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Job abandonment

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by Nurse_CrystalRN Nurse_CrystalRN (Member)

2,882 Visitors; 17 Posts

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I work in a LTC facility, and the company is horrible. Like, beyond horrible. I've put up with a lot of crap from them and I've only worked there a couple of months. Today I walked onto the floor at the beginning of my shift and was immediately alerted to the fact that another nurse had called in sick and I was gonna be assigned her patients PLUS my own. That would have made 46 patients. I'm a new nurse, I'm not comfortable with that AT ALL. I haven't clocked in yet or done my narcotics count and received report from the off going nurse. I immediately go to the aDON's office to let her know that I wasn't comfortable taking the assignment and she simply said, "You have to. We don't have anyone else to cover right now and if you don't accept it you could lose your license for abandonment". Im a new nurse, but I'm not stupid. I know the abandonment law. I have to receive report and accept responsibility for the patients first for it to be considered abandonment. I said that to her and she said, "Well you're welcome to leave right now, but if you do it'll be job abandonment and you'll not be eligible for rehire". That's fine with me, this place is a crap hole anyway. So in the heat of the moment, I decided to walk out. There's no way I was accepting the assignment and I wasn't about to be bullied into it. Now that I'm about to begin the job hunt again, I'm worried about how this is gonna affect my career. I know it's gonna look bad that my first nursing job I only held for a few months and suddenly walked out on. What should I do? And is there a better way I could have handled the situation? At the time, I was just so offended and pissed off that I walked out without a second thought. I'm taking this as a learning experience now.

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8,942 Visitors; 385 Posts

It will not affect your career. Good for you for standing up to the pig. If anyone takes this as a learning experience it should be the pig, that some nurses just are not gonna be intimidated.

You did well.

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3,132 Visitors; 88 Posts

I'm a little confused, didn't you say you received report? Or does the report not count because you weren't on the clock? You were absolutely right to be upset.

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ProgressiveActivist has 20 years experience and works as a Critical Care Nurse.

17,092 Visitors; 670 Posts

It will not affect your career. Good for you for standing up to the pig. If anyone takes this as a learning experience it

should be the pig, that some nurses just are not gonna be intimidated.

You did well.

I couldn't agree more. It's a pleasure to read a concise response from a nurse keeping it real.

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience and works as a RNC.

21,486 Visitors; 1,893 Posts

Good for you, OP!! I'm glad you handled the situation the was you did. That place sounds like it's NUTS!!

I'm guessing you aren't the first person they've had to pull that BS about abandonment - and I figure that's their last ditch effort to keep good staff.

I hate to burn bridges, but in your case, but I'd have been glad to stick some dynamite under that sucker -

Anne, RNC

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evolvingrn works as a RN.

8,192 Visitors; 1,035 Posts

Most places like that have a reputation and you leaving looks better than you staying. Best wishes!

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

1 Follower; 43,157 Visitors; 6,643 Posts

If you take the assignment, you are responsible for the 46 patients, if you're very lucky nothing goes wrong. If it does, you'll obviously be hung out to dry by these people. If there is one thing I would change about my experience as a new nurse, it would be to assert my right to speak up regarding an unsafe assignment. The nurse who tried to press your guilt and fear buttons will be the first to point at you when family, provider, whoever is looking to vent their displeasure.

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2,882 Visitors; 17 Posts

I'm a little confused, didn't you say you received report? Or does the report not count because you weren't on the clock? You were absolutely right to be upset.

Sorry, no. The formatting of that sentence was confusing. I hadn't received report or counted narcs yet. To get to our time clock where we clock in, you have to walk past the nurses station and see the assignment board as you walk by. I noticed it before I walked to the back to clock in, an stopped dead in my tracks and said NOPE, lol.

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3,132 Visitors; 88 Posts

Sorry, no. The formatting of that sentence was confusing. I hadn't received report or counted narcs yet. To get to our time clock where we clock in, you have to walk past the nurses station and see the assignment board as you walk by. I noticed it before I walked to the back to clock in, an stopped dead in my tracks and said NOPE, lol.

I got ya. I say good for you. I have not worked in LTC but I would have done the same thing. And when the DON told you that she had no one to cover I would have said "well....aren't you a nurse? I'm sure the ADON is too, no? " and walked out! I will be thinking of you in your future job hunt.

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2,882 Visitors; 17 Posts

I honestly felt like I had no other choice. It was either, be forced to accept a dangerous assignment that I know darn well I can't handle, or walk out and abandon my first nursing job. I always swore that I would never leave a job without giving my 2 weeks because I always wanted a clean, untainted work history. But I was backed into a corner in this situation. I didn't realize until after I was hired that this place had a really shotty reputation. Although, the fact that I was only given five days of orientation should have alerted me, I was just happy to have a job after searching for two months and the pay was a lot more than I expected as a new grad. I just hope any future employers give me the chance to explain the situation before they call this place for employment verification, and I hope they understand.

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SquishyRN has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

16,094 Visitors; 505 Posts

I got ya. I say good for you. I have not worked in LTC but I would have done the same thing. And when the DON told you that she had no one to cover I would have said "well....aren't you a nurse? I'm sure the ADON is too, no? " and walked out! I will be thinking of you in your future job hunt.

I've worked places where the DSD, ADON, or DON have ended up covering the floor due to call outs. It was rare, but it's happened. Imagine my surprise walking into a night shift with the DON there being the RN Supervisor and the RN Supervisor being the other nurse pushing a cart :p In hindsight I'm pretty lucky they didn't consider giving me both carts, as management apparently tried to do with the OP.

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience and works as a RNC.

21,486 Visitors; 1,893 Posts

Something that I didn't include in my PP, it's a place like that that would jump on something - any mistake, ect and say - "if she didn't feel safe with her assignment, all she had to do was say something. "

Good for you standing up for yourself!

Anne, RNC

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