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ICU Nurse Fired For Refusing 3rd Patient

Nurses Article News   (26,815 Views | 152 Replies | 840 Words)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Nurse Julie Griffin was fired for standing up for what she thought was the right thing. You are reading page 10 of ICU Nurse Fired For Refusing 3rd Patient. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

TNT_RN09 has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in 8 years Telemetry/Med Surg, 4 years Stepdown/PCU.

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6 hours ago, Johnnyb2000 said:

You're 100% right.   The company would be the first to blame her. 

And the board of nursing would say “ she shouldn’t have accepted the unsafe assignment”.

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

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2 hours ago, Leader25 said:

Who enforces the LAW,who reports when it is not being followed ,??

Who decides which one is "critical"? If Cali divorce laws are any example you can keep your "ratios".

Even in California, there are hospitals that will skirt the rules and break the law. It's up to nurses as individuals to report. Unions are very active in California, that's one avenue for reporting violations if the nurse is represented by a union. Ultimately, reports go to the CA Dept of Public Health who issues a "slap on the wrist" letter and the hospital submits a corrective action response.

A bill was introduced to impose fines on violations but that went nowhere. There are certainly bad players and the HCA facilities in my area of California are notorious for unfair practices (such as hiring new grad RN trainees for way below market pay). Bad hospitals exist everywhere and we're no exception here.

The decision for a patient being critically ill is determined by a provider. ED patients who are waiting for admission to a Critical Care Unit are critically-ill. Universally, providers write the patient status on the admission order...i.e., admit to Critical Care. Patients on the floor who take a turn for the worse and are awaiting transfer to a Critical Care Unit are critically-ill. Patients being stabilized in "Room 1" in the ED for a medical emergency are deemed critically ill.

Luckily, I've worked at 3 hospital systems in California and have not witnessed or heard RN's complain of ratio violations. I've seen missed breaks and the nurses always made sure to report those and get paid for them.  Some hospital union contracts (i.e., Kaiser, UC hospitals) go above and beyond the mandatory staffing ratio law in terms of protecting nurses. I've worked in places where the threat of a nursing strike immediately got management to ratify a contract.

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DallasRN specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

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Should Julie have gone with the status quo...

Absolutely not. Good for her for standing firm. Nurses NOT standing firm and allowing supervisors/admins to dictate our practice is what has led us to where we are today - exhausted, frazzled, over-worked, and sometimes dangerous practices and practitioners. If indeed it was a rare and situation where a nurse might be in Julie's situation, OK. Problem is, once you let it go a single time it becomes the norm.

Frankly I wish every nurse in that ICU and hospital and the guts to walk out.  The days of nurse abuse need to stop. For crying out loud.......NURSES SAVE LIVES!  We aren't there for decoration. There needs to be a #me too thing for nurses.

 

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4 hours ago, DallasRN said:

Should Julie have gone with the status quo...

Absolutely not. Good for her for standing firm. Nurses NOT standing firm and allowing supervisors/admins to dictate our practice is what has led us to where we are today - exhausted, frazzled, over-worked, and sometimes dangerous practices and practitioners. If indeed it was a rare and situation where a nurse might be in Julie's situation, OK. Problem is, once you let it go a single time it becomes the norm.

Frankly I wish every nurse in that ICU and hospital and the guts to walk out.  The days of nurse abuse need to stop. For crying out loud.......NURSES SAVE LIVES!  We aren't there for decoration. There needs to be a #me too thing for nurses.

 

Please start it.

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23 hours ago, MSO4foru said:

I don't know what ADO means. In my little place of employment as part of large hospital system,recently bought by large for profit system we are pretty well continually short staffed. There are many posts on this forum re short staffing- this is going to be the new norm unless nurses say enough. Unfortunately that will wreck havoc among pts and their caregivers.  Many moons ago I was told to " never say that we are short staffed"- I am finding my qualms about stating such greatly reduced as now am often having 2-3 pts above 'ratio' of 6:1.  I think if the general public knew what was happening in terms of nursing ratios, wheels of change would speed above slow crrrreeeaaakk

They won't know if you don't tell them, MSO4foru.

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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Or you could, Kooky. You seem very passionate on the subject.

 

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18 hours ago, eacue said:

I work in an ER and have only worked Med surge for a year at the beginning of my career, 0 ICU experience, I would hope that the people judging this poor RN have actually worked in an ICU.  I personally worked for Plantation General hospital, which is the sister facility for Westside, also owned by HCA, and in the ER it was this bad before I left.  J-loops ran out so we were told to just hub with picc line caps that were not in the picc packet.  OK, then we ran out of those, so we were told to hub the IV with a 3ml syringe, so we resourceful ER RN's...began to open those really expensive picc line kits and taking the caps and tossing the kits.  This went on for two days before they decided to order us more J-loops.  HCA is a disgusting hospital system, Julie if your reading this... getting fired sucks, but count your blessings. 

Now the one part I don't understand is why floor RN's are all bugged out about acuity and ratios.  In the ER we are 5-1 regardless of acuity.  I routinely have 3 ICU level patients on drips even sedated and vented.  Plus my other 2 patients which are ESI 3's.  4 and 5 ESI the main ER never sees.  Now granted I am not caring for this patient for 12 hours but when we have holds, we don't get floor ratios so please help this ER RN understand what is the big deal. 

2 wrongs don't make a right.

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7 minutes ago, klone said:

Or you could, Kooky. You seem very passionate on the subject.

 

I was a union rep for years. 

It is nearly impossible to get nurses to step up, to take a stand.  They mostly want someone to do the heavy lifting, failing to realize that they are part of the problem because they do nothing to advance the cause of proper working conditions for nurses.

Time was when an ICU nurse never had more than 1 patient.  Gone are the days.

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Bravo Julie! I just cannot understand why nurses across the country do not stand together and unionize. it is not fair for Julie to have to do this alone!! Hospitals cannot operate without nurses.

You may have to strike for a period, but the outcome is so worth it.

I practice in California and am protected by CNA. They have to seen to it that we are the highest paid nurses in the nation. (Dues are high but it is worth it).

Our hospital  continue to pull "fast ones" regularly ( usually around staffing) and it is so gratifying to see CNA go after them. 

Please see your worth.

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Hence why people won't speak up and just keep their heads down (work in silence and suffer). 

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7 hours ago, peggyon said:

Bravo Julie! I just cannot understand why nurses across the country do not stand together and unionize. it is not fair for Julie to have to do this alone!! Hospitals cannot operate without nurses.

You may have to strike for a period, but the outcome is so worth it.

I practice in California and am protected by CNA. They have to seen to it that we are the highest paid nurses in the nation. (Dues are high but it is worth it).

Our hospital  continue to pull "fast ones" regularly ( usually around staffing) and it is so gratifying to see CNA go after them. 

Please see your worth.

Problem is there will always be someone willing to take her job instead of fighting for what is right. Money is the root. Hospitals want to make as much money as possible and get away with doing things unsafe, meanwhile creating policies that halfway work because of the overstaffing.

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7 hours ago, Kooky Korky said:

I was a union rep for years. 

It is nearly impossible to get nurses to step up, to take a stand.  They mostly want someone to do the heavy lifting, failing to realize that they are part of the problem because they do nothing to advance the cause of proper working conditions for nurses.

Time was when an ICU nurse never had more than 1 patient.  Gone are the days.

Even speaking up on problematic co-workers can possibly get one fired.

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