Patient abandonment?

  1. I've worked at this home health agency for almost an year and previously never worked home health. The management was awful and provided absolutely no support. The agency did not have any policies or the director didn't know of any policies. Instead of teaching me, the director just wrote me up on things I didn't do correctly or missed. Along with management issues, the director would "pick and make fun" or make indirect remarks about me. Needless to say I was fed up! I put in a 30 day resignation letter per policy. Two weeks later, I've had a bad toothache that worsen daily. I cleared my schedule for a day; let's say Thursday. (meaning I saw my patients that were scheduled for Thursday on Wednesday) I let my director know I would be taking off to go to the dentist. She said I couldn't because another nurse was off for that day and I needed to cover her patients. I told her I couldn't because of my bad toothache. So I did not come in, I went to the dentist instead. Get to the dentist and had to have 4 wisdom teeth removed. I called in that Friday; due to pain and just not feeling well. I get to work that Monday and was fired for patient abandonment. Because I put in my notice, I didnt fight the issue. I was denied my PLT pay because I was fired. My question, is this really a case of patient abandonment?
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    About SouthernRN39

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    The answer is no, just a case of an employer turning a resignation into a termination. You might want to fight this to get your owed separation pay, if you think it is worth the effort.
  4. by   iluvivt
    No it is not.Its either an ignorant manager or one who thinks you are and you are obviously not because you are checking it out.Patient abandonment is defined as accepting an assignment and then walking off without proper notification to your employer.If you start your day and accept the assignment and get ill and can no longer continue and you call your supervisor and tell them, then you have not abandoned your patients.If you start your day and get ill and just go home and not notify management then you have abandoned your patients.You are allowed to be ill and call in ill.Your agency is trying to manipulate you instead of having a contingency plan for normal employee issues,such as sick calls.Managers get paid to handle these problems and ignorant lazy ones try and pull this crap on you!
  5. by   DallasRN
    Perhaps others can address this better but I would be very concerned that an employer was accusing me of patient abandonment. That is a very serious charge and could affect future employment. If indeed they believe you abandoned your patients, they should have reported to your State Board. Did they?

    I'm thinking I would consider contacting an employment attorney and have him/her look into this situation. It's one thing to be terminated for cause - too many call-ins, insubordination, etc., but abandonment??? Good luck!
  6. by   KalipsoRed21
    I agree with DallasRN. I would run it pass a lawyer or call your state board and see if you can talk with someone there about it. Maybe there is a way to have your side written up and on file with the board if your employer tries to file a complaint.

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