster at some point
    I agree!! You worked too hard to get where you are to be treated like a bad waitress!!

    I think you will be so happy once you find a better fit, and put that place behind you.
  9. by   AnonRNC
    Not legal advice but support:

    I had a similar event when I was in my first year of nursing. I was drowing in my assignment. I told the charge nurse I was drowning, and she did actually get me some help, but an adverse event occurred anyway. Ironically, my RN helper double-checked the item in question with me, and neither of us caught that it was wrong and had potential to hurt the patient. Fortunately, the patient was okay, but I was called on the carpet because management THOUGHT that I had NOT asked for help. Later they checked up on my story, found that I had done the right things, and nothing more came of it. But I still remember that initial conference; I thought I was going to be fired. I thought I never should have become a nurse.

    I'm sorry you had such a terrible shift and were bullied into resigning. I do agree with the others that perhaps it is for the best that you are leaving such an unsupportive workplace.

    Stand up, dust off your pride, fluff your confidence and go get a better job!
  10. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I know exactly how you feel. It is not a good feeling at all but you can and will get through it. It will take time, tears, and heartache but eventually you will see that it is there loss and you'll find a better fit.
    It is better to resign then to be fired. That will mean alot when you find another job.
  11. by   netglow
    Could be that once the patient stated that he had pain for an hour, the switch flipped as far as the corporation goes. Doesn't really matter if the patient never informed anyone of his "pain", or if things were serious. The corporation will throw the nurse in the toilet head first in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit. This is spectacularly stupid - it opens the door for "negotiation" of the guy's bill - no brainer. Lots of people do it. Even if the patient didn't think of this at first, all the scurrying around, and the fact that you were reprimanded out of your job admits guilt on the part of the corporation. Easy-peezy.
  12. by   hiddencatRN
    Quote from OnlybyHisgraceRN
    It is better to resign then to be fired. That will mean alot when you find another job.
    It's definitely better for the employer to coerce you in to resigning. No unemployment benefits to pay, and they don't need to back up their decision with a good paper trail to protect themselves from wrongful termination lawsuits. Chances are this job is going to be a black mark on your job history with prospective employers now no matter what ("Oh, we can't call them for a reference? Hmmmmm...."). It's an unfair and bad position to be in no matter what, and I think I'd want unemployment while job hunting.
  13. by   RNperdiem
    With an unmanageble workload, any nurse would find herself in your position; I don't think it is just you.
    Even the best nurse can only be in one place at a time.
    I hope you eventually find a better job in the future and can put all this behind you.
  14. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    I think every nurse needs to put themselves into this scenario and have an idea about what they would do before it happens. I won't tell you you were wrong, because the "right" answer is going to vary for every person. However, I would have made them fire me, complete with thorough documentation of the events, including my rebuttal response.