Have I dug a hole I'll never get out of?

Nurses General Nursing


i just recently received my cna license and have applied for work at hospitals and facilities. i was interviewed at a hospital and thought it went well. i was really hoping to get the position. hr contacted me to get further information regarding my last job. i had held a customer service position for 10+ years and was involuntarily terminated. on my job app i had disclosed that and during the interview i was not asked why. hr wanted to know however the reason. i did advise it was for breach of technology agreement. i was asked if i could provide more information. as i was not wanting to seem like i was hiding anything or being deceitful i explained the circumstances that led to my termination. what it boiled down to was i had accessed a customer's information (i did not access anything i did not have every day access to) and i was not actually working on this customer's account. i was honest to my employer at the time and i was terminated for it. i have been honest with my answer if it should come up in any interview. i know i made a mistake. a stupid mistake that i took full responsibility for and have definitely learned from it. however hr decided that due to hipaa laws and my past "offense" that they were unable to offer me a job at this time. at the same time this was all going on i was offered a job at a facility which i accepted. however my question is...do you think this will affect my chances at possibly getting a job at this hospital in the future? i'm a pre-nursing student and really would like to work in a hospital at some point for more experience. is it okay for me to say that it was for breach of technology agreement and leave it at that? can i say i'm not allowed to disclose any further information? i am well aware of hipaa and i hope that i haven't tanked my career before it even starts. any thoughts?

In the future I would say Breach of Tech, like you stated, and let them dig further than that. Just say what you said, you can't state anything further. They are going to go by what the former employer says anyway. Hopefully with time and distance, you will be able to put this far enough in the past that it will stop haunting you. Good luck.

That's what you get for telling the truth? Nice. I would not tell any prospective employer that ever again. Find a way around it. They would not have known if you didn't tell them. Legally, your last jobs cannot elaborate on the reason why you were terminated. Breach of technology contract could mean anything. Next time, tell them you were caught on your cell phone and that was against their rules.

Get one of the reference checking companies (for a fee of about $80) or a friend with an authoritive sounding voice to do a reference check with the former employer to find out what they are saying so that you know where you stand and can devise a strategy to deal with it. And everything that the previous poster said, don't volunteer anything again.

from what i've been told (by former co-workers) is that my former employer only states whether the termination was voluntary or not and if i am rehire able. i was just being honest because i do feel i am an honest person with integrity...just feel like i've sabotaged myself. in the future i don't want it to seem like i'm being deceitful if i don't give all the details. i have horrible guilt if i feel i'm not being honest but i have horrible heartache now for not getting the job i really wanted.

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

Unfortunately, the road to hell was paved with good intentions. Sometimes being completely honest (especially with HR) will backfire horribly. Yep, you've probably blown any chance of employment with that hospital for a few years. Keep your fingers crossed, though, because they will get so many applications for nurses between now and when you graduate, that HR may shred your CNA application and dump the file. Voila! Clean slate! I know it's not much of a compensation for something that I'm sure you don't feel like you should be punished for forever, but it's at least a small glimmer of hope.

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.
from what i've been told (by former co-workers) is that my former employer only states whether the termination was voluntary or not and if i am rehire able.

but that doesn't mean that's what they're actually doing. they may be telling it all from the get-go, or they may try to stick to the rules...but then elaborating when the reference checker asks for details.

i agree with caliotter: get someone (friend, company) to check your reference and see what they turn up.

Specializes in ER.

Wow, what a life lesson. It is sure to affect you negatively in the short run, as you just described, but over the long run as you get more jobs and time between you and that event it will have less and less impact. Never lie about it or intentionally mislead people because it will be found out, and then you will have an even bigger problem on your hands when you have been fired from two jobs. Keep applying for CNA jobs, the question of why you were terminated will be asked and you should be honest and plea your case for a new start just as you have here. Be the best CNA possible as you work toward your nursing degree, be socially smart on your job and make connections with people who can give you good references when it comes time to apply for a job as a nurse. Be formulating an outstanding resume that speaks to the honesty and integrity that you possess, do volunteer work, go on a mission trip, get involved in a civic organization, teach CPR, tutor other CNA students. You sound like an honest person, stay that way.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

Wow, a little surprised at these responses. If telling the truth in an interview costs someone a position, then I think they need to suck it up and accept responsibility for what they did (as you have). Being dishonest could have really backfired on you.

There are always those who will tell you that a former employer cannot "legally" say this or that - the majority of the time, those folks are wrong. There are an awful lot of urban legends out there about what past and prospective employers can and cannot ask or say. Trust me, your former employer will be able to convey the reason that you were terminated. So, in the long run, you will not gain anything about being less than honest.

A HIPAA violation is extremely serious and is a termination offense at most facilities. You will likely find it hard to regain employment in the healthcare field for a while. Also, you have likely lost access to any type of PHI for the foreseeable future.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

"Next time, tell them you were caught on your cell phone and that was against their rules. "

Don't compound your mistake. Don't lie.

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

You could try to spin it a bit though.

next time you're asked, go through the story, and then explain "I made a momentary laspe in judgement, take responsibility for my actions, and I understand now what a huge deal that was. Being governed by HIPPA makes me realize that a large fine and penalities are involved when it comes to disclosing PMI. I've worked hard for the chance to be a nurse, and I will not jeoparidize that. I hope that I'll be able to have the chance to prove that to (such and such) hospital."

just be honest, stuff like that has a way of coming out no matter what the "legality" of it is.

Specializes in Trauma SICU.

Was this customer service job in the health care field? If it wasn't than how is what you did a HIPAA violation? Or were they just thinking that sense you had violated one privacy policy, you could theoretically break another, more costly, one?

I say continue to be honest. Hospitals are scared of HIPAA, but somewhere out in the world there is still an HR person who will admire your integrity.

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