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on Getting Fired

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Julie Reyes has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in pediatrics, occupational health.

1 Follower; 44 Articles; 65,756 Profile Views; 260 Posts

Did you ever get fired from caring for a patient? I have been fired on a few occasions. The very first time I was fired (for getting my patient up out of bed as ordered by the physician), the parents were so mad at me for making their child do something she didn't want to do, that they told the charge nurse they wanted a new nurse! Honestly, I was sort of happy because I thought that made me a "real nurse" and i was finally baptized into the profession. Now - not so sure that is something to brag about!!!

However -

Lately, I have seen really great nurses getting "fired" from patient care just because the families don't like it when the nurses follow orders. It may be a personality conflict, but I just feel like sometimes it is getting out of control! Is it because nurses need to learn how to handle patients and their families with more "emotional intelligence"??

What has been your experience?

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Karou has 1 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

700 Posts; 8,235 Profile Views

Coworker recently got "fired" for advising a diabetic patient that since her BSG was high, she really should not have a treat that she requested. The nurse brought the treat after the patient insisted. I guess the patient was so offended at being told this treat would raise her blood glucose that she "fired" the nurse the next night. It was her loss though because that nurse was excellent!

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Altra is a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

6,255 Posts; 40,897 Profile Views

Sometimes interactions with patients and/or their families spin out of control, and upon reflection a nurse can see where s/he could have directed things better.

And sometimes, there are patients/families who have refused care by just about the entire departmental staff and the entire situation has become a farce ... so yes, I have seen it "celebrated" to have Patient X removed from a nurse's assignment. :rolleyes:

It is a sticking point with me though -- I do not characterize these situations as "getting fired" by a patient. I consider that language to be inaccurate and unnecessarily self-deprecating. Except in the case of private duty nursing - no termination of employment has occurred.

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Julie Reyes has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in pediatrics, occupational health.

1 Follower; 44 Articles; 260 Posts; 65,756 Profile Views

I agree with you!

It is a sticking point with me though -- I do not characterize these situations as "getting fired" by a patient. I consider that language to be inaccurate and unnecessarily self-deprecating. Except in the case of private duty nursing - no termination of employment has occurred.
- I am 100% sure you are right!

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

1 Follower; 1,895 Posts; 21,932 Profile Views

Oh yes!! I was lucky enough to get fired from a few at least- and once time I felt like I won the lottery.

In an hour drive from our house, there were 2 RN schools. School A was a lot closer and had a BSN program. School B had an AD program. I applied at both and had interviews. Got accepted at B and when I went to A's interview, the director gave me the "up down" look and said "u don't have what it takes to be a nurse". Didn't look at my packet, transcripts, letters of reference, nothing.

So I graduated from B and was working at one of our local hospitals on a diabetic medical unit and I got a transfer from ICU - an old RN that had ETOH related seizures.

She rolled up and of course it was the director that had been at school B. It took her 4 or 5 hours before she realized who I was. She asked where I had gone to nursing school and I told her. She told me she was from school A - I just said "yes ma'am I know". She asked why I went to school B and I told her the person that interviewed me said I didn't have what it took. I went back to the station and my pt called out for the charge nurse, which was me. I went in but she said she didn't need anything. :)

Her MD came on round (one of the ones that wrote me a letter of reference) and said she was requesting a new nurse. I explained the situation - I don't think I've ever seen him laugh that hard!

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1 Follower; 51 Articles; 4,800 Posts; 93,909 Profile Views

This is when nursing needs to be a team sport, with your manager on the same team. If there is a consistent message that MD orders need to be carried out, that the parents can expect (or the patient can expect) that it is going to cause some pain that will be medicated, it can help to educate.

Additionally, team nursing when there's a really hard patient. The primary nurse for 4 hours, the charge nurse for 4 hours, another nurse the next day. It is hard to have continuity of care when patients are in a place where they believe that they can "fire" nurses at will.

Hopefully, your manager is on board with this, and can set some limits when needed.

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Julie Reyes has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in pediatrics, occupational health.

1 Follower; 44 Articles; 260 Posts; 65,756 Profile Views

I think right now our unit is having some sort of crazy thing happening! We have some patients in my Picu from Mexico, no one speaks English, and they are all acting... For lack of a better word- entitled. All of the services we are providing is FREE, and these parents have started taking NOTES and firing nurses left and right. Really they don't have a huge choice anymore for the most part. I guess I am lucky I have only been a nurse for one parent who has not complained about me ... Yet.. I was furious when my manager took our schedule book to the parents and let them pick out who they wanted. Entitlement blows! And I have seen two of the mothers downright lie about the nurses they have had to get them in trouble! It makes me so mad! Man, I didn't mean for this response to turn into a rant! Sorry about that! Guess I needed to vent!

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