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Got a nurse aide fired... did I do the right thing?

Nurses   (23,478 Views | 87 Replies)

Live.Love.Nurse.♡ has 3 years experience .

1,381 Profile Views; 18 Posts

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subee has 48 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

1 Follower; 1,815 Posts; 18,473 Profile Views

Her behavior demoralizes everyone - staff and patients. She needed firing. Maybe this is what it will take to wake her up to reality.

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11 Posts; 317 Profile Views

You did the right thing, and I agree with the others. You did not fire her, her actions got her fired. I had this happen to me, as well, working with an RN who kept falling asleep on the job. I didn't work every shift with her, but over the course of a month or so I spoke to her several times about it, waking her up every time I saw her sleeping, offering to get her coffee, suggesting that she stand up and walk around a bit, etc. She was always quick to deny that she was asleep. I gave her multiple chances to correct her negligent behavior, and she refused.

So I started reporting it to the management, who spoke to her and she again denied sleeping on the job. Since it was my word vs. hers, they did nothing. Other nurses had also woken her up multiple times (I do not know if they reported it, though I suggested they do so).

One shift I woke her up three times. The next time I saw her sleeping that shift, I video taped it (so she could not claim to have been blinking in a photo). I then woke her up and again she stated she had not been sleeping, just "resting her eyes" (with her nose on the keyboard!). So I sent the video to our supervisor. Obviously she could not refute the video (which they showed her), and was terminated.

This is a huge safety issue, both for her patients, my patients and other staff (who have to be alert to her patients since she kept falling asleep). You need to be able to trust your co-workers to pull their weight.

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rianne_w has 8 years experience.

37 Posts; 1,528 Profile Views

You definitely did the right thing!

As professionals, we care for patients, and she obviously did not. Patient neglect is a serious issue, and you were completely right for standing up for all of the patients in the facility. I certainly would not want someone who was supposed to be taking care of a family member slacking off, sleeping on the couch!

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RNOTODAY has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, ER, OR.

1,116 Posts; 21,262 Profile Views

I would absolutely have a conversation with management earlier, say all that you said in the post , and I'd just have to leave the decision to fire or not up to them, not my job or paygrade!!! But yes you did the right thing ... I think ... what should you have done, let her complete her slumber while everyone else works around her ? Ummm no.no way no all the nopes in nopety land!!

now if she was an ordinarily good worker and consistently did HER JOB, had I caught her once snoozing , I'd probly just wake her.. and say nothing... but your scenario is completely different. She wasn't doing Anything and just trying to see how long she could get paid for it, imo

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30 Posts; 1,136 Profile Views

This patient population has few advocates. They need people surrounding them to look after them. These patients need not be taken for granted just because they may be "high functioning". Thank you for eliminating a safety risk by advocating for people who may not be able to advocate for themselves. I agree that she def got herself fired.

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Med Surg RN has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN.

108 Posts; 3,354 Profile Views

l8308: nurses and aides fulfill different job functions, just like doctors, physical therapists, speech therapists etc. Nurse have a different education track (diploma, associates, bachelors) versus an aide (certification program). There is a greater responsibility and liability for the nurse position-- at most places only nurses can give medications and assess patients.

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lindseylpn has 12 years experience.

420 Posts; 8,442 Profile Views

l8308:at most places only nurses can give medications and assess patients.

In group homes aides, techs, DSPs etc can usually give meds after a short med training class so, many homes don't have nurses. Our homes only have nurses when the client is being tube fed.

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lindseylpn has 12 years experience.

420 Posts; 8,442 Profile Views

Welcome to the wonderful world of Group Home nursing!

