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Informed employer I was going to NYC to help with COVID crisis and was threatened to be reported for pt abandonment

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by Butterflygrl38 Butterflygrl38 (New) New

Hi, this is my first time posting. I worked in home health and decided to pick up and leave to go to NYC to help with the COVID crisis. When I contacted my employer and informed them of this, I was told that if I left, I would be reported to the VABON for patient abandonment. Now I had not been working that day, and have never abandoned a patient while working. What do I do now? Any advice is appreciated. I have been told By fellow nurses that he does not have a case and this was an empty threat. I’m disappointed in my employer’s response to say the least.

Kind of a common threat from home health agency personnel lodged at nurses who quit cases. Toothless. You did not accept care of your patient and then walk out of the house before turning care over to another nurse or a family member. Be prepared to do some explaining when you return and are looking for a new employer. This one will be certain to tell any prospective employer how reliable they found you to be. As far as they are concerned, you are leaving your agency and your patient in a lurch. They don't see the sick in NYC as having a higher priority.

Not a good idea to use your real name as a screen name on a public website.

Leaving with little notice may be unprofessional, but abandonment? That is silly. You could quit your job on your way to a shift because you would rather get drunk. How on earth is that abandonment?- you had nobody to abandon.

Just tell them you could report them for proprietary malfeasance.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

I will make a recommendation beyond what you've been told. If you only have home health experience, don't go-you won't be much help. They are in need of very experienced ER and ICU nurses. Some travel agencies have been taking inexperienced nurses and putting them into dangerous situations as well, so if you're going with an agency, get out the magnifying glass and read the small print. I've seen on some FB group of nurses getting 10-20 vent patients without RT help, and they have to bring their own PPE and are responsible for it's storage and replacement as well, no housing guarantees. I also keep hearing about very limited to no housing/hotels in NYC right now. What is available is high $$$$

Edited by Hoosier_RN

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

57 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

Not a good idea to use your real name as a screen name on a public website.

^^^ this very much! You can ask the Admin to change your user name. Employers do surf this site and remember posting on the internet is forever.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

What I've seen as field RN in Mom/Pop startup 1985, Supervisor in Regional HH agency, Manager in largest HH agency in my state involved in regulatory and safety comitttees, along with starting this forum and moderating it for past 15+years:

A. In home health if you are an RN CASE MANAGER managing a group of patients, in order to not be charged for patient abandonment by BON you need to follow agency policy on terminating employment. When you assume responsibility as a HH Case Manager, you are responsible for patients assigned to you until those patients are reassigned to another nurse. A few states BON will sanction the nurse for patient abandonment (instead of just considering this job abandonment--no penalty) especially if client harmed by not having a nurse visit eg: wound care not provided, new trach teaching not performed, missed IV/diabetic medication admin --- especially if nurse fails to show up to scheduled visit without notifying agency. Sanctions I've seen include fines, requiring course in nursing ethics/documentation up to license revocation (rare).

1. Termination notice: Need to give proper termination notice as determined by employer -usually 2-3 weeks. This allows for time to complete nursing documentation re Plans of care, OASIS admissions/recerts/discharge/ verbal orders review by QA and order any supplies needed in next 2 weeks for clients. In EMR, make sure all notes and orders are locked down. Prevents HH admin staff from contacting you weeks-months later regarding missing documentation.

By giving required notice, allows management time to reallocate your patients.

2. Report off: You need to discuss with your Supervisor/Manager who will be assuming your clients upon leaving the agency and provide a report --either to Supervisor or assuming RN --thus transferring case management responsibilities to the next nurse.

B: Home Health per diem nurse: usually only responsible for clients assigned for that days visits. Care and documentation for clients are completed day of /by next day post visit. Immediately quitting job without notice with completed documentation, considered job abandonment, but no patient abandonment.

Hope nothing comes of your agency threat. Living in Philly area with high # covid positive patients and viewing nurses/physician videos of their experiences working in NY/NJ/Boston areas swamped with critically ill Covid-19 patients: be prepared for exhausting + emotionally draining work, high patient loads often 10+ patients without help, and lack of PPE along with housing issues. You need recent hospital experience to not put your license at risk from working in a disaster situation.

3 hours ago, Linda Felgenhauer said:

Hi, this is my first time posting. I worked in home health and decided to pick up and leave to go to NYC to help with the COVID crisis. When I contacted my employer and informed them of this, I was told that if I left, I would be reported to the VABON for patient abandonment. Now I had not been working that day, and have never abandoned a patient while working. What do I do now? Any advice is appreciated. I have been told By fellow nurses that he does not have a case and this was an empty threat. I’m disappointed in my employer’s response to say the least.

Why do you need to go to NYC to help? No pts where you normally live and work?

On 4/26/2020 at 6:42 PM, Kooky Korky said:

Why do you need to go to NYC to help? No pts where you normally live and work?

That's not her question.

When are you going to leave? Since you are working home health and the clients are assigned to you, if no one has been assigned to take care of those client you are abandoning them. It must be hard to get replacement. What if you asked friends to pick up your patients while you are gone?

SlothSlayer

Specializes in Med/Surg, PCU. Has 13 years experience.

5 hours ago, Hoosier_RN said:

I will make a recommendation beyond what you've been told. If you only have home health experience, don't go-you won't be much help. They are in need of very experienced ER and ICU nurses. Some travel agencies have been taking inexperienced nurses and putting them into dangerous situations as well, so if you're going with an agency, get out the magnifying glass and read the small print. I've seen on some FB group of nurses getting 10-20 vent patients without RT help,

What could go wrong?

Keep in mind some nurses traveling to NYC in the last couple of weeks have arrived to find their contracts cancelled. Please be sure whatever you are leaving for is very secure.

Edited by egg122 NP