Hppy

Agreed, I've been working in group homes for over a decade and unfortunately this is a common occurrence. We have a rep for being an "easy job" so, we get lots of staff that think they don't have to do anything, caregivers and nurses too. Most homes hire unlicensed caregivers and some will work their way thru each agency burning bridges at each. There are more good than bad staff but, it's definitely a high turnover area and many staff don't last long so, we always have new people. Our policy is to wake someone up if they doze off but, they differenciate between someone who just accidentally nods off and someone who covers up with a pillow and blanket and intentionally goes to sleep. All of night shift has accidentally head bobbed a time or two. Intentionality going to sleep is supposed to be immediate firing though but, we're usually so short handed that they usually just get a slap on the wrist. For repeat offenders people have actually been encouraged to take a picture and send it to management. I think you did the right thing.

Group home nursing is an amazingly rewarding job and I absolutely love it but, this is one of the downfalls. I doubt this will be the last time you have to deal with something like this.

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1 Follower; 3,334 Posts; 45,522 Profile Views

I know you did the right thing. I would love someone to explain or cite the policy or laws stating it is against policy or law to take a co-worker's picture?

My neighbor put security cameras on his house, one camera is pointed towards our patio and kitchen window, (our houses are very close together). I could not even find any clear cut law that says I have the right to privacy in my own yard!

Even if there is any such law or policy about taking a co-worker's picture I don't care, you did the right thing.

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156 Posts; 3,641 Profile Views

I sympathize with the poster who stated that their management wants extraordinary levels of proof regarding lazy coworkers.

Nurses at my facility complain about some of the techs, but management will not do anything unless there is something in writing. I thought it would be enough if you had 10 nurses complaining about the same tech, but I guess mgmt needs to cover themselves against retaliation... And have documentation of the repeated offenses. I understand that but it's frustrating.

Not just them, there's some lazy nurses also who need to go but are still here, for whatever reason.

I wouldn't have taken a picture, but if that's all that your facility would believe jn order to finally do something then so be it. She got herself fired.

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medg has 1 years experience and specializes in assisted living.

22 Posts; 1,391 Profile Views

I would've talked to her about it first. Maybe you would've found out she had another job, family responsibilities, school, etc...(I've juggled all 3 at the same time & know how exhausting it is)...it's still not an excuse for her not doing her job responsibilities but obviously she's not getting sleep & there's a reason why. Find out by talking to her & then offer her advice with a warning that you'd have to report it if she does it again. You would want someone to do that for you. You said you don't like her so it's hard to believe that you really wanted management to retrain her. Maybe you just wanted her to be punished but didn't think it would be as severe as her losing her job. I believe you when you say you feel bad about that. We also don't know what her attitude is like & that can make a difference in how you feel. My opinion.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 172,394 Profile Views

I would've talked to her about it first. Maybe you would've found out she had another job, family responsibilities, school, etc...(I've juggled all 3 at the same time & know how exhausting it is)...it's still not an excuse for her not doing her job responsibilities but obviously she's not getting sleep & there's a reason why. Find out by talking to her & then offer her advice with a warning that you'd have to report it if she does it again. You would want someone to do that for you. You said you don't like her so it's hard to believe that you really wanted management to retrain her. Maybe you just wanted her to be punished but didn't think it would be as severe as her losing her job. I believe you when you say you feel bad about that. We also don't know what her attitude is like & that can make a difference in how you feel. My opinion.

Someone who has been repeatedly warned about sleeping on the job, about spending her time at work lying on the couch watching Netflix and who has not improved their work ethic probably isn't going to improve their work ethic. Honestly, I don't think it's important WHY she's sleeping on the job. She's not getting paid for that -- she's getting paid for work she isn't doing. There's an enormous difference between someone accidentally drifting off to sleep while charting -- I've done that! -- or while standing up and leaning on a crash cart (I've done that, too) and someone who is lying on the couch, comfortably with a blanket. Lying on the couch says that even if you didn't MEAN to fall asleep at work, you haven't done anything to prevent it. It's hard to argue that someone who fell asleep standing up, feel asleep in their chair while charting and then fell OUT of their chair or someone who drifted off waiting for their computer to boot up is the same thing.

